Things are finally getting back on track here. In one short week, my brand new kitchen has gone from this…
This is how we were doing Tuesday night, before about eight of my girlfriends came over for an impromptu ladies’ wine night while the boys played poker, doubling as a rough, rough draft of a housewarming party. It was, however, the best way I could have ever hoped to ring in the first night in the house alone (after Jesse had, as promised, spent the full first week there together with me — immensely helpful and fun).
Oh yes, and I did in fact get the fridge of my dreams.
French door fridge access, bottom drawer freezer, automatic (crushed!) ice and water dispenser — stainless steel, and 78,000 cubic inches of pure refrigerated goodness. Plus, I got it at a killer price, at the Standard TV and Appliance Outlet Store (who knew?!) for $1,000 less than its original list price!
Yup, I got me a fridge. And a kitchen sink.
The first non-take-out meal in the new house?? Baked potatoes. I’m not sure why I got an insane craving for baked potatoes earlier this week, when I probably haven’t eaten one in 4+ years, but I did, and then when I walked the FOUR BLOCKS around the corner to my newly-discovered Grocery Outlet (don’t worry, you’ll hear more about this. It warrants an entirely separate blog post), I found they had 10-lb. bags of russets on sale, so that sealed the deal.
Plus, I’ve only found about 10% of my dishes and utensils so far, so a DIY potato bar seemed to be the way to go, adorned with some seitan that I scored for $0.99, and then fried up in the skillet with some jerk seasoning, and topped with various chopped veggies, shredded cheese, and the last little bowlful of Greek yogurt that actually did make the cut and came with me in the cooler from the old house.
With Portland’s version of a heat wave upon us, and a kitchen that’s finally not in a basement, I’m loving the easy-dinner lifestyle of making do with whatever’s in the fridge, and turning it into some sort of creative cold salad. Last night, I swung by the GO on the way home and, though their produce section is not the most impressive part of the store, I did find a good looking eggplant and a bag of cole slaw for super cheap, and turned it into dinner.
First I roasted the eggplant in little spears, coated with olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast.
I made a spicier version of my go-to pizza dough, adding some tandoori seasoning that gave it a nice saffron flavor. But instead of baking it, I rolled it into a little patty disc and lightly fried it in the skillet, giving it a wonderful naan flatbread quality.
I found some leftover ranch dressing in the fridge that I used to dress the cole slaw, and layered this on the flatbread with the eggplant spears for an awesome main dish. I had a handful of beets in my fridge that I had already roasted a few days earlier, when my friend Hollis (now a Portlander!!!) brought over a bunch from her garden to the Tuesday soiree. I sliced these up and tossed them with some red onion, olive oil, balsamic, candied walnuts, and Bacos. Fantastic.
All right. I think I’m back on the wagon.
This Week’s Groceries
Fred Meyer 7/27
- Cucumbers: $1.18
- Green pepper: $0.59
- Orange pepper: $1.50
- Roma tomato: $0.64
- Roasted chicken: $5.99
REMAINING FOR THE MONTH: $146.75 (carried over $6.65 unused from last month)
Grocery Outlet 7/31
- Cottage cheese: $2.39
- Chocolate milk: $1.69
- Pico de gallo: $2.99
- Pepper jack cheese: $3.17
- Cubed seitan: $0.99
- Green onion: $0.50
- Red bell pepper: $0.59
- Bag of russet potatoes: $2.99
- Avocado: $0.99
- Green grapes: $2.99
REMAINING FOR THE MONTH: $127.46