I am doing a smoothie cleanse this week, so I just had to blog about something appetizing. Yesterday’s smoothie was kale-based, which I’m used to eating kale a lot, so it was fine. Not ideal, but fine. Today’s smoothie is beet-based. I only occasionally eat beets and don’t love them but don’t hate them. But today’s smoothie is not ideal nor fine-it’s barely tolerable. I’ve decided I need to get a straw so I can choke it down at dinner. Something about a combination of beets, swiss chard, raspberries, strawberries, and cacao powder, is not actually appetizing. Who would’ve guessed?

I love really easy meals. And I probably should have been responsible for the production of this one, but I’m enjoying the last few weeks of Will being the main cook around this house. Once he starts classes, they’re in the evenings, so I’ll be left in charge of some of our food production! Isn’t that a scary thought?? So I’m allowing him to spoil me by throwing meals together every night. This pasta dish in particular was kind of neat because it really involves very little effort on the part of the person preparing it. However, it turns out tasting like a fresh, light pasta dish that someone put a little more time into making. Will originally spotted this on Budget Bytes, but ultimately preferred the recipe from the original source, Apron Strings Blog. We made very few changes since it was such a simple recipe and it was delightful. It also makes great leftovers, warm or cold!

This was a meal that almost didn’t get made! We were originally supposed to make it for my mom a couple weekends ago, but when we pulled the meat out of its wrapping, it smelled funny. So we had to take it back to the store and by the time that was all sorted out, it was too late to start cooking it. As a result, we put it off another few days, until the kale was almost wilted! But alas, we persevered and the dish was finally complete. The pork we ended up getting turned out really tender, and the kale & lentil salad lasted for several days, which offered a nice supplement to our normal lunchtime foods. In the long run, it turned out to be better than anticipated and somewhat worth all of the hassle of getting it pulled together!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but we have been having perfect weather here in Williamsburg the last couple days! We’ve actually been able to enjoy sitting on our back porch and had a great time at an Avett Brothers concert last night in Richmond, without melting. And speaking of melting, I figured it was time to post a new ice cream recipe, since we hadn’t made any since moving from Tallahassee (sorry for the cheesy segway)! We finally broke out our ice cream machine and tried a modified version of a recipe that I’ve been dying to try ever since I pinned it. The recipe is for cream cheese ice cream and I will throw out the warning that you kind of have to love cream cheese in order to appreciate this ice cream–otherwise, it’s a bit too much flavor. This ice cream also demands toppings, so we frequented our mint chocolate chip hot fudge syrup and fresh blackberries from the Farmer’s Market. The ice cream also got better over the course of several days and probably the best bowl of it was the last bowl, because we let it sit out to soften a bit. Even though we enjoyed making it this way, we might revisit the concept with a different recipe at a later point!

It is amazing how much time you can waste while you’re unemployed. Like, I’m actually shocked at myself that of all things, I haven’t been blogging. I have oodles of time on my hands! And somehow I was better at keeping up with daily blog posts when I was working 10-11 hour work days, plus school. I guess the lack of structure makes me forget what time is. Anyways, my lovely alma mater is badass and lets you still come in for career advising, even if you graduated a few years before. So I did that today and at least now know what kinds of jobs to look for! Yaaay maybe I won’t be unemployed anymore.

Well that was a fun time making you all try to guess that these guys were what I was making! Congrats again to Ian for being the winner of my little game. Perhaps I shall do more of those in the future! I have nothing substantial to give away, but I bake and Will cooks, so that should suffice. I’m not fancy enough to run promos for cooking ware, unless you guys want some of our old stuff as we slowly replace it over time. But something tells me that’s not super enticing…

We aren’t vegetarians and we don’t claim to be (though maybe one day we will). However, we do enjoy eating a lot of non-meat meals because a) meat is expensive and b) we just don’t like consuming a ton of meat–it makes us feel heavy and less energized (or something like that). So we subconsciously tend to seek out vegetarian-ish meals that are chock-full of veggies and have sources of protein besides chicken. I had pinned a recipe for Lentil Mushroom Burgers a little while back and I thought since we have time on our hands, I might give it a shot under Will’s supervision. After I began making the dish, I discovered it linked back to a previous recipe for a “meatball” version with all the same ingredients. I realized I preferred the ball shape of the original recipe…it was just more what we were feeling this week! Generally, I was not convinced of the possibility of shaping the lentils/mushrooms into patties or balls, but we can all pretend we’re skilled at certain things, right?

While we were in Fairfax, we had a slew of people over to enjoy good company with good food. One of the nights, we had our friend Erica over and we served her Khoreshe Holu, which is a Persian dish. Since we were at my mom’s house, we didn’t quite have all of our normal cooking items; most notably for this meal, we didn’t have ghee. So we went to Wegman’s and thought their ghee was waaaay too overpriced and we decided to swing by one of the small Indian grocery stores by my house to pick some up. While we were there, we had to purchase at least $10 worth of products in order to use a card (being twenty-somethings, we swipe everything instead of carrying cash), so we picked up some tandoori and curry spices. We figured we’d try to get the most “authentic” looking ones and see if they were significantly better than your average curry powder at the normal grocery store.

We are finally officially Virginians, I’m happy to report! We are liscensed, and registered for things, and (almost) unpacked. It’s only taken….almost a month? Yikes. Today marked the last “major” thing we had to do, which was to register and title our cars. And I’m happy to report that even after registering both cars for two years, ordering specialty plates, and personalization for each of us, we still paid almost $100 less for both cars, than we did to register for one car in Florida! So while many aspects of this move have been a much bigger struggle than we anticipated, I am happy to report that we are almost done with dealing with it and can now just enjoy settling in, while I continue to hunt for permanent employment.

After an eventful few days post-fourth of July, we’re finally settled back in at our place in Williamsburg. However, I came up with this to-die-for brownie recipe for the fourth, so I couldn’t keep it un-blogged about anymore! Even though I prefer to make most recipes from scratch, brownies are an exception because it’s just toooooo easy to make them from the box. Plus, most brownie recipes from scratch are pretty complicated, so I typically avoid them because I don’t want to shell out more $$ for scratch brownies than I would for a box. And because I enjoy making this easy, boxed dessert, I usually try to amp it up a bit with some sort of flavoring or topping. So knowing that my audience (my Uncle Jim and Will) enjoy mint to a certain extent, I decided to go that route.