Showing posts from June, 2012

Eats & Treats: Delicious curry/stir fry!

I had been craving spicy tofu for a couple weeks, and a Facebook friend suggested red curry sauce as my flavoring. Originally I had intended to get some sauce in a jar and move on, but nothing at the store looked that great in the ingredients besides a red curry paste. Knowing I had coconut milk at home, I decided that was easy enough.

 Delicious veggies! Onion, garlic, bell peppers, and kale strips. 
Brown rice, boiling via pasta-method which cuts about 1/3 off the cooking time and comes out a lot nicer, not as soggy. After adding the tofu cubes, but my pan was too full to sear them like I wanted. Next time, sear separately! Still, doesn't this look fantastic??
Tossed in a good tablespoon or two of red curry paste, which was nowhere near as spicy as I wanted. Coconut milk, too much peanut butter (though Mr. Moon would have liked more) and sriracha. I think this came out too much like peanut sauce, not enough red curry flavor. I've always joked that I'm an amazing cook--…

Eats & Treats: Weekly Dinner Menu returns!

Well, that was a fun hiatus! Over the next few days you will be totally updated on what's been going on at Chez Moon. In the meantime, let's look forward to dinners and to-do's this week!

As you know, our "week" begins on Thursday. Mum requested tacos, and we had everything in the house for them but shells. Plus, twist my arm! I love tex-mex!

She also requested spaghetti. I love how within hours of writing the menu I was already changing it, before I even got a picture to post. That's why I use dry-erase to begin with, the flexibility, but admittedly I rarely actually write in changes because they're usually last-minute ones.

Crockpot Soup made me laugh, we just had a bunch of produce in the fridge needing used up from over-purchasing the week before we went camping PLUS people backing out of the camping trip last-minute. Ultimately, I probably didn't need to switch days, because both this and spaghetti were using up a bunch of that produce for the cr…

Relationships: Doing the Dating Thing

The common wisdom of the Internet and magazines is that long-term relationships, especially live-in ones, are hard. It's easy to take each other for granted, get into a rut, forget to express your love for each other in ways that are continually special and unique.

This move was never expected to be easy. Both couples are losing a great deal of independence, and that's a hard pill to swallow. Couple that with a very busy schedule, and it seems easy to get into a routine of just doing housework until we drop.

Mr. Moon and I had a big, long discussion about that before we moved. We talked about priorities, and how we need to make our relationship a very high priority. Regular dates, getting out of the house when we can, and affirming our commitment to each other. Of course, in practice it's not so easy. And doing so frugally has been a chore.

I think the hardest thing for people to learn is that anything that is routine makes it inherently less "special" in your mi…

Being Gentle

As I mentioned before, Mr. Moon was in a car accident last weekend. This week we've done barely more than feed ourselves and keep up on dishes, to give him some time to recover. It's been a rough week.

What it means, though, is that we haven't been working on any projects lately! Not even any ambitious recipes. Nothing fun to show you. Tomorrow promises to be more good weather though, so I'll try to get out there and get some garden update pictures before the rain comes on Monday.

What have you been up to?

Eats & Treats: June 14-20

Nothing exciting this week, really. Mr. Moon was in a car accident last weekend, and so we are keeping our cooking efforts fairly light this week. While we picked menu items that involve mostly things we already have on hand, and Mum & Pops are out of town for two days for a funeral (unrelated to the car crash BTW), it just so happens that we are starting to run low on a number of our staple items and we have a lot of sale items we liked this week to fold into our menu, so we have a HUGE shopping list.

I'm back to only planning my own lunches, because apparently no one else has an issue deciding what they want on any given day. Less work for me!

Of course, Father's Day needs to be something special and we know Pops wants steak, but with Mr. Moon working we are celebrating Monday when he will be home to cook the steaks on the BBQ. These are some awesome steaks, I tell ya. Local, hormone-free (well, no added ones anyway) and delicious. Plus, I was too tired after shopping …

Eats & Treats: Slow-Cooker Debacles

You know how I've been talking for ages about wanting to make CrockPot Breakfast Oatmeal?

Yeah, so that happened.
Besides the fact that I'm disappointed in the recipe, I discovered something about myself: I am REALLY not drawn to sweet foods in the morning. I have known for ages that if I only get starchy goodness first thing, I'm a bear to live with all day. This "revelation" should be no surprise to me but it somehow is. The long and the short of it is, I need PROTEIN to get through until lunch, and I want it to be savory.

I do know that rice and beans works great in the crockpot, and it is something that I'll scoop into a bowl and throw a couple of eggs on top for something a bit more substantial than the eggs-and-toast rut we've been in lately.

Something else I'm noticing is that I don't mind cooking food from scratch, but when I do manage to get hungry and am ready to eat, I need the food ready OMG!RIGHT-NOW. I'm more interested in cook…

Food Storage: Dry goods and Freezer goods, all in one day!

I previously discussed, without pictures, the food storage situation at our house. I didn't have pictures then for a lot of reasons, one of which being that I've never been much of a shutter bug, as evidenced by the fact that I forget a lot of the "Before" pictures for some of these projects. Also, it's one thing to show the before pictures of a shed in disarray, most people with a shed are probably in the same boat. But I don't want to shame people publicly for being behind on major household projects, especially when there's no real "fault" to be thrown around. This is why we're here.

But! That won't stop me from bragging on all the awesomeness we've accomplished!

