Settling In (and a Few Recipes I Loved)

We’ve been in Palo Alto for a week now, and we’re almost entirely unpacked which means I can finally take a deep breath and attack other areas of my life that have been put on hold for weeks and months over our crazy summer. The amount of shopping I need to do is insane (including things like a couch and something to clean the toilets with, you know silly non-essential extras).

I’m feeling worlds better in my second trimester, but at the end of each day I find myself exhausted. 8pm comes, we work on getting T1 to bed, and by the time I usually would sit down at the computer all I want to do is climb into bed and play Bejeweled. I don’t know that blog posts are going to be as frequent as they were in the past. I do have almost a dozen things I want to write about, including half-marathon training/running, TH’s graduation, my school experience and graduation, my paper on Female Mormon Bloggers, potty training, and how I can meet my neighbors to find some playmates for T1 and mom friends for me.

In the meantime, two favorite pictures from the summer. The first is obviously right after my graduation ceremony. Thanks to Aubrey of Every Little Moment Photography for doing family photos for us after my convocation. She took them, I edited them (and I’ll share the rest soon!).

The second is T1 taking a breather after chasing me around my in-law’s backyard during our last┬átrip┬áto Poland.

One of the things I missed most this summer was my time in the kitchen. During my time at school I was so sick that heating up and eating a frozen burrito was overwhelming, and in Poland my in-laws take care of us all day every day. Now that I’m feeling better I’m combing my Pinterest boards for recipes to try. Here are a few I think you should make as well:

Eggs in Clouds

I thought these were best when the yolks were runny.

Avocado Banana Bread

I did have a little bit of trouble with this bread, but I think that’s because it needed to cook a little bit longer (I left the house and had TH take it out of the oven). It was really moist and the flavor was great!

Curried Coconut Chicken Salad

The chicken mixture keeps well in the fridge for a few days so you can stuff pita bread with the leftovers or continue eating it as a salad.

Summer Vegetable Tian

Mmmmm, this is one I’ll be making over and over until the summer vegetables are gone from the farmer’s market. We ate it with whole wheat noodles mixed with a creamy lemon-dill sauce.

Slow-Cooker Asian Pork With Snow Peas, Red Peppers, and Soba Noodles

I tend to choose recipes that are a bit involved and that don’t reheat well, and this one was neither (hooray!). The pork was incredibly easy to make, the peanuts took seconds to roast, and the noodles and vegetables required little more than a quick boil. For me the best part was enjoying the leftovers for lunch the next day!

Eggplant and Goat-Cheese Sandwiches with Tomato Tarragon Sauce

Oh goodness me, this is the kind of dish I would pay good money for at a restaurant. It took me several hours from creation to dining to cleaning-up but I’m not sure if that’s an indication of anything since I’m notoriously slow in the kitchen (anyone know of a speed cooking class I can take in the Bay Area?). First you start the tomato sauce and let it simmer for just shy of 30 minutes (I would double the amount of tomato sauce and use it for leftovers if I were you). The eggplant slices are breaded and fried, goat cheese is sandwiched between then, and then they are put in the oven long enough for the goat cheese to melt.

8 thoughts on “Settling In (and a Few Recipes I Loved)

  1. Omg, I have all these vegetables from our bi-monthly local delivery deal and somehow this Summer Vegetable Tian-ish recipe never occurred to me, all I can ever think is, “Stir fry”. DUH! Thanks so much, making it tonight!

  2. Hey Jenna, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time but rarely comment… I had to let you know that I made the eggplant and goat cheese recipe last night and it was AMAZING!!! My husband said it was the best thing I’ve ever made. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Jenna Reply:

    I’m so glad you liked it! I had one leftover and forgot about it in the fridge for a few days. I warmed it up for a few minutes and toasted it for a bit and it was really good as well. Not quite as good as the fresh one of course, but it makes me happy to know I can eat it for leftovers and still enjoy it after all this work.

  3. We’ll definitely have to try the last two recipes.

    One thing that I’ve found that helps speed up my cooking is to sort of map in my head the best way to get things cooked (cut ingredients for one dish/part of dish, get it started cooking, then get the ingredients for the other dish ready and started, if you have onions or something in more than one dish/part cut them all at once, etc.). I’m usually able to speed up the whole process after I’ve made a dish once, but it sometimes takes making it a couple of times to really speed up the process. Saturday we had guests for dinner and I was able to make 4 different indian dishes in an hour and a half–that’s a record for me! =) I think cooking with other people (especially experienced cooks/chefs) helps me see new ways to prepare ingredients that would save time (and cooking with friends is SO MUCH FUN!) =D

  4. First – congrats on the fabulous news! I’m so curious to hear about the half-marathon training/running. I’m running my first 10k this weekend, and would LOVE to register for a half-marathon training program in my area that begins next week. My husband and I are trying to conceive, though, and I’m nervous about the safety of the baby if I start a program like this in my first trimester. I’ll be reading!

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