How our dining room usually looks
I took the picture below, thinking it would be a much more dramatic difference from the way our dining room usually looks. But when I look at them next to each other, it's actually not as striking a contrast as I thought. Granted, the buffet you see above is on the side wall that you don't see in the below picture, and the office next door is filled with a bookshelf "pantry" and pots and pants and kitchen supplies. It does feel a whole lot more crowded. But then I look at these pictures and think, "Maybe it's not so bad."
We've been managing pretty well without a kitchen. After a couple weeks, here are some of the meals we've been enjoying:
Grilled Chicken/Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches with Cheddar Cheese, Tomato, and Pesto - A summertime standard. I just planted my basil, so I'll be able to make my own pesto later in the summer.
Turkey Burgers with Zucchini and Carrots - I like this recipe, because it cuts down on the meat and increases the veggies. I also like that my boys like these. However, it makes very soft burgers that aren't really suited for the grill. I used my grill pan on top of my grill, and they were great!
Grilled Eggplant with Tomato and Feta - Oh my goodness is this good. Of course the key is to "generously sprinkle with feta". I didn't bother using a blender - I just finely chopped my basil and mixed everything together. I bet it would be awesome with zucchini as well. I served the boys some grilled chicken, but this was my main course, served with rice and salad. (I cooked a pot of rice on the grill burner, so I have leftovers available for at least another meal during the week.)
Seafood Chowder - I picked this up at the farmer's market. Aaron ate two huge bowls of it and wanted it in his lunchbox the next day! I probably wouldn't have bought it if I wasn't on the hunt for easy meals, so here's to a fun and yummy discovery.
Quesadillas - I cooked a little corn and onion in a pan on our grill burner and grilled a red pepper. I mixed with black beans and cheddar. I then cooked the quesadillas on my grill pan on the grill, although I've cooked them one by one in the toaster oven before too.
Pasta with Sauce - I cooked a pot of pasta on Sunday night, using the burner on our grill. I then dressed up some bottled sauce with grilled veggies for a mid-week meal.
For a girl without a kitchen, that's not bad, right? We did have sandwiches one night, and I'm thinking one night this week will be "snack tray" night (cheese, crackers, fruit, olives...). We've ordered pizza once so far. It is going to get old fast, and I'm already exhausted from having to go upstairs every time I need to rinse fruit or get water, but we're doing okay.
How our dining room currently looks