Chicken Tikka Masala

Seth and I are en route to Greenville right now.

I’ve got a list of about a dozen or so places I want to take him in the next week. Food, drink, more food.

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

He knows I’m a planner. Knows I like to have game plans and goals – tangible things that we can accomplish on our days away. There’s breakfast at Tandem, coffee at The Village Grind, dinner from Bacon Brothers. And, of course, many a meal eaten at GB&D.

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Spicy Shrimp Pasta

The heat is officially on. It’s only set at 65 – but, nevertheless, I’ve succumbed and turned it on.

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

I’ve had to start my car prior to leaving to have it defrost.

Seth saw flakes and flurries coming home from work the other night.

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

I’ve bought decaf coffee and tea to drink late at night to warm up.

It’s chilly.

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

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Homemade Apple Cider (& a change of plans)

Happy first day of October!!!

Homemade Apple Cider

I feel like it’s finally fall! For reals. Because it’s cool and it’s cloudy.

Unfortunately, it was also very wet and rainy, so Seth and I weren’t able to go to a local apple orchard like we’d planned. I was so looking forward to walking Edgar through the pumpkin patch and splitting an apple cider doughnut with Seth (plus, all the Instagram photos ops? Hello! Live for them!).

Homemade Apple Cider

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Beer Mustard (& polka)

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I’ve got to say it.

Homemade Beer Mustard

Disneyland is not the happiest place on Earth.

Oh, no. Not even close

The happiest place on Earth is any bar, brewery, or beer hall where there is live polka. Where revelers are clad in lederhosen, hoisting their glasses in the air – shouts of “Prost!” all around.

Because, here’s the thing – it’s impossible to be unhappy when polka is playing.

Homemade Beer Mustard

Just ask the woman I saw at work last night. She came in with the sourest look on her face – all pinched and pouting, looking annoyingly aggravated. But then. Then! Tuba Dan started to play.

The rhythmic “bump, bump, bump,” of his song circled the room. It came up through the floor, vibrating the old wooden boards. It moved into toes, knees, and legs, impossibly infectious. Customers swayed on their barstools, following the rhythm, singing the lyrics they’d known for years. These songs are well-known, well-loved; a staple at every church picnic, Oktoberfest, and wedding reception from here to Waupaca.

Homemade Beer Mustard

I watched this woman – this angry woman – watched her shift from one foot to the other, her eyes scanning the menu. I watched her face soften, her head move back and forth. I watched her lips spread into a smile, her shoulders bounce up and down. She ordered her beer, sat down and enjoyed the end of the song.

“…Roll out the barrel, for the gang’s all here!”

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Homemade Vanilla Extract (& gifts)

I’m way behind.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I usually have Christmas presents bought and buttoned up by now. Or, at least started. I begin shopping – little by little, piece by piece – in the summertime. I’m normally working my way down a list that was made in the spring.

I’d like to think I do it this way because I’m so thoughtful and giving and generous. That my gift giving was borne within me, it’s a part of me, it cannot be denied for 12 months out of the year and so, I must shop early and shop often. How else can I uphold the claim that I am like Leslie Knope when it comes to presents?

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Sure, it’d be nice if that were the case. In all actuality, I start shopping that early because I don’t like seeing my bank account take such a wallop the last six weeks before Christmas. If I spend the money slowly over a longer period of time, it doesn’t hurt so badly.

But, this year has been a crazy one for me (Umm…October is next week? What?!). I’ve had a lot going on that hasn’t involved shopping. Which is kind of crazy. Because I love shopping! And all things Christmas related!

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