Sunday, December 30, 2012

in the kitchen: NYE foodie inspiration

I hope all of you have been having a lovely holiday week-we had such a nice Christmas this year and I am definitely feeling extra blessed for my friends and family (both near and far). 

With the Christmas holiday just barely gone, New Year's Eve is already tomorrow! Ry and I have ventured up to Minnesota-first a stop in Minneapolis to see a few friends and then we are heading to our friend's cabin for our NYE celebration! I am SO excited to see everyone-it will be the first time we have all been together since Ry and I made the move to Milwaukee. So along with ringing in the new year, we are also getting a nice lil reunion out of it to :)

What are your plans for New Years Eve? Will you be painting the town red? Going to a friends? Or maybe just having a cozy night at home? No matter your destination for the celebration, having some scrumptious snacks is always a must-whether you're the host or the guest! 
Here are a few ideas I found that you could try out....

Monday, December 24, 2012

christmas traditions

I think that one of the best parts about any holiday are the traditions that come along with it, especially over Christmas. Whether it is a certain dish you make for dinner, singing carols, or watching your favorite holiday movie-all these little things bring us together and remind us to appreciate the time we have with one another. When we were little we used to get new pajamas on Christmas eve (gotta look your best on Christmas morning!) and even though that tradition has come and gone, we still have a few that we continue on with....

1. On Christmas Eve, we always have a simple meal of two kinds of soup. Of course, when I say simple, I don't mean boring! My dad makes our favorite seafood stew, Cioppino, and usually a mushroom soup. This year my dad asked if my brother, sister, and I would make the second soup, so we decided to try this Roasted Corn Chowder soup...I think it will be delicious! And of course, we have our homemade French bread

2. Hanging our stockings. I'm sure this is a pretty standard tradition in a lot of homes over the holidays, but I love that we still take the time to hang them up and of course, say what we hope for in the coming year. We still tease my mom for her classic line of wishing for "world peace", but I'd say it's a pretty perfect wish. 

3. Monkey bread. Who ever invented this delicious breakfast treat, gets a big ol' high five and two thumbs up from me! I can't remember a Christmas where this sugary dough treat didn't make an appearance and I wouldn't want it any other way! 

4. Christmas day=afternoon at the movies! After all the presents have been opened, we head out to the movies. This year, we voted to go see Les Miserables and I am SO excited to see it. I have been a huge fan of the play since I was little-still have the cassette tape around here somewhere :) 

I hope that you have some holiday traditions of your own to enjoy these next few days...stay warm, happy, and merry! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

only a few days 'til Christmas!

we finalllllyyy got some real snow here last night, which of course did not make for very fun driving, but it sure does look pretty! I know that some people were lucky enough to get a snow day outta of it, so now is the time to take advantage of the extra free time and get out (or stay in!) to enjoy the holiday season!
A few ideas for your snow day and the last few days before Christmas...

last minute decorating: holiday sprig wreath
Chocolate chip shortbread cookies cookie recipe
Homemade hot chocolate
Christmas movie marathon! (It's a Wonderful life is one of my favorites)
Whether or not you have a snow day, I hope you find time for some fun holiday activities and maybe some of your family traditions this weekend! Stay warm :)
merry, merry...happy, happy!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

an early (and very cute!) christmas present

well clearly I have been m.i.a from the love type thing world, but with the holidays (and maybe the end of the world?!) just around the corner, life has been busy! I am 99.999% done with all my Christmas shopping and happy to report I was able to make a few etsy purchases-always good to support the little guys....getting very close to having an apartment...lots of christmas card sending...baking, okay just eating cookies...and most importantly, we welcomed a very special and adorable new member to the family-Bailey! He is just the sweetest pup anyone could ask for and I am so so glad that we are able to give him a home...he's already settled in and feelin' right at home. It is most certainly a very happy holiday here at our house! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

towards the sunshine

hoping that those who have suffered losses in the past week can find the sunshine despite all the shadows...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

hollywood heroines

the New York Times featured a piece about the  "hollywood heroines" of this year which was great to read, but even better is the Wide Awake project, a "video gallery of dreams and transformations" featuring thirteen actresses that made their own marks on the world of film this are a two of my favorite, featuring Quvenzhane Wallis of Beasts of the Southern Wild (so amazing in this!) and Anne Hathaway, who I can.not. wait. to see in Les Mis!
Check out the rest of the shorts here and some gorgeous still shots from the films here...

