9.28.2011

Homemade goodness....



When I started to work in an office/torture chamber, it became harder and harder due to the hours that I work to always come home and cook all the time. But, it's what I strive to do. Surprisingly, my husband is a good cook, and has picked up where I have left off and because of that, I am still able to eat at home. I also try to cook a little extra over the weekend if I can, and in the Autumn months and into the winter months, the weekends usually mean I am whipping up a homemade soup and baking my own bread. Without really realizing it, each season I found myself trying a new soup each weekend. It is great fun ~ and oh so delicious. Along with a different soup each weekend, I also strive to find a different bread to bake each weekend as well so it is something that we really look forward to. I call it my neverending soup, salad and bread dinner. 
{and, not surprisingly, we seem to have a lot of people drop by on weekends}

I've been looking up new Autumn soups and stews to try in the coming weeks, it's really very exciting! This last weekend we made...you guessed it! Homemade vegetable soup-it was so very good!There are so many recipes, I doubt I will ever run out of ideas. I love this tradition that I have created overthe years. It is one that everyone I know has come to know and rely on. The truth is, that it is comfort food,in comforting surroundings, and it attracts my friends and neighbors each fall and winter. What betterway to keep in touch with everyone then the fact that they drop by? Otherwise, because it's so cold, wewould barely see anybody just out and about. This way, we can always expect company, we break outthe board games, and card games, the new movies, etc: and have great times making great memories. The best part of all? They usually bring a delicious dessert to share and that is good, because, I am not too good with making desserts. But, I love to eat them {smile}  

I love this season, don't you? Do you have Autumn/Winter traditions too?

9.13.2011

:: Apple Cider with a twist ::


The apple is a highly thought of fruit here. In July we celebrate July 4th with a slice of apple pie. 
And in Autumn we sip apple cider. To spruce up the same ole same ole, try making a Kahlua 
(coffee liqueur) Hot Apple Cider. 



Kahlua Hot Apple Cider: Simmer sixteen ounces of apple cider, a jigger of coffee liqueur, 
a half a cup of dried apple slices, and a cinnamon stick for 15 minutes. 
Then stir in a teaspoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of butter. 
Strain and serve in mugs.

Not a cider fan? Try making an Autumn Delight:

Autumn Delight: Shake two ounces of whiskey and six ounces of apple cider. 
Pour into an old-fashioned glass and dust with cinnamon. 
If you feel fancy enough go ahead and garnish with a cinnamon stick and a couple of apple slices too.
So that is at least two of the main flavors of autumn. Are there others? Sure. 
There’s nutmeg, ginger spice, and cloves.

So as the year begins to wind down, and you move from the deck or the front porch 
to the fireplace hearth or to the hot tub, take the time to enjoy autumn’s aromas and its flavors.

9.06.2011



As much as I love summer {except this summer was so extremely hot}, I must admit that I'm pretty excited for fall. Autumn has always been my favorite season. And, as the days start getting a bit shorter, my thoughts are turning to all the delicious things the season will bring: the beautiful changing colors of the leaves; cool, crisp air (such a relief after all the 100 + degree days); soft scarves, boots, and hats, sipping tea on my porch in a big comfy sweater and warm slippers; homemade pumpkin pie; Halloween {maybe we'll even get some trick or treater's!}. I'm also looking forward to taking a couple trips to Chicago to shop at Trader Joe's, and Whole foods, and spending the day wandering the museums.

I'm focusing on taking care of myself. I've been exercising a pretty decent amount, running, walking, hiking, doing yoga at home, and I joined a gym where I plan to add weight-lifting to that regimen {not to mention regular tanning sessions}. I'm drinking lots and lots of water and tea, and enjoying shopping for healthy foods, especially now that the Farmers Market is open 3 days a week. I'm also trying to take better care of my skin. {The water will go a long way to helping with that}

Well, that's about it for me right now. What have you been up to? Are you looking 
forward to fall or hanging onto summer?