Monday, October 31, 2011


Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen.
Voices whisper in the trees, 'Tonight is Halloween!'

~Dexter Kozen

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lil Nook

We have a little nook at one end of our hallway. We also happen to have a cute little bookshelf from our old apartment that fits perfectly. For probably close to a year the poor little thing was completely empty and sad looking. We have the large bookshelves in the living room already starving for more novels, and I hadn't come up with any good ideas on how to put the little red one to good use.

Finally, the anticipation of Baby Robinson sparked an idea. The nook is at the end of the hallway between the two extra bedrooms, which will hopefully be filled up with kiddos someday, so I started filling up the shelf with kids books.

The majority of the books I actually scored out of my dad's basement on our last trip to Ohio. So many of my childhood favorites including: a whole collection of Golden Books, The Berenstain Bears, and Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia. I've also been hitting up the local thrift store where children's books are only $0.25 and have scored some great collections of nursery rhymes, additional Golden Books, and James and the Giant Peach just to name a few.

The top holds a framed wedding invitation, a few of my favorite pictures from our honeymoon in Aruba, and a cool print that was actually the front of a wedding card we received.

Monday, October 24, 2011


"I don't use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough."

~M.C. Escher

Bob Schneider

I love a last minute Sunday night outing, don't you? Last night we hit the city with a friend to see his favorite artist, Bob Schneider. I only knew the guy because I've heard our buddy Dan talk about him before but wasn't familiar with any of his music.

Apparently he usually performs with a band, but last night he was solo at the World Cafe Live. His lyrics were funny, sarcastic, and innovative and I was definitely audibly pleased throughout his entire show. The guy himself just has a comedic presence making the whole show that much more enjoyable.

He did a lot of on stage overdubs, which I thought was pretty cool. Ever time there was a heavy bass line the baby would start kicking like crazy. Baby likes bass. Actually I just assume that more kicking means the baby likes something. Heck for all I know it's just trying like crazy to get the hell out of there to escape the torture.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Creating New Life. Week 23

New life. Mid creation. In my belly. Crazy....

I'm at the stage where I can actually see why woman say they like being pregnant. My hair is thick, soft, and shiny. My skin has cleared up and my nails are growing like crazy. I live in this cozy no zipper, elastic waistband world and with a cute little belly that people are magically drawn to touching and rubbing like a lucky penny or something.

Week 23

Focus on the belly and try to ignore the gross toothpaste smear all over my bathroom mirror.

My Morning Jacket

"Wonderful (The Way I Feel)"

It matters to me
Took a long time to get here
If it would have been easy
I would not have cared

Like a tropical forest
Like a cop on the beat
When all is in order
You get lost in the heat

I feel so wonderful, wonderful, wonderful the way I feel
I feel so wonderful, wonderful, wonderful the way I feel

Doesn't matter to me
I could take it or leave it
I could learn from way back when
And still live right now

With the sun on my shoulder
And the wind in my back
I will never grow older
At least not in my mind

I feel so wonderful, wonderful, wonderful the way I feel
I feel so wonderful, wonderful, wonderful the way I feel
So wonderful, wonderful the way I feel
I feel so wonderful, wonderful, wonderful the way I feel

I'm going where there ain't no fear
I'm going where the spirit is near
I'm going where the living is easy
And the people are kind
A new state of mind

I'm going where there ain't no police
I'm going where there ain't no disease
I'm going where there ain't no need
To escape from what is
Only spirits at ease

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reading Rainbow (2)

Julie & Julia
by Julie Powell

I actually thought this book was pretty terrible and only finished it out of principle because I hate starting a book and not finishing. Julie Powell is a unsettled 30 year old working a miserable dead end job in NYC. In order to counteract her overall discontent for life she decides to take on a little side project by cooking the 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and starting a blog to chronicle the whole experience. This review on pretty much sums it up.

The jacket gushes, "Julie Powell writes about cooking the way it always needed to be written about." No, she doesn't. She writes about her friends' dysfunctional sex lives, about her own barely-controlled anger management issues, and about how much city life sucks for the less-than rich. But she writes very little about cooking. She also has a rather limited vocabulary, substituting liberal amounts of profanity. This gets old quickly, too. I threw this away unfinished; I didn't want to be responsible for anyone else wasting time on this book by giving it away. Fortunately it was cheap.

The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway

The story follows Jake Barnes, Lady Brett Ashley, and their post WWI generation through love affairs and drunken shenanigans as they journey from the night life of Paris and onto an excursion to the bullfighting rings of Spain. I'm typically a fan of Hemingway's short stories over his novels but found this to be an extremely enjoyable read. The style seemed a bit more simplistic than some of his novel, which I think helped to create the overall sense of emptiness found in each character. Appropriate for a group know as the 'Lost Generation.'

