Fall is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it — the smells, the cooler days, the crisper nights, the colors, the pies, Halloween, Thanksgiving, volleyball and football start up again — what’s not to love? Alright, I admit there is one thing I don’t like — cleaning up all those damn leaves on my property. I own about an acre of land with maybe 20 giant oak trees. So the leaves can pile up and pile up quickly. And unlike in some neighboring cities, I can’t just push my leaves into the road, so I either have to do it myself or hire someone else to do it. But that’s a whole other issue. . .
Anyhoo, I saw this the other day on Facebook and wanted to share. This appeared on my feed from the magazine Midwest Living. This sums up everything that is awesome about Fall and I wanted to share it with y’all. What do y’all like about Autumn? Just let me know — either here or on Facebook! I gots a recipe for some Gluten-Free Rocky Road Brownies coming up later this week, and hopefully some other fun stuff.
Alright, so it’s been some time since I’ve been writing. I know, I know — I am ashamed 😦 But things happen in this thing called life. Not to make excuses, but I was trying to adapt to the new schedule caused by my new job. Then I got a weird volleyball injury that took up my time trying to rehab that. Then I got really sick really fast around Christmas and found myself admitted to the hospital several times. Lucky for me this happened in December and January so I got to fulfill two massive deductibles back to back. Hurrah! And hospitals are not fun — especially when you get the bill months later and can’t decipher what charges came from where and from whom and for how much. I will say to my insurance company that your estimate on what a CT scan costs is sooooo completely off from what the hospital says ($800 estimate vs. $1700 charge). All that fun and the multiple docs couldn’t even tell me what was wrong; just treated the symptoms and see what could be managed.
Then after getting to know the hospital, I got a weird infection that sidelined me for over three weeks. Meds didn’t work, I was weak all the time, I couldn’t walk without getting dizzy (which is a challenge if you have to navigate stairs to get to your truck — not that I could drive anywhere even if I managed to make it to the garage). Things eventually cleared up, but since I missed so much work, I ended up losing my job. Which I guess is alright aside from the fact that I am penniless. I don’t blame them for firing me; it just sucks for me. So much for my first stint in Corporate America!
But losing my job meant that I could focus on the physical therapy for the injury that happened months ago. And lucky for me (or unlucky for me), I met my out-of-pocket maximum for the year back in January so no charge! Well fast-forward a couple of months and my knees are still shit. I can’t afford COBRA anymore so I guess I will have to tape them up and just go on with life.
And that is what I am trying to do — go on with life. I think I’ve done enough wallowing in self-pity and it is time to git goin’! I’m finally able to work out again (with some obvious limitations) and I’m getting back to what I love — FOOD! And booze, of course. Actually, right now I am in the Corner Brewery here in Ypsilanti trying to raise my spirits. Some pulled pork tacos and a Buzzsaw IPA can sure help with my mood, but more on that later! Although it is a bummer that no one wants to join me here — stupid friends and their stupid jobs and families and prior commitments!
But in all seriousness, I plan on getting back to blogging and sharing my foodie adventures. I did just take another trip up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and found some amazing pasties, and breweries , and wineries, and distilleries. . . . I’m also trying to make a theme cake (note the emphasis on trying). What’s wrong with a round cake? I can do those, no problem. Dinosaur shaped? Ugh, I need to practice this. A lot. Plus I have some posts that should have gone out last year (oops!), but they’re still relevant.
So Stay tuned! More food and booze and hijinx heading your way! And for no good reason — here’s my sweet idiot dog Cooper enjoying the summer sun!
So I’m planning on doing some hiking soon and I was thinking to myself, “Waterlily, what would be something tasty that you can take on your expeditions?” And that’s when granola popped into my head. It’s something that’s good to eat when you’re on the go, plus you can eat it on its own or on top of stuff like yogurt, ice cream, cobblers, and the like.
I use a simple formula here: 4 cups of stuff + 1/4 cup of vegetable oil + 1/4 cup of honey. That’s just for the mixture that goes into the oven. You can add as much fruit as you like afterwards, like raisins (yuk!), or dried hibiscus flowers, or dried apricots, etc. Just don’t bake the fruit in the oven because it will burn. This recipe is very simple, and I love it when things are simple! Here’s what you need:
- 2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal
- 1 c. peanuts
- 1 c. shredded coconut (I used the unsweetened big shavings)
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- 1/4 c. honey
- pinch of salt
- 1 c. dried cranberries
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or foil. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, toss the oatmeal, peanuts, coconut, oil, honey, and salt to combine. Pour onto the pan into a single layer and bake in the oven.
3. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally while in the oven, until the granola is golden.
4. When done, scrape the pan to loosen the granola and allow to cool in the pan. After it has cooled, mix in the cranberries and store in an air-tight container at room temperature. Should last a month, but I have no clue — a batch usually lasts me a couple of days before it gets eaten up.
Notes — You can mix things up by changing the ingredients. Try different nuts, different fruits, add spices. The possibilities are endless. . . If you are still getting some moisture left over from the oil and honey, try baking at 325 degrees F for about 30 minutes
On this day (April 10th) way back in 1933, the great state of Michigan became the first state in the union to repeal prohibition — huzzah! Yup, Michigan became the first state to ratify the 21st amendment, which overturned the 18th amendment — that’s the one that made booze illegal. In your face Wisconsin!!! They were the second state to do it, but there’s still a little bad blood over here for them trying to call themselves the “Mitten State” a few months back. At least both travel boards worked together to use the controversy to help a good cause.
But I digress. . . back to the end of prohibition. Historians estimate that about 75% of alcohol consumed in the States during prohibition came through Detroit. Right across the border, Ontario went dry but Canada didn’t ban the manufacture of alcohol for export. Put that all together, and you can see how Michigan became Booze Central for the country.
I, for one, love the end of prohibition. If you’re a regular reader, it should come to no surprise. But here is how I intend to celebrate — with a Ginger Lime Martini! Sure it’s 10 o’clock in the morning, but what else am I going to do today?
This is taken from Eve Aronoff’s book which was part of my blogiversary give-away (I did pick the winner BTW). Consider this a preview for those who didn’t win the book. Maybe you’ll see it a bookstore near you; hopefully you’ll pick it up! Now I absolutely love these, and I may have had more than my fair share at that wedding reception I was talking about a couple of posts ago 🙂 I just can’t say stop when there’s ginger and lime involved. . . and vodka, don’t forget the vodka. Here’s what you need:
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 t. grated fresh ginger
- 1 T, plus 1 t simple syrup
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1 T chopped crystallized ginger
1. Combine the lime juice and the ginger and let sit for at least an hour.
2. In a cocktail shaker combine lime juice, ginger, simple syrup, and vodka with ice and shake vigorously.
3. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with the crystallized ginger (I was fresh out so I didn’t add that last bit)
Notes — The color may be a little off from what y’all get. The vodka that I use has some Bison Grass in it and the grass gives it a greenish hue.
Just a quick post / announcement — today is my Blogiversary!!! I can’t really believe it’s been one year already. Hope that I can still try to keep things going! I will probably make some changes to some things, like adding more things to the blog roll or, adding more links, or adding a resource page or two.
And great news — I’ve finally figured out what to do for my anniversary give-away. You’ll have to stay tuned tomorrow when I post what it is (I have to actually go out and pick it up). And it will probably involve Facebook!
And Happy Black Forest Cake Day!
Happy March everybody! It’s another big month for foodie holidays — including my 1st blogiversary (can’t believe that it’s been a year already, not that that’s a foodie holiday). I was thinking about having an anniversary giveaway but I’m not sure yet. Maybe I’ll post something on Facebook (11 likes so far! check out the bottom of the side menu)! More on that later, but check me out on Facebook anyway. Anyhoo, here’s what we have in store for this month (check out some of these links): Celery Month, Flour Month, Frozen Food Month, Noodle Month, Nutrition Month, Peanut Month, and Sauce Month. Now here are some of the special days that we can celebrate in March:
2 Banana Cream Pie Day
3 Cold Cuts Day, Mulled Wine Day
6 Frozen Food Day, White Chocolate Cheesecake Day
8 Peanut Cluster Day, Agriculture Day
10 Blueberry Popover Day
12 Baked Scallops Day
13 Coconut Torte Day
15 Peanut Lovers’ Day, Pears Helene Day
16 Artichoke Heart Day
19 Poultry Day, Chocolate Caramel Day
20 Ravioli Day
21 French Bread Day
23 Chip and Dip Day, Melba Toast Day
24 Chocolate Covered Raisins Day
25 Lobster Newburg Day
26 Waffle Day (in Sweden), Nougat Day
27 Spanish Paella Day
28 Black Forest Cake Day, 1st Blogiversary!
29 Lemon Chiffon Cake Day