Monday, December 10, 2012

twenty something

As a twenty-something, often times I get overwhelmed with just how quickly time has past and the idea of almost being closer to 30 than 20, is unsettling. Don’t ask me why, it’s just one of those irrational/over thought and probably unnecessary “fears.” So what’s a twenty-something supposed to do?? Well lucky for me (and you!) just the other day, one of my girlfriends shared this pretty entertaining article from Thought Catalog, “21 Ways You Should Take Advantage of Your 20s”.

 The overall message of the article? Take charge of your life! Whether it’s a change in careers, learning new skills (seriously, learn how to cook!), getting involved in sports “you played in elementary school” (aka kickball), traveling, unplugging from your gadgets…it’s time to take charge and make choices that will give you the chance to really live it up and smile all the way through your twenties…which is exactly what I intend to do! In case you don't have time to read the whole article, here are a few of my favorite suggestions:

#19. Take road trips. Sitting in a car for days on end isn’t something your body was designed to do forever.

#7. Play a sport you played in elementary school. Kickball, dodgeball. There are leagues for these games now. Get on it.

#3. Never turn down an open bar. Seek them out and make them a priority. Indulging in open bars when you’re older isn’t appropriate because a) people will think you have an alcohol problem and b) you’re supposed to have enough money to afford your own alcohol.
#4. If you’re unhappy and someone offers you a way out, take it. You don’t owe your first job years of loyalty and your first-born; you don’t have to stay in your city just because you’re on a first-name basis with the bodega guy. Do what feels right; the initial fear will give way to excitement.

Happy Monday!

p.s. for more insight on life in your twenties, check out this article! Pretty hilarious & totally relatable...
p.p.s for EVEN MORE twenty-something fun, get a digital copy of  “How to be a 20-Something,” featuring a collection of short stories

Saturday, December 8, 2012

one year ago...

my sister and I were on our way to Guatemala and  Belize for one heck of a Bryde sister adventure! We had such an amazing time...exploring Antigua...climbing a volcano...kayaking (and sinking while kayaking!)...having the best smoothies ever...Casa del Mundo at Lake farms...snorkeling in Belize...visiting the Mayan ruins...and so much more! 

I can't wait until the next adventure!!! Love you sister! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

1000 Shillings.

Well whaddya know, it’s Friday! Thank goodness-I’ve got Christmas shopping to do, cookies to bake and trying to find an apartment aka

Before taking off on whatever weekend activities you might have in store, I am really excited to tell you about an inspiring organization called 1000 Shillings that I hope you will consider supporting in some way, shape or form…’tis the season of giving, right??

So what is 1000 Shillings? This “international development organization”, created by Rebecca and Alexis, is working with six women of the Namatala slum in Uganda to empower them, give them a voice, and educate through mentorship!

1000 Shillings allows the women to earn income through their handcrafted jewelry in order to become truly self-sufficient and provide for their families. Some of the ladies hope to start a business, like Annette who wants to be able to sell rice-flour, and others simply want to ensure their kids can have an education and food to eat everyday. I encourage you to read the stories of these six women-I loved learning about who they were, the struggles they are working to overcome and the dreams they have for themselves and their families.

And the jewelry! I mean who doesn’t want to buy a gorgeous piece AND help make someone’s life better?! I bet some of you have a mom, sister, aunt, grandma etc. that would be thrilled to have any of these handcrafted beauties….my personal favorite is the Veronica!
I know that it can be hard to support every great organization out there, so if purchasing jewelry from 1000 Shillings doesn’t work for you, that’s okay. Support their efforts by following them on Facebook, Twitter, or check out their boards on Pinterest and pin your favorite pieces....all easy and free :)

I hope you will take a few minutes to visit their site and get to know more about this wonderful organization (thanks in advance for all those who do!) Happy Friday!

*all photos belong to

Monday, December 3, 2012

bring on the holiday tunes

Okay, where is the snow?! Once December hits, I have fully prepared myself (mentally) for the long winter and yet, it's been oddly warm and very un-Christmas like. One of the top things needed for my holiday season to feel complete is some of that white what's a girl to do to keep the holiday spirit going?! Christmas music of course! Lucky for me, one of my favorite Christmas music spots, Hey, it's Christmas!, just released their Vol. 3 for your listening pleasure...for free! All of the tracks are covered by a variety of different bands (a lot that I am still getting to know/discover) which makes it a fun mix-up of the traditional Christmas tunes. Even better, you can check out Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 if you are really wanting to bring out the holiday spirit.

