Tuesday, July 28, 2009

saturday night salad

One of my favorite things in the world is eating dinner by candlelight with my husband. We finally did this Saturday night after a one-month hiatus. Life's been busy and we just hadn't taken the time.

Inspired by a recent visit to Extra Virgin, I attempted to duplicate their tomato, watermelon, watercress, and goat cheese salad. I didn't have Michael Smith's ancho chili vinaigrette recipe, so I had to wing it with Tyler Florence's citrus-chile vinaigrette. I used arugula in place of the watercress.

Steve made jumbo prawns which we marinated in lime juice and a spontaneous combination of spices, a little similar to Tyler Florence's shrimp preparation in the vinaigrette recipe.

Tomato, Watermelon, Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad:
Slice one tomato and place on platter
Scatter arugula over the tomato
Scatter watermelon pieces and goat cheese over the arugula
Dress with citrus-chili vinaigrette (add dressing between the layers)

Citrus-Chili Vinaigrette:
1 vine-ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sunday, July 19, 2009

what I've really been wanting to discuss

I quit my job over two years ago. One purpose was to figure out another life path, but I was also naively subscribing to the theory: just relax, then you'll get pregnant. If only it was that simple. I would love to spend several more years addressing the root cause(s) of this problem, while seeking optimal health; unfortunately, we don't have years to spare.

For awhile, I was bitter about having to allocate our resources to out-of-pocket medical expenses. It's prevented us from buying a bigger house, going on vacations, doing much-needed remodeling, and buying newer model cars. I could become a heroin addict by choice and my rehabilitation would be covered by insurance; however, anything to do with getting pregnant is not covered.

We've narrowed our search to two doctors. One is Dr. Zouves in San Francisco. I read his book a year ago. I was inspired by it, but had no idea that I would someday consider becoming his patient.

Hopefully our very first IVF cycle can happen as soon as September. My reproductive immunologist needs at least one month lead time to treat me before she gives the green light to our reproductive endocronologist.

This will be an exercise in giving up control. Making travel plans isn't possible since I'm at the mercy of my own body and Dr. Zouves' schedule. We're hiring one of the best physicians in the country so we can be assured that our protocol is tailored to the needs of our individual case. In giving up control, the last thing I need is the responsibility of micro-managing a physician. I finally feel a little bit hopeful...

This book is an amazing read. I could hardly put it down. Presented are many interesting family planning choices and dilemmas that most of us will never be confronted with.

impromptu taco party

I love to entertain, but if I have too much time to plan, I overextend and attempt way too much - like trying to remodel our house to magazine-perfection in a two-week time span.

Impromptu entertaining is the best remedy for my overachiever tendencies; I'm forced to prioritize and keep things simple.

With our recent mild weather, what better time to hang out in the backyard with a few friends? Yes, the yard needed to be mowed; no, I never planted anything in those bare spots; and of course I wish I had finished my outdoor pillow project. But, deciding not to care about these things was the choice I made. I had a fabulous evening with new and old friends and got to make a few of my favorite, easy recipes!

Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Cream Sauce

8 oz lowfat sour cream
1 tsp chili powder, divided
1 tsp ground cumin, divided
¾ tsp ground red pepper
¾ tsp salt, divided
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 lb unpeeled medium shrimp
3 Tbs orange juice
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves

For the sauce:
Whisk together the sour cream, ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp red pepper, ¼ tsp salt, and cinnamon. Stir until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

For the shrimp:
Peel and devein the shrimp (you can also chop it). Combine the remaining ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp red pepper and ½ tsp salt in a ziploc bag or shallow dish; add orange juice and shrimp, turning to coat. Chill for 15+ minutes.

Remove the shrimp from marinade, discarding the marinade. Saute the garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook just until pink. Serve on tortillas with spicy cream sauce, shredded cheese, avocado, shredded lettuce, and whatever else you like!

For easy serving, set up a taco bar.

Fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice is the key to yummy margaritas. Oh yeah, and good tequlia.

I sure do love this man!

Jamie sipping her margarita.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

starting off with some of my favorite things

  1. Creme de la Mer
  2. Myofascial release therapy
  3. Pedicures at Bijin
  4. Orange cats
  5. Things that make sense to me
  6. Real food
  7. Simple, elegant interiors
  8. Original art
  9. Luxury resorts
  10. My dear husband, Steve

Friday, July 17, 2009

why I'm going to blog

I never thought I was the blogger type. In fact I bought a shirt several years ago that reads - No one cares about your blog. But since I've posted 25+ notes on Facebook in the last five months, it's probably time to move the random topic discussions to my very own blog.

I have some exciting things coming up, including a possible IVF cycle this fall. I love to cook and will post the good recipes that have been tested in the Michnick kitchen. Once in awhile one of my creative projects turns out well. Who knows what other interesting things will end up here.

Ouch! Tell it like it is: No one cares about your blog. No one reads your blog. Enough about your blog already. Your blog is not special or interesting. Your blog is boring.