The Help
Kathryn Stockett
I hesitated taking on another popular best selling work of fiction turned Hollywood after the Julie & Julia experience but decided it would make a good end of the summer read. The Help is set in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s and follows a young college grad, Skeeter, as she struggles to settling into the old fashion ways of southern life. Her life becomes intertwined with those of two black maids, Aibileen and Minny, as they take on a try to force the old south to catch up with the changing times.

Brave New World
Aldous Huxley
This is one of those books that I can't believe I had never read before. Written in the 1930's Huxley manages to capture the future in a way that somehow resonates with any generation. A sci-fi type future world created by mass producing life in Hatcheries, designating embryos to a caste level, then them in Conditioning Centres designed to determine their future cognitive and physical nature. No competition, no pain, no suffering. A beautiful utopia. As the story moves forward the secrets and sacrifices necessary to create this World State begin to unfold, bringing to question the cost of predetermined bliss.

Monday, October 17, 2011


"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

~John Muir

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to

For a good part of the summer we were getting at least a half dozen ears of local corn each week from our CSA share. It wasn't something I really had an appetite for and it started to pile up after awhile. So it didn't go to waste I ended up freezing a few patches to use this fall and winter for corn chowder!

1) Shuck desired amount of corn
2) Add a few ears at a time to boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes

3) Transfer with tongs to a large bowl of ice water

4) When cool enough to touch carefully cut kernels off

5) Store in freezer safe container or bag. I use this great little containers I found in the section with canning supplies. They seal up great and are reusable. I use them to store extra sauce or soups as well.

I substituted a batch of frozen corn for canned corn and made a delicious batch of chunky corn chowder recipe last weekend. The only other change I made was using instead of the second 1/2 c. of soy milk whisked with flour I used cream and gluten free multipurpose flour. Next time I will add more potatoes and carrots to make it extra chunky!

Served with corn bread stuffed acorn squash.

And a belly picture.
I had just showered.
And I'm not wearing a bra.


A few weekends back we took a little road trip to Maine to spend the weekend with good friends.

We were offered a gorgeous fully equipped family cabin with gorgeous lakeside views to occupy for the weekend. Hiking, kayaks, fires, and good company....

Unfortunately it ended up rainy most of the time we were there so we had limited time to enjoy the great outdoors. I was really looking forward to a some nice long hikes in the crisp clean air but it just never happened. The men did venture out on kayaks for a little fishing only to come back drenched and freezing an hour later.

We kept ourselves busy with board game, pool, drinking (except me of course), lots of chatting a catching up, and cute dancing kiddos.

Monday, October 10, 2011


"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. "

~ Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement address

Run Rabbit Run

About the time that I was in the worst of my pregnancy related nausea, vomiting, constipation, and severe fatigue Jim decided to become a vegetarian (actually he's eating seafood, so he's technically a pescetarian but I have a hard time remembering that word). Prior to this change of events, we were both already huge veggie eaters and probably ate a vegetarian meal 2-3 nights a week. And there have definitely been moments, while enjoying a particularly delicious vegetarian meal, that we have commented to one another that we should just take the leap and become vegetarians. It was never really anything more than conversation though. Until one day the bunnies pushed Jim over the edge...

Sometime in early August Jim was working in the garden. It was time to remove our lettuces and the early summer crops that were done for the year, till the soil, & prepare for it for the seed planting of a few fall crops. As he was he working away suddenly the soil let out a squealing yelp at which point Jim comes racing in the house screaming, ranting, and inquiring about my whereabouts. During this period I was a tad occupied with some long overdue bathroom "business" (sorry if this is TMI but Jim thinks it makes the story funnier).

"What's wrong?! Are you Ok?!"
"I tilled over a baby bunny! I need your help"
"What?! A bunny?! Where?! Did you kill it?!"
"I don't know!!! I don't know. In the garden. What are you doing?! I need your help!"

It turned out that Jim did not kill or even injure the cute, little baby bunny. Luckily he was only using a small hand tiller (that we actually scored trash picking) and apparently just grazed the little guy. It also turned out that there was a nest of 3 baby bunnies nestled up in the littlest hole and covered with straw. After much debate it was decided that the bunnies would be moved outside of the garden fence and nestled into a cozy little spot next to the fence, hoping that mommy bunny would find them. My vote was actually for leaving them where we found them but understandably Jim didn't want 3 hungry baby bunnies beginning to feast in our garden in the next few days or weeks.

