Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween (and some Mac & Cheese)

I can't believe it - we actually ran out of candy! We bought a huge bag (125 pieces) from the wholesale club even though our next door neighbors told us we don't get a lot of kids. By 8:20pm all the candy was gone and we had to turn a few kids away. This was our first Halloween in this house so I'm glad it was a good one. Our neighbors brought over their daughter, who was adorable in her pink leopard outfit, and we had the front windows open and the screen door and we could hear all the kids yelling in the street. It was so much fun. And everyone was so polite - they all said thank you and wished us Happy Halloween. There were even some grownups dressed up.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love our neighborhood? I'm telling you, it's like a little slice of heaven. We feel very lucky to live in such a great place. And I can't even tell you how many people complimented us on the pumpkins SP carved.

Next year we're going to do even more decorating and SP's already planning what designs to carve.

In the midst of all the excitement I managed to make macaroni and cheese for dinner.

SP requested shells for the pasta, so I used some medium-sized shells. They really held the sauce nicely. I think I'll use them from now on. I forgot the cheese topping so I threw it on over the breadcrumbs. It formed a nice crust that almost looks like a spider web (at least that's my story, since it's Halloween). It was so good I wished I'd made a full batch.

Pin It!

Cat: A Retrospective

Last night we were getting ready to run a quick errand. Our bathroom door was shut so when I opened it I was shocked to see our cat sitting in the window. For starters, he hates bathrooms (we don't know why but he has a serious aversion to them). He likes sitting in open windows (SP had been cleaning, hence the open window) but I'm not sure how the cat knew it was open if the door was closed.

Here he is when I came back with the camera:

He'd been laying down before I caught him (which was a lot cuter), but alas, I wasn't fast enough.

Now he's acting camera-shy:

...then he hears something outside:

... and finally he gives me his patented "why do you insist on taking my picture?" look:

Pin It!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cod Cakes, Red Pepper Gravy, Spinach Mashers

I was working on my blog over the weekend, going through the painstaking process of adding labels to the older posts, when I came across this post for Rachael Ray's Cod Cakes with Red Pepper Gravy and Spinach Mashers. I remember really liking this meal so when I found 3lbs of frozen tilapia filets at the wholesale club I knew what to make.

The meal was every bit as satisfying as last time, although once again I couldn't get it finished in anywhere close to 30 minutes. I took my time since SP doesn't get home until almost 7pm, but all told this took me an hour and a half to make. It's really, really good but wow is that a long time!

I noticed quite a few things about this recipe that I had to modify. For starters, the additional cup of breadcrumbs is unnecessary. My cakes held together just fine with only one cup. I also used only 1 can (just shy of 2 cups) of chicken stock and that was plenty for both the potatoes and the gravy. And a full pound of baby spinach? I used a 6-ounce bag and that was more than enough for 4 good-size portions of potatoes.
Pin It!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Salad and Homemade Pasta

On Sunday SP made fresh pasta from scratch using the pasta maker we got as a wedding gift. Sadly, we've only used that thing twice in our 4 years of marriage. It's relatively easy to make fresh pasta, but as SP found out this weekend, it's also time consuming. He made most of the dough into thin spaghetti:

... that we had with marinara sauce for dinner last night. The pasta was tasty, but I ruined the sauce. SP asked me to chop veggies for the sauce while he finished up the pasta and I used way too much celery. My parents got organic celery as part of the veggie box this weekend and I put two large ribs (including the leafy greens) into the sauce. Way, way, way too much celery flavor.

We also had a huge salad to use up the rest of the lettuces we got last week:

... as well as chopped bacon, hardboiled eggs, red pepper, Spanish olives, scallions, carrots, and mushroom stems. I had mine with creamy Caesar and it was fantastic.
Pin It!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Chicken Marsala with Lemon Broccoli

Last night we had Chicken Marsala with Lemon Broccoli, the meal we were supposed to have on Thursday. SP decided to experiment with fresh pasta so we also had a little of that as well.

