Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back in B-Town and Lovin' It

Has it really been since August 16th that I last posted? Well at least I never promised to be good at this blogging thing. We've been back in Bloomington, Indiana for almost two months now, and it is absolutely amazing to be home. I missed our good friends here, my kitchen, the farmer's market, and my shoes. Let's just say I got really tired of rotating through about 6 outfits this summer. Packing for four months in less than an hour doesn't bode well for variety in the wardrobe department.
Here are some pictures of us back in B-Town:

Jonah "just chillin'" on the couch. You wonder what he thinks when he sees Mike and I sitting on the couch; we must seem to be really enjoying it.

Jonah playing golf inside with Dad when Mom was gone.

To keep Jonah entertained one day while I was trying to get ready, I put a pair of his church socks on his hands. He loved trying to pick up things. And, yes that is my toothbrush in his mouth. Good thing it had the cap on it.

Jonah and Dad at an apple orchard just south of Bloomington. We picked lots of apples. Jonah was more interested in eating the rotten ones that had fallen off the trees, so we had to keep our eye on him. He loved being outside.

Mike made sure Jonah wore his overalls so he'd looked the part.

Jonah sitting in a tractor (at least I think it's a tractor) that was parked right outside of our apartment. I'm becoming more convinced everyday that I want to live on a farm.

Jonah opening a package of toys from Grandpa David and Grandma Nita. He'd just woken up from a nap and he was so dazed and confused when he opened up the toys. Maybe he thought he was still dreaming.

Jonah driving for the first time facing forward in his car seat. He had the funniest look on his face, like "Are you sure this okay Mom?"

We went to a pumpkin patch this past weekend and Jonah loved walking around the rows of pumpkins. He liked to sit on the pumpkins, pat the pumpkins, and pick up the smaller pumpkins and throw them. Good thing we never did have to find out if "You break it you buy it" was a pumpkin patch policy.

Here he is with his little friend Giana.

Jonah has taken to sleeping with a teddy bear Kathryn and Peter gave him. It is so cute to watch him cuddle up with it. He really hasn't gotten attached to any other toy, but his teddy bear. So sweet!

Mike is staying busy with school. He is taking finals this week to finish up the first 7 week semester. He is applying to Marketing Ph.D. programs. Didn't we just do this? Here is the list of schools we're applying to: (Don't you love that I put "we're applying to"? It really is a "we" thing though!!) From East to West here they are:
1. Columbia
2. Penn
3. Ohio State
4. Indiana University
5. Texas A&M
6. Arizona State
7. USC
We are excited to see what this next year will bring. I love that I have a husband who is willing to go after his dreams, no matter how daunting they may seem at times.

I have to also list a few recipes below for friends who have been waiting on me...Sorry Chris and Jenner!
Here are some of my new favorite Fall Recipes:

Curry Pumpkin Soup

2 T. butter
2 medium onions, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium carrot, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (this usually consists of cinnamon and nutmeg; I eyeballed the amount of each b/c I didn't have "pumpkin pie spice")
2 (15 oz.) cans pumpkin
2 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth
2/3 cup water
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

In 4-quart Dutch oven (or big pot) melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, and celery. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add curry powder and pumpkin pie spice. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add pumpkin, broth, and water. Increase heat to medium-high; bring to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer covered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
In food processor or blender, add one-third of the pumpkin mixture at a time, cover, and process or blend until smooth. Return all pumpkin mixture to dutch oven.
Stir in half-and-half, salt, and pepper into pumpkin mixture; heat through.
Optional: Top with Cranberry Topper. This consists of 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1 T. finely shredded orange peel, and 2 T. fresh Italian parsley.

Pumpkin Bean Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. fresh ginger (I added 1 tsp. ground ginger)
2 tsp. curry powder
dash of cayenne pepper
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups chicken broth
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the bell pepper and onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic, cumin, ginger, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring, for an additional 2 minutes.
Pour in the pumpkin puree, black beans, corn, chicken broth, tomato sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a gentle boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 25 minutes.
Optional: Garnish with fresh cilantro and a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream. (I didn't do this and the soup tasted great without)

Apple Scones

2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. white sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter, chilled
1-2 apples peeled, cored and shredded (I added 2 small-medium sized apples and was glad I did.)
1/2 c. milk
2 T. milk
2 tsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt into a large bowl. Cut in butter or margarine until crumbly. Add shredded apple and 1/2 cup of milk. Stir to form a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 8-10 times. Pat into two 6-inch circles. Place on greased baking sheet. Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Score each into a 6 pie-shaped wedges.
Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes or until browned and risen. Serve warm with butter OR (and this was Mike's idea) make a frosting of sorts out of apple juice and powdered sugar. It was delicious!!

Hope you all enjoy these yummy recipes. Happy Fall to One and All!!