08 September 2011

Kacey's Kitchen - Oklahoma Edition Begins

Hellooo good people, friends, strangers, and whoever else stumbles upon this blog!!!
You may or may not have noticed that it's been a little stagnant here.  You may or may not even care to know why, but I'm gonna do you a favor and tell you! 

In the middle of July, we found out that we would be moving to Oklahoma for Aaron to finish his undergraduate pilot training.  We had to wait a little bit for official orders, and to find out the exact date we needed to be there, but I basically started preparing and organizing for our first PCS (Permanent Change of Station).  

Cooking at home started to dwindle quickly at that time.  Between trying to eat everything perishable in the house (lots of strange 'freezer meals'), and spending time with friends (lots of eating and drinking out), there was little that I wanted to blog about, or had time to blog about.  We ate like crap for about a month.  Tasty, tasty, bad for your health crap.  Not that I'm turning into 'Little Miss Healthy Eating' or anything, don't worry. But day after day for weeks eating out...it's a little gross.  Not to mention, I had to buy new jeans after we got to Oklahoma.  I literally ripped mine from the crotch to the knee trying to squeeze into them.  Great visual for you guys, right? I know!

Anyway, I had a lot of fun getting ready for our move.  I got to clean and organize and purge and do all sorts of fun stuff that normal people hate!  We had most of our household goods shipped, so I got to oversee a bunch of guys in our tiny apartment packing all of our stuff with barely any room to manage.  It's a good thing they only brought 3 people.  We've heard mixed reviews about military moves, and at this point, everything was going great! They were packing our stuff waaay better than we would have done, and they were super nice and friendly.  
We also did a partial DITY (Do-it-Yourself move), and we loaded our vehicles to the brim with totes of things we would need right away (Pillows, blankets, toiletries, food, cloths, and the important things like the KitchenAid stand mixer.  There are priorities you know.).  On August 11th, we headed out, leaving good ole Milton, Florida and heading to the center of the country.

Did I mention it was the hottest week of the year, temperatures in Florida AND Oklahoma were averaging 110°F. AND it was a 15 hour drive. AND my truck doesn't have air conditioning?  

It's okay though. I survived, and honestly, it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be.  There was only one time when we were stuck in stopped dead traffic for about an hour that it started to get a little toasty.  I was sweaty to say the least.  Just a tad.  I do have my dear friend Joey to thank, she got me the most genius going away present...an oscillating  fan that plugs into my cigarette lighter!!!  And it really helped! Genius!!!
On the way up we stopped to see some family for a few days, checking out a rodeo and just hanging out.  Sammy also got to experience a hotel room for the first time. 
And I would think it's safe to say she didn't want to go back in her crate for another car ride.  Don't worry, she rode with Aaron, in style, with air conditioning.  Her Maine Coon-ness couldn't handle the heat!
We eventually made it up to our new town.  Did I mention that we didn't have a place to live yet?  Yup.  That's right.  We drove halfway across the country, not knowing where half of our things were, and not having a place to call home.  We drove to base and stayed there in temporary lodging for the next 4 days while we house hunted.  And house hunted.  And house hunted.  And then we found something perfect for us, something that felt a million times bigger than our studio apartment, and the price was even better than we were hoping!

We camped out in the living room for a week until our stuff was delivered.  At this point, I really tried not to eat out much.  I was still limited with supplies, but I made some fantastic meals, eating off of paper plates or out of the pans. (Warning: Absurdly blurry photos ahead!)
Chicken Parmigiana
 Spicy Pan Seared Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Summer Squash with Green Beans

Once our stuff was delivered (Everything was accounted for an in the same condition we left it! Yay for our first successful PCS move!!!) the kitchen was the first to be setup.  I'm sure you could have guessed that at least.

I've been having a lot of fun getting back into the cooking routine, and I've been making a lot of delicious things I haven't tried yet.  I haven't really taken the time to photograph much of the food though.  Partly because I'm being lazy about it, but mostly because I need to rebuild  my DIY photo lights.  Taking them down and putting them up every time I cooked something led to unnecessary wear and tear so I ended up throwing most of them out, only salvaging the hardware.  And now that we have more room, I plan on setting up a food photography table and keeping it up permanently.  I just have to research, brainstorm, and come up with something affordable and crafty that will work for me.   If you have any specific ideas, please feel free to share!