Take a home...or at your next holiday party! Feel free to share your favorite holiday music source too :)  

back from chicago!

my apologies for disappearing on you! 
just busy with life in general and took a little trip to chicago to see some of my friends. here are few snapshots from the weekend-it was full of laughs, stories, lots of good food, and enjoying the spring-like weather-i feel pretty lucky to be able to have such easy access to a place that holds so many good memories....hope you had a fun weekend too and here's to making it a great week! 

(all photos edited with afterglow aka my new fav camera app!)

Friday, November 30, 2012

satisfy your DIY tooth

even though Pinterest is one of, if not the, go to site to find DIY inspiration, I am happy to peruse other sources as well-the more DIY the merrier (if only there was more time!). The places I have found myself checking in with are Curbly and Julep, a creation by Minted. Curbly is a great DIY design community where both original and curated projects are shared all in one has a focus of projects for the home, which is great if you are looking to spruce things up a bit or just give your space a bit of a makeover. Julep has a similar idea of being a community and collaborative space, with a variety of different contributors  but I'd say that Julep is where you will find DIY for in and out of the home-gift ideas, entertaining tips, and a whole mix of other things!
I encourage you to take a peek at both of these sites and see if you can find any projects to tackle or maybe some inspiration for holiday gifts! Here are a few of my favorite finds...

from Curbly

from Julep

Hope you enjoy these sites and find a fun DIY (that you will pin, naturally!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

having a bad day?

help yourself to an "emergency compliment" right these ones: 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

thoroughly stuffed and ridiculously thankful for all the good in my life...hope your day was full of good things too!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

in the kitchen: thanksgiving traditions

I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow-this month has really flown by, but I am SO looking forward to spending some quality time with all of our friends and family. Oh and eating lots of AHmazing food!
We actually have not one, not two, but three Thanksgiving celebrations to attend this year, so for the sake of my waistline, I might have to (try) to just stick to my favorite dishes to enjoy at each house...we'll see if that happens! I know that in everyone's families, you all have your favorite dishes that you look forward to every year, so I figured I would share a few "staples" that make an appearance for our turkey day feast and a brussels sprout recipe that I recently tested out from The Corner Kitchen!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving treats? Feel free to share!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

measuring the universe

how great is this..."starting as an empty white room, Roman Ondak’s Measuring the Universe at Tate St Ives has grown through the contribution of around 90’000 participants to a constellation of black marks...."

to see more about this art piece, take a look at this interview with the artistic director...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

in the kitchen: black bean soup for two

sometimes simple really is best and that is just what this Black Bean soup is! I was able to whip it up in about 15 minutes for Ry and me to have for lunch this weekend, I thought it was really tasty. And a big thumbs up from Ry too :)

Black Bean Soup for Two adapted from A Beautiful Mess

1 can black beans
1 sm or med red onion
1/2 can of corn (I used creamed corn because it was all I had!)
1/2 med red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 tsp cumin
salt + pepper
ancho seasoning (I used this because I did not have canned adobo pepper the original recipe called for)
Garnish: Tortilla chips, cilantro, avocado, cheddar cheese

1. Heat 1-1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and saute onions and peppers until somewhat soft. Season with the cumin and salt and pepper. Add in corn and saute for a few minutes.
2. Add in stock and black beans and continue cooking until it's nice and hot!
3. Serve with tortilla chips (we crushed ours up), cilantro and cheese on top....enjoy!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

in the kitchen: portobello mushroom pizza

The other night, my mom and I were trying to figure out what we could whip up for dinner and guess what came to the rescue....Pinterest (of course)!
I had recently found a recipe for portobello mushroom pizza that was just we were in the mood for and probably a better option than real pizza and it didn't look too complicated, which is always good in my book. I think that this is one of those dishes that you really can add your own twist to it depending on what you have in the fridge or what you like to have on your "pizza"....

Portobello Mushroom Pizza via BodyRock

- Portobello mushrooms (we ea. ate 2, so buy accordingly)
- 3-4 roma tomatoes
- 1 med onion
- 1 leek
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- fresh basil, chopped (about 5-8 leaves)
-parmigiano reggano cheese, grated
-olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste

Other possible ingredients: spinach, crumbled sausage, red/green peppers...

