The Adventures of a Calamari Queen

Filipina Foodie

Surf n Turf Dinner at Home!

Hi Friends! I prepared a nice “surf n turf” dinner at home last Friday night! I told hubby that instead of eating out for our “date night” we should just make something yummy and watch Netflix after ( we end up playing Dominion), a game that my In laws gifted the hubs for Christmas. I got the lobsters and the steak at our local Safeway (I’ve been shopping there lately) because it’s only a 4 minutes drive from our house, it’s so close!  This one is a little more upscale and nice compared to the other one in downtown Issaquah in my opinion.  I also made Mashed Potatoes with gouda cheese, and grilled broccoli.  I’ve been loving grilled broccoli lately!  It was such a lovely night with my Hubs and Riley. We will definitely do something like this again in the coming weeks.

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I baked the lobsters 350F for 15 minutes (seasoned with salt,pepper,butter)

I baked the lobsters 325F for 15 minutes (seasoned with salt,pepper,butter)

I made this blue cheese steak sauce (Ina Garten recipe)

I made this blue cheese steak sauce (Ina Garten recipe)

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YUM!

YUM!

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Gamenight and hot chocloate later that night!

Gamenight and hot chocloate later that night!

Roquefort Chive Sauce (Ina Garten recipe)
1½ cups heavy cream
2 ounces French Roquefort cheese, crumbled (4 ounces with rind)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has become thick and creamy, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese, salt, pepper and chives and whisk rapidly until the cheese melts.

Serious Pie!

If you happen to be in Seattle and you love Pizza, I would recommend that you go visit the Tom Douglas’ Pizza place called “Serious Pie”. It’s more pricey than your typical Pizza place, but OH so worth it!

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we had the roasted seasonal mushrooms and truffle cheese; and penn clove clams,pancetta tesa,lemon thyme

we had the roasted seasonal mushrooms and truffle cheese; and penn clove clams,pancetta tesa,lemon thyme

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no leftovers! this is not your typical pizza people!

no leftovers! this is not your typical pizza people!

One thing I hate in Seattle is the expensive parking fee!

One thing I hate in Seattle is the expensive parking fee!

Valentines weekend!

Hope you had a great weekend friends. It was Valentines weekend and we celebrated it with my In laws. I personally don’t make a big deal out of this “holiday” because I try every day to celebrate my loved ones and friends in the best way I know how, no need to have a certain date for that.  Although my Hubs and I had doughnuts and coffee, spent time watching “Elementary” before having dinner with my In Laws at Maggiano’s (Bellevue). We had a lovely time enjoying Italian food and desserts.  The restaurant was packed and they ran out of their “braised short ribs” that I originally wanted to have :(  It was all good, I end up ordering their sirloin steak (decent but nothing out of the ordinary). Everybody enjoyed their dishes and all agreed that their meatballs were out of this world (especially the DILaw).

my other favorite Valentine, Riley!

my other favorite Valentine, Riley! A.K.A “The Lovebug”

YUM!

YUM!

I watched the NBA All star weekend too!

I watched the NBA All star weekend too!

Our Maggiano’s dinner! We used my Sis In laws phone so the pictures are not the best quality (the restaurant was kinda dark too).

My In Laws!

My In Laws!

Julia and I

Julia and I

Hubs

Hubs

My steak and mashed potato

My steak and mashed potato

Fried Mozzarella

Fried Mozzarella

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

Spinach and artichoke dip!

Spinach and artichoke dip!

Veal Piccata

Veal Piccata

Dessert Sample (creme brulee, cheesecake,truffles,tiramisu,apple ice cream some kind of dessert)

Dessert Sample (creme brulee, cheesecake,truffles,tiramisu,apple ice cream some kind of dessert)

Lunch Dates!

I’ve been enjoying some lunch dates with Hubs lately (at least once a week!), because the Hubs works at home he has the flexibility to manage his schedule. It doesn’t happen a lot of times but lately we did go out for lunch dates several times. Lunches are fun because it’s not as busy as dinner and it’s cheaper too.

Flat Iron Grill at Issaquah

Flat Iron Grill at Issaquah

Aji Sushi lunch!

Aji Sushi lunch!

my fave date!

my fave date!

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Lunch date with my In Laws after church!

Lunch date with my In Laws after church!

Pho time!

Pho time at our local Vietnamese place

My hubs is not a big Pho fan so he always gets their sandwich and durian shake

My hubs is not a big Pho fan so he always gets their sandwich and a durian shake

we enjoyed some tacos last week!

we enjoyed some tacos last week!

this too!

and a burrito too!

 

 

Weekend Fun!

Hello family and friends! I hope you’re having a lovely Sunday night with your loved ones. The Hubs is watching the season premier of the Walking Dead while I’m reading Ruth Soukup’s “Living Well Spending Less 12 Secrets of the Good Life”. I’m so enjoying it and kinda sad I’m almost done with it. I love her blog and her writing, it’s like I’m talking to one of my girlfriends! So relatable! We had a relaxing weekend, watched the movie “Jupiter Ascending” the one starring Channing Tatum. The movie was OK, I enjoyed the special effects but nothing great about it. After the movie,we had burgers at Red Robin and watched NBA games in the bar area. Our local Red Robin is always packed so we just go to the bar right away!

