Braided Apple Danish (& flow)

This feels good.

Braided Apple Danish Recipe

This writing, posting, trying thing. It feels good. Right. I’m in the zone, wrapped up in the flow. It’s a combination of therapy, personal growth books, trusting my gut, and ignoring my fear. It’s also a touch of CBD oil for the nerves and a good cry when necessary.

But I’m doing it all for this. Right here.

Braided Apple Danish Recipe

This perfectly flaky, ridiculously crispy, and delightfully easy Braided Apple Danish.

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Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin (& working)

I’ve been fully self-employed for a little over a month now.

Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin

Obviously, there’s been quite a learning curve. I’ve never owned a business before, never been my own boss. There have been victories (magazine cover coming soon!) and I have been defeated (lost a major client). On the whole, though, I’d say there have been more positives than negatives and even the negatives have been great learning experiences. (Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself with the new tools I’m learning in therapy.)  

Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin

For instance, I think my videos are getting better and better. To the point where I’m actually proud of them!

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Butternut Squash Cake with Brandy Butterscotch (& growth)

Everyone’s always talking about how much growth happens during the first year of marriage. Adjusting to a new life together, learning how to compromise, figuring out the best communication style to avoid hurt feelings.

Butternut Squash Cake with Brandy Butterscotch

All very real things that Seth and I have dealt with. All things that we’re learning as we grow in life and in love.

There’s also been a much more literal kind of growth in our first year together. We started a garden! We grew tomatoes, peppers, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi – the list goes on! There were rows of sweet corn and piles of green beans. Birds are still eating seeds from sunflowers the size of hubcaps. Then there were the total and complete failures too: radishes so spicy they made our eyes water, Brussels sprouts that never got larger than a marble, one measly little watermelon that was more rind than fruit.

Butternut Squash Cake with Brandy Butterscotch

This last failure I blame on our squash. I don’t know what it is about our soil, but our squash plants went absolutely bonkers. They took over a quarter of the space, crawled over the fence (and pulled it down!), and smothered any and all other plants in their path.

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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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