No explanation. Just a moment captured.
We were all set to make meatloaf last night. I had been dreaming about that hefty loaf of meat for a week. David was on board and all that was needed were the ingredients. Then browsing through the list of blogs that I follow I saw eat, live, run’s latest culinary post. The image of her Spicy Thai Shrimp Skillet changed everything. Asian food is my go to food. I could eat Thai food every single night. There is never a week or day in which I am not craving it. So to see a homemade Thai dish that David would most likely also enjoy really had me intrigued. Rushing off to Whole Foods, I ditched the meatloaf for another time and loaded up on the new ingredients. The recipe was incredibly easy to make. Her blog stated that it took 30 minutes and she was right. The only piece of the meal we had to “wait” on was the rice. Everything else cooking up within minutes. It was really delicious and yet again we are looking forward to the leftovers!
On Saturday afternoon, we invited our college friends over for a turkey dinner potluck. It was so much fun. Of course, I loved being with everyone and sharing a meal around the table together as a family. And, the food was quite delicious as well. We prepared the turkey, stuffing, and gravy and each friend brought a family favorite along for a side or for dessert. The house was warm with Thanksgiving aromas. It was a decadent meal and there were a few of us who wished we could curl up on the couch in our stretchy pants.
As was inevitable, David and I were left with so many leftovers. We were a little perplexed with how to handle all of the remaining turkey. I have never been very good at re-purposing leftovers. Thankfully, Eric, Laura’s husband, shared his delicious chicken noodle soup recipe which we substituted with our turkey meat. Coming home from work tonight, this meal was easy to whip together and so delicious. We are both excited to eat these leftovers again tomorrow night. And, to be honest I see this becoming a staple in our home. Thanks Eric!!
Roast chicken or turkey leftovers (we used 2 legs, a little breast meat and 2 wings from the turkey)
2 celery sticks
chicken stock (enough for 6-8 cups)
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
Start by heating olive oil in a pot. Saute chopped onion and 4 diced garlic cloves until translucent.
Add in the turkey or chicken leftovers. Cook together with the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until meat is warmed through and browns a little on the edges.
Add in the chopped carrots, celery and the spices: 2 tsp basil, 1 tsp marjoram, 1 tsp tarragon, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 2 tsp red pepper flakes. Saute together and cook 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the chicken stock. I added about 8 cups of the broth. Bring to a rolling boil and then cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Finally, add in the rice noodles and cover the soup again for 5-8 minutes to cook the noodles. Serve and truly enjoy!
Last Friday, David, Laura, Eric, and I went to the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis concert at TD Bank. Laura had seen Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on Good Morning America during one of the summertime concert series and bought the four amigos tickets for their Fall concert in Boston. In the summer, it seemed like such a great idea. We were relaxed and far far away from grind of the school year. A concert on a Friday would be awesome!
As the week of the concert commenced, I looked out towards Friday and thought how would I ever have the energy to teach, grade, lesson plan, and enjoy a late night concert. The evolution of a teacher during a week can be quite dramatic. From fully rested and alert the decline into frantic, zombie (I know how is that possible, right?) is fully actualized by Friday at 3PM. But undeterred and with a blast of a second wind of energy, I headed downtown to meet up with David before the concert.
This time of year in Boston is just magical. We walked from the seaport area towards Government Center with the cold chill of Fall on our cheeks and noses. Government Center was flooded with Christmas lights as the sun set in the distance. Tourists snapped pictures, kids ran around statues, and couples cuddled close before ducking into restaurants. I know this part of the city is a bit kitschy, but I just love it. As a history teacher this is the the part of the city that taps into my curiosity. Imaging I can time travel to the colonial days, I squint my eyes and take in the sights of the historic center.
We committed to walking about but the cold sea air finally drove us indoors. We grabbed a table by a window and waited for Laura and Eric to join us for a quick, warm meal at Anthem were “comfort food is reinvented.” We arrived before them and unable to contain our hungry selves, we gobbled up some calamari while we waited. After dinner, the four of us made our way over to the concert.
We got there a bit early. Well actually we got there on time like dutiful party-goers, but, of course, it is always better to be fashionably late to events like this. Waiting in the mostly empty arena, I couldn’t imagine the place being filled top to bottom with spectators. Had Macklemore and Ryan Lewis sold out the Garden? Yes!The concert was fantastic. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are excellent performers and their music is just so fun that it is hard not to dance. All the sleepiness and stress of the week melted away as 12,000 people had a dance party together. One of my favorite moments of the concert was when Macklemore did “Same Love.” To hear 12,000 people sing along about marriage equality and respect for all couples who love one another was beyond power. It was an excellent night out on the town for a couple of crazy teachers! Concert Selfie!
It has been hard to type, to focus, and to do much of anything this past week really. We woke up yet again one morning to find that the heat in our home had gone out. Temperatures were dropping outside and now this was replicated indoors. What should have been a quick fix turned into a week long problem. Frigid to the bone, we dusted off our crock pot to whip up some hearty belly warming meals. One of our favorites is beef stew. It just screams cozy “winter” cuisine and always hits the spot on a cold evening. Each batch makes so much that we are typically able to eat lunches and dinners from this one pot meal all week long. Thankfully, the heat is back on for good now. The furnace as decided not to be finicky and to remain consistently on which is good since Boston is heading into what feels like mini-ice age. But, heat or not heat, this beef stew is a recipe that we will repeat again and again until the Spring thaw hits our town in April.
On Saturday morning, we woke up to find that our furnace had stopped working. David headed up into the attic (that’s right our furnace is in the attic!), to see if the pilot light went out. Forty minutes later, we still could not figure out how to get the furnace moving again. It was chilly but not cold…yet. The repairman explained that the part we needed was probably the pressure switch and that we would need to hold tight until Monday when he could get one to us. Looking out over the prospect of a cold weekend in which the temperature was low and falling was grueling. Bundled in every warm article of clothing we had, we baked breads and roasted chicken in an attempt to keep the kitchen warm. At night, we snuggled the pups in bed but even their little fury bodies were not enough to keep us really warm. At one point we even had to tuck Buster and Bella in under the covers because they were shivering!
Clearly, we needed something to keep us positive as we waited for Monday and the furnace to be repaired. Out from under the snugly covers I headed into the kitchen and cooked a hearty pumpkin pasta to warm our tummies until the furnace could warm our limbs. This buttery pappadelle with pumpkin and caramelized onions recipe was delicious and subtle. I would recommend trying it out whether your furnace is out or not!