Onion Rings!

Onion Rings!

I always get the Double Tavern burger because it reminds me of In n Out's

I always get the Double Tavern burger because it reminds me of In n Out’s

We had sushi after Church this afternoon. I wanted some Ramen and got what I wanted! I cannot wait for Spring. I’m so over this cold winter (I know it’s not as bad compared to the other parts of the country). We stopped at Walmart after to check out their Spring candles and I got some. Will post it this week. I love me some candles:)

YUM!

YUM!

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Now I'm off to cuddle this Lovebug!

Now I’m off to cuddle this Lovebug!

January Hauls/Candle Empties!

Hello everyone! I went shopping a couple of times this month because I had gift cards from last Christmas and there were lots of good deals this month. I do not post these hauls to brag (not at all) but personally it’s just fun for me to look back and see what I’ve been buying. I’ve got some nasty comments from “anonymous” people before and I just laughed at them because seriously “NOBODY’s got time for that”.  Anyways, I went to Homegoods and Marshalls, The bodyshop and for the first time I shopped online at HSN (the hubs and I watched it one time and really loved the product).

Homegoods: I got workout pants,PJ sets,notebooks,makeups,candle,philosophy stuff

Homegoods: I got workout pants,PJ sets,notebooks,makeups,candle,philosophy stuff

the Philosophy stuff I got

the Philosophy stuff I got

Yankee candles from Homegoods

Yankee candles from Homegoods

Home goods! I got a Kate Spade mug (she partnered with Lenox in this mug)

Home goods! I got a Kate Spade mug (she partnered with Lenox in this mug)

The bodyshop

The body shop

Bath and Body works: Hurricane Candles (my hubs is not a big fan of the candle holders) hehe

Bath and Body works: Hurricane Candles (my hubs is not a big fan of the candle holders) hehe! (they we’re on 75% sale)

what I got from HSN! Simply Ming pans

what I got from HSN! Simply Ming pans

Ny new cookbooks from the thrift store!

Ny new cookbooks from the thrift store!

Here’s my candles empties for this month:

Candle empties

Candle empties

I enjoyed the Colonial candle and the lavender vanilla (bath and body works);the rest were OK. I was disappointed with the Vanilla bean noel because the throw was not there, I can’t smell it unless the candles right in my face!

 

 

 

 

French Onion Soup

This is Pioneer Woman’s (Ree Drummond) French Onion soup recipe. I saw her make this on her Food Network show and checked it on her website too. My husband loves this soup. I’ve made this before and it’s a really simple, cheap kind of soup. I had everything in my pantry too (even the gruyere cheese). Her recipe called for the oven, but again this time I used my crockpot and it turned out good. I still have leftovers and we plan to finish it this week.

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simmering in the crockpot for couple of hours now!

simmering in the crockpot for a couple of hours now!

with toasted Baguette

with toasted Baguette

top with gruyere cheese

top with gruyere cheese

cheesy and bubble!

cheesy and bubble!

makes me happy that Hubs enjoyed my dishes!

makes me happy that Hubs enjoyed my dishes!

Ingredients

  • 1 stick Butter
  • 4 whole Large (or 6 Medium) Yellow Onions, Halved Root To Tip, And Sliced Thin
  • 1 cup (generous) Dry White Wine
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • 2 cloves Minced Garlic
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Several Thick Slices Of French Bread Or Baguette
  • 5 ounces, weight (to 7 Ounces) Gruyere Cheese, Grated

 

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Place soup pot into the oven with the lid slightly ajar to ensure the onions will brown. Allow onions to cook in the oven for 1 hour, stirring at least once during the cooking process so onions won’t stick and burn.

Remove pot from oven and place back on stovetop over medium heat. Stir, scraping off all the brown, flavorful bits. Turn off heat and pour in wine. Turn heat back to medium. Cook wine for five minutes, allowing it to reduce. Add broths, Worcestershire Sauce and minced garlic and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Butter one side of the bread slices and broil over low heat, allowing bread to brown and become crispy.
When soup is ready, ladle into bowl or ramekin. Place crispy bread on top, and then sprinkle generously with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve immediately.

Short Ribs in Red Sauce!

Hello family and friends! Happy weekend! Just relaxing here at home and  currently watching 3 shows (Miss Universe 2015/Pro-Bowl/NBA). I wanted to post another recipe (Rachael Ray again!) because I really enjoyed this Short ribs dish. Short ribs are one of my favorite meat cuts (if it’s on a restaurant menu, I will most likely order it). I found this recipe on Rachael’s website. I did tweak it a bit because her original recipe called for Rigatoni pasta (my Hubs is not a big fan of this kind of pasta,so I used mashed potatoes to go with the ribs). It’s just a comfort food. And instead of cooking this in the oven (like her original recipe called for) I used my crockpot and it still turned out delicious.

comfort food! so tender and full of flavor!

comfort food! so tender and full of flavor! I made this early this month thus still my Christmas placemat!

