Tag Archives: Moving

Pumpkin Soup and a Kitchen Farewell

About a year ago Serious Eats reviewed an instant pumpkin soup by Maggie and Mary, so I jumped at the chance to buy it. Yes, it took me a year to do so, but I finally tried it. Being our last real night in our soon to be old apartment, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, so along side the soup we had grilled cheese. I sautéed some leftover red onion from the Spicy Quinoa we had, but that was the extent of my culinary adventure for dinner.

The soup was okay. I’m not sure if it’s because of how long it sat in my cabinet, or if it’s really just because it was powdered soup. It would probably be a whole lot better if there were some veggies thrown into it (maybe carrot, celery, even potato). But for something so quick and easy (add 4 cups of water and simmer for 20 minutes) I can’t complain too much!

My co-worker and bridesmaid’s birthday is Friday (happy birthday Kierstin!), and she absolutely loves pie. So, I figured instead of doing my typical cupcake, I’d make her a pie! I went ahead and dug up an easy favorite – Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie! I made it on Pi Day this past year, and being it requires no baking and the mixing of only two ingredients, it was perfect. Hopefully she shares, so I can enjoy a sliver after we have our celebratory Thai birthday lunch!

My Coworker and I in our Best Friends Costume!

After we finished up with dinner and dessert, it was time to finally pack up the kitchen. All that’s currently left is our coffee maker (like we can move boxes without coffee!) and some perishables in the fridge. My parents have been kind enough to help us out, so they’re bringing over a cooler Saturday morning that we can put our refrigerated items in for the move. That’s the great thing about moving only 15 minutes away – we didn’t need to completely clean house in the food department. I have to say, our new kitchen is A LOT smaller, but it also has a dishwasher, which will be great for my fiancé. It’s overall a nicer place, too, so I have to take that into consideration. In the end I don’t think I’m really losing any counter space, though, which for me seems to be the most important anyway.

My next post will be from the new place, and I’m so excited to share it with you! It’ll take a few days before I’m fully settled to get cooking again, but I’ve got some really yummy recipes queued up!

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Filed under Cupcakes, Home Cooking

Spicy Soup and Lots of Packing

You never realize just how much you have until you try and pack it all up to move. Over the past month, I’ve learned that both my fiancé and I have A LOT of stuff. We thought we’d be proactive and start packing as soon as we signed our new lease, but here it was the weekend before the big move, and we spent all day Saturday and Sunday packing… and we’re not done.

Aside from going out for sushi on Friday night, a brief run on Saturday morning (I made it through 1.5 miles pain free! Going for two today!), and going out for a few drinks for a friend’s birthday Saturday night, the rest of our weekend was consumed by packing. We had to go box hunting two more times (we now have 100+ boxes stacked in our front room) and have been doing laundry non-stop. Thankfully, though, I think we’ll be able to safely say we’re done mid-week.

It would probably be smart to completely pack up the kitchen and just do easy dinners for the week, but not me! I’ve decided to make two involved recipes this week, and then keep the rest simple. Sure, the open half-full boxes strewn across the kitchen floor and dining room are difficult to maneuver in the dark and are rather ugly to look at, but they’ll be packed up soon enough. I did, however, pack up our nice dinnerware, so pardon the plastic plates and bowls in any posts this week!

After not getting to cook too much last week due to my company’s conference, I knew I needed to get back in the kitchen Sunday night. I found this recipe on YumSugar a few weeks ago, and since it had the word spicy in the title, I knew it was for me. Recently jalapenos at the grocery store have been HUGE, so when this recipe called for two, I knew it would really be more like 3+. I left out the chicken, and substituted the créme fraiche with plain low-fat Greek yogurt. Other than that, I kept everything else the same. And let me tell you – YUM! This packed serious heat and was really filling. Making homemade tortilla crisps was fun too! This is the type of soup that will definitely warm you up in the winter.

