Easy Weeknight Frittata

by Koko on March 31, 2014 · 0 comments

in Breakfast, Cooking, Recipe

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I’m a sucker for a 20-minute meal. After a long day at work, sometimes the last thing I want to do is cook (and honestly sometimes all I want to do is cook). On those I-have-no-inspiration-and-may-just-make-pasta nights, I came up with a solution: the weeknight frittata.

The weeknight frittata is basically a mix of all of the veggies in your fridge (zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes) + eggs + cheese. Super easy. Super delicious. Especially served with some good crusty bread. What I love most about this recipe is that it really works for whatever you have in your fridge- if you only have tomatoes and asparagus, that works! If you have mushrooms and truffle salt- that works!

Quick tip: You want to cook your crunchier veggies first (asparagus, broccoli) and then add your softer veggies a few minutes later, so nothing overcooks. I always add my tomatoes after I add my eggs so they don’t get mushy.

Oh and PS- this obviously works well as a breakfast food too!

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Back in the Water

by Koko on March 26, 2014 · 0 comments

in Exercise, Me

swim2 After three glorious weeks off, I went back to student teaching and taking classes yesterday. This is my last semester (phew) and with 10 weeks left, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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My dilemma with teaching + school is always finding time for myself. And now that Q is gone, the list of daily must-do’s (walk Carl, cook dinner, do homework) are much higher than my want-to-do’s (take a bath, watch TV, work out). Combine that with a new commute now that we have moved off post and my evening get-things-done time has dwindled and my want-to-do list has taken a serious back seat.

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Last week, I was sitting at home trying to plan out my busy weeks ahead and was getting frustrated finding no time for myself and most importantly, the gym. It was at that moment when a girlfriend texted me asking if I wanted to go for a swim with her. She may not have known it, but swimming is my thing. You know how running is some people’s thing or tennis or soccer, well swimming is mine. I’ve always been a water baby and swam all through high school. So she asked me for a swim and I asked where. And get this- there is a fabulous, brand new, HUGE aquatics center 3 minutes from my house. Literally 1.5 miles, 3 minutes driving, to the best pool I’ve ever been to. Guys- it was like the universe called to me!

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So I joined the aquatics center (it’s $5 a time, $90 for 3 months of $200 for a whole year). And I’ve been going basically everyday and I love it. With a 6-minute round trip commute, I CAN find the time to go after work and be back in time to get all of my school stuff done before class.

I feel so beyond lucky and like everything really does happen for a reason. And now…back to school!

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Let’s be honest here – most weeknights I am all about the easy dinner. This cheesy  polenta is the easiest side dish EVER. Seriously. You mix all the ingredients in a baking dish, pop it in the oven and voila!

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I love serving polenta with earthy veggies especially mushrooms or topped with some warm marinara sauce. It’s also a great side to chicken or pork. This is a great weeknight side dish that isn’t brown rice or pasta!

For my mushrooms, I top them with some olive oil, salt and pepper and use my toaster oven. Bake them for 350 degrees for about 15 minutes and top with a little truffle salt to be truly sinful!

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The Joys of Homeownership

by Koko on March 21, 2014 · 2 comments

in Georgia, Me, Preston Home

I’ve lived in our new house for 2 weeks. In those 2 weeks, I’ve called a plumber, an electrician, and ordered a hot plate. It’s been an exciting 2 weeks.

With all “new” homes, there come issues. You hope that these issues are found during the home inspection (i.e. improper supports under the house and a leaky bath tub), so that the buyer repairs them before you move in. Our inspection happened in an empty home that hadn’t been lived in for a while, so unfortunately it missed a few fun surprises that appeared after I moved in!

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Surprise #1: Our dishwasher didn’t drain. Ok, you think, not too bad, that is until for some weird reason it starts flooding out the sides and bottom… at which point I sort of look at Carl, who looks back at me, and I run to get paper towels and some Sham Wows (those things are miracle workers). Then the gross part- I had to actually take a glass and empty out the gross stagnant water into the sink, which I hoped wouldn’t just drain into the dishwasher (it didn’t). And I did this for 10 minutes. The things homeownership will make you do that you never would have done before. 

Solution: I called a plumber and they installed a new dishwasher, which we had luckily already purchased. They carried our 15+ year old dishwasher to the curb, and surprise, someone actually picked it up overnight. The joys of living in the South! Oh ya, forgot to tell ya, when they installed the new dishwasher they broke off a chunk of our countertop! Awesome!

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Surprise #2: I was casually boiling water over the stovetop to cook pasta when all of a sudden the breaker switched (is that correct in electrical terms?). So what would anyone else do? Flip that breaker back on and turn the damn stovetop on again. When I did that, a huge POP and what looked like a fireball appeared. “Hmmm,” I thought, maybe it is a fluke. So what do I do? Flip the breaker back on and try again. Same result. What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Needless to say, no pasta for me that night.

Solution: I called an appliance guy through our home warranty and thought, “Thank goodness for this home warranty!” Yeah right. So the appliance guy comes over and starts tinkering and looking and  I am thinking, “Alright, let’s fix ‘er up!” So after 20 minutes, he asks me to come over and look at something. “Yes?” I ask innocently. He points to condensation across the entire inside of the stovetop, yes the stovetop. Water inside the stovetop, the wires, the insulation, everything. “Soooo, what does this mean?” I ask innocently. He replied sternly that it was NOT ok to cook on and likely our home warranty people would deny the claim to fix it (they did). A hot plate was ordered.

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Surprise #3: It has been raining here quite a bit, raining enough that water began pooling at the bottom of our driveway. I thought to myself, “hmmm I guess it’s because we are sort of at the bottom of a hill.” That is until a neighbor let me know that beneath our driveway there is a pipe. This pipe takes water from one side to the other. Weird, I thought, the water looks pretty stagnant to me. So off I went to investigate with my polka dot rainboots, gardening gloves, a shovel and a rake. Again, the things homeownership makes you do. I went down there, got on my hands and knees and started clearing out old leaves and dirt that were blocking the pipe.

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Solution: Twenty minutes later, arms covered in mud, a broken shovel and there was some water flowing through that pipe! Mind you- this is a verrry temporary solution, but hey, I got some water moving!

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Moral of the story(ies): New houses are a lot of work, but they are YOUR work, which makes it all a little more bearable. There is not even a figment of my imagination that ever pictured that I would be on my hands and knees clearing a pipe or taking stagnant water out of an old dishwasher, yet I did it. I only wish Q could see how out of my comfort zone I’ve gotten these past few months!

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