Coeur d’Alene Engagement Weekend
When I was told we were planning a trip out to Coeur d’Alene for Labor Day, I had no idea what a weekend it would be! I had always heard about the beauty of the lake and was excited to experience the magic. Located approximately 30 miles east of Spokane, Coeur d’Alene is named after a tribe of Native Americans who live along the rivers and lakes of the region. There are actually more than 55 lakes in the region, with Lake Coeur d’Alene being the most magnificent!
We flew into Spokane and met our friends Doug and Shadi to make the scenic drive to the lake, stopping at the delicious local Toby’s BBQ stand on the way of course. An easy hour drive later, we were at the beautiful home of the Whites and Matalon at Black Rock. Eager to check out our surroundings, we settled in to our amazing room, complete with deck and Keurig machine then headed down to the lake. I did find it slightly odd that no one else wanted to join…and that we brought one of the $100 bottles of Williams Selyem pinot that we brought the hosts along with us…but was more excited to be heading to the water.
There were all sorts of paddleboards and kayaks down by the water and we decided to take the canoe out for a spin. It was an absolutely beautiful day and the lake was gorgeous and perfectly still for our ride. By then we had discovered that if either of us moved two inches, the canoe would most likely completely capsize. After a few paddles around the lovely lake, I discovered that I could pass my empty wine glass over on an oar and be returned a full glass of pinot with no spillage! I was still reveling in my ingenuity that I hardly noticed a black box being pulled out of the pocket of a Patagonia rain jacket. At this point I think I slightly blacked out a little bit and was presented with the sweetest proposal (and most breathtaking ring) in history. It was so perfect just being in the sun, on the water…and with my fiancé!
As we paddled back towards the dock, we heard cheering and the popping of champagne. Unbeknownst to me, our friends had been watching us from the Black Rock clubhouse. We celebrated with some amazing champagne and of course more Williams Selyem – and a celebratory dip in the freezing cold lake. On our way back to the house to get ready for our special dinner, we even saw a couple of deer only a few feet away from us. They were definitely celebrating with us!
If you ever find yourself in Coeur d’Alene, you must stop and dine at Satay Bistro (ask for Kelleen as your waitress). They have an amazing private wine room to dine in and their homemade bread drizzled in olive oil and garlic is to die for. Their pasta is made completely from scratch and all soups, marinades and sauces are made fresh daily by the culinary team…truly “farm to menu”!
2501 N 4th St
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814
We took a day to head to Schweitzer Mountain and take the chairlift to the top of the mountain to do some hiking! The largest resort in Idaho and Washington with 2,900 acres of amazing terrain in the rugged Selkirk Mountains, Schweitzer overlooks the beautiful Lake Pend Oreille. The hike was a long way down but the views were worth it. We even caught a rainbow! It just so happened to be Fall Fest on the mountain with 60+ microbrews and live music, including a killer all-girl ACDC cover band. If you have the time, stop in the charming and eclectic town of Sandpoint on your way out…a perfect to reward your hiking efforts with a drink + view of the lake!
A beautiful end to an amazing weekend…thank you so much to Jason, Jess, Justin, Sarah, Doug and Shadi and especially Kevin for making it one to remember forever! Over the moon!
Senorita Panda’s Spiced Rubbed Fiesta Chicken
Trying to eat healthy but the thought of more grilled chicken breasts makes you want to eat dirt? I think we can all grow tired of the same plain (but lean) boring chicken. I spiced it up last night with this spiced rubbed fiesta chicken that really brings the heat with flavor and texture. The zesty avocado salsa adds the perfect dimension of coolness and deliciousness. I’ve also discovered the PERFECT way to bake a tender chicken breast. The trick is to bake it at 375 degrees for 20 minutes covered with foil so the inside cooks perfectly then remove the foil for the last 10 minutes so the top gets golden without drying it out!
- 2 boneless skinless breasts
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Juice of 1 lime wedge
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder and thyme.
- Coat the chicken breasts with olive oil, seasoning mixture, salt and black pepper.
- Place the chicken breasts in a glass baking pan, cover and seal with a layer of foil then bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- While the chicken is baking, prepare the fiesta salsa by combining the tomatoes, cilantro, olive oil, cumin, garlic, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Toss in the avocado and lime juice.
- Once the chicken has slightly cooled, slice and top with fiesta salsa!