Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Not So Bad

Even after the busy, hectic day I had today, it isn't hard to remember why I like my job. One reason is the view from my desk. I work on the 27th floor of 1201 Third Avenue; just picture in your head, three blocks up the hill from Pikes Place Market. On any day of the week, rain or shine, I watch the activity in the sound. Not only do I watch the ferry come and go but I get to watch the tug boats. They are my favorite. As soon as a freighter hits the sound, they are out in action. They drive up the big boat, push it around, and then neatly tuck it away along side some dock. Sometimes I think they just play with the big boat; pushing it in circles, pushing it left, then right or just using it to block the ferry. It kind of fun to glance up from whatever I might be working on and see the progress made. Sometimes when I think back on my day at work, it seems more like a time-lapse video of boat activity. Whenever I find my self in a meeting in Conference Room 1, I have to be sure to sit with the windows to my back otherwise I won't remember a single word. How can you pay attention in a room with floor to ceiling windows and a view like this?

Not a bad view, right?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Catch Up

It has been a long time my friends, but I am back. Life was busy with yard work, hikes, camping trips, long nights at the office, road trips, and time with friends and family. This only means I much more material to share with you all.

Let us first get caught up. Here is a brief summary of what has happened at the Odell House.
  1. Jack Rabbit lost a toe.
  2. I am loving my job.
  3. Joel and I celebrated our two year anniversary.
  4. Joel loves his job.
  5. Julie moved in.
  6. Summer arrived and left in about a three day period.
  7. Winter has arrived. I know because the heating blanket is back on the bed.
  8. Jack's favorite hang out is window sills.
  9. Jess has learned HTML code (how to edit websites).
  10. Joel went to a play with me.
There we have it. Everything you need to know to be caught up with the Odell's. Well, at least for now. It is late and this girl isn't in bed soon, she will be a grump in the morning. Not very pretty.

Friday, February 4, 2011

By Request - My Alloette Party Recipes

Here are some recently discovered amazing recipes. I found these in the pages of my favorite magazine, Real Simple, and decided to test them out at my Alloette party on Wednesday night. I did make a few changes to a few of them and I made those notes below in blue font.

Peanut Chicken Skewers with Chili Mayonnaise
¾ cup salted roasted peanuts, finely chopped
½ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut crosswise into 24 thin strips
3 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 teaspoons Asian Chili-garlic sauce
24 6-inch bamboo skewers

1. On a large plate, combine the peanuts, bread crumbs, cilantro, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Thread each strip of chicken onto a skewer and coat with the peanut mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere.

2. In batches, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook the skewers until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate as they are cooked and add more oil to the skillet as needed.

3. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and chili-garlic sauce. Serve with the chicken.
**I used cilantro in my chicken skewers. I also tried to cook the chicken as the recipes says to but I didn't have a big enough pan that allowed for the chicken to lay flat. So I just put the chicken skewers in a 13x9x2 baking pan and broiled the chicken until browned on both sides. I also wrapped the non-chicken ends of the skewers in tin foil to help keep the sticks from burning.
Hoisin-Glazed Shrimp Skewers
¼ cup Hoisin sauce
Sesame seeds
Bamboo Skewers

Thread the shrimp onto skewers, then wrap the skewer ends in foil. Broil, basting with ¼ cup hoisin sauce, until opaque, 2-3 minutes each side; sprinkle with sesame seeds.
** I used more than 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce, I always figure the more sauce when basting the better. I nearly used the entire jar of sauce.

 Potato and Rosemary Flat Bread
1 package pizza dough
2 thinly sliced red potatoes
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

1. Shape the dough into a large oval, place on a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet. In a large bowl, toss 2 thinly sliced red potatoes, 2 sliced cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves, and 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Scatter evenly over the dough and bake at 425*F until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
** I made my own pizza dough in my bread maker and that worked out just fine. The only change I would suggest for this recipe is to add a bit of olive oil to the baking sheet to lightly grease the pan prior to adding the dough. When I tried to remove the bread from the baking sheet, it was stuck to the pan in the center. Maybe I didn't put enough cornmeal on the baking sheet, but the bread was stuck. Other than that, this was amazing, and I can't wait to make it again!
Stuffed Tomatoes with Cucumbers and Feta
½ cup crumbled feta
4 beefsteak tomatoes
2 Kirby cucumbers, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian vinaigrette

1. Cut off the top of each tomato and scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. In a bowl, toss the cucumbers and Feta with the vinaigrette and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper; spoon into the tomatoes.
**I wanted to make finger sized foods for the party, so I used Cherry tomatoes instead of the beefsteak. Also, I have no idea what Kirby cucumbers are, so I just used the regular cucumbers from the grocery store. I was out of Italian vinaigrette, so I used Garlic Expressions (an amazing garlic vinaigrette you can buy at Hagen's, Top Foods, or QFC). To remove the pulp and seeds from the tomatoes, I used the smaller end of a melon baller and this worked out great and made this step really easy.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Spinach
24 medium mushrooms (about 1 ½ pounds total)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 5-ounce package baby spinach, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup grated Gruyere, grated (2 ounces)

1. Heat oven to 375*F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms; finely chop the stems and reserve. Coat a baking sheet with oil. Bake the mushroom caps, stem-side down, until just tender, about 10-12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped mushroom stems and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes more.

3. In a bowl, combine the spinach mixture with the bread crumbs and cheese. Spoon into the mushroom caps and bake until gold brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
**I used a melon baller to remove the stems from the mushrooms. This worked great and made the prep work really quick!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kendall & Jess's Rhyme

Auntie Jess is just the best
Dad needs to take a rest
Rain on metal makes rust
Sometimes cars are painted red

When tired you should go to bed
If you are sick take your meds
After the kids go to sleep we will go to Fred's
Don't marry a nerd named Ned

Now I wear Nikes but I used to wear Keds
Snip snip snap snap
Jess loves to take a nap
Joel has to take a crap

Then later Jack takes one in his lap
Just for that Joel will give that ass a slap
If you like what you see give us a clap
To express his thanks he busts out a rap

Cover the leftovers with saran wrap
His foot is now stuck in a mouse trap
To feel better he got out his treasure map