Sunday, April 19, 2009

Only in the past

Recently, I find myself starting many a sentence with the phrase "Do you remember when..."

Apparently spring makes me wistful and reminisce-ful. James and I have been telling our stories to each other recently, remembering the first time we said I love you, or the goodbyes and hellos from his trips in our first year of dating. It's kind of fun to remember those times, to cringe at the awkward/terrible moments, and to feel really good about where we are now.

I've also been reminiscing about college experiences--times when I got new nicknames, times when ordering ordinary breakfast food at Waffle House became embarrassing, etc.

I'm a 24 year old already living in the past. For now, I'll just chalk it up to the weather (which was gloriously sunny today, to make up for the snow. And our lawn is green! Yay!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What to make for dinner?

It's my job to make dinner just once a week--on Wednesdays. You'd be disappointed (I know I am) at the number of Wednesdays that I just make something I've made 10 or 20 times before, and how rarely I break out of my shell. But today I was inspired!

On the menu:
Sweet Potato Quesadillas
Mexican Quinoa
Really Good Zucchini

Sweet Potato Quesadillas: modified from the cookbook Simply in Season

1 1/2 c onion, minced
Saute' in large frying pan in 1 T oil until translucent

4 c sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
Add, and saute' until potatoes begin to soften. Add water and stir often to prevent sticking.

2 t dried oregano
1 1/2 t each: dried basil, chili powder, and ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
diced roasted green chilis, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Add after several minutes of cooking the potatoes. Continue sauteing until potatoes are soft.

8 tortillas
1 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Spread about 1/2 c of filling (just eyeball it) and a generous amount of cheese on half of each tortillas, leaving a 1/2 inch border on the sides. Fold tortilla in half. Place on oiled baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees F until brown, 15-20 minutes (about 10 minutes in the mile high city). Serve with salsa, and sour cream if you have it.

This recipe is super easy and easy to increase the amounts--just add more potatoes and adjust the spices.

Mexican Quinoa: modified from an online recipe site I can't remember
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained with juice reserved (I used plain diced tomatoes and added some diced roasted green chiles from our freezer)
1 c quinoa
salt and pepper, to taste
1 t chili powder
1 t cumin
(I'd increase the amount of spices if I made it again)

1. Place the reserved tomato juice in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough water to bring the total amount of liquid to 2 cups.
2. Put the water/tomato juice into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Stir in the quinoa and salt and pepper. Turn burner down, and simmer quinoa for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid has cooked off.
4. Add the tomatoes and chiles and spices. Cook for another 2-4 minutes until warmed.

This recipe claims to serve 8, but those must be very small servings! I'd triple it if I made it again, it didn't quite stand up to 5 hungry housemates.

Really Good Zucchini: a recipe given to me by Alana
2 c zucchini, shredded
2 T butter
1 t sugar
1/4 t salt

Place all ingredients in a small-medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until warm, about 5-10 minutes.

I'm not lying, this is one of the best ways to eat zucchini! And super easy. It's the best with small, young zucchini. The baseball bat zukes in the garden in August are more suited for zucchini bread/cake than this recipe.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Some things

Yes, I've been MIA for awhile now. Turns out that spring is a very busy time in my life. Work is busy. We've had lots of visitors, which makes life at home busy. And then there's this thing called a wedding that's now 4 months away (a little less than that, but I refuse to be an obsessive counter.)

So, a short list:

1. I tried on my wedding dress today! It is not ridiculously large, as I expected. It is definitely too large, but it's too large in places that are easy to fix. However, I forgot how low it was in the back! I don't think it's obscene, but it is pretty low.

2. While I was there (for about 8 minutes...b/c I really just came to try it on), the woman helping me asked what I was doing with my hair. She then clipped a really cute ostrich feather decorative thing into my hair, and told me it was "only $100." Yeah, my dress cost just a little more than that. All I could think was, yeah, this looks cute. But I could make it for much, much less.

3. I taught 180 3 and 4 year olds today about spiders. What an interesting crowd. But almost all of them held Rosie the tarantula.

4. It is sunny today, which sort of makes up for the dismal Easter morning yesterday.

5. Only 4 sessions of my after school program remain. It feels like February (when we started) was just yesterday.

6. Sign of spring: plant/garden/nursery stores are now open when I drive past them!