Tuesday, October 30, 2012

pumpkin season

We've had a spectacular autumn here in Chicago. Walking around campus has been beautiful.
Chicago autumns don't usual have as much flash and color as places like Door County or the North Shore of Lake Superior, but this has been a good year.
The fruits of our labor at a pumpkin carving party last weekend -- mine is the smirking Jack O' Lantern second from the right. Some people got really fancy, but I like to wing it!
in the kitchen

Comfort food and autumnal spices are just the ticket with our cool temperatures here in Chicago. Chicken Fennel Lemon Rice Soup is simmering away in my crockpot as I type, and we've been munching on some yummy pumpkin cookies for the last few days.

(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) Pumpkin Cookies

1/4 C. pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
1/2 C. almond butter (or any natural nut butter) (I like the "grind your own" from Whole Foods since it isn't separated)

1/2 C. honey

1 tsp. vanilla 

1 C. almond meal/flour
(available at Trader Joe's)
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/3 C. dark chocolate chips  (I use Whole Foods vegan)

1/3 C. dried cranberries 
1/2 C. chopped walnuts or pecans

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

- Combine all wet ingredients together, then add the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly. 

- Scoop batter to whatever size you'd like. Flatten them out to the desired thickness becuase these do not spread on their own. 

- Bake ~ 10-15 minutes, according to thickness.

- Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

postcards from Door County

Paul and I just spent a week up north in Wisconsin's beautiful Door County, where we did things like go for drives amidst the fall colors,

 visit lighthouses, including the Sherwood Point Lighthouse in Idlewild,

hike many state parks (might as well get the good out of our annual WI state parks pass!), like Whitefish Dunes, where we climbed "Old Baldy," the tallest sand dune in the state,
and taste my first fish boil (delicious!).

I just may have finished up (and worn!) my Shalder cardigan. The trip was amazing -- as nice as Chicago is, I really miss the great outdoors. Wisconsin still feels like home in many ways.

More knitting photos soon, I promise.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

afternoon tea

Mmm... French apple cake for tea today. I couldn't resist adding a dash of cardamom and a dash of nutmeg to the cinnamon-sugar topping when I was baking.
Toggle buttons have been procured for my Shalder cardigan. The pickings were awfully slim at my fabric store, and shopping for buttons online is a soul-crushing endeavor. These are La Mode style no. 29442 (hook 608).

Here's a vague idea how they'll look sewn on:
My cardigans are almost always worn open, so the buttons probably won't see much actual use.


My owl baby vest pattern is now available en espaƱol, by the way! Muchas gracias to Cecilia, aka wenlita, for the translation.