Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Slow Cooker Chicken

Man, you guys missed a couple of really good dinners. One night was burgers on sandwich-thin buns, with scalloped potatoes and corn on the cob. There was also a chicken experiment. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures. The camera was right there on the counter, but we were just so hungry and it smelled so good that it didn't make it!

On our first grocery trip to our new grocery store, we found whole chickens that were actually quite reasonably priced. The chickens at our old store all seemed to run $10 and up, and I have no clue why. For about six or seven dollars, it seemed like a good time to run this experiment. Especially since I couldn't wait to cook at home again rather than eat out every meal!

I did double check how to cook a chicken in a slow cooker, and got this recipe during my search. Doesn't it sound fantastic? It most certainly was. I won't lie, though. The clean up was a major pain. All the empty jars I'd saved for the occasion of getting rid of excess grease were at our apartment, and it was a nasty job to do without. But it's another win for cooking meats in the slow cooker: the chicken just rolled off the bone.

I also made couscous, which I've started buying plain and then seasoning myself. I added rosemary and parsley, since I'm now the owner of a can of parsley when I meant to buy cilantro. Oops. And a microwaveable bag of snap peas. That's just too easy.

Of course, I didn't mean to make couscous - I meant to make this stovetop flatbread instead. There's just something really nice about having fresh bread with dinner, and this was a quick and easy one. I also learned that some kind of oil - olive, vegetable, margarine - makes the bread flaky. This opens a whole new world for me. Flaky pastries here we come!

Since I'd call this one a success, I'm sure there will be another opportunity to photograph a whole chicken sitting in a goo bath.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Move Post

So, not long ago I was reading this article about a stealth pregnancy. And I realized that was sort of what was going on with my little home. We were doing a stealth move. And it's been enough work to feel like suddenly having a child! (and no, there are no babies in the future.)

Finding a place to live, more permanently than we ever have before, has been really tough. It seems like most people find a house in a few months. We took over a year.

But, we were holding out for what was right for us. Having lived all over the LA/OC area in the few years I've lived in California, it's become apparent what's important, specifically, when looking for somewhere to put down some roots. The place we finally chose is really the best place for us.

It's been a very hectic month, from packing and moving to getting to know the new neighborhood. The actual move, with truck and all, went incredibly smoothly. We had amazing help, to whom I am entirely thankful. Did you know you can feel pampered even when you're carrying boxes that are half your mass? We've met neighbors and tried local restaurants and now, a little over a week in, have quite a bit put away and organized.

My drive is longer, but it's a happy drive. Because I'm going home.