When you get married, life kind of explodes. No, scratch that. When you get engaged, life definitely explodes. Mostly good explosions, of course. First, there is the initial explosion of announcements: Quick! Call everyone you know! Send picture messages of the ring! Tell the proposal story so many times it makes you regret calling so many people! Next, there is the wedding planning explosion, which comes in the form of a nightmare. Then, the wedding day explosion, during which your heart is filled with so much love and emotion that it pretty much bursts. And then you’re married, and you think everything is back to normal, and for the most part, it is. Unless you and your husband live in a teeny tiny apartment, in which case, your living space is constantly exploding with all of the wedding gifts that you foolishly asked for.
Seriously. There are cabinets in my kitchen that I can’t open without a colander falling on my foot. There is a stack of large boxes that have made a permanent home behind our living room couch. And more towels just means a bigger pile of laundry next to the washing machine, which also happens to be next to my bed. Yes, that’s how small our apartment is.
But really, how can I complain? These are gifts, after all. My apartment is exploding with really nice things at the moment, and I am thankful for that. I just wish we had a place to put all of it. As a result, we’re not really inviting too many people over for dinner parties or anything, not because we don’t have the “stuff” required to entertain (Trust me, I’ve got the dip trays and the place settings and the wine glasses and the serving bowls etc. etc. etc.), but because there simply isn’t enough room to entertain, period. Also, we only have three dining room chairs that will not break if you sit on them.
So when we planned a Saturday night of Settlers of Catan and dinner followed by a Sunday morning of breakfast and football-watching and baking with my sister and her husband, we didn’t host. Instead, Jenny did all the cooking and the baking, and we just showed up, ate and took pictures. Because she's pretty awesome, and has plenty of room for all of her wedding stuff, and all the counter space in the world for a Kitchen Aid mixer, coffee maker, toaster oven and rice cooker, and even has an entire cabinet dedicated to baking ingredients. Including two kinds of chocolate chips, whole wheat flour, parchment paper, rolling pins, and a bag of dried cherries that she bought on sale thinking “Well, I’m sure I’ll use them someday.” Kind of like how I stock up on cans of chickpeas when they’re on sale, except she’d never buy chickpeas, and I’d never buy dried cherries.
Here is what we ate that weekend: Baked brie, spinach calzones with blue cheese, Cool Ranch Doritos, bon-bons, orange-pecan French toast casserole, bacon, eggs, and chocolate-cherry Heart Smart cookies. (See where those dried cherries come in? You knew this long ramble of post had to lead somewhere…) Also, Murdo won in Settlers of Catan. Again.
Sometimes, I dream of huge white kitchens with open shelving, stacked high with my white bone china place settings, and an entire section dedicated to baking ingredients. And soup ingredients. And pasta ingredients. And sandwich ingredients. And also, enough room for all of those wine glasses that are currently stored next to our printer.
All recipes are from Cooking Light:
Spinach Calzones with Blue Cheese - Murdo doesn't like spinach, mushrooms, or blue cheese, which were all included in these calzones, and yet he still truly enjoyed them. Three points for Jenny!
Orange Pecan French Toast Casserole - A perfectly sweet companion to the salty bacon. Doesn't even need maple syrup. It might even become a new Christmas morning treat for our family, although I do love cinnamon rolls...
Chocolate Cherry Heart Smart Cookies - These are great for breakfast. Really.