Latest love

October 12, 2013

Latest obsession? Delicata squash. Their flavor is more mild than other squash. Slightly sweet, but not full on acorn squash sweet. Love.

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Oh hi! Yeah. I’ve been MIA for months. Here’s what’s new. New pet:

Rigatoni the rabbit (Riggy for short)

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Isn’t he handsome?

Rusty is still half dog half loaf:

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Still going to school. Still exhausted by it.

Been dining out and enjoying cocktails:

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Developed an Orange Is The New Black addiction to the point that I can’t bear to be separated long enough to make dinner some nights.

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Etc etc. Hope to update more often!

Russian sage progress

June 10, 2013

Remember this mess? The one the Mr freaks out about every year convinced I have permanently damaged the plants beyond repair?

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Admittedly it does look hideous for a few weeks until it starts to grow back. This was the state of it two weeks ago.

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And as of this morning it is as tall as that bird feeder and creeping itself higher. Speaking of bird feeders, this flashy guy is my most popular customer. He comes from the wetlands a few blocks over.

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My honeysuckles are going crazy and smell absolutely amazing.

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It’s Monday. The beginning of another breakneck paced week. At least being busy makes it go by faster. I hope you all have a fabulous week! I’ll leave you with this, a sunset from the other night.

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New member of the family

June 8, 2013

I posted several weeks back about my parents having to put their 11 year old german shepherd to sleep.

Well last week the perfect puppy came along at the perfect time, which is always how it happens.

Meet Ryder, the newest member of the family.

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He is 11 weeks old and perfect. So calm and mellow, and I immediately fell head over heels.

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I mean come on. How could I not?

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Welcome to the family Ryder, you will be pampered beyond reason. As every dog should be.

Visiting with friends

June 5, 2013

Remember that banana bread recipe I posted? Well I made it for some friends in exchange for some farm eggs they gave us. They were grilling up some food and having some people over, which is the perfect excuse to bake stuff.

They live just a few miles from us, but the landscape couldn’t be more different. We are suburban folks on our little plot of land, our friends are fortunate enough to call a whole acre home.

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They’ve installed this amazing water feature since we had last been there (which was for their wedding).

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I wandered over to pet their mare, Callie. Callie is a piggy who has to have her food put in a special sack or she will eat so fast she will make herself sick. I don’t know about you but I can certainly relate. So her and I are kindred souls.

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Chickens!

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Then it was time to get down to the bidness. Starting with some Irish coffee a neighbor brought over. Yes please.

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Mmmmm my kind of neighbor.

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Then Zeus bird came out to show off before calling it a night.

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He and I had a rocky start, I’ve always been scared of large birds. We have come to terms with each other and now I enjoy his company. I learned to because he seems to seek me out. Cheeky bastard.

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Then it was time for the real show. Food! Umm, that’s rabbit on the plate. I consider myself an adventurous eater but I will admit it took me over half a bottle of wine to muster up the courage to have a piece.

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I’m going to have to say it did taste just like chicken. I had a tiny leg and while it wasn’t awful, I definitely wouldn’t go seeking it out.

A lady brought an apple cake for dessert, from an old family recipe. Delicious.

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And that was it! Our fun adventure.

Folks, it’s Wednesday, we are almost there…

Weekend stuffs

June 3, 2013

This weekend wasn’t very productive. One of those where I found myself scrambling to get stuff done an hour after I should have been in bed last night. I hate that!

We did manage to install a new ceiling fan in the master bedroom. I am telling you a new fan makes ALL the difference, and it’s a relatively cheap upgrade.

Before:

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Look at that bland thing. Yuck.

After:

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Angels sang.

Happy Monday!!

My family banana bread

June 3, 2013

This recipe started as one that was handed down to my mom, who then gave it to me. I made my own changes and hope to one day pass it on to my own kids.

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Almond Butter Banana Bread
This makes 2 loaves

2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup mashed bananas
1.5 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Pre heat oven to 325 degrees, butter two loaf pans or spray with non stick spray. Cut a strip of parchment paper thinner than the pan and lay across the bottom. This will help you get them out smoothly after baking.

Mix the eggs, buttermilk, oil, bananas and almond butter.

Sift dry ingredients and combine with wet.

