Monthly Archives: May 2015

Waffle Maker Joy

You guys, I like waffles.  I won’t say I love them, because they are not my most favorite food of all time.  But, I really really do enjoy eating them and I think they make an excellent carb-y base for many a meal.  Real talk: Until yesterday, whenever I had an urge to make waffles, I’d text Galina and we would set a date pull out her waffle maker and do it.  This year, I had it in my head that I would order us a waffle maker as a Valentine’s Day gift, since we didn’t buy any new cookbooks.  Then we went to Italy and we got home and we still didn’t have a waffle maker.

This week that changed!  I ordered the Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker for $26.98 on Amazon (I’m just laying that all out there in case you are similarly inclined to bring a waffle maker into your life).  That seemed like a reasonable outlay for a tool we might not actually end up loving in the end.  If nothing else, the amount of excitement generated by the arrival of the waffle maker was worth the purchase price.

Our first foray into waffle making?  Chicken and waffles.

Waffle 1

Perfect for a Friday night dinner, right?  We were already planning a date night “in” and we had to eat something!

Lis and I were also scheduled for our monthly brunch today and so I asked her if she would have any interest at all in making waffles.  Thank goodness, she did.

Waffle 2

Clearly I assembled the waffle with little or no regard for how the toppings would photograph.  Related/unrelated: Jennie-O turkey sausage links are completely tasteless and I should have just thawed some of the pre-mixed turkey sausage I had in the freezer.

Even though I don’t see us making waffles again for at least another week, I’m excited for us to have another ____ and eggs dinner option available.  Plus who knows, it might actually be nice to make them again for breakfast on the weekends!

Obviously, if you have any favorite waffle recipes or favorite waffle toppings (I am especially curious about savory options!), please tell!

Friday Food Round-Up!

Time got away from us this week before we could even get started.  Marcus has a few evening commitments that will carry through summer and we’re still adjusting to that schedule, and making sure that we’re actually home at the same time to eat dinner together.

Miscellaneous – Warm Cauliflower and Herbed Barley Salad


Since I DIDN’T really have time to cook this week, I made a cold salad on Sunday that I could enjoy for lunch throughout the week.  This cauliflower salad is a classic.

Tuesday – Pan Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas, Rice, Roasted Broccoli


We have not made this pan roasted chicken in ages and it is absolutely one of our favorites.  Since this was a cooler spring week, it was a great weeknight dinner.

Domestic Dispatch

You guys, I just cannot stop with the hardcore spring cleaning.

The KonMari-ing continues.  Put your hands up if you have a graveyard of old electronics in your house.  Us too!  While I was away last weekend, Marcus took care of getting rid of two old cell phones and an old laptop.  Even though those things don’t take up a lot of space, it’s good to have them gone.

I don’t even want to type this next part, but I have to because The Blog is all about honesty and us finding common ground because our lives are the same in some ways even though we are from all over.  Right?  Right.  So.  I realized last weekend that we did not address a few drawers during our first round of purging.  Fine.  Whatever.  It was not a big deal until Sunday when I got home and Had To Deal With It Immediately.  Between Marcus and I, we came away with a full garbage bag of things to discard, which to be said plainly, is horrific.    On Monday, I did a review of each of our vanity cabinets.  In the basement bathroom, I found a roll of wallpaper that matched the stuff we had removed six years ago.  I honestly have no idea as to how we can continue to find this much unnecessary stuff when we have purged so much already.  It’s embarrassing, really.

On a more uplifting note, a pass through the pantry yielded a bag of food for the food sheld, so that was nice to get together. 

From the department of cozy things, for Mother’s Day, my mother-in-law gave Marcus and me a reverse-gift.  She crocheted us this afghan and I love it sick!


Y’all know I have a serious weakness for handmade things, especially when they are from people I love.

Finally, do you remember when we slashed our cable bill last year?  Well, Comcast finally raised it on us.  And Marcus saw the bill and said, We Will Be Addressing That This Weekend.  There is nothing more painful than fighting with the cable company, dealing with the prospect of cancelling our service and then re-establishing it (and our internet – yikes), but for the amount of money it saves, it’s necessary.

On the bill-slashing front, we’re also re-assessing whether or not it would make sense for us to join-up with one of our families’ plans or not.  The last time we considered this it was not going to save us money, but this time it might and that is worth investigating.  Even $10 a month would be $120 over the course of a year.

