Saturday, December 31, 2011

Beet and Feta Salad

Salads are wonderful--no measuring, no cooking, no serious dishes to clean. Just cut up some things and throw 'em on a plate.

But there's only so many nights I can handle romaine, cucumbers, carrots and ranch dressing.

Next time you're bored with your usual salad, try throwing together the following:

-Red butter lettuce 
-Orange segments
-Red onion 
-Slivered Almonds

We topped this with a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of juice from the orange.

Happy New Year!

Cedric's ready to party.

 He couldn't decide which picture he liked best, so we posted a few.

Joe and I avoid bars and restaurants on new year's, so tonight we will be staying in. 

I'll miss Marquette's ridiculous little ball drop.

It was always so delightfully cheesy and just a little pathetic. We're pretty sure the ball is just a beach ball wrapped in tin foil and covered in Christmas lights.

Look at the crowd's excitement! One year it got stuck on the way down, and last year it dropped about three minutes late.  Oh, Marquette.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Goodbye, Spokane. We're moving to Sandpoint.

Our trip to Sandpoint was a short one, but we had a nice little get-away.

It's been extra cloudy and gloomy here lately, so the pictures aren't fantastic. And some are blurry because they were taken from the truck. But you get the point.

Almost to the cabin!

Love the moose knocker!  Jonathan and Amy's cabin is adorable and beautiful and cozy and has a great view. Too bad it was dark when we got there and my arms were too full when we left to take pictures.

Here's Joe getting beat at candlelight Monopoly. Look at all my money. Poor guy. Notice how Joe is wearing his hat. It was a bit chilly.

Leaving the cabin for Sandpoint.

Sandpoint is on Lake Pend Oreille, which is Idaho's largest lake. Depending on who you ask, it ranges from 111 to 143 miles of shoreline.

It's also the fifth deepest lake in the United States at just under 1,200 feet deep (or more, again, depending on who you ask).  

We ate breakfast at a little place called Di Luna's Cafe. 

They had all sorts of eggs benedicts. Mine was sitting on top of a crab cake, and Joe's had smoked salmon and avocado on top of wheat toast--delicious! I took pictures, but they aren't very attractive.

The cute Christmas decorations were still up.

Then we drove aimlessly around town.

We took a walk along the beach. 

Somehow, we ended up at the statue of liberty. 

I attacked her for being the imposter that she is. "Who are you really? Show me your real face!"

We sat on a bench for a while and enjoyed the view. 

We took turns saying which house in the mountains we wanted.

We found our pet lion relaxing on the beach. 

Joe humored me and we went into an antique store. Every time it looked like we might be done, we found another room or floor. Sorry Joe! All the old fishing stuff seemed to hold his interest though. Then we went to lunch!

We sat at the bar at a very busy MickDuff's Brewing Company. The bartender said they were packed because all the snow bunnies were looking for something to do on a bad day for skiing.  

We decided we liked it there. A lot. The food. The beer (particularly the West Yorkshire red and the IPA). The atmosphere. The incredibly friendly staff. And we have to go back sometime because they have some Gorgonzola garlic waffle fries we need to try.

Then we drove home. I forgot Cedric in my purse, so he's a little angry he didn't make it into any of the pictures.

It was comforting to be near a big lake again (well, not that big, but better than nothing). Hopefully we'll make it back out there before too long.

Monday, December 26, 2011


How was your Christmas? Do tell!
 Joe and I had a pretty good Christmas yesterday. We woke up, opened our stockings and the presents Joe's parents sent, drank some coffee, and then spent most of our afternoon on our phones.

Thanks to Joe's family, we had plenty of sustenance to get us through our phone marathon: cinnamon rolls from Joe's brother and sister-in-law, meat, cheese, and bread rolls from his aunt Cia and bobbi, and pistachios and venison salami from his parents. It had been way too long since we've had some venison in our fridge. 

After a couple of Christmas naps, Joe made dinner. Look at this face of determination.

"I will saute you parsnips!"

We had rib-eye from the co-op, and Joe topped them with a little Gorgonzola. He also made a delicious pan sauce with sauteed garlic and onions in red wine (not pictured). It was delicious!

