Food

Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini, Caramelized Onion and Feta Galette Recipe

It took me a while to get into Pinterest. Years. I liked Tumblr a lot, and Pinterest seemed redundant. Well, it's finally won me over. I find almost all of my recipes on Pinterest, including this Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini, Caramelized Onion and Feta Galette.

The recipe is great, but the one problem I ran into was that the pie crust stuck to the parchment paper. And stuck well enough that I mostly just ate the filling the first time I ate this. 

So the second time I made this, I placed the (homemade!) pie crust in a large rectangular glass pan. It meant that there were no individual galettes, but less work for me, and since I was the only one eating it, it worked out perfectly!

I also used two different kinds of thyme growing in our garden. And finally, the second time I made this, I made the mistake of going to the expensive grocery store to get heirloom tomatoes which were $4 more a pound than at the other store. So I supplemented my heirlooms with some normal tomatoes so I didn't have to go to two stores. I didn't see a major difference, but the heirlooms are quite a bit prettier!

Do you have any similar recipes to share?

No Microwave, No Problem

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When I moved to my most recent rental, it came furnished. But didn't have a microwave. The house was old, over 100 years old, and while the owner assured me that it could handle a microwave, I wasn't so sure based on none of the outlets working with my fast charger. Between that doubt and me being too busy to read reviews for microwaves online, I never got around to getting one. The previous two and a half weeks I'd been petsitting for a friend who didn't have one and I'd gotten used to it. I just had to heat thing up on the stove, in the oven, or not at all.

So living without one actually wasn't a huge adjustment.

The biggest adjustment was waking up early enough to heat up the oven to heat up my breakfast burritos. I'd been doing that while petsitting, but his oven worked. The one at my house? It stayed on once every fifteen times you turned it on. I wish that was an exaggeration but it's not. There were days it just wouldn't stay on, no matter how many times I started it. So I just ate something else for breakfast.

But I heated up soup on the stove, milk for hot chocolate on the stove, leftover thai on the stove... And it all worked pretty well! There were a few things I chose to eat cold, but they weren't bad cold, they were just meant to be hot.

Overall it wasn't a huge adjustment to live without a microwave. I didn't think I could do it, but it was pretty easy. I understand that not everyone has the time or the budget to do it, the fact that I had the time to wait for the oven to heat up and for it to heat my food says a lot. And honestly, environmentally-wise, and utility-wise it may not have been better to use the oven than the microwave. Someone else might be able to figure that out; it'd be interesting to see what difference is.

And finally, adjusting to living without a microwave makes me think I could adjust easier than I think to other lifestyle changes. Like a smaller house or less stuff. 

Has there been anything you've adjusted to living without?

Tea Runners Loose Leaf Tea Subscription Box

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Tea Runners March
Tea Runners March

A few weeks ago a friend of mine showed me a new subscription box launching soon called Tea Runners. I love tea and so I decided to try it out. I was one of the first 300 people to subscribe for the first month and my box arrived last week.

The packaging is pretty and I was super excited to open it and read about the four teas inside.

Tea Runners March-3
Tea Runners March-3
Tea Runners March-2
Tea Runners March-2

I first tried their Peach Ginger Detox tea. It was delicious! I really need an electric kettle to set temperatures to to make brewing easier. This tea is made of white, green, and oolong tea.

Generally my favorite tea is black tea, so I was looking forward to trying the CTC Black. It didn't disappoint. I've drunk quite a few cups just of this tea in the last couple of days.

This month's box also included an Annapurna Oolong Tea which I liked too. I hadn't had Oolong before, at least not that I can remember. I made the first cup a little too strong, but it was still pretty good. The second one I didn't steep as long and I added honey to it. Honey makes everything better. Even amazing things.

And finally, I tried the Makalu Mint Green Tea. I'm not a green tea person and maybe never will be. I like it more than I used to, but still don't love it. This was good, but the only way I usually drink green tea is by reminding myself of its benefits, or by not having anything else around that's caffeine free like my plain green tea is. So while this wasn't my favorite, that doesn't mean it's not good, that just means I still don't like green tea.

This is such a cool idea and I think I'll continue with it. I'm just a little bummed that I've already used up a bunch of the CTC Black and it's been less than a week!

If you want a box for April, sign up soon! As of yesterday, they only had 61 slots open for April. You can sign up

here

.

Tea Runners March-4
Tea Runners March-4

Favorite Banana Bread

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Northwest Pearls: Banana Bread
Northwest Pearls: Banana Bread
Northwest Pearls: Banana Bread
Northwest Pearls: Banana Bread

My mom has been making amazing banana bread for as long as I can remember. I wanted to share her recipe, but alas, that's not allowed. So here's a picture of my banana bread made from my mother's secret recipe, with a link to a banana bread recipe from Crazy for Crust that looks good, and another from Betty Crocker.

Do you have a treat you like to make?

Cooking Spaghetti Squash

Northwest Pearls: Cooking Spaghetti Squash Recently I wanted to cook  spaghetti squash to see if it really was a good spaghetti substitute.

  • I preheated the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut the squash lengthwise from stem to¬†end. Scooped out the seeds.
  • Then I placed the squash cut-sides down in a pan and added a little bit of water to the pan so it would help soften the squash.
  • I cooked the squash for about 45 minutes before pulling it out and making sure it was soft enough to pierce with a fork. It was so I took a fork and started to separate the flesh into strands.Northwest Pearls: Cooking Spaghetti Squash

I liked it but it definitely wasn't as good as spaghetti. It'd be good with a hearty red sauce, but it wasn't my favorite with pesto or just with butter and parmesan.

Do you have any spaghetti squash tips?

Flying Bird Botanicals Tea

Northwest Pearls: Tea I love black tea and for my birthday I received a package of Flying Bird Botanicals tea. It was their English Breakfast version and it's so amazing! It's my favorite tea and since I'm nearing the end of it, I'm needing to order more soon!

I'm tempted to try out some of their other flavors, and to also order a gift box for a friend I know who would love it.

What's your favorite tea?

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Northwest Pearls: Homemade Chicken Pot Pie I was recently craving comfort food, in particular Chicken Pot Pie, so I decided to make one!

In the past, okay, it was one time, I haven't had much luck with pie crusts. But I decided to try again and make my own pie crust. So I found this recipe from the New York Times and followed it for the crust.

And for the pie filling, I followed this recipe from All Recipes.

Northwest Pearls: Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Both recipes were fairly easy, well, I had some trouble with the pie crust, but it turned out this time. (Last time I ended up going to the store to buy a crust.)

I could have cut the slits in the top a bit more symmetrical, and I could use some practice in rolling out the pie crust, but oh well. It tasted good anyways!

The one thing I would change is to not add so much salt to the dish. I think most of the salt was in the pie crust because when I ate the filling and bottom crust, I enjoyed the dish more than with the top crust. But that's a pretty easy fix!

What's a pie you like to make?

Thai Chicken Soup

Northwest Pearls: Thai Chicken SoupI love Thai food, but I can't go out to eat all the time. When I found this Thai Chicken Soup recipe-that's made in a slow cooker!- I decided to try it. I went out and bought the ingredients I was lacking and made it in our slow cooker.

Northwest Pearls: Thai Chicken Soup

Northwest Pearls: Thai Chicken Soup

It was an okay soup, but I wouldn't make it again. I'm not sure if I did something wrong or not, but it was really lacking in flavor. I love slow cookers usually, but I just didn't love this recipe.

What are some slow cooker recipes you like to make?