Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview)

You probably noticed (or maybe you didn’t) that I haven’t been writing much here at Future Expat over the last few months.

The reason is pretty simple. I sold my condo and bought a new house in December.

Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview)

Between the move and work, I just haven’t had the energy to put together blog posts over the last few months. What I have been doing is getting back to doing some of my favorite things again.

The last few months have been filled with unpacking, home renovations, cooking and dog rescue work.

And a lot of real estate…the spring market started in January this year!

In the coming months I’ll share about more of these things in detail, but for now I thought I would give you a taste of what I’ve been doing.

My New Kitchen:

The first big project in my new house was a kitchen remodel. It’s not 100% done, so I’m not ready to do a big reveal yet, but here are a few of the early pictures.

Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview) Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview) Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview) Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview)

Yes, I ripped down everything…even the walls. I’ve updated 3 kitchens before, but have never taken on a project like this before. Living in a construction zone without a kitchen has not been fun, but was definitely worth it.

For pictures of the new kitchen, you’ll have to stay tuned. I’ll share more about the kitchen remodel project in the next few weeks.

Cooking:

In the weeks leading up to my move, I did my best to use up all of the food in my pantry. Since I was going to be without a kitchen for awhile after the move, I refused to buy anything as the moving date approached.

While I was cooking, I wasn’t able to make whatever I felt like. I had to get really creative on how to turn my almost bare pantry into a meal.

Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview)

After the move, the kitchen renovation started within a week. My temporary kitchen consisted of a refrigerator, microwave, toaster oven and crockpot. It wasn’t long before the only sink in the house was in the bathroom.

My plans to cook via the crockpot during the kitchen remodel out didn’t work out like I hoped. Washing dishes was just too hard and the lack of anyplace to prep the food was frustrating.

I spent a month eating takeout or delivery.

With such a long break from real cooking, I almost forgot how much I like cooking. I started cooking the day the temporary plywood counters got put on top of my new cabinets.

Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview)

I invited my Mom, stepdad and brother to join me for my first meal.

I even started playing some food tag games again. My tag game friends hark from my earliest days on the social internet…back when I played the cooking tag games on the Recipezaar.com forums. The recipe website was eventually purchased by Food.com and last summer the forums were shut down with no warning.

When I decided I wanted to join in the games again, I had to do a little detective work to find my old friends. I did manage to find them and I’m back to playing food tag again…and having so much fun.

Here are just a few of my tag game friends’ recipes that I’ve made in the last few weeks (along with all of the food on the plate above):

Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview) Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview)Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview)

Dog Rescue:

One of the big reasons I decided to move was because I had to stop fostering rescue dogs in my condo. I had neighbors who complained if a dog barked at all while I was gone, and there is just no way to predict how a rescued dog will react to the strange noises that comes with city condo living.

More than anything, I’ve really missed being a rescue dog foster parent.

I was only in my new house for 2 weeks when I signed up to overnight a rescue dog on her freedom ride from Oklahoma to Bishop’s Small Dog Rescue on the outskirts of Chicago.

Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview)Meet ChaCha. When I signed up to have her spend the night, I had no idea she was pregnant. AND BOY WAS SHE PREGNANT!Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview) Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview)
Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview) Less than 2 weeks later, she had her babies safely. Thankfully she didn’t have them when she was with me…4 of the 5 puppies were breach and one didn’t make it. I would have been clueless on what to do if she had gone into labor. Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview)

Meet Odus:

Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview)Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview) Getting Back to Cooking and Dog Rescue (plus my New Kitchen Preview)

Odus is my first foster dog with the rescue group Senior Dogs 4 Seniors.

As I prepared to start fostering again, I decided I wanted to work with a group that focuses on small dogs and has adoption events near my home. After learning how SD4S rescues dogs of all ages, but doesn’t shy away from older dogs or those with health issues, I knew this was the group for me.

I think it is heartbreaking when a well loved dog ends up in a shelter at 10 years old because the owners died and none of the relatives will take the dog. I wouldn’t want that for my Milo, or anyone else’s cherished pet.

Of course, all of the dogs rescued by SD4S aren’t old.

My current foster dog Odus is only 1 1/2 years old. He loves to play with toys, dogs and run around in a fenced yard. Odus is looking for a forever family in the St. Louis area who does not have young kids (he doesn’t like to share toys and we can’t trust how he would react to a child taking a toy from him). He is house trained and crate trained. He rides well in cars and will sit for a treat.

He gets very attached to the people in his life and deserves a wonderful home.

If you know anyone who might be interested in Odus, please have them contact me in the comments below.

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