Books I Would Read Again

Last time I blogged about what I was reading, Mads commented that she wanted to know how I liked the books or at the very least, what books I would recommend.  So I went through the blog and combed my posts to review the full list of books I have read and then I made a list of the ones I want to tell you to read!  Without further adieu:

  • The Red Tent  by Anita Diamant
  • Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
  • let’s take the long way home by Gail Caldwell
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
  • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  • firefly lane by Kristin Hannah
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  • World War Z by Max Brooks
  • The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
  • The Yonahlossee Riding Club for Girls by Anton Disclafani
  • World Without End by Ken Follett
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
  • Young Money by Kevin Roose
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Bond Girl by Erin Duffy
  • Leisureville by Andrew Blechman
  • Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
  • Euphoria by Lily King
  • All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt

What’s on your recommended reads list?

Back on the old running trail

Cabin Running

I went for my first run of the season Up North on Sunday morning.  It was a brisk 41 degrees out with a real-feel of 36 degrees.  As we all know, that’s not really within my “acceptable” outdoor running range, but I did it anyway because (1) I really did want to get back on my summer running trail and (2) I didn’t want to have to run at back at home after eating Happy’s for lunch.

We all know how THAT goes.

My reward for this fortitude in the face of less-than-ideal-conditions was a Bald Eagle-spotting mid run.  He was hunting about 15 feet above me and about 15 feet away from me, so that pretty much counts as a wildlife encounter in my book!  As he swooped down and lowered his talons every other loop, I hoped he was going for the fish under the bridge separating Cross Lake from Daggett Lake and not for me!  Thankfully, that last dive brought him down to the water and (hopefully) breakfast.  I’ve watched Eagles hunt before, but to be this close was a pretty cool thing to experience.

Up North At The Cabin Again

Lake 1

I would say that it was the beginning of April when I knew that I needed to go up to the cabin.

Lake 2

As we were driving home, Mom asked me what my favorite part of the weekend was.  My answer?  All of it.

Lake 3

It is so comforting to return to this place year after year.  The same house, yes, but the same water, the same sand and the same wind.

Lake 4

This morning, as I was sitting on the step with my wet feet in the sand, looking out across the water of Big Pine Lake, I had to ask myself how many hours we, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins have spent in silence with the water.

Lake 5

It was the fishing opener in Minnesota this weekend.  We were going Up North to open the cabin.  Since our dock and boat are NOT in  yet, I put 2+2 together and let my Uncle Doug know that I would be more than happy to tag along on his Mississippi River fishing outing along with his neighbor Bill.

Over the course of 3.5 hours, he got a Northern, which I totally failed to capture on camera, and I caught weeds and that was it.


Chilling cold aside (there was a point where I was wearing six layers – the life jacket counts as one), it was so excellent to participate in the most Minnesotan of all the holidays.

Up North at The Cabin.  How happy am I.  We went to Zorbaz for dinner where I sourced a Minnesota Margarita.

ZorbazZorbaz 1

Tried the Cubano pizza for the first time (yes – order this) and took home seven plastic cups to replace our decrepit collection in its entirety.

I indulged in my Reed’s donuts-Holiday Hazelnut Coffee habit.


I put my feet up and read a book or two, and everything was right in the world.  According to the calendar, summer has not started yet, but right here summer has started now.

Friday Food Round-Up!

TGIF.  I did all of our meal planning for this week before we left for Omaha and I moved some meat from the freezer to the fridge on Friday so that it would be thawed and ready to go when we got home.

As I was doing my meal planning for next week (yes, I did it early, since I will be Up North At The Cabin this weekend), I realized that I have at least 50 untested recipes sitting in my recipe binder.  All torn from magazines, waiting for their day in the sun.  I’ve been playing around with the idea of buying a new cookbook or two (Plenty and Plenty More are pretty strong contenders), but I think my first goal is going to be to work through all of these first.

Sunday – Mustard Milanese from The Smitten Kitchen


After a weekend away from home, of course we had to have something fresh (AKA salad) for dinner.

Monday – Harvest Roast Chicken with Grapes, Olives and Rosemary from The Smitten Kitchen, Brown Rice, Green Beans with Butter and Parmesan


This is a totally new dinner – I don’t know why I decided we needed to try this chicken-grapes-olives combination this week, but we did.  Marcus was skeptical, which I can understand – it’s not a totally traditional combination.  However, he was instantly sold when he sat down and started eating.

Wednesday – Sweet and Spicy Shrimp with Rice and Chef’s Salad


I went to Jillian’s for dinner so we made shrimp, obviously.