Back in the Kitchen

In my effort to cook more often and have more whole foods rather that processed convenience foods, I am going to dust off my cookbooks and attempt to try two new recipes a month.  I’ve written about my love of cookbooks in the past, but I tend to stick to my tried and true recipes.  I would like to try some new soup and chili recipes this fall and also make use of my crock pot more often in the fall and winter months.

Do you have any favorite fall recipes?

Poetry for the Seasons

I am currently reading a collection of poetry for the seasons. I’m trying to decide whether I will forge ahead and read the entire book now, or time my reading with the changing seasons.

Here are a few favorites for the autumn season:

Unharvested by Robert Frost
Last Week in October by Thomas Hardy
November, Impression by William Dean Howells
November Night by Adelaide Crapsey
End of October by Marie Ponsot

Do you have any favorite poems for autumn?

Sunday in September

Ahhh, September – welcome back.  A glorious weekend with perfect weather – sunshine during the day, cool at night.  You can feel the subtle change in the air as the season begins to change.

Leisurely Sunday morning sipping coffee and reading the newspaper?  Check.
Spending time prepping some food for the week, including a batch of homemade granola and a batch of brown rice?  Check.An afternoon walk around the lake, enjoying the sunshine and a nice breeze?  Check.
First Sunday of NFL football?  Check.
A pot roast in the slow cooker for Sunday dinner?  Check.

I hope you are enjoying your first Sunday in September!


Easy Egg Muffins

In my effort to simply a few things for the month of September, I made some egg muffins that will be a quick and easy breakfast during the work week, along with some toast and fruit or yogurt.  I made a batch in a mini muffin pan – a little egg goes a long way!

Egg MuffinsEasy Egg Muffins

4 eggs, whisked1/2 tbsp water
generous amount of salt and pepper (I liked my eggs seasoned well!)
ingredients of your choice – I sauteed some kale and shallot in olive oil and also added a handful of shredded cheddar cheese

Other combinations I would like to try include broccoli and cheese or spinach, mushroom and swiss. This would also be a great way to use leftover roasted veggies!

Pour egg mixture into a 12 count mini-muffin tin and cook for 15 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Enjoy!

Simplify for September

As we head into the last quarter of the year. my goal is to get focused and set some monthly goals.  For the month of September, the goal is to keep things simple, but focused.  Major goals this month include a closet purge – I have already set aside a few bags for donations, but need to give some tough love to my closet and go through everything.  Other goals for the month of September include simplifying my meals.  Now that the weather is starting to get a bit cooler, I’m looking forward to making more soups and chili, which make simple and quick dinners during the work week.  I also want to simplify the food and ingredients I am eating, meaning more whole foods and less processed stuff. Finally, I want to enjoy the simple things in life – the nice autumn weather, a good book, and quality time with friends and family.  With “back to school” mode on my mind, I hope to get a kick start to the rest of the year by getting organized and getting back in the kitchen!

Do you have any fun ways to kick off the fall season?


Completed Books – August, 2014

Now that it is September, I am hoping I can refocus – both in my reading as well as in my personal life, including eating better, regular exercise, more yoga, etc…  I tackled a few bigger books over the summer months, and now I am hoping to focus on some books that I’ve had sitting on my shelves (with a few new books sprinkled in, of course!)  I’ve read 26 books, which is 52% towards my goal of 50 books.  At this point, I don’t think I’ll reach my goal of 50 books this year, but I hope to refocus and get some quality reading in before the end of the year.

1: Gramercy Park
2: Morning Glory
3: The Book Thief
4: Havisham: A Novel
5: To Defy a King
6: The Winter Witch
7: The Bungalow
8: The Captain’s Verses
9: The Yoga-Body Cleanse: A 7-Day Ayurvedic Detox to Rejuvenate Your Body and Calm Your Mind
10: Wuthering Heights
11: Lost Lake
12: The Fault in Our Stars
13: The Body Book
14: The Splendour Falls
15: Longbourn
16: Mayim’s Vegan Table: 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours
17: Waking Kate
18: The Lost Hero
19: The Son of Neptune
20: Mark of Athena
21: Sailing Alone Around the Room
22: The Midnight Witch
23: The House of Hades
24: World Without End
25: The Book of Life
26: She Walks in Beauty


Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

Welcome, Weekend…

So glad it is almost the weekend.  It’s been a long week with a few coffees (pictured below) to get me through the week.  Hats off to all of the baristas out there. The fancy latte made my morning.  :)  I also received some news books in the mail — always a good way to end the week.

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Visual Reading List

In an effort to start reading more of the books on my shelves that I have had the good intention of reading, I’ll pulled a few that I would like to tackle between the end of this year and early 2015.  I have included a mix of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  We’ll see how many end up on my completed list.  :)CAM02301Any feedback regarding the books pictured above, or any recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

So Long Summer?

Where did summer go?  As I look at the calendar, the days and weeks seem to fly by.  While I am looking forward to the autumn season (apples, crisp air, the leaves changing colors, curling up with a good book and tea), I know many who are starting the mourn the end of summer.  I will miss the longer days and waking up to the sun shining, but I also like the beginning of fall as it forces me to reflect and refocus.  It’s kind of like starting a new school year — an opportunity to get myself organized, plan for the remainder of the year (the holidays will be here before we know it!) and buckle down.

I’ll be back with some potential book selections for fall and next year, along with some additional thoughts on how I plan to refocus this fall.

Completed Books – July, 2014

I’ve surfaced, however this post will be short and sweet.  I’ve read one book this month, although it was over 1,000 pages, so I guess that counts for something, right?  :)  I’m not really sure what I was thinking when I decided to pick up World Without End by Ken Follett over the summer months.  I enjoyed it, but between work, house projects, and summer, it took me a while to finish it. Rather than include my entire list of books to-date this year, thought I would keep in simple for this post.  Happy summer and happy reading!