Spicy Broth with Chicken and Avocado
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
Extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium-size ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeños, minced
1 quart chicken stock, homemade or store bought
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
canola oil, for frying
4 corn tortillas, cut into 1/8 inch wide strips
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut in wedges
4 dollops of sour cream or crème fraiche (optional)

Directions:
1. Put a stockpot over medium heat and coat with a 2 count of olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, and jalapeños and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables get pulpy. Pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 inch of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until they are crisp on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoons to a paper towel-lined platter and sprinkle with salt while they are hot.
3. Divide the shredded chicken among 4 soup bowls. Ladle the hot soup over the meat. Top with diced avocado and fried tortilla strips. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.

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A Piggie Sunday

The latter half of this past week was super stressful; I got sick, we had a family emergency, and then Saturday and Sunday was spent packing, cleaning, and traveling to two (yes, two) Ikeas to get new furniture. Why the new furniture, you may ask? My fiancé and I are moving at the end of the month! Don’t get too excited, we’re only moving about 10 minutes away to a different town, but we’re upping our game and renting a townhouse! We’re hoping this will be our semi-permanent home until we’re ready to buy a house… yikes.

As you know, I had an awesome giveaway this week, that I just picked a winner for (congrats Jordan!). So, any time I do a giveaway, I also get a sample (win!). I decided to make an appetizer styled dinner, since I was exhausted and wanted minimal effort, and I had all these yummy Hormel products laying around. I had stumbled upon You Are What You Eat or Reheat‘s White Trash Puff Balls a week or so ago, and thought they’d be perfect for the little pepperoni package I got. Instead of combining them with cream cheese, I just threw the pepperoni with shredded mozzarella, and since I grabbed the regular Pillsbury rolls and not crescent rolls, I essentially made pinwheels.

Pepperoni and Cheese Pinwheels

I also decided to try my hand at homemade potatchos, which are basically potato chip nachos. They’re served at a New Brunswick and Rutgers University staple, Stuff Yer Face. If you live in the general vicinity (i.e. probably about an hour in every direction) you’ve heard of the restaurant. You may have even seen it on Man vs. Food! At any rate, their potatchos rule. It’s potato chips, bacon, tomato, cheese, ketchup, sour cream, and chives. I assembled pretty much all of that (I forgot tomatoes – duh!) and threw it in the oven. I have to say, they were pretty spot on.

Homemade Potatchos!

Both of these little ditties would be great appetizers for a get together, on game day, etc. I wouldn’t recommend pairing them together as a dinner, unless you are attempting to use a lot of self control, and break it up with a giant salad (as I did). Sometimes, though, you just need a little comfort, and after the past few days, my fiancé and I were glad to have it.

Homemade Potatchos (Potato Chip Nachos)
– Serves 2-3 –

Ingredients:
1 bag potato chips
4 oz. shredded cheese (any variation – I used Mexican)
2 handfuls of crumbled bacon (I used Hormel’s Real Bacon Bits)
1/2 tomato, diced
Liberal squirts of ketchup
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain) or sour cream
1/2 cup chives, chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Spray baking sheet, and pour chips onto sheet
3. Sprinkle liberally with cheese (feel free to use more!) and bacon pieces
4. Bake for 10 minutes
5. Squeeze ketchup all over chips, top with yogurt, tomatoes, and chives

Pepperoni and Cheese Pinwheels
– Serves 3-4 –

Ingredients:
2 containers of Pillsbury Rolls
1/2 bag of Hormel Mini Pepperoni
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Coat baking pan and open rolls (unroll them, even though their directions tell you not to) and keep them in twos
3. Place combination of pepperoni and shredded mozzarella on each set of two, and roll from one end to the other
4. Bake for 10 minutes

PS – Congrats to everyone that completed the Chicago Marathon yesterday! Hopefully I’ll be there one day too.

 

UPDATE: I’ve submitted the potatchos recipe to Foodbuzz’s BACONALIA contest! YUM.

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Filed under Giveaway, Home Cooking, Recipe