So I moved recently, into what I believe is most likely the best apartment in Providence! Not only am I in a great neighborhood, but I live above a business and have no neighbors at all when they are closed! I have great views of the city, and I am less than 2 miles from everywhere else in Providence, and less than 1 mile from downtown! So many exclamation points!
Disclaimer: not an actual view from my apartment.
I had 33 days of overlapped rent, which was heaven on my physical moving anguish, but hell on my wallet. I was able to move everything over time without stressing too much, but 33 days of overlapped rent in this kind of area isn't easy! Without going into too much detail, it may have been hard, but I consider this new place to be an "investment" in my future prosperity.
The hardest part was moving over my food. I am keeping with the family tradition and becoming a food hoarder. And my job sublimates this. I receive so many food samples from work, that I can almost rationalize not being paid as well as I think I should be.
When I moved, I had the following in my cabinets (for the sake of this list, "unique" means a different brand or natural source for the item):
- 40+ cannisters of herbs & spices
- 22 bottles of unique oil and vinegar
- 16 bars of dark chocolate
- 13-15 containers of pasta or grains
- 10 containers of coffee and tea
- 9 identical jars of organic roasted red peppers
- 5-6 jars of other Italian specialty items (artichokes, olives, peppers)
- 4 bags of unique sugar
- 3 unique honey containers
- PLUS everything else a normal person has
Lucky for me, at least some of those were expired, which meant I could rationalize throwing them out while still at the old place. Even so, I still had trouble shoving everything into the cabinets here.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, for the purposes of saving my wallet AND my cabinets for a while, I have given myself the task of actually cooking with what I have on hand! (Barring regular staple replenishment, of course - mama needs cream in her coffee!) Also, I can transform this into more blog updates - everyone wins!
As always though, planning is my worst skill. I could have all the food in the world, but without a plan, I am useless. My friend turned me on to Super Cook, which is a site or app where you can inventory your entire kitchen, and it pulls recipes from the web to tell you what you can make! You can even filter by specific ingredients in order to use up specific things! I wish I had invented this site!
So, that is where I found and modified this recipe for Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup. The original recipe is in the link, but since I already had roasted peppers, I changed it up a bit and modified it to what I had on hand:
2 T. butter
3/4 cup of frozen chopped onion
2 Jars (12 oz) roasted red & yellow peppers, drained
2 T. chicken bouillon
2 cups of water
A lot of salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 T. lemon juice
3/4 cup half-and-half
I totally forgot to include the precious BUTTER!
1. Melt butter or margarine.
2. Add onions and sauté till soft, but not brown.
3. Add peppers, bouillon, water, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
4. Simmer 20-30 minutes uncovered.
5. Remove from heat, then process with some kind of blender (I use immersion-style) so that the soup is a little chunky but not puréed.
6. Before serving, add half-and-half and heat through.
The finished product with some dried thyme on top to make it look more appetizing, I hope.
Here it is a few days later with an organic popcorn garnish.
Really delicious! I will definitely be making it again to use up the rest of these jars!!