Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Weekend

I have been given conflicting information regarding Seattle, weather, and the spring/summer, and I'm not altogether sure what to expect for the next few months: One source tells me that "Sometimes it rains for the entire month of June... we're not really out of the woods until July. But September should be lovely." Another claims the sky will be a bright sapphire blue from May to October. It makes sense to me that spring would be a wet, rainy time, but what do I know about climates in maritime Washington! 

I can say, though, that lately the weather has been out of control amazing. Ever since the vernal equinox, it has been warmer, sunnier, greener, and generally more pleasant to be outdoors. I'm appreciating the city and our neighborhood a lot more as I am no longer hiding under my raincoat. And, the many businesses around us have started investing in planter boxes and various other methods for growing springtime flowers and plants. 

My building is in the foreground. I included this photo because the dark pointed building is easy to spot in shots of the Seattle skyline, and it's just a block from where I live.
Whenever the weather is nice, I like to go outside and walk by the water. I find natural settings to be quite soothing (science backs me up here), and I am always hungry for views of the snow-capped mountains. 

In the background you can see what we call the "salmon elevator."  Also snow-capped mountains on the Olympic Peninsula (left). 
We live just a half mile or so from the waterfront, and the city kindly maintains several miles of paved walkways boasting a gently curving route, separate paths for bicyclists, and a number of art installations and/or gardening plots and/or "renovated coastlines" with pebbles, sand, driftwood, and rocks all intended to help support young aquatic lifeforms. Meaning baby seals and young salmon. 

Sunbathers and sailboats abound.

Roast Chicken Follow-up

The chicken turned out amazing:

  But the one "lesson" was that brussels sprouts cook a lot faster than the other vegetables, and they essentially melt into nonexistence. For next time: try a hardier green vegetable, and/or throw it/them in later in the process (maybe for last 15-20 mins).

See the sad sprout pieces:

Though all in all.. it's a good lookin' plate.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Roast Chicken

For dinner tonight, we are having:

A whole roasted chicken, stuffed with onion, lemon, garlic, and thyme
Vegetables roasted around the chicken (red potatoes, carrot, onion, brussels sprouts, thyme, oregano, tarragon)
Roasted asparagus

The chicken was salted and peppered on both inside and outside. Olive oil on outside. I am cooking the chicken for 20 mins at 425º, then I will add the vegetables (which have been cut to similar sizes, oiled, salted, peppered) to surround the chicken. Rotate the pan, lower temp to 375º.

This is an adaptation of an earlier method, in which I have onions etc. surrounding the chicken from the get-go. The problem I encountered with that was burned vegetables and burned juices---like actual black smoking burn! It was wrecking my pans. (..a problem I have since solved: Thanks Bar Keeper's Friend!) So, I am going to do some initial high-heat cooking to help the chicken brown, then will add the vegetables later and lower the temp.

 This is the chicken after 20 mins, with vegetables just added. It's a bit nekkid still.  Also: better not to pepper the outside, for aesthetic reasons?

The Afterparty

We finished the brownies last night, so dessert tonight will probably be Easter candy. I cannot get enough of those Cadbury mini eggs. Anyone else refer to them as "robin's eggs"?

I have my eye on some sort of baked fruit crisp, but it is really not the season for such things just yet. And for dietary reasons we're trying not to keep the house stocked with too many delicious things. Buy frozen fruit, make a small-sized crisp? Save it for next week? Proceed at will, use less sugar/butter and try Splenda instead?

Leftover plan: 

Lunch tomorrow will be tomato soup from Sunday night. (I'm sure I will be posting about that soup soon enough.) Dinner will be leftover roasted chicken, cut up and added to a pasta of some sort. Or, if there are enough roasted veggies left, we will just have chicken and vegetables once more.

Mission Statement

I'm just getting started with this blogging thing, and I still haven't quite decided what The Point will be. Is this a food blog, a place for me to share/keep record of my cooking adventures? Am I concerned about readership? To what extent will non-food items creep into the narrative... from wedding planning to living 2,800 miles from our old home, from the job hunt to stories and pictures about our maine coons?

I will start with this being basically a record of our eats because I like to cook and I do it a lot. I'm also trying to be both budget and health conscious, so it will be helpful for me to have a record of What was Amazing, What was Too Expensive, and just How Many Days a Month are We Eating Asparagus.

The secondary purpose for this racket will be as an outlet. We moved here about five months ago and I am still looking for work.. it's frustrating for all the usual reasons, and I hope that having a blog will help me stay creative and intellectually stimulated. Otherwise I just spend my days applying for jobs, planning our wedding, and exercising. It's not bad, but I need a little more. Y'know?

That said, I'm excited to get going!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Testing, testing!