These shelves were just full, stacks had toppled over, things were stacked in front of other things so we had no idea what we had, and I'll just skate right on past the details of the mouse infestation issue which has been taken care of, thank goodness. Of course, t…

The Latest Dirt: Butterfly bushes, Raspberry bushes, and volunteer potatoes

Mr. Moon realized the other day that we never got After pictures up about the landscaping he did in the side yard. When we moved in, the butterfly bushes were 5 feet into the neighbor's yard, who was being understanding and ever-so polite about asking when we might get to that project now that we've moved in? Did you need a nice little reminder of what that looked like before? This is from April 16:

Yeah, we took those back quite a ways...

These are from only a week later, April 23. Including, as you can see (left), taking out an entire BUSH. It had been growing at an odd angle away from the house, and didn't seem very happy there in general. So, out it came.
My favorite part is that we saved all the strong branches for using as stakes for other plants. Already they are holding up rose bushes and being used as the bottom rung of the trellis for my nasturtiums.

Mr. Moon is especially proud of the back-breaking work he did taking out the stump of the butterfly bush, since as…

Eats & Treats: Weekly Menu plan for Thursday June 7-Wednesday June 13

I mentioned on Sunday that we have to switch our "week" to starting a different day, because of Mr. Moon's new job scheduling. We decided we'd have our weekly dinner meeting on Wednesdays now, which means I still have to snag the grocery ads on Sunday and set them aside, or else look them up on my computer come Wednesday. (I do so love living in the future, where that stuff is available at the click of a few buttons.)

Being restaurant industry people, we're no stranger to odd work-weeks. The actual work schedule starts on Friday, but I don't want to do the weekly meeting on Thursday because it has a higher likelihood of Mr. Moon working. I have had jobs where the schedule starts every weekday, but Friday & Saturday always seem to be in the same week, thankfully. It's one of these odd schedules that got me working on military/24-hour time rather than 12 hour/AM&PM time, because of the number of times I've lain down for a nap during the winter a…

Be Prepared: Following my Boy Scout come the apocalypse

As I mentioned in our shed organizing post, we are big into emergency preparedness, but totally at a beginning stage of implementation. 

We have three frame-packs, and realistically I'm not interested in doing any recreational hiking that requires sleeping farther than 20 feet from my car (I have an air mattress to blow up, after all). One pack will be pre-prepped with some basic gear for a day hike, since we will only need one (not one each).

The first part of our emergency preparedness plan is to get us each a fully-loaded frame-pack bug-out bag. Not set up so that one has the food and one has the first aid kit, but both will be individually ready for one person to bug out of town on foot or in case we get separated (mine will have the tent which I already know how to set up by myself, Mr. Moon is more capable of building himself a shelter of tarps if necessary). I arranged things in the shed in such a way that we can get three fully-loaded frame packs stored on these …

I am Not a Baker: The day I didn't screw up cobbler

That's as far as I got before I panicked and begging for help. My brother was kind enough to tear himself away from burlesque dancers (well, for seconds at a time since he was texting me) to help me talk myself through this.
But doesn't this pile of nectarines and rhubarb look delicious?? Brother assured me that I could use my porcelain-covered cast iron pan safely, told me what temp to use since I didn't have a recipe (box said 450 for biscuits but no cobbler recipe, he said 425? Was going to turn up to 450 but forgot so I stuck to 425) and said my recipe as I remembered from watching my aunt last summer sounded good, so I dumped in the fruit, took a deep breath and jumped in head first.
Ingredients all assembled. Biscuit dough all mixed up with a little extra milk (because there's never enough liquid to even mix it all together by the recipe--it says 2/3 cup, but 1 cup is too much, just fair warning). One cup boiling water. One cup sugar.

I drizzled the biscuit dou…

Eats & Treats: Weekly Menu

Wondering where this week's menu entry is? Me too!

Mr. Moon started a new job* and having a Monday thru Sunday menu plan isn't going to work for us anymore. He doesn't even get his Friday through Sunday work schedule until Tuesday. We have a couple meals planned to use up ingredients through Wednesday, and then we start our menu plan with a Thursday thru Wednesday week from there on out. I don't know if I'll be able to participate in Menu Plan Monday anymore, but I'll find out!

The menu board looks so empty!
Yes, that is in fact a re-visit of butternut lentil soup  that didn't get made last week. Why do you ask?
* The new job is at a local movie theater with a restaurant and wine bar. Pro: 3 mile commute. Con: Completely unpredictable scheduling, and thus unpredictable income. Still, it's a nice respite from me driving 120 miles a day, and I'm already noticing a lot less stiffness after a week of not having to make that commute. We decided to give it …

Dude, get on that already!: Shed edition

May 7, Mr. Moon took some "before" pictures of the shed that desperately needed some TLC. As you can see, one door (ahem, the one that LOCKS) is torn completely off the board that attaches to the hinges. It just kinda fell down in a rain storm.

Like so many of us do these days, everything was just kind of... tossed. I can't even say "shoved." I know for a fact that some of these things toward the back were actually indeed "tossed" in, because I did it myself (see: rainbow umbrella). There was everything from gardening tools and supplies, painting tools that had never even been cleaned off (and actual paint and stain) to hard drives and radio equipment that had been out here since around the time the 'Rents moved in. Do you see the pile of tools (left) and the rack for them to live (middle) standing empty? It was a wreck! We'd made it even worse in the spring planting process because we hadn't had time to deal with it.

After we removed a…