Food + Wine, Style

a little KuKu

Have you ever been so busy in life where one aspect of it just gets cut out completely, and then so much time passes that you struggle with even knowing how to bring it back into the routine?  For some people that may be exercise, or keeping up with certain friends in their life, or a hobby… for me it’s been work.  And this blog.  And then I guess my social life?  Which ties into my work…

Since we’ve been undergoing all the home renovations, and working towards selling our house to move, things just keep getting crazier.

and busier.

and stressed-ier.

It’s like… like… a big pile of dirty laundry on top of a dusty floor that should have been cleaned before the laundry got to it but life never let you do that and over time that pile keeps getting more clothes added to it and it grows higher and higher until you just feel like

screw it.  i’ll just go buy new clothes. because I can’t possibly get to the bottom of this

That’s me in life right now.

Unless you’re a member of my gym or live in my home, chances are you haven’t seen me in a month.  I just can’t seem to catch up, or feel normal.  Because when your current ‘normal’ is nothing but, it’s really challenging to have everything else make sense around you. The foundation is so important in everything and if that foundation is cracked, even just a little bit, well… you’re gonna have some trouble smoothing things out.  There just hasn’t been a ‘normal’ to come home to in over a month.  My closet belongings have been strewn throughout the house, so if I have a place to be where I need to be in something that isn’t made of lycra, getting ready takes 3x as long. Pants are here, sweaters are in storage, shoes are here, there, and everywhere, blah blah blah.

We’re all still sharing one shower:  the kids’ shower.  We didn’t have a bathroom floor or toilet until last week (thanks solely to my husband who is a f’n jedi master unicorn wizard).  Strange men decide to appear whenever the hell they want to, to fix the things that are broken in the home.  And then fail to show up when they’re supposed to.  We’re tripping over boxes either empty from something that was recently installed, or full of something that needs to be.

Not to mention the delivered boxes I’m staring at right now for my work that I haven’t even gotten into yet.  I don’t even know what’s inside.  I sincerely hope whatever it is isn’t perishable.  I would hope I’d have smelled it by now.  Except I have had this strange sinus issue that’s taken away 78% of my smell and taste ability for a month now, so maybe I should call in a second opinion… (any takers?). 

There are still holes in my kitchen ceiling, plus there are no overhead lights in there… And ya’ll, it’s starting to get a whole lot darker a whole lot earlier these days.  I’m almost nocturnal by now.  I’m like a raccoon in there sometimes… rummaging through drawers, bumping into things, scavenging for food.

I also managed to lock myself in our storage room for an unknown, but very large, amount of time.  I had gone in to clear some things out (or maybe grab a sweater?) and as I shut the door behind me, my pull-up bar that was resting near the room outside of the door fell down in front of the closed door, barricading it, therefore trapping me inside.  I had no phone, my kids were on the other side of the house having their reading time after school, and I was very much stuck.  I’m so tired and stressed out these days that after awhile, I just sat down and started to really appreciate the break.

Then my husband was out of town for work this week, which on any normal week can be fairly challenging, but now?  I don’t even remember how I got through most of this past week.  By the end of it, I think I was just throwing snacks at my children.  I was in bed before 9 pm almost every single night.  Except Tuesday.  Oh, Tuesday… My son had a Cub Scouts meeting on Tuesday night, to which I had to bring my daughter, and nobody warned me that I was going to be involved in some sort of scout ritual that involved face paint, chants and hand gestures.  There was a candle.  There were a lot of words.  And I said them.  I don’t know what I promised them, but if I go missing soon, be very concerned.  At least I have the raccoon training to help.

After the ceremony, around 8:30 pm, they gave the kids “snacks” (a.k.a. cookies, sugar water pouches and cheeze dusted squares) and just let the kids loose.  Can you spot my daughter in this pic?

So basically right now, I’m far from normal.  And I don’t know when I will be again.  But I’ve decided I need to start doing some things for me again.  Even just taking this 10 minute break to get these thoughts to screen instead of a number of other things I probably ‘should’ be doing (opening those damn boxes).  Because then maybe I can begin to feel like my old self again… even if it’s in a backdrop of chaos and disrepair.

Or maybe I won’t, and this chaotic and dusty pile of days is just my default setting for a good, long while.  It isn’t normal, it can’t be compared to what it once was, but it is Me and it is Us and that is OK.  Sometimes we have to do that in life, yeah?  Stop comparing This to the Once Was and just start weaving a new pattern.