Later, we ate the chocolate mousse I made.

It wasn't around for too long.

And then we went back to staring at our cool new oven mitt from Joe's parents.

 And on the other side:

Our apartment really is starting to look like the Michigan shrine it should. We've got two paintings of Marquette, an old U.P. license plate, the oven mitt, and a sticker with Marquette's area code on it. No one will confuse us with north-westerners.  

At the end of the night, we agreed that without the company of all our friends and family, it didn't really feel like Christmas. But it was still a good day.

Tomorrow we're off to north Idaho to spend a couple of night in a cabin in the woods! Goodbye Spokane!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Snow + Rain = Snain

We're back to snow for the moment, and I hope it stays that way.

Cedric got all bundled up in his new coat and mittens and then it started raining. He was not happy.

Maybe baking some Christmas cookies will cheer him up.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Joe and I are certainly getting a lot accomplished over this break. He's working out a lot--so much, in fact, that I'm almost inclined to join him. Almost.

Joe has been a writing machine.

I have been a crafting machine.

I am finally finding time to work on some long overdue thank-you cards.  

 And because we were so slow in getting them out, I thought snails might be a good theme.

My wall art made from toilet paper rolls is finally finished!

Cutting the rolls was easy. Deciding on a design didn't take too long. Neither did gluing it together. But I felt like a moron when I went to paint it and realized it would have been much easier to paint them when they were still in one piece. Oh well!

 We've also been cooking. A lot. 

Baked apple oatmeal!

Last night we made Rachel Ray's Meatless Meatball Heros. The meatballs are made by grinding up almonds, chickpeas, and mozzarella. The taste and texture were great and they weren't as greasy as meat meatballs.

Rachel Ray's Picture. Click here to see her recipe.

I might ease up on the lemon zest next time. Or play around with different seasonings. But really, these are delicious, and way better than actual meatballs.

In general, we've just been doing a lot of things that got pushed aside during the move or during the crazy months after the move. I also have an eye appointment today, something I've been putting off since we got here. And I finally applied for health insurance, but I missed the January deadline by two days, so now I won't be covered until February. I'll try to stay inside, away from any sharp objects until then.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Burning hands for dinner

Tonight I took a break from editing to make Sweet Potato Shrimp Curry for dinner. 

I also learned a little about chiles. Our recipe called for two to six red chiles, and because I'm a complete wimp, I was only going to buy two. When the grocery store didn't have red chiles, I stood there, blocking all the peppers for ages, trying to determine the closest atlernative.

I thought jalapeños might taste strange in a coconut curry, and the nearly-opaque white ones seemed menacing--ghost chiles. Then I saw these cute little orange peppers.

I took three and headed home. After Joe asked how hot they were, I decided I'd taste one before using them in the curry. Twenty minutes later, my lips were numb and my nose was still running. Turns out my adorable little chile was a habañero, something like sixty times hotter than a jalapeño.

But orange seems like an inappropriate color for something so hot! I was thinking of chile colors in terms of a stoplight. Green pepper = go ahead, eat it; it's fine. Red = stop and think about it. And yellow would be somewhere in between. Nope. I guess it wouldn't make much sense for the laws of nature to correspond so perfectly to the laws of driving.

Needless to say, we didn't use all three in our curry, and by the time we ate, my taste buds were still recovering. Joe had to tell me whether or not it tasted alright. The good news is that I made some tasty curry. The bad news is that my hands burned for an hour after I washed our cutting board. I guess I'm a little sensitive.  

Friday, December 16, 2011


Today was the first Spokane crafternoon. Invented in Marquette, probably during one of its long winters, crafternoon is a day when girls (and now guys--crafternoon is evolving) can get together to snack, drink mulled wine, and work on some craft that they usually don't have time for. I'm not positive but I think my friend Veronica came up with the name.

Crafternoon usually ends with everyone leaving in a sugar-induced daze. Today was no different. I hosted and made ginger molasses cookies, soft pretzels, and mulled wine. There was also a healthy supply of mint M&Ms. 

I created some wall art made out of saved toilet paper rolls. I still have to paint it, so I'll post a picture later.

The Craftermath

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