Here is my scary spice cabinet. Note the way the cabinet shelves bow slightly from the weight of the crap upon them. I didn't get to this tonight. I cleared out two of my bathrooms, filling a large garbage bag. One bathroom to go, and then I'll probably tackle this cabinet and maybe my junk drawers. The junk drawers scare me.
This cute cutlery set was recently featured on Babygadget, and I have to agree with their recommendation. Dylan has the hot pink set. It was a gift from my mom and she loves them. They fit together (like legos) and they double as finger puppets. My favorite thing about this set, though, is the fact that it includes a knife. Dylan is very interested in helping me cook. She likes to cut her own food, and she uses a real glass, and a ceramic plate (Villeroy & Boch as a matter of fact). This is all very Montessori. At her school, the kids use real glasses as young as two. The philosophy behind this is that kids will only learn proper behavior and comportment by using things that require care. We are nearing the end of her third year in Montessori, and I have to say that the philosophy is spot on. Dylan is very self-sufficient. I love it. The cutlery set can be purchased at Monster Marketplace. It is $15.99.
Our auction is set for May 7. I am SO overwhelmed with everything I need to do. The house is ridiculously big, and we are majorly downsizing, so there are a million and one things to sort through before it's sold.
Our garage sale will be the last weekend in April, and my goal is to have everything cleared out by then. I already have a pile of garage sale items in my library, and that is just the beginning.
I'm thinking that documenting my preparations here might help motivate me to do a bit more. My plan for tonight is to clean out all three bathrooms and my spice cabinet. I'll post a picture of the spice cabinet tonight. It is REALLY scary.
Do you all use a reader to keep track of the blogs you like? I use bloglines. Whenever I find a blog I like, I sub to it with Bloglines, and then when the blog is updated, my Bloglines links to the latest post. I have my blogs organized by category, including Food, Parenting, Web, etc.
I love pretty much all of the Parenting blogs. When one of them is updated, I get excited. When I see that amalah has posted, I think I even say "yay!" out loud. Sadly, though, I can't say the same for the vast majority of the Food blogs to which I subscribe. Most of these are so frickin' verbose and ridiculous. No one writes, "I served meatballs and spaghetti." No, instead we need to read, "The rotund balls of meat goodness were nestled in a bed of luscious spaghetti strands, reminiscent of meals eaten in Florence, beneath the light of a waning moon."
I don't know why food blogs are like this. I still look for good ones, and I still read the boring, ridiculous ones, but it's frustrating. One food blog, though, that doesn't annoy me is The Wednesday Chef. Luisa is a good writer, and she shares great recipes. I get excited when I see that the Wednesday Chef is updated.
The rice we had last night was from a recipe that Luisa recommended. It was really tasty and filling, and I used up another canned good (coconut milk)!
Any ideas on what to serve with the leftover rice? I have a LOT. It is lightly flavored with garlic and ginger, with a heavy coconut taste.
Outdoor ice cream stands are HUGE in the Toledo area. Growing up in New York, the closest thing we had was Carvel, but those are open year round, and you go inside to order.
Here, we have ice cream stands that are seasonal. They offer soft serve ice cream and hot dogs, and on nice days, the good ones have incredibly long lines. Waiting in the lines is a wonderful social event. Our favorite is Mr. Freeze. It is next door to Dylan's school, so we often see her little friends there. Dylan and I always get the same thing; baby chocolate cone with sprinkles.
This photo was taken at the ice cream stand I pass as I drive every morning from Dylan's school to Max's daycare. I don't usually eat here, but I loved the sign. It's so poetic! The winter was a mild one, but it's still a relief to see the signs of warmer weather. Next up are my favorite flowers; lilacs. I can't wait.
I love this photo. Yes, it's a bit blurry, but it's so jiggly, and wiggly and PINK.
