cooking, weekend

{Saturday Breakfast: Baked Eggs}

A couple months back I tried baked eggs – or eggs en cocotte  as they are often called – for the first time.
They were so delicious. Simple, tasty and comforting.
I figured they couldn’t be too hard to make, I was just missing the right bake ware (I didn’t own one ramekin). 
After picking up a large shallow ramekin a couple weeks back I finally got around to making baked eggs for breakfast this morning.
And folks, they were so good and so easy to make I just had to share the recipe with you all!
The first thing to know is you can add anything you want into this dish – make it your own! A lot of the recipes I read called for bacon, but I don’t eat pork, so I substituted some sliced smoked chicken breast instead. It tasted incredible! Many recipes also called for parsley, but I’m not a fan, so I used basil instead — fantastic choice if I do say so myself. 
Below you’ll find a recipe for my version of baked eggs – but you can modify it however you’d like.
1 large leaf of kale, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 large leaves of fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup grated gruyere + a little more for topping
2 slices deli roasted chicken breast – diced into squares
6 eggs (we have quite a large “ramekin”)
A dash of half and half
salt + pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Butter your ramekin(s)
2. Add chicken to each
3. Crack eggs into ramekins, being careful not to break the yolks
3. Mix together your chopped kale, green onions, basil and grated gruyere
4. Top the eggs with the mixture
5. Add a dash of half and half into the ramekin
6. Top with salt and pepper
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes (you’ll know it’s done when the center is still a little jiggly {pick it up and jiggle it}, and the outside is firm)
8. Top with a little extra gruyere 
9. Eat up with a piece of buttered whole grain toast – YUMMY!
Happy Saturday everyone!!

{Monday Meal Planning}

I don’t know about you, but figuring out what to eat/make for dinner sometimes feels like the biggest chore on the planet! Especially after a long day at work and a long commute home in the cold and dark. Sometimes we’re really good about meal planning, other times we end up grabbing soup or a sandwich at our corner grocer and calling it a night. This week we’re a little more on the ball, and I thought I’d share what we’re planning on making in case you are looking for dinner inspiration like I always am! Enjoy!

amsterdam, cooking, weekend

{Weekend Recap}

This weekend we…

Met friends at a new (to us) bar in our neighborhood that brews their own beer!  Good beer, good company, what more could you ask for?

Made banana pancakes for breakfast Saturday and we lounged around for the greater part of the morning. Bliss.

I went shopping all by myself. I found Voluspa candles and pink skinnies (among other things). I remembered why they call it Retail Therapy as I felt like a new woman after my shopping excursion!

Went out for pizza at our favorite place on Saturday night. It was divine as usual. Then we stopped by McDonald’s for a vanilla ice cream cone. Hey, you can’t beat dessert for 1 EUR (TOTAL.).

Watched The Ides of March on my laptop in bed with my two boys (Henry is such a good cuddler!). I decided that was my favorite place to be. Ever.

Met up with friends at the Beer Temple on Saturday night. They have more than 60 different American bottled beers and over 30 taps! We stayed out until 3AM, which is not a regular occurrence for us. I know, I’m making us sound so cool right now.

Sunday we slept in, I made oatmeal with honey and cinnamon for breakfast and then we met up with family friends for lunch in Oud Zuid.

I made Baked Shoestring Garlic Fries a la Pinterest. I’m making another Pinterest-found recipe tonight! I’m on a roll!

And best of all, we Skyped with our niece, Emma. She turns one today! Happy birthday sweet, little Emma! I know you can’t read this, but someday I’ll show it to you and you’ll see how much your uncle and I missed you while we lived in Europe!

What did you do this weekend?

P.S. I’m also over at Mama and Her Boys today talking about how Corey and I ended up abroad – go take a peek!
cooking, date night, weekend

{Our Instagram Weekend}

Didn’t break out my camera, but I did break out the Instagram. Descriptions below!

