Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Halloween! 

This year Ross and I decided not to carve a pumpkin. Instead, we carved peppers! 

Those beautiful peppers I got from the Farmer's Market

To make your very own Jack-O-Pepper you need these local and/or organic ingredients:

2 large orange bell peppers. 
1 cup cooked brown rice 
1 cup cooked black beans (canned are fine) 
1 green or poblano pepper
1/2 medium onion 
1/2 cup shredded cheese - cheddar or pepper-jack 
1 Tbsp canola oil 
Seasonings al gusto 

Slice open the top and clean out the guts just like you would a pumpkin. Save the top. 

Chop the green pepper and onions into small pieces and saute with the oil. You could also add mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. Be creative! 

After the onions are translucent add the rice and beans, mix together and cook until hot. Add any seasonings you want here - garlic, cumin, chili powder, s&p. 

While the stuffing is sauteing you get to carve your peppers! 

Carve then anyway you like, keeping the openings reasonably small.  

Then stuff them! Fill with alternating layers of stuffing and cheese.

Take care to place the black beans in the mouth and eyes for a dramatic effect. 

So creepy! 

Cap them and place them upright in an oven safe dish and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes... 

or until its hot and the cheese is all melted. It kinda looks like his brains are falling out! 

Then enjoy! We put some tortilla chips on the side, and I definitely added a lot of hot sauce to mine! 

Happy Halloween! Be safe! 

I met nearly every one of the goals I set for myself in October! The only one I didn't really get into was meditation. I like meditation and prayer in conjunction with yoga, but not on its own. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Raclette Dinner

Last night Ross and I were invited over to our friends Sarah & Stead's house for a wonderful Raclette dinner!

The Beautiful Sarah 

And her wonderful husband Stead. 

And Raclette! What is it? Good question. It is a "party grill" of sorts, similar in idea to fondou and oh so much fun! Each person gets this great shovel-type tray to place items such as bread, veggies, but most importantly CHEESE! You place it under the grill to broil. 

While things are broiling down below you are grilling all sorts of things on the top with your personal mini spatula. It's super hot and cooks quickly, and tastes amazing!

Things that work well on the Raclette include asparagus, peppers, onions, sausage, chicken, and mushrooms. The possibilities are endless! Alongside this we had red potatoes, french bread and three types of cheese - cheddar, Swiss and Muenster - just in time for Halloween. 

Once everything is cooked up you mash up the potato, add the veggies, and top with the broiled cheese! Or you could make a cheesy sandwich like Ross did... he makes a sandwich out of everything. It's a fact. I love how creative you can be mixing up the veggies, cheeses and meats - but the best part was getting to cook and enjoy time with each other. This is how a meal should be - time spent together! 

Our Raclette evening gets two thumbs up! Great friends, great food, and a great time. 

Thanks Sarah and Stead! And a special thanks for doing the dishes too... =) 

Happy Weekend! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Green Holy Communion

How to "Green" Your Church's Eucharist, or Holy Communion 

  1. Source the elements of Holy Communion locally if at all possible.
    • Is there a local and independently owned bakery to purchase loaves of bread?
    • Is there locally grown or milled flour to bake with?
    • Is there a local winery?
    • Do any members of the congregation farm or produce flour or wine?
    • Are there organic options available?
  2. Establish a church garden in which to grow the necessary ingredients for communion.
    • Call upon congregation members with green thumbs to help out.
    • Obviously this will vary depending on local climate and seasons. 
  3. Use washable cups for individual portions of wine/grape juice, or practice intinction.
    • For those who do not wish to drink from the common cup, using small washable glasses reduces waste tremendously. 
    • If this is not feasible, use recyclable cups instead.  
    • Practicing intinction (the dipping of the bread into the cup) eliminates the need for either.
  4. Dedicate a specific prayer for Creation during the Prayers of the Church.
    • Thank God for the bounty of Creation that provides us with bread and wine so that we can partake in this sacrament.
  5. Encourage and include moments of silence to reflect upon our relationship to the earth and our relationship to food.
    • Reflection can help to foster care for the earth and all its inhabitants.   
  6. Practice open communion.
    • By inviting all to the table, Christian communities embrace the diversity of all people and all of God’s creation, including the earth.  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Farmer's Market Saturday

Fall is so colorful! 

I suppose that is what makes the gray, rainy days tolerable in the fall. And I get to wear my awesome Bogs

We headed to the Farmer's Market this morning to see what we would find! And we brought home 5 of these beautiful peppers! 

And one of these gigantic sweet onions! 

Ross thought it was too big and we wouldn't use it all. Please, I used onions nearly everyday! 

And look at this vegetable! Romanesco broccoli - it's it the coolest looking vegetable ever! 

We sampled some cheeses from Samish Bay Cheese - one of my favorite things to do at the market. 

I loved seeing all the pumpkins around! 

I wanted to bring some of these funky gourds home, but the warts give Ross the creeps, so we went with a couple mini-pumpkins instead. 

Then we spent the day napping (me), watching college football (mostly Ross), getting lessons on offensive formations in football (me), and snacking (both). Tomorrow is back to the grind - after church I'll be working on my masters project all day again! 

Hope you had a wonderful Saturday! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Birthday Cake

We had fun celebrating Ross' 26th birthday on Monday. It was pretty low-key: I made homemade calzones for dinner and then we caught up on The Office. Like up-to-tonight current caught up. Too bad Grey's Anatomy is on at the same time. 

The night before Ross' birthday I realized that hadn't thought about making him a cake! Thankfully, Mama Pea came to the rescue right before bed when she posted her Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake

Now I'm not sure what defines a cake as a "coffee cake," but I sure wasn't going to tell Ross that "coffee" was the name of the recipea that I used for his birthday cake. He has a strong aversion to coffee, and despite the fact that no coffee beans were used in the production of this cake, he would have been suspicious. Ignorance is bliss. 

The only thing I changed from Mama Pea's recipea was that I added an egg. I think it made the cake richer and helped it rise more. Or it could have been the fact that I used equal parts baking soda and baking powder. Whoops. 

The streusel topping really stole the show! 

Later on we added the cream cheese icing, though we dug into it before I could take pictures. And it was all gone by dinner last night. It was incredible, moist, not too sweet, and all around wonderful. Sans coffee - just add in some birthday. 

Ross has been begging me to make more. We finished the last piece 16 hours ago! Well, now he has the recipea, maybe he'll make it for me while I am working on my graduate project!!! Hint hint. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my husband! 
I love him because...

He is so handsome! 

And he's a great kisser. 

And a really good dancer, though he'd never admit to it! 

I can trust him with my life. 

He's my hiking buddy!

He's a beer-brewing lumberjack. 

He's sometimes a pirate. 

He's a Joker and always makes me laugh. 

He still looks good even in a mullet!

Sometimes he thinks he is Canadian. 

He's a born and raised hockey nut. I mean Minnesotan. 

He's a great singer... but only on Halloween in costume after a pitcher of beer. 

He makes the best fires. 

And I love him because...

He is my best friend!!!!