Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: A Lovely Treat

A lovely fall snack while preparing for the neighborhood Trick or Treat! 

I promise I'll get back to you with the recipe :)

Happy Halloween!

I'm linking up with Angry Julie Monday for some Wordless Wednesday fun!

Update: Mighty Tasty Muffins recipe now posted... click here!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Red Foliage, No Foliage

We've watched our summer green leaves change to yellows and golds. 

Leaves that have been falling for several weeks.

Out pop the little gems that have finally agreed to join the season with their many shades of red.

And now they too find special places to rest for the cold winter months ahead. 

Lovely fall now filled with chilly mornings... cold, blustery nights... and even a bit of snow.

Stay safe and warm!

I'm linking up with Bumbles & Light and Live and Love Out Loud for their fall photo challenge. Check it out here. So many lovely images of our season that is full of changing foliage! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rainy Day Root Vegetable Soup

Root vegetables and turkey sausage makes this soup a perfect rainy day meal! Warm, cozy, and a little chunky to give you a tasty bite for your teeth to sink in!

The past few days of fall weather and cold, cold rain have left me searching the kitchen for soup to warm up those chilled bones. Excited to use some of my CSA box veggies I whipped up a little something that goes like this...

Sausage, Kohlrabi, Potato and Turnip Soup

1 small onion

1 large kohlrabi
3 small turnips
2 medium potatoes
1/2 pound turkey sausage*
a few kale leaves
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Brown sausage. Peel and chop the onion, kohlrabi, potatoes and turnips. Heat over stove with a bit of olive oil for about four minutes. Chop kale and add to the vegetables just as the onions are getting soft. Heat for another two minutes. Add all vegetables and sausage in pot. Add chicken stock, black pepper, salt and heat. Simmer for about forty-five minutes. Grab your potato masher and give a few good smashes and stirs randomly over the forty-five minutes of cooking. It will thicken the soup and break down your vegetables for nice soft bites.

*In favor of using something that we had on hand, I actually used breakfast turkey sausage links and then thinly sliced the links before adding them to the pot. I think you could use any preferred sausage, but I thought the sweet turkey sausage was nice with the turnip and potato flavors. 

For a vegetarian version of this soup I think white beans would be just as tasty as the sausage! Of course exchange the chicken stock for vegetable stock too. 

Stay warm and dry!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Orange" & "Fall"

Orange. Fall. They go hand in hand.

A beautiful season. A warm happy color.

Here's to the warm days of fall.

Warm days that are fleeting away. Quicker than falling leaves.

I'm linking up with Bumbles & Light and Live and Love Out Loud for their fall photography challenge! Click here to check out posts from other bloggers about orange and warmth.

Friday, October 19, 2012

New Holland Brewing Company in Holland, Michigan

Our next stop during our "end of summer brewcation" was Holland, Michigan. We enjoyed the town for the afternoon (yay for the farmer's market!). We went on an official brewery tour of New Holland Brewing Company's Brew House and had yummy refreshments at their pub.

Let's start off by saying we had a great time on the New Holland Brewery Tour! They were actually brewing on that Saturday morning, which we were excited about. The air smelled like sweet liquid bread and the boys got to talk shop around the huge equipment with the guys who knew brew.

The tour cost about $10 per person but it was worth every penny. By the end of the tour we had learned a bit, tasted four generous samples and had a pint glass to take home with us.

Later in the day we stopped by the New Holland Brewing Company's Brew Pub.

First impression of the Brew Pub: By this time in the day it was a beautiful sunny afternoon. The streets and shops were super inviting and the Brew Pub was packed! (We actually had to wait a bit for a table)

Service: Just fine. To tell you the truth, I was a bigger fan of the folks at the brewery than the host and wait staff at the Brew Pub. Nothing wrong happened, I probably just liked hearing them talk about crafting brew in the brewery versus telling me what was on tap in the pub.

Food: We ate up some recommended appetizers (from the guys at the brewery): Pepperoni Pinwheels and the Brew Pub's fresh made potato chips. The Pepperoni Pinwheels were awesome! With super tasty dipping sauces too.

Prices & Other Notes: 
I really liked the look of the Brew Pub. Nice light, brick, beautiful wood. Very relaxing and tons of people were there having a late lunch or watching the football game on the screens in various parts of the bar.

As for the beer: There is not one brew I haven't liked from New Holland Brewing Company. Whether enjoying samples in the brew house, drinks at the Brew Pub, or six packs at home I like their style. So I thought maybe I'd just mention two of my favorites from the trip: Ichabod Pumpkin and Beerhive Honey Ginger Ales. Ichabod has all the right spices for a perfect fall brew while the Beerhive is strong and a bit sweet.

I think I'd like to spend more time in Holland. It seems like a great town to have as part of the state of Michigan. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Running Thoughts

I have a love/hate relationship with running.

I love to say "I ran today". I hate to actually do it. But I swear it is slowly getting better and I loathe it less each day.

Over the past year or so I've been running off and on with my husband who is a great trainer for me, the beginner runner. He pushes me often enough to grow and lets me run by myself often enough to keep interested in this type of exercise. I'm not one to put in a long run and I often walk. I'm the one who sometimes gets mad near the end of the run because I'm not finished yet.

