New Additions!

Well! It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted and… that’s because I’ve been busy acclimating and potty training an amazing new addition to my family [of one haha]!

puppy bed

Meet Avery — Ave, Aves, Lil A, Bubs… she’s already racked up quite the list of nicknames.

I got to meet her just over a week ago, and knew she was mine from the second she came bouncing toward me down the hallway of the shelter. She’s a shepherd, dachshund, hound mix [we think!!], who is about to be 5 months old, and full of puppy kisses and crazy antics! Needless to say, I’m in love.

I mean…

puppy snuggles

sleeping puppy

I found her through Mary’s Dogs, a rescue organization out of Northwood, NH (highly recommended!!) and she was fostered by the equally amazing Angel’s Hope Rescue out of South Carolina — where she got to romp, play and pretend that she’s a much bigger dog than she actually is (at 5 months she’s just 13 lbs). Needless to say, once she got comfortable she was a natural in the doggy play area at my apartment building.

Many more adventures to come, and I’m sure you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more about this little girl in the future!

See y’all soon!

Keep It Simple Sunday: Iced Green Tea

While technically the first day of summer isn’t until late June…. the hot and humid weather that New England knows (and begrudgingly loves) has definitely arrived.

Yesterday was one of those days, and it got me thinking about what I can have in my fridge, ready to go, for those days where it doesn’t seem like you can ever get enough cold bevs in your body.

Iced tea. Yeah, yeah. I know — a no brainer. But that’s the point! It’s not complicated. It’s totally customizable. And seriously good.

For mine, I used Yogi Tea’s Blueberry Slim Life — not for the ‘slimming’ claims — love, love the flavor of this one.

yogi tea

Take six of those beauty’s and drop them into four cups of boiling water. Take the water off the heat and let it sit for 3-5 minutes (or however, long you’d like…longer you steep, the stronger it is). After your time is up, discard the tea bags and let the concentrate cool a bit, pour into a container (you’ll probably be better at pouring than I was…whoops) and store in a sealed container in the fridge!

pouring tea

Then it’s easy to just make tea to your liking (I usually pour enough concentrate to fill 1/4 the glass and then fill the rest with ice and good ole h2o!). Add fruit, mint, sweetener…whatever! Super simple!

Happy sipping!

iced tea

Changes

Quite a while ago, I went back and removed my archives from this site. Why, you ask? Well, a fresh start was something I’d talked about for a while…but in a way, my old posts — while there was certainly nothing wrong with them, were constraining, at least in my own mind. The way I wrote, what I wrote about, who I wrote about…all those things sort of made me fall back into the same rut, and often I felt like I was writing the same post…over and over again.

Since that time, there have been a lot of changes in my life. From work, to living, to family… some good, some not-so-good, some utterly heartbreaking. The last year, specifically the last 6 months or so, has been really challenging. My father was pretty ill with, what should have been, non-life-threatening illnesses. Not only did they take a toll on him…but, inwardly, I didn’t handle it well. Sadly, two weeks ago, we unexpectedly lost my dad. One of the greatest guys ever, and the guy who was constantly like “Jil, you should blog again — I loved reading your writing.” So here I am, writing again.

In the last year, I haven’t been very good to myself. Whether it was fear, stress… I treated myself like crap, and this is one giant leap forward.

As with all sad things, the world keeps turning, and certainly — even with the loss of my dad — you need to still celebrate the good that is happening every day. We just celebrated my mom’s birthday…and knowing her penchant for all-things-egg (and tomato)… I decided to surprise her with breakfast for dinner.

With that, the “Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Quiche” was born. What’s that you ask?

ingredients, eggs, bacon, potatoes, cheese

[Parsley, as pictured, ended up not being used…but would make a nice addition]

+ Purple & red potato crust

+ Caramelized onions with hot pepper jelly & white wine

+ Wilted spinach with red pepper flakes

+ Crisped peppered turkey bacon

+ Parmesan cheese

+ Beefsteak tomato slices

+ Ricotta

*PHEW*

My first forray into not half-assing caramelized onions was definitely a success (which meant butter + slow and low on the stovetop) — making them a lil special by deglazing the pan with some pinot grigio and adding the tiniest bit of hot pepper jelly toward the end. They.were.GLORIOUS.

caramelized onions

So I broke out my mandoline and sliced some purple and red potatoes, and after greasing a pie pan, I layered them to form the crust and seasoned slightly. Pretty! I then baked them at 400* until they started to brown slightly. Sidenote: next time, I’d definitely layer the slices closer together as they tend to shrink a bit in the oven. 

sliced potatoes, quiche

After they had cooled, I layered the onions, spinach, bacon and some parm in the dish. I then whisked up six eggs with a little milk, salt & pepper and poured over the top — mushing everything around so that it was covered.

quiche

Then, I took three big ole slices of beefsteak tomatoes as well as some dollops of ricotta and topped the whole thing off. Into the oven it went for 20-25 minutes (or just jiggle it to find your desired “done-ness”)…and voila!

IMG_0840

My mom said it was the best birthday meal she’d ever had…buuut I think she may be biased. Regardless, it was amazing to share a celebratory meal with her. Sharing is caring, right? haha

As for the actual dish, I’m 100% making this again (maybe using a different type of turkey bacon [I used Trader Joe’s peppered version] or just leaving it out… as it was pretty smokey! haha)…and definitely playing with the ingredients!

What’s your favorite meal that you’ve ever made for someone? Or that someone has made for you?