the not quite chef

it's a messy kitchen

Let the fruits & veggies detox begin

So I went on vacation for week… and after many days of wine, beer, carbs, and french fries, I can’t even look at junk food.

Well, that’s probably a lie, because I really love junk food and carbs, but I mean I really couldn’t wait to get to the grocery store today.

My body has been craving fruits and veggies like nobody’s business, so this week I am attempting my own DIY-poor-woman’s cleanse. I got the idea from Glamour, which suggests eating only raw fruits and veggies for an entire day as an alternative to an actual juice cleanse. I mean, it’s basically the same thing, am I right?

Enter, my incredibly delicious haul from Trader Joe’s! I could in all honesty spend hours in the grocery store. I’m such a food nerd. I stocked up on some sunflower seeds (in case I absolutely need a crunchy snack), couscous (for the pantry), and cheese (because um, I just can’t resist that) but the rest is all greens and fruit. Oh, and yogurt for breakfast, because whatever – a good breakfast is too important to skip!

And the figs! Oh holy moly I am so excited about figs. It’s about time I grabbed some before the season is over. Hopefully, after this week, I will even get the chance to make this gorgonzola crumble (with fresh figs, of course) that I have been positively drooling about.

So we’ll see how long this cleanse-ish thing lasts! Everything is all chopped up and ready to go for the next couple of days, so hopefully I will start to feel more like myself again after my food-indulgent vacation.

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August 28, 2012 Posted by | The Rest: Home + Lifestyle, Veggie Friendly | Leave a comment

Confession: I have the freezer of a hoarder

Every time I go home to visit my parents, I end up bringing back more food than I really know what to do with.

And not that I’m complaining (obviously, I mean, who would turn down homemade soup and pizza?) – but it’s proving to be an embarrassing situation in my freezer.

As you can see in the photo, it looks like I’m saving up for the Apocalypse – and half of what’s in there isn’t even visible. The freezer situation is partly a result of my hoarding instincts (ie. the frozen veggies, halves of banana bread), but the rest of it is from my mom, aunt, nana, etc… basically, all my relatives who want to keep me happy and well-fed. And for that, I am a happy camper.

But for the sake of this blog (and because I find it amusing), a list of what’s currently hiding out in my freezer:

– Trader Joe’s Blarney Scone, because I can’t resist them around St. Patty’s day
– 1/3 loaf of homemade banana bread
– Block of fudge from Christmas
– Broccoli florets
– Peppers and onions
– Frozen cubes of chicken broth
– 1/2 quiche
– Chocolate chip peanut butter cookies
– Little Debbie snacks (yes – from Valentine’s Day AND Easter), brownies and cakes
– Chocolate chip coffee cake
– Corn
– Lentil soup
– Chicken soup
– Sticks of butter
– Homemade veggie pizza
– 1 loaf of wheat bread
– Cooked bacon
– 1/4 bottle of citrus vodka
– Shortbread butter cookies
– Two bananas

It’s some miracle I’m not 500 lbs. But then again, maybe that’s why everything’s been stuck in the freezer…

April 13, 2012 Posted by | The Rest: Home + Lifestyle | , , | 1 Comment

The great gas debacle

My last apartment was a sublet. That meant that I didn’t need to worry about starting utilities or changing bills, really – the only one I had to worry about was Comcast, and since I was subletting from a friend, that was simple and straightforward.

Flash forward to this month, and I discovered the hassle of trying to set up my current utilities. The first problem was that my apartment was listed in a different city, because it lies on the border of three, making it difficult for them to even find the account. Second problem was that my stove hadn’t been used in two years (two years – seriously??) so there was a potential that when National Grid came to turn on the gas, I would need a city inspection before I could even use the stove/oven.

Luckily, it didn’t get to that point and I am now happily cooking away (and by cooking I mean I mostly make eggs). It taught me a few things about what to do before moving into an apartment, so below is a list of things to keep in mind – a lot of which I didn’t realize until I moved in – when you move into a new place.

Try to set up utilities ahead of time.
Check with your landlord or your realtor to see what kinds of utilities you’ll be using, what companies you’ll need to go through, and try to set them up ahead of time. I didn’t realize that I would need to pay for and set up an account for cooking gas with my stove, thus prompting some of the gas issues. Making sure you touch base as soon as possible to set up electricity and cable before you move in will make the transition easier, not to mention you can get it done faster.

Check for the necessities when you look at the apartment.
This includes everything from smoke alarms to cell phone service. I didn’t realize I was missing a smoke detector until a week after I moved in, which are legally required in Massachusetts (and obviously, important). When you’re looking at the apartment, do a quick cell phone check to make sure you actually have service. There’s nothing worse than moving in and realizing you can’t use your phone. And of course – find out where the laundry is. Or at least where the closest laundromat is.

Find out if you need moving permits before you move your things.
Because this is Boston, and the entire city uproots and moves the first week of September, a moving permit probabllyyyy wasn’t necessary. But the City of Boston says that they’re required, so make sure you double check what the rules are for moving in so you know ahead of time what you need to do – here, moving permits need to be requested at least 48 hours in advance, so you’ll need to plan accordingly.

Bring snacks.
These might seem totally obvious, but there wasn’t room in the car to pack some food items (I swear, it was a really tight fit), but I wish I had thought to at least bring a few granola bars! In the commotion of moving, cleaning, and waiting for things to get delivered, not to mention a stove that didn’t work, I totally forgot that I would have nothing for breakfast. I subsisted on leftover Dominos and cinnamon sticks for three days. Don’t let that happen to you. (Unless of course, that’s your regular diet.)

Make sure you have a really good tool kit.
Not one of my friends or family members would ever deem me responsible or aware enough to own drill bits and an Exacto knife, but my dad got me a tool kit for my birthday. He thought he was being funny (let’s be honest, it was) but at the same time practical, and if you’re moving out into a new place, it’s seriously NECESSARY. Whether it’s opening boxes, hanging up drapes, installing a shelf, or measuring how big your space is, you’ll be thankful you have one handy. (A strong dad/boyfriend helps, too.) I like knowing that if I have something little to fix, I can do it myself, because I have what I need to fix it. And now I know what an allen wrench is and how to change the heads on a screwdriver. It’s progress.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things I missed, but those were the few things that stuck out to me during the moving process as either “I’m so glad I have this!” or “Damn, I wish I thought of that sooner.” What would your moving tips be?

October 2, 2011 Posted by | The Rest: Home + Lifestyle, Tips + How-Tos | , , , , , | 1 Comment

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