fall porch 2014

Love our front porch this year. I skipped the bats and ghosts and bunting this time. We loaded up on mums and pumpkins and just decorated the front steps.

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portbeefstew

Short ribs, short ribs, short ribs. Another amazing short rib recipe from the November ’13 issue of Food & WineIt was a good meat issue. I’m finally getting around to posting this after making it way back in March or April. It was delicious. Maybe not as delicious as the Bourguignon, but it was also a little less involved. More manageable on a weeknight. And I rarely cook anything with port, it was yummy.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds well-trimmed boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 large Spanish onions, very thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup ruby port
1 1/2 cups dry red wine

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apple picking 2014

We’ve been busy running around and getting into our usual fall pick-your-own adventures. Two trips for apple picking and one trip to Dearborn Market for pumpkins. We haven’t made it out to Atlantic Farms yet this year to pick one out of a real field, but we may still make the drive for turkey and gourds. And to feed the animals.

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back to nature

Oh, I so love a good walk outside. I’ll take one around my neighborhood streets, and I’ll even walk on the treadmill inside. But when I can get out into the woods, or even over to the beach, that is just the best. Sometimes I procrastinate and put every other little task ahead of getting outside. Life gets in the way. Sometimes it snows and the trails ice over. But when I get out there, this is what I see:

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how to bake 1

Adam’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and Hannah was a huge help making his birthday cake. Every year I make a roast chicken dinner for him and bake a three-tiered devil’s food cake with vanilla buttercream. This year Hannah helped with the cake. Baking with her always requires a little project management, but baking a three-tiered cake required a little more.

Read more on How to Bake a Cake with a Two-Year-Old…

apple pie filling

A few years ago, when I first started canning, I put up some apple pie filling. It was fine, but the apples were so mushy by the end of the canning process that they practically disintegrated in a baked pie.

I didn’t try again until last fall, when I read a whole bunch of recipes for canning apple pie filling in the hopes of finding the one that would work.

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Nonfiction so far

In the month since I’ve seen students for the first time, things have been super busy at work. I’m up to the 970s with weeding the nonfiction section. You can see above what I have left to do (left side) and what I’ve already done (right side). I still have to decide on shelf labels, but I will definitely hit my first big goal of weeding and shifting the nonfiction section by Halloween.

I’ve weeded a lot of books. And the vast majority of them were barcoded but never imported into our current library catalog. Not an exaggeration; on a cart of 200+ books I weeded this week, 10 were actually in the library catalog. I’m a little terrified of what’s left that’s uncatalogued. It looks like books were weeded but put back on the shelves. So that’s what’s currently giving me fever dreams. But things are definitely improving!

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September 2014 Outfit

I wore real clothes this month! Lots of them. And a bunch of new dresses from Modcloth (love the cute prints) and eShakti (addicted to the custom sizing) that I bought for back to school.

Also, I went back to school.

Read more on September Outfits: Real Clothes and Total Chaos…

preserved lemon mixture

It has been a week, and for dinner I had two slices of cold pizza scarfed down while manning the book fair cash register at Back to School Night. I am suddenly starving, but I can’t eat this late without repercussions. So, let’s talk about Roasted Chicken Breasts with Preserved Lemon instead. That’ll help.

When I made this weeks ago I was too busy eating it to actually take a picture of the finished product, but you can see from the above photo that the chicken was slathered in amazingly good goodness. This was another summer recipe from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat SupperI made 2 breasts instead of 6, but I only halved the rest of the recipe. A third of a third was just more than I could calculate while hungry (which I almost always am when cooking). Hungry math is just bad math.

1/4 to 1/2 preserved lemon (rinse it lightly)
1/6 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I eyeballed half of a 1/3 measuring cup)
1/4 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 large garlic cloves
1/2 “generous” tsp whole cumin seeds
2 large bone-in, skin-on
Freshly ground black pepper

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chicken adobo

I’m not going to show the final photos I took of this dish, because it is just a sticky, saucy, delicious mess. I’ll leave it with the cleaner looking photo of the chicken and onions, but know that after that point I covered this dish in the amazing sauce until it was unrecognizable and absolutely not pretty. But pretty is skin deep, and delicious is to the bone.

Again, this year was the summer of The Splendid Table’s How to Eat SupperThis is a famous Filipino dish, and I did use breasts instead of thighs (still cannot convince Adam that chicken thighs are worth considering). But the overnight marinading and the sweet and vinegary sauce are just pretty amazing, and this is a cuisine I haven’t tried before. I’m really glad I did.

1/4 cup soy sauce
10 large garlic cloves coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh-ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups Filipino palm vinegar, cider vinegar, or white distilled vinegar ***I used cider vinegar
1 cup whole canned tomatoes with their liquid
2 bay leaves, broken
3 lbs. (about 8) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs ***Still can’t convince Adam to try thighs, I did skin-on, bone-in breasts instead
Extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced thin
2 whole scallions sliced thin (optional)

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