A Moveable Feast.

Cakes and Breads / May 12, 2017

I forgot how awful moving is. Awful. — Aaargh! — Bllllggggrrhhh. —- OOOommmmmllllfffffkkkk. (And other grunting sounds.)

Yes, awful. And after 8 years it’s even ickier because I’m getting older. That shrieking sound of a tape gun will echo in my head for months to come. So, only soft sounds for me until I stop quivering.

​But now I am happy to report, it’s done! We’re out. We’re closed!!! And all of our stuff is PACKED into 3 storage units until we finish our small cottage. Now… what to do during the transition?  —- COOK!!!

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Don’t let me do this again…ever.

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Where our home WILL be.

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Where our home is NOW.

There are a lot of things that have to happen to fulfill a lifelong dream of building a home for ourselves. Permits, grading, septic fields, garages, and more. We’re content to take it a day at a time, and relish just being alive and healthy. I think the key to enjoying the simple life is simply not having too many expectations. It’s about noticing, as the movie says, “the collateral beauty” that exists in the midst of trouble. And I believe that. Everywhere are blessings and miracles. Even when you’re stooped over a furniture dolly.

And in the meantime I know that what endures is nourishment. Especially nourishing others…my favorite thing. Because we are staying with friends, who have been gracious enough to open their home and tolerate having roommates until we transition into our trailer and construction begins, cooking lots of food will be easy.

So what did I cook in the midst of cardboard, inventory lists, and limited kitchen items?

  • Pizza, for starters, at our new digs, when we brought over the first load of personal items.
  • Pasta made quickly with pesto I had previously frozen because my food processor was packed.
  • A lovely sauteed chicken with mushrooms and port wine sauce because I love showing off.
  • The easiest and quickest chocolate pecan cake because it was 10:00 pm and I was STILL hungry.
  • And finally, a delicious Thai soup with potatoes, peppers, a little bit of curry and ginger and gorgeous basil.

READY? Let’s eat!:


Cheese, Artichoke, Tomato & Olive Pizza

Yes, you want lots of salty cheese. No, you don’t need pepperoni to make it amazing. My favorite pizza features San Marzano tomatoes, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, onions and basil. I use parmesan, pecorino, and mozzarella cheese…with abandon. I put the crust on an oiled sheet pan which makes it so crispy and good! And then you decide on the ingredients that make you happy!

Sausage, Pepper, Peas and Pesto — And PASTA!

I’m in love with She’s Pesto fresh and local pesto. Just thaw it and make anything perfectly wonderful! I cooked some Jimmy Dean hot sausage, and added yellow pepper, peas, parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper and about 1/4 C of her pesto. Toss with olive oil if needed and garnish with basil. The best quick meal EVER.

Chicken with Baby Bellas, Port Wine
​and Cream Sauce over Rice.

You’re getting the gems here. These are my go-to lovelies. And this one makes chicken so dressy. Simply saute your chicken, and remove. Then melt a little butter and cook your mushrooms. Deglaze with port wine, add the chicken back in, cook until done, add cream. The BEST salt and pepper make it uncomplicated and unforgettable.


Potato Pepper Thai Soup

A bag of potatoes and some coconut milk was the inspiration for this hearty soup. And it doesn’t need any meat to feel and taste so satisfying.

​Russets, red pepper, gorgeous purple asparagus and sweet onion swim happily in a sauce of olive oil, butter and the coconut milk. Flavored with fresh ginger, curry powder, a little thyme, and a sprinkling of cilantro, try this no-meat dinner as soon as you can!

Quickest Pecan Chocolate Chip Dessert Bread

Serves 6


Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1 t salt
2 t baking powder
1 egg
1/4 C oil
3/4 C cream
1 T vanilla
1/3 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 C pecans
3 T maple syrup
2 T butter to grease baking dish


Method:

  • Combine flour, sugars, salt and baking powder in large bowl. Grease a loaf pan with butter. Mix the cream, oil, egg, vanilla and syrup in another bowl. Mix the wet into the dry using a spatula, just until all the flour in incorporated. Don’t over mix. Then fold in the pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into the pan, bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees F. Can also do these as muffins.
  • Serve with a drizzle of honey and whipped cream!


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