30 March 2015

March in the rearview mirror


It's been a good month. I'm sure I'll jinx something by saying so, but March has been the first month in, well, way too long, that we've all been healthy and sniffle-free.  I'm please to say we've been making the most of it too.  While counting the days until Mariner baseball begins, we've started playing our own version at the park.  We're golfing more and have made it to the putting green a few times with the dry weather.  I bought golfing shorts, which I'm convinced will improve my game.  One Friday, we enjoyed the magnolias and cherry blossoms at the Washington Arboretum and hiked Foster Island and Marsh Island with our friends Carrie and William.  Then Wy and I took in an art exhibit and ate biscuits on Westlake Avenue that afternoon.  One Tuesday we took a picnic lunch up to Byron's office.  On the weekends, we've been making big progress on landscaping the front yard and rebuilding raised garden beds in the back.  The garage smells like a cedar chest. Who knows, maybe this season we can enjoy the yard rather than always working on it (what a concept). 

Byron and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary.  Wyatt had his first sleepover at Katianne and Kathleen's house.  Milestones all around. The home office got a deep clean, the taxes got done, and my desk drawers are no longer "junk" drawers but are actually organized for the first time in like four years.  March madness, indeed. 

On the food front, we've been making homemade pizza a lot.  And we're doing our best to cook through the breakfast section of The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee (thanks, Jill).  So far, the Strawberry-Pecan Coffee Cake and the Liege waffles are big hits.  This week I'm trying the Stout Coffee Cake with Pecan-Caraway Streusel. 

But, coffee cakes and adventures don't compare to the best thing that happened in March: meeting Alex and Sarah's new baby boy. 



04 March 2015

Gigantes


You can't go wrong with these. Try them for an appetizer, as part of a composed salad, or for a potluck.  You'll want good, crusty bread nearby . . . to soak up the loveliness.

Gigantes
Start with about 1 1/2 cups dried large white lima beans.  Soak them for a few hours in cold water, then simmer just until tender.  Cool to room temperature or refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble:  Place the beans in a heat-proof bowl and add sea salt to your liking.  Next, combine the following ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. 

1/3 to 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
one small shallot, finely chopped
one clove of garlic, finely chopped
large pinch of red pepper flakes
ground black pepper

chopped Italian parsley (fresh or frozen), coarsely chopped

Boil for about 30 seconds to a minute, but don't let the garlic and shallot brown.  Immediately pour the oil and herbs over the beans.  Jiggle them around to get everything mixed.  Let them cool to room temperature, jiggling periodically to redistribute marinade.  Serve with crusty bread.