Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Layered Asian Salad

Do you like a good taco salad? How 'bout a layered taco salad? Need a new twist? Check out my recipe I posted today on for Layered Asian Salad. Fresh. Tasty. Perfect for summer!

Happy Summer Day-

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Onward and Upward

We've moved and this is the kitchen I left behind:

And our basement:

Our new owners are being exceptionally understanding about this whole ordeal and have been a dream with which to work on allowing ServiceMaster, insurance adjusters, flooring representatives and contractors into their new home.

I still harbor some guilt and anguish, but onward and upward, right?

Our new kitchen is largely still in boxes, and is far from feeling quite "ours" yet, but it feels so nice. The new kitchen island will be perfect for cooking while the boys eat, snack or color and it is so open into the other living spaces.

I am enjoying getting to know this new kitchen and feeling out how to set it up. I'll be back with a recipe in the near future...


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dramatic Close

We're about 97% packed up and the moving van arrives tomorrow early. I was feeling good, really good, about where we are in the moving process.

It was going almost a little *too* smoothly...

So, it figures that today, of all days, I unknowingly left our kitchen sink faucet in the "on" position during the city's maintenance of a water line. The water main had been shut off...

When the city turned on the water, my kitchen faucet began to flow and flow, and no one was home. I returned after lunch to find...

a flooded kitchen...
a soaked basement ceiling...
a sopping wet basement floor...
and our laptop, TV, iPod, digital camera, Flip, and lots of other gear soaking wet.

One huge photos or sentimental items were ruined. Another tremendous one was hurt. We are all okay. Keeping things in perspective, I am very, very thankful.

So, all is well, except our poor kitchen. As I type the ServiceMaster gurus are tearing up my is going to be a late night. I would post pictures, but I will soon be shopping for a new camera.

Again, in the big scheme, this is an inconvenience that is very fixable. But not exactly how I wanted the end of an era in this house to conclude.

Tomorrow's a new day-

Monday, June 7, 2010

Move Eve

Our packing is reaching a fever pitch, with my mom here for a few days to lend a hand. We're up to our eyeballs in boxes, and although we're busy, I am so very excited.

In the next week we will close on our current house, celebrate R's last day of kindergarten, close on our new home, celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, have a weekend full of fun (Block Party on our new street--they invited us even though we won't even be moved in cool is that?/Clippers' Game/Birthday Parties), and then finish our packing and then, finally MOVE.

Whoa. In other words we are B-U-S-Y!

I am extraordinarily grateful for this new chapter, and even more thankful for a decade together with SPH.

So, if my blogging is a little light in the next week or so, please forgive me. I won't be spending much time in the kitchen (if you saw my kitchen, you would understand why not much cooking will be accomplished), but I will check in to give you a report!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Simple Greens

It's time for me to put down the tape gun, step away from the boxes and leave the bubble wrap.

I've been up to my eyeballs in moving preparations. This move is an exciting new chapter, but man, oh man, I forgot how much work it takes to move. Last time we moved, it was much more dramatic...leaving DC for a new state, leaving work for SPH to begin business school and packing while pregnant with G. I think I somewhat fooled myself into thinking that this move would be a piece of cake compared to Move 2006, but cake never tasted so complicated.

When life gets complicated, cooking can soothe my soul. This recipe is the antithesis to complicated. It is simple and simply delicious. I used it on the remnants of our collard greens we grew this spring (they are flowering and will not last long in the heat), but feel free to use kale, mustard greens or any ole' green you have on hand.

Side note: I was firmly in the "greens-aren't-my-favorite-food" camp until I came up with this recipe. You need to try them too, as collards, kale and greens are about the most nutrient dense food you can eat.

Side note to my vegetarian friends: This recipe uses a mere 2 slices of bacon, but if you don't eat meat, add 2 teaspoons of oil to saute and onion and garlic and add a few dashes of paprika for a smokey flavor profile.

Simple Greens

2 slices bacon, sliced thin
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 pound collards or kale, stems removed, and sliced thin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup water

In a medium stock pot over medium high heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan. Drain all but a teaspoon or two of the bacon grease.

Return the pot to the stove and add onion and garlic. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion begins to brown a bit. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan (scrape the bottom to loosen all those tasty brown bits).

Add the greens, salt and pepper and saute until they begin to wilt a bit, about 3-4 minutes. Add the water, stir well to make sure no greens are "stuck" to the bottom of the pot, add the bacon to the pot and close the lid. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Check your greens. You want the greens to be completely wilted and limp, and for all the water to have evaporated. If you need to, add a 1/2 cup more water and simmer longer. Repeat if necessary until water is evaporated and the greens are fully wilted.

Serves 4.

(this tastes divine with a good corn spoonbread)

I'm off to do some more packing. Now where did I leave that tape gun?