Day to Day Life: Weeks Twenty-Six and Twenty-Seven

Little Blue Chicken!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

I had a really weird 48 hour bug that included strep throat, a fever and a chill despite 100+ degree weather around here! After 48 hours the only thing that sounded good to eat aside from popsicles was mac and cheese from a box. Ha.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Pie necessity.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

A mama deer trying to camouflage herself next door. (Nice try, mama.)
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Since we got back from a whirlwind trip to the Bay Area, Blue Chicken has been acting somewhat skittish (although I’ve gotten him/her back to sitting on my hand for little amounts of time). The day before our trip, s/he was happy to perch like this.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Salads for 4.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Lunch for one Julie.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Last Saturday we left Ashland around 12:30, booked it down to Santa Clara with the kids to get to the Grateful Dead show. We pulled up, found a free parking space immediately (saving us $70!), got 4 tickets together for half the face-value cost, and made it into the show with only one mishap: I had to throw away my damn purse after emptying the contents into a plastic bag! So I remained purse-less for the remainder of the weekend. Wah-wah.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Crazy stage lighting!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

And around 8:30pm this incredible rainbow showed up. With just the slightest drizzle of rain.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

The next day we drove into San Francisco for the Giants’ game. Some sweet woman walked up and handed us 4 tickets for free!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Staying in SF meant eating at some of our favorite places… Golden Boy Pizza! A garlic-clam slice and a cheese slice!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

One of my favorite music shops across the street from the pizza place…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Also a seized opportunity for cheesiness.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Hello and goodbye, City! (It was a full-packed 48 hours!)
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

On the drive home. Silas calls these “the boob hills.”
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

We made it back to town just in time for Silas’s scrimmage game pre-All Stars tournament.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

My brother posted this photo of my niece. I wish she really was coming to visit Aunty Julie! She’s getting so dang big (3 in August!).
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Dinner for just my hubby and I one evening! Fresh halibut pan seared then topped with a beurre blanc sauce, homemade rice-a-roni and fresh local green beans with lemon zest and garlic. So dang good!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

TACO NIGHT.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

And leftovers made a good bad lunch the next day.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Summer Face.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

On the run.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Silas’s All-Star baseball team had their first tournament game yesterday and won 14-9.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Ashland skies on the night of the 4th!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Hope you’ve had a good week!

Saturday Sites: Week Twenty-Seven

Forbidden Rice Blog | Saturday Sites Week 27, 2015

1.) YES! Encourage more play!

2.) I’ve lived in Ashland for nearly 12 years now, but my birthplace and origin for the first 18 years of my life still says home.

3.) But speaking of small town living

4.) Let’s make maple bars when the it doesn’t feel like an inferno turning on the oven in the house…

5.) A lot of parents of young children can probably relate to this piece of art.

6.) 12 comics that nail the reality of parenthood. Numbers 3, 5, and 6. Bwahahaha.

7.) This moment is priceless. (And also, the three women on the right end are still smiling!)

8.) I cannot wait to make these popsicles.

9.) My inner OCD self enjoys this post.

10.) Camping food tips, tricks, and ideas. ‘Tis the season!

11.) This. Being raw and vulnerable with the wolf at the door.

12.) I feel like the number of times I watched this and laughed makes me a terrible person (but I don’t care, it’s funny!).

13.) I’m also probably an asshole for thinking this video is hilarious.

14.) I’d tweak this a bit… and probably use fresh mahi mahi or halibut!

15.) A dose of culinary medicine sends med students to the kitchen. I would love to take a classe like this.

16.) This makes my heart happy.

17.) I’ve been enjoying this podcast.

18.) This video.

19.) A little reminder.

Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Awaiting Oregon berry season with eager anticipation is one of the highlights of these months for me. Embracing the vast bounty and variety of berries available here each summer can be chalked up to “enjoying life’s simple pleasures” in its finest sense. Strawberries can be found as early as May, then again in the later summer months (when they are full of even better flavor). Raspberries and blackberries start showing up in June, marionberries around July… but my all-time favorite, blueberries, are beginning to show up right now… and should easily stick around until late summer.

Last year I made one of my favorite jams ever with some local blueberries. While I look forward to making another batch or two (or three, or four), standing around a stove cooking piping hot jam, then jarring them up while Ashland temperatures have been lingering in 3-digit numbers, sounds less than ideal.

Of course my next move wasn’t the most intelligent either, given the outside temps, but I couldn’t resist the first blueberry pie of the season. It’s one of my favorites and not often a pie I find on restaurant menus. There’s a beautiful simplicity about a good blueberry pie. This recipe isn’t brain-surgery; it’s pretty simple, the crust is flaky and also simplistic. This pie will easily become a loved staple in your recipe repertoire if you let it! :)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie.

