Life, Lately.

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Life, lately, has been busy! I can’t believe it’s already Tuesday, but I am not complaining.

This weekend was freezing cold but lots of fun.

Made biscuits for the first time (and second time, not pictured). Turns out they’re easy yet take some technique and I’m still working toward perfecting them. Jose is completely cool with this trial and error period.

Impulse Target buy. It is actually very surprising that I did not yet own this movie, considering the amount of times I quote this movie.

On Saturday we ran an Ugly Sweater 5k…in single digit temperatures. It was freezing cold but so hilarious and fun-a 5k with hot chocolate stops can’t be all that bad! After that, we went out for some beers at a new to us microbrewery, Cinder Block.

Sunday evening we saw the Hunger Games and came home to crock pot chicken noodle soup and (more) biscuits.

Happy Tuesday to you all. I’m trying very hard not to slip into holiday/vacation mode yet!

Thanksgiving Weekend.

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Needless to say, it was a pretty great weekend of food + relaxation.

Thursday morning began with a Thanksgiving yoga class at the studio I attend. Yep, I opted for yoga instead of any turkey trotting and it was a good choice. It was a donation class and they were accepting canned goods for a local shelter, so that was very cool.

Thanksgiving dinner was spent with a good friend from work, her husband, and their young daughter. Our menu included turkey (of course!), cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole, lemon garlic green beans, and homemade buttery dinner rolls. For dessert, we had apple pecan pie, chocolate buttermilk pie, and bambusa (?), a Middle Eastern inspired dessert which was basically sponge cake soaked with honey. So good. I need to get that recipe and re-create. All in all, everything was great…food and company. Jose and I always miss our respective families around Thanksgiving but it’s also become a special time to create our own traditions, or lack thereof. As we were talking about our plans for this year, we came to the realization that since moving to Kansas City, we have not done the same thing twice on Thanksgiving. And I think that’s kind of cool.

The rest of the weekend was mostly just relaxing and included watching the entire first season of Boardwalk Empire (so good-and so addicting!), seeing Thor, decorating for Christmas, and doing just a teeny tiny bit of shopping.

It’s always exceptionally difficult to return to work after an extended weekend, but at least we are only 3 weeks away from more time off at Christmas.

I hope you all had a wonderful (and relaxing!) Thanksgiving!

Weekend Scenes.

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New red hair. I’m still getting used to it, but at the very least it’s a fun, temporary change.

A nice quiet Saturday night in on a chilly evening called for a beer with the husband. This one was Goose Island Octoberfest, which was surprisingly very good. Wish I had discovered it earlier in the season.

Sunday afternoon at Penzey’s in downtown Overland Park. I love Penzey’s. I want to live there.

Egg Nog ice cream? Is this real life? Trader Joe’s, you get me every time. Seriously though, it’s so good. And kind of perfect because I like egg nog but have a few sips and am done with it, because it’s so thick and rich. I always end up wasting a whole carton of it after only drinking a couple sips from a small glass. However, ice cream I can handle.

Thanksgiving shopping is completed (well, for now). Some good finds at Trader Joe’s, besides essentials like the turkey, include these beautiful multi-colored carrots that I am dreaming up possibilities for, as well as rainbow pears, cranberries, and then apples for apple pecan pie (pecans not pictured).

And here we are…it is Monday yet again, but a three day work week is certainly helping!

Weekend Scenes.

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This weekend was both a special and eventful one. Not pictured is our Friday Friendsgiving/Wii tournament. A Thanksgiving dinner party with friends turned out to be a pretty awesome idea. I made some pumpkin pies that are not pictured because, while they tasted delicious, they didn’t come out as pretty as they normally do. I know I’m a perfectionist when it comes to baking and I get so frustrated and disappointed when a recipe does not come out as I had envisioned it. Probably more so than I should. Anyway. Friendsgiving was fun!

Saturday night was Jose’s belated SURPRISE 30th birthday party! Better late than never, right? This was actually a month late because he was extremely busy with schoolwork around the time of his birthday. I actually had planned a party but had to cancel because of that. This time, we went to a local pub/restaurant and then had friends at our place afterward. It was a perfect evening spent with friends. I think he knew deep down that I couldn’t let his 30th pass by that easily!

Sunday night we went to Surabhi, a celebration of an Indian holiday planned by several Indian students at the university where I work. There was a lot of traditional dancing and singing, and I loved it. I was completely blown away by their talent, precision, and hard work. Afterward, they served Indian food and all in all it was a lovely evening.

Altogether an eventful weekend! Goes by too fast as always. Hope you had a wonderful weekend as well.

Weekend Scenes.

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I didn’t take too many photos this weekend. I suppose I was too busy enjoying it.

First of all, Fall in Kansas City is one of the most beautiful seasons I have experienced. It is gradual, the colors turning dramatically different colors every day.

Friday was a girls’ night of mulled wine and lots and lots of cheese. It was pretty amazing, as you can probably imagine. Jose was gone overnight helping his friend cook brisket overnight for their barbecue the next night, so that was as good an excuse as any.

Saturday night was the barbecue. I made tabbouleh for the first time (recipe coming soon!). It was an overall great night spent with good food and friends. We’ll definitely miss this when we move (likely) this summer.

So today obviously is not the weekend, but Jose and I had a nice little date night out. That guy always makes Mondays a bit more bearable.

Weekend Scenes.

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We supported our local butcher by going to the Local Pig and picking up some of their housemade sausages in fun flavors such as Thai Peanut, Lamb Curry, and Chorizo verde, for an impromptu BBQ with friends. So good. We need to do this more often.