I don't know what went wrong but the marsala sauce was spicy, almost as if I'd added red pepper flakes to the sauce. At first we thought it might have been an excess of freshly ground black pepper, but now I'm thinking I might have done a little cross contamination - the broccoli calls for red pepper flakes and I was using the same wooden spoon to make the sauce as I was for stirring the broccoli. It's the only explanation I can come up with.

Regardless of what happened I really didn't like the taste. It was nowhere near as good as the last time I made it, which was really disappointing since I'd been looking forward to it all day.

I also think I've ODed on broccoli. I love the stuff, but lately I haven't been happy with it no matter how I prepare it.

SP's pasta was good - nice and light - but it had no flavor. He thinks he needed to add more salt. I topped mine with some of the marsala sauce and SP made a quick marinara for himself.
Pin It!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Name Meme

Katie over at A Byootaful Life tagged me for a meme. It was originally meant for cats to answer (she belongs to a blogging group for cats) but she said it would work OK for humans so I'll give it a shot.

YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (favorite stuffie + tail characteristic)

I'll have to pass on this one since I lack a tail. :P

YOUR GANGSTER NAME: (favorite toy-filler + favorite cookie)

I could do the cookie part but the toy part escapes me.

YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color + favorite animal species)

Blue Dog (shocking, I know, since I'm a cat owner but I love dogs just a wee bit more. Our cat is the only cat I've ever liked).

YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name + first 2 letters of your first name)

Batsa (or, using my maiden name, Winsa)

SUPERHERO NAME: (“The” + 2nd favorite color + favorite drink)

The Green Water

NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)

Eugene Howard (or Howard Eugene, but I think Eugene Howard sounds better)

STRIPPER NAME: (your favorite scent + favorite treat)

I just don't know...I can't pick a favorite scent.

WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names)

Joan Peter

SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday + favorite flower)

Fall Daisy

CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit + article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)

Banana Jeanie

HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast + your favorite plant)

Bagel Mum

YOUR ROCK STAR TOUR NAME: (“The” + Your favorite hobby + favorite weather element + “Tour”)

The Writing Lightning Tour
Pin It!

Pizza Friday

Another Friday, another edition of Pizza Friday. Tonight we had a simple pepperoni pizza:

...that tasted sublime, with really good tomato flavor from the sauce and thick, spicy slices of pepperoni.

I baked the pizza on our new baking stone. The round one we had was too small for the pizzas I was making and we'd had one too many accidents that necessitated cleaning the oven. This new stone, while not as large as I'd like, was perfect for this pizza. We've started cooking the pizza on the top rack and it seems to do a better job then the bottom rack.

Since SP's working now I was in charge of the sauce. The last time we were at the store we bought crushed tomatoes instead of whole peeled and I forgot that when I went to make the sauce. It was a little watery but very flavorful, especially with the chunks of tomato I added using one we'd had on the counter for awhile (I think it was one of the last from the veggie box). I ran out of cheese so we had just a smattering of mozzarella with a little grated pecorino thrown on for better coverage.
Pin It!

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Cautionary Tale

So you know how I wasn't all that excited about the Cajun Rigatoni I made for dinner on Wednesday? Well now I have even more of a reason to hate the dish.

Picture, if you will, Thursday afternoon around 1:15pm. SP sends me an email titled "Piece of Glass" with this message inside: "Please be careful when you eat your leftovers today. I found a piece of glass in mine – I’m not kidding. Small, a little larger than a grain of sand."

I did a double take. He found a piece of glass? In his leftovers? The leftovers from the dinner I made last night? How is this possible?

I figured it was a fluke and went to the microwave to heat up my leftovers. I wasn't all that hungry to begin with but I knew I needed to eat something. I cherry-picked most of the vegetables and a few pieces of pasta out of the containter and sat down to eat my lunch. The first bite was fine but as I put the second bite into my mouth and bit down I felt something hard hit my tooth. I spit out the food and there, hidden underneath a piece of onion, was a shard of glass. Mine was a lot larger then a grain of sand. I promptly threw out the rest of my lunch.