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Short Ribs in Red Sauce with Rigatoni (but I used mashed potato for us;I will just use the original recipe by Rachael Ray)

Ingredients

  • 8-10 bone-in beef short ribs, trimmed of fat
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 large fresh bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry red or white wine or 2 additional cups beef stock
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 can Italian San Marzano tomatoes (32 ounces)
  • 1 herb bundle of sage, parsley and thyme
  • 1-1 1/2 pounds rigatoni, regular or whole wheat
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
  • Finely chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnish

Preparation

Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF.

Heat the EVOO in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper and brown all over in batches. Remove the meat to a plate and add the vegetables, garlic and bay leaves to the pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cook for 1 minute, then add the wine. Reduce by half, then add the stock and tomatoes. Break up the tomatoes and slide the meat back in along with the herb bundle. Cover and transfer to the oven; cook to tender, 2 1/2 hours.

Remove the meat and discard the herb bundle. Cover and keep warm; simmer the sauce to thicken while you cook the rigatoni.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Season the water with salt and cook the rigatoni to al dente. Drain the pasta and toss with butter and half to two-thirds of the sauce. Serve the pasta topped with the meat on or off the bone. Pass extra sauce at the table with the remaining cheese.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Hello family and friends! I hope you’re all are having a great day. I wanted to share this recipe (a Rachael Ray) from her Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine. I’m not a big fan of her (she’s too “exag” as a host and find her annoying sometimes) but every now and then I still watch some of her reruns on the food network. I do subscribe to her magazine because I enjoy the food pictures and it’s easy to follow her recipes. This pasta recipe was delicious and will probably make this again sometime (we do eat this kind of food in moderation because of the high cals). Her original recipe called for fusilli pasta.  I have fusilli in my pantry but I prefer spaghetti, so that’s what I used instead. I also added some shiitake mushrooms because they’re my fave kind of mushroom. If you like pasta dishes,you should try this one (simple and tasty!).

I love shiitake mushroom

I love shiitake mushroom( I used 3 kinds of mushrooms)

Parmesan galore!

Parmesan galore!

YUM!

YUM!

Creamy Mushroom Pasta (recipe:Rachael Ray)

Ingredients (serves:4)

1 lb. fusilli                                                        1 onion,chopped

3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil                            2 cloves garlic,chopped

1/4 cup panko                                                  3/4 cup heavy cream

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced                 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage                            2 tbsp. white wine

 

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the fusilli;cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet,heat 1 tsp.oil over medium-high. Add the panko and toast,stirring, until golden, 3 minutes; transfer to a plate.

3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high. Add the mushrooms and sage. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until browned, 5 minutes. Transfer to another plate. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook the onion and garlic in the remaining 1 tbsp oil, stirring, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes;season.

4. Add the mushrooms,fusilli,reserved pasta cooking water,cream,parmesan and wine to the large skillet. Cook over medium, stirring often, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes;season. Divide among the plates;top with the panko.

 

Cascina Spinasse

During the Holiday season a couple of weeks ago, the Hubs and I went to Cascina Spinasse because we’ve been wanting to try it for a long time and we had a gift card from my In laws from 2 years ago. The restaurant has lots of good reviews and it was even featured in one of Food Network’s shows and The Cooking channel, where one the chefs was saying “it’s a must” if you visit Seattle. I was excited and looking forward to try their famous “Tajarin al Ragu o Burro e Salvia(egg pasta with ragu or sage and butter).

The place was cozy and intimate, we liked their food but it was too pricey from what we got. The quality of their pasta was superb (they make it fresh) but their famous Tajarin pasta sadly for us was a big disappointment! I know we are probably in the minority but the Hubs and I were pretty disappointed because for us it tasted like pasta and melted butter,so bland! I know it’s says pasta and butter(on the menu) but not even a hint of salt and the sage was too subtle. We wanted to ask the server if they forgot to “flavor” our dish! I guess that was it. My poor Hubs was “forced” to finish it because I wouldn’t touch it after. Good thing the rest of our food was YUM!  We will probably not go back to Spinasse just because we think it’s too pricey though the pasta was great, it’s just not worth it for us.

Cozy restaurant

Cozy restaurant

Fresh pasta everyday

Fresh pasta everyday

soup for the day! I forgot the name of this..

soup for the day! Parsnip soup with balsamic reduction

we ordered their "Antipasto Misto Della Casa"; selection of their house anti pasti

we ordered their “Antipasto Misto Della Casa”; selection of their house anti pasti

part of their House antipasti

part of their House antipasti

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Tajarin al Ragu o Burro e Salvia Fine hand cut egg pasta with ragu or butter and sage.

Tajarin al Ragu o Burro e Salvia
Fine hand cut egg pasta with ragu or butter and sage.

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This was the best pasta for us..so flavorful!

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OOTD!

OOTD!

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