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Stuffed Peppers with Millet

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I cooked last week! I even have photos to prove it.

I made Emily’s curried stuffed peppers, which turned out really well. It was actually our first time eating millet, and I was pleasantly surprised with how much Brent liked it. He’s not huge on most of the “weird grains” I bring home, but this was a winner. It was super quick and easy to make. I actually made the mix and stuffed the peppers earlier in the day and then just baked them when we wanted dinner.

I really liked the raisins in this and I actually wish I had added more! I may make this again, given that Brent enjoyed it and I have more millet to use. I actually have a whole bookcase (which I use as a second pantry) full of grains and dried beans to use before we leave! Feel free to suggest uses for: wheat berries, brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils.

Life Updates

Well, you can definitely continue to expect a lack of posting. We’re moving in 3 weeks! We leave from Chicago Monday December 27th after spending the holidays with our families, and I can’t believe how close it’s getting. We’re doing something crazy – Driving!! It’ll be me, Brent, Larry, Lucy, my beloved cooking tools, and some clothes. And that’s it. We’re not moving our furniture, knick-knacks, TV, etc…  The way our relocation is structured is that we could have his company pay to move all of our possessions across the country, OR they’ll just give us a lump sum. We’ve discussed getting a new bed, and a new couch because our current one is a huge sectional that was purchased for a 2200 square foot home, not a city apartment, so we just decided to take the lump sum and use it as an opportunity to simplify. It’s going to be a 3 day drive, but luckily we’ve already found and leased an apartment, so once we arrive we’ll be “home.”

A week from tomorrow is also my last day of nursing school! I cannot express how truly excited I am, not only to be done with school and all that goes along with that, but to be a nurse! I really can’t wait to take boards and start working. I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to go back to school and go into a profession that I really love. 🙂

Falafel & Frites

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Today was pretty awesome – I was so productive in the kitchen, with housework, and schoolwork, AND I got Brent to run with me after he got off work! Brent got home late from work (about 7ish) and by the time our run was done, I was beyond ready for dinner. I had planned falafel for dinner, and I was psyched to try my hand at making pitas again. I was so happy – my pitas puffed up this time!

I made the pitas using the master recipe from Artisan Bread. They ended up soft and tasty. The pita made excellent wrappers for the falafel. I layered falafel, hummus mixed lemon juice, lettuce and sliced tomatoes. So delicious. At Brent’s suggestion, when I was done frying the falafel, I threw in french fries that were leftover in the freezer from Brent’s birthday dinner. A perfect dinner enjoyed on the back patio.


Today Brent and I reserved spots to a local food and beer dinner at J.K. O’Donnell’s! It’s on Monday and I’m really looking forward to a date night with Brent and awesome, local food. 🙂

Joy of Falafel

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Joy of Falafel is the subject line of an email I got from my best friend in August of 2008! It was an email containing the recipe for falafel from The Joy of Vegetarian Cooking. She highly recommended it and urged me to make it. It only took me two years to finally get around to doing that. I don’t know why.

While I was making this recipe (in my tiny 3 cup food processor), I was worried about the results. It was crumbly and wouldn’t stick together, so I g-chatted with Tessa (the friend mentioned above) who calmed me down and talked me through it, as she usually does. I’m so glad it came together! I even fried it all on my own – without Brent’s help! I think that’s a first.

Beautiful!! I slathered a sauce of tahini, water and lemon juice on top and Brent and I both really loved it. Brent had two servings. I also made some oven roasted okra (okra fries) that I’ve seen on a few blogs, but we were not so much a fan of that. The flavor was good, but I just don’t appreciate the slime. Bummer.

Before the falafel, I spent the day making freezer jam with my friend Taria. I’ve never really canned or anything, but Taria’s from the south and has experience with such things, so I showed up with some Ball jars and Sure-Jell and trusted her to do the rest. We just used the basic strawberry freezer jam recipe that came with the Sure-Jell. OMG! The amount of sugar called for was obscene! I got diabetes just making this stuff. Unfortunately the package was yelling: “DO NOT use a sugar substitute or lower the sugar!! Recipe will not set!!” So, I made the recipe as directed. I figured I should try the approved recipe at least once and get the hang of it before I went crazy making changes, plus that box sounded like it meant business.

