recipes of the week

I’m attempting to be more regular about this ol’ blogging thing. 🙂 We’ll see how long THAT lasts, huh? But I used to do a favorite recipe post and I currently have quite the stack of delicious morsels to share with you.

Roasted Apple Spice Cake – deb from smittenkitchen has yet to steer me wrong. I am anxiously awaiting her cookbook, which my sweet friend Lindsey pre-ordered for me for my birthday in June – it should arrive on my doorstep on Nov. 1. One more week! This cake is off the chain fabulous. Simple, not too sweet (which I really appreciate these days) and delicious. I love a fall apple cake warm from the oven – this is one to keep for sure. To make one 9×13 cake like i did (the recipe as written makes a DOUBLE layer sheet cake – which is gigantic), just halve the cake recipe and do 1/3 of the frosting recipe.

Butternut Squash Chicken Stew with Quinoa – I came across this on Pinterest and its been a winner. Everybody likes it in our house. (thank goodness for that!) My only tweaks are to leave out the olives because who likes THOSE in stew? Gross. I don’t like them anytime, but especially not randomly tossed into a stew. Sometimes I also add kale or chard for some extra nutritional punch.

Coconut Chai Coffeecake – yep. so good. Crunchy, dense, buttery topping on a perfect crumbed cake. You’ll want a steaming mug of coffee to cut through the sweetness, but that’s the whole point of coffeecake, yes?

Pumpkin Scones – a basic recipe for recreating something similar to a Starbucks pumpkin scone. But better. I usually skip one of the glazes because otherwise I find them wayyyy too sweet, but that’s just me, I’m sure. I also found that the liquid amount is too little – I always add a bit more than the recipe calls for. Favorite way to do these is to make them the night before, shape them and pop them in the fridge. Then pre-heat the oven in the morning, bake and glaze the hot little bites of fall just before serving. We had these at Taylor’s birthday party earlier this month.

Kale Slaw with Red Cabbage and Carrots – I’m totally obsessed with this salad. I’ve made it approximately 6 times in the past 4 weeks. Thankfully, I have an abundance of kale in my little hydroponic deck garden. The apples, cashews and pop of brightness from the lime juice really make it work. How can something sooo healthy for you taste soooo good? Try it! It would also work with spinach if you’re not a big kale fan. But if you haven’t TRIED kale, I implore you to get some and join the kale party. Stat. It’s such a beautiful salad too.

And now, all the recipes I haven’t yet made, but are on my to-make-ASAP list:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – I know, right? Two of the best things about fall – pumpkin and baking warm, cinnamon-ey things, put together! I will make a full report on how they are as soon as I make them.

Double Dipped Apple Doughnuts – I think I’d call these deep friend apple rings, but ya know, she didn’t ask me. 🙂 I bookmarked these ages ago. I bet they’ll be tasty!

Earl Grey Chocolate Cake – This week I broke out the tea pot and have been making an enormous cup of strong earl grey with cream and a touch of sugar most mornings. This cake intrigues me to no end…once upon a time I had an Earl Grey truffle at the amazingness that is Theo.

I promise, I do cook really healthily 90% of the time and don’t continually bake my way to 300 lbs. Not that the past three recipes would give you that impression or anything. ahem.

Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli – I will probably not make my own pasta sheets for this (I’m not Martha Stewart, poppets), but i absolutely adore these flavor profiles, so I thought it sounded like something i should make. Totally girly food.

Brussels Sprouts Salad – as addicted as I am to pan-fried or roasted brussels sprouts, I have a sneaking suspicion that I will eat the entire bowl of this salad. Possibly in one sitting. Good thing they come in 2 lb. bags at Costco. 😀

So now that you’ve gained 23 pounds just by reading this post, let me know what delicious recipes you’ve tried lately!

20/52

i love this tree in our front yard, so when we went on vacation last week and I saw that the buds were about to burst into bloom, I was a little worried that we’d miss its full beauty. But when we returned on Friday, it was in all it’s glory. Harsh weather this weekend caused many of the petals to start falling, but the scent is still intoxicating and delicious when you walk past and the pale pink flowers still make me smile.

All the blooming trees and bushes – lilacs, azalea, dogwood, crabapple, pear and chokecherry, inspire me to want to plant things in the fresh dirt. This weekend I got a bunch of rhubarb cuttings from my parents and can’t wait for those to produce for the first part of summer. Tomorrow I’m going to make a trip to the greenhouse nearby to pick up herbs of all varieties for my hydroponic garden and some flowers to make various pretty pots around the house. I’m not really a gardener, but I try to make our yard and environs pretty for the short months we can enjoy living, flowering plants. 🙂

I am greatly anticipating our Farmer’s Market starting and visiting it on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s to pick up fresh vegetables and fruit from local farmers. Sometime soon I also want to visit the St. Paul and Minneapolis Farmer’s Markets – they are the grandpappys of markets in the Twin Cities – overflowing abundance of plants, fruits, vegetables and other delectable edibles like fresh bread and amazing scones. I could spend a. lot. of. cash. there. 🙂

I really, really love spring and I’m so glad its finally here!

in your easter bonnet with all the frills upon it

when I was about 7, my dance class performed two numbers in our recital. The first was “Easter Parade” and the other was “Lavender Blue” – both archaic songs even in 1989! And for some reason, the lyrics to both have stuck in my head ever since. LOL. So here is our Easter Parade…photos of our family on Easter Sunday. 🙂 Sorry, no bonnets or frills to speak of!


we had a lovely day of celebrating our Risen Savior, starting with Easter songs like “He’s Alive”, “Easter Song” and “Christ is Risen” blasting on the iPod dock while we ate chocolate dutch pancakes. I sang on the worship team for the Easter service at our church and loved every note of it, then we returned to our house to host Easter dinner for both sides of our family. Other than missing my brother Josh and Kyle’s sister Anna, it was a beautiful afternoon of food and family.
Jack got his first Easter basket from Grandma Char and Grandpa Rick and had fun blowing giant bubbles in the beautiful sunshine. I loved that Good Friday and Saturday were both dreary, cool days and on Sunday morning we awoke to the sunshine streaming in the windows. It was as if God was reminding us – the SON has RISEN just as the sun is rising on this beautiful day! 🙂
I am so glad that Christ arose! And the best part is that He still lives and one day will return for His people. Praise His name!

retro fun on a friday night

Last Friday night, we turned our lower level into a swanky lounge with a retro vibe for a fun night of cocktails and conversation with 6 other fabulous couples. We had a blast setting up the lights and putting candles all around – it made for a very fun atmosphere in our otherwise very 2000’s home. 🙂

The attire was 50’s-60’s era, so fedoras and red lipstick abounded. I made classic party fare from that time period: pigs in a blanket, cheese ball with Ritz crackers and the ubiquitous chips and dip. A bundt cake and rainbow jello topped off the evening. A fruity punch or classic cocktails like martini’s and old-fashioned’s were available and Frank Sinatra crooned in the background.

Later in the evening we played the popular TV game show from the 50’s and 60’s: Password. Much hilarity ensued with random conversations as couples tried to pass the word to their partner. I think everyone had a fun time! I sure did as hostess.

the crowd

 

the handsome couples in their dashing attire – fedoras were not required, but almost every guy showed up with one!

oh Rob. There is truly no one else like you. 🙂