A litte bit of Cincy in Seattle

This past weekend we had a bunch of Joshua's beer loving co-workers over for a Cincinnati party. We have a lot of Cincinnati pride and honestly love showing it off a little. Recently there have been some really great breweries popping back up there and so when we were home last time we stuffed a bunch into our checked bag. Then I made signs because it makes me happy and a bunch of Cincinnati food and had a little shindig.
We had skyline dip (duh), goetta, ribs with Montgomery inn bbq sauce, and buckeyes to go with our Cincy brews. It was fun because, all except for one fellow Ohioan friend, no one knew what any of the food was. In Seattle I feel like everyone has such a wide knowledge of squash types and fancy chocolates so it was a blast to watch them scarily dip their chip into the greasy cheese layer that is skyline dip, and come up with brown mush on the chip :)
Good ol' comfort food and they all actually loved it, goetta was a hit!


Plus it was the first party we'd held in our new apartment. Like 16 people were in there milling about and they all fit. It was a fabulous night and we were so giddy to share some of Cincinnati and their up and coming good beer selection with some great people!

our fellow Ohioan had just had a birthday, so we added candles to the buckeye pile


Clay Pigeons


 This past weekend we went out shooting clay pigeons with a friend in the sunshine. Here you can drive into a National Forest and shoot at the sides of mountains, and that's just what we did. Our friend Erin had scouted out places and been here before so we walked our equipment out and set up shop for the day.

Shockingly the day was beautiful and warm and we even got to shed layers throughout the day. Happily on my second shot of a shotgun ever! I hit the clay pigeon (I'm very proud) Sadly that was the only one I hit all day because on my third shot I pinched the nerve in my neck (sadly I do this a few times a year) and was out of the game.

The guys did awesome though, Erin's gun made the clays break into hundreds of pieces and the shatter always felt so satisfactory. Joshua was a pretty good clay pigeon slinger and it was fun watching them try to throw them different ways.

Later on the guys set up clay targets out in the brush grabbed pistols to play what I think of as the Dave & Busters game (you know the old time saloon were targets pop up and you shoot at them) I tried my hand at this, but sadly it hurt my neck quite a bit and I had to concede again. But I seriously felt like I was watching a fun video game with the guys moving around and aiming everywhere- Safely! We were very safe I promise!
Not being able to shot my largest contribution was then snacktime! I brought freshly made homemade apple butter, homemade wheat rolls, dehydrated apples, and addicting chili lime corn nuts. Joshua teased me about my girly spread but once Erin saw it he was pretty excited! All in all snacktime was a huge win :) The whole day was really pleasant and probably one of the last days for awhile that we'll be able to hang out outside all day and still feel our fingers afterwards. I'm glad we got to capitalize on it, even if my neck is still paying for it.


Kabocha Squash Lentils with Bacon & Veggies

I've never had a kabocha squash before so I grabbed one and brought it home with no actual plans on what to do with it. Turns out, just like all other squash, it's delicious and easy. I love trying out new squashes and finding out what makes them different. The kabocha variety was green and pretty easy to cut up and it was a starchy squash that I could see cooking up like potato chunk hash browns quite well.
Kabocha Squash Lentils with Bacon & Veggies:
1 kabocha squash
4 slices of bacon
1 red onion; diced
2 Portobello mushrooms; diced
1/2 jalapeno; diced
2 servings of black lentils
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1   preheat oven to 375 degrees F, slice squash in half and scoop out the seeds
2   cut squash into about 5 chunks and cut off the outside skin, chop into bite size chunks
3   place squash onto baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cayenne
4   bake squash for 20-25 minutes, it is done when easily pierced with a fork
5   in the meantime fry up your bacon and reserve a few tablespoons of the grease in the pan
6   remove the bacon and sauté the onion, mushrooms, and jalapeno (I like to add a little more cayenne and some thyme)
7   heat up a pot of water and cook the lentils
8   add the bacon back into the veggie skillet and warm it all back up, drizzle in a little extra olive oil
9   plate the lentils, top with squash, then the veggies & bacon and finish off with a pinch of saffron


Cracking Walnuts

Rounding off the weekend on Sunday we putzed around at home, made apple butter and dehydrated some more apples, make a big pot of soup, drank lots of coffee. Also I made a cute bear shaped breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon, mmm.