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees
2. Chop onion and cook first in your pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil until softened.
3. While the onion cooks, dice tomatoes, chop the leek, and mince your garlic (or finely chop). Add to your onions and saute until the tomatoes are slightly soft. Add basil at the end.
4. As your veggies cook, you will want to prepare your mushrooms! Remove the stems and place cap down on your baking pan. Add a bit of salt and pepper to each of the mushroom caps. 
5. Once the veggies are done cooking, scoop the filling onto each of the mushroom caps.
6. Sprinkle your parmigiano cheese on in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

*Suggestions: after enjoying our tasty mushroom pizza, we agreed that we would have added a bit of italian seasoning and some spinach to our veggie mix. We also felt we could have mixed in some of the parmigiano cheese into the mixture as well to really have the saltiness of the cheese better incorporated into the dish. 

Bon appetit! 
p.s. see more great recipe finds on Pinterest!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

fired up & ready to go!

what a night! I hope you were able to get out and vote last night-I did and I am so proud to have been a part of the process. No matter who you voted for, I hope we can remember to move forward as a united front to make this country stronger! (Photo by Doug Mills, NY Times)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Two words: GO VOTE!

Just remember that there was a time when not all of us could vote and there are places in the world where people still don't have that right.

So please, take advantage of this kick-butt right that you do have and be a part of the can't make anything happen if you just sit on the sidelines.
P.S. if you or someone you know starts making excuses (I know, waiting lines is not the best thing ever) just check this out and hopefully it'll change get you/your friends back on board: ;)

Monday, October 29, 2012

in the kitchen: (my favorite) banana bread

For as long as I can remember my mom has been using Martha Stewart's recipe for banana bread and I have to stand by it as one of my all-time favorite versions. I think the secret is using the sour cream to make sure the final product isn't too dry. Of course, you can opt for a healthier version and try a recipe that uses apple sauce to accomplish the same thing...but hey, I like what I like!  My favorite way to enjoy banana bread is toasting a slice and having it with a little butter or peanut butter. If you want to keep heading down the "unhealthy" route, feel free to add in chocolate or carob chips to satisfy your chocolate craving. Whichever way you like it, you should definitely give this recipe a try!

Banana Bread from Martha Stewart
makes 1 loaf

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes** Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
    **Cooking time varies-I typically check it at 45 minutes and then determine how much longer to cook it from there so it doesn't get over-cooked!
    Bon appetit! 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

in the kitchen: southeast asian squash curry

a few weeks ago, Ryan's mom made some killer squash curry and I knew that I would have to try to replicate it. Lucky for me, she saved the recipe! Everything about it was SO delicious and with butternut squash as the main ingredient-it's another great fall dish. Even my dad, who seemed a little hesistant, really liked it! Success!

Southeast Asian Squash Curry via Epicurious
serves 4-5


  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (I did not have cumin seeds, so substituted just powdered cumin)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (do not stir), divided
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Thai Kitchen red curry paste
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 (2- to 3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (5 cups packed)
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted cashews, chopped
  • Basmati rice

-Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Sauté squash with cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
-Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to skillet and cook onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup coconut milk from top of can and cook, stirring, until fat starts to separate and look glossy, about 2 minutes. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
-Add squash, water, cinnamon, cloves, and remaining coconut milk and simmer, covered, until squash is tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook, covered, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in fish sauce. Sprinkle with cashews.
Serve on top of basmati (or jasmine) rice!
Bon appetit!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

weekend trip to indy

this past weekend I tagged along with my parents to go visit my sister in Bloomington, Indiana...she is in her last year there (crazy!) and I haven't been able to visit nearly as much as I would have liked, so this was the perfect opportunity to go. We had a really great time-checked out a nearby town, Nashville, that was packed to the brim with tourists and cute shops...saw some interesting "local life"....sipped on a martini...munched on some amazing gnocchi...explored the beautiful campus (still in full fall color mode!).

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

in the kitchen: let the pumpkin love continue

the oh so clever and inspired folks at Spoon Fork Bacon shared a dish that most definitely can be added to your "fall-inspired" meals and once again fills that pumpkin craving: 

photo by Spoon Fork Bacon
Life has been a little too hectic lately, but as soon as I can spend a little time in the kitchen I would love to try this one out! Have any of you tried it before? I'm sure it's a great addition to the already long list of delicious fall treats! 
For another awesome looking pumpkin dish from Spoon Fork Bacon (and if you have a little more time to spare) you should check out the Pumpkin Risotto with Scallops!

if you have good thoughts...

...Here's to having good thoughts and looking lovely on this fine Wednesday...