Everyone’s contribution to the impromptu BBQ is the third photo. Mmmm cheese.

Homemade cinnamon rolls…I can’t take credit for those but I do think they inspired me to give them a try. I’ve always been a little bit intimidated by the long and seemingly time consuming process of making them but…we’ll see. That last blurry one is an action shot of Jose multitasking between working and eating cinnamon rolls. He’s talented.

Weekend overall was a nice mix of low key and activity. On Friday I went to a yoga class after work, which was a very nice transition to the weekend. After that, I came home and we stayed in because I had to work early on a Saturday. Yeah, not fun and not the greatest start to a Saturday. That evening was BBQ night with friends, which was much needed. So was the red wine consumption.

Sunday began with a morning run, followed by church and an afternoon movie date.

I think I ask myself this every Monday but why do weekends go by so quickly?

Weekend Scenes.

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On Friday we went to a barn wedding which was just lovely, down to every small detail. I loved the wedding favors, which were recipes and bookmarks and am already planning a time to make that braised pork. Dinner was Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ and dessert was pie. Lovely.

Recipe coming soon for the dessert pictured above!

My new favorite breakfast=apple cinnamon oatmeal with peanut butter. Hooked on it lately. I added the oats to the jar of almost empty peanut butter to use up every last bit.

Not pictured from the weekend: Ohio State football game watching. Sunday tapas dinner at La Bodega with friends, followed by ice cream at Glace for dessert. I had butternut squash brown sugar and caramelized apple ice cream…in a pumpkin spice waffle cone! Hello Fall I love you and everything I eat apparently has to fit into the theme of Fall these. I’m waiting to get tired of pumpkin. It hasn’t happened yet.

Weekend Scenes.

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I know, just another bowl of oatmeal on a blog, but that was seriously one good bowl of oats that I had to share. Oatmeal+oat bran+ cranberries+banana+flaxseed+peanut butter+ vanilla almond milk. Highly recommend.

Although I didn’t run the Kansas City Marathon, I did happen to catch a glimpse of some of the (fastest) runners while walking out of my yoga class. There was even a live band playing! I am inspired.

Another great part of Fall is Honeycrisp apples. At least Michigan does something right?

Speaking of not liking Michigan, Jose got some new Ohio State gear just in time for the game on Saturday! Go Bucks!

On Sunday, we stopped at the new Hallmark design store, HMK. It was very cool. They have stations that help you to locate certain cards, so that you can peruse their entire collection before searching through the cards the old fashioned way. Once you find the one you like, it tells you where it is. Intriguing.

In other news, my new favorite snack might just be Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter and cream cheese on whole grain toast. So good.

Weekend Scenes.

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First of all….pumpkins. Still need to get them. Love seeing them everywhere though.

Speaking of pumpkins….Trader Joe’s seriously has pumpkin-everything. It was amazing and overwhelming at the same time. I was frozen with indecision on whether to get pumpkin this or that. A word of advice, though-get the pumpkin ice cream. So delicious.

While shopping on Saturday, I noticed a new card category. Hrrrmmm. Not sure how much attitude is really necessary for someone’s birthday.

Jose’s first birthday dinner consisted of his favorite things: wings from the Peanut and fries from Oklahoma Joe’s. I am proud and ashamed to admit that it was my idea. I’m just an evil genius, what can I say? Well worth it for a happy husband. We also enjoyed some of the Sam Adams special brews, New World and their version of a Gose. Both were delicious. Even though we’ve been delving into smaller craft breweries and more artisan brews, still love Sam Adams.

I recently found out from a friend that Williams Sonoma offers free cooking technique courses every Sunday. I cannot believe I never knew about this! I signed up for this past Sunday’s, which was all about vanilla. This might truly make me a bit of a baking nerd but I found all of the information so interesting and useful. I was also the youngest person there by at least 30 years. The employee teaching the class is a self-taught pastry chef, which is pretty much my dream job, and he demonstrated how to make whipped cream using vanilla bean paste, how to make a vanilla custard using vanilla beans in pods, and of course there were samples. Pictured are the three different types of vanilla we sampled. I bought some vanilla bean paste (I’d been wanting to get some for awhile but hadn’t had any luck finding it anywhere) so I was excited to pick up some while there. I highly recommend the classes as well as their products-while Williams Sonoma is pricy, the quality is so good. Even their baking mixes tasted delicious.

Weekend Scenes.

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We road tripped to Houston (as evidenced by our bag of snacks!) I never travel anywhere without snacks and I know that I overcompensate. But you have to have options right? You should see my suitcase.

Jose got to have his favorite local Texas fast food, Whataburger. I’m….not a fan. Apparently you have to “grow up” with it or something. I opted to have a (giant) sandwich at the gourmet deli inside one of the biggest and best liquor stores I’ve ever been to. Everything is truly bigger in Texas. We also bought a substantial amount of beer, but that’s a story for another day.

No visit to Houston is complete without tacos. Ever. I ate Mexican food pretty much everyday while there and loved every minute of it. The photos are from the taco joint Jose’s mother took us to on Friday night-it was in a school bus. People were selling DVDs to each other out of their cars in the corner. Tacos were amazing. The place was legit.

The beer was a new one to me, out of a small brewery in Tulsa, OK. It was pretty delicious, but I was more sold on the pretty packaging. I’m a sucker for good marketing.

And, Jose’s mother gave us her molcajete! Pretty excited to use this bad boy. For grinding peppers, mixing and mashing, or maybe to have Jose make me some tableside guac? (Just testing to see if he really does read this!). Possibilities are endless.

Alright. Who is excited that tomorrow is Wednesday? I AM.