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weekend hunting

6 Oct

We finally had a day off together! We took full advantage of this by going out for a DELICIOUS lunch here, followed by a DELICIOUS dessert here. Most definitely did not disappoint and quite and “one-two punch”!

Afterwards, we partook in a most fervent round of hunting.

Pumpkins as far as the eye can see…

Our spoils…

but not without a few scrapes and prickers.

(paddle shoes may not be the best choice for hunting)

And, just like last time, we wanted to take them all home. But the baby gave us an excuse to take home three.

Kaleigh

A Wonderful Christmas = More Stuff

29 Dec

Alright so, have I shared with you that I am a borderline hoarder? With such a small space, this is not really productive. You really can’t tell walking into our house because thanks to years of working in tedious retail jobs, I am extremely good at organizing.

YES! It's color coded, and just in case you're wondering, so is my side of the closet.

But I mean, I am a proponent of “reduce, reuse and recycle”. I do admit I am mildly harkening back to elementary school platforms (or more recently, bureaucratic 60-year-old’s platforms) where the little green arrowed triangle is stamped on to our mushy little brains in hopes that we may some day throw that cream of mushroom soup can and our soon-to-be non-existent newspapers in the recycle bin and save the world!! (Cue Star Wars theme music)

But here’s the thing, I still have my Cabbage patch doll from my 1st birthday, Valentine’s Day cards from when I was 7, and I’ve taken up an ever-expanding collection of old clothes and various fabric in hopes that some day I will make something wonderful out of them.

Why do I still have these?!

And since some extremely lazy residents in our complex couldn’t walk another ten feet to dispose of their trash in the correct receptacle, we no longer have recycling in our apartments. So now I find it extremely hard to throw away beautiful glass jars (despite the fact I have not come up with ONE idea as how to repurpose them).

But wait, didn’t global warming get de-bunked? Shouldn’t all these ‘green’ practices that we have so happily adapted be making some sort of dent in this ‘horrible’ place we’ve created for ourselves? Who knows and really that’s an argument for another day.

Anyways, in our tiny little piece of the universe, it’s getting to be a bit much.The other day, as I was trying to pull out my gift-wrapping ephemera (i.e. re-used boxes, recycled tins and wrapping paper, ribbons, etc), I thought I was either going to be killed in an avalanche of stuff or have a panic attack complete with mental break down.

Watch out!

I even considered shelling out the extra dough each month so we can have a glorious chunk of real estate (comparatively speaking) for storage space, aka ‘a garage’. All of a sudden I had wholesome daydreams of a house (rented or bought is neither here nor there) with a lusciously green back yard for the dogs and multiple rooms complete with craft room for me and man cave for Kyle. Swoon!

Then… suddenly remembering our current balance in our checking and savings accounts… I dreamt of becoming a minimalist. Ravenously throwing things out left and right. Living off of dried beans and rice, no cable/internet, and the good Lord forbid, only two t-shirts and one pair of shoes, or shall I say sandals.

Don’t get me wrong, I am SO THANKFUL for the gifts we have received, but we are dealing with limited space here people! Luckily we received some things that are going to encourage organization. Yeah for bookshelves!

I believe the exact words I chanted upon opening were “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

Is that blasphemous?

So needless to say the top of the list for resolutions and all that… CLEAN HOUSE!! But can I rid our place of things that I KNOW we will need at some point???

Ummmm…..

I think we need more storage.

Long Lost Me

25 Oct

It has been a while since I’ve got my butt in gear and written a post! I have definitely wanted to, but my new job is quite exhausting…in a good way though! Although I’ve been long-lost here on the blog, I feel quite at home at my new job. I really feel it is where I need to be and I am loving it!  While I was working as a nutritionist, I was sitting at a desk all day. Now I am running around like crazy. I feel as though I like this much better, but I forgot what it was like to have an active job! I feel like a VERY OLD woman. I’ve been sore and pooped. I really need some comfortable shoes! And I must say I was really excited to buy new socks!!! That will tell you how often I buy myself things (Kyle takes care of that!).

My old socks were like putting tissue paper on. Needless to say, I needed some new ones extremely bad! These guys feel so amazing, nice and fluffy.

The past couple of weeks, fall has really been taking hold of the weather. We’ve had rainy, dreary days and cool sunny days. I don’t know if this is really true, but I think the nights of fall are different than any others here in Colorado. They are very crisp, the clouds have a glowy, almost purple shadow to them, and the air smells like a bonfire. It really makes you feel cozy and alive. I love fall!!

