Saturday, March 20, 2010

Iron Chef, meet Juror #31

I'm back from my self imposed hiatus! Okay, not so much a hiatus, just a really busy week. I literally could not believe yesterday when 4pm rolled around, which to me, signals the end of a work week. That meant it had been a full five days of work since Monday (you're reading this and say, uh.... duh....). The week flew by. Almost scary how fast time flies by sometimes.

Last weekend was very simple, spent lots of time around the house, with each other, walked the dog, etc... Last Saturday we used a gift certificate Gabey got us for a really fun date night - movie tickets, popcorn and two cocktails at the Big Picture (does that mean that Gabey bought us drinks?? huh.). Super fun night together, we don't go out on dates like that very often. Thanks Gabe!!!

Monday after work I FINALLY had the chance to get together and catch up with Kelli and Hailey. Love those two, miss Kelli a ton. Bells, let's not let so much time pass between catching up again, okay? Hailey is, of course, super cute. It surprised me how much of the little mommy things that I used to do with Gabey and John came back to me in interacting with Hailey. It's been 14 years since G & J have been little, but I guess that's why they call it mommy instinct.

Hailey brought me books to read to her and then plopped down on my lap:
Tuesday night Petesie and I pulled our second date night in four days, so he could recap to me his Adventures of Juror 31. Yep, he spent the week in jury duty, which according to the City Of Kirkland, basically requires you to be on call within about thirty minutes from the courthouse, so if you're needed, you can show up instantly. The good thing about that is that the courthouse was literally three minutes from our house. And of all five days where he was on call, he was on a jury one day, one day didn't have to show up at all, and the other three days would have to call and random intervals and ended up going in, but then would get dismissed. Basically, a week of vacation for Petesie, and couldn't have come at a better time. He spent his days walking Monty, reading, watched some movies, and worked on his latest project, reupholstering our booth. Yep, he's my little craftsman!

Thursday night might require a post of it's own, but I'll just do a quick recap here. My department brought us together at a local cooking school for an Iron Chef Competition. We were divvied up into three teams, each team was given a protein (ours was steak) and told to make a protein, starch, dessert, and utilize our secret ingredient in one of them - Via Instant Coffee.

I captained the Red Team and more or less directed (okay, bossed) the aspect of our meal: via rubbed tenderized skirt steak roulade stuffed with gorganzola cheese, which I seared over high heat in a lot of butter to get a great golden crust and finished in the oven. I then carmelized onions and made a sauce with onions, wine reduction, heavy cream and creme fraiche. And goat cheese, because I couldn't help myself. We served the steak roulade on a pool of creme fraiche, topped with butter-sauteed mushrooms, along with goat cheese and rosemary smashed potatoes, sweet ginger glazed carrots and flash cooked asparagus. Dessert was molten chocolate cakes with huckleberries. Dinner was great - my only issue was the via rub, which was WAY too spicy and completely overpowered the rest of the meal. I didn't make the rub, but after I was told how spicy it was, I tried to make my sauce extra creamy to cut the spice. It didn't work, but it didn't matter, because...... I WON! Our steak won best dish, which my team awarded to me, and I won team MVP!!! Woohoo!! It was so much fun, and a great chance to boss around some of the guys I work with when at work it's vice-versa. :) ha.

Today is a gorgeous sunny day and the first day of SPRING! I love this day more than the firsts of the other seasons. First day of summer is bittersweet for me (happy it's summer, but days get shorter), first day of fall I'm usually ambivalent toward, first day of Winter is great because the days let longer, but it's still cold and bleary, but first day of Spring means the best is yet to come - sunny days, gardens (oh yeah and allergies) and the summer which stretches out before you like the water stretches out over Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains rising behind it. Just beautiful, hopeful and sweet all around (um, except the allergies).


  1. LOVED getting to see you too, and so did miss Hailey! We really need to see each other on a regular basis, so we don't need to "catch up". Congrats on Iron Chef, but Julia, mushrooms?!?!?! Yuck! ;)

  2. How adorable is Hailey? She is so cute to recognize her Auntie Julia as a great person to read to her!

  3. That's right, people, my wife is an IRON CHEF! By now you're probably wondering just how lucky I am. Answer: VERY (you should have sampled my Sweetie's pizza this week. yum!)

  4. Hey! You promised a post dedicated to becoming an Iron Chef. What gives?