LETTER TO OCTOBER

unnamedDear October,

Now, October, I really wanted to be annoyed with you.  I mean all of the “PSL-this and boots-with-leaves-selfie-that“– I just about couldn’t take it.  Let’s be real: I started to think if I saw one more baby posed next to a scarecrow in a pumpkin patch I just may lose it.  Sure, they are adorable and all, but still that stuff can just wear on you.

Everyone was pretty jacked about you October, and it made me resent you just a bit.

And I should probably apologize for that.  Once I got of my I-don’t-want-to-love-everything-that-everyone-else-loves-because-I’m-not-hipster-but-kind-of-like-the-idea-of-pretending-to-be-one horse, I actually really enjoyed you.  Who cares if I’m not the first person on the planet to appreciate bright gold leaves and blanket scarves and curling up with hot tea?  I still like it!  And so does everyone else, and I’m not bitter about that (any more).

So, there, I’m sorry.

Oh, and, uh, another thing that made me like you just a bit more… You have been absolutely beautiful.

And I know that may sound a bit shallow, like I’m supposed to focus more on how you made me feel and what you bring to the table (and I ate A LOT– as you can see here).  But I don’t care.  You are ridiculously gorgeous and I want everyone to know it.

Wyoming can get a seriously rough wrap.  And I don’t exactly help that by complaining about the cold/wind for a good 80% of the year.  So sorry about that, because it is completely not fair.  Our falls are completely breathtaking, and a large part of that is thanks to you, October.  You were full of bright yellow trees and warm sunshine and crisp breezes.  There was really nothing to complain about, which is hardly ever the case with Wyoming weather.

I guess you were kind of like that popular girl in high school that I really wanted to dislike because everyone liked her, but then it turns out she’s really pretty and nice and funny and shares her snack in math class with me… Yeah, you were like that.  Sorry I got all judgey at the beginning, October.  You’re pretty neat.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

trick or trEAT WEEK: Fall Moscow Mules

There was no way I was going to let trick or trEat Week pass by without a fall inspired drink recipe.  And I have admitted on here before that I really am more of just a beer girl, but a post that consisted of: “1. Buy fall beer 2. Open fall beer 3. Drink fall beer” didn’t seem to interesting. Which led me to my mission for the perfect Fall Moscow Mule.  Now, it took some hard work and dedication, but I did it.  It’s all for you.  You’re welcome.


Ingredients:

  • 3 oz vodka
  • 3 oz apple cider
  • 1/2 a ginger beer
  • Ice
  • Cinnamon
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Apples slices

Directions:

  1. Fill your mug nearly to the top with ice.
  2. Add in the vodka, cider, and ginger beer.  Stop until everything is nice and mixed.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and garnish with the apple slice and cinnamon stick (because you’re fancy).
  4. Cheers!

***

This is the perfect way to cap off busy week.  It’s refreshing a delicious, but not too sweet.  It’s just the right amount of apple pie… in a copper mug… with booze.  It’s perfect.

Hope you enjoyed trick or trEat Week!  I loved getting an excuse to make (and eat) all of this scrumptious food.  I would love to know if you try any of these recipes out or any of your favorite fall foods.  Now, hopefully you enjoy a weekend full of yummy food and moscow mules. Cheers!

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

trick or trEAT WEEK: Sausage and Squash Soup

I am a serious soup FANATIC.  Like, for real.  No exaggeration.  But, the people that I cook for (Brady, and Stetson before he moved his freeloading butt across the country) aren’t the biggest fans of just soup. They need something a little more substantial.  And frankly, so do I.  So, I found a basic squash soup recipe (that was a bit plain Jane) and added some of my favorite things to it.


Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 onion
  • 4 Cajun style sausages
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Water
  • Goat chees (to top soup if you would like)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400* F.
  2. Chop everything! Meaning: peel and dice up the squash (just so it cooks a bit faster), roughly chop the onion, slice the sausage into bit-sized pieces, roughly chop the bell pepper, dice the sweet potato, and mince the garlic.
  3. Spread all of the chopped goodness out on a cookie sheet (I line mine with tin foil to make for easier clean up).  Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. After, place all of the squash into a large pot over medium heat.  Add about 2 cups water.  Using a hand held blender begin blending away until you get a nice smooth consistency. *If you don’t have a handheld blender (as I didn’t until Santa really came through last year) you can do this part in a food processor.  Just be sure to let the squash cool first, and it may take a bit extra time and patience.*
  5. Add about half of the rest of the baked goodies, EXCEPT the sausage, to the squash mixture.  Blend it all together, and add water as you feel you need to depending on your thickness preference.
  6. Once everything is blended and you have added the veggies and sausage, you can add in the remaining ingredients.  Stir everything together.
  7. Let the soup simmer over medium heat.  Then, serve with goat cheese and some nice toasty bread.

***

There is just something about homemade soup that screams FALL.  And I love any excuse to add squash to everything. Which  Brady isn’t normally the biggest fan of, but even he was grateful for this hearty soup on a chilly evening (being exhausted from grad school and a long day of parent/teacher conferences may have increased that gratitude just a bit…).

Enjoy! (And use this recipe as an excuse to buy yourself a nice little handheld blender– there is something very statisfying about pulverizing you own dinner.)

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

trick or trEAT WEEK: Perfect Fall Steak Side

A perfectly seasoned and expertly cooked steak has to be one of the all-time best meals EVER.  It is a hands-down favorite of mine. So, I try to incorporate it into my menu at least once a week.

And possibly the best part of a steak dinner is that I don’t actually have to make it.  Brady takes the head chef role and I happily take a backseat.  So, on these nights I try to make an easy– but, still yummy– side to accompany the main dish (because I think if Brady had his way we would just eat the hunk of meat, drink a beer, and call it a night).  This Roasted Sweet Potato and Brussles Sprout dish is the absolute perfect match and perfect for fall.


Ingredients:

  • 3 cups brussles sprouts
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 3 Tbsp. syrup (honey or brown sugar would work as well)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400* F and line a cookie sheet with tin foil.
  2. Chop everything! Meaning: cut the sprouts in half, dice the sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces (you can peel your potatoes, but I don’t– someone told me once that the skin has the nutritious bits and I’m a little lazy), chop the pecans into your desired size, and add in your cranberries.
  3. Spread your chopped mixture onto the lined baking sheet.  I prefer to keep my brussles spouts on one half and then the sweet potatoes, pecans, and cranberries on the other half.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil, salt and pepper evenly over the sprouts.  Drizzle the syrup over the potato mixture.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Mix everything together and serve alongside your favorite main dish (steak–duh.).

***

This side truly feels like Thanksgiving.  It’s hearty and sweet and savory and all-around-fantastic.  If you are needing a push to get you into the holiday spirit this may be just what you need.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

trick or trEAT WEEK: Southwest(ish) Burritos

Day 2 of trick or tr Eat week calls for burritos! Really any day calls for burritos in my opinion.


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. chicken breast (cooked and shredded)
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 2 jalapeños (seeded and diced)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1 bell pepper (seeded and diced)
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 -10 flour tortillas

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
  2. As the oven is heating place the spinach in the oven to wilt.
  3. In a large bowl combine the chicken, wilted spinach, black beans, corn, jalapeños, onion, bell pepper, cheese, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.  Mix everything together.
  4. Fill each tortilla with about 1/2 cup of filling mixture (don’t waste your time measuring, just make sure the burritos are fat and happy). Roll it up and place them seam side down in the baking dish.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes (until the tops get a bit golden brown).  Serve with salsa, sour cream, and a delicious fall beer.

***

I love any and all Mexican food, so you just can’t go wrong with burritos in my book.  The prep (chopping and chopping and chopping) takes a bit of time, but I like to get that done on some lazy day– usually Sunday– while I watch endless episodes of The Office on Netflix.  Then, I get the burritos all ready and pop them in the fridge.  On whatever night we decide to have burritos all I have to do is put these in the oven.  It’s absolutely perfect.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading,

Sydney 

trick or trEAT WEEK: Cranberry Scuffins

Welcome to trick or trEAT Week here at MGG, where each day this week I will be sharing one of my favorite fall recipes.  All of the recipes are completely delicious, and completely manageable for the culinary-challenged.

