Tapas Night

Last Friday, we had our friends Aaron and Elizabeth over for dinner.  As I thought about a menu, I knew immediately that I wanted to make these meatballs that Katy and I had made while I was in MI.  We spent a good percentage of our cooking time making recipes from “our new best friend” Molly’s book, but sadly, on the day we made the meatballs, I wasn’t planning to be at Katy and JP’s house for dinner.  I did, however, get to sample one that fell on the floor and that was enough to set me pining for more.

Once I had settled on serving the meatballs (sans any dust from our kitchen floor 🙂 ), everything else fell into place for a Tapas style dinner.

We had

The meatballs:

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Marcona Almonds:

An Orzo Salad (in which I used spinach and cherry tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market):

And a Tzaziki Style Cucumber dish (that I forgot to take a picture of).

Later, for dessert, I served this Yogurt Lemon Cake:

Lucky for us, we had just enough leftovers for Kyle and I to eat everything again the next night.

A Slow Start

Kyle and I were on vacation a couple of weeks ago.  The first part of our trip was spent in Holland at my parents’ new house.  The second bit was a trip to the Adirondacks with my sister, brother-in-law, and niece.  The third leg was our family reunion (Wingstock) in Massachusetts.  Kyle left after the reunion so he could return to work, but I stayed on for the 4th leg of the journey, which was more time spent in Holland with family.

I made my arrival home late on Saturday night and then we hit the ground running on Sunday with a mid-day Sounders game and then a Morgan family gathering to belatedly celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday.

I guess I had pictured returning home and immediately getting started on all kinds of house projects to continue settling in, but instead I’ve been consumed by tasky things.  I dealt with the laundry, I’ve entered all of our vacation receipts into our expense budget, I payed bills, I made phone calls, etc.  Interestingly, the one thing I haven’t done is go grocery shopping yet.  When we woke up on Sunday morning, we discovered that everything was frozen in our refrigerator.  (Thankfully we didn’t have much in there because Kyle only did one little shopping trip before my return.)  We tried everything we could think of to warm it up including turning it off for awhile with the door open. We’ve have the temperature way down, but most things are still rock solid, so it didn’t make much sense to go buy new food that would promptly freeze and be unusable.  (Don’t worry – the fridge guy is coming this morning to check this all out.  I’m secretly hoping that it’s beyond repair so we can get a new one anyway since the one we have is really puny.  Actually, I’m really hoping we can fix it cheaply so we can keep it as an extra fridge, but get a new one for the kitchen.  🙂  )

In the meantime, while waiting for the repairman, the quandary with the frozen fridge has been that  1) we ate all of our fresh and perishable stuff up before we left on vacation so there’s not a lot of food in our fridge and 2) we were wanting to eat healthy meals at home after a couple weeks of eating anything and everything on vacation.  So – I had to get creative.  One day I tried out a muffin recipe I’ve been curious about for awhile that calls for grapes.  I thought it would be a perfect way to use our grapes that had frozen and then thawed.  The recipe also called for carrots, so I got to shred up a couple of our carrots that had frozen.

The life lesson I lived by was “If life gives you a frozen fridge, use your pantry and the freezer.”  In our case, I pulled out some tuna, and noodles from the pantry, and some frozen peas and made this tuna noodle salad, with peas.  I think it came out beatifully.

So – I have big aspirations of continuing to get things settled in at home both inside and out.  I had my green thumbed friend, Monica, come over yesterday to help us figure out what to do with the things in our yard, so I’m feeling inspired to work outside, but I also have several projects that need to be done inside.

But, for now, I still feel like I’m just getting caught up from being on vacation.  I think I’ll finally feel like I’ve returned when our fridge stops freezing things and I can go grocery shopping. 🙂