Monday, November 29, 2010

Uncle Cheetah's

Over the weekend, I spent some time in Grand Rapids with my friends and family.  My friends and I went out to a pizza joint that had karaoke going on.  It was really good to get the old crew together.  My mother took me to a place that she knew I would love.  She was right!  
It is called Uncle Cheetah's Soup Shop -- and they have some amazing food!  You can sample any of their soups before ordering at their soup bar.  They offer about a dozen soups and they let you know which ones are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.  They give you a homemade roll to go with the soup as well.  Mom and I actually ordered a half a grilled cheese (on dill/onion bread with white cheddar, goat cheese and sea salt -- amazing!) to go with our soup.  The shop has a great atmosphere and they were playing music from the 20's while we were there.  I will definitely be going back.  Check it out if you live in Grand Rapids or if you are visiting.  It is across the street from the Wealthy St. theatre.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Feast day

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving feast day!  May your table be full, your family close, and may you have much to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

30 years ago

Approximately 30 years ago this photograph was taken.  Guess who was having fun in a pile of leaves...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This weather changes me

The weather has turned cold, damp and dreary in the past week.  It isn't any big surprise, really.  I mean, it IS November in Michigan.  Something happens to me around this time of the year... I change.  Nothing as dramatic as when a werewolf changes from a man to a wolf.  But to me it is as noticeable as that.
I get this intense urge to craft and create.  Even if I don't have a major project going on, I need to find some kind of creative outlet.  Unfortunately, I still have to work some crazy hours at work (it has been 2 1/2 years of overtime hours each and every week) and that makes it hard to start anything that takes any amount of time.  I have a few projects in the works right now for Christmas gifts -- but I can't tell you about it, because some of the recipients of said gifts will be reading this blog.
What about you?  Does the cooler weather trigger a crafty instinct in you?  Do you give homemade gifts at Christmas?  I love hearing what my blog readers are up to, so please comment.  Happy crafting!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Farm stand and a couple cuties

Mom and I went to a local farm and nursery during her visit.  I have plans to visit it earlier on in the year next year.  I was pretty impressed with what they had.  There were bins full to the brim with squash of every variety imaginable.  I stocked up on what I thought I'd be able to use this winter.  Next year, I intend to grow some of my own.  In fact, I bought an heirloom pie pumpkin for the seeds as much as for the flesh -- you can be sure I'll be saving some of them for my garden (and still have plenty to roast).  
I also bought some onions (mine didn't grow well this year - I had plenty of pearl onions though) and a huge cabbage.  

Of course, my mother and I cannot pass up adorable kittens without picking them up and letting them know how adorable they are.  There was a whole batch of kittens that lived in the green houses and farm stand.  Aren't they handsome?  For a quick minute, I thought Mom might smuggle one home.  

I spent all day so far just grocery shopping and cleaning up the kitchen.  Oh, and I baked a squash to have later for dinner.  Alas, I have to get the yard winterized -- I can tell that snow is not far off for us.  Time to get moving if I am going to get anything done today.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My new friend -- puff pastry

My mother came over for a visit this past weekend for a much needed "girls weekend".  We had a great time, even though the Christmas shopping crowds seemed to start early this year.  I had absolutely no groceries in the house due to all the long hours I'd been working -- so we went to the store to figure out what to have for dinner.  Somehow we decided to make brie en croute with raspberry jam.  This was my first time using puff pastry and I have decided I love the results!!!

Have you ever had this stuff?  The brie gets all gooey and melty and the puff pastry is so flaky and delicious!  I really liked the seedless raspberry jam in there.  It added an interesting level of fruity goodness.  I don't think I need to add another recipe for this on the internet.  Just check out the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry site.

We had only used half the package of puff pastry, so the next morning I tried a recipe I intend to use Christmas morning (My family is coming my way this year).  Basically, you scramble an egg with oregano for about a minute then put it on one end of half a sheet of pastry.  Top it with some cheddar cheese and a thick slice of tomato.  Wrap it all up and bake it for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees.

You absolutely MUST try this!  I'm really sorry to my gluten-free and vegan friends -- you are missing out on one of the most amazing breakfasts I've ever tasted!  I'll admit, our dinner/breakfast concoctions were very rich and not exactly healthy -- but they were good for the soul.  They were a perfect addition to a lovely weekend with my mother.