Monday, October 15, 2012

desk dining

I don't know about you, but I get stuck eating lunch at my desk way too often and with the chillier weather, stepping outside to chow down isn't quite as appealing anymore. I also don't exactly have a lunch/break room...unless I want to hang out in the tiny nook that houses our microwave and refrigerator that is definitely from the 70's. Anyways, I came across some smart tips about how to make eating your lunch at your desk "cool" from the lovely people at Refinery29.

1. Take the time to plate your lunch...don't use your sad ziplock container, break out a real plate/bowl/utensils and enjoy the food you have! Don't have these available at work, look into getting something affordable to keep at work like these from Target.
2. No crumbs! If you have to be right at your computer over the lunch hour, then try to keep the crumbs confined to your plate or lay out a napkin to catch any runaways. 
3. Keep a stock of your favorite add-on's in the fridge or maybe in an extra drawer so you can eat the way you want to-salt, pepper, hot sauce, your favorite salad dressing...have a stash!
4. If you're allowed to view some of your favorite Youtube/music/news clips or videos then take a minute for yourself to check out from work and get a quick fix before you have to head back to the daily grind.
5. Last, but probably the most important....clean up! Even if you never eat at your desk, that space can get pretty dirty whether you realize it or not, so take the time to grab a wipe or paper towel and give your work space a good clean!

There ya have're fully prepared for desk dining....ultimately, if you are able to step away and hang out in your break room or work cafeteria-do it! We spend far too much time at our desks as it is-have a great Monday! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

a working weekend (for a good cause!)

this weekend is definitely a bit more about work than play. The organization I work for has their big annual Gala tonight and it'll be my first black tie event...too bad I'll be running around all night and not exactly "enjoying" it! Oh well, I am still looking forward to seeing everyone's hard work come together and hope that all the guests really enjoy some of the new things we have for them (photo booths, raw food bar, tasty party favors-no is ever too old for party favors!).

Before the gala madness begins, I am volunteering for the first time for one of our local (and my favorite) radio station, 88.9 Radio Milwaukee for the fall fund drive! This station always has great music AND they are really focused on being a part of the Milwaukee community and recognizing the different organizations that work to make a difference throughout it. If you are a local and have also enjoyed the awesome tunes of Radio Milwaukee, I highly encourage you to make a donation during the fall fund drive or look into volunteering for them (I'll also be helping out at the Brandi Carlile show next week-yay!)'s how they make great music, programs, events, and everything else in between happen! 

p.s. if it's a ridiculously rainy day like it is here, I definitely recommend checking out the movie Argo-saw it last night...was thoroughly entertained, stressed out and impressed! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

pinterest finds

because you can never have too much pinterest-inspiration in your life! 

feel free to check out more pins here...happy thursday! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

in the kitchen: sweet potato & black bean enchilada bake

Last night I decided to chef it up and make sweet potato and black bean enchiladas using the left over corn tortillas that my brother had from his (excellent!) Mexican night. Sadly, the tortillas were not behaving when I tried rolling them to make the enchiladas, so I quickly changed the plan and decided to make an enchilada bake...or casserole if you will. I think the results weren't too bad at all and actually a lot easier than the doing the whole enchilada process....a win-win! So if you are looking for a Tuesday night dinner idea or feel like planning ahead for tomorrow, you should try this one out!

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchilada Bake
serves 4-5 (depending on how hungry you are!)


2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
1 medium red onion
2 cans black beans, washed & drained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can adobo chipotle peppers
2 cans red enchilada sauce
15-18 small corn tortillas

-9x13 pan

Optional: 1 cup sour cream + ½ creamed corn + cilantro, blend for a fresh crema sauce topping!

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop sweet potatoes. Once the oven reaches 400, place sweet potatoes on a pan and bake for 30 mins the oven.
  2. Chop red onion. Mix 1 cup shredded cheese, red onion, black beans in a large mixing bowl. Add sweet potatoes to this mixture once they are cooked.
  3. In separate mixing bowl, mix enchilada sauce with 2 tablespoons of the sauce from the adobo chipotle peppers. Feel free to cut up a few of these peppers and put them into the sweet potato, black bean and red onion mix for even more of a smoky flavoring!
  4. Pour some enchilada sauce to coat the bottom your pan. Put one layer of corn tortillas on top, then add first layer of sweet potato mixture.
  5. Add next layer of tortillas and lightly coat with enchilada mix; add sweet potato mixture. Repeat this until you have filled your pan, finishing with a tortilla layer on top.
  6. Spread generous amount of enchilada sauce on your final layer of tortillas and top with remaining cheese.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes…top with crema sauce if you’d like or just dig in!
Bon appetit!

