Sunshine Thursday

Yesterday we both left work a little early to go check out an apartment, it was a dud. But then we got to hit up happy hour at our favorite tapas restaurant while the sun was still shining in all the windows. It was fabulous and delicious! Plus I had just gotten my hair cut so we HAD to go out when someone actually made it look nice for me. :)

this asparagus salad totally rocked!




I bought Joshua a homebrew kit for his birthday and this Sunday we brewed our first beer in it. Joshua used to brew beer with his friends in Cincy and he has been wanting to get back into it. I definitely enjoyed it more because he already knew what to do. We started with something easy, a hefeweizen, bought our supplies at the home brew store, ground up our grains and got to work. The whole apartment smelled malty and hoppy as it boiled and it was fabulous.

We played a few rounds of darts on our new dart board while we waited. Very lovely Sunday!
We just hope we did it right.



Blood Orange Frozen Yogurt


Blood Orange Frozen Yogurt:
adapted from Grapefruit Hibiscus recipe
in Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at home
1 quart plain low-fat yogurt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tbscornstarch
4 tablespoons cream cheese; room temp
1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Zest of 2 blood oranges
2 blood oranges; set aside zest and in another bowl set aside juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1     place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and line it with 2
       layers of cheesecloth
2     pour yogurt over cheesecloth, cover with plastic wrap and
       place in fridge for 6-8 hours
3     discard the liquid and measure 1 1/4 cup yogurt, set aside
4     place 1/2 cup of blood orange juice and 2 tbs sugar into small saucepan
5     bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar
6     remove from heat
7     in a small bowl mix 3 tbs of the whole milk into the cornstarch to
       make a slurry
8     whisk cream cheese in a medium bowl
9     in a large saucepan stir together remaining milk, 2/3 cup sugar,
       corn syrup and blood orange zest
10   bring mixture to a boil and boil for 4 minutes
11   remove from heat and whisk in cornstarch slurry
12   put back on heat, bring to boil,and stir until mixture thickens, about 1 minute
13   remove from heat and strain blood orange zest
14   gradually mix milk mixture into the cream cheese mixture
15   then add in the 1 1/4 cup strained yogurt and blood orange syrup
16   whisk until smooth
17   cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
18   make according to ice cream maker's instructions



Spaghetti Squash Pizza

As a warning this crust will not get all crispy or rise like a pizza crust. It is more like a baked pasta type of dish that you can cut up with a pizza cutter in squares. We ate ours with a fork, but overall it totally filled our craving for pizza. It is a much healthier option and we really loved the flavor of the spaghetti squash crust. I'd defiantly make this for some gluten free guests!


Spaghetti Squash Pizza
adapted from this recipe

1 spaghetti squash
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt

1   preheat oven 375 degrees F, cut squash in half, scoop out seeds, and brush insides with oil
2   bake, cut side down, for about 45 minutes
3   scoop out the insides onto a few sheets of paper towels, you want to get out the excess liquid
4  place another few paper towels on top and pat out liquids
5   in a bowl mix the squash with the egg and salt
6   preheat oven to 400 degrees F
7   place parchment on a baking sheet and spread the spaghetti squash over the whole tray
8   bake for 25-30 minutes, edges should start to brown
9   then place oven on broil and broil for 2-4 minutes
10 pull out the crust and add on any toppings you'd like and bake for 4-6 more minutes

toppings of your choosing but these were mine:
1/2 lb. chorizo sausage; sautéed in mini meatballs
mozzarella cheese

vodka tomato sauce:
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano S&P to taste

1    empty jar of crushed tomatoes into a saucepan and simmer 15 minutes
2   add vodka, cream and spices and boil for 1 minute
3   and now you have sauce


Espresso Stout Ice Cream

Espresso Stout Ice Cream:
adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Home

2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tbs cornstarch
3 tbs cream cheese, softened
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbs light corn syrup
2 tbs dark-roast coffee beans, coarsely ground
1/2 cup very dark stout
1/4 cup cocoa nibs

1    mix 2 tbs milk with cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk together
2    whisk cream cheese and salt into a bowl until smooth
3    combine the rest of the milk, cream, sugar & corn syrup in a saucepan
4    bring to a boil and boil for 4 minutes
5    remove from heat and stir in the coffee grounds, steep 5 minutes
6    strain the milk mixture through cheesecloth and squeeze the cheesecloth
      to extract all the liquid
7    return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk in the cornstarch mixture
8    bring to a boil again and stir frequently with a rubber spatula until thickened
      about 1 minute
9    remove from heat
10  whisk the hot mixture into the cream cheese
12  mix in the stout and stir it all together well
13 cover the bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
14 make the ice cream according to your ice cream maker's directions
15 mix in the cocoa nibs and store in freezer

Goes fabulously with a chocolate stout cake :)

O Life

Eventually I'll get out my real camera and take good photos again, eventually I'll stop packing dried udon noodles for lunch, eventually I'll stop doing laundry only 1 every month and a half, eventually I'll sleep in - but lately that hasn't been our life. It has been busy and full and sometimes overwhelming. We haven't written down as much or snapped many photos but we have been enjoying and living in life a lot.