Then that night some friends came over and we sat around the table making brownies with ice cream for dinner, starting with coffee and transitioning to wine. It was one of those evenings that feels cozy and fits perfectly into everything you wanted in an evening. We lit candles, I cuddled with their dog, we talked around the table for hours & we cracked walnuts!

I've never cracked walnuts. We were in the store earlier that day and I pointed them out and Joshua launched into stories about cracking them with his grandpa in his tool filled garage. I loved it and then started imagining all the stories we could have of people around our table cracking walnuts and talking, so we bought them.

The Aaron's, unknowingly, fulfilled my wish! We cracked open copious amounts of walnuts, dipped them in honey, tried to find walnut shell crafts & it made my heart happy and fuzzy. I love that something as small as walnuts can open Joshua up to more stories he may not have recalled unless we found them and how I get to then listen and understand him a little more. Moments like that feel like fall to me. So far we're really enjoying this season of life. It's full of people but quality time with people. I'm treasuring it.


Soul Night & Beer Tasting Night

This weekend was a fun mix! We started out Friday night with a bunch of my co-workers celebrating the last day of someone, sad, and moved over to Soul Night at a small club where we donned sequins and danced to lots of good old music.

The next night we biked over to the Phinney Ridge Beer Fundraiser where 32 breweries had little tables set up with at least 2 beers each. We met up with some of Joshua's co-workers there and had a great night sipping strange beer flavors- squash ale, habanero stout with vanilla ice cream, some funny holiday ones as well as some really great beers from local breweries. You only get 10 tickets, but no one asks for them so really- it's unlimited tasting.

 It takes place in an old school so it's full of character, people carting around trays of homemade cookies, fresh popped popcorn, and handfuls of pretzels. All good things on a chilly rainy night!

Joshua definitely lost


Sneaking in a Fall Hike

Saturday looked like it would be a decent day so we really wanted to get out and see some pretty leaves and mountaintops. We snow hiked most of the Lake Serene trail a few years ago but never made it all the way to the lake so we went out to finish it this weekend.
It ended up being a very foggy hike but as we got near the lake the light started to break through and it was beautiful and eerie. The fog was licking the mountaintops and sometimes was brushed away enough to have them peek out for a few seconds. The trail was full of our favorite mossy trees and pops of yellow leaves catching the light. When we got to the lake it was sunny and warm and we ate our lunch near the lake. But then the clouds rolled through again and the lake was immersed in fog. It was fun to sit on a giant rock and watch the clouds tease us with opening up and revealing the lake back to us. Mt. Index floated in and out of view behind as well.

It was a beautiful afternoon and we were happy to sneak in some time with the sunshine and waterfalls. Then we went home and watched movies on the couch all evening and warmed up frozen pizza. We also ate a large portion of a coffee & donuts ice cream I accidentally bought, oops.



Halloween Night

This year I wanted to dress up and luckily Joshua ceded and agreed. We dressed up as Agatha, the baker (coincidence that is also my mixer's name) and Zero, the lobby boy from The Grand Budapest Hotel. It's on of Wes Anderson's films and full of quirky moments and scenes. The girl Agatha has a Mexico shaped birthmark on her cheek and Zero draws on his mustache every morning.

a still from the movie

I've been dying to have a reason to make the Courtesan au Chocolat pastry that Agatha makes in the movie but it's a very goofy Dr. Suessish dessert and would be random to make for most things- except when you dress up as her for Halloween! So I made a bunch of brightly colored little puffs filled with chocolate custard, daintily stacked on top of one another and passed them out at work instead of candy.
The video on how to make them here!

That night Joshua got pretty into his costume and we finished it off with a hat, mustache and one of my blazers with fake buttons, I love free costumes.

We went out for giant face sized sliced of pizza and biked over to Nectar to watch a blue grass show. Our favorite was the very tall man dressed in fuzzy zebra print everything with zebra platforms. We even saw an adult costume parade go down the street ha!