Thursday, April 12, 2012

Take me away....

Ravings: This week has been a flurry of activity trying to get the house prepped and staged for putting it on the market. It’s been hectic and stressful and has created quite a bit of tension in our home. It’s amazing to me the stuff you see wrong with where you live when you are really looking. But it’s as good as we can get it and we have a meeting with a realtor scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed that we have a chance of getting at least what we still owe on it!

There are a million reasons to wait, and I have reviewed them all. We can easily afford this mortgage. We are likely to get less than what we still owe and will still have to come up with closing costs. Jason recently lost his job and other than some soft leads has nothing lined up for the near future. I could realistically be laid off at any moment because of all the cuts to education and mental health. (I do think the probability is low on this point.) If the house does sell we will probably have to move into an apartment until Jason finds another job.

But the final decision to make the move now was based on the need for sanity. While the past week of getting the house ready has created some stress, living in the neighborhood creates an even greater and sustained amount of stress. It is shocking to me that my neighbors’ behavior has such a profound effect on our moods, and therefore on our relationship and everything else in our lives. Almost nightly throughout the warmer months, one or both of us is awakened in the middle of the night to yelling, motorcycle engines revving, or loud screeching cars. I sometimes feel like we live in the ghetto. In fact I frequently refer to our street as the ghetto. The crime rate in our community is astonishing and two months ago a man murdered his girlfriend on their back porch, about a block from our house, and then fled on foot looking for a place to hide. Needless to say, I was terrified!

We have to get out!

And so here we are, hoping and praying we can get out with minimal damages, but willing to take a few risks to save our sanity. Wish us luck!

Cravings: I found this missing recipe from last week. I can’t believe I forgot it because it was so yummy and incredibly easy to make! It’s one of those “what can I make tonight” go to meals. I adapted the recipe from a gluten free recipe I found on Pinterest. The original recipe is a gluten free tart shell but I just used a store bought whole wheat pie crust.

Asparagus and Pea Quiche (found on Pinterest and adapted from Tasty Yummies)

3 eggs (local free-range are the best)
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 1/2 cups fresh asparagus, chopped smallish
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
2 cups organic half and half
6 oz goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to tast

Thaw peas. Wisk eggs in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour into the pie crust. Mine was extremely full, so you might want to put a sheet pan under it just in case. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 375. Serve with a side salad. This one contains mixed greens, chopped walnuts, red onion, orange segments and more of the mint and chives. We used an orange juice, oil and vinegar dressing. This could be my new comfort food.

Tuesday was a roasted beet salad with the rest of that creamy delicious white bean dip. This photo does not do this salad justice. It was beautiful and filling. I promise one of these days I will improve my photography skills!

Roasted Beet Salad
4 roasted beets
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Mixed greens
Dressing of choice (we used some Ken's Raspberry and Walnut)
To roast the beets, cut the tops off and save them for later use, then cut the "tails" off and discard. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place on a sheet pan. Roast at 450 for about 20-30 minutes. Take them out of the oven, unwrap the foil a bit and allow them to cool. Once cooled enough to be handled, use the aluminum foil to scrape the skin off. This is very messy so do it over the sink! Cut the beets in half and slice.
Assemble salad and serve.

We served the salad with the leftover White Bean Dip with Rosemary, some red pepper slices, cucumber sticks and pita chips.

Last night we tried to use up some of the left over roasted chicken. I still have enough for at least another two meals so that will go into the freezer at this point. I also saved the giblets and boiled them last night to add to my next round of Shadow treats. The dog bone cookie cutter ended up in the garbage disposal and got all mangled so not sure what shape these will be. It's on my to do list for the weekend. We did an open faced chicken club sandwhich and lemon rice soup, which much to my surprise Jason loved! He's not a fan of cooked lemon so I was bracing myself for the thumbs down, but he said it was really good.

Open-faced Chicken Club (adapted from the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Cooking Light)

1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
4 slices cooked bacon
1 tomato, sliced
1 roasted red pepper, sliced
mixed greens
1 cup shredded chicken, rewarmed in the same pan as you cook the bacon
2 slice sourdough bread, toasted

Make the avocado cream by mixing the avocado, greek yogurt and salt in a bowl until creamy. Assemble the sandwhich by spreading the avocado cream on the toasted bread and piling up all the other ingredients. Jason ended up eating a second one and added a top piece of bread for ease of eating.

Lemon Rice Soup (also adapted from the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Cooking Light)

1/2 sweet onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth)
1/4 cup brown rice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (I used meyer lemons, which I adore)
2 tsps corn starch
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Saute onion in a bit of olive oil until soft and translucent. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Then add broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling add rice, turn heat down and simmer for 20-30 minutes until rice is cooked. When rice is cooked, combine lemon juice, corn starch, egg, salt and pepper in a small bowl and wisk together. Drizzle this mixture VERY slowly into the soup while constantly stirring. If you drizzle too fast or don't stir you will get scrambled eggs in your soup. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

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