Tag Archives: tomatoes

Labor Day Weekend

Holy crap. Look who’s actually blogging. It’s been so long I nearly forgot my WordPress password. Anywho, I have pictures of food I made, and cute dogs, so I thought I’d share a bit.

Brent and I started our gloriously long holiday weekend with day passes to Bumbershoot. I have been excited about it since I first saw The Presidents on the lineup! My inner 12 year old was really, very excited about seeing them live.

Brent and I had a ridiculous amount of fun at this show. And then I realized I was old and tired so we went home and took a quick nap before heading back out to see Ray LaMontagne and the Paraiah Dogs later that night.

Even though we stayed out late until 11am, way past our bedtime, we still woke up nice and early Sunday morning to meet up with our friends Beth and Ernie to head out on the Sound to do some fishing. Let’s keep things real here though. Brent and I were there to drink beer and soak up some sunshine. I wouldn’t really call us fishermen, although I totally netted a fish. (And then proceeded to brag about said fish all day long).

He makes a nice grimace, huh?

Mid-day drinking in the sun really takes a lot out of you, so we spent Sunday evening laying low. Having three consecutive days off work felt downright luxurious, so we took advantage by making a nice brunch Monday morning. Brent made some breakfast sausage and I made some buttermilk biscuits. Brent combined our efforts into a biscuit sandwich for me.

Totally awesome. Brent went in another direction for his breakfast though, and made himself some sausage gravy to smother his biscuits. We’d already had a busy weekend, so I was rather inclined to veg on the couch, but the beautiful weather combined with Larry’s overabundance of energy had me feeling guilty for staying inside.

So around noon we ended up at Magnuson Park to take the dogs to the beach! Magnuson is Seattle’s only off-leash area with water access, so we’ve been meaning to go for months. I’m glad we finally made it. Lucy is in heaven in the water.

Yeah, the dogs were crazy messy and totally stunk up the car, but it was worth it. They had so much fun, and they were totally exhausted afterward.

For dinner, we did something that seemed Labor Day appropriate and grilled out. Well, Brent grilled and I chopped some tomatoes in the kitchen. We had grilled Ribeye steaks and corn grilled in the husks. For color and nutrient purposes, I made a quick marinated tomato salad. I sliced a pint of super sweet strawberry tomatoes, a couple of scallions, and a few tablespoons of parsley. Then I added a tablespoon of Garlic Gold olive oil, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Instant salad. I let that hang out for almost an hour while Brent prepped everything else.

A pretty fantastic dinner I think.

And I can’t believe it’s already September! Life is just getting busier and busier. My cousin Liz is coming in for a few days starting Thursday. Brent and I are going to Denver at the end of the month, and then it’s already October. And  I love fall! Boots! Pumpkin Spice Lattes! Chili! Yeah, I’m letting my fall freak flag fly. I’m OK with that.

Maybe I’ll be back in less than a month this time. I can’t be sure about that though.

Carnitas Tacos with Pico de Gallo

My weekend was rough – literally. I’ve mentioned I’m playing on a “Corporate Challenge” team for Brent’s work, and one of the games included is flag football. We had 3 games in a row this Saturday, and the challenge rules dictate that at least two women on each team must be playing at all times – we had only 2 women show up willing to play on Saturday. It was super exhausting (but a lot of fun!) to play in the heat that long, and not to mention, my lack of grace caused me to make frequent contact with the rough ground. I look beat up. My legs look like someone took a bat to my knees – yikes! Sunday I felt like I could barely move from the waist down, which was fine I suppose because I had to spend most of the day catching up on school reading anyway.


While I was making a grocery list this week, I (as usual) asked Brent if he had any meal suggestions and he requested tacos – specifically tacos made with carnitas. I know Brent likes to order a carnitas burrito at Chipotle, but I wasn’t sure what carnitas actually are, so I looked up a few recipes. After noticing that carnitas seemed to be traditionally cooked in lard, I was not so sure about it, but I figured I would try to make a not so authentic version without lard because I’m a great wife – at least that’s what I like to tell Brent.

What I used:

  • 2.5lbs Boston shoulder pork roast, cut into big 2″ chunks
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1.5T kosher salt mixed with a pinch each of: garlic powder, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, curry powder, thyme (I was basically trying to make my own seasoned salt without buying any new spices)
  • a few shakes liquid smoke – about 5 drops
  • 1/2 cup water

What I Did:

  • Threw it all in the crockpot
  • Cooked on high for 5 hours
  • Picked out onion and garlic chunks
  • Shredded it

While the carnitas were cooking, I made pico de gallo to top the tacos. For the salsa, I just threw the following into a bowl and let it hang out for an hour while I waited on the meat to be done. These are very rough measurements, people.

Pico de Gallo:

  • Three Roma tomatoes, small diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (I shredded it on the smallest grater size)
  • half a jalapeno, seeded and minced (this was not spicy and I’m a wuss – use the whole thing)
  • 1/4t kosher salt – a good pinch

I really loved the pico. I would defs make it again as a salsa for chips. I served the carnitas on warmed corn tortillas, topped with avocado slices and some of the pico de gallo. Brent really loved them, and I thought they were pretty good too! Had to get some veg in with some lightly sautéed zucchini as well.

Now, obviously this made a ton of meat for two people. We did not come close to eating this much. Brent is having leftovers for lunch for a few days, and I threw a few servings in individual portions in the freezer. I just always think if I’m going to use my crockpot (which is huge – 7 quarts!) that I may as well make a big batch and freeze for later. Make it once, eat it twice right?

Food & Beer

Tonight Brent and I have reservations for a local food and beer dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, so hopefully I’ll get some photos and be able to post a fun recap sometime in the next few days! I’m really looking forward to it – the menu includes goat cheese ice cream. Can’t wait!