I'm currently back in the swing of a running routine and I'm hoping to complete a 5k this fall. (I meant to do it this summer, but who was I kidding? It was freaking hot!)

Recently I've picked up a bit of inspiration from a past student, who apparently has an interest in running. Her mother shared a photo of her after running her second 5k. She is seven years old now and is participating in 3.1 mile races with her dad. I love it. I'm so excited for their healthy family tradition. I'm so grateful to be inspired by this young creative girl once again.

It also helps to have a little running buddy who has some extra energy to burn. So between my husband and dog someone gets me out the door and on a running route. I'm also grateful for that.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Nurture Photography: Finding bits of Yellow and Fall

Fall is here. Completely. With cooler temperatures I've reserved my flip flops for warm afternoons and wrap a scarf around my neck during those chilly evenings. I love this time... where there is still lots of green, but with flashes of yellow, red and orange. 

It has that feeling of "new" as the season continues to change.

Apparently this one is also a big fan of fall. She can't get enough of those skittering leaves.

Beautiful fall. I hope you stick around for a bit. (:

I'm linking up with Bumbles & Light and Live and Love Out Loud for their fall photography challenge! Check it out here

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ten on 10/10

Even though I'm reporting today... I had a great 10/10 yesterday :)

I'm linking up with a bit of sunshine to capture ten bits of beauty from one day. Ten photographs on the tenth day of the month to represent the day. Check out other October 'ten on ten' projects here.
*Thanks Rebekah for hosting the fun!*

Have a lovely 11th :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Nurture Photography: Green/Journey and Leaves in the Yard

I was super excited to read about the Nurture Photography Challenge for Fall 2012 put on by the team of Rebecca of Bumbles and Light and Kristi of Live and Love Out Loud

This week's inspiring topics are Green or Journey. Those are the words I had in mind when photographing nature this week. 

I have a feeling that it will be a fast paced fall around here. Our yard is nonstop covered in leaves. And a good gust of wind can create a short lived rainstorm of pine needles. 

Something I love about leaves is their journey doesn't stop once they reach the ground. They still have more changing to do. 

Check out the challenge here. There are several topics to consider in the upcoming weeks. You can pick and choose when you can/want to participate. Even if you don't choose to add any photos it should be inspiring to view all the posted images of fall.

Get out, enjoy the fall weather and take a few photos for next week's topics (Yellow and Light). 

Happy snapping! :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Paw Paw Brewing Company in Paw Paw, Michigan

One of my all time favorite beers is a Paw Paw Wheat Beer. So when we heard about Paw Paw Brewing Company we were thrilled to make it part of our trip!

First impression: Small bar, loads of people! We often find that the smaller the bar the more we love it... slightly crowded tables, camaraderie, good drafts. If the locals are catered to, then obviously you'll want to be there. (I base this theory on the fact that locals get to choose what bars they visit in their area all the time. So they most likely frequent the best ones.) 

Service: Great. We were given a draft list right away and were able to order up some great brews. 

Food: Minimal offerings. We had read some online reviews that the food was good however when we got there it wasn't a typical menu. They seem to have rotating entrees. The night we went there was a reuben special and a chicken sandwich. So if you want a selection eat ahead or make plans for a second stop. You could also call ahead to hear what they were serving at the bar that day. 

Prices & Other Notes: 

Something I love about breweries is that they typically are connected to a great community. There was a noticeable mug club and various events that seemed like they would be a good time for regular customers. The bartenders were busy grabbing drinks and chatting with lots of people. They were very friendly and obviously knew many of their patrons.  

As for the beer: Yum! As I mentioned before, paw paw brews are my bag so we were impressed. We ordered the Paw Paw Wheat and it was light and tasty!

This was a short stop for us, but I was glad we found it. Definitely check out Paw Paw Brewing Company if you are passing through Paw Paw, Michigan!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Few Words Wednesday: Bowling with my Buddies

This past weekend we had an afternoon planned for spending time with our oldest niece. After presenting a few choices of what we could do it was obvious that she was totally pumped to go bowling. "I've never gone bowling before!"

We enjoyed ourselves... goofing off, watching the other family a few lanes down from us and actually knocking down a few pins. H loved picking out her bowling ball so much that we ended up with every bowling ball in the place that caught her eye by the end of our first game. (The bowling alley was basically empty, so no one seemed to mind the six year old who was quickly developing a sports equipment hoarding addiction.)

Thank goodness for those afternoons we can hang out with this sassy girl. 

Linking up with Angry Julie Monday for a Wordless Wednesday

Monday, October 1, 2012

Family Ties: Cheering for our Favorite Cheerleader

 Our oldest niece is a big kid. I can't believe that she is in First Grade and old enough to choose to join an after school activity! 

H has a talent for remembering lyrics of songs and singing out loud. Also, she doesn't like to stay still. This meant that cheering for a young football team was a great match for her!

This past weekend we went to see her in action. 

We had a fun time and are so happy she enjoyed the football season as a cheerleader for the Warriors!