The Move

In my last post I mentioned moving in with my boyfriend, while true it is not entirely accurate because my townhome is still riddled with my things. I took the essentials to his place and would go pack small car loads of items at a time. However, the time had come to make the move official. Call movers and finally, clear out my place to put on the market.

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Maybe, part of me was holding on to my townhouse for sentimental reasons. I bought that house in December of 2009. A lot has happened in those 6.5 years. And no matter what, through the good and the bad that was my place to retreat to. My home. Things were tough for awhile, I scraped the bottom of every paycheck but it was worth it because it was mine and I had a pup to share the adventure with. I remember, finally mustering up the courage to ask for the raise I deserved. I eventually left that job, it was my first real job and I had been there for 8 years. It was a hard decision but it was the right decision. I cried from a broken heart, countless times. I celebrated big events and milestones. Hosted out of town guests and put on Sunday family lunches. My best friend told me she was expecting her first on the floor of my living room, all the while we helped another friend pack up from her divorce. My dad and I put in the wood floors together, moments I will always cherish. And my most favorite memory of all is meeting Scott and to think he was just a guy in my neighbor who’s house I walked by on my walks with Callie. And while my first home will always hold a special place in my heart, I am excited about this next phase and to be sharing it with someone I love. And let’s be honest, part of me was just avoiding the last bit of packing (mostly the glass that needs to be wrapped carefully then packed).

The movers come Saturday, so all week I’ve gone straight from work to my house to pack, then home to prep dinner. Needless to say, it has been an exhausting week and I look forward to having the packing behind me. Here is a breakdown of this week’s meals:

Monday
I did not feel like cooking after packing that night, so we went to the new Sabor in Steele Creek. Delicious.

Tuesday – Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa
I had put the salmon to defrost in the fridge and cook on Monday night, but that plan ended up with us eating tacos. So we absolutely had to have salmon on Tuesday.  Let me just say, I would pay extra for pre-cut mangos. What a pain in the butt! However, the salsa was delicious and worth the work. I am a big fan of having something green on my dinner plate, so I also sauteed some kale. IMG_7530

Wednesday – Pork Tenderloin & Green Beans
On Saturday, I cleaned out my freezer and realized we had a lo of great meats that needed to be cooked. I used a marinade we had on hand for the pork tenderloin and let it sit while I prepped the green beans. An attorney I work for brought in all sorts of farm fresh goods on Monday, including these green beans. I just steamed them, nothing special. While the pork tenderloin turned out delicious, I did overcook it by a minute or so. Lesson learned.

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Thursday – Zucchini Pie & Chicken Hash
When I got to work on Thursday I realized I had not taken anything out for dinner or had a real plan. I decided we would have breakfast for dinner, though I ended up going beyond the typical eggs & bacon. I need to learn to keep things simple. In addition to the green beans, I got some zucchini and decided to try my hand at this Zucchini Pie I found. This meal is delicious, I did make it gluten free by buying the GF Bisquick. However, the directions are VERY simple, do yourself a favor and learn from my mistake: add the cheese, Bisquick, oil, and eggs first. Mix. THEN add the zucchini and onion. As for the hash, I brought the frozen diced with peppers added leftover cheese from the zucchini pie, thyme, and kale, and rotisserie chicken.

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Tonight
We will be doing the last bit of packing, so afterwards we are hitting up one of Scott’s favorite neighborhood restaurants near our old ‘hood. Cheers to what is to come!

Until next time (in which I will probably be complaining about unpacking),
Jen Leigh

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Inspired

 

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photo credit

 

It has been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve blogged, so long that I no longer consider myself a blogger or identify as being one. I honestly lost the desire to write and to share. Then suddenly last week, I looked up my blog and the desire returned.

It is not that I have the time to blog. Life is currently nuts (recovering from surgery, moving, selling a house, training two dogs, and work). I think my time in the kitchen has rekindled my urge to share. Cooking has inspired me.

In the last two weeks I’ve cooked 4 new recipes, while in 14 days that may not seem like a lot, 3 of those have occurred within one week. The prior week, one of the recipes was not new to me and the rest of the week was spent eating out and celebrating my 32 birthday. In those two weeks and 5 meals, I’ve really rediscovered my love for cooking.

What has changed in the last two weeks? I moved in with my boyfriend. And while I’ve cooked for him before moving in, it was typically only once a week and it wasn’t my kitchen. Things were always missing (his kitchen isn’t as stocked as mine), I’d buy ingredients we already had, or he would do the grocery shopping. Also, I was skimping out on cooking/shopping for myself. Up until the move, my kitchen was pathetic.

I also find it a great joy to cook for someone else. So far, I haven’t screwed up a meal nor has he given me the thumbs down on any meal. I know it is only a matter of time before something turns out awful and there is a total failure that ends with me ordering pizza.

So what have I been cooking?

  • Pineapple Chicken Kabobs
    Sundays are grill days. Scott grills all of his chicken for the week for his lunch, so I figured if the grill is going that dinner should be grilled too. While the grilled pineapple was delicious and the combination of sweet and peppers was perfect I was disappointed with the recipe’s marinade and sauce. I’ll definitely use a different marinade next time.
  • Chicken Quesadillas
    This meal was kind of a disaster, only because it was really messy. To simplify cooking dinner on a Monday night, I decided to use the crockpot for the quesadilla filling. Except it was a taco recipe, which means it was wet. Doesn’t do well in a quesadilla. The flavors were spot on and we used my quesadilla maker but we did need extra napkins for this one!
  • Grilled Pork with Charmoula
    We knocked it out of the park with this meal. I do the prep work and Scott fires up the grill. This original recipe calls for lamb chops but Scott isn’t a fan, so I used pork chops instead and rubbed them down with LOTS of cumin. I doubled the sauce recipe (because as the Sauce Boss, I always need extra). We grilled sweet corn as our veggie and they were so wonderful, they didn’t even need butter! I highly recommend pulling out the grill and giving this recipe a try. If you do it with lamb, let me know!
  • Salmon Meatballs with a Dijon-Lemon Sauce
    I was a little nervous about this meal because I was going to make the salmon filets into ground salmon. I may have over pulsed it one too many times in the food processor. I also used the food processor to chop up spinach to add to the meatballs.
    For the sauce, I used a cup of half & half and a cup of greek yogurt. I didn’t feel like it called for enough mustard/lemon so I added more to taste. I served it over a bed of zucchini noodles. This one was a big hit.
  • Spinach and Artichoke Skilled Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes
    This recipe was made on a whim because I was too lazy that morning to prep everything in the crockpot. I wasn’t crazy about this. Probably because I didn’t use cream cheese. Though it wasn’t bad and didn’t get any complaints from Scott, I don’t think I’ll be repeating it again.

I look forward to blogging more in the future and sharing not only my adventures in cooking but in life as well.

Until next time.
Jen Leigh