Thursday, February 7, 2013

simple weeknight meals

i love to cook. i also tend to work late. these two things do not lend to early dinners : ) so that we don't eat at 9.30 every night, i've had to develop a system. i take stock of the fridge, freezer and pantry in the morning when i grab my lunch and then think about it all day. on the bus ride home, i google the random ingredients i remember and see what pops up. if it looks like it takes less than 45 minutes, it wins!! haha. bonus if there are leftovers for work lunches : )

this night, i googled chicken + swiss chard + mushrooms. we ended up with a quick braised chicken breast with mushrooms and chard (chopped stems and leaves). i'd never braised before, and i'm not sure i did it correctly. but it was quick and only used one pan! this made one lunch of the same meal and one lunch of a salad with chopped chicken. 

this search was ground turkey + jalapeno. it became turkey chili. i didn't even thaw the meat - i put the entire frozen block straight from my milk delivery box into a pot. no joke. then i added garlic and the chopped jalapeno, followed by a random beer from the fridge to get the little browned bits, and whatever beans and tomato cans i had in the pantry. no chips, so i took the end of a package of tortillas and made crispy strips in the oven. this made two lunches! 

other nights, i have an idea of what i want to make, but want to switch it up. again, the bus is a great time to brush up on familiar recipes. i've made taco ring for years and years. but i knew that we were out of crescent rolls in the fridge, so i learned how to make my own dough between k street and dupont circle. while the ground beef was browning, i made up my own dough and then made a taco ring like i usually do and served it with store-bought salsa. there was enough dough to make rolls for breakfast the next morning, too : ) 

and some nights i just don't feel like cooking. this night i made quick nachos under the broiler. bag of chips, refried beans, veggies, and ends of random cheeses from the cheese drawer. and i may have had a pre-dinner snack of refried beans. i'm sure no one else has nights like that... : )

i'm always open to new quick, weeknight dinners - send me your suggestions!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

checking in on resolutions

happy february! things have been a little crazy around here. we came back from texas, i've been to nashville twice, taken an exam, went to an inaugural ball...

yep. my incredibly cheap husband decided we could go to the black tie & boots ball : ) merry christmas to me! and it tied into one of my resolutions - to hang out with my friends and say 'yes!' we were on the fence for several months about going. but in the end, we decided we have no idea where we'll be or what we'll be doing in four years. and a ton of our friends were going... so we went! it was a blast. basically a big, fancy concert.

my exams are still progressing. my count is now three passed, one fail, and one pending (i should hear any day). i'm really bummed about the fail, because it was on the "easy" test. but i've scheduled the final two and will re-take the last one as soon as i'm eligible. i will throw a huge party as soon as i pass all these monsters!!

my other resolutions are not really progressing yet. i started on a couple of organization projects. i ordered glass containers for our dry goods in the kitchen. my thought is to move the food from the cabinets into the hoosier cabinet. i didn't get very far yet... i washed the glass containers and got rid of all the old/expired food. oops. soon. i just don't want to start emptying cupboards and then have to leave it. until i decide to dedicate the time, our kitchen is a bit of a mess!

the other project i've started is our entry. inspired by apartment therapy's landing strip concept, i've been searching high and low for the pieces to create a calm, organized first impression. there are so many choices! i've really enjoyed researching and creating an idea board. i found a flat-weave rug in an after-christmas sale on gilt and picked out hooks for coats. my struggle so far has been finding a shallow bench. the vision is a skinny wooden bench with a place for shoes underneath and hooks with art and/or mirror above. i'm hoping the bench will turn up soon! 

my promise to see family more is hard, but i've been saving my miles from work trips to nashville because i miss this little face!! march can't come soon enough - my sweet little nephew, everett, will be dedicated over easter : )

obviously, i'm already failing on some of resolutions. regularly posting on the blog - nope. exercising - ehhh. but i can always save them for next year : ) just kidding! i'm going to keep trying.