Weekly (Monthly?) Update

Weekly Update: Kitchen Drama and Cold Weather

If you were to look at my drafts folder on this blog, you’d see about 52 unpublished drafts that are 99% ready to be posted. I don’t know what it is about actually hitting ‘post’ on these, but I apparently have some kind of hang up. So instead of finally posting one of these, I’m just writing a new one. And actually posting it!

Tomorrow is November, and I honestly don’t remember much of October. I feel like it was just my birthday a week ago, and now all of a sudden we turned the heat on?! (usually I hold off, but it was 59 degrees when we woke up the other morning and I was not having it) This month means the election… omg. And my mom’s birthday, which usually also means snow…. And Brian’s master’s project due date, which means graduation is soon!!! November is poised to be a pretty exciting month for us and I’m really looking forward to the holidays this year once Brian is done with school and we can spend more time together.

We’re still working on our kitchen, but the end is definitely in sight. We’ve finished painting the cabinets, pulling down old cabinets and installing our new open shelving, and installed 2/3 of the butcher block countertops. We’re waiting on the plumber now to come so that we can move the sink and install the last countertop. Then we’ll do the tile backsplash and be done! I’m saving all the details for one giant all-inclusive post, but here’s a few sneak peek photos….

We tore out most of our dead potted plants on the stoop in favor of empty pots, gourds, and a few mums. As sad as it is to cut down all of our hard work, there’s a certain accomplished feeling to returning to bare bones and an empty slate. To everything there is a season…. Weekly Update: Kitchen Drama and Cold Weather

I finally made a recipe I’ve been storing for almost 3 years, and man am I sorry I left it for so long. I saw it in one of Ruth Reichl’s novels (HIGHLY RECOMMEND), and jotted it down in my phone to make later. Here I am three years later, silently thanking younger me for remembering it.

Roasted Pumpkin with Croutons and Gruyere (adapted from Ruth Reichl)

  1. Cut the top off of a medium sized pie pumpkin and gently scoop out only the seeds. (Save those for later)
  2. Start filling the pumpkin with layers of crunchy croutons, grated gruyere, garlic, herbs, and parmesan. (And honestly, anything else you think sounds good. We used a little nutmeg and cinnamon and it was great)
  3. Once it’s full to the top, smash it down a little and fill it up with heavy cream. Smash the lid back on top and pop it in the oven at 350 for at least an hour, and then watch til it starts bubbling over. Make sure you put it in a pan with foil, or have a drip tray underneath.
  4. Scoop out the insides, scraping the roasted pumpkin from the sides, and serve!

p.s… while you’re waiting for your pumpkin to bake, gently clean off your pumpkin seeds, drizzle them with butter+garlic+smoked salt and bake til toasty!

Roasted Pumpkin with Croutons and Gruyere
Roasted Pumpkin with Croutons and Gruyere

Oh and p.s…. Happy Halloween! Somehow I avoided dressing up in the costume that the kids have been begging me to be (a napkin), so I’m happily headed home to sit on the stoop bundled up, eat chili and hand out candy!

Sunset River Cruise

We celebrated Brian’s parents’ anniversary last week, with dinner at the Billy Goat where they got engaged, and then a sunset River Cruise. It was so fun having everyone together for the evening to enjoy perfect weather on the cruise!

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Brian shot 35mm with his Pentax, and I shot with the DSLR. Golden hour for the win.

Christmas 2015

We had SUCH a great Christmas this year! We spent Christmas Eve with my family, and then Christmas Day with Brian’s family. We’ve been talking about what made this year so great, and I think we were just so relaxed and thankful that we got to spend the holidays together. It’s always nice to visit our families, especially now that we have each other to share the holidays with.

My family spends holidays with just our immediate family and my Pappy, so it’s a pretty calm and quiet day. We play board games, read by the fireplace, and have a nice dinner and dessert. My mom does an amazing job decorating our home and I still get happy butterflies in my stomach when I see the tree all lit up in the living room. I love the memories I have of waiting on the stairs on Christmas morning til my parents finished getting everything ready so we could run down to open presents.

This year we all did a seriously awesome job with gifts. I was SO excited to give all of my presents, that I pretty much forgot I was even getting any! When we were finished exchanging gifts, I had the best feeling in my heart knowing that everyone was happy and thankful and appreciative of each other. After presents, we played the original Password game, and it was hilarious! Pappy and I were a team, and we had a crazy winning streak for awhile… I loved it. I told Brian, I think we should play a different board game every Christmas!

On Christmas morning, Brian’s sister came to pick us up and drive us back to their parents’ house about an hour away. They have a huge family party on Christmas with all the aunts and uncles and cousins, much different than my family. We had a great time hanging out with everyone that night, and had a delicious dinner that I’ve seriously been looking forward to since last Christmas at their house.

I’m so thankful that we have such loving families who care so much about us. We are luckier than we know, and it’s holidays like this that remind me to remember these moments when we are surrounded by so much love.

  1. I tried out my new brush pens on our Rifle Paper Co. holiday postcards
  2. The woven wall hanging I made for Margaret on my hacked-together loom
  3. Writing thank you-notes
  4. I could not stop reading my new cookbook… I seriously love it
  5. I picked up a few cute wrapping paper sheets on sale at Paper Source, so this year’s theme was pink!
  6. Brian built a wooden shipping box for my dad’s gift… It turned out so well
  7. Frosting french macarons
  8. The custom dishtowels I made for my mom out of vintage recipe cards
  9. Baking more macarons… in my new apron!
  10. Vintage Geneva Bottling Co. seltzer bottle for my dad
  11. Super-packed Prius with all of our holiday goodies. Somehow we left with twice as much stuff as we came with…