{left to right, top to bottom}
1. All dolled up for a hot date night with the huz
2. Dinner at Mazzo, a delicious Italian restaurant in the Jordaan neighborhood in Amsterdam
3. Movie at this gorgeous theater in the center of the city. We saw J. Edgar and we’re still not sure what to think about it. It wasn’t really what we expected – a little slow/boring, but interesting at times..
4. Post-date cocktails: Organic Ginger Beer + Bourbon (plus we got to use the cool new iceballs I got Corey for Christmas!)
5. A lazy Saturday morning in bed, sipping coffee out of my boston terrier mug (gifted to me by a good friend – thanks, Libby!)
6. Thisincredible crate of fresh veggies, fruit, bread and fish was delivered to our door Saturday morning. We made this Potato-Pumpkin Gnocchi with Fresh TomatoSage Sauce. It took a long time to make, but it was plate-licking good!
7. I finally got around to organizing this little nook in our bedroom. I was inspired by this image. What do you think?
8. Ended our weekend with a giant White Truffle Pizza from MangiAncora, the best pizzeria in the city. By the way, we finished that entire thing 🙂

amsterdam, christmas, cooking, holidays, interior design

Homemade Mulled Wine

Corey has been busy studying for finals for the last week, and I knew he was feeling super stressed, so after he finished his first final on Monday night I wanted to surprise him with a little something. I thought it would be nice to make some mulled wine for him to enjoy after hours of essay writing. When he walked in the door the house smelled amazing, candles were lit and it was the perfect way for him to unwind after his long day of work and final-taking. I used this simple and delicious recipe from fellow Amsterdam expat blogger, Jenn, and I highly recommend it!

Organic Merlot (or any other red wine you like)

One organic orange

Cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup Organic local honey

1 Vanilla Bean

Instructions (straight from Jenn):

Pour the wine into a large pot (yes, the whoooole thing). 
Peel the orange, and juice it into the pot. Then, cut up the orange peel into slices, and add almost all of the slices to the pot, saving a couple to garnish the drink with at the end. 
Add a few cinnamon sticks, the vanilla bean, and then the honey. 
Turn the stove on to low heat, and cook for 25 minutes.
Then, pour the mulled wine into big mugs. Garnish with an orange peel and a cinnamon stick, and enjoy!
{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

amsterdam, cooking

What’s For Dinner?

I’ve had a couple people on my Formspring ask what types of things we cook for dinner, especially now that we’re here in Amsterdam and grocery stores are different, ingredients are harder to find, etc. I thought I’d do a quick post on some of our go-to recipes. When we cook at home (which is about 4-5 times a week now) we definitely try to keep things healthy and somewhat simple. It’s tougher to find odd ingredients here simply because we’re not sure where to go yet. So we stick to basic ingredients. Martha is our main source of recipes, but sometimes we just wing it, too. Here are some of my favorite dinners we’ve made in the last couple weeks:

Top to bottom, left to right:
{1} Soy-glazed salmon with sauteed asparagus and quinoa. We use this recipe for the salmon. For the asparagus, we just sautee them in a little olive oil with garlic and salt and pepper. Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. If you’re not sure how to cook it, this is a helpful article. We use a mixture of water and chicken broth, which makes it a little tastier. 

{2} Shrimp and Zucchini Tostadas. We use this recipe and add avocado to it.

{3} Blue Cheese-Pear-Pecan Salad. I don’t even like salad (really.) and I am obsessed with this one. The dressing is so good!

{4} Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa. We used this recipe, just replaced the red onion with scallions. I just don’t do raw onion like that! But I’m sure it would be good if you’re into that sort of thing 🙂

{6} We also made this Pasta with Rosemary Shrimp Scampi recently and were surprised how much we loved it. There’s not a lot to the recipe, but somehow it is still very satisfying. I’d never cooked with rosemary before and now I’m a believer and want to do it again! Only thing we did different was actually sautee the shrimp with the oil, red pepper flake, garlic and rosemary. I don’t like my shrimp just sort of steamed like they suggest, but other than that we stuck to the recipe. We made a side of brussels sprouts to go with it and it was perfect. I was so hungry I forgot to snap a picture before digging in!

