out here in grape country: concord grape pie

concord grapes

A few weeks ago, I spotted baskets of Concord grapes at the farmers’ market. The sight of them brought back memories of last fall, when Dylan and I would bike along the grape belt on the last few warm and sunny days of the year. It was the first time I noticed the intensely sweet smell of Concord grapes in the air. We both agreed it smelled like grape juice and childhood. I wanted to bottle it up in a jar and take it home with me. We spent the ride home recalling our own grape-flavored memories. I love how a smell can surprise you with a trip down memory lane. Continue reading

playing catch up: pumpkin cinnamon rolls

strawberry picking

It seems my blog has jumped straight from ushering in spring to welcoming autumn, without the slightest mention of a summer in between. I had grand intentions for this past summer, and many of those intentions became realities. For better or for worse, keeping up with my little corner of the blogosphere was not one of them. I’m starting to convince myself that it was for the better, as I traded time behind a computer for time picking tomatoes on the farm, collecting seashells with my dog, and relishing the rest of summer’s simplest joys. Continue reading

buttermilk skillet cake with fresh strawberries

strawberry skillet cake

After what felt like the longest and coldest winter yet, our town was finally graced with some beautiful weather over the weekend. I’m talking sunny skies, warm breezes, the works! It was the kind of weather that draws grown adults outside to play, that moves birds to sing their morning songs, that inspires flowers to sprout from the soil. It’s amazing the impact that weather has on the living. It has become increasingly evident to me that weather can dictate mood, energy level, and level of happiness. Spring breathes new life into my spirit, and furthermore, it motivates me to be more appreciative of the simpler things in life.

For a moment, I thought said spring weather was here to stay. And in that same moment, I decided to make this cake. Thank goodness I did, because if it weren’t for the wrapped-up leftovers sitting on the counter, I would be convinced that I imagined the beautiful weather in my dreams. Yesterday I wore sandals, but today I wear snow boots. Here’s hoping this is the last snowfall of the season. I’m ready to trade in my winter eats for strawberries and rhubarb and mango (oh my!) Continue reading

on loss (consolation cookies)

chocolate chip cookies

On my way back from class this morning, I ran into my neighbor, Mrs. W, in the hallway outside of my apartment. Mrs. W is a sweet, spunky, fiercely independent woman who will be celebrating her 91st birthday this year. When Mrs. W turned 80, she inaugurated an annual birthday tradition of gathering a group of loved ones and walking several miles both to and from her favorite restaurant in the area. When we see her shoveling the snow around her car, Dylan and I always offer to help, and she always politely declines because in her mind, if she can’t do that, what’s she good for? In fact, one time she even walked over and started helping me clean my car, even though I insisted that she didn’t have to go through the trouble. In a lot of ways, her spirit seems more youthful and more energized than many of my twenty-something year old peers. Continue reading

cooking with cast iron: chicken with chickpeas & skillet cornbread

chicken with chickpeas

I’ve just begun putting together my résumé for student teaching applications, and so far it’s been a somewhat daunting process to confront all of the awards I didn’t win, all of the clubs I wasn’t president of, and all of the events I didn’t attend. I immediately start comparing myself to my peers, measuring what they did against what I did not. And in sharing these feelings of mine, I don’t mean to discredit the things I have accomplished and the experiences I have grown through, I’m just being honest in admitting that I fall into that pattern of thinking from time to time. (Side note, is there a way to add “somewhat ambitious at-home baker in spare time” to my résumé? Because I think that says a lot about my character.) Continue reading

raspberry cream cheese brownies, and some crafting

you me oui

you're my best friend

As I’ve mentioned once or twice before, we recently moved into a new apartment and have slooowly gone about the process of unpacking / organizing / making things more cozy. The wall space is off-white in color and extremely abundant. If our walls could talk, they’d say, “make us look pretty!”  And so, having heard my bare walls’ cries, I have been spending a large portion of my free time decorating canvases to dress the walls and make the space uniquely our own. Continue reading

welcoming fall with apple galettes

apple galette

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”                     -George Eliot

Fall is balanced, natural, and full of color. Fall is a welcomed hug from the cozy blanket you’ve had tucked away on some shelf all summer long. It is the curious sensation of pumpkin flesh and seeds scooped up in your hands as you carve pumpkins. It is a bounty of harvest-hued leaves dancing in the wind, playing footsie your feet. It is being outside and filling your lungs with crisp, cool air, the faint smell of fireplace lingering in each breath. Fall is a thousand different things to a thousand different people, but to me, fall is the season that makes me feel most at home with myself. Fall is the season of my soul. Continue reading

goodbye, summer

dimitri imagine

Although the steady chill in the air might lead you to believe otherwise, the calendar says that summer is only just coming to a close. Summer might have taken me away from the keys of my computer and thus, away from the blog, but summer also brought me to new places and introduced me to new faces and gave me new memories that I will forever cherish. This post is a glimpse at some of the highlights of my summer, my way of closing the chapter on this unwinding season.  Continue reading

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blueberry galette: happy fourth of july!

blueberry galette

Happy Fourth of July everyone! I want to keep this post short and sweet, and let the dessert do most of the talking. I’m so incredibly pleased with how this galette turned out. You see, I’ve always been so wary to attempt a pie of any name – traditional pie, hand pie, galette, tart, pie pops – they all intimidated me. In fact, I didn’t even consider myself a pie-lover until as recently as a few weeks ago. But after trying two wonderful berry pies from local bakeries, I’ve officially joined the rest of the country and hopped on the pie bandwagon… just in time for America’s birthday!  Continue reading

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homemade oreos

fauxreos

I really do cherish the time I spend in the role of babysitter. Seeing the world through children’s eyes can make everyday experiences so much more meaningful. My boy walks up to other children on the playground without fear or hesitation and asks if they’d like to play. My girl takes out her nail polish collection and lotions and transforms her room into the most imaginative beauty salon. My boy runs outside with his net and searches tirelessly for butterflies. My girl finds a recipe for a salad that she would like to try making for her parents. They’re active and interested and they seek joy out of life. I’m learning so much about the person I want to be through the time I spend with them. Continue reading

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