Happy New Year


Except for it being quite belated and not really that happy, if you know what I mean. 

I am usually not really a New Years Eve person. I think it’s a silly holiday along with its silly resolutions and overloads of drunken, stupid people in public. But this year, or last year, if you want to get technical and all, I was actually quite excited. No no, still no New Years party for me, no thanks, but the idea of turning over a new leaf, of starting fresh felt more appealing than ever before. I had goals and resolutions and just so many hopes and dreams for the coming year. And I went to bed happy with a little champagne buzz and my twinkle lights glowing softly. Thankful to being able to spend the night in my pajamas and go to bed shortly after the ball dropped and having the living room full of men close to thirty playing computer games.

And then, it was January. Which is cold and dark and grey and loooong if you live in Michigan, a fact that I’ve damned every single winter I’ve spent here. And my bold optimism and intents to share fizzled out rather quickly along with all the horrible reports that have filled the news. To be frank, this past week while reading the news in the morning, I didn’t know if I should just cancel the coffee and just head straight for the whiskey on the bar cart. Because, man, has it been depressing and scary. I’ve just been wanting to look away or run. Or both, simultaneously.

And then today, I have spent the whole day in my pajamas, except for swapping the bottoms for yoga pants to run to the store, to get syrup for Justin’s pancake craving, eaten every single meal on the couch, taken a nap, cleaned half my closet and left the remaining piles on the bed, and just simply unwinded after a week of way too much work and a visit from the cold from hell. And I realized, I can’t remember the last time, I’ve had a day like this. I don’t think we’ve just been hanging out on a Saturday since we’ve lived in this place. It was very much needed. 

Sorry about the rant. What I wanted to say was; get a hug and possibly a drink. You deserve it. And also remind you that there’s is still goodness and light and kindness in the world. Love is still here. We are still here. 

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Recipes I want to try #2 

Happy November, everyone! I hope you had a good Halloween! We sure did. Michigan showed us it’s pretty side and decided not to throw any rainy, snowy or stormy conditions in the mix. Last night we went trick or treating with friends’ kids and that was actually my first time trick or treating ever. And to be honest, it’s one of those holidays I didn’t quite get. I mean, the Halloween concept is catching on in Denmark, Tivoli gets all dressed up every year and costume parties are popular. But I didn’t grow up trick or treating since we have a similar tradition going door to door for Fastelavn and I have no childhood memories or traditions linked to the holiday. But boy oh boy, I’ve seen the light! I completely get the front yard decor and the costumes now and I can totally see us being the crazy ones on the block in the future. I guess the kids’ excitement rubbed off on me – the holidays are just way more magical with kids around! I’ve been trying to cure my sugar hangover today with lots of green juice and then it’s healthy eating and detox until the next big holiday later this month.. Mayb interrupted by a banana bread one of the next few days. It has the word ‘healthy’ in it’s name, so we’ll probably be alright.  

  
1.

Banana Bread. I made the zucchini bread from the previous post and  I highly recommend it. It turned out so, so good! Now I’ll have to test the banana bread too. It’s perfect for those bananas on the counter that end up being too ripe to just munch on, well, if you’re like me and like your snack fruit to be a bit on the underripe side. Does anyone else have that problem too? It’s like bananas and avocados are never ripe when you need them and then all of a sudden you end up with too many too ripe at the same time. Anyways, it seems like banana bread is the perfect way to use them. The bananas, at least. And for the avocados, I guess there’s always guacamole.

  
2. 

Vegetarian Meatballs. I’ve never been a big meat eater and I’ll go through more or less vegetarian phases. Right now is one of those times where meat just isn’t appealing to me in any way. At the same time, temperatures are dropping around here and it feels like fall in every way so I’m craving comfort food that’s still healthy. This recipe seems like it’ll fit the bill perfectly!


3.

BBQ Chickpea Sandwich. Another recipe that makes me hungry just looking at it. I’m imagining it being the perfect combination of tasty, filling and comforting but without leaving you feeling like you just ate a brick.

4.

Asian Cucumber Salad. I’m really excited to try this on the side next time I whip up a quick weeknight stir fry. It seems like the perfect, flavorful crunch on the side to elevate a night of emptying of the veggie drawer.


5.

Chipotle Black Bean Chili. It’s cold and grey and it gets dark before you know it and it’s time for chili and stews and soups to comfort your belly. This recipe looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it out!

Quinoa and bean enchiladas

So, we usually have enchiladas when we end up with an overload of salsa. Which happens, honestly, every time I make salsa. I always think I’m only making a small portion and yet somehow always end up with enough to fill the tub. Or, you know, maybe not quite that much, but still. Anyways, this is my favorite enchilada filling because we almost always have a couple cans of beans and we almost always have quinoa in the pantry and it is just so easy. And who doens’t love easy? On top of easy it’s also really yummy comfort food without even being that bad, depending on how crazy you go with the cheese, of course. I’ll let that be up to you.  

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tea spoons ground cumin
  • 2 tea spoons turmeric
  • 1 cup of fresh cilantro 
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 8 tortillas (flour or corn or whatever you fancy)
  • 2 cups of salsa
  • cheese for topping 

Directions

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Once it’s done, turn on the oven to 400 F and mix quinoa with beans, onion, garlic, cilantro, and spices. Scoop the mixture on to the tortillas, roll up and place in an oven proof dish. Cover with salsa and a bit of cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes or until cheese turns golden. 

I love them with a big dollop of sour cream, extra cilantro and hot sauce on top.

This time, I only had mozzarella cheese on hand and even though that probably isn’t authentic at all, it still tastes delicious. Feel free to improvise, is all I’m saying. The same goes for the filling. Enchiladas are awesome because you can fill them with all your leftovers or whatever you have in the pantry on a day where you just don’t want to go the grocery store. 