Friday, October 5, 2012

this week: a baseball game & MKE film fest!

This week has just flown by, seriously! Not only is work life busy, but I feel like it's been busy with the "extracurriculars" too (never a bad thing!). Ry and I decided to go check out the Brewer's game on Tuesday night and it was so much fun! Thanks to some work perks, we were able to get some pretty great seats, especially since we bought them 30 minutes before the game, AND we were able to bike to the game from his parent's between the great seats, fun bike ride, way too many peanuts and a few beers...we made out pretty well for a Tuesday night!
Wednesday night was full of debate watching and simultaneously watching my twitter feed explode with commentary-it was interesting/entertaining...the few glasses of wine weren't too bad either.
On top of the baseball and debate action, my mom and I decided to check out the Milwaukee Film Festival last night which has been going on since last week. We chose the "Milwaukee Show", a screening of about 10 short films all created by local filmmakers of the Cream City Cinema group. My mom and I were really impressed with the amount of people who came out for the screening and though the whole evening was fun and clearly well-organized! An added bonus for this screening was getting to hear from the directors and producers live after we watched their film, which allowed for some candid moments and added commentary on the creation of their work. One of my favorites from the night was "So I could Fly Away", which follows the director's (Blyth Renate Meier) father on his family's farm in North Dakota as he reminsces about his past. There was something very poignant about the way it was filmed and the stories he told that really struck a chord with me. If you're in the Milwaukee area, the film festival continues through October 11th and I highly recommend getting out and seeing a film or two!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

fall days

On Sunday we nearly missed out on a this beautiful fall day to running errands...thank goodness we decided to stay outdoors because it really was a great day! Ry and I grabbed Reef and headed to a nearby nature reserve, Lion's Den Gorge to do some exploring. Apparently everyone had the same idea as us, so it was pretty packed, but we decided to go off the beaten path and check out the "grasslands" view of the reserve. The colors really have started to change and we had some great views of that and Reef had a great time running around and of course, running straight into the mud (forgot to take a pic of her as a muddy mess!).
After hiking around the reserve, we headed back to my parents for an AHmazing Mexican feast prepared by my brother and his girlfriend-pork & pulled chicken tacos, Mexican coleslaw (a new invention), beans, and to continue with the fall theme, an apple crisp for dessert! Not too shabby!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

in the kitchen: no-noodle lasagna

well hello there! Sorry for the radio silence these past few days-the end of the week and then the weekend just got away from me and here we are, already back at Monday. 
Let's start the week out right and make some good eats! I was able to try out a recipe that I saw on Say Yes to Hoboken for a Zucchini  lasagna that I knew I would have to try out. I love traditional lasagna and have also tried out different kinds like this AHmazing butternut squash version, but this was my first time ditching the noodles entirely for a 100% veggie lasagna. I pretty much followed the original recipe, but we happened to have some egg plant from the farmer's market, so we decided to add that in as well...definitely made the dish! If you are looking for a pretty simple Monday night meal, I would suggest giving this one a go...fresh, healthy and deelicious leftovers! 

No-noodle Lasagna adapted from Say Yes to Hoboken

3-4 zucchinis, sliced lengthwise about 1/4-inch thick or less
1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise same as the zucchini
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (we used a spicy mushroom red sauce)
fresh spinach, roughly chopped
16oz. container of cottage cheese
2-3 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
about 1/2 tsp dried basil
ground pepper

-Mix together cottage cheese, egg, basil and pepper. 
-Slice zucchini and eggplant about 1/4-inch thick or less. 
-Cover bottom of glass baking dish with sauce, and then layer the following: zucchini, spinach, sauce, cottage cheese mixture, mozzarella. Repeat, using the eggplant for one layer in the middle (or use it for every other layer-whatever you are in the mood for!)
-Top with fresh parm, sprinkle with dried basil. 
-Cover with foil and bake at 350-degrees for 1 hour, removing foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.

*Note: the zucchini and the eggplant definitely create a lot of moisture in the dish, so try not to fill your layers all the way to the top. It's also helpful to salt the zucchini & eggplant to help take out some of the moisture before putting the dish all together! Either way, make sure you let it sit for a few minutes before digging in! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

oktoberfest fun

celebrating our German heritage is always a good idea :)
We had a lot of fun listening (and dancing) to the polka music, playing cards and eating tasty German fare! As far as my own German heritage goes, I've been told that my grandmother's maiden name, Bocker, means "beer maker" which is pretty great!

Hope your weekend was fun & the week has started off well...Provst!