Ingredients:

For the crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar (plus a little more to sprinkle on the top)
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons cold butter
8-10 tablespoons ice cold water

For the filling:
6 cups fresh blueberries, picked through for stems
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
zest and juice from half a large lemon
1 egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Directions:

Prepare the dough for the crust: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Cut in the cold butter (I like to use a standing box-type grater for this) until you have a shaggy looking mixture with pea-sized pieces of butter mixed in. Add the water to the mixture, then use a fork to bring to dough together. Add a bit more water (a tablespoon at a time) if necessary, although you want to dough to be shaggy and not outwardly wet.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and gently knead each portion into a flattened disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, salt, zest and lemon juice. Gently mix until all the berries are coated. Let the blueberries sit for about 10 minutes.

Prepare the pie: Remove one of the pie dough disks from the fridge. Roll the dough out into about a 13-inch round, on a lightly floured surface. Gently lift the 13-inch round and center it in a deep 9-inch round pie dish. Place the crust in your fridge while you roll out the top crust.

Roll out the top crust just as you did the bottom crust, creating a roughly 13-inch circle.

Remove the bottom crust from the fridge and fill with the blueberry mixture, evenly spreading the blueberries around. Carefully remove the top crust from your work surface, then drape over the filling. Use a small knife to trim the crust, leaving about 1-inch overhang. Press the top and bottom crusts together with your fingers, and fold under. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of the dough. Cut a few small slits in the top of the crust so the steam can vent.

Brush the pie lightly with beaten egg, then sprinkle with a teaspoon or two of granulated sugar. Place the pie in your fridge to chill while the oven preheats.

Bake the pie: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until the top of the pie is nicely golden brown and crisp.

Allow the pie to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Meatless Monday: Breaded Chik’n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

One of my favorite vegetarian meat alternative companies is Quorn. The flavor and texture similarity to chicken was what first attracted me to their products. Whenever I am cooking something with Quorn, I often treat it the same way I would’ve cooked chicken years ago.

One of my other favorite things to cook with is summertime produce this time of year. We’ve been out of town frequently and my humble little garden has suffered the effects of neglect. I don’t know how much produce I’ll eventually wind up with, but likely not nearly as much as the last few years. Fortunately I live in a little Oregon valley where the fresh produce is still plentiful and easy to come by.

I had a dish similar to this recently, except it was actual chicken. I immediately knew I wanted to figure out a vegetarian version ASAP. So… I did. While you can get already breaded Quorn Chik’n patties or cutlets (which are also filled with various ingredients like cheese, or garlic and herbs), I decided to get the “naked” cutlets and bread them myself (you get 4 cutlets in that box versus 2 in the already breaded varieties). You can add more or less tomatoes if you prefer, depending on the size of heirlooms you find!

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Breaded Chik’n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta

Serves roughly 8-12 folks.

Ingredients:
3 boxes of Quorn Naked Chik’n Cutlets
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
6 ounces panko bread crumbs
enough oil to coat a deep pan about 1-inch deep
3 large heirloom tomatoes (whatever color/variety you prefer), diced bite-size
one 8-ounce block feta, cut into bite-size cubes
4-ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup packed basil leaves, chopped
lemon wedges, for serving

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Directions:

Thaw the chik’n cutlets fully. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper and coriander. Heat the oil in a large, flat-bottomed pan over medium-high. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk together the milk, eggs, and 1/3 of the seasoning mixture in a dish. In another dish, mix together the bread crumbs and remaining seasoning.

Dip each fully-thawed Quorn cutlet first in the egg-milk mixture, coating both sides. Then dip in the bread crumb mixture, again coating both sides. Fry in the heated oil until golden brown on both sides.

Place the fried cutlet on a large baking sheet that has raised sides. Continue until all the cutlets have been breaded and fried, arranging them in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Top the cutlets with the diced tomatoes, feta, and crumbled goat cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the feta softens, tomatoes are heated through and the goat cheese melts. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the chopped feta, and serve immediately with lemon wedges to squeeze over individual portions.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Day to Day Life: Week Twenty-Five

A quick look at the last week:

Officially in his 10th year.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

This queso was a big hit around here!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Queso Fundido Con Soyrizo

Little Blue Chicken!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Also perplexed about what is food and not food…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Summertime foods.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Some days just require an extra tall Kentucky mule.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Cluster of peachy roses.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Pizza night’s always a good night.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

We met Silas, his mom, and friends out at the South Umpqua Falls. So pretty! Plus both perfect water and weather.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

I made dinner at Nana’s one night. It was followed by the funniest few checker games afterwards…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Also quite humorous, Silas teaching Nana how to play pool.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Craig and I made a quick trip down to California. Southbound I-5 skies…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

And a view of Mt. Shasta.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

We had burritos for lunch and dinner… then tacos for me, burrito for Craig, the following day for lunch. These pollo asado tacos were delicious.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

A little pit-stop at Shasta Lake on the way home…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

And Father’s Day dinner included grilled veggie dogs and veggie chicken dogs, roasted potato salad, watermelon, and this cheesy grilled corn.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015