I spent the rest of the day wondering how glass had gotten into our food. This is not something one expects from homecooked food. I chopped all the ingredients myself, for goodness sake. I hadn't broken any glasses lately and we hadn't had any issue the night before when we first ate the meal. How could this have happened?

When SP got home he showed me his piece of glass, which is about half the size of mine. I'd figured out by then that the Pyrex measuring cup I'd used to add the heavy cream was probably broken and when I got home I saw that the spout was, in fact, chipped. I still don't know how some of the glass managed to come off and get into our food, but it's really made me nervous about using glassware in general.

So there ya go kids, a cautionary tale about love, loss and pieces of glass in your food. Stay safe and happy cooking!
Pin It!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cajun Rigatoni

I knew as soon as I woke up today that I wasn't going to be excited about dinner tonight. Cajun Chicken used to be a favorite in this house, but lately I just haven't been interested in heavy, creamy pasta dishes. SP, the biggest carnivore I know, actually told me he wasn't interested in having anything involving meat for dinner (I know, I almost fell on the floor from shock) so I left the chicken out of the Cajun Chicken. The resulting dish was basically a mushroom, green pepper and onion cream sauce with a little garlic, scallion and chicken broth thrown in for good measure.

Don't get me wrong - it tasted fine. It just wasn't what either of us wanted. You know it's bad when you only take 3 pictures of the meal and none are very good. I think we'll be retiring the recipe for awhile. I need some new ideas. Better yet, I need to find some time to go through my blog and revisit old favorites. I also need to (finally) make my famous eggplant rollatini. I can't take all the credit, though, since the recipe comes from Lidia.

I didn't feel like eating a huge plate of pasta so I had a smaller serving along with some leftover salad from Monday:

I left my creamy Caesar in the work fridge so I made due with red wine vinegar and oil. I added some green olives with pimento (I love their kick) and some grated cheese and the salad was actually quite tasty.
Pin It!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Smothered Pork Chops

Pork chops were on sale at the store this week. I was craving comfort food and wanted an easy meal so I decided to make Smothered Pork Chops:

Tonight's meal was even better then the last time, although it wasn't until I looked at the pictures that I realized I made the exact same sides - mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. I guess it all goes well together.

The gravy was world's better this time, with a richer, better depth of flavor. I coated the chops in flour mixed with garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder and some dried parsley but before I made the sauce I added a chopped shallot to the pan. I think it added a nice mild onion flavor. I also used heavy cream in the sauce instead of milk, which helped with the richness.

The mashed potatoes were excellent, as always, although I ran out of Plugra awhile back so these weren't as rich. I also made sure to undercook the broccoli since SP likes it crispy and it was perfect.
Pin It!

Salad for Dinner

SP started his new job yesterday (yay!) While we're both thrilled it's taking some getting used to. I was so spoiled these last few months. While I was at work the laundry was done and put away, the grocery shopping was done, the yard was kept neat and tidy, errands were run, the house was clean and all those nit-picky projects no one has time for were completed. So instead of enjoying a relaxing evening at home last night, we went grocery shopping (boo!) We needed something quick for dinner before we went out so I got all the ingredients for a big salad ready Sunday and assembled them last night.

While I finished some last minute chopping SP breaded and fried a pounded-thin piece of chicken, which I tossed with bacon, hardboiled eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, beets, broccoli, red pepper and mushrooms. Once everything was ready I added some arugula from my parent's veggie box:

... and dinner was served. I had my salad with red wine vinegar and oil and it was just OK. It was much tastier for lunch today with creamy Caesar.
Pin It!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pizza Friday

Another edition of Pizza Friday:

... this time with pepperoni and mushrooms. We used some of the leftover sauce from the braciola last night. The bacon, onions and garlic were a great combination with the wine, tomatoes and toppings. I didn't put on too much cheese either and it got nicely browned on top because we cooked it on the top rack in the oven.
Pin It!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Muffuletta-Style Braciola

The October issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray had a piece about how to make Muffuletta-Style Braciola that looked tasty, so we thought it would be a great way to use up a leftover piece of flank steak.

