Last night, dinner was an unhealthy smorgasbord of food made to 1) get Roscoe a little experience cooking and 2) produce a meal he would thoroughly enjoy. I felt that this
experience would allow Roscoe and I to spend quality time and distract ourselves from Aaron being out of town on business. The items on the menu were chosen and Roscoe
and I ran to the store to pick up some last minute ingredients. Now mind you, I would not have personallychosen to cook these items, but I let Roscoe take the lead on what we’d eat. His choices? Hot dog pizza (not sure where he came up with this), salad (one small success), and “dirt” pudding.
The pizza was not that terrible, but again not my cup of tea. His selection of barbecue sauce, hotdogs, pineapple and cheddar cheese was certainly unusual, but perhaps this
is just the beginning of a budding culinary genius?
Lucky for me his most desired item was the dessert, meaning that I had some leverage to get him to clean his plate before he got a serving. The “dirt” pudding if you are not familiar, is chocolate pudding covered with ground oreos and gummy worms stuck on top. For a child who is mildly allergic to Chocolate, my child can down the stuff! (FYI: he only gets a mild itch; no terrible repercussions from eating it.)
All in all, it was fun cooking with Little Man! He was excited to help, although perhaps a little overzealous about mixing the pudding as I’m still finding splashes on the wall this morning. He’s already asking what we’ll make tonight! I predict my sweet boy is going to be a great catch for someone- far, far, FAR into the future.
Fall was officially at our proverbial door on September 23rd and that means a whole new round of in-season veggies to choose from. Most of the vegetables this time of year are heartier than their Late Spring/Summer counterparts and rightly so! There’s nothing like a hot, filling (not to mention delicious) meal on a cold evening using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Makes me toasty and rosy cheeked just daydreaming about it. But other than filling bellies, what’s the benefit of eating seasonally and locally?
For one thing, the money you spend on your veggies stays local benefitting the farmer who labored and the community at large. Then of course there is the issue of pesticide and herbicide regulation. When you purchase non local food, it typically travels thousands of miles to reach your store from countries like Mexico and Chile that are not required to meet our FDA regulations. That means that chemicals banned from use in agricultural production in our country are still used on food imported elsewhere for us to eat. Kind of crazy, right? Then of course there’s the
environmental ramifications from pollution due to the excessive travel.
Regardless if you care about this or not the actual point of this post is to discuss what gorgeous veggies will be in bounty this time of year. There are lots of them that I’ve cooked with before and some that I haven’t. My goal for the next couple of weeks is to use as many of these vegetables as possible in recipes that challenge my cooking skill and spark my taste buds. The vegetables that made the list for this little challenge are as follows:
I’ll post updates about the dishes I make and will be accepting any and all recipes you may have that requires these ingredients. If you have a recipe you’d like to share just email it my way and I’ll give it a whirl!
Is it already Monday again? Not that we didn’t have an awesome, fun-filled weekend, but this morning’s alarm clock was not a welcome event. Anyhoo, how about a weekend recap?
Our plans to head to the fair the other day were slightly delayed due to the inclement weather that decided to hang around for a whle. We decided we would go Saturday evening with friends, come rain or shine, and lucked out with some gorgeous weather that appeared after a full day of thunderstorms. We absolutely gorged ourselves on fair food including cotton candy, candy apples, turkey leg, funnel cake, and whatever else we fancied. And Roscoe? I think it’s safe to say that he LOVED the fair! He rode just about everything he met the height requirements for and grinned from ear-to-ear for hours.
That’s not to say that I didn’t have a few mommy freakouts when he want on some of the rides. Like the swings. And the ferris wheel. It was both hard to admit he’s gotten old and big enough to ride them as well as my concerns about the rides’ stability. Luckily Aaron went on most of the rides that spun you around so I didn’t have to. Yay for teamwork!
So that was the fair, but what else did we do this weekend? Because of the rain we were stuck indoors most of Saturday. I was at least able to complete some products for my etsy shop, Ramble On. Like this leather bag I made (and has taken me too long to complete!) as well as some other, smaller items.