Stir in the nuts. I often use hazelnuts or walnuts.

Pour half the mixture in each pan. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar and put them in the oven.

Bake for 90 minutes, rotating the pans halfway thorough.

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Blueberry heaven

June 1, 2013

Would you look at this beautiful sight?

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Today’s Friday sale at Whole Foods was organic blueberries. Just $1.99/lb. they are usually $5.99/lb. So I went a little crazy and got 22 lbs. There will be a lot of baking, some smoothie making and lots of freezing going on this weekend. My ideal relaxation. Oh! And the farmer’s market opens for the season on Sunday! This is going to be a fabulous weekend.

Better late than never

May 31, 2013

I have been meaning to post this since Saturday! The new semester has started though, which means I have school every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5-7:30. With homework every night due the next day. Yeah. That means I am out of the house from 6am until 8pm on each of those days. Wahhh! Anyway, that explains my absence.

So last weekend I had a four day weekend which was needed before kicking off this crazy semester. Saturday morning we decided to head to midtown for brunch. We went to one of our favorite spots, St James Brasserie. It is a really cool old place that used to be a water company so it has it’s own well. Now the well water is used to make their beer.

They have an alsace salad which I absolutely love. It has candied pecans, pickled beets and a magical dressing that contains I don’t know what.

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And of COURSE we had to get some oysters. Of course, I can never pass those up.

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Brad had the Brasserie Benedict. That man is a sucker for eggs bennie when it’s on a menu. This Benedict has pork belly instead of Canadian bacon, and a chipotle hollandaise. Man heaven.

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I got the Burnside burger, which is a made in house veggie burger. They use seasonal roasted veggies and it was, hands down, the best veggie burger I have ever had. The fries are also phenomenal, as is the homemade ketchup. It is spicy and garlicky. Have I told you how much I love ketchup? I want to bathe in it. Plus Brad’s beer and bloody Mary in the back there. We split the beer.

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Anyway, stay tuned for more pictures and a recipe from last weekend. And high jinks to come this weekend!

Memorial Day Potluck

May 25, 2013

A few departments at work get together and have a potluck about once a month. I always rep my department by providing a dish. For memorial day I wanted to do something red white and blue. Original, I know. Anyway, someone was doing the classic American flag out of blueberries and strawberries thing, so I went with something different. A no bake cheesecake with cherry and blueberry topping. Here they were the night before, ready to be packed up for work.

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And here it is all dressed up and ready for the party.

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This is the recipe I found online and it turned out fabulous. I doubled the recipe to make two, and used only half the amount of cool whip. For the topping I used a can of cherry pie filling, and a can of blueberries drained.

Easy No Bake Cheesecake

For the crust:

I crushed 3/4 of a box of graham crackers, then poured in 1stick of melted butter. Mixed together and pressed into the bottom and sides of two glass pie dishes.

Filling (I doubled this):

8 oz softened cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1t vanilla extract
8 oz cool whip

Stir together the softened cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla.

Fold in the cool whip.

Pour into the graham cracker pie crust and refrigerate overnight, or at least a few hours.

Super easy, super impressive.

Rainbow Bridge

May 16, 2013

On Tuesday my mom had to put her 11 year old German Shepherd to sleep. His name was Thor. When he was a few years old I went through a horrible breakup which left me with nowhere to live. With no other options I had to move in with my parents for a little while. Those were some very dark days. I lost count of how many nights I spent, cuddled up to Thor, and sobbing my heart out into his fur so hard it felt like my heart would literally break. I would cling to that big dog like he was my life raft in the an ocean storm, and in many ways he was.

I also spiraled into a full blown eating disorder during that year and felt like everything was out of my control. Many miles were spent running with Thor and exploring long stretches of rural acreage, just him and I. We would get back to the house hot and exhausted, but together. We formed a bond that I have never shared with another dog, not even my own.

As he got older he lost most of his hearing and sight. But he still always knew when it was me pulling up in front of the house. He’d still greet me with his tail wagging, even though his legs were shaky with age.

I love you Thor. There will never be another dog quite like you, and you’ve left a giant German Shepherd sized hole in our hearts and lives. Tell my Oma and Opa I miss them, and take care of all the loved pets who made it there before you.

Young handsome Thor:

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