Wow, it's been much too long, my friends!
I spent the August-to-September transition moving from my smallish apartment to my tinyish apartment (because, you see, it was just going to be little ol' me), and then my better half unexpectedly moved back from his stint in our nation's capital.
So it's me, Ross, and Sascha - and as they say, three's a crowd. And in our Boystown studio, three's verging on an unruly mob.
The good news? Well, yes, that we're happily reunited, but also - I now have a dining room! Behold:
OK, it's technically a "breakfast nook" (or as the previous tenant and my good friend Emily had it, a bedroom), but it is a room with a table that between one to four individuals can dine in - thus, a dining room. That was one thing my old place lacked that I always had a jones for. But now I can eat breakfast - or any meal I darn well please - in my sunny, yellow, Seventies-throwback dining room - er...nook.
The bad news is...well, there's no real bad news, although I'd love to return to the blog with some triumphant culinary masterpiece, and instead I have...a grilled cheese sandwich.
I call it: The Rollover Elvis.
It's a known fact that The King enjoyed fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches (a man of impeccable taste if ever there were one). And in a pinch the other night, I found myself with Swiss cheese, some gala apples, whole wheat Challah bread (found at Treasure Island - a treasure indeed) and some natural peanut butter. I was inspired by an amazing sandwich I had once at the excellent gastropub Hopleaf in Andersonville - it was cashew butter, sharp Irish cheddar, and some sort of fruit chutney (fig?) nestled between buttery, crisp-fried Challah bread.
I figured if Elvis were alive to shimmy anywhere near my kitchen, he'd gyrate in sheer horror at the bastardization of his deliciously gooey southern treat - so he's probably rolling over in his grave. Well, Elvis be damned - the sandwich was downright tasty! (Fit for a King?)
It took about 10 minutes to make, start to finish, and was surprisingly hearty. It's protein-packed, buttery, and it's a so-simple-it's-stupid meal solution for a quick dinner when you're just too tired to make anything.
THE ROLLOVER ELVIS
2 slices whole wheat (or regular) Challah bread
2 thin slices Swiss cheese
several thin slices apple
natural peanut butter
pat of butter for the pan
Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Spread the peanut butter on one slice of bread. Lay the cheese on the other. Arrange the apple slices on top of the peanut butter and lay that piece of bread in the pan. Top with the cheese and other slice of bread. Fry until browned and crisp, then flip. Fry on other side until desired doneness. Slice in half and enjoy!
Because Nature must always laugh in the face of human bliss, Ross and I have spent this last week under the weather. I got a beast of a cold, then promptly passed it on to him, despite his best efforts to ward it off. Luckily, I'm one mean soup-making machine.
I made a veggies version for me, first, then a chicken version for him, later.
CHICKENLESS NOODLE SOUP
1 and 1/2 qts. vegetable stock
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
juice of one large lemon
2 T. olive oil
big handful baby spinach leaves
big handful egg noodles
2 eggs, whisked
salt and pepper
Sriracha sauce (optional)
Heat olive oil in large pot. Add onion and carrots and cook until beginning to soften. Add garlic (press through a garlic press or mince), and cook for about a minute. Add lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Cook for another minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the noodles. Cook for about 5 more minutes, then add the spinach. Cook for about 3 more minutes, then add the whisked eggs and stir quickly so they cook and scramble, like egg drop soup. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve and enjoy!
SICK DAY CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
6 chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
3 T. olive oil
2 celery ribs, diced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
2 T. white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
2 qt. chicken stock
dash Worchestershire sauce
In a large pot, heat olive oil. Saute carrot, celery and onion, seasoning with salt and pepper, until softened. Stir in vinegar and cook for a couple minutes. Add stock and chicken. Bring to a low boil. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through. Add the pasta about 8 minutes before you want to serve the soup. Reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve, tasting to adjust seasoning. Enjoy!
Here's hoping this long-overdue post finds you all healthy and happy. More soon...