Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous holiday! Keith is working all day, but we have plans to dress up and go to Dan and Aly's house to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters this evening... can't wait! Any holiday that encourages the consumption of free candy is a-ok with me haha

Last night Keith and I watched a scary movie and had some beers, which seems to be our new little Halloween ritual (such party animals, I know).  I love watching scary movies and love having an excuse to rent one.


Here is a cute photo I wanted to share, just a little blast from the past. I wish that I could raid my mothers photo albums for some more Halloween gems, but this is the only one that I have here with me. I'm not positive how old Jake and I are, I'm guessing maybe 5th grade and 3rd grade? but here with are with our good friend Olivia and her parents Perry and Bev. Jake is some kind of pirate, and I'm dressed up as Amelia Bedelia, one of my favorite story book characters at the time. We were all about the homemade costumes at our house, and my mom usually did a really awesome job of sewing/creating for us (one year she made me a sweet mermaid costume, gotta find a picture of that!)

Halloween obviously signals the end of the month of October, and we CANNOT wait for all that November will bring. We've definitely got some tricks up our sleeves :) Have an awesome Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Easy As Pie

So tonight at the grocery store I decided to take a leap and make Keith one of his favorite things in the whole world: pumpkin pie.

Mind you... I've never attempted to bake a pie from scratch before. I've watched my mother and grandmother for years, but this was my first time riding solo. I must say though, it was a bit of a challenge, but I'll definitely do it again. (apple apple apple! my favorite)

After flipping through filling recipes forever I finally decided on one that looked pretty standard but when I got to the store they were 100% out of canned pumpkin :( all they had was the pre made pumpkin pie filling which I wasn't thrilled about for my first attempt (the filling is the easiest part! haha) After asking an employee with no hope I came to terms with my soon to be mediocre pie and went to the check out. Within seconds of Keith swiping our card though, that same employee came running up to us with a case of canned pumpkin that he had recovered from the depths of storage! He was just as excited as I was haha and there began my pie making adventure!

The crust was of course the challenge. I had no trouble mixing it and rolling it out, but I definitely don't have a flare for making the edges all pretty. I went with the obvious principle that as long as it tasted good, no one would care about how it looked haha

I ended up using the classic Joy Of Cooking recipe for the filling and direction, and the crust recipe right off the Crisco can that my family swears by.





Keith of course couldn't wait until the pie had fully cooled before he dug in haha. He's the sweetest and always tells me that everything I bake tastes amazing, so he's not a true judge of how it really turned out (and the filling was still steaming hot when he ate it, so I'm pretty sure it may have burned his mouth haha). That is definitely an invitation to come over and try and piece!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mmmm **UPDATE**

I know this is a little bit of an overkill on the baked goods, but my new favorite way to warm up our chilly kitchen is to turn on the oven and make something yummy. This recipe is too good not to share with the world! If you like banana bread, you must make this!




Banana Bread

Juice of one lemon
3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mash bananas and mix them with lemon juice until they are smooth
Cream butter and sugar together and add the banana mix, stirring well
In a separate bowl stir together the dry ingredients, add to the banana mix
The dough will be very stiff. Turn it into a greased loaf pan and bake for 30 to 45 minutes

I mixed this up in like 5 minutes this afternoon and then very impatiently drooled over the amazing smell it emitted into my home. This is the first recipe that I ever learned to bake on my own, after years of helping my mother, so it holds a very special place in my heart. I'm not sure of the source of the original recipe, if you're interested I have ask my mom to check for me. Its from an old cookbooks she's had since I've been alive and it's always easy to find the recipe in the book because its the page that's covered in various dropping of banana most likely due to her having a couple overeager young helpers back in the day :) She used to make this recipe all the time when I lived at home and it's always a fight for who gets the last piece. She will make them in mini loaf pans too, which made a great end of the year gift for teachers. I can't thank my mother enough for teaching me all the basics of baking, and a love for freshly made goodies. Thankfully I copied down the recipes for all my favorite goodies before I moved away and I definitely plan on sharing them with my future children. 

Next week I may even attempt a pie!

EDIT:

After reading this post, I got this photo in an email from my parents


The cookbook is Laurel's Kitchen, and I wasn't lying when I said that page had been broken in haha Must be the sign of a great recipe!