I was all set to be in charge of this meal but then I read the directions - prep time 30 minutes, cook time an hour and 25 minutes. No exactly something I could whip up after a long day at work.

That meant SP was in charge. He hates when I choose a recipe and he ends up cooking it because inevitably something goes wrong. Tonight's mishap was only partially his fault. The instructions were not clear about pounding the meat. Pounding should not be an ingredient, it should be a step. In every other reference we checked they go so far as to do a photo essay to illustrate the proper technique for a braciola. This recipe doesn't even have a photo of the finished product on the web yet there's step by step instructions in the magazine but no recipe. Someone needs to rethink this.

So the meat was a little bit thicker then recommended. It was still incredibly tasty. We especially liked the filling of deli meats and cheese combined with bread crumbs and cheese:

I asked SP to boil potatoes for mashed potatoes and they were great for sopping up the extra sauce (which will also be making an appearance on tomorrow's pizza...there was a lot of leftover sauce). We were going to have salad but neither of us were terribly hungry so we went without.

In addition to the meat pounding issue SP took exception to a few other things with this recipe - he feels that red wine would have worked better then white since red is more traditional with beef. While I thought the white was fine, I agree that the red would have added more oomph. This was one of the only RR recipes I've ever seen where she doesn't tell you to cook the bacon in oil, something we never do since bacon has enough fat. Surprisingly, the extra oil was necessary in order to brown the meat.

We really liked all the flavors and will definitely make this again, but I need to rework the recipe so it's easier to follow.
Pin It!

Tennessee Whiskey Pork Chops

Jen, a girl on a cooking board I frequent, asked me to post this recipe for Tennessee Whiskey Pork Chops that I made two times this summer. When I asked SP to help me find the recipe it sparked a renewed interest in Cook's Country. We really love that magazine and there are so many good recipes we haven't tried yet. Here you go, Jen! Enjoy! If you make this for your husband please let me know. :)

Tennessee Whiskey Pork Chops
Serves 4
August/September 2005 Cook's Country

1/2 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey or 1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
4 bone-in, center-cut pork chops, about 1 inch thick
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Whisk whiskey, cider, brown sugar, mustard, cayenne, vanilla and 2 teaspoons vinegar together in medium bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup whiskey mixture to gallon-size zipper-locl plastic bag, add pork chops, press air out of bag, and seal. Turn bag to coat chops with marinade and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Reserve remaining whiskey mixture separately.

Remove chops from bag, pat dry with paper towels, and discard marinade. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Season chops with salt and pepper and cook until well browned on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer chops to plate and cover tightly with foil.

Add reserved whiskey mixture to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cook until reduced to a thick glaze, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and, holding onto chops, tip plate to add any accumulated juices back to the skillet. Add remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar, whisk in butter, and simmer glaze until thick and sticky, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

Return chops to skillet and let rest in pan until sauce clings to chops, turning chops occasionally to coat both sides. Check to make sure chops are no longer pink (145 degrees on instant-read thermometer) after about 5 minutes. Transfer chops to platter and top with sauce.
Pin It!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Roast Chicken Dinner

Nothing says fall like a roast chicken dinner. SP picked up an oven-stuffer roaster awhile back so we decided to take advantage of him still being home to have a roast chicken dinner on a weeknight.

He rubbed the outside of the bird with butter, sea salt and pepper and roasted it until the skin was crispy and the meat was juicy and tender:

It was so good I had no trouble carving the legs, thighs and breasts into pieces. The meat was literally falling off the bone so I got the carcass pretty clean and SP made the leftovers into soup.

We wanted to have broccoli as one of the sides:

...but while we love roasting it that wasn't the right preparation for this meal. The flavors just didn't marry well together, especially with the Madeira-flavored gravy SP made.

After those luscious mashed sweet potatoes we had at the BBQ place over the weekend we decided to make our own at home. While these were fantastic:

...they were missing that pronounced sweet potato flavor for some reason. I added more salt to try to draw out the flavor but they ended up tasting mostly of butter (which isn't a bad thing, just not what we were going for).