So. Last night I had my first work event in over a month, and one that required me to look… ya know, like good and stuff.  It was hard getting ready for it, I’m not gonna lie.  First of all, it was hard because of where my closet is.  And where it isn’t.  But also because I hadn’t flexed those muscles in so long and just didn’t feel like I had it in me.  After I got made up and clothed and ready to leave, I really just felt like I was playing dress-up.  Like I was in someone else’s clothes, playing a part.  But after I got to the event, and breathed in some of that public, social air again, started talkin’ shop, flexing those pro muscles again, I really did start to feel more comfortable.

I somehow managed to put together an appropriate ensemble…

(*outfit links at end of post. pics taken by jedi master unicorn wizard.)

So all in all, committing to that event really helped start to steer me in a better direction, I think.  Did it fix any cracks in the foundation?  Nope.  But it did help make this jagged little pill of a home situation a bit easier to swallow.  And it served as some nice distraction for a minute.

Also… since I’ve been sitting on this recipe for weeks, it seems very fitting to be sharing it today.

It’s called Kuku.

And yes.  That is how you say it.

It’s a Persian herby egg dish, similar to a frittata, and it’s delicious.  Also very easy to make, even in the dark 😉 Technically this would be called Kuku Sabzi, as sabzi means ‘herbs’ in Farsi.  It sounds complicated (mainly because of the name?) but I swear it is not.  And really, the flavor is unbelievable and completely interesting and fun and cool.  Also really healthy!  You can serve it hot, warm, or room temperature and it can be for any meal of the day – just like a frittata.  You’re basically just mixing eggs with a lot of herbs (a LOT) and spices and baking it, then topping it with toasted nuts and dried fruit, and serving it with Greek yogurt if you’d like.  I prepare mine all in the food processor, which just makes an already easy dish even more so.

I think this would be a really fun thing to serve around the holidays because the colors are so vibrant.  And I’m going to try very hard to remember to do so.  (Can someone remind me to make this for my mother?  She would love it.  Thanks.)

Now, as I’m leaving you again for an unknown amount of time, please don’t forget to check in on me periodically and make sure I haven’t been locked in a closet or relocated into the wilderness.

KUKU SABZI

serves 6-8

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease a deep dish ceramic/glass pie plate with enough vegetable/light olive oil (or coconut oil) to coat the bottom and sides.  Set aside.

In a medium/large skillet, on medium heat add…

  • 2 yellow onions, diced

Season right away with…

  • a couple pinches of kosher salt

Add oil when/if necessary.  (I prefer to not add oil until they give up their moisture and the pan dries up. I do the same thing with mushrooms, because I find a lot of times you don’t need that much, if any at all, but you do as you wish!)

Allow the onions to begin to sweat and soften, and as they’re cooking, season them with…

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

You’re toasting the spices at this point and really waking them up.

Cook until onions are completely soft.

Spread the cooked and spiced onions along the bottom of your prepared pie plate.

Let them cool there while you get started on everything else…

In a food processor, add the following…

  • 1 cup fresh parsley 
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh dill

(all measured by packing firmly)

  • 1 bunch green onions (usually 6 to a bunch)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled

Pulse this to mince it all and create a bit of a paste.  You want to make sure there are no large chunks of anything.  It may take awhile, and you will have to stop and scrape down the sides every so often.

Add in…

  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Pulse again.

Add in…

  • 6 large eggs

Pulse until the eggs are beaten and fully incorporated.  If you go too high/fast, you’ll make a mess in there (trust. me).  Just take it slow and pulse, pulse, pulse until it’s all well mixed.

Pour mixture over the onions in the pie plate.

Bake in the preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.  It should be firm in the center, and golden brown around the edges/edges pulled away from the pan when it’s done.

Top with the following (that you can make ahead of time):

In a dry non-stick skillet on medium heat, add…

  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped (walnuts are a good sub)

Allow the nuts to toast… you’ll smell them and know they’re done.  Careful not to burn them!

Add in…

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (golden raising are a good sub)

Drizzle in enough honey to cover the fruit and nuts.

Season with a couple fat pinches of kosher salt.

Sprinkle in a couple pinches of ground cinnamon and cumin… equal amounts of each.

And add a pinch or so of cayenne pepper.

This, I didn’t measure, and really just tastes as I went along.  You adjust it to your liking!  It should be mainly sweet, a little salty and warm from the spices.

Serve hot, warm or room temperature!  I prefer room temperature – warm ish.  And serving it with some Greek yogurt is a nice touch as well.

*Outfit details:

High waist, wide leg pants are from Forever21, similar style found HERE.

Purple sleeveless crop top from Forever21, similar style in royal blue found HERE.

Accessories all from Forever21, but no similar styles available.

Cream blazer from H&M, only available in black online, HERE.

Ivory leather clutch- a gift from Italy, but similar style found HERE at H&M.

Mirrored gold sunglasses- similar style found HERE at Forever21.

thanks for reading, y’all. much love. xo

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