My shoebox apartment, after almost three weeks of building Wal-Mart furniture and investing in things like Swiffers and dish towels, looks lived in.
Thank goodness. The bare walls and echoing silence were driving me bonkers.
Granted, it’s messy and unfinished, but it’s home. Portland, you’re stuck with me.
As promised: tiny kitchen photographs! (This is truly the entirety of the space. Not just the kitchen… the whole apartment.)
Were you to stand in the middle with your hands on your hips, you’d take up all the room, elbows brushing both walls.
A handful of my favorites: biographies on Julia Child, all of Ruhlman’s work, Mark Kurlansky’s Salt (personal favorite) and a few other gems that I reach for regularly. The rest….
… are being repurposed as bedstands. Multitasking!
The walls are still empty, filled only with twinkling lights (I moved in during the holidays, which means lights are everywhere and cheap to find) and a big chalkboard. And that’s all.
Since I own one cast-iron hotplate, I am making one-dish meals with finesse. Like French Toast Sticks.
Hold onto your hats, ladies and gents.
The recipe is so easy I’m going to just show you pictures.
1 T butter
1 1/2 t cinnamon
Step one: cut up your toast. (My knives are all packed away so I used kitchen shears. This is the first time I’ve cut even remotely straight lines.)
It is important to note that if your bread is already stale and kinda crunchy there is no need to toast it. Since I am broke and can only afford cheap, processed breads, they need toasting to withstand being coated.
Combine one egg and about 3/4c milk. Beat well together.
Gently coat your toast sticks in the egg batter, coating evenly without dunking soggily.
In a pan over medium-high heat, melt a tablespoon of butter. Lay your coated toast sticks in the pan and let them sizzle happily until golden. (Fun fact: I have only used homemade butter since my post on butter here and it makes everything I cook seem cool and artisan.)
Remove from pan. While still warm, roll in cinnamon sugar mix. (1/4c sugar + 1 1/2t cinnamon.)
I topped this batch with cranberries, sliced almonds and chocolate, but it’s endlessly customizable. French Toast is the best. It’s fast and delicious.
Anyway, one-pan meals are becoming the norm. I’m having fun looking at barebones foods and creating dishes from them. There is a list of recipes in a tiny tin box on my counter that will all eventually end up here, in your hands, where hopefully they’re put to good use.