Moving Madness, Made Manageable.

uhaul

And.. now we move.

Moving is not a strange thing in my world. In fact, I cannot remember when I was last tied to somewhere, anywhere for more than a year or two… My mom and I joke that I have gypsy blood. This loosely translates to growing up as an “Army Brat”. My brother and I moved all of the time with my father (although I had a 2 year head start on my travels). I’ve lived everywhere from the Midwest, to the Southern US, the Pacific Northwest, and even Germany. Now we are settled in Arizona, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still move! Many of these relocations were done in cars, so I saw a lot of the country: we drove through, and experienced, as many states as we could. Also, having family in Canada was a plus for a wild child like me; getting into mischief was my M.O. All of that lends itself to my comfort in ALWAYS moving, Lease is up? Lets move!! Weather is abysmal?? Off we go!!!

Not so much the case anymore.

Now, I have my kiddos, and a husband. And while once upon a time I would have cringed at the idea of all that adultish-ness, I have come to love it. HOWEVER!!! Given the chance to move? I relish it. At the first inclination of moving I am OFF! Boxes found, labeled, taped, packed, and BAM!! Ready or not! Where are my new house keys??

But now I am doing this with children! Very different! We have a 3-year-old, and an (almost) 12-year-old, and they find no joy in moving. They pack their boxes (hahaha! who are we kidding?) pack their boxes with the intent of a fresh-ish start within another 4 walls. One day, in time, I can only hope they will come to understand the joy of new walls, new carpet, new smells…hopefully?

For now, I concern myself with district lines, new friends, and of course, FOOD.

Of all of the things I remember in all of my childhood moves, its how much fast food and junk we got to eat. My parents were never huge into the healthful and nutritive foods as I grew up.More often than not, when we were on a moving mission, we ate from the holy trinity of fast food: McD’s, Wendy’s & Taco Bell.

Not the fate for my children. I’m sure at LEAST one of them would argue that I am “ruining their liiiiveesss” by opting out of fast, fried food and choosing fast, fresh food, but that’s a preteen for you. Fresh is delicious. Fresh can also be super fast. I like both during moving because fresh food gives you an insane amount of energy. Take this dinner for instance:

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Its simple and tasty, fast and fresh. And it looks as amazing as it smells. Portobello mushrooms stuffed with pesto, spinach and tomatoes, drizzled balsamic and a loving pinch of mozzarella. Yum. Honestly, most of the work comes in cleaning out the mushroom. Worth it!! This baby takes a whole 10 minutes to prep, another 10 (or so, depending on quantity) to cook at 375, and tastes heavenly. If you’re a cheesy person (ha) like me, throw in a baked parmesan cheese ring or 3…and you have dinner on the go. I lay a bed of baby spinach under it, to catch all of those wonderful juices and have a mini salad at the *end* of the meal. How new world of me… How new house of me! And it took less time than the dinner rush drive-thru line at any of the (un) holy trinity joints. Enjoy feeding on the move and not skipping out on yums.

Bacon, Bacon Vinaigrette

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I accidentally discovered something amazing. And by ‘accident’ I mean “I taste everything, even though there are some things that you just shouldn’t taste”; and by ‘amazing’ I mean “it comes from bacon. duh”. Here is the story of Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette:

Once upon a time, I made Bacon Wrapped Chicken *see blog titled “All Tied Up in Bacon “.  After the delectable creation had rested for the appropriate time, I unfolded the foil in which It had spent all of its time. Pooling in the corner of the now semi crumpled foil was a marbling of light and brown liquid. I MUST TASTE!!! So I did. It was amazing. I felt creepy and gross the whole time, but damn!! YUM! Now, being the ever faithful ACI student, I waste nothing; I dovetail. I will use something to its most elemental state. And so, when left with bacon drippings and spinach, I went to a happy place. Balsamic vinegar. Oh, how I adore BV. I remember the first time I tried this delicious condiment (with the heaping piles of bread at Buco di Beppo after my bestie poured it over a bowl filled with olive oil and dried herbs and salt), and frankly it has been a staple in my world since. Partner it up with bacon?! Yes. You want to do this. For that particular dish, I left it simple. Sprinkled a little salt and fresh ground pepper over the dressed spinach and called it delicious. To prove that this accident wasn’t a shot in the dark, I recreated it today. I still got it, kids. At the request of T, the amazing gal who eats my food twice a week with an honest feedback and adventurous palate, I made an entire jar of it. Can you blame me?? Also, the next dish I created for her had bacon sharing its spotlight *see blog post titled ”  “, so when better to try this recreation?? My mission was clear.  In addition to the bacon gold, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and S&P, I added a hint of mustard. This will make the final product hold better than it would if it were just shaken or whisked rapidly. Hooray mustard’s super binding powers!

Enjoy over salad, as a marinade, dipping sauce…Its good for all of those. And more.