The bunnies hung around the yard for about a week. Jim attempted to give them water with little success. Until one day he found them curled up together, dead.

Now you might be asking, "How does this equate to Jim declaring his daily diet free of meats and animal flesh?" And I guess the answer comes down to logic really.

Jim knew that the bunnies were too little to survive on their own without the mother. In his head the right thing would have been to put them out of their misery, more specifically drown them in a bucket. But alas, his kind hearted animal loving soul just couldn't do it. Instead the poor babes died a long miserable death by starvation. About a week after their demise, his epiphany struck. He could never have killed those bunnies. Given a gun or weapon of choice he would also be unable to kill a cow, a pig, or a chicken. He just wouldn't be able to go through with it under any set of circumstances. Why then should he expect another to do the killing for him?

Logic I tell you. Pure logic.

At the particular moment that Jim experienced this enlightenment I was surviving on peanut butter crackers and tea, leaving not one ounce of strength to extend any proper amount of attention to it. The house was stocked with plenty of fresh vegetables from our garden & our local CSA share and he was pretty much eating solo every night for almost 2 straight months. I could have cared less what the man was consuming. I had my own set of problems to deal with.

Slowly but surely my first trimester ended, I started eating real food again, regaining energy, and reclaiming my old identity. Which among many things, means lots of new recipes and culinary experimentation. Although I've decided not to exactly follow in Jim's footstep I am fully supporting his new dietary restrictions and only preparing vegetarian meals (with an occasional seafood addition) for the two of us.

You may have even taken note that the recent recipes I've posted are vegetarian friendly. I've also gone through all my existing recipe posts and added a vegetarian tag when applicable. Some posts do contain more than one recipe, but I included the tag even if it only applied to one. I figured that this really should be self explanatory. Actually I'm pretty sure that this doesn't matter at all because of the ten people that actually read this read none of them are vegetarians. And don't ask me how to accurately use these tags to search for things on my blog because I haven't the slightest clue. I'm guessing the search box might be helpful.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Squash Soup

Jim and I both loved this soup. It had great flavor and was hearty enough to eat as a meal in itself (with a little cornbread, YUM!) but not too much to add a smaller portion to a sandwich for lunch or a late afternoon snack. Plus, I was able to use a lot of ingredients from our garden, including the squash. It was a little time consuming but not necessarily difficult. I will definitely be making it again!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

2 medium butternut squash
1 batch of celery, diced
1 large apple, peeled and chunked
~1 C. carrots, diced ( I used what I had available from our garden, so probably a little less)
1 medium onion (I actually used ~6 small spring onion from our garden)
3-4 sprigs rosemary
8-10 C. vegetable stock
2 C. apple juice
1 C. half & half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise (using a sharp knife and a little muscle) and remove seeds.

Place squash cut side down in roasting pan (s).
Spread carrots, onion, celery, apples, and rosemary around the squash.

Add 2 C. vegetable stock and 1 C. apple juice.
**Since I was using two smaller roasting pans I dividing the amount between the two pans. Basically you want a 2:1 of stock: juice enough to cover most of the veggies and keep the bottom of the squash moist. You can varying the amount depending on the size of squash & pan size you have**

Roast until tender (~1 hrs) and the skin begins to pull away easily.
**I have double oven and had one pan in each oven. If you're using a larger pan or double pans in the same oven you may need to lengthen the cooking time**

Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle (but not until cold).
Spoon roasted squash out of skin.
Blend squash pulp, roasted veggies, juice/broth from roasting and remaining vegetable stock and apple juice until you get your desired thickness.

**I have an immersion blender so I transferred directly to my soup pot then poured in the roasted veggies and juice directly from the roasting pan, removing only the rosemary. Without and immersion blender you'll need to transfer the squash and veggies into a blender or food processor**

Once the all the blended soup is transferred to a soup pot, add half & half, cinnamon, & nutmeg.
Simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring as needed.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Soup's On

The cooler temps have definitely put me in the soup mood. I really, really love a big bowl to warm me up on a chilly, crisp day. It's so fun and easy to make new creations. Soup can as simple as some veggies and broth or more hearty like chili or chowder. Last year I made a declaration to make a big pot of soup every week. I think I was on track for the first few months but things sort of drop off after that.

But, it's that time of year to get the soup pot simmering again! I already made a killer batch of butternut squash soup a few weeks back (I'll try to post the recipe tomorrow) and have my eye on this recipe for corn chowder for the weekend. But, this black bean soup is also looking very tempting.


What's your favorite?