When Sunday rolled around Aaron and I were both motivated to work off our fair feast. We went for a walk with Roscoe on his scooter for over 2 hours on the Greenway! I think we walked so long because our conversation kept us moving- it was only our empty water bottles that clued us in it was time to turn around.
Then of course there were lots of little trips from here to there, like the Asian market and the in-laws for dinner, that filled the rest of our Saturday and Sunday. By Sunday evening, I think it fair to say we were a tad bit exhausted, but a lot happy. I hope everyone else had a great, fun-packed few days as well!
Okay folks, today is the big announcement. What have I been doing in my off time besides tending to a busy family and career? Well, I’m glad you asked. I’ve been contemplating opening up an Etsy shop. Etsy, if you’re not familiar, is like an ebay of crafters. It’s a website that offers a virtual shop for artists and creators throughout the nation and world. In short, it’s a great source of inspiration and specialty items, gifts, flights of fancy. But back to starting my own Etsy shop. I started my virtual shop,Ramble On Crafts, back in May, but didn’t actually list anything…until now.
The name came courtesy of a Led Zeppelin song and from the suggestion of a good friend. So far I’ve only listed a couple items and will be adding loads more in the near future. Please go check it out and let me know what you think!
So guess what rolled it’s way into town this past week? The Central Carolina Fair! And you know what that means…cheap entertainment, rides, and terribly unhealthy food- all the makings of a great night out! Perhaps my excitement over fairs stems from my childhood near Myrtle Beach where neon and tacky reigned supreme. Regardless, I do get rather giddy at the thought of chowing down on an elephant ear (yum!) and engaging in some serious people watching.
This being Roscoe’s first year going to the fair, we want to make it special. We have not mentioned it to him yet because if you have kids then you know they 1) have little concept of time and 2) go beserck prior to doing something they are excited about. Knowing how fearless our boy is, I’m sure he’ll immediately want to hit up the rollercoaters and whatever other wild rides there may be. We’ll be keeping him on the dumbo rides, but something tells me we’re going to have fun regardless.
Besides roller coasters, the only thing we’re steering clear of this time is the fried butter that has become ubiquitous at fairs. I feel my arteries constrict every time I read about it and just don’t think I can muster up the courage.
Fingers crossed the thunderstorms and rain stays away today. If you are heading to the fair yourself tonight, text us or we’ll see you there!
Now that Fall weather is upon us, Aaron and I jumped at the opportunity to take the VW Westfalia out for some camping. Our destination of choice this past weekend was Boone, North Carolina- partly because it’s so close and partly because of the great hiking trails it offers. Although we didn’t hit the road until Saturday morning, the full day and half we spent up there was spectacular. The weather was awesome, the views were stunning, and we had quality time as a family. Here are some snapshots I took while out and about.
Horse at the Heritage Day Festival- Sugar Grove, NC
View from our campsite
My little tree hugger. Makes my heart proud!
New River Electic Company Ruins
The only one brave enough to go into the water.
If you are in the Boone area and looking for a great place to camp, check out Grandfather Campground. It’s in between Boone and Banner Elk, close to Grandfather Mountain, and super affordable at $25/night for site, electric and water hookup. If you’re looking for a good country breakfast, check out Pappy’s Barbecue in Banner Elk. The food is hearty and their staff is super courteous and genuinely nice. All in all, it was the weekend we needed to renew our spirits and, more importantly, appreciate each other’s company.
Way back in January 2010 I hit up one of my treasure hotspots (i.e., Salvation Army) and found this beauty: a petite sofa who’s lines and size I loved.
The fabric left a little t0 be desired, considering it was green nylon that 1) was uncomfortable against bare skin and 2) acted like velcro to my dog’s hair. My plan since the beginning was to eventually get the sofa recovered although I did not realize it would be a 1 1/2 years before I got around to it. Part of the delay was due to laziness and the other part because I couldnt’ decide on a fabric. That all changed when I went to my $3/yard fabric spot and saw an neautral animal print I loved.
I’ll be the first to admit that animal print is a trend that is on the wane. It’s height of popularity was a few years ago, but do you think I really care? In brief, no. If you like something it’s my firm belief that your personal feelings about something matter way more than the opinion of general society. Okay, off my soapbox and back the topic! Two weeks ago I contacted my Mother-in-law’s upholsterer and scheduled the work. I gasped when I saw it redone…I love it!