I hope to have more foodings and recipes up for you shortly.  Now that our yard work (trying to grow new grass) is needing less tender care, and the house it coming together with details like curtains and pictures, I'll be able to focus more on this blog that I love so much.

Thanks for being patient and sticking around while we transitioned from the Sunshine State to the Sooner State.  Never living in the mid-west before, I'm sure we are in for a change, but so far so good, and we are looking forward to exploring the area.  Of course, I've been doing plenty of research on restaurants in Oklahoma City (the nearest big city to us), and the few places in our town, but if anyone has any recommendations for food in the Oklahoma City (and North) area, please let me know!  Maybe we'll be seeing some more reviews here at Kacey's Kitchen.

Well...I guess that's the scoop.  See you soon!!!

If you have any requests, questions, suggestions...please leave a comment or contact me directly at the link above!

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  1. YAY YOU'RE BACK IN CAPS!!! Also, Sammy looks annoyed as hell in that pic...

    Love the new look of the blog and I can't wait to see what you come up with! My mom made your tortellini soup last week and it was a hit. I stole about half and snuck it home so I could procrastinate going to the grocery store a little longer.

    As for suggestions, anything with chicken please! As simple as chicken can be, I do a really good job of screwing it up and overcooking things. Teach meeeeeeeeee Kaceyyyyy!


  2. Thanks Lauren! Haha, Sammy was a bit annoyed to say the least. I guess being in the car for 15 hours over 4 days and then being boarded for 4 days wasn't exactly her definition of fun.

    That tortellini soup is amazing. And with all of the garlic, it's my go-to recipe when I'm coming down with a cold. It'll kick a colds ass!

    And I totally understand about the chicken. You would think it's so simple, but it's so easy to overcook. We've been eating a lot of chicken lately, so I'll try to figure out exactly what I'm doing (asides from luck and chance) that makes it tasty. :)

  3. The new blog looks great! I am so excited to read how you guys are gonna take OK by storm. You always do. Chicken is a great idea...I always end up taking it off the stove thinking its undercooked and then magically it isn't.

    I really want to start cooking more so I will definitely be here checking out your recipes. I do expect some bbq!

    I was cracking up reading about your adventures!

  4. Hey KC and Aaron,
    I'd hoped you'd come through Jackson on your way North and West, but I know when you're on a 15 hour drive, any delay is torture.
    I hated the restaurant in Mobile didn't live up to expectations (you and Aaron were polite enough not to say how disappointing it was), but I'm glad y'all and Sammy made it safely. I'm looking forward to learning about Oklahoma cooking. Years ago I was offered a transfer to OC but turned it down. A cousin on my dad's side said Tulsa was cool but OC was the opposite, so I moved to progressive Mississippi instead. Jackson is 180 degrees from where it was then. My money is on OC changing over the years too -- it's gotta change because the Arntzes have arrived.
    I made a couple of gallons of soup the other day, simmered the meat and veggies 4 or 5 hours; I added seasonings and what was left of a bottle of Madeira (spell check wants that to be mad era) toward the end. I strained it and put back the lean ham from the ham hocks, along with rice and the usual seasonings, but the texture of the ham was like eating plastic -- so I pureed the whole mess -- yum! Great base for -- what -- sweet Italian sausage, boudin (that's spicy pork and rice sausage, for other readers), some kind of beans maybe, and I've got to use the frozen turkey from Christmas, if it's not too late.
    Keep cooking! I love the new look.
    Love to Aaron and, of course, to you.

  5. ooh I didn't know there was pilot training there! we went from bases/training in pcola to milton to jax nc to new bern nc - wild ride!

    best of luck girl!!! =)

  6. Thanks Jenn, best of luck to you also!

    We are Air Force and just down at Whiting for Primary. This summer we headed up to Vance AFB for the next 9 months for Advanced...then who knows!