Crescent rolls were on sale at the store so SP picked up a pack. It's been awhile since I've made crescent rolls so I had no idea how to separate the dough, resulting in only three or four actual crescent rolls and a lot of mismatched shapes and sizes:

They still tasted great, especially sprinkled with a little fresh chopped dill and pecorino cheese.
Pin It!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Spaghetti Carbonara

I feel like I've cheated on Lidia. She has always been my go-to gal for all things Italian, but SP has never been a fan of her Spaghetti Carbonara (linguine with bacon and onions), one of my staple comfort foods. He asked if I could make the dish creamier at about the same time I started seeing other blogs mention Nigella Lawson's Spaghetti Carbonara recipe. The two recipes are quite different but I had a feeling Nigella's would provide that creaminess SP was after.

Right off the bat I liked Nigella's recipe better. For starters it was easier to make. I substituted regular bacon for pancetta and added onions because we like the flavor, but otherwise I kept the recipe the same. The prep couldn't have been easier and the assembly went much more smoothly since I didn't have to juggle a hot pan and egg yolks. The sauce ingredients are mixed together beforehand and added slowly to the pasta, off the heat, so there's no worrying about whether it'll all come together.

And the taste...oh the taste. Creamy, bacony, oniony, with just a hint of white wine and nutmeg (the two "secret" ingredients). It actually tastes almost exactly like Lidia's recipe, only it was easier to put together and you could actually see the sauce clinging to the strands of pasta. SP said I could make this dish for him anytime, his highest compliment. I'm sorry Lidia, but Nigella wins this round.
Pin It!

Anniversary Weekend Day 2 (Sunday Morning)

Sunday was another gorgeous day so we set out early in search of breakfast. We're always on the lookout for a breakfast place where we can get some good, solid cooking in a place reminiscent of your own living room, somewhere you can read the paper and enjoy a cup of coffee (or a glass of OJ, in my case). I'd read about McGlinchey's in Doylestown so we decided to check it out. As soon as we walked in the smell of breakfast filled our noses and we knew we were in for a treat. We settled in with the paper, enjoying a quiet Sunday morning.

SP ordered a mushroom and Swiss omelet, home fries, toast and a side of scrapple:

He really enjoyed the fresh mushrooms and the abundance of cheese in the omelet. We both thought the homefries could have been more evenly cooked. Some were bordering on raw while others were hard as a rock. And the onions that were sauteed with the potatoes were barely cooked. He enjoyed the scrapple and his rye toast with grape jelly. I ordered an omelet that came with ham, bacon, onions, peppers and American cheese, home fries and an English muffin:

As you can see from the two photos, my omelet was substantially larger then SP's. His turned out to be perfectly proportioned. Mine was stuffed too full. Next time I'll order an omelet with less ingredients. I asked for the muffin lightly toasted and it was perfect with the jelly as an after-breakfast dessert.

After finishing our hearty breakfasts we drove out to Nockamixon State Park for another long walk. The lake was gorgeous:

.. with the sun making the surface look like it was studded with diamonds. They have a plethora of picnic tables so we're planning to come back with a picnic lunch to enjoy the scenery:

Another shot of our shadows as we walked along the path:

... that led us to the marina where hundreds of boats were docked:

We sat on a bench on a jetty just enjoying the view and watching couples and families set off on day trips on their boats. The marina was packed with people taking advantage of the beautiful weather. The ducks were also out for a swim:

On the way back to the car we noticed this massive mushroom fungus growing on a tree:

And so ends our Anniversary Weekend Extravaganza. I was going to take pictures of our dinner last night, but the lighting was horrible and we were in close quarters with other diners and I felt funny whipping out the camera. You probably won't see restaurant photos for awhile since I promised SP I wouldn't take those kinds of pictures unless we were on vacation.
Pin It!

Anniversary Weekend Day 1 (Saturday Evening)

Saturday evening we wanted to do something fun for dinner and Sweet Lucy's has been on our must-try list for ages. It's actually not that far of a trip so we hopped on the highway for an early dinner. It was a good thing we went early - by the time at we left at 6:30pm the place was packed.

