Archive for October, 2009

An Apple a Day


We bought a few apples, like a few dozen apples, a few weeks ago. As I was reading blogs and linking from one to the next I found a whole lot of apple recipes I wanted to try. Last weekend I tried two of them, both successes.

For dinner, Husband made this beautiful Chicken & Spiced Apples dish from Eating Well. The chicken was tender and full of flavor, and the apples lended a beautiful sweet and tart flavor to the plate.


For dessert, I couldn’t help but make this Apple Custard Pie. I found this recipe on a blog, and I have no idea (I’m so sorry), where I found it. I used a store bought crust, because if you remember, I don’t do pie crusts. And the rest came together so quickly. Sliced apples, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and then a mixture of half-and-half, vanilla and an egg poured on top. Do the layers again and pop it into an oven. I wish, oh, I wish, I could remember where I found this recipe. The pie is soooo good. It’s not too sweet, the apples make it healthy, and the store bought crust was passable. But I’m not a crust snob. Let me know if you want the recipe. I’d be happy to type it up for you. Once I remember where it is!


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Wednesday Walk

I think a scarf in this color, don’t you?


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Mexican Layer Dip


We went to a party last week and were asked to bring an appetizer. We went to the half-haunted Halloween at Woodlake Nature Center, so I needed something I could make ahead of time and that would be hearty when we were cold and hungry. I chose a Mexican bean dip and it was delicious. The bottom layer was refried black beans, topped with fresh avocados, a mixture of sour cream and taco seasoning, 2 cups of cheddar cheese and tomatoes and green onions for looks. It was delicious. Even the 3 year old couldn’t get enough. I made a 9×13 dish and 6 and a half of us finished it off in no time. Yummers.

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Everyone said the colors this fall would not be good. There was no rain, then too much rain, then snow. So the leaves were expected to drop early, before they had time to become beautiful. I think “they” were wrong. I brought Dog on a much needed walk yesterday and was amazed as I walked through a yellowish-orangey-green world. The colors were stunning. I picked a few to prove it.

Then, I started thinking. I’ve been meaning to start a new project for the living room. Something to hang up.


I found these collages at, of all places, Room and Board a few months ago and had to have them. But there’s an empty spot on a nearby wall that I’d like to fill with something complimentary. That’s all I can tell you right now, but I think these leaves have just provided me with the palette.


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Curried Apple Pumpkin Soup

I found myself without a car a couple days ago. The Service Engine Soon light came on. Then the temperature gauge went to Hot. Then I brought it to the shop. They drove us home and Daughter, Dog and I were alone in the house with a baking Pumpkin and it was snowing. What were we to do…? Make soup!


I started by roasting the pumpkin. I had planned to use some of it for baby food, but decided to double the soup recipe so I could bring some to my parents. It’s okay, I roasted way too many sweet potatoes so Daughter is set for a long time.


Originally I wanted to make Pumpkin-Leek Soup, but the leeks I bought (2 weeks ago) were no longer good. So  I went online and found a recipe for Curried Pumpkin Apple Soup. I had the pumpkin, and the refrigerator is overflowing with apples, so it was perfect. And it came together very quickly. I sauteed an onion and the apples, added the curry, the roasted pumpkin and some chicken stock and used my stick blender to puree. When it’s smooth (note: the stick blender didn’t get it as smooth as a blender would, but I like some texture) I added more chicken stock, a bay leaf and milk.

The soup was good. Made even better by some stinky cheese and crunchy bread. And there are two pints in the basement freezer for another snowy day. Hopefully my car won’t be in the shop again then.

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The Ingredients


Something that enters as an element into a mixture.

I feel like I’m back. Back to blogging, back to cooking, and back to the real world. Over the past few months I’ve been searching for something. Maybe a bit of myself, but mostly inspiration. And I’ve found it. All around me. And particularly in the blogs I find myself drawn to every day. If you haven’t noticed, this blog has become more than a record of recipes and meals, but of all that I find exciting and fresh or tastes good. There will still be food, but there will also be art and photography and words and whatever else strikes my fancy. These are my ingredients.

Here are a few sites I visit often. They not only inspire me, but remind me how fortunate I am to be surrounded my so many wonderful people, online and off.

Jen from Painted Fish Studio. You’ve inspired me from the first day we met in Malka’s Typography Class.

Anna from Three Sneaky Bugs. Thank you for reminding me that making a list of creative things to do is just as important as doing those creative things.

Aimee from Artsyville. Your doodles gave me the confidence to show mine to the world.

Andrea from Superhero Designs. You gave me Joy when I needed it.

Stephanie from NienieDialogues. You’re amazing. Enough said.

Those are just a few. There are so many. I hope to share them with you as we go along. Until then, I hope this photo inspires you, or at least makes you smile. I found this fellow at the Petting Zoo at the Orchard last week. Love him.


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(Rainy) Wednesday Walk

I met a friend for lunch today back in the old neighborhood. Nice to be back.





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Afton Apple


It’s been a mighty cold Autumn around these parts (um, snow), but we still made it down to Hastings to visit my favorite orchard. We didn’t pick anything on our own, but were still able to pick up some pumpkins and beautiful apples.

We picked up a half-peck of my favorite variety, the Honeycrisp. They’re not too sweet and very crisp and so full of juice you need at least a couple napkins for your chin.  It’s also a local variety, created just down the street at the University of Minnesota. Go Gophers!

In addition, we  grabbed a full peck of Zestars, a similar variety, four pumpkins to carve and one smaller baking pumpkin. Not sure yet what I’m going to do with it. Either soup or maybe another pumpkin pie from scratch. There really is nothing better.

There’s still time to hit your favorite orchard for some local apples or pumpkins. There are dozens of them. Enjoy and stay warm!

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Morning Tea


Every morning, or at least Monday through Thursday, I’m greeted by the adorable face on this mug. It was a gift from friends a couple years ago and it looks just like my little Boston Terrier. He’s such a delight, and it’s great to have him with me every morning at the office. I load it with black tea and cream each morning and try to get a grasp on the crazy day I have ahead of me.

My friends found it at a local art fair and I believe it’s from local (Northfield, MN) potter Holmquist Pottery. I love it. It makes my day. Every day.

Happy Monday!

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Today I took a 10 minute break from the office and went on a short walk around the neighborhood. I was inspired by Anna’s Photo Meet up and Jen’s photos of New York City. I hoped I would fine something inspiring right outside my door. I was right. I did.




* Something new to The Write Ingredients (TWI). I’ll walk on Wednesdays and post what I find the next morning.

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