The Dabble

-food with a side of life-

My Vivid Imagination and Tomato-Feta Strata

Some days I imagine the neighbors across the street stare into our apartment (with large windows), glance at me while I’m at my computer or watch me walk to the kitchen and think what a loser. I am almost always in the apartment these days. It’s so bland and cold outside. I, if I see the neighbors, smile and wave hoping they will come over for some coffee, tea or whatever I happen to be making for the blog that day. Of course, the fantasy continues with flashes of Greg, myself and these two neighbors at a concert, traveling together, becoming godparents, whatever. Then I burst my own bubble and recognize that they are probably more likely telling me to stop waving and calling me a freak. Le sigh. I have a vivid imagination.

Tomato and Feta Strata
Tomato and Feta Strata

I am not making money (not enough to place in the category of “making money”). Granted, I have moved 3 times in two years, created and put to rest several business ideas and plans for my husband and I, plus attempted to showcase my skills/talents to the townsfolk who apparently want nothing to do with this blogger.

Let me put it this way: someone rejected me to pick up their dog’s dookie because I do not have insurance as a dog walker and yet, another jerk (might take the biggest asshole award in town) rejected me to work as a housekeeper at an inn 2 seconds away. After a very awkward questioning of my intentions, he, without looking at the resume/app I handed him, basically asked if I was a student and then, hinted that I was an illegal immigrant (?). When I came out and said that I wasn’t a student and told him why we moved here (and so on), he said that wasn’t his question. I guess his question was asking if I intended to work….which I thought was an understood ‘yes’ since I turned in an application, emailed him twice and crafted my resume to suit his needs (filled with truth) and stood through an uncomfortable mini-interview. He emailed me in the beginning that he was looking for someone to work at the front desk but when he saw me, assumed housekeeping (which I would’ve done-I do it every day). He never responded when I asked about the position a week later, no call back/ no emails and then, I saw the same job ad listed on craigslist a few weeks later…really?!

I need a moment of silence for my degree that took 5 years to obtain because almost half-way through, I decided to take the reigns of my life and transfer to a school that actually gave a rip. All of this was at a cost; one that I was willing to pay…until I realized the chances of me getting a worthwhile job with this degree were very low and unprofitable. (That is without adding another 2 or 3 years of school and $40,000 plus on an already huge IOU-not to mention that might assure me a salary of $30,000 a year once out, putting me around $120,000 in debt.)

Education is valuable, don’t take it lightly and grab at opportunities, grow claws and stab that opportunity so that it’s trapped. A bit too graphic? I’m serious. Seek out scholarships, save and have a plan about exactly what you want to do and even then, you will have to kiss ass (something I’m not good at) and put your pride aside. Find something you’re passionate about which honestly helps in all its cliché advice-ness.

Anyway, I get to the same part when it comes to business ideas and have to give up-money. I would love to spend my time growing and grooming a small restaurant or other business-pumping blood, sweat and tears into….that’s pretty gross in terms of food. You get the idea. Then, I begin thinking about the reality that is our financial situation and it’s not happening. If only I would’ve realized that it was going to be pretty damn expensive to not only receive a Bachelors in Psychology but basically be required to obtain a higher degree immediately following. There aren’t many, if any, options available to someone with this degree.

I spend some of my days thinking about how beneficial a career in therapy might be for me (and wondering if I would be any help) and some days, I wonder how therapy would benefit me as a client. I still harbor loving and fond memories for this field…it’s more likely that I will go another route than continue my Masters. I hear after about 10 years with a private therapy practice you lose your cool and mind. That only took me 3 years of hopeless longing and never-knowing about employment or where we’d be living to get me there so ha…the joke’s…on me. (Oh man!) I’m still hopeful.

I’ve bored you enough. Time for the strata: tomato and feta strata from, originally from Food & Wine and finally changed by moi. This is such a simple meal to make: eggs, bread, and cheese in an oven-safe skillet.

Tomato and Feta Strata
Tomato and Feta Strata

Tomato and Feta Strata
Serves 4

4 large eggs
½ cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tbsp sage, chopped
1 tbsp tarragon, chopped
½ to 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
16 oz. canned diced tomatoes with juice
3 to 4 cups of bread (of your choice), cut into 1-inch cubes
4 oz. feta, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 450. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yogurt together. In an oven-safe skillet, heat the oil and add the onion, garlic, sage, tarragon and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat, until onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the bread and feta. Pour the egg mixture on top and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool and serve.

17 thoughts on “My Vivid Imagination and Tomato-Feta Strata

  1. Nice rant! Although gainfully employed (and thankfully no college debt hounding me), most days I dislike my job and about halfway through the day start dreaming about going home and cooking, anything. Or dreaming about holding a job I actually gave a rip about. Sure, the grass is always greener but still I’m jealous of all the yummy things you whip up all the time. Hang in there.

    1. Thank you, I will do so. I am keeping hopes high and a fairly happy person, although it doesn’t sound like it sometimes. I imagine we are both young and there are better things to come.

  2. Wow! That was a nice rant. I feel as though I could have written that myself. I, too, am not making any money. Well, not enough to count. I’m in my third year of being unemployed and it sucks. I occasionally get a substitute teaching job that brings in about 90 bucks a month. The loan companies want their money, but I don’t have any to give them. Over-educated and under-employed is exactly what I am these days. It’s not that I haven’t tried to get a job because I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes and applied to hundreds of jobs. Even the staffing agencies don’t want me because I’m “overqualified” or so they say. Sams Club and Walmart don’t seem to want me either. Heaven forbid they actually hire someone who is competent. I just hold on to the thought that tomorrow will be better than today. I’d also like to think that this will just make us stronger in the end. In the meantime, keep on cooking and creating. I love seeing all of your yummy creations.

    1. I love the wonderful people that comment and the support-I feel like I am in good company.

      I hear you about the loan companies…mine goes up double in July because we’ve been on an interest payment only. The options were pay some or not pay at all and harm our credit. I also feel you about the applications-even Kmart won’t take me to perform a supervisory position which I held for 2 years at CVS. Thank you for the encouragement! Something better will come.

  3. Im right there with you! Can I pull up a share and enjoy some of the strata and chat about the woes of education and unemployment?!

  4. Oh yah…. me too – bach in psych and over 100,000 dollars in debt. and i make 32 thou a year in nonprofit….but i live in nyc. it’s just nice knowing there are more out there.

  5. Hi, I just happened to stumble on your blog. I just want to thank you for this recipe. I can’t wait to make it tomorrow morning!

  6. I’m still in college and naive with my career dreams, so I won’t be joining you in the employment woes yet…but I will join you for that amzing-looking strata! I love that you used yogurt in there!

  7. As one with a useless college degree, I can sympathize. :-)I don’t think I ever had an actual job after I got out of college that had anything to do with my degree. LOL! Your strata looks amazing! I think I’m going to have to whip one up for lunch today. Just hope I still have feta left in the fridge!

  8. I have a semi-useful BS in Business, and I honestly wish I’d just stuck to waitressing/bartending. I made almost as much as some of my full-time friends working four nights a week! I also wouldn’t be stuck with all this debt…. I’m glad I’m not the only one! (PS, the strata is going to be my breakfast tomorrow! Thanks!)

    1. I think it’s a matter of passion and while I’m glad to have a degree to continue my education, I wish I would’ve gone another route. I completely get the debt, I wish you lots of luck! Enjoy the strata-I did.

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