Dinner at the McMurtrey’s

Last night Beth and I had the pleasure of dining at the home of our friends, Kelly and Lisa. They have a lovely home not too far from where we live. Kelly took the original house down to it’s foundation and rebuilt it himself. He has landscaped the yard, complete with pond, into a showcase that could be featured in a Home & Garden photo spread. But best of all, he has a man-cave garage to beat all garages. All I’ll say about it is that I have a severe case of garage envy.

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William & Jo – A Wedding Story

Instead of the normal rants, recipes and reviews that usually appear here, I’ve decided to write about a wedding Beth and I attended this past Thursday. William and Jo are 2 friends of ours that live out here in Seattle. William I’ve known for over 15 years now. We just met Jo a couple of years ago. William is originally from back east, Ohio to be specific. Jo is also from back east, England to be specific. They met online, discussing poems and writing in general. Makes sense to me that too people so good at crafting words into art would be destined to meet this way. Well, long story short, they got legally married last year, and then went about setting up this more formal wedding to allow for friends and relatives to share. After months and months of working at the location, flowers, dresses ( Jo’s, not Williams), food, vows, you name it, the big day finally arrived. Truth be told, I think they were more relieved to be over the planning, than excited for the actual wedding. So with that bit of back story, on with the wedding.

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Alaskan Cod/Halibut on Pineapple Planks

We love fish, but after a while it all starts to taste the same. Smoked, grilled, grilled on cedar planks, steamed, it all gets boring after a while. Sure, you can make heavy sauces and such but that’s just masking the fish. I wanted something new that would allow me to have a new taste, but still know I was enjoying a good piece of fish. So last night I tried steaming some cod on pineapple, and the results were quite tasty. This is really drop dead simple to make. Give it a try, I really think you’ll like this one.

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Chicken and Dumplings

Is there a more quintessential comfort food than chicken and dumplings? Man, I really don’t think so. Say it to a lot of folks and instantly memories of grandmothers in warm kitchens with wonderful aromas flooding the house come to mind. Just typing this makes me want to run and reheat the leftovers from last night.

Now there are about as many recipes for chicken and dumplings as there are grandmothers out there. From what I’ve found, it breaks down into to major camps. Those that go the puffy, almost a biscuit route, and those that go the egg noodle route. And even within those two camps, there are differences over how the dumplings should be made. So please, no letters that this recipe isn’t really chicken and dumplings. 🙂

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Halibut and Scallops with Ceviche

Last Saturday was an “SiS.” Stay in Saturday. I like those kind of days because it means I get to cook and try new things. It’s been a while since we’ve had ceviche, so I headed to the market with the idea of getting “fixins” to make one, and see what else looked good for the rest of the dinner. I like to experiment with new things on these days, creating dishes based totally on what looked good in the market. As usual though, I made enough for 4, so…um…we ate twice (coughs)

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Halibut Filets
Steamed in citrus juices with a pear cider reduction sauce

Gregor’s Pub Scallops
Large fresh scallops sautéed with bacon, topped with caramelized bananas and served with a coconut rum sauce

Tropical Ceviche
A squid and scallop ceviche with coconut and lychee

Roasted Asparagus Spears with Apple Wood Bacon
Roasted spears of fresh asparagus with julienned smoked bacon

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