These little guys have been a repeat-recipe for me ever since my roommate found this recipe and let me eat approximately 70% of the dough each time she made these (thanks Kelsey from abalancingpeach).  They are a perfect grab-and-go breakfast (with a hard-boiled egg, so I feel like I at least attempted to get some protein), mid-day snack, or after-dinner treat.

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg*The original recipe came from Glamour, but this one has been adapted to fit my taste, my budget and the fall season.

Ingredients:

  • 7 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup honey Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries
  • 4 oz. cream cheese

*The original recipe uses plain yogurt, and then adds way more sugar.  I’ve found I like how the this tastes better.  Also, the original uses blueberries (which I love in the summer).

Directions:

  1. Line your muffin tin with wrappers and preheat your oven to 400* F.
  2. In a saucepan melt the butter.  Once melted, remove the pan from heat.  Add in the oil, yogurt, vanilla, and eggs.  Whisk this all together until smooth.
  3.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture (you’re technically supposed to make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly add the wet mixture into that little well… I’ve found that makes absolutely no difference, but if you’re feeling fancy: go for it.) and mix until everything comes together.  You should end up with a really sticky dough.
  5. Pour in the cranberries and stir until they are nice and mixed in.
  6. Fill each little muffin tin cup about 3/4 full with the dough.  Then, add a nice dollop of cream cheese (about 1 tsp. but don’t waste your time and patience measuring that out) to each muffin.  Top each muffin off with the remainder of the dough.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

***

Kelsey and I call these Scuffins because they are some sort of cross between a scone and a muffin.  And they are adorable, just like the name.

I love that these feel more substantial than a regular muffin, but I can pretend as if they a re a teeny bit healthy because they have fruit AND greek yogurt in them!  They are super easy.  Plus, they make your tummy nice and full and your house smell fantastic.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

FRIDAY FAVES

Happy Friday!  These last few weeks have been awesome, but incredibly exhausting.  Which for me, means going to bed at 9:30 instead of 8:30 (I do feel the need to justify my bedtime by mentioning that I get up at 5 to exercise before I go to work… But I am fully aware that I have a bedtime– and sleepy temperament– of a toddler). And I’m a serious bear without a full 8 hours of sleep under my belt.  So, I have decided to slow down a bit and simply share some of my most recent faves.

Wanting: this perfect fall to last forever.

Reading: The Girls.  This actually wasn’t one that I picked out, but one that was chosen for me.  I thought I would  h a t e  it, but I’m actually loving it.

Watching: ALL the fall shows that are back! The Mindy Project, How to Get Away with Murder, New Girl, Grey’s Anatomy… I’m a background-TV junkie.

Listening: to Teton whine incessantly until I let him snuggle on the couch (completely under my blanket and in my lap because he is a whole new level of needy)

Hoping: all of the baking I have been doing will magically stop affecting my wallet and waistline.

Waiting: for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, like the true Hufflepuff that I am.

Getting: better at not sweating the small stuff.  This, of course, still puts me miles behind a normal person, but I am improving!

Wishing: there were more hours in the day (like everyone else EVER, but I can’t always be insanely witty and original).

Working: on buying Christmas gifts early this year to avoid extra holiday stress.

Dreaming: of more sleep.

Munching: on the last of our Farmer’s Market salsa. I should be savoring it… Instead, I am piling it on everything.

Sipping: coffee with cinnamon, sugar, and a bit of milk. A LOT.

Finishing: another pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food.

Planning: constantly.  My “planning brain” literally never shuts off. It’s ridiculous and completely unnecessary.

Saving: all of the neighborhood cats and squirrels lives by keeping Teton inside the house.  Yet, they still enjoy taunting him by strutting across our fence line.

Looking: like Daisy Duck— according to Brady.

Wearing: a t-shirt and jeans whenever possible.  Just like I have since I was in junior high.  #ifitaintbrokedontfixit

Buying: every skincare value set (they make it seem like I’m saving so much money!) Sephora has to offer.  It’s an actual addiction.

Refusing: to rush through fall, and head right into Christmas.

Organizing: my newly minimalized make-up collection.

Loving: my EYELASH EXTENSIONS!

Bookmarking: way too many fall recipes.

*Thanks abalancingpeach for this outline.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney