Resolution for the Not So New Year

I have committed a crime.

Since I have been back at school I have officially been the worst blogger ever. School work, plus not cooking all the time because of other time commitments has made me a blogging-slacker. But the good news is, I miss blogging and I want to blog and I miss the blogging community! So it’s my new resolution!

I have come up with lots of recipes that I want to share, but first and foremost:

I went home a week ago and we had Raclette. If you don’t know what Raclette is, you need to travel to Switzerland and try it. It’s not particularly healthy, so be prepared for a mini heart attack when you look at these pictures. It comes from Switzerland and you only eat it once or twice a year when it is really cold outside. I love it because you cook all of your food yourself and you sit at the table for a long time and no one rushes up to leave or go somewhere.

You put the cheese on the bottom in the little shovel until it bubbles and then you grill whatever you want on the top! My parents had filet and I had some shrimp. My favorite is also pineapple. Once the cheese is done you put it on a potato and eat! I like to make towers with pineapple or peppers or mushrooms. The combinations may sound weird, but they are oh so delicious!

And we had that with a wonderful German white wine:

But I’m getting ahead of myself. When I arrived home on Friday afternoon my mom greeted me with lunch from one of my favorite restaurants in Charlotte: Upstream. If you live in Charlotte and haven’t been, I highly recommend it (especially for lunch). I always either get the Salmon Bento Box or Vegetable “Toban Yaki.” I usually ask for it minus the pasta and with extra vegetables. It also comes with rice, so I only need one side of carbs!

It usually doesn’t have tofu, so it surprised me a little, but every time it’s a little different. Usually it has mushrooms, water chestnuts, fennel, some type of bean, tomatoes…you name it and it’s probably in there!

When I got back to school, I stocked up on grapefruit and other citrus-y goodness. I cannot go a breakfast in the winter without grapefruit. Oatmeal for some, grapefruit for others!

What are everyone’s superbowl plans? My roommate is a Packers fan, so she is rooting for them, and so far so good…but let’s be honest, it’s only the first quarter. I for one, not the biggest football fan myself, enjoyed Lea Michele singing at the beginning! (But I’m not sure how I felt about Christina Aguilera’s hair… thoughts?)

Lost and Found!

I found it!

And by it, I of course mean my camera cord! Okay, so the problem actually was that the software wasn’t properly installed on my computer anymore and hence the pictures wouldn’t download. However, the problem has been solved!

So now let me take you back in time.

In the middle of October, I went on fall break.  Here are the highlights (yes, they are food related… )

My first grapefruit of the season! I LOVE GRAPEFRUIT SEASON!

Then I came back to school and made Sweet Potato puree with apples, recipe courtesy of my new addiction: The New York Times Recipes for Health page. Here is the link to the recipe if you want to make it! I ate mine with chicken (organic, of course) but it would be a perfect Thanksgiving side dish if some of you are still looking for something to make! New York Times Sweet Potato Puree with Apples

baked apples!

ingredients!

baked sweet potato about to be peeled!

voila!

The finished product! I just blended the apples and sweet potatoes together in my handydandy mixer to make it smooth! I also replaced honey with agave nectar, just because it’s what I had, and it worked well! Delish if you warm it up on the oven a little bit!

I think that’s all for now!

Also, have a mentioned how much I love Autumn in Chapel Hill?

Christmas Cups and No Luck

I am sad to say that I still haven’t been able to fix my camera. I have, however, taken tons of pictures of lovely dishes that have come and gone, but I cannot share them yet! It has been a sad few weeks over here without being able to blog, so I decided to take some quick-pics on my phone and see where that gets me…

For example, despite not feeling the least bit Christmas yet, I hope that these wonderful cups Starbucks now has will get me in the mood by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.

The quote reads: “My sister and I would just stare up at the sky, trying to see where the snowflakes were born.”

I can’t wait until it snows. Not that it will here, but I am such a little kid and would love it if it did!

Also, way back when I was on Fall Break, I bought this lovely dress! I’m not sure where to wear it to yet, but I do have a cocktail-kind-of-event coming up, so maybe it’s time to present this baby to the public! I have wanted a one-shoulder dress for the longest time!! (Sorry for this extremely bad quality!)

Speaking of Fall Break and Christmas, I was kind of appalled by the fact that when I was in the mall buying the above dress, they were putting up Christmas Decorations. I LOVE CHRISTMAS. BUT NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER. Anyone that knows me knows that I have a slight obsession with The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. But October? Really? Halloween hadn’t even come yet AND the official season of summer had pretty much just ended! Not okay.

I hope everyone is having a good week! For those of us counting, only 35-ish more days until winter break!!

PS look at the surprise someone left on my bike the other day. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but thought it made for a nice pic nonetheless!

Boo!

Alert alert! The cord that connects my camera to my computer has gone missing, hence the lack of posts lately! I will have a million fun things to share once it is found!

Home last weekend was wonderful, as only home can be, and this weekend is Homecoming Weekend AND Halloween! Does anyone have any fun halloween plans?! Any fun costume ideas? When my sister and I got too old for Trick-or-Treating, we used to play tricks on the neighbors. One year, she dressed up as a scarecrow (she stuffed her pants and shirt and wore a mask and hat) and sat down with a bowl of candy by the front door. We turned off all the lights and wrote “take one” on the bowl. She could see through the mask, so if there were little kids, she wouldn’t scare them, but if there were older kids, especially boys, she would grab their hand or yell “boo” as there were taking candy. I would have been terrified if that happened to me! But after that, our house was notorious for its tricks,  everyone always wanted to come and see what we had planned…

So, until further food picks are available, I wish you all a Happy (and only partially healthy) Halloween! What used to be your favorite candy to get while trick-or-treating?

Welcome to the Fair!

Until Sunday night, I had never been on a ferris wheel before. I know, crazy.

But those days are over! As my friend so nicely stated: My ferris wheel cherry has been popped!

I must say, the fair was quite an experience, and here is what I learned for next year:

Eat BEFORE I go or bring a snack. Not the ideal place for a vegetarian. Or for dessert. While it was fun watching my friends eat fried Oreos and fried Snickers bars, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. There was also fried macaroni and cheese, fried peach cobbler, fried Reese’s PB Cups, fried anything you can think of, probably.

The desserts were among many strange things that you can witness at the fair, which many of you who have been to state fairs probably know. Not only is it a superb place for people watching, but also for seeing strange animals. I didn’t actually go into these exhibits, but someone please tell me: is it really possible for there to be a cyclops-pig with a trunk on it’s forehead, a two-bodied dog, a six legged cow, a miniature cow, a zonkey (zebra and donkey mix, duh), and a miniature pony (and by that I mean as big as a bowling pin, which is what they claimed in their advertising)? I don’t think I believe it, but if one of you guys has witnessed something like this, by all means tell me! I’m dying to figure out the truth!

We ended the fair with a pretty amazing fireworks show. It went on for about 15 minutes! What is your favorite thing to do at the fair? I liked the ferris wheel, it’s cliché but true, and I also really liked the swings that take you up in the air and spin you around!

Yesterday I finished my loaf of pumpkin bread. That means I ate it (with some help, but not a lot) in a week. I feel like I need to practice self-control, but it’s just so good!

In other news, I’m HOME for FALL BREAK! Is anyone else taking some kind of a trip soon? I love trips! (Even if they are just to go home!) And I will have fun home pics and updates soon!

Cocktails, Birthdays, and 5ks

First things first.

You should all know about a really important event in my life called Midnight Moonshine. It is a cocktail. And by cocktail I don’t mean fancy short dress, pretty hair, and high heels. This is a special type of cocktail with a Country theme. So replace the fancy dress with a camo (and or plaid) shirt and denim shorts, the pretty curls with a cowboy hat, and the high heels with some cowboy boots.

Needing some R&R after a long night out (you will come to know that I am often a grandma and like getting to bed on time!) and after a busy week, I continued the weekend in the following fashion:

Friday – Do Nothing Day [aka lounging around, riding my bike, eating pumpkin bread, and watching The Holiday (I LOVE THIS MOVIE—I promise when I finally get over having long hair I am going to cut it like Cameron Diaz’s is in this movie. Also, I don’ think there is anything cuter than Jude Law in this film.)]

Saturday – Brunch with my friend from high school! We had pumpkin bread (obviously), fresh fruit (kiwis, mango, strawbs, blubes, and raspberries), and she made french toast. I am ashamed to admit that I have spent most of my life without eating french toast, and was quite surprised! I don’t think I would like it if there was a bunch of sugar on top, or if she had put maple syrup on top, but she made hers really well and so it was quite enjoyable with some berries on top! Afterwards I went to read LADY AUDLEY’S SECRET by Mary Elizabeth Braddon at Caribou for my 19th Century British Lit Class. I really like it so far, plus Caribou was having a 50% off day for anyone wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month! So my small skim latte was only $1 and a few cents! And finally, I ended the day by going to my friend’s 22nd birthday bash.

Sunday (so far) – I ran the Heels4Hope 5k this morning! Okay, I walked and ran a 5k this morning. It was perfect, because I got to chat with my friend Megan who was doing it with me! There is another 5k in November that I am planning on running, but this morning it just wasn’t happening.

The race started at UNC’s famous Bell Tower. Look at that Carolina Blue Sky!

We followed our accomplished ‘run’ with a stop at Starbucks. And look at all the goodies I got after the race!

I’ve never been a huge fan of protein bars for some reason, but I am going to try them. And I got some Fuel cereal, which I’ve never seen before, some face wash (random…), and some Dole Real Fruit Bites! There was also some fruit out for runners (and walkers) after the race!

Tonight I’m going to the North Carolina State Fair! I’m very excited!

Enjoy the rest of your weekends!

Acorns, Acorn Squash, and Pumpkins

Okay, it’s not quite the season to sing this yet, but I really do think Autumn is the most wonderful time of the year.

I have been at odds with the weather lately, because the leaves are green, it’s in the 80s, and I can’t seem to stop wearing shorts and t-shirts. I am ready for sweater weather!

Last week it started to feel like Fall, but since it has warmed up again. But today the air at least smelled like Fall. It smelled like a mixture of pumpkin spices, yellowing leaves (those that aren’t quite crunchy enough to fall), the smoke from a winter chimney mixed with the smoke from an outside summer BBQ, coffee, acorns, … I could go on and on. Fall has a smell. It’s not like spring, when you hear the birds chirping and smell the flowers and are happy that the weather is getting warmer. It is not the hot, sticky, chlorine-filled smell of summer. It is not the cozy, fire-place mixed with snow smell of winter. It is a smell that is altogether relatively hard to describe. For lack of a better word, it smells like Fall.

Fall makes me nostalgic, more than any other season. I think about how I used to take walks through my neighborhood with my dog, coming back chilled and with rosy cheeks. I think about meeting one of my best friends at the stop sign (we live on the same street at home and that was our designated meeting point—still is, actually, when we are home) to hang out, or P-L-A-Y, as we called it. I think about walking to the library with my class in elementary school and seeing all of the fun, mysterious, spooky Halloween books on the shelves. For some reason I remember really liking Halloween books at that age. I think about decorating my room with cut out pumpkins, witches, and ghosts. I think about roasting pumpkin seeds. I think about singing “C’est L’halloween” in French class. I think about drinking hot chocolate and tea, and wishing that I could already play Christmas music. It reminds me of my childhood, and it makes me realize how much I miss it!

Speaking of Fall, yesterday I  had a very fall-themed day. I had dinner with some friends, and made my mom’s delicious acorn-squash soup. I Love This Soup. I have no picture, because it was demolished before I had a chance to snap it. Pre-dinner, I carved a pumpkin I bought at a Pumpkin Patch on Sunday! I haven’t carved a pumpkin in so long, and realized that I am not too handy with the carving tools. My knife got stuck in the interior of my pumpkin before I had even opened it, and my little guy’s face turned out a little lopsided (even though I went for the easiest face I could have made… oops!)

And finally, just to end the day with a bang, I made Sarah’s wonderful (organic) Pumpkin Bread. It smelled like Fall (yes, I did just say that again) when it was baking in the oven, and tastes delicious! I added some pecans on top just for fun!

What do you love most about the Fall?