Wednesday Things

So I was planning on telling you about marshmallows today. Unfortunately, my computer is still all kinds of messed up and I think (slash I hope) that it will be a simple system upgrade. And even more unfortunately, I tried to do that last night, however, my computer doesn't have enough memory for the upgrade. So I tried to move everything to my external hard drive so I could free up some memory (most of it is on there anyway, but I wanted to confirm before deleting anything...) however, my old as dirt computer now refuses to read my hard drive. So I can not only not upgrade my system, but I can't access my hard drive (and photos) either. Le sigh.

Instead, I'll just do a Wednesday Things post where I tell you all about what I'm happy about, mmmk? I like that idea better anyway ;)

1. I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping! Yippeee! I actually love holiday shopping and gift giving. It's so fun to find great gifts for people I love. I think that means tonight will be a gift wrapping evening...and perhaps I can convince my husband to watch a Christmas movie...I'm eyeing this one...

2. There's still time to enter the homemade holiday goodies giveaway! I've been collecting some fun stuff to send the winner (not to mention lots of homemade goods), so if you haven't entered to win yet, you have until midnight!

3. Last night Shaun and I stumbled upon a special about Yellowstone National Park on Planet Green, which we happily watched. We had visited the park last summer and it was one of the best trips I've ever been on. I had no idea what to expect before we went, and it was truly an amazing place. One spot is more beautiful than the next...and the animals are like nothing I'd ever seen before in person.

 

4. Yesterday, I geeked out at Butter Lane Bake Shop. They named me their blogger of the week, so of course I had to go and buy some cupcakes see my name in lights chalk. Such a cute place and their cupcakes are heavenly. My good friend Lauren was kind enough to accompany me, play photographer and of course, add a frosting shot to our coffee (apparently that's their idea of 'creamer'...and if that's wrong, I don't want to be right).

5. I'm thinking of running a virtual bake sale/auction after the holidays. My cousin Jessica, who is just 22-years-old, was recently diagnosed with leukemia a few weeks ago and we are all doing what we can to support her and raise some money for her medical bills. Would you be interested in baking something for a potential sale? Or buying from a sale? You wouldn't have to be a blogger...just a kind and willing person who could make a batch of baked goods and be willing to ship them to your highest bidder...please let me know! If I get enough people, I'd love to make this happen! I know the holidays are incredibly busy, but perhaps in January? Jess needs our help!

 

6. I'm trying to get into drinking herbal tea. Thoughts on this?

7. Who is watching American Horror Story? Anyone? I am finally caught up on this season and am loving every second of this show! I cannot believe that it will come to a close next week. Please don't post any spoilers in the comments, but I'll open up a discussion on the Facebook page if you want to discuss. My mind, for one, was blown. I even just love the opening credits. To me, good opening credits are of huge importance. The music alone gives me the heebee jeebs.

 

8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo comes out next week. I'm so beyond down with this that I can't even tell you. Every time a trailer comes on for it, I make Shaun stop the fast forward button so I can watch it. (I promise, it hasnt gotten old for him ;)) It looks remarkably dark, which is just how it should be. Ah I can't wait!

 

9. I'm thinking of making this as my main dish for Friday evening. Perhaps served over orzo? I like.

10. I need coffee stat. I think today = Dunkin' Donuts coffee day!

So that's what's happening with me on this Wednesday.

Questions of the Day:

What are your Wednesday things?

Did you enter the giveaway yet? Thanks to those who did! It's turning out to be the most entries ever for a giveaway I've hosted! Keep 'em coming!!

 

August Favorites

Another month gone by and this one signals the end of summer, though you wouldn't know it by the heat wave on the east coast this week. While I can't believe how the summer has flown, it's been a particularly fantastic one and I'm excited to round up my favorite eats over the last bunch of weeks.

Lipton Cold Brew Iced Tea
A refreshing way to hydrate. Though I love me some carbonation, fresh iced tea with a slice of lemon is just the ticket to enjoying a warm afternoon on the terrace. Oh and extra love goes out to my Cuisinart coffee pot, which dutifully multitasks as an iced tea pitcher until further notice. Gotta love a space and money saving item like that!

