Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Place to Rest Our Bones: Chocolate Gingerbread Skeletons


Halloween is just around the corner and I can't wait! I love dressing up the house with homemade decorations (I hate the idea of spending money on cheap--cheaply made that is; expensive to purchase--mass-produced decorations). However, most years, despite my good intentions, Halloween comes and goes before we actually get around to it. Not this year!

Over fall break Nick and Mina announced that they wanted to make "rip boards" for Halloween. Rip boards??? It took us a little while to get on the same page: they meant headstones (as in R.I.P.).

So we found some old particle board and paint in the shed and launched into a two-day project making some ancient headstones to turn our front yard into a proper Halloween cemetery.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I am Thankful for...Nanaimo Bars


It's the second Monday of October and banks and government offices are closed. That can only mean one thing...it's Canadian Thanksgiving!!! Or, as they call it in Canada: Thanksgiving!!! As 3/4 of my family have a claim to citizenship in the Great White North we celebrate this holiday every year instead of celebrating a lost Italian. It's a nice preamble to what we jokingly refer to around here as "regular" (a.k.a. American) Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Fiesta of Color: Chickpea Quinoa Salad and Hot Air Ballons


The first full week of every October our city hosts the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Each clear morning of the fiesta the sky fills with colorful balloons that drift lazily over the city and eventually drop in the most exciting places--neighborhood streets, school playgrounds, parks, Kirkland Air Force Base. Descending balloons draw excited camera-toting residents (except on the Base where they probably draw armed guards). We enjoying standing outside in our front yard watching the balloons float by.

But this year, instead of waiting to see if a balloon would come to us, we went to the balloons. We woke the kids up at 5:30 am, loaded into the car with thermoses of coffee and hot chocolate, and headed down to Balloon Fiesta Park to watch the Special Shapes Rodeo. The weather was perfect, the air dewy and refreshing from the rain the came the night before, but calm. I could go on and on about how great a time we had but I'd rather just show you:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Mushroom Tart in a Hazelnut Crust


This July/August was a time of big transitions in our house. All four of us went through some pretty substantial changes in our situations: the kids started a new school and Colin and I both started new jobs. While we are all in a happier place now then we were this past year, we are more physically spread out from our home and from each other then we have ever been. That makes the time we're  together even more special.

It's definitely been an upheaval, a time of adjustment. But the biggest surprise for me has been finding that, instead of coming home exhausted, aching for the couch, I find myself craving my kitchen. Recently, I wanted to pull out all the stops and make an elegant meal: mushroom tart with a hazelnut crust, strawberry spinach salad with balsamic onions and candied pecan, sesame green beans and Linzer cookies for dessert.