Friday, August 29, 2008

Greek Bulgur Salad with Chicken

This recipe is one of my favorite go-to meals because it is quick, hearty, healthy, and delicious. Sometimes I don't add chicken to make it vegetarian and I never add the olives (I don't like olives), but try it out and experiment with what you like.
One other thing. The recipe I'm about to share makes 10 servings. I always half the recipe.

41/2 c. water
3 c. uncooked medium bulgur
3/4 c. fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons) divided
2 tsp. salt, divided
21/2 c. chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
2 c. halved grape tomatoes
1 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 c. thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 c. finely chopped red onion
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
10 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

1. Combine water, bulgur, 1/2 cup juice, and 1 tsp. salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Uncover and cool to room temperature. (I don't cool to room temperature because I'm usually in a hurry. I also like that the warm bulgur melts the cheese a bit)

2. Combine remaining 1/4 c. juice, remaining 1 tsp. salt, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss to combine. Add cooled bulgur mixture; toss well to combine. Cover and chill.

For documenting purposes, this recipe came from Cooking Light magazine, March 2006.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Live from Denver, it's Monday Night...

Ok, so I'm not in Denver, but I did watch the beginning of the Democratic National Convention last night. I took 2 things away from last night's speeches.

1. Michelle Obama gave an amazing, emotional, and moving speech. You can watch it here:
I don't understand how the Republicans have managed to paint the Obamas as "elitist snobs". The Obamas come from very humble roots and worked their up to where they are now. Why is that a bad thing? I thought we are supposed to look up to people like that, not trash them for success.

2. I was impressed the the Dems didn't come out swinging and attacking John McCain. A stark contrast to how I am sure the GOP convention will be next week. The Dems could have started their convention by trashing and bashing, but they didn't. Instead, they focused on the commons values of all Americans. I am sure that as the week progresses the Dems will be more aggressive towards McCain, but it was a nice start to the Convention.

Seriously, if you haven't seen Michelle Obama's speech, you need to watch it. It was amazingly simple, well said, and inspirational.

Only 3 more nights of DNC fun. Tonight's main event: Hillary Clinton...should be "interesting".

Friday, August 22, 2008


On Wednesday, I went to a class about cheese. I had no idea there was so much to learn about. Generally, cheese comes in soft, semi-soft, hard, and blue. The blue cheeses stand on their own because there is usually some penicillian or something like that added to it to help it bloom. The weirdest thing I learned...some cheeses are bathed in urine. Unfortunately, I don't know what ones those are. My favorite cheeses that I tried were the Israeli Brie cheese and the Pecorino Romano (spelling???). They were fantastic. I can't wait to go to France!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The good side of pollution

Last weekend was hot and miserable in Seattle. Plus, there was no breeze and it was relatively humid, which led to something unusual for Seattle: smog.

The days were unbearably hot. No one could sleep because it was too hot to get comfortable. But, on the bright side, the sunsets were amazing. The smog filtered sunsets had just the right shades of pink. I tried to capture Friday's sunset with my phone's camera. It was one of those moments when I remembered why I love living in Seattle.

Luckily, the heat wave is over and we're back to rainy and 60-degree weather...that's how summer should be.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Cat Days of Summer

Scooter and Milo (the neighbors' cat) enjoying each other and the heat.

Most of our non-Seattle readers will roll their eyes at this, but Seattlites are weather whimps, so just let me complain for a minute. It has been really hot and humid here lately. I don't think we have broken any local weather records, but it has been miserable. The worst part is riding the hot, sticky, stinky, sweaty, over-croweded bus at the end of a long day in a hot "air-conditioned" office.

We have had heat waves like this before, and it's days like today that make me appreciate our stereotypical Seattle weather so I know it won't last. It wouldn't be so bad, but it doesn't cool down at night and our house isn't air conditioned (no one in Seattle has a/c at home) so our house stays a pleasant 78-80 degrees.

Just think, soon we'll be complaining that we haven't seen the sun in 9 weeks.

Like I said, we're weather whimps.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Two cats fighting

In this picture, you see two cats enjoying a nap together in a pile of laundry. However, they are not always this congenial to each other. Just to give you some background, the black/grey cat is my cat. His name is Scooter, he weighs about 12 pounds and is very muscular and active. Milo is the next door neighbor's cat. He weighs (on a good day) about 7 pounds and is slowing down as he ages. Whenever these two cats get together, Milo always play fights with Scooter and Scooter always runs away, even though he is significantly larger. My cat is a sissy.