I knew as soon as we walked inside this was going to be some seriously good BBQ. The smell was outrageously good. I'm salivating just typing this entry. I ordered the BBQ pulled pork platter:

... which came with two sides (I chose kickin' collard greens and baked macaroni and cheese), coleslaw and a nice thick piece of cornbread: from the oven. The cornbread was outstanding, with a nice corn flavor made better with melted butter dripping off the top. The pork:

... was soft and luscious, with plenty of smoky flavor and spicy BBQ sauce. And speaking of spicy, the kickin' collard greens:

...had quite the kick to them. They were slow braised in a vinegar-based sauce with a pleasant kick from hot pepper flakes. I'd never tried collards before and these were fantastic. Also good was the macaroni and cheese:

...nice and creamy with lots of crunchy bits from the top of the casserole. I loved every sinfully delicious bite. SP decided to go whole hog (pun intended) and order the full rack of ribs platter:

... which also came with two sides (he chose the collards and mashed sweet potatoes), coleslaw and cornbread. His ribs were also smoky and spicy:

... with plenty of meat on the bones. I ate one rib and had no trouble picking it clean. SP's a good eater and he only managed to eat maybe half the ribs. Conveniently everything comes in the styrofoam clam shells so we just packed up the leftovers to take home. We also enjoyed the mashed sweet potatoes:

... that had a pure flavor mixed with lots of butter. Fantastic. We're already planning another trip out there with my folks. It's nice to know we can get good BBQ close to home. And so ends Day 1 of the Anniversary Weekend Extravaganza.
Pin It!

Anniversary Weekend Day 1 (Saturday Morning)

We’re back from our fantastic anniversary weekend extravaganza. I’m going to do two long entries with both food and scenery pictures starting with Saturday since I was a moron and didn’t bring my camera with me Friday night. I’m still kicking myself about it since we had amazing pizza that was incredibly photogenic.

Saturday morning bright and early we drove into Lambertville for our anniversary breakfast at the Bed & Breakfast where we got married. Laurie, who is a fantastic cook, and her husband, Mark, greeted us with big hugs. Laurie starts every breakfast with fruit in some form and we lucked out with fresh, juicy cantaloupe:

… served with a fruit “salsa” made with finely diced banana, kiwi and strawberries. But the star of the breakfast (and the reason we chose to go Saturday instead of Sunday) was the pumpkin waffles with homemade apple cider syrup:

… which are out-of-this-world good. She only serves them at this time of year even though people clamor for them year-round.

After chatting with other guests about our wedding and saying goodbye to Laurie and Mark for another year we set out for a long walk. Our plan was to walk into Stockton, which is about 3 miles down the D&R Canal. It was a gorgeous, crystal-clear day, not too cold or too hot. Perfect for a long walk.

Along the way I took a ton of pictures of things that caught my eye, such as this rusting railroad car hidden amongst the trees:

…a farmhouse barn:

…train tracks leading to nowhere:

…and our shadows as we walked along the path:

Once we got into Stockton we crossed the bridge into Pennsylvania and stopped at Dilly’s, a roadside stand that has excellent burgers and onion rings. After all that walking we wanted a snack (well, I did, but SP’s a good sport so he got something, too).

You order at the counter and they give you a random playing card that acts as your number. Once your order is ready they’ll call out “three of diamonds”:

… and you pick up your food and take it to one of the picnic tables. I ordered a burger with raw onion, lettuce, tomato and mayo:

… which was perfectly charred and layered with fresh, crisp toppings. But the real star were the onion rings:

…which are crispy and hot, fresh from fryer, coated in a thin batter. These are just outstanding and worth the 6-mile roundtrip walk.

On our walk back to Lambertville I took even more scenery pictures. My favorite is this one with the bench and the two trees:

Once we got back to town we decided to stop at the farm and get pumpkins to finish decorating our front yard:

SP also wanted to carve pumpkins so we spent the afternoon on the front porch doing just that. The finished product:

...along with an ornamental pepper plant I couldn't resist buying.
Pin It!