Here's the backstory: a few weeks ago, Dylan and I were watching Jacques Pepin on PBS (I love that man.). He made this dish, and Dylan was totally taken with the color and the jiggliness, and asked me to make it for her. Well, I was totally taken with Jacques Pepin, as I always am, and thought I'd give it a try. This recipe is from is Fast Food My Way book, which has been very disappointing for me. I've had a couple of good dishes, but some of the items have sucked the big one, so I was a bit leary to try something else. But, he's a very cute guy, with a very sexy accent, and Dylan really wanted this dessert, so we gave it a shot. And it was great!
My favorite thing about this dish (aside from the aforementioned jiggliness and pink hue) is that it is very healthy. The amount of sugar is negligable. You peel and segment two pink grapefruits, removing every last bit of pith and membrane. Put the segments in a bowl. Then, you squeeze the carcasses of the grapefruit into a small saucepan, add a packet of unflavored gelatin, and heat until dissolved. Put in a bit of honey, a dash of grenadine (for extra pink goodness) and pour over the grapefruit segments. If you want to be really fancy, like me and Jacques, you can divide the segments into little ramekins and pour the juice evenly over each, resulting in individual gelatin molds. Jacques adds mint to his, and he also serves it with a fancy orange sauce.
The foodmomiac household was happy with this plain version.
I am kicking ass on the pantry-clearing experiment. Friday night, I inventoried my canned good cabinet. It was frightening. I actually had to put the list into Excel. (yes, I now have a canned goods spreadsheet. i am a dork.)
Anyway, I broke the foods down into five categories; baking, ingredients, meals, sides and other. I also gave Michael's dad a bunch of things that I knew I'd never eat, such as tuna (I'm allergic), apple butter (don't eat toast) and Manwich (yuck).
Tonight I made a really nice dent in my spreadsheet. Dinner was Panko crusted chicken thighs with corn pudding and Greek salad. The thighs were on sale at Kroger. I got the idea for this preparation from the show Everyday Food on PBS. I hate that show, by the way. It's produced by Martha Stewart, who I kind of like, but the show is inane. Anyway, I combined two of the dishes they made today into my own thing. I mixed together plain yogurt, dijon mustard, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and used it to coat the chicken. Then, I dipped the thighs into Panko breadcrumbs and placed them in a well-oiled roasting pan. I cooked them at 375 for about 45 minutes. I put the broiler on for the last 5 minutes or so. It was very moist and tasty.
The corn pudding was great. And it kicked ass on the pantry supply. It combined Jiffy corn bread mix, creamed corn, Ortega diced chiles, shredded cheddar cheese, ricotta, an egg and some plain yogurt.
Michael called this my Southern Fried Dinner, thus the name of this post. I gotta say, it was great cooking for more than just Dylan and myself.
I am bound and determined to use up everything in my pantry before we move. Thus, my decision to make roasted chickpeas late Friday night. Michael and I were drinking red wine, and we wanted something to munch on. These are delicious, and I WON'T DO IT - I swear, but I almost want to buy more canned chickpeas so I can make more.
The recipe is from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything (link to your left). Just heat some olive oil in an ovenproof sauce pan, add a single layer of cooked or canned chickpeas. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat, and throw into a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until nice and toasty brown. When you pull these out, you can add more seasoning to taste. We added curry powder and a touch of paprika. You could do chile powder too. They can be eaten hot or at room temperature.
Tonight we used up some of the leftover, cooked spaghetti I had in the fridge. I heated up my wok, added a bunch of olive oil and quickly sauteed chopped garlic. I then added a bag of frozen broccoli (still trying to use up my endless stash of frozen and pantry foods), a tablespoon of capers, and two tablespoons of an olive spread. Once the broccoli had cooked through, I added the spaghetti and cooked it till warm. We ate it tossed with grated Gruyere and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. I also added a healthy glog of olive oil. It wasn't bad. And it was fast. And Dylie ate it. All is good in the foodmomiac household.
To drink, I had pureed crushed pineapple mixed with aged rum. I ran it through a strainer because it was a bit fibrous for my taste. It was good! (This was a cocktail intended to use up food from the pantry - small can of crushed pineapple.)
I'm thinking of going through my cabinets and freezer this weekend and posting some of the items to get ideas from you guys on dishes to make. Sound interesting?