Rigatoni with fresh garden tomatoes


Um, I have something to say. How, no, HOW is it Semptember already?! I mean, what just happened? Summer is practically over and now it’s supposed to be fall and all. Don’t get me wrong, I love fall. Like, LOVE love. It’s my absolute favorite season. I love the crisp air, the colors, layers, the anticipation of the holidays and all of that good stuff. So I’m not upset about it, just, um, surprised. Even though it has been years since fall meant ‘back to school’-time for me, it still has that  feel of a fresh, new start and I get all giddy for change and get the urge to sharpen my pencils and clean out my backpack. I want to organize my closet and clean everything and I’m motivated and energized the same way other people get excited in January. And with this little preview of fall the last couple of days I have been missing North Carolina. Because fall there is just the best. It’s long and drawn out and beautiful and warm so you can really enjoy it. It’s not that fall here is bad or anything, it is just short. Michigan has this way of changing rapidly between seasons so you just have to be prepared and soak it up while it’s here. I’m working on my little list of things to do this season and I can’t wait to go apple picking and drinking spiced cider, but first we’re squeezing every last bit out of the summer. In a ‘summer is ending’-frenzy earlier this week, I bought a couple of bottles of rosé so we’ve been doing a little taste testing over the past few days. I think we still have a couple of hot days coming, which we’re planning on taking full advantage of and go to the lake. And we’re droooowning in tomatoes. I wish, I could brag and say they’re were all from my two little plants but my harvest hasn’t been too overwhelming. Next year, guys, next year! I got plans! And in the mean time my father in law has been so kind to dump his surplus on us and we have been eating so good. So here’s to the last bit of summer with a super easy tomato pasta dish that won’t have you in the kitchen for hours so you still have time to enjoy the last bit of summer nights. 


Ingredients

  • 1 table spoon of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil, oregano and thyme
  • five big tomatoes (make it a few more if yours aren’t that big)
  • 2 cups of uncooked rigatoni
  • salt + pepper to taste

Directions 

First, put on a big pot of water. While it gets to a boil, slice a shallow line or x on the bottom of the tomatoes and get a bowl of ice water ready. When the water boils, plop the tomatoes in until the skin starts shriveling. 


Transfer to the ice water with a slotted spoon and gently peel of the skin and dice the tomatoes. Once you’re done with blanching the tomatoes, add the pasta to the pot and cook it three or four minutes less that directions. Heat up the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the minced garlic and tomatoes. Add the slightly undercooked pasta to the pan alongside the fresh herbs and let the whole thing simmer for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Serve with a little extra  basil. Justin likes to eat his with a little cottage cheese on the side, which I at first found absolutely outrageous but I have to admit it’s rather good. Either way, voila! Enjoy your quick summer meal! 

Growing an Avocado Tree – update

Phew, one week down! It’s been hard getting back to routine and catching up on laundry. (Back to liiiifeee, baaack to reeeeeality…..) And then we have both been working and gobbling up ‘Stranger Things’. You guys! Have you watched it? It’s so, so good. I looved it. I don’t think I have been as excited about a show since I watched ‘Twin Peaks’. Well, but anyways, now we don’t really know what to do with our life. So I just made a batch of cold brew because coffee is very much needed these days and it’s way to warm and humid in the middle of the day to be drinking hot coffee. And yet, I’m writing this while drinking a steamy cup of night tea, because, actually, it’s chilly at night and in the morning. This morning it was grey outside and looked like fall and I caught myself looking forward to fall, even though I declared that such thoughts were insane when Justin mentioned it a couple of days ago. I’ll probably regretting thinking it in a couple of months but for a moment I got really excited for fall and winter. I think it’s mostly because I’m excited about celebrating the holidays here and the fact that we can fit a really big christmas tree. Alright, back to topic now. Last week we ran completely out of coffee, not just cold brew. Even the instant stuff was gone. It wasn’t pretty. 

Anyways, while we gone my avocado plants grew like crazy. When we left they were still just pits with roots but we came back to two stems shooting up. To be honest, I had slowly lost hope that anything would happen so it was a fun surprise. I guess the key to these little buggers is just plenty of patience. The tallest one of them was a bit over 7″ so I nipped off the top leaves right after taking these pictures. I’m so excited to see what happens next! 

Hello from Florida!

Beach time every day!

A little take away sushi dinner at the balcony

Justin found a new favorite beer

This view – palm trees + the ocean = heart eyes!

I still can’t decide what was my favorite part: the beach or these sun beds by the pool

We need more white sheets at home
Driving through the Everglades on our trip from the east coast to the west coast of Florida 


Justin had to go to Florida for work so we left early to have some vacation days in Ft Lauderdale first. No plans but beach and books and pool time and good food. And with my injured ankle we were forced to do nothing but relax and that’s exactly what we did. The biggest decisions of the day would be pool or beach and where should we go for dinner. 

Sunday we left after stuffing our faces with cubanos for lunch. Really, really good but an absolutely terrible choice in 95 degree weather especially if you also plan to sit in a car for four hours right after. We were both so full and felt really queasy the entire way across the state. This week Justin has been working during the days and I’ve hung out by the pool which has softened the blow of post-vacation blues that always creeps up on me. Or I guess it really isn’t post-vacation for me just yet.

Tomorrow, we’re flying back to Detroit and for the first time in a long, long time I am actually really excited to go home after a trip. I mean, beach days and mojitos in the sunset is pretty awesome but I miss our own bed and our kitchen and I think my body will appreciate a little detox after ten days of indulgent vacation diet. I have some really fun projects coming up so going back to everyday life doesn’t seem so bad after all. Now I’ll make my way down to the pool and soak up some sun after a rainy morning!