Sometimes if I am feeling unwell, David (husband champion of the world) does lots of cooking. That means lots of pasta and tomato sauce because it is easy and inexpensive. So once I am better again, both of us never want to be anywhere near that dish again for at least a month.
I was in the mood for a dinner that is not the same classics we put on rotation. This dish is still simple and fast, but refreshing for its flavors and the phyllo dough you do not see every night.
SPINACH & FETA CHICKEN PIE Serves 3-4
15 ounces ricotta
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup spinach
2 green onions, sliced
3/4 cup feta
1 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, minced
20 sheets phyllo dough
Olive oil cooking spray
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together ricotta, lemon juice, shredded chicken, spinach, green onions, egg, feta, dill, nutmeg, garlic, and salt & pepper.
Layer ten sheets of phyllo dough into a glass pie pan, spraying olive oil cooking spray between each. Spoon filling onto dough and spread into an even layer. Top with remaining dough sheets using the same process. Gently seal edges of dough. Bake for 30 minutes.
You may have something in common with pretty much all of my friends if you are asking, “so… how is the house hunting?” Yes, we are still trying. I need to update you on a few direction changes.
First, David did some work on the numbers and we reflected on the type of monthly finances we desire. For the flexibility and lifestyle we would like, we chose to come down on our maximum budget for the house. The primary difference this has made is that we will forego having some land and will look at neighborhoods more. This also means this would be a maybe 10 year home and not a “forever” home.
Second, I have now experienced first hand how much getting your hands dirty and doing some showings will refine what you really want. With these major shake ups, we need to regroup on our wish list.
GOTTA HAVE IT
Four bedrooms: master, two kids’ bedrooms (large for sharing), and guest. Update: Kids’ bedrooms do not have to be that large. We want to encourage more time spent in the common areas and have bedrooms mostly just for sleeping and getting dressed.
Acreage, ideally with some grass and woods (David’s big thing). Update: Not anymore! We are still putting an emphasis on more wooded or private settings.
No flips or new homes, must need cosmetic updates like carpet, wallpaper, and flooring (my big thing – I love projects!) Update: This is still true, but while I do not like new builds I also have learned that I do not think I can do pre-1900 homes either. Too mysterious and risky!
No more than 25 minutes from church and 40 minutes from David’s work Update: When I re-read this I was surprised we even put that. We have prioritized location a lot more and are more like 15 minutes from church and 25 from work.
2,000+ square feet Update: This number is still our range, but I understand square footage numbers better now. And it matters where the square footage is. We saw a house with a high number, but in weird places, leaving the living and dining areas small.
Wood burning fireplace Update: Still this. It has not been hard to find.
Two story Update: I am budging on this more, but I also have a whole post about home exteriors in the works because it is such a hot topic with the two of us.
Lots of natural lighting
Large kitchen (must have natural light for food photos)
Defined entryway (the front door does not open RIGHT into the living room) Update: I really love this. If anything I would add I like a LARGE one where the stairs do not walk you right out the door.
Formal dining room
Office space/homeschooling room Update: In many homes we see, this would have to be a converted formal living room. Which is fine. I do not like non-functional rooms.
Defined (not walk through) laundry space on first or second floor Update: Still love this.
Colonial, cape cod, or farmhouse exterior Update: Oy. See above about a whole post coming on this.
Unfinished basement for kids to play in and destroy without me caring Update: Increased importance!
Not on busy road, has privacy Update: Increased importance!
Not a galley kitchen Update: Increased importance!
At least 2 and 1/2 bathrooms Update: Increased importance!
Stairway not in entry
We would really love to find something by the end of June. In fact, finding a home by June 30 is in our nightly prayers now.
I now definitely have a dutch oven on my wish list. (I would love a pretty white le creuset one, but what am I? A billionaire?) When making these pork burgers, I decided to try a dry rub in the oven rather than my normal crock pot routine. I really loved the results. The sweet and tangy combo of bbq sauce and grilled pineapple is so quintessentially summer. Who knows what other cooking wonders the dry heat of a owning a dutch oven might unleash.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Stir together garlic, brown sugar, pepper, salt, paprika, onion powder, and red pepper flake. Spread rub onto porkloin. Place porkloin in a glass 9×13 baking dish and roast for 3 and 1/2 hours. Remove pork from oven and shred. Stir barbecue sauce into pork. Assemble burgers with grilled pineapple and onion on buns.