Using whatcha got
Like my skillet chicken parmesean or my daily at-home iced coffee, I’m all for using up ingredients that are already in my own personal pantry rather then shelling out for unnecessary goods. While I love a good sushi or pizza delivery, I also see the value in saving some coin on a random Thursday evening by finding inspiration in my own cupboard. Though I could actually feel my mom cringe when I made my skillet chicken parmesean, I was able to concoct a bona fide delicious dinner without breaking the bank or slaving over the stove - and getting in some quality blogging, TV, and terrace time to boot.

Otto's Truffled Honey and Brandied Cherries
Oh, mama, I could eat just about anything drenched in these two accoutrements. The ultimate complement to any cheese platter, Otto's truffled honey and brandied cherries are out of this world amazingly delicious. In fact, I once proclaimed that they'd top my Best Thing I Ever Ate list, and I'm sticking to that proclamation. I enjoyed these during girls night with my mom and sisters and just can't get them out of my head.

Yellowstone National Park

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my wonderful August vacation to Yellowstone National Park. Sampling local eats in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Gardiner, Montana added an extra bit of excitement to an adventurous and awe-inspiring sight filled vacation. From microbrews to bison burgers, the food, or scenery for that matter, didn't disappoint.

La Carbonara
One of my go-to restaurants and one that has not yet made it into a Restaurant Roundup. A tiny yet charming Italian restaurant on 14th and 7th, La Carbonara serves up fresh Italian dishes. I like it so much in fact that I tried to replicate their orrechiette with sausage, cherry tomatoes and broccoli rabe in my own apartment kitchen, but with a few alterations.

So there you have it. My monthly roundup of delectable eats, all of which were enjoyed this past month. But what I really want to know is, what did you enjoy over the last month? Did you test your skills in a new recipe? Or stumble upon a fun restaurant?

Yellowstone Microbrews

As I mentioned earlier this week, Shaun and I spent the last week traveling through Wyoming and Montana on a Yellowstone Park adventure with the Humiston side of the family. Breathtaking views, wildlife at every turn, and whitewater rafting dominated our week in Yellowstone, and if you have the means, I highly recommend making the trip.

But when you're distracted by views like this...

and this...

well let's just say that food isn't exactly at the forefront of one's mind...even for me. I know, how can that even be possible? But let's just say that there were a lot of car snacks.

It was, however, the land of the microbrews. Whether lagers or pale ales, the great states of Wyoming and Montana were not without their locally brewed favorites. One of our favorites was Moose Drool Brown Ale. Since I'm immediately wooed by a quirky name and had made it my mission to see this elusive animal during the trip, this was a must try and became one of our favorites of the week.

On our first night in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, we dined at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, serving up burgers and beer. With a bison and elk burger in our tummies, we also sampled the local brew, appropriately deemed Million Dollar Cowboy Bar Beer.

And since I just had to be different, I ordered the Snake River Pale Ale, named for the local Snake River. While I always enjoy a taste test, I also realized that pale ales are just not for me as their spiciness overpowers the simple beer flavor.

Once we got into Gardiner, Montana, we picked up a Grand Teton Blonde Ale. And yes, that is a naked lady on the label. But it was the first organic beer I've ever tried!

And how could I pass up a lunchtime regional brew like Rainier, mountain freshly brewed and on special for a mere $1.

All of this is not to say that I didn't indulge in some local fare, just a little bit. With barbecue grub at every turn, could you blame me? My favorite dinner consisted of tender beef brisket, sweet potato fries and sweet baked beans. It was enough to do a body good...and sleepy.

Aside from microbrews, barbecue and some car snacks including cashews, granola bars and craisins, the food was plentiful but took a back seat. In addition to the amazing natural views, we were constantly being followed around by furry creatures like this...

and this...

Seeing them roam free was enough to make even a major carnivore like myself contemplate vegetarianism.

So there you have it. A little round up of our favorite microbrews in and around Yellowstone Park as well as some gratuitous footage from the trip since, hey, it's some pretty decent eye candy, isn't it? And speaking of gratuitous, check out this last one of Shaun and me by the Yellowstone River in Montana.

Not too shabby, huh? But what I really want to know is, have you traveled this summer? Have you sampled the local eats? It's always my mission to get a feel for what the locals frequently dine on!

*For some more microbrew fun, check out my Antigua roundup!