The jam must sit at room temperature for 24 hours to set before it goes in the freezer. I have 12 jars of this stuff, so it better be amazing! I think it looks cloudy, like we didn’t dissolve all the sugar or something. Only time will tell I guess.

I’m heading to my parents house in the Chicago area next week to see family and friends, and I plan on bringing some jam as gifts – although I think I may taste test it first!

Must go clean tahini and chickpea crumbs off my counter-tops now. 🙂

A Throw-Together

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Tonight’s dinner was one of those “well at least I didn’t resort to ordering pizza” kind of meals. I spent 8 straight hours reading up on such exciting topics as “Interpreting intracranial waveforms” and “New Advents in Neurological Monitoring” and I just really had no desire to make dinner when the time came.

Aware that I had just been grocery shopping the day prior and spent a fair chunk of change, I just looked around blankly for inspiration and started throwing things in a saute pan. I sautéed some shallots in olive oil, then I added some sweet italian chicken sausage until browned, then a drained and rinsed can of chickpeas, and in the final moments, a big handful of grape tomatoes. Meanwhile, I boiled water and made some Parmesan couscous (from a box). I served everything together and actually had it ready when Brent got home from work.

Well, it only took 15 minutes, but it was actually super delicious. Sauteing the chickpeas really brought out their flavor and I loved them in this. This sausage was really tasty too, and not super salty or greasy, which was nice. I thought the couscous had a processed “flavoring” taste, but that’s sort of to be expected from a box, and it was totally fine when mixed with everything else.

I am now about to enjoy a glass of wine and head to bed within the hour. I am just too damn exciting for my own good.

A Random Mix

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I know I’ve been gone so long that the few of you even still reading probably thought I was finished with this little blog of mine. The truth is, it’s be an insanely crazy few weeks. Two weeks ago, after a stay in the intensive care unit, my Grandma Bonnie passed away. She was the originator of our family’s country-ass noodles and didn’t take bullshit from anyone. I regret not being able to spend more time with her. She will be greatly missed.

Two weeks ago we also put our house back on the market, and after what seems like nonstop showings over the past 10 days, we have an accepted offer! I was pretty sick all last week and Brent was across the country on a business trip and we were going back and forth on negotiations with the buyers, so it was a LONG week. The relief I feel about selling this house cannot be overstated. I will definitely be sad to leave, but I am so thrilled about eventually moving! Nothing is official yet, of course. We still have to pass inspection and appraisal and the buyers have to close on the house they are selling, but as of right now, we’re planning on closing on the house and moving in 3-4 weeks!

Oh, this is a food blog? Sorry, I’d nearly forgotten. Homemade food has been minimal lately. Most house hunters seems to look right around dinner time, sending us out of the house hungry. A while ago, (maybe like 3 weeks?), I made chickpea ratatouille, which I saw on Heather’s blog a while ago. I only have a before cooking shot, no after ones.

It was pretty delicious. I would make it again. I think Brent just thought it was ok, but he’s not a huge fan of chickpeas.

In other random news, Brent went to Dark Lord Day at Three Floyds Brewery yesterday. Apparently this beer is supposed to be one of the best in the world and it is only offered for sale one day a year and you must buy a ticket a few months in advance to be guaranteed to be allowed to buy some. Brent got two bottles of it, one of which he opened tonight.

It’s a thick, sweet stout, and I think it tastes like burnt cherries. Regardless of how I feel, Brent thought Dark Lord Day was a lot of fun. It’s a huge gathering of beer lovers with lots of beer swapping and tasting going on. He waited in line for 5 hours to buy this, but he really enjoyed himself.

I think that’s about it for now. We’re done with showings on the house and my school semester is winding down, so I hope to be able to start cooking up a storm again!