Sometimes I break down on a Sunday when I know everyday of the week is already full. So hubs writes it all down so we can see how it all really plays out and we talk through it until we feel okay about it. But wow I wouldn't change it for the world. I'm barely keeping up but they are all great things. So many birthdays and random stop overs and quick meet ups.

One of my favorites lately was our friends made and brought dinner over to our place + boxed wine. I mean I got to eat food someone else made with them at my own apartment. I thought that was such a fabulous gesture!

Life is flying fast right now but it's one of those ways that you fall asleep exhausted but joyful, hopefully we can keep up and hopefully we can bring that joy back to our friends.


Pizza Grillin

Our friend James invited us over last week to make pizza on the grill. This is something I've been wanting to try for awhile but he rocked it! He had so many topping - artichoke hearts, feta, mushroom onion mix, bacon, prosciutto, olive, smoked mozzarella I mean he really had it all!

(photos from Rachel's phone)
We even lucked out with the night being a little warmer and we rocked out to some oldies all night while stuffing our faces with pizza!

Also check out our small groups cooking abilities! We had a snobby themed food night and they all really brought it! (this wasn't even all of it)


Coworker Night Out

This past weekend a bunch of my coworkers went out to celebrate a birthday. We hung out at a tiny dark bar on couches most of the night sipping the most delicious cocktails I've ever had. Then we got hungry  so we ventured out into the rain. We ended up a hotdog place where Joshua got one covered in peppers and cheese and I got one covered in mac & cheese! It was as crazy delicious as it sounded.
It was getting late so Joshua asked how long I wanted to stay out I decided in that moment that we wouldn't go home until daylight savings time kicked in (2am) I wanted to be out until the time changed, it seemed like something I had never done and wanted to check it off.

So after the hotdogs we all went next door to play shuffleboard & intense games of foosball. (I now know Joshua is pretty decent at foosball) We ended the night at 2am all closing down the bar. We honestly had a super great time and it was great to be out with people we don't normally get time to hang out with. Cheers to our friend's birthday & to making it out until daylight savings time :)



A Sounders Kick off

My coworker Liz won some Sounder Soccer tickets from a raffle at our work & she was kind enough to bring us along. It was the season opener against the Sporting Kansas (What kind of mascot do these teams have) It was a crazy rainy day more like Midwest real rain than Seattle misting so we put on all our waterproof gear and I wore my hiking boots BUT the seats were under the awning! We lucked out!


It was 0-0 for the whole game until in the 3:00 minutes added injury time about 2:00 minutes in Sounders made a cross, headed it into the post, bodied it into another player, and then finally kicked it in (all the while the other teams goalie was on the ground tackled down by his own players) It was a little epic & an awesome first game of the season. Finished the afternoon off with pizza & some shuffleboard. We had an amazing time & kicked a rainy day's butt.


Chocolate Stout Birthday Cake

Chocolate Stout Cake:
from here
2 cups stout
2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups flour
4 cups sugar
1 tbs baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1   preheat oven 350 degrees F, spray 2 9" cake pans and flour them,
     I also like to cut out a circle of parchment to place in the bottom to
     ensure they come out whole
2   in a saucepan melt butter into the stout, bring to a simmer
3   remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder
4   in a bowl mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt
5   in another large bowl whisk buttermilk and eggs together
6   mix chocolate stout mixture in, stir only until incorporated
7   mix in flour mixture, stir only until incorporated
8   pour evenly into the 2 pans
9   bake for 40-45 minutes

Marshmallow Frosting:

8 egg whites
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar OR 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla

1     put egg whites, sugar, and white wine vinegar in metal bowl
2     put water in a saucepan and bring to simmering
3     place egg white bowl in saucepan
4     constantly whisk the mixture, until the sugar is dissolved and egg whites are
       warm to the touch (don't cook the egg)
5     beat with a whisk, or whisk attachment until stiff peaks form
6     whisk in vanilla
7     smear some between the cooled cake layers and stack them
8     pour a bunch on the top of the cake and smear around until it drips over the
       cake way you'd like (it stays where you want it pretty well
9     using a torch, toast the frosting until it starts to brown


A Beer Flavored Birthday Party

When Josh got back from Portugal I threw him a small birthday party. He was gone and working 14 hour days during his birthday so I decided he needed to party. It accidentally had a theme of beer : stout cake, stout espresso ice cream, stout bread, beer cheese, and growlers. But for this group of guys it ended up being perfect. It rained but luckily a few friends were nice enough to play on our new dart board with Josh anyway, which made his night. Good friends and a lot of fun!