I recently read a quote by Winston Churchill - "There is nothing wrong with change if it is in the right direction."
Now I'm not one to post inspirational memes on my Facebook timeline - I'm much too cynical for that - but this particular line resonated with me. It brought to mind the magnet on my fridge with Henry David Thoreau's famous advice: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams... Live the life you've imagined."
Today marks the one month anniversary of our move to New York. Now that Moving May is behind us, we can reflect a bit. Hubby and I were talking about it last night and had to pat ourselves on the back for what we've managed to accomplish in just 30 days.
He traded in his sports car for a mountain-worthy vehicle, a brand new Jeep. A Patriot. I'll let the symbolism speak for itself.
Ala Billy Joel, I took a train down the Hudson River line and into Manhattan where one of Bobby's dearest friends gave me a personal tour of his workplace - the New York Times building. I walked the newsroom and even had lunch in the employee cafeteria, crossing multiple items off my Bucket List in one afternoon.
But beyond the material things, we feel we've grown richer simply by living where we live. We've planted a summer vegetable garden, gotten lost on winding country roads, meandered through small towns where the streets are lined with American flags, stumbled upon roadside barns in search of antiques, watched fireflies dance on a crystal clear night and seen the mountains disappear in the mist before a thunderstorm.
There will always be the stresses of everyday life, but, at this moment, we are letting ourselves simply enjoy the view. Now that we're facing the right direction.
White Cheddar Spinach Frittata
We've been making the most of our quiet mornings on the mountain by
drinking good, strong coffee and cooking hearty breakfasts like this one.
12 ounces fresh spinach leaves
2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cream or milk
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup sharp white cheddar, grated*
salt & pepper to taste
* It's best to use a block of cheese and hand-grate it. Packaged, pre-shredded cheeses have a powdery preservative on them that will prevent them from melting properly.
First you'll want to blanch the spinach by placing it in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain in a colander and run cold water over them until cool enough to handle. In small bunches, squeeze the excess water from them, then give them a good chopping and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
In a cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the chopped onions until they begin to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn't burn. Add the spinach and heat through.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, cream/milk, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Once the veggies in the pan are heated through, pour the egg mixture over them and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
Place the skillet in the oven and cook through, 12 - 15 minutes.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately..."
These words by Henry David Thoreau have become my new dogma, a sort of mantric track looping over and over again in my head.
Hubby and I both pine for a quiet life out of the suburbs and into the woods. We thought moving to Canada from Florida would help make that dream a reality but the extreme cost of living here - the same old rat race to make ends meet - has weighed heavily on our souls.
So when my boss informed me yesterday that I'd have the July 4th weekend off, Hubs & I began planning a wooded getaway.
We began looking for cabin rentals within Canada but the search quickly turned to upstate New York, where the prices are lower and we'd feel more removed from our everyday lives. (There's nothing like crossing a border to make your troubles feel a million miles away.)
And, to be perfectly honest, I can't imagine spending Independence Day anywhere but America right now. I miss it.
We've narrowed it down to the Catskill and Adirondack regions. I've sent a few inquiring emails to property owners and am eager (perhaps too eager?) to hear back from them, pack the Jeep, grab the dog and drive toward the mountains.
And maybe while we're there we can do a bit of harmless farmhouse-hunting. Can't hurt to look. You never know where the wind may take us.
Basil & Goat Cheese Quiche
The beauty of this dish is how the ingredients create
the perfect balance between richness and earthiness.
The creamy goat cheese plays off the fresh herbs brilliantly.
9-inch pie crust (I usually follow Martha Stewart's Perfect Pie Crust recipe but there's nothing wrong with purchasing Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts from the grocery store. They're a great option if you're looking to save time.)
1 tablespoon butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream or half & half
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces garlic & herb goat cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the pie crust in a quiche or pie pan and set aside.
Heat the butter, then saute the onions until browned. Spread them in an even layer over the bottom of the pie crust.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, basil leaves, salt and pepper. Pour over the pie crust and onions.
Slice the goat cheese into 6 rounds, then place in a circular pattern in the egg mixture.
Place the pan in the oven for 45 minutes or until the eggs are completely cooked in the center.
Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving so the quiche has time to set.
My mother-in-law travelled from Montreal to spend the past week with my husband and me. We had a lovely time shoe shopping, playing penny slots (and winning!) at the casino and, of course, cooking.
Perhaps my favorite thing about her visits are the recipe cards that she gives me. It isn't so much the recipes that I adore (although they're very good) but the cards themselves.
She handwrites in beautiful cursive on vintage note cards - the kind used for giving book report presentations in the 6th grade. They're delightfully retro, and it makes cooking all the more enjoyable when I can power down the laptop and refer to a simple note hanging from the fridge.
The first recipe she ever gave me is for zucchini quiche, so I prepared one in her honor this morning. We enjoyed it while watching TV in the living room. It was simple and comforting, just as passed-down recipes should be.
This quiche tastes great still warm from the oven and
sprinkled with a bit of hot sauce. It's also fantastic eaten
cold, standing in front of the fridge at midnight.
2 small zucchini
1 small red onion
4 slices bacon
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 parmesan cheese, grated
5 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
2 tablespoons flour
1 pie crust (I purchased a pre-made crust from the grocer but if you're looking for homemade, Martha Stewart's Perfect Pie Crust recipe is a winner)
salt & cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Hold the zucchini by its stem and peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler. Discard the skin and continue to peel the zucchini into ribbons.
Cook the bacon, pat dry with paper towels, then chop into small pieces. Cook the diced onion in the bacon grease until translucent (about 3-4 minutes).
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream and flour until smooth. Add the vegetables, bacon and grated cheeses, and fold together until evenly distributed.
Pour into a quiche pan or pie dish that is lined with pie crust. Top with salt & cracked black pepper.
Cook for 40-45 minutes or until the eggs are completely cooked in the center. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
This post was shared on The Homesteader's Blog Hop and A Southern Fairytale.
Welcome! I'm a pie-baking, dog-loving, antique-hunting patriot. I'm a fan of rustic home cooking, the Yankees and scenic drives through the mountains.