Happy Friendsgiving!

 

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that our annual tradition is to have Friendsgiving, rather than a family-filled Thanksgiving. Friendsgiving is always low-stress, super fun, and a chance to have a mini vacay from work while playing tourist in our own city. We always have a theme to our meal, too, which is never the traditional turkey/potatoes/stuffing deal...last year's theme was tex-mex.

This year, dinner will be full of asian foods. There will be gyoza. There will be roasted pork/cranberry and red bean/coconut bao. There will be spam fried rice. There will be some kind of vegetables. I still haven't worked out all the details, but it'll be glorious. We're running a "Turkey Day 5k" on Thursday morning, and I'm pretty convinced that I'll run for 5 minutes and then keel over because I'm bad at running and I'm nervous. Maybe I should keep some cookies in my pocket for this type of running emergency. I think cookies might be my smelling salts. We're also doing other fun things over the long weekend like going to the Christkindl Market downtown in Daley Plaza, going to ZooLights, eating at all the delicious places, and even going to afternoon tea service at a fancy tea room.

If you'll allow me to be a little bit sappy...2014 has been a really, really shit year, and I think that it's especially important during shitty times to take a little time and think about the good things, and what I'm thankful for. And I think it's important to do that "out loud." This year, I'm most thankful for Brandon. I am always thankful for Brandon, but he has been unwaveringly supportive and caring and helpful during this craptacular year, and there's no way I could've managed without him. I'm thankful for family...especially my step-dad, who cared for my mom until the end, and is basically a saint and easily one of the best people I know. I'm incredibly grateful for friends; for Anna and Alison who trekked out to Chicago over the summer to make sure I was doing okay, and for my Chicago friends who made sure I knew they were around if I needed them, but never made me feel bad for feeling anti-social. I'm thankful for my job and my pretty rad co-workers, who are really more friends than co-workers. I'm weirdly thankful for my cats and the office dog, because unconditional love from animals is a huge source of happiness for me. And lastly, I'm thankful for food, and for this blog. Food is (obviously) something I'm really passionate about, and to have this blog as a ways to share that love has been amazing!

Alright, sappiness over.

Here's a quick little grid of some recipes I've blogged about that might be worth of your weekend festivities! For more recipes, visit the Recipe Index!

Happy Thanksgiving -- enjoy your weekend!

 

APPLE PICKING 2014!

It's apple season! We try to go apple picking somewhere new each year in late-September or early-October (you can see a recipe for cider doughnut holes and last year's trip here), and so last weekend we took a mini road trip out to Elkhorn, Wisconsin to a cute little apple farm and picked ourselves a boatload of apples. Well, more like half a bushel of apples. I now have 20-ish pounds of apples to consume. Or to force upon others to consume. Needless to say, over the next few weeks I'll be sharing some apple-related recipes so you can find a way to partake in apple season, too. Apples are a quintessential fall food for me, just like pumpkin and squash. Caramelize them, mix them with spices, turn them into sauce, throw them in a coffee cake or muffins...there are so many things you can do with apples! Stay tuned for apple sauce, apple butter, apple-cinnamon challah, and some other apple-y things. I've also got a recipe for coffee caramel sauce to share with you early next week, and a recipe for streusel-y, spiced butternut squash muffins coming up soon too!  Until then, I'll leave you with a photo montage of our apple picking adventure.

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