Pumpkinland

One last post for today... sorry that I always get so behind and then overload everything into one day. Last Sunday night Tim and Gillian joined Keith and I in our feast of chili and cookies and then we made the drive out to Linvilla Orchards for some fall fun.

We got to take a hay ride, go to a bonfire, roast marshmallows, drink cider and enjoy the cool evening. We even got a pumpkin (that we still haven't carved yet. hint hint).

Here are some photos of the night:

 My camera takes the absolute worst flash pictures. Ugh.















It was a lot of fun, and a great way to take advantage of the weather and the season. This fall has been so incredibly beautiful and I wish it could stay like this forever!!!

Cause for Celebration

On Saturday night we got together with our good friends to celebrate Tim's new job! He has been looking for a job in law enforcement since we met him over a year ago, and he finally found something great. We were super proud of him, and all that means for him and Gillian, so we took him out to Sketch to congratulate him. We brought along some beers of course, and I ate way too much food to be comfortable, but it was overall a great evening and a great way to celebrate. Dan and Aly joined as well, and Aly FINALLY got a chance to meet the infamous Henry :)






He really is THAT impressive haha

Try These!

I tried out a new cookie recipe this Sunday that I wanted to share. They were so incredibly good that there is actually only one left in the bowl haha. Super super easy and very yummy!!



Heath Bar Cookies:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped Heath Bar pieces (I used about 2 cups haha)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Sift flour, salt and soda
Beat together butter and sugar and vanilla in a separate bowl, add eggs one at a time.
Alternatively mix in the heath bar pieces and flour mixture a third at a time until well blended
Chill batter for 30 minutes and then bake for 10-12 minutes

Check out the original recipe here!

Sunday we also had some amazing homemade white chicken chili brewing in our crock pot. SO GOOD! We make it pretty frequently, but I can never get enough haha. Leave me a comment or send me an email if you'd like the recipe!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The View

Yesterday I took another morning walk through the trees on the trail that runs by the river. Here are some shots I took while I was out:














And this is just my favorite tree that I see on my way to and from the mall Keith works at. This picture really doesn't do it justice... it is so gorgeous.


Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that all this can be found within the city limits of Philadelphia. I love love love it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Belated

click for the enlarged version

I never got to share all my favorite pictures of Theo from the past year when his actual birthday passed, so here they are a little bit late. I love this little cat no matter how annoyed with him I get... probably just because I remember how incredibly ADORABLE he was the day we brought him home. The best. Even Keith, who used to hate cats, fell head over heels for this little guy. We love you Theo, thanks for being the perfect addition to our little family! Here's to many many more years.

Our favorites


Thursday evening burrito feast and our favorite tv shows. Tonight is a very exciting night :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Calm Afternoon


Things that I'm in love with today:

- The trail by the river, and the blissful 2 hour walk through the trees I took this morning
- Warm veggie paninis and soup
- Extremely bad chick flicks, and my very unpretentious taste in movies
- New opportunities and exciting new adventures with my family
- Surprises!
- My fluffy bed, where Theo and I are cuddled because our heat isn't working
- Death Cab's album Transatlanticism and the nostalgic memories of a seemingly former life
- This recipe which will be made this weekend (mmm)
- Postcards from my awesome friend Felicia, whose blog I've been reading since livejournal was cool

I've been severely missing my family these days, and all my Florida friends who are scattered around the globe at the moment.

Back to Reality

So Keith and I just finished up a fabulous long weekend that felt a lot like a vacation from our daily lives. Keith got to have 4 days off since his mother was in town, and it was SO nice to have him around the house :) We had such a great time with mom, and accomplished pretty much everything that was on our list. Yesterday it was back to work for both of us, and today I'm finally getting around to catching up on life. Here are a couple of pictures from our "tourist" day on Saturday with Tami. 

Things that we saw: Kelly Drive, Independence Hall, Old City Hall, Congress Hall, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Liberty Bell, all of Old City and Society Hill via a carriage ride, the Curtis Publishing Building, the Portrait Museum, the current City Hall where we got engaged and Reading Terminal Market. Busy busy day! We all came home and took naps afterwards haha






And here are some of my favorite iPhone photos from our little lunch break at the market. It's one of my absolute favorite places :) my tummy is getting hungry just thinking about it (I desperately want more of those heath bar cookies!!)










Hope everyone else had a great weekend!