Monday, September 29, 2014 Feta & Grilled Onion Sandwich

About six weeks after I met CPB, I moved to Seattle(ish). I planned on the move for almost a year, everything was booked, rented and set for one year working in the Pacific Northwest. While I would never (ever) recommend a long distance relationship we did come up with a few things I really enjoyed during my time away. We were able to see each other almost once a month, I came here, he went there, we met in Denver one time and spending time together was wonderful. We would talk on the phone most days, even if it was only a few minutes on the way to or from work, it's not the same as being together in person but it was nice to hear his voice. We also took pictures throughout our day and emailed them with a few captions, something I eventually turned into an adorable set of Blurb Books. And, my favorite thing we did, long distance date night, or dinner 'together apart'.

Every week we would take turns picking a recipe. Mine tended more towards a California fresh theme and his choices were usually a southern soul food variation. (You can see most of the recipes here and probably figure out who chose which dish.) We would make dinner together, over the phone, sit down and eat together-apart, usually with a nice beer. It's harder to have a natural conversation over the phone, 'how was your day?', 'how was work?', and 'how's the weather?' become a little redundant. (Especially when it was always grey where I was and always perfect in southern California.)

What does this all have to do with a Feta & Grilled Onion Sandwich, you may ask?
This sandwich is the second long distance date night CPB & I made together-apart. (Only with better pictures, you can see our original creations here.) 
I think it tasted better making it together in the same kitchen.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 the Heart of the Artichoke

Today is an exciting day! I'm heading up to Sacramento with CPB to meet up with my little brother, HLCIII & his lovely girlfriend HV, to go to our cousin's wedding in Sonoma. More on that later, I was lucky enough to help her with some fun wedding projects I'll share soon.

This past July our other Hamilton girl cousin, Cassie, got married! It was a beautiful day and we had a great time celebrating Cassie & Todd. We also got to spend some time with Ashley & her fiancé Joe, and one evening we had a wonderful dinner party with them, HLCIII, HV & two of Joe's friends that live in San Diego. After a great morning with Ashley, including a yoga class at Mosaic, lunch at Mona Lisa Deli, and a beer from bottlecraft. We used my other David Tanis cookbook, Heart of the Artichoke, to help inspire the menu. (When the Cook's visited I used his 'Platter of Figs' cookbook the whole weekend, you can see Menu One & Menu Two.)

Tonights Menu:
Greek-ish Salad
Grilled Squash & Mozzarella
Herbed Rice
Grilled Salmon with Rosemary & Lemon
Dutch Oven French Bread

Monday, September 15, 2014 Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers

Apart from one day in May yesterday was probably the hottest day of the summer and coincidentally the sdame day CPB and I decided Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers sounded like an amazing lunch. Why I thought turning on the oven was a good idea is beyond me. The living room did not cool off until after 9pm. September 14th might not seem like summer to most of the country but in San Diego we were holding strong at 90 degrees on the coast (and 100+ inland), extremely unusual for this time of year. 

The Jambalaya takes about an hour from beginning to end and then the stuffed peppers another 30 minutes finished in the oven. And while I don't recommend using an oven when your house has poor ventilation and lacks air conditioning, it was a sucessful dish. There will be plenty of leftover Jambalaya, you can probably make 12 or so stuffed peppers with the below recipe. The Jambalaya recipe is a cumulative recipe from CPB's family and some of the New Orleans cookbooks we own. It is lovely on its own, with a little chipotle tabasco or cajun garlic sauce sprinkled on top.


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