My updated settee is chilling out in the craft room/future nursery at the moment, offering a great place to curl up and read a good book.
This may be the only corner of the room that is settled, but, hey, small successes!
It’s no secret that I am a major soup fanatic. Be it hot, cold, spicy, or sweet, if it’s soup I’m game to try it. Some time ago, our good friends the Pohlman’s gifted me a cookbook that has since been my holy grail of soup rcipes: 400 Soups.
Being the dork that I am, I will pull this book out simply to look at the pictures, read the ingredient list, and imagine the flavors. For you non-foodies this might sound a little bizarre, but for me it’s actually a secret pleasure (well, not secret anymore).
With evening temperatures dropping to the 60’s in these parts, I was compelled once again to break out my soup book and cook up a hot batch of hearty goodness. After perusing the 400 (!) recipes, I finally settled on the Corn and Potato Chowder. It was 1) simple, 2) called for readily available ingredients, and 3) could be quickly made- all the makings of a feasible weekday meal.
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1-2 clove(s) garlic, minced
- 4 potatoes, washed and rough chopped
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 3 cups stock (I used vegetable boulion)
- 1 can sweet corn
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels (or just substitute another can)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste (cumin, too, if you like!)
- Parseley and cheese for garnish
In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Add potatoes, onions, and celery, stirring to coat with oil. Cover and let cook for
approximately ten minutes or until you hear it sizzle. Shake pan occasionally to keep ingredients from sticking.
Add stock and corn, cover and let cook for 15-20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add milk and cheese and stir. Reduce heat and
add salt and pepper to taste; cook for five minutes on simmer. Spoon into bowls and add parseley and cheese to garnish. Serve with warm bread for dipping. Enjoy!
Even though Aaron isn’t as big a soup fan as myself he did enjoy the soup. We both added a little Sirachi (aka Rooster Sauce) to kick things up a notch and it was ah-mazing! I hope you enjoy it, too, if you decide to give this recipe a go.
During our family’s epic walk on Saturday, Aaron and I got around to discussing things to do in the Greensboro/Piedmont Triad area. The conversation started with me expressing that I wished we had done, seen, and visited more in the Charleston area during my 10 year/his 4 year residence. Take for instance Mepkin Abbey (Trappist Monastary) or some of the tours in the area- things we just didn’t have time for while living so nearby. To summarize our talk, I didn’t want to feel the same way about Greensboro. I want to experience everything and anything of interest that is unique to this area. That being said, I’ve created a bucket list of sorts outlining the things we are going to do, see, and visit while here. For any readers living in or familiar with the area, your suggestions for other adventures not on the list would be most appreciated. Let the fun begin!
It was yet another delightful weekend of cool mornings, blue skies, and fun! Since my craft room still isn’t set-up, Aaron and I have filled our weekends with exploring our new neighborhood and enjoying the great outdoors. One of our most recent goals is to walk all the trails in the area, of which there are a lot more than I realized!
We decided to try out the 6.5 mile Salem Lake Trail in Winston-Salem on Saturday, hightailing it over there first thing in the morning to take advantage of the 61 degree morning. The walk was not too strenuous and offered great views the whole route. The only snafu was that I took a wrong turn at the end, hooking into the Salem Creek Trail. We ended up walking an extra 1.5 miles until I realized my mistake; not that I minded, but I think Aaron could have done without the extra steps. Live and learn! Here are some photos from the trail.
In a lot of ways the views reminded me of the Charleston marshes, making me long for a visit. I think heading down for a visit is going to be a must in the next month or two.
The subtle signs of season change were everywhere.
I was suprised to see wildflowers in bloom given it’s so late in the year, but their pretty colors were a nice contrast to all the greens and browns.
Last but not least, we came across a tree with carvings from former trail goers. We didn’t personally make our mark, but it was fun to look at everyone else’s.
All in all, it was a wonderful morning. Although I doubt Aaron will let me pick a trail this long anytime soon, it did allow us plenty of time to enjoy quality conversation and for Roscoe to run off all that energy! The rest of the weekend was just as nice, but more on that later- it’s time for the work week to begin!