03 October 2011

Jess Cooked Dinner?

Anyone who knows me knows that, while there are lots of things I can do, cooking is not one of them.  Really, it's not so much that I can't cook, it's more that I don't like to do it.  At. all.  It's a dastardly combination of living by myself, having lots of work to do when I get home, not having a dishwasher, and general laziness that combines into a usually ridiculous (and often unhealthy) dinner for me.  Oatmeal for dinner?  Sign me up.  Leftover pizza?  Yep.  Crackers and a bagel?  Sometimes....

It's bad.  Like, really bad.  I really need to do better....so one of my goals for this school year is to eat better, and by better I mean more fruits and veg (and my more I mean eat some...any...at least one a day!) and make more dinner.  So the other night, when I found this recipe on Pinterest, I thought it sounded like something that I could tackle and that would leave me good leftovers!

Tina, from Sparkling Ink, has made a pretty darn good recipe, even if I did have to fudge some things.  For starters, since I'm just feeding me, I cut down on amounts, and since I don't like bones (I have weird food issues, don't ask), I used thighs.  I used a little over a pound of thighs (it was 4 or 5 thighs total), but I still used one lemon and nearly one pound of red potatoes (hey, I like my starches).  I only used about 6 garlic cloves, though honestly, I probably could have used more.  Finally, I used a chardonnay, and I used one of those little bottles you can get in a pack...I keep those for cooking because I don't usually drink white wine.  I used about 3/4 of a bottle, or maybe even more, and it was probably a little too much. 

The biggest change I made was that I don't have fresh rosemary, and somehow, I don't even have dried rosemary (told you I don't cook!) but I do have Herbs de Provence.  (Don't ask...no idea why I have that and not regular old rosemary.)  Anyway, the Herbs de Provance was darn tasty in this, so though I can't say for sure that the original recipe was great (which I'm sure it is), it was good this way!

I will definitely make this again, but in the future, I might use half olive oil and half butter.  Yes, olive oil is healthier, but butter is yummier in something like this!

Now all that's left is dessert....hmmmm......

PS...yes, I did have veg...peas were a very nice accompaniment...
PPS...I can barely cook...you didn't actually think I'd style the food, did you?  This is what it really looked like on the stove in my dutch oven....and it tasted great :)

26 September 2011

Pinterest Project: Indoor Garden

A bit ago, I pinned this on Pinterest.
Pinterest inspiration
I love it.  I usually keep a couple of herbs on my kitchen windowsill in the colder months (and I argue with the cat over them, too), but I especially love these in the old tea tins.  They look loved and vintage, which makes me love them even more.

I've been keeping my eye out for old tea tins, and then, lo and behold, I found one in my mom's basement!  Even better, it's red, so it matches my kitchen!  I also found an old tin for hot chocolate that is also red, though it's a bit small.  Despite that, I decided to give it a try.

This weekend, at my local garden center, I stopped in for some fall decorations (mini pumpkins and gourds), and I discovered that they still had some herbs left.  Even better, they weren't large or rangy, which I definitely did not want for the small tins.  I ended up with a small rosemary and a small thyme.

Here's what I started with.  Yep, the plants still look a lot bigger than the tins, especially the hot chocolate tin on the left.  Contrary to how it looks, though, they did both fit.

I was worried that the tins would hold water, but I was also worried that if I poked holes in the bottom, the tins would rust.  To help with drainage, I put some loose smaller rocks in the bottoms of my tins (which I may or may not have gotten from my gravel driveway...)

After that, it's just like planting anything else in a pot.  Just in case you've never done it:

* Put potting soil in the pot (tin).  It's important to use potting soil for, well, pots rather than regular old outside dirt. I use organic potting soil when available. (The small tin didn't actually need any extra soil for the most part.)
* Take the plant out of the pot it came home in.
* Loosen up the root ball (the dirt part) a little bit.  You can just kind of massage it a little.  You don't really want to tear the roots; you just want to loosen them from each other a bit.
* Put the plant in your new pot (tin).  You want the top of the dirt to be level with the top of your pot (tin), and you don't want any roots to show.
*Fill in any extra space with potting soil.

Here's a terrible picture of my new herb tins on my windowsill in my kitchen.
Pretty awful, but I only had my phone to take pictures today.  Here they are close-up to help.
Thyme in Hot Chocolate Tin

Rosemary in Black Tea Tin

I've been after more tea tins similar to the one I used, but it seems like a lot of the companies have changed their tin styles.  I used one from Harney & Sons, and theirs are different, and my Pinterest inspiration pic using Twinings, whose tins are also different.  If anyone has any stashed anywhere or knows where I can get them, please give me a heads up!

P.S. - The huge mass of greenery outside of my kitchen windows are actually my tomato plants.  They've gone ca-razy this year because we've had so much rain.  It's a disaster...and a separate post for another day.