I keep having to remind myself over and over again that we bought a house. It still doesn't seem real. A couple of days ago I took a shower in our new house for the first time and it felt mildly strange. Like I was taking a shower in someone else's bathroom.
Our new house still smells of other people. There are dings in the wall, spills in the oven. I'm not sure who put them there and angers me that someone could be so careless. For the past 6 years, the house has been occupied by tenants as a rental unit, and it is apparent that it hasn't been taken care of.
For the past 2 weeks, we've been slowly moving our stuff, load by load, to the new house. All of the food, kitchen-related items, props, laptop, camera, and iron are at the new house. My bed, clothes, studio lights and desktop computer are still at the apartment, which makes for a messy work day.
I had great intentions to paint the whole house before we moved in. At the time, the idea just seemed to make a lot of sense, and besides, we then wouldn't have to worry about getting paint all over everything, but I am just one person, and I'm not sure my plans are realistic in the time frame.
Despite all of the little weird imperfections and strange smells, the house is beautiful. I am in love with it, all of its nooks and crannies. It is an older house, around a hundred years old. We don't have any furniture to fill it, the walls need a new coat of paint. The gardens need some work, and I have to figure out some way to get the broken window that was buried in the garden, out of the ground. But it is our new home, and I couldn't be happier. Yesterday was the first time I stepped into the kitchen, and I felt really out of sorts. The oven is a big powerful gas burning beast that scares the hell out of me. I have little to no experience cooking with gas, and when I turned it on to 375ºF, it started smoking, and then the smoke alarm went off, and my dog started yelping, and I couldn't get high enough to pull out the battery, so we just ran around the house panicking. I tried to make a strawberry rhubarb pie, and a potato and leek pizza, and they were both fails. I am chalking this up to bad kitchen juju.
Today, I stepped back into the kitchen for round two, me versus the stove. I gave it a good scrub, not the harsh chemical kind, the mild lavender soap kind. I am happy to admit that the smoke alarm did not go off and the recipe was a win.
I decided to make something simple, nothing too overwhelming (like trying to bake a pie and pizza in the same day). I can barely find where I keep the knives or anything else for that matter. The spring produce has sprung, and I wanted to take advantage, so I bought all of the good looking things and combined them into a grown-up version of vegetables and cheese sauce. This is not your ordinary cheese sauce though, it's full of creamy goat cheese goodness with a hint of lemon that is unbelievable. The sauce would be perfect drizzled over any combination of vegetables. I chose my favorites and cooked them in a manner equally pleasing. A successful introduction to spring cooking, and gas-powered ovens.
ROASTED POTATOES AND SPRING VEGETABLES WITH A CREAMY LEMON GOAT CHEESE SAUCE
serves 4 as a side
1 1/2 cups potatoes, chopped
1 yellow zucchini, sliced
1 small leek, sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
5 asparagus spears, chopped
5 broccolini shoots, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup broth
3 oz goat cheese
1 small lemon
chopped green onions
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Place the chopped potatoes, sliced zucchini, sliced leek, and chopped garlic onto a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and flake salt. Roast the vegetables for 20 - 30 minutes until golden brown, tossing every 10 minutes.
(Approximately 5 minutes before the potatoes are done)
Place the chopped asparagus and broccolini in a frying pan with 1 tbsp of water. Bring to a boil on high heat and steam for a few minutes, until they turn bright green and you are able to pierce with a fork. If the water boils away too quickly, add a tbsp at a time.
While the broccolini and asparagus are steaming, in a small sauce pan set to low heat, add the butter and flour and combine with a wire whisk. Once the butter begins to boil, slowly whisk in the broth. If you add the broth too quickly, the butter and flour will clump. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the broth has thickened enough to coat a spoon. Whisk in the goat cheese until smooth. Add the juice from one lemon and stir.
In a large bowl add the the roasted potatoes mixture and the steamed vegetables. Pour the cream sauce over and toss. Sprinkle some chopped green onion and cashews for a garnish. Serve warm. Can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.