Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween costume help!

All right friends, it's time to pull out the big ideas. I'm looking for some suggestions for a halloween costume. Preferably something that I could do with items I'm likely to have on hand or be able to find at other peoples houses. I've thought along the lines of children's story book characters...mostly Dr. Seuss, like 1 fish 2 fish, the cat in the hat or little cindy loo whoo. I've also thought about things I could do with boxes, since I'll have a few of them from moving recently. But I'm really open to anything. As I'm still trying to find a niche here, it would be great to not be the nerd who couldn't figure out anything to wear and thus went as myself. Please suggest away in the comments!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Baking

I did some fall baking last weekend and wanted to share some recipes and pictures with you all!
First came whole wheat apple bread - yum! It's a recipe that came in one of the Penzey's Spices catalogs. If you don't use Penzey's spices or get the catalog, you should! Their spices are amazing and the catalogs always have great recipes, which you can also get online at their website. Click here fo
r the whole wheat apple bread recipe and to go to Penzey's! Some of my favorite spice blends from Penzey's include sandwich sprinkle (amazing on fish and other meats, not just sandwiches!), chip & dip spice, pasta sprinkle, rogan josh (for yummy curries), taco seasoning and greek seasoning. Check out a Penzey's near you, or order some delicious seasonings online (next on my list to get is Northwoods seasoning!)!

Now that I've shamelessly plugged Penzey's, on to the next recipe. I also made these absolutely amazing and easy pumpkin chocolate chip muffins last weekend. I actually got up early and made them before a group of us went hiking and brought them in the car to eat on the way to the trailhead. Everyone loved them! The family I live with also loved them, and Mindy made mini muffins of the same recipe later in the week. Click here for the pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe. Of note, I love pumpkin pie seasoning, so I threw in an extra teaspoon. I'm a rebel, what can I say.

The last bit of baking last weekend was a delectable cheese bread recipe from Keri. I love working with yeast breads, and this was no exception! I apologize for not having a picture, but you have to believe me when I say that it is one of the most delicious and easy breads I have ever made! Click here to go to Keri's recipe for delectable cheese bread!

Last weekend I also made butternut squash & apple soup, which was a hearty and flavorful soup. I made it in my new dutch oven (hooray!), and used a hand blender to smooth it all out after it had been simmering for a while. I love squash, and butternut became a favorite after Eva's parents gave us a whole box of it to eat one winter. We discovered all kinds of uses for butternut squash, but I think that soup is definitely my favorite. Click here for the butternut squash & apple soup recipe!

One last recipe to share, which Eva will be thankful for, is Minestrone soup! I have this recipe thanks to dear, dear friends in Kansas City that I lived with for about a year. I will never ever part with this recipe and plan to make it frequently! Here's the link to the recipe which I have shared online on Tasty Kitchen (if you don't use Tasty Kitchen for recipes, you must! Absolutely amazing recipes are at your fingertips awaiting a try!) - Minestrone Soup recipe! Once again, no picture, but trust me you will put it in your repertoire of hearty soups for chilly days. We had it at the pumpkin carving party last year and I could probably live off of it all winter!

Enjoy some of these tasty bites and let me know what you think! Next weekend I'm making some pumpkin chili and will hopefully have pictures for that one!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

the glorious adventures of nic and nat

Nic and I have become quite the adventurers since I moved here! Our escapades have spanned many different areas, to include cooking, hiking and even exercising. I love that after work yesterday, (which I was supposed to get off at 6 and ended up staying to do paperwork until almost 7) I could call Nic and tell her about my never-ending paperwork and she offered to cook dinner for the both of us. She did admit that this prevented her from eating leftovers, but it was great to simply eat with someone who is in the same life stage.
We have laughed hysterically and cried over various events in our lives. I am so thankful that the Lord has placed her in my life at this point in time. The quote of yesterday evening was, "Together we make one very dysfunctional person!"
Last Sunday I was sleeping on the couch, which is my preferred piece of furniture for naps, when Nic called and asked if I wanted to randomly go hiking at 3:30 in the afternoon. Of course I was game for such an adventure! We managed to navigate to the trailhead for Section 16 and proceeded up the trail, which was awesome. We talked about life and God. What a great reminder of His vastness to be out in His creation and experience how it all attests to His glory and fame. We talked about Isaiah 40:27-30, which reminds us that God is "the Everlasting One, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not grow weary or tired; His understanding is inscrutable." We both shared how this helps to shape our knowledge of who God is.
After a rather trying week, God has helped me to have some closure and peace. He has truly reminded me of His great love through so many different routes and people. Thank you to all of you for the encouragement!
Up next: a cooking post - wow it's been a long time since one of those!