Put A Lid On It!

No, we did not get into an argument while cooking and tell each other to "Put A Lid On It"! SB has been listening almost exclusively to the bluesy/jazzy/swing band Squirrel Nut Zippers lately, and their song "Put A Lid On It" is one of their most popular tunes. If you are not familiar with the band, do yourself a favor and check them out.

While listening to fun music and chatting about our weeks , we put together a beautiful and tasty meal. During a trip to Roanoke earlier this year, we bought a couple of adorable little casserole dishes. We found a great first recipe to cook in these....Chicken Tagine. Tagine is a sweetly spiced dish that incorporates Moroccan flavors. Dried figs and apricots, golden raisins, honey and almonds were mixed with chicken and onions to create this delicious dish. All the ingredients are sauteed until golden, and then transferred to the smaller dishes to finish cooking in the oven.

To accentuate, but not overpower, the tangine, we picked side dishes that were simple yet flavorful. We made zucchini boats stuffed with pearl couscous, and an elegant cucumber salad with Greek yogurt and dill. Adding a piece of pita bread and a glass of crisp white wine to round out the meal, everything came together beautifully.


Summer Fun and Great Food! (and Hedgehogs)

After many weeks of traveling and conflicting schedules, we were finally able to get together for a night of fun and delicious food! SH has been to Chicago (fun) and New Hampshire (work), and SB has been to Nashville (fun). We celebrated our reunion with a meal that was spicy, simple, and tasty!

For our appetizer, we made Mussels with Tomatoes, Herbs, and Garlic (top photo). We got the mussels from a local seafood distributor (www.indigofarmsseafood.com), and they were beautiful and healthy--not a dud in the bunch! We cooked the mussels in white wine, and topped them with a spicy tomato, herb, and garlic sauce. Served with french bread and cold beer, this appetizer would be hard to beat!

Our entree this week was Grilled Polenta with Spicy Steak. SH made homemade polenta rounds, and these were grilled for a short amount of time to give them a smoky flavor. The rounds were topped with grilled flank steak that had been rubbed with cumin and chili powder, cilantro, feta cheese, and homemade salsa. The combination of these foods was a treat for the taste buds--spicy, slightly smokey, and absolutely delicious!

To finish the evening, we found a couple hedgehog cupcakes that had been separated from their herd. These adorable banana cupcakes were hard to eat because they were so charming, but they were tasty!


Tropical Bananagrams in Virginia

Tonight we had a change of pace! We had a friend, Rachael, join us this evening. She is a big fan of word games and Vietnamese food, so we incorporated both into our night.

We all had a different size wine glass to keep up with whose glass is whose!
We started the evening with an appetizer of Vietnamese Style Shrimp Rolls. These light and tasty rolls incorporated shrimp, asian noodles, carrots, peanuts, and a spicy sauce rolled up in a fresh lettuce leaf. Delicious! Then we played a few rounds of the word game Banagrams, introducing Rachael to the many two letter words that can help you win a game, such as ka, ki, qi, and za!
Our main course was Vietmanese beef on skewers, served with brown rice and Vietmanese style broccoli. Served by candlelight on SB's wonderful deck, the flavorful meal was enjoyed in a cool and breezy evening.


Red, White, and Blue. Roses and an Energy Dome too!

Hello all Rapture survivors! Amid all the rainstorms we have been having lately, spring is here! These lovely roses have been surrounding SB's mailbox the past few days, bidding a cheerful welcome to all visitors and passers-by.

We decided to make a simple spring dinner tonight, and yet pay homage to Memorial day by incorporating foods that were red, white, and blue. We started out the evening with a flavorful Feta, Garlic, and Dill dip with Pita Chips. We were able to use fresh dill from SB's deck herb garden, making the dish even more special.

Our main course was prepared completely on the grill. We had pork tenderloin (marinated all day in zesty Italian dressing), topped with a blueberry and port compote. Grilled potatoes with fresh parsley (also from SB's deck herb garden) were served along side the pork, making a light and refreshing spring meal.
Since SB was off book clubbing last week, we were not able to properly celebrate Devo founder Mark Mothersbaugh's birthday. So this week, we celebrated belatedly by wearing the Energy Dome and dancing to Devo's latest album. What we do, is what we do!

We also had special guest Dr. Cuddles, who was happy to serve us wine. This intelligent monkey took a break from trying to use banana enzymes to take over the world to hang out with us. Fun was had by all!


Anniversary Dinner

We like to celebrate, and this week we were excited to make a very nice dinner to honor the wedding anniversary of our parents! We planned an easy and elegant meal that rivaled anything you could get at a restaurant.

We began the festivites with doing something that Bostons in Virginia had not done before....making our own cocktails!! Pink Peppercorns (which are actually berries, and very expensive ones at that) were are focus for our main dish, and we found a drink called Muddled Pink Peppercorn and Basil Limeade that we thought would be fun to try. Pink peppercorns and basil and muddled with agave nector, and then mixed with fresh lime juice and vodka. The result was delicious, very light and tangy. We served these in glasses that our grandmother always served us lemonade in, which was a nice connection.

After enjoying the limeade and discussing books we have both recently read, we moved on to dinner preparations. Along with a simple green salad, we made seared steak in a pink peppercorn sauce and goat cheese mashed potatoes. The steak, which was pressed in chopped peppercorns before being seared, was flavorful and delicious. Bostons in Virginia adds goat cheese to almost every dish imaginable, so of course the mashed potatoes were divine. We finished the meal with a banana cupcake, which we gobbled up too quickly to get any pictures of.
We found the steak recipe on this cooking blog, which provides many drool-worthy recipes and pictures...

We will be off next week while SB goes book clubbing, but will return in time to doing something red, white, and blue for Memorial Day!


We Are Back!

After a long break, SH and SB are back! We have still been cooking, but took a break from blogging. We are ready to start again with a new goal for our blog. Rather than trying to make complex dishes that sound impressive, we will be focusing on simpler foods and techniques that will let us enjoy our time together more. Focusing on quality ingrediants and delicious flavors is our goal.

A quick update--SH is now Dr. SH! SB is now running half marathon distances, and eats everything in sight. SB also just got a new grill that will be used for many future Bostons In Virginia meal.

Last night, we made a delcious meal that we are delighted to share with you. We began with a salad of greens from the local farmer's market, red onion, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts.

Our entree was angel hair pasta mixed with tomato coulis, pancetta, arugla, and topped with sauteed scallops. Served wtih grilled asparagus and a crisp white wine, it was a tasty meal!