Friday, February 25, 2011

Because it's Friday

I am wearing jeans to work. Seriously one of the true joys in my life is getting to wear jeans.

I am enjoying my nicely heated office. It has been below freezing here for the past few days and our house is horribly cold.

I am going to make myself a martini the second I get home at 5pm.

Then, I'm making Huevos Rancheros for dinner!

After dinner my dear husband and I are going furniture scouting at St. Vinneys, Goodwill and the salvation army.

Due to our upcoming move and the massive decorating project I will soon be undertaking we find ourselves with some furniture needs. Most notably a couch. Our new house has both a living room and a family room and we have only a less than ideal futon. I HATE the futon but I have born it and will continue to. But even with the futon we need a couch for one of the two rooms. I would like to buy a new couch but before we make a decision we will do some bargain hunting and some shopping around. I am a little pessimistic about finding what I want used but we will see. I am also on the lookout for a TV sand of sorts and new bedside tables because I don't like the ones we have. We will also need a new coffee table because ours broke. Not that I should be surprised because it was purchased for 15 dollars at goodwill 3 years ago.

So here's to happy hunting and a fabulous Friday night!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Menu Friday

Long ago when I first started my blog I used to post my menu's each Friday. I have traditionally made my menu's on Friday so I could by groceries Friday or Saturday. I always enjoy reading what other's are cooking and thought I would start sharing mine again.

Some notes about this week. We will be moving in three weeks so I am trying to use up as much food as I can that is in the house and buy as little new food as possible. Because we are helping the Wilson's move this weekend and the James move next weekend I plan on doing our packing a little bit at a time on week nights. I also plan on going to the gym Monday, Thursday and Friday night. Given all of that this week is quick easy and cheap!!!

Sunday: Simple pork and beans with rice and collard greens
Monday: Tuna Melts, matchstick skillet fries and pickled beets
Tuesday: Braised Sausage and Lentils with fresh spinach
Wednesday: Huevos Rancheros with massa tortillas and green chilies
Thursday: Fried Pork chops, mashed potatoes and pickled beets
Friday: Black eyed peas and corn muffins

Matchstick skillet fries
This is a really easy way to get a french fry fix at home without the mess or calories of deep frying. Peel potatoes and cut into really thin fries. Heat olive oil in skillet, once smoking add potatoes. Toss with oil to coat and add salt, pepper and paprika or chili powder. Fry until browned and soft inside.

Braised Sausage and Lentils
This recipe used to be a stand by of mine. Brown sausage links in some olive oil. Add french lentils, chopped celery and carrots, chopped onion and garlic, on can of tomatoes and 2 cups of chicken broth. Add a bay leaf, some salt and pepper and some fresh or dried thyme. Bring to simmer, reduce and cover. Cook 20-30 minutes until lentils are cooked through. Add fresh spinach to wilt and serve.

Huevos Rancheros with Massa tortillas and green chilies
Huevos are such a staple for us. This variation is easy but a little nicer for dinner. Huevos are always tortillas topped with beans, then eggs, then salsa. In this variation it's no different. However, I make fresh tortillas from massa. Super easy, just mix massa flour with just enough water to bind into ball. Flatten balls out with palm to make tortilla. Dry fry in skillet. For this I'll just used heated canned black beans and store bought salsa.

Fried Pork Chops
This is simply pork chops dredged in beaten egg, then cornmeal then fried in a skillet. Yummy!

Black eyed peas
I love black eyed peas. The easiest quickest way to make them is to saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add chili powder, cayenne, cumin, and dried peas. Add 2 cans tomatoes, chunk of salt pork, and 4 cups broth. Bring to boil, lower to simmer. Serve with corn bread.

What are you eating this week?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Big News

Yes I have been rather a-wall lately but for good reason. I have news! We are buying a house and I am so freaking excited I can't stand it.

Isn't it darling. We are so in love with it.

We looked at many houses in our price range (which was pathetically low) and most of them were frighteningly ugly. But this one is just perfect. It is an amazing deal. It was built in 77' but is quite cute for a house built in the 70's. It has been very well maintained and has all new paint, carpet, and windows. It is small, 1200 square feet but has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and good storage. And perhaps the best part, it has built in cook book shelves in the kitchen. We made an offer almost two weeks ago but between waiting for a response, then having an inspection, then renegotiating after the inspection it's just now confirmed. We are scheduled to close on March 11th which is only 22 days away!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dream couch

I have been dreaming for a new couch for years. It seems the anchor for decorating my home. A piece from which to build a collection, to craft a style and so on. It must be modern and stylish yet be durable. It should be able to with stand children and heavy use. It also much be flexible to new shifts in my decorating which I'm sure will occur over the long run since I love change.

Currently, our couch is a futon my in-laws bought for my husbands first apartment about 6 years ago. You can see a picture of it here. It once had a black cushion--horrible. But when we got married I bought this more neutral beige one and attempted to dress it up with some vibrant pillows.

This is the couch I dream of. Spotted this past December while Christmas shopping in Portland. It was at Crate and Barrel. The sales lady broke my heart when she told me it was being discontinued and they only had a few left. I hope to find a replica when I am ready to officially couch shop.

Isn't it beautiful. I envision it paired with yellow and white, with splashes of orange. I think to yellow side chairs would be a perfect accompaniment.