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If you were to look at my drafts folder on this blog, you’d see about 52 unpublished drafts that are 99% ready to be posted.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!

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Canada in Monochrome

Canada in Monochrome

Despite my initial aversion to black and white film, I’ve been completely convinced that it captures some of the most beautiful photos. It’s hard to imagine that a gorgeous landscape of bright orange and red leaves scattered on a mountain over a fjord might be equally as beautiful with no color at all, but it’s true.Canada in Monochrome

We brought one vintage Canon point and shoot (that actually used to belong to my parents when we were babies), and managed to shoot 3 rolls of black and white film. Since I carried the DSLR most of the time, Margaret took most of the film pictures. I have a tendency to “save” the film and try not to waste pictures which leads to way fewer photos than if I had the digital camera. Margaret doesn’t have that issue, so we have plenty. Enjoy!

Canada in Monochrome

Canada in Monochrome

Canada in Monochrome

Canada in Monochrome

Canada in Monochrome

Canada in Monochrome

Canada in Monochrome

Canada in Color

Margaret and I just got back from a five day trip to Quebec City where we spent most of our time wandering around the city and exploring. We had been wanting to go on a trip just the two of us, and after looking around at airfare, we figured Canada would be pretty cool.

I hate to say it, but overall I was not impressed with Quebec City. It was definitely nice to take a few days off of work and spend some quality sister time, but after the first day of exploring, I was over it. The town itself felt like a giant downtown Disney minus the rides, complete with cobblestone streets, quaint little façades, tons of souvenir shops, and tourists as far as the eye could see. I absolutely appreciate the historic beauty, but tourist traps are not my cup of tea.

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The parts I enjoyed the most were walking the historic walls around the city, riding on the bike path, and driving through the mountains and seeing all the beautiful farms. The weather was beautiful except for one dreary day, so we were able to spend most of our trip outside which was so so nice. We were lucky enough to be there at the perfect time to see all of the trees in their gorgeous fall colors. I have honestly never seen such intense oranges and reds in my life!

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We rented a car to drive up north toward the fjord, and took the scenic mountain route which ended up being verrrrrrrry hilly (duh, mountains), but also beautiful. We pulled off at the économusée du fromage (Cheese Museum YES PLEASE) and our dreams came true as I chugged a glass bottle of milk and Margaret ate a block of Brie like it was a sandwich. We took some pics with the local wildlife and acted as though we weren’t from the Midwest and had never seen cows. Or a farm. Or dairy products.

Quebec City in the Fall: Part 1Quebec City in the Fall: Part 1img_0215-1

We pulled off at a quiet little trail entrance in the mountains and climbed the most gorgeous path. We kept hearing people’s voices but couldn’t see anyone until we realized they were way above us, climbing the giant rock face of the mountain! Margaret was determined to “touch the butt” and make it all the way up to where the rock began, so up we went. Coming down was definitely the hardest part, especially with two cameras in hand.

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On our last day, we rented a tandem and spent the afternoon riding on the city’s beautiful bike path. It wasn’t quite as idyllic as it sounds and involved a few arguments, vulgar hand gestures, and nasty looks, but that’s to be expected when you throw two sisters on one bike. Right? We didn’t fall though, so that’s what really matters.

img_0362Quebec City in the Fall: Part 1img_0393

We shot 3 rolls of black&white film too, so check out Canada in Monochrome too!