Today we went to pick our own pumpkins!!

We got two for carving, two for roasting (yummm!) and one acorn squash. Despite it being extremely cold outside, it was a really cool place. We went to a pumpkin farm a few miles from our house. It was so amazing how many pumpkins they grew!! It was funny because as we were driving away, Kyle said “I feel sad for all the ones that didn’t get picked.”

I said, “I know, I want to eat them all.”

It was kind of like going to a puppy store and wanting to bring them all home!! But I certainly would never have the desire to eat puppy.

Yes, we’re weird.

Anyways, I’m writing to share my favorite pumpkin cookie recipe!!

It comes from the Everyday Food Magazine from 3 years ago.

Chocolate Glazed Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin-pie spice (but I use 1 tsp because I love the spice!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin puree
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped or chips

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, pie-spice and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until smooth. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture in two parts and pumpkin puree in one, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined (do not overmix).

Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto two baking sheets, about 1.5 inches apart. Bake until puffed and edges are golden, 15-20 minutes, rotating once during baking. Immediately transfer cookies to wire racks, and cool completely.

When cookies have cooled, set them (still on rack) over a baking sheet or waxed paper. Place chocolate in a medium bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water; stir until almost melted. Remove from heat; stir until completely melted. Pour chocolate into a resealable plastic bag. Snip off a corner with scissors to make a 1/8-inch hole; pipe chocolate over cookies. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 20 minutes (I skipped this last step, because the hubs wanted one STAT, and me too).

These babies are cake-like, like the tops of cupcakes….oh yes do they rock!!!

Please try them!!!

In other news, Molly has developed a very interesting habit. One time I made some zucchini bread. She got very excited and acted like she wanted some of the batter, shaking her tail violently and looking up at me like she does when she is about to get a treat. I was licking the spatula at the time so I held it out and she went crazy with licks on it, trying to actually eat the spatula. So I then set the mixing bowl on the ground and let her have a go at that. Well turns out she is just like me and LOVES batter. Now any time I lick anything, she feels she is also entitled to some. Today was no different:

Awww! Makes me proud! And it helps with clean-up!!

Kaleigh

New Beginnings

27 Sep

This weekend I was not feeling great, but the weekend gave off a sense that things were a changin’.

Like these babies…

When we got them in our box, they were mostly green with hints of YELLOW. Mysteriously they started changing orange, and now they are mostly RED with some green?!

I know peppers come in different colors depending on when they are picked, but I can’t say I’ve ever had peppers change colors on my counter!

Like I mentioned, this whole weekend I feel like I have been fighting off some sort of bug. I did force myself to make some pumpkin bread though.

I must say, this was NOT my best batch. I think it is because my pumpkin was picked too early, it seems like it was rushed. You can kinda tell in the above picture, not super orange inside.  The flavor just did not have its regular depth. The bread was still decent and it was a new beginning because I never have put chocolate chips in the bread before.

The recipe calls for walnuts but my munchy husband hit those up and I didn’t have enough. The chocolate chips made up for the less-than-normal moistness of the bread.

I have been in a bit of a food slump this weekend. Nothing was sounding good to me.  Here is one of my ‘meals’.

Roasted potatoes with ketchup.

Until today. Kinda. This morning didn’t go well but this afternoon I made my first homemade pasta sauce, another new beginning. I pretty much followed Ashley’s 5 minute pasta sauce recipe except that I used fresh heirloom grape tomatoes from our box and cooked it for about 20 minutes to concentrate the flavor. I then put it in the blender to make it especially smooth.

Really yummy because I also tossed it with diced zucchini (we have a TON from our box) and half a carrot shredded. The mix turned out 1/2 veggies, half pasta.

And the sauce turned out ORANGE!!

Topped with some nutritional yeast to make it a little “cheesy” and it was delicious! I definitely prefer making my own sauce now.

Another new beginning this weekend included me making a decent batch of chili and cornbread! In the past, for some reason I can not produce a really great tasting chili or cornbread. Saturday I put our crock pot to good use. I followed a recipe from a 5 ingredient crock pot cookbook. There were only a few ingredients it called for. Beef, tomato sauce, chopped onion, and chili powder. I followed Bob’s Red Mill recipe for basic cornbread, subbing coconut milk and 2% milk for the buttermilk and corn flour for the cornmeal. It was awesome! This all went un-pictured as we ate really late on Saturday and the pictures would have been bad (and I was feeling really sick at this point too). The next day, the husband ate all the leftovers up before I could get my hands on them! I am excited that I finally made a decent batch of these two things though.

