Moving Out + White Bean and Sausage Stew.

Hey there. Can I just tell you how tired I am? I know it's an overused phrase. I'm so tired. But I just had to say it.

We finally moved out of our house in Baltimore last week. Our rooms are rented, our basement is stuffed, and suitcases are (sort of) packed, and we are out. Here is our packed to the gills basement with a bed, bunk beds, Justin's classroom supplies, clothes, toys, you name it.

While staying with friends in the neighborhood for five nights so our new tenants could move in, we headed back to the house every day to finish packing away things on the first floor, cleaning, and doing some yard work. This is the level of clutter that goes along with moving out and, in the background, you can see Justin sorting All The Little Toys.

It ended up being wonderful to not be living in the house while trying to do these last minute tasks, because our kids would have cluttered it up. Instead, there were no toys for them to play with at that point, so they watched videos or colored.

One of my goals had been to use up food in our freezer and pantry. This is a delightful meal I came up with that is admittedly very Fall, but enjoyable nonetheless.  Cook some bratwurst at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Take a big can of whole (or diced) tomatoes and a big can of white beans. Saute some onion in olive oil, add the contents of both cans, salt, pepper, and add a huge container of fresh spinach. When all is cooked, turn off the heat and splash in some apple cider vinegar. If you have apple cider vinegar with "the mother", be sure to turn of the heat so that the good probiotics don't get killed off. Serve into bowls and top with sliced sausage and Parmesan, if you do dairy. Be pleased at your level of pantry prowess.

White Bean and Sausage Stew
Serves four heartily

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 of large onion, diced
1 28 oz. can of whole or diced tomatoes, plus liquid
1 28 oz. can of white beans, drained
1 pound of bratwurst (seek out local, pastured meat)
1 large container of fresh spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
splash apple cider vinegar

1. Place bratwurst on rack over pan (or directly on oiled pan) and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until cooked through. This may vary depending on the thickness of your sausage.
2. Dice onion and saute over medium heat in olive oil in a large pot.
3. When onion is soft, add tomatoes with liquid and drained white white beans.
4. Once everything is heated through, stir in spinach in batches. Cover each time so spinach cooks down more easily.