When Shaun Makes Dinner, Part 2

I love being married to a man who cooks.

Although I obviously love cooking and baking {and even get a little antsy if I haven't been in the kitch for a while}, it's so nice to simply not have to make dinner on nights when I want to get to the gym, run errands or just don't want to. That's where this guy comes in.

For Christmas, I gave him a new grill. We have a charcoal grill, but it seems as though charcoal grills + condo living = frowned upon. So we went electric. Though it's not quite the same as the charcoal grill, we found out last night that it is pretty darn close!

 

Since I've been on a healthy kick in 2012, his last dinner masterpiece just wouldn't do. Classic fish and chips...sigh.

Using an Asian-style marinade (with fresh ginger!) Shaun grilled up some chicken and sauteed up some veggies.

 

The result was like a healthy, real-food version of take-out Chinese! It was so delicious. The chicken was tender and juicy, while the veggies were sweet and soft. Oh and please excuse my horrible iPhone pic...the battery in my camera had died...

 

I'll take his cooking any day!

Questions of the Day:

Do you like grilling? I usually leave it to Shaun! And I could eat a cheeseburger just about everyday in the summer.

Do you prefer cooking or to have someone else cook for you? I like both!

 

psst...Kimberly is blogging about her upcoming winter trip over on The Peach & The Pit! Czech it out!

Create an Herb Garden, Just About Anywhere

Who says you need a lush backyard with sprawling greens to grow your very own herbs? Ever since we moved into our brand spankin' new digs here in Jersey City, we've been harboring a pretty open obsession with the terrace. We filled it with a grill, some plants, flowers and a sweet little herb garden. I might be using the term garden a little...liberally. All it took was a $6 long plastic flower box, some potting soil and some starter herbs from Home Depot. While I was in Brooklyn celebrating Kim's birthday girls-night style, Shaun was home putting our little garden-that-could all together. It started out looking something like this:

And within a few short weeks, we had a lush green herb garden of our own, complete with bright herbs that not only look gorgeous but smelled delightful to boot. From left to right, Dill, Basil, Sweet Peas, Parsley.

Anxious to get cookin' with our new herbs, Shaun concocted a fun twist on the classic caprese salad. Using our freshly grown basil, Shaun and our new best friend, Mr. Weber, fixed a warm caprese salad that has become a nightly staple in recent weeks.

Grilled Caprese Salad
large heirloom tomatoes
fresh mozzerella
fresh basil
olive oil
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

Heat up your grill, be it charcoal, gas or Foreman. Slice the tomato into thick slices. Chiffonade the basil, place atop the sliced tomato and top with a thick slice of fresh mozzerella. Drizzle a bit of olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and grill for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and the tomato has a bit of char on the edges. Enjoy!

And now we're in the midst of concocting lots of recipes to utilize our fresh herbs. Once they get growing, they tend to spring up pretty fast. The only way to keep 'em alive? Use them up in delicious dishes.

So there you have it - how you can make a mini herb garden just about anywhere, even on a tiny terrace outside your urban dwelling. We're just about thrilled that we no longer have to splurge $3 for a bundle of dill just so we can use a quarter of it for dill and yogurt dip, while the rest goes bad before being put to good use. And my Shrimp Sautee with Orzo will surely benefit from some fresh sprinkled parsley, rather than a few dried sprigs. But what about you? Are you of the grow-it-yourself mindset?

Father's Day Filet

This past Sunday I celebrated Father's Day by sunning, pooling and spending time with my dad and family. The hot and steamy weather was enough to keep us outdoors, by the pool and on the grill. No stuffy restaurants, no fancy outfits. But hanging by the pool and relaxing like it's nobody's business was no reason to skimp on a delicious meal. The dinner worthy of celebrating the dad of all dads? Grilled filet mignon and a plethora of mouthwatering sides including roasted cauliflower, corn on the cob and sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms. There's really nothing like a summery dinner of fresh ingredients and this one was chock full of 'em.

While my mom did most of the cooking and I handled dessert (specifically my roasted pears with sweet ricotta cream), I pitched in with preparing the filets for their D-Day, if you will. While the term filet mignon might sound intimidating (I thought it did, anyway), it truly couldn't be easier. Let's take a look, shall we?

Grilled Filet Mignon
Filet Mignon, about 6-8oz per person
Bacon strips, about 2 slices per individual cut (we used the turkey variety)

Turn on your grill. Unwrap filets and place on large plate or tray. Wrap the perimeter of each piece of meat with bacon and secure with toothpicks (I put one in each of the four sides). Each cut took 2 slices to cover. Don't they look good enough to grill? Place on warm grill and resist the urge to flip, nudge, turn, rotate or move the meat in any way. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Flip the meat over and cook about another 5 minutes, again resisting the urge to move the meat. The cooking time is of course contingent on how 'done' you like your meat. It could take more or less depending on your taste, so my recommendation is to keep your eye on it. Once at desired doneness, remove from heat and cover with foil so the meat can rest (If you dig right in, the juices will run everywhere, making the meat significantly less delicious) for about 10 minutes. Remove toothpicks and enjoy!

So there you have it - a pretty wonderful Sunday dinner, worthy of one said fantastic father. And just for a little fun, check out a shot of Dad walking me down the aisle at my beach wedding in Aruba...

So how did you spend your Father's Day? And what did you eat?