Week 1: January 25-31

This week I planned for major variety and, hopefully, some easy staple recipes I can use again and again.

Yes, my fridge is a bit dated. Yes, that’s a dog magnet.


New Year, New Blogging Style

Hello again.

Forgive me for my infrequent blog posting.

It’s been a while since I posted last but to be completely fair, life got very busy very quickly and it’s finally started to calm down.

Short recap about me: I am a recent (December) graduate of Texas Woman’s University with my BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with my EC-6 ESL teaching license. I could go on further about this but I’ll instead link my teaching website which you can take a gander at if you so choose.


Any who, I graduated on December the 12th, packed my belongings – for the most part, finished my Christmas shopping, celebrated Christmas, celebrated my birthday, and then the day after Kyle, my fiancé, and I were off to make it to Corvallis, Oregon by the first of January. How did we do that you ask? We took my galliant Ford Focus, Xerxes, on a 2,000 mile road trip from Texas to Oregon. We arrived safely on January 1st. So as people were eating black eyed peas and spending time with their families singing that super catchy New Years tune, I was unloading packed car, Xerxes, unpacking my belongings, and realizing that I had just moved half way across the country leaving behind family and friends. Happy New Year.

Not to say I wasn’t completely excited for the move. I mean I moved 2,000 miles to close the gap between my and my fiancé, I had a job at a private school already (that would be starting the following Monday), and, as I’m sure you had an inkling, I was super pleased to know I had entered what I shall refer to as the Promise Land -because Oregon grows almost everything when it comes to fruits and veggies- and I am a major foodie.

So I unpacked my things, started my job, and tried to make friends and generally fall into a regular schedule in this new place. It has taken me a few weeks but I think I am finally ready to revamp and restart this blog.

Quick back story to the structure I will be going for:

Each week Kyle and I look up 4 recipes that we will write our grocery list around. We plan these meals to 1) we can have variety in our meals 2) we can consume massive amounts of vegetables 3) we can keep a budget of about $80 a week for 2 people 4) I can use my fabulous “dry erase” Crayolas on the refrigerator to scribble the recipes so we have a loose menu of the week.

All that to simply say, each week I will have a blog post that showcases my beautiful (*sarcasm*) lettering on my refrigerator, I will post the links to the recipes, and then talk about what each of them was like – how I altered it, how I would alter it, if I loved it or hated it. Heck, I might even post pictures of the food in a picture of food vs. picture of actual food. We’ll see how detailed I get with this blog series.


Fall cooking is in the air…

Holy moly I feel like this semester has been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to really cook much of anything. Add to that the fact that I’m living with my aunt and uncle as I student teach (meaning my aunt is all about cooking leaving me to not be in the kitchen) and I’m left with very little kitchen time. Sadness ensues. 

  However, for the next couple of weeks I am house sitting / Dogsitting for a lovely family who is on a Great American Roadtrip (#GART). That being said I get to watch their lovely dog, Penny, and have access to a beautiful kitchen. All that to simply say, when I’m not exhausted I am trying to commence cooking like I did when I lived in my old apartment. 

Below is a picture of the meal I fixed this evening:  

If only I had a perfect name for this fall, pumpkin pasta dish.

Here’s my attempt: 

Terry’s Terrific Fall Pasta

Yes, this recipe comes from my fiancé’s mom… Only I never leave recipes alone. 

This is how she told me to fix it: 

sausage (sweet italian) crumbled sautéed with onions

pasta boiling

after sausage is cooked deglaze with white wine

add about 1/2 can pumpkin or so

fresh sage

salt & pepper

crushed red pepper flakes

thin with chicken stock

add 1/2 to a cup of cream at the end. toss with pasta and use reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce.

*ammendments: spicy Italian sausage, organic Italian spices, no chicken stock, half and half, gluten free and veggie pasta, sautéed spinach

Overall, it tasted like fall and I was happy to use my can of pumpkin for something other than desserts.


Texas Native Explains Move

I’m sure you’re wondering how a girl from Texas winds up all the way in Oregon. To explain that I feel like I should give you a bit about me. I was born in Dallas, Texas and raised about 20 miles from there until I started college. Even with that I was in Denton, Texas which was only about 50 miles away from where I grew up. I noticed during my first year of college that I had the desire to move away after graduating. At the time I was single and wanted it to stay that way. Unfortunately being a freshman in college and eager for adventure, I dated someone for a bit who made me swear off of dating for a whole year (but hey, you live and you learn)… in that time I had started to research places that I could move and live on a teacher’s salary. My desire was to move somewhere to the Dancing North East such as Maine, Connecticut, or even New Hampshire. As luck would have it, teachers can’t really live comfortably there so I decided that I would be moving somewhere after I graduated but I wasn’t sure where yet. In the winter of 2013, I got very involved with a bible study group at a local church and met someone who I, luckily, agreed to go on a date withIMG_0292. That someone is now my fiance. The cool thing is that when I started dating Kyle he made it clear that he had no intention of staying in Texas either. HALLELUJAH. He told me he was looking into going to graduate school in the PNW and that he would love to live there afterward. We took a trip up there and I absolutely fell in love with it. From then on it was decided that we would both be going up there. Now he’s up there starting graduate school and I’m here finishing up my college career with a semester of student teaching and then I’ll head up there in December. ~Liz

Happy First Post!

Hello, reader.

If you’re poking around the internet and stumbled across my blog: you’re amazing.

If you searched this blog out: you’re also amazing.

lizlizThis is my very first blog post and I just thought of this concept this morning. I was making my breakfast (creating something as I usually do) and I thought, “I should document this”. So here I am in the afternoon setting up the blog. I titled the blog “The Sterling Chef” because Sterling is my last name and I love to cook. Cheesy? Yes. Do I love cheese? Yes.

This blog will serve as my sounding board for sharing recipes that I’ve tried and love, created and liked, or even created and want to improve. My hope is to be able to explain the story behind the dish as well as (duh) the ingredients that go into it.

Feel free to share recipes with me (I’ll have a page for comments/etc. and you can send them that way).