Does anyone have a chili or cornbread recipe that they really like? I’d love to try it! I think I still have plenty room to get better!

Nothing new happening with the dogs. They basically laid around all weekend with me. Although, Molly almost did a flip in the kitchen! Earlier in the day I accidentally spilled a sesame oil bottle. It was hard to clean up so some oil remained on our faux wood floors. As I was baking pumpkin bread, Molly was trying to sneak a taste. I startled her and she tried to scurry out of the kitchen. Instead she almost flipped over herself and landed right on her side! She just laid there for half a minute totally stunned. It was priceless!

Recovering...

The biggest new beginning that is going on here is that I was offered another job!! YAHHHH!

I was actually offered my new job only a week from when I was laid off at my previous job! I feel really blessed that this was such a short turn around. I start Wednesday morning and I am so happy! A totally new job! It is still some-what related to my degree in Nutrition, but in a completely different setting AND I can walk to work!! It’s amazing! No more 50 minute drives to work!! We are going to save a lot of money just from me not having to drive to work. Awesome!!

Enjoy the rest of your Monday aka MNF (Monday Night Football)!! For some weird reason I want to root for the Bears (Kyle’s going to kill me when he reads this). Maybe because it seems they are the underdog? If I don’t have a personal connection to the teams playing, I always root for the underdog. Nothing new there 🙂

A Weekend of Healing- Saturday

18 Sep

It is so strange how God works in our lives. You go through your days thinking that everything is going great, you are where you need to be, you are doing what you are meant to do (well at least for a while). And then BAM! Your whole world changes. Without any real warning. And all you can think is…”Now what?”

You try to be positive in bad circumstances. You want to be. But its so hard. It’s so hard to see what these circumstances mean. What do I do now? What is the plan for ME?

Friday was a really tough day for the 2 people.

Comfort foods and relaxing immediately ensued. Things such as pizza, Amy’s macaroni and cheese, pbfingers flourless peanut butter cookies and CANDY CORN! We definitely did not hold back.

Pure sugar, but it isn't fall without them!

This weekend is meant for healing. Meant for relaxing. Reflecting. Praying. Trusting.

A LOT of trusting. Trusting that the plan for us is good. Trusting that things are going to be ok. Trusting that something so great is going to come out of this.

This morning I woke up to this.

Very fitting for the mood. A dreary and cool (but welcomed) beginging to the day. This absolutely meant warm oatmeal and “coffee”.  On a side note, since I have been on my detox, I haven’t had caffeine in about a month and a half. I tried it a few days ago, and it didn’t go well. Heartburn. So I ordered this…

It’s called Teeccino. We got a 12 pack sampler so we can try a bunch of different flavors! It is herbal tea  that is supposed to taste very similar coffee. It has no caffeine in it, but has natural energy boosters. I am hoping that I am going to like  it because I don’t think my tummy can handle the acidity of coffee very well :(. This is very depressing because I LOVE coffee!

We decided to try the Hazelnut variety this morning.

Brews just like coffee.

It was good. Not amazing. The flavor was not very strong so I think the next batch we try, we’ll use less water. No heartburn though!

My oatmeal on the other hand WAS AMAZING! The best I’ve had in a looong time! It was like I was eating banana bread batter! It was oats, with banana, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves, walnuts, brown sugar and cut up gala apples.

After watching a little football, we decided to walk over to the small dairy farm that is right behind our apartment complex. They were putting on a fall festival! Perfect day for it!

piggies!

Complete with camel rides and llamas!

Here’s what I was hoping with all my heart that we would find here!!!

It's hard to tell but this guy was huge! Bigger than a toilet bowl! (I couldn't think of anything better)

PUMPKINS!!!!

Here’s what we came home with! I am so excited! I have been longing for home roasted pumpkin for about a month now! It’s definitely the secret to making deep flavored and delicious pumpkin bread!

First pumpkin of the season!!

Beautiful!

Kyle had to work this afternoon and evening, so I watched some more football, took a nap, went for an hour long work out and made some stuffed peppers for dinner. And had another cookie. Day one has been nice. Heart warming, soul soothing and laid back. I am grateful for this day. I hope tomorrow will be just as wonderful.