Sesame Garlic Green Beans (& talking)

I’m a talker.

A Chatty Cathy.

A blabber mouth.

Report cards used to say things like, “Amanda is an excellent student but she tends to be a social butterfly.” Took me a long time to realize that it wasn’t the praise I originally thought.

Luckily, this talent/gift/personality flaw comes in handy from time to time. Like this last weekend when my bff Alex came into town.

Read More »

Thursday Things

  1. Too early to start thinking about fall harvests and apple picking and pumpkin patches?
  2. If you follow the important accounts on Instagram (aside from mine, obvi), you’ll have noticed that Wisconsin Cheese made the World’s Largest Cheeseboard in Madison yesterday. Every day I’m given further evidence that Wisconsin is the place for me.
  3. I’ve been lied to all my life. You have been too!
  4. I do not like pickles. At all. Yet I spent Sunday morning making pickles with my future father-in-law. The things we do for love.
  5. Speaking of love – I’m absolutely IN LOVE with my wedding dress! Which I got this week! On sale! It fits me almost perfectly, and aside from needing to be taken up about six inches, will require virtually no alterations! Now to find the perfect shoes to go with it!
  6. Gave myself a little mani-pedi Sunday night and the colors are still hanging strong! Which considering what I put my hands through is ridiculously impressive! I put this on my tootsies and this color on my hands. The perfect complimentary colors to the end of summer.
  7. Attempting my first tiramisu this weekend for a regular at work. Wish me luck (and send me any sort of recipe you have)!

Buttermilk Pancakes for Seth (& a proposal)

You held my hand. You didn’t have to. I’d been swimming for two decades, gone to this lake during summers growing up. There was no reason to be scared. But I was.

Scared and excited. And with you.

I shook and smiled. It was too dark to see the bottom. Your hand was warm. Warmer than I thought it would be.




We jumped. Feet pushing off the dock, metal leaving indentations in our skin.

The water was warm. Warmer than I thought it would be.

And, unfortunately for you, shallower than you thought it would be. How is your ankle? Still sore?

We got acclimated to the water, the waves, the seaweed, the sand. Swimming. It had been one year for me. Two for you.

I dove under, came up for air. You swam out further, bobbed and buoyed. Floating apart and coming back together, over and over. Talking, playing, loving.

You held me, supported my back as I floated, your arms still in the moving water, palms flat on my back. I was nervous, unskilled. I’d never mastered this part in swim lessons. I didn’t want to sink. You steadied me, spun me. Slowly. We kissed. You didn’t let go until I was ready, certain.

I was free. For the first time in weeks. Happy to hear the sound of my own breath beneath the water. In, out. In, out.

I don’t know what it’s like to love someone with depression, I’m sorry you’ve had to learn.

The clouds came, your eyes turning grey with the sky. But it never opened up, never rained. You explained why. Why that lake saved us from so many storms. You were detailed, descriptive. Talking with your hands, you lifted your arms, opening up. My heart followed suit. Swallows swooped overhead, catching a late dinner.

I knew then what you had asked my dad. I knew what you were going to ask me. I knew what I was going to say.

Now, everyone else knows too.

Just like that day on the dock, you held my hand. Just like our time in the water, you steadied me. Just like the lake itself, you protected me from storms.

You asked.

I answered.

We shook and smiled.

The ring was warm. Warmer than I thought it would be.

Read More »

Basil Bourbon Peach Pie (& a partnership)

Life is very good right now.

I have a ridiculously wonderful fiancé.

Edgar’s training is coming along nicely.

The weather has been a dream.

My family is happy, healthy, and a constant source of support.

I just marked a major item off of my “Professional Bucket List.”

That’s right! Your girl got herself a recipe development gig! And with a local company no less! In the last few years, buying/drinking/supporting local has become increasingly important to me. So, when the opportunity arose to work with an organic hydroponic farm in town I jumped at the chance. This is the most excited I’ve been about moving forward with writing in a long time. There’a fire lit under me. Lit within me.

This summer has been good to me, sweet and juicy like a fresh peach.

And there’s no better place for peaches than in a pie. Basil and bourbon belong there too.

Read More »