Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bacon-Fried Bananas

That's right. Good Sunday morning! I wanted bacon immediately following Mass this morning, and couldn't bring myself to eat only bacon for breakfast. I didn't want eggs, though, so i decided on the world's easiest and best instant grits. I ain't got time--or skills--for slow grits and Quaker does a pretty good job with instant! So I decided I'd do grits with a bit of bacon grease and a crumbled piece of bacon and that's when I remembered a post my step sister put on Instagram yesterday. A post that inspired this:

Beth, one of my crafty and talented step sisters, is constantly cooking up something amazing and unique. She manages to feed her family of four with whole, clean, yummy, and marvelously concocted meals and I want to take a cooking class at her house. I'd settle for a menu-planning and grocery shopping class at this point. Yesterday she put up a lovely picture of bananas fried in bacon grease. Whaaat? Yes, I'm trying that soon, I thought! It promptly left my head till this morning when my grits-and-grease plan came together.

look at that caramelized banana. sweet & salty goodness!

This is our at-home Sunday brunch. As much as I enjoy a Bloody Mary at such a meal, this morning I was great need of more coffee, so I added pumpkin pie spice to the Peet's in our Keurig filter basket and it was fantastic.

Now I'm ready for all the things I have to do today. What a list it is! But first I must burn off some of this calorie craziness!

Going for a run,


Friday, September 26, 2014

Apple Pie & Baseball

No, there is nothing more American!

These two proverbial pastimes made my afternoon. I got to listen to my Nationals shut out the Marlins (thereby also taking first place in the National League and winning home field advantage for the playoffs next week!) and bake with apples I picked with my good friend Kailey on Wednesday. There's a fantastic, tiny orchard around the corner from my neighborhood and I noticed they had a "U PICK!" sign out front. Then she invited me to visit the orchard and pick apples with the moms group she's in so I went, and we picked about 15 pounds each. We spent that morning in the honeycrisps, which are super yummy, and it was such a fun way to spend the morning. We definitely went back today. There's an apple extravaganza planned for next week--we have big plans for pies and apple butter and apple cocktails and anything else we can pin! Meanwhile, I had to try making something today.

I had originally planned to pickle my cucumbers, but I needed to run the jars through the dishwasher. So, while I waited on that to finish, I couldn't resist starting on some apple pie. A test run, if you will (or impatience, whatever. call it what you want). I also had some Pilsbury pie crust (don't judge me) in the fridge in its last days so I needed to get rid of it.

So I made pies. Plural, 'cause they're mini! I cut out dough with my Salty Dog Cafe glass and made tiny pies with tiny leaf cutouts made from extra dough.

I used this filling recipe from which was simple and smelled amazing. I even made my own brown sugar (1 T of molasses to 1 cup of granulated sugar, then measure & use according to your brown sugar needs)! Since I didn't use her crust recipe I guessed and baked at 425 for 23 minutes. A taste test will tell if I need to post some adjustments. I shall let you know.



Picking apples reminded me of when we were kids and used to go in the fall. Being in the apple trees reminded me of being back in Virginia, where Winchester rivals the North West's apple growing. Orchards make me happy! Eating apple pie reminds me I do like Autumn!

Oh, and I did also finish making pickles. I'll post that later this weekend.

Off to do dishes,





Thursday, September 25, 2014

Trick or Treat!

Here's a treat. I found loads of fun Halloween themed fabric at Joann's yesterday, and it was all 30% off. I found a bunch more at Hancock this morning, but I neeeed to finish one thing at a time. I cannot go to the fabric store with a head full of potential projects--it's like going to the grocery store hungry. I needed orange thead. I may or may not have left with more that that...

The trick is that it's already FALL. Already?! Really? Okay, not going to lie: I like fall. It's just that I like summer so much more, but we've been over that. It's apple picking time! Pumpkin baking time! Potato gleaning time (you'd understand if you lived here). The leaves are turning and nights are getting cooler, red wines come out and Sam Adams & Shiner have put out their Oktoberfest offerings. I might add that New Belgium is peddling their Pumpkick again, and it's even better this year! Autumn is good. "Life starts over again," as F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "when it gets crisp in the fall." (Oddly enough it's 88 here in the eastern end of Idaho, but it'll be crisp soon.)

While I refuse to start Halloween decorating or purchasing fun Halloween stuff a minute before October 1st, I found myself in Joann's and suddenly got it in my mind that I should make cute aprons to sell in my mom's shop with this fabric. It turns out I didn't remember how much fabric I needed for said aprons, so when I bought some spontaneously (read: I need want to buy something!) I didn't buy enough. See how it's dangerous to go to the fabric store without a set purpose?

So, with this fabric I made my good friend's three-year-old chickadee a skirt. I am adoring this tutorial on MADE! A couple years back I sewed three in one day, which is a monumental feat for me, Mrs. Lazy Bones Afraid-to-Start Procrastinator. Three. In an afternoon. Which is how easy these are!

I wish this photo showed the skirt as dark as the black fabric actually is. Oh well. I just love the little candy! It's glittery, too. Cuteness.

Happy Fall,Y'all,