{5} And I have to put in an honorable mention for this suuuper easy lentil soup. It’s dang good if you just add a little cayenne pepper to spice things up, and it’s super fast and perfect for these colder months. It just looks really gross in pictures (mine anyway), so I thought I’d spare you. But it tastes really good!

Okay, so there you have it. Some of our go-to dinners. Do you have any recipes you’re dying to share with me? I’m always looking for new ones 🙂
cooking, henry, NW Portland, weekend

Weekend Recap

Martinis with the girls followed by pool and beers with some good friends who were in town from Seattle.

Major laziness. Sex & The City marathon. Hey, I deserved it!
Made kale chips for the first time at the suggestion of my sissy and this little lady. Yum. Try it!
Whipped up stuffed portabello mushrooms (recipe here, just added a cup of quinoa), grilled chicken and garlic bread.
Watched The Fighter. Acting was insanely phenomenal. Great movie, but I had to hide my eyes a few times. 

Strawberry shortcake for breakfast (including homemade whipped cream!). Uh huh. That’s how we roll!
Spring cleaning.
Tried the PB&J cart down the street. Probably shouldn’t have done that because we discovered how ridiculously yummy they are. Corey had the “Good Morning” and I had the “Pumpkin Pie”. Grilled PB&J concoctions. Who woulda thought?
Going away dinner for a coworker who’s moving to Amsterdam to work at our European headquarters. Will miss her. Tried to hide my jealousy 🙂
Hope you had a great weekend!
cooking, NW Portland, weekend, wine

Weekend Recap

This weekend…
We made two yummy breakfasts… Banana pancakes Saturday morning and Isabel-inspired eggs, black beans, potatoes and tortillas Sunday morning.
We snuggled in bed with our little Henry.
We watched Pretty Woman.
We enjoyed some Pinot Noir from David Hill Winery (where we got married!).
We ate our wedding cake (my MIL had to clean out her freezer and the cake was surprisingly delicious and moist)!
I went to Oba for a birthday dinner… The Ahi Tuna was to.die.for.
We took Henry to the vet. He officially has all his shots, hurrah! Oh, and we scheduled his “castration” (hey, their words not mine).. March 20th… Dun dun dun…
We ate homemade pizza and watched the Superbowl at my in-laws.
We had some lovely bonding time with my sissy.
We rearranged furniture and organized a giant pile of paper/mail (feels so good to get that stuff done!).
What did you do this weekend?

cooking, fall

Gorgeous Food Blog: Cannelle et Vanille

Temperatures have definitely dropped in the last week here in Portland, and there’s something about the chilly weather that makes me want to get in the kitchen and cook some savory goodness. I stumbled across Aran’s gorgeous gluten-free blog, Cannelle et Vanille, and I just had to share. The recipes aren’t very difficult, but they are creative and unique. And best of all, she’s a super talented photographer and stylist, so if nothing else, you will want to go through her archives and check out all the gorgeousness! Tonight, I’m planning on making the Leek, Butternut Squash and Potato Soup. Perfect for getting over my sickness and this fall weather.

{Photos by Aran at Cannelle et Vanille}
cooking, NW Portland, photography, weekend

Weekend Snaps

Good day! Hope everyone had a nice and relaxing weekend. We ended up trading in our date night for Thai take out on Friday. We realized we were super exhausted and weren’t feeling up for a night out. We did end up getting breakfast at Everett Street Bistro, which was delicious as usual, and spent the rest of the weekend cooking, baking, relaxing and wedding planning. We managed to cram a lot into two days! Here are some photos I took over the weekend. Hope you enjoy!