After eating out too much, searching for any kind of coupons we could find, and scrambling to make random things to eat like peanut butter and jelly and cereal for dinner throughout the moving and transformation process, I missed cooking terribly! This past weekend, and starting now, I feel like I’ve gotten acquainted with my new kitchen . . . finally! And I think we are actually going to work well together.
My new kitchen isn’t gi-normous, but it is pretty efficient for an average kitchen. I have a good amount of counter space to work with which is near the gas stove (it doesn’t heat the whole house . .yay!) and garbage can, so I don’t have to move too far to get things. I am loving the pantry and new fridge space too! We actually have some shelves in the fridge that are still empty. Definitely beats the packed freezer, stacked just right so everything didn’t come tumbling down ha! When I look around at ‘our’ house, I get smiley to think that I actually have a house. It’s really weird to me actually and I’m still getting used to the idea.
I have to say that there are definitely many surprises to home ownership, and not a day goes by really when something new doesn’t come up that needs to be done, fixed, changed, bought . . . and bought again! I swear there is always something to buy and I’m wondering where the heck the stimulus money went? The other day the medicine cabinet fell out of the wall and shattered everywhere. Well, there goes another 100 bucks! We’ll have to slow down on our projects now, but everything feels settled and livable. The painting is all done except the guest room, laundry, molding and touch-up! Let the saving and frugal decorating begin! We still have to get a dining table and I also bought some drapes on sale. It’s coming together and it feels good to see a little, yes little, lull in the future :)
Chris and I went on our first bike ride from the new place the other day and there are tons of bike paths to choose from! We are so happy to have such easy access to them. Our other place was right off a busy street and shopping centers. While the shopping was very convenient, it wasn’t very pleasant on a bike to get to a decent path away from all the traffic. Yay for long bike rides!
I’ve been wanting to make Gina’s Granola recipe forever now because it looks like just the kind of granola I like . . . nice and crunchy, stuck together in chunks, almost like a bar. And let me tell you it was all that I thought it was going to be . . . perfect! I actually baked it in too small a pan, so I crumbled it on a cookie sheet and baked it some more. Then I made the mistake of going to the garage to organize and I forgot about it! It got a little toasty, but it was still oh so good. I had to restrain myself (and Chris) from devouring the entire batch. I think I will make a double batch next time so it will last us at least a week. Wow, thanks Gina! I’ve been looking for a granola recipe that is like Bear Naked that won’t break the bank and I’ve finally found it.
I also decided to make a quinoa-crusted friquisha. I call it friquisha because it’s a cross between a frittata and a quiche. The filling is very versatile and you can practically add anything you have on hand to make it your own. I like to roast a bunch of veggies and then I have some leftover for other meals during the week. Paired with a nice side salad, this is a refreshing twist on dinner that can also work well for brunch or breakfast on the go the next day.
For the crust:
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup chicken broth or water
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- 1 egg
- salt, pepper, all-purpose seasoning
Preheat oven to 425. Boil the broth or water, add the quinoa, simmer and cover for about 12-15 minutes until tender. Let cool slightly, add parmesan, egg, cheese and seasoning and mix. Place into a 9-in pie plate (I use silicon) and bake at 425 for about 10-15 minutes until firm and golden.
For the filling:
- 1 cup egg substitute
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup non-fat half-n-half or milk or greek yogurt
- 2 apple chicken sausage links (or your fav), chopped and sautéed in pan until golden
- various roasted veggies (I used zucchini, sweet taters and mushrooms at 425 for about 30-40 minutes)
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar
- crumbled herbed goat cheese (I used TJ’s brand)
- salt, pepper, all purpose seasoning
Simply mix the egg sub, eggs, half-n-half, goat cheese and seasonings in a bowl. Put one layer of veggies, sausage and cheddar down over the crust, and alternate with the egg mixture. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 350 and bake for another 25 minutes depending on your pie size until golden and poofy. Enjoy with a nice side salad!
For dessert, I had some angel food cake and some strawberries. Although some vanilla ice cream would have been nice, I topped it with a dollop of TJ’s greek honey yogurt. Yum! I could only eat 1/2 of this and Chris took the rest.
There will be a surprise coming to us on Sunday, a new little visitor . . . stay tuned!
How do you cope with the stresses of work, school, life, moving or whatever it may be?