34 boxes ... more or less

I feel like I am going to jinx myself here ... But I am feeling very organized for this move. I mean unlike nearly every other move, I have labeled every box and none of them have "random shit" listed as the contents. Yes, some are very random. Please see above as evidence. Specifically the box that includes a trash can, umbrella, a fruit bowl and a college photo album. 

I didn't try and count the boxes like I did the last time. That seemed like a fruitless effort in self hate. But, I do know that I had 26 boxes from Lowes, 8 from Amazon, and several that I hoarded over the past few months. 3 boxes went as part of a housewares donation, a few went home and not into storage, and currently 1 is unused. I have learned that no matter how many boxes you buy (or hoard) you will use nearly (or all) every single box. A few days ago I still had like 5 small boxes left but I knew they'd disappear into this box fort I've been building.

The movers are coming tomorrow morning and despite how empty (and echo-y) this place currently is ... It still feels like my apartment. Still love the arched doorway. Still hate the plumbing that won't drain. Still avoid my crazy neighbor Debbie. Some things will never change.

To the burbs I go. 
As part of this purge and packing activity, I have taken the opportunity to throw out things that I don't want to unpack in an undetermined number of months - or that I've repaired with glue more than twice. When I was throwing out this 8+ year old perpetually crumb filled toaster, I noticed for the first time that there were directions on how to toast a bagel. It only made me wish I had a bagel left over to see if the directions would have impacted my bagel happiness between the years 2006-2015.

Homemade Popcorn!

When we were growing up, we had this air-popper for making popcorn. I only ever remember using it when we had a babysitter. There was this little tiny dish for melting butter that fit in the top. I have absolutely no idea how we never lost that dish. I feel like there were some hiccups with the air-popper, but I remember it being a fun project and I remember always wanting to put more butter in the dish. 

I've always heard how easy homemade popcorn is but never really attempted it myself. Since I'm moving (beating a dead horse by continually repeating that), I've been through my cabinets several times recently trying to determine what gets tossed, eaten, or moved. I ambitiously bought the popcorn kernels like last Winter and never got around to it. Before deciding to toss them, I figured I should at least give this a shot. Last weekend, the weather really lined up nicely for this. It was perfectly drizzly, cold, and ready to binge on some Netflix. 

sausage, spinach & artichoke lasagna

One of my favorite things to do is competitively use as many ingredients in my cabinets as possible. This lasagna is the epitome of that. The only thing that I had to buy was the ricotta. In hindsight, maybe not as much of a win that I now have to clean this pan... but still. I had slightly lower expectations for it given the assorted ingredients but it was really quite great. While I love lasagna, it often sits heavy after eating. There is no forgetting you just ate a bunch of pasta and cheese and sauce - but for some reason this is lighter. I didn't use as much sauce and maybe that helps.

Moving Status

So, the move is now nine days away. Of those nine days, there are several that will consume Thanksgiving... and as a result zero packing. Of those nine days, there are only two trash days. Trash days are hyper critical when you are moving - especially when you are purging as hard as I am.

My primarily goal is that I go into this move with less shit than I did the last time. And I really think I'm doing that. Granted I haven't packed that many boxes but my closet is a complete shell of what it used to be and I have 3 big boxes of housewares to donate. There were a few moments today when I just couldn't believe how many spatulas I had. Or why I have so many glasses ... and yet I drink out of water bottles, 1 wine glass, and disposable cups. I blame the fact I haven't had a dishwasher essentially since high school. 

hashbrown life

I'll start by saying that I know this picture isn't amazing. But trust me, the meal itself is amazing. I like my onions crispy and burned and that just doesn't ever photography well.

So the next month's worth of posts will probably all have some flavor of "moving"... including posts related to food. But this one is moving times two... because it is partially in honor of my friend Caroline moving back to the East Coast. See ya LA! Hello NYC! Caroline is super smart about making healthy food decisions which often normally means pulling back on all things I love: meat, cheese, and carbs. By some miracle, this recipe has all three.

farewell to my city garden

I won't quite forget the moment my Super told me the apartment building was for sale. He quite literally handed me a shot of Lemoncello as he delivered that crushing blow. That's being a bit dramatic but I'm a nester. I fall in love with where I live. I like the nooks and crannies of my apartment buildings. The idea of living in a "managed building" is ludicrous. The walls would all be straight! I wouldn't have a weird colored backsplash! The tub would drain regularly!

Faux Chicken Chili

Chili is one of my favorite cold weather cooking projects. It is perfectly filling and satisfying. You can put cheese on it. You can have some crusty bread. You can pretty much make your dreams come true... provided you aren't a vegetarian. However, in the spirit of eating healthier... and trying new things I did some research on "chicken chili" this weekend.

I ended up going with this Ina Garten option primarily because I have like 6 jars of diced tomatoes in my cabinet. I'm currently in the process of trying to cleanse my cabinets by either eating or tossing the contents. My previous amount of pride in 7 types of flour is gone. I only see it as hoarding now. 

This chili came together super easily and I would deduce that it is seemingly much healthier than my old favorite. That being said, I don't think I can actually call it a "chili". It lacks those things that I associate with chili. It does taste delicious and has very minimal salt. If you happen to hate bell peppers, you'll hate this. It is chock full of them. I'l have to keep this recipe in mind next year when the garden is overflowing.


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