Monday, October 1, 2012

another delivery

Can't believe month two of the Foodie Pen Pal exchange is already over! It's been so busy. This time, my sender was Roxanne from Connecticut. She sent lots of goodies from her home state:
  • Two bags of Deep River Potato Chips -- I think we had these in New York, though I'd never seen the Aged Cheddar Horseradish flavor
  • A Nate's Yankee Bar -- jam-packed with cranberries, and not too sweet
  • Honey Ginger Crystals -- not local; from China, I believe, and I'm really looking forward to finding these for myself
  • Savor Nicasia cookies -- we all loved these little guys, which are flavored with lemon, rosemary and sea salt...even Guinness
Thanks for sending, Roxanne!

Friday, September 7, 2012

dabbling in cheesemaking

The evening was balmy, perfect for a garden tour. My friend Alysse and I arrived in Hales Corners with seven other women for a cheesemaking class at Mia Famiglia, an Italian restaurant that focuses on local ingredients. But first, while we could still see outside, Chef Tomas showed us his sprawling kitchen garden and apiary -- fascinating! I've never been that close to a beehive before, and it really did buzz. He said that if I didn't show fear, they wouldn't become alarmed, so I bravely stepped forward so I could check it out -- he was right. No swarming...on me, at least.

Friday, August 31, 2012

foodie penpal reveal!

In late July, my foodie friend Sarah told me about an online program she'd discovered called Foodie Penpals that's run by Lindsay of the Lean Green Bean. Some of you might know that as a kid, I had several pen pals, and I still love to write -- and receive! -- letters and postcards today (Izzy and I have been writing since we were 6 and 7). The idea that I could have another pen pal paired with a mystery package of yummy foods was enough to make me hop in line. Well, today's the big reveal, when all the Foodie Penpals bloggers post about what they received this month.

Friday, July 13, 2012

we grew this! eastern eggs florentine

I guess it was around Memorial Day that Ian and I planted our veggie garden, this nice 6x8 raised bed that the previous homeowners installed. We're using the Square-Foot Gardening technique in hopes that we'll be able to grow more types of produce than we otherwise would using the row technique. So far, it's working fabulously well, and even though we're experiencing severe drought (are you sick of hearing about this yet?), things are growing really well -- including our bok choi, an Asian cabbage that looks kind of like a mix of celery and chard, shown here in the center right soon after it was planted.

Monday, June 25, 2012

a pleasing palette

While the contractors are hard at work inside the house, the plants are growing, growing, growing outside. Ian has been a trouper, watering nearly every day -- and the weather forecast suggests there’s no end in sight. (Sorry.) I’m especially pleased with the results in the front garden.

I put in a few perennials, but since we’re planning a major revamp this fall and don't want to stress stuff out by moving it, I added mostly annuals. The previous homeowners had planted a number of spring-blooming perennials and the enormous hostas, which were fairly easy to work around -- their foliage is a nice uniform green, and they blend in nicely.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

inspiration overload

If you’re following me on Facebook, you might know that I’ve been feeling a little bit overwhelmed about our impending choice in paint colors. When we started our house hunt, I was thrilled that we could finally have colored walls, and found inspiration everywhere I looked.

Now that we’ve signed with a contractor and construction starts next week(!), there’s a looming deadline. Somehow, I’m finding too much inspiration, so I’m feeling the pressure to choose. After some friends gave me wise advice about searching for color combos here, here and on Pinterest, and just by googling the name on the paint chip to see what others have come up with, I’m starting to feel a lot better. (Thanks.) Ian is much more relaxed about the whole thing. (Who’s surprised?) He has already chosen his office color: white.

Friday, June 1, 2012

this old house

Last November (the same day we got Guinness, actually), Ian and I began our house hunt. That first day, we toured five homes on Milwaukee’s East Side, where we were determined to live. In all, we looked at around 30 houses that seemed to cover every part of the house-condition spectrum: a cozy but obviously crooked bungalow; a creepy old boarding house; some cute but character-less flipped ones; a former commercial building; and a few foreclosures that had once been beautiful, but are now crumbling inside, the ceilings dropping off in gobs and the walls covered in mold thanks to burst pipes and general neglect.

As we hadn’t spent much time in houses there -- which are typically 100-plus years old -- it took awhile to realize that, rather than spend on a house that had been rehabbed in a style we didn’t love, we’d rather buy low and make exactly the changes we want.