December 8, 2013
by hannahsurges
2 Comments

Thanksgiving 2013

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Thanksgiving feast! Tofurky, green bean casserole, roasted carrots, apple herb stuffing, and cranberry relish.

E was in town to celebrate with us.

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Smashed potatoes will goat cheese and dill pollen.

 

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‘Shroom gravy

 

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Braided seed bread.

 

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Apple cheese tart.

 

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Pecan pie.

Everything was absolutely delicious. It was good to have a wonderful meal to ease our sorrow (and induce a food coma) after that ridiculous Packers/Lions game…

We also enjoyed an afternoon at Sunset Cliffs, which is quite close to our house, but we had never been there before.

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November 9, 2013
by hannahsurges
1 Comment

Weekly Eats #5

Breakfast of the week: Chia pudding. I love this stuff.

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Our blender is broken, so smoothies will probably begin to appear again when that situation is taken care of…

Snacks:

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Again with the chia pudding. (This box is for all day at work, not a single serving.)

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I’m doing my best to get some protein and vegetables into snacks instead of grabbing an apple or banana every single time. Nothing wrong with apples and bananas, but I probably don’t need 3 a day.

Salads for lunch are just not getting old. Especially with tons of kalamata olives. I’ve loved kalamatas for a long time, but lately I absolutely must have them.

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A few dinners from the week:

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Salmon burger, roasted cauliflower, roasted sweet potato. It’s almost impossible to take nice dinner pictures when it’s dark by 5pm.

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Fish taco with a big salad and beans.

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Thai takeout. I’m really into praram, all veggies, extra broccoli, with brown rice. Hits the spot every time. And spring rolls, of course.

I also did some baking this week!

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I made a big loaf of pumpkin bread with crumb topping as a thank you gift for the friend who watched Sid while we were in Boston.

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Then Greg got jealous, so I had to make another one for him. It was a huge loaf, so I froze about two thirds of it.

In other news, here’s my latest obsession:

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I’m finding this 1200+ page novel completely consuming (around 500 pages in). I highly, highly recommend it. This writer is a genius.

What was the best thing you ate this week? What are you reading?

November 2, 2013
by hannahsurges
2 Comments

Weekly Eats #4 + My First Costco Trip

Eats this week were mostly delicious fall dishes.

We can’t get enough soup (as usual), and I think this batch of vegetable barley was one of our favorites. If all goes well today, I may have a mushroom barley soup recipe to post in the near future.

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We’ve also been making crustless quiches quite regularly.

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They’re so easy, they’re great with soup or salad, and there’s always some left for me to take to work for lunch the next day. Another plus: you can throw in pretty much any leftover vegetables that are lying around. Here’s the general formula that we use.

  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups of vegetables, cooked (this one has red onion and spinach, but I also love broccoli and bell peppers for this dish)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Grease an 8×8 baking pan, distribute the cooked vegetables evenly over the bottom of the pan, and add beaten eggs. Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, or until the quiche isn’t wiggly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. You can add cheese if you like, but we think it’s just fine without it.

I also had a couple of wonderful treats this week. A friend gave me a gift card to a really neat store called Pigment when I was accepted to nursing school last month, and I couldn’t resist their chocolate and nut butter selection.

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I loved both of these so much.

In other news, Greg and I took our first trip to Costco yesterday. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about budgeting (mostly stretching a very small budget, especially since I’ll be in school full time in January), and Costco always comes up in discussions about saving on groceries. I’ve always been one to buy what we need as we need it, but I decided that Costco might be worth a look.

I have to say, I’m sold.

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They had all of our staples (minus some produce) at great prices. Some things were sold in quantities that were too large for us, but we stocked up on pantry items and things that were freezable.

Here’s the breakdown:

Pantry Staples

  • Peanut butter (2 x 40oz, $10.99)
  • Almond butter (2 x 26oz jar, $7.89 each)
  • Organic tomato sauce (case of 12 15oz cans, $6.99)
  • Organic whole wheat pasta (8 pounds, $9.39)
  • Canned tuna (8 7oz cans, $14.49)
  • Almonds (3 pound bag, $12.99)
  • Organic chia seeds (2 pound bag, $13.99)
  • EVOO (2 liters, $12.79)
  • Maple syrup (1 liter, $12.99)
  • Corn tortillas (72, $3.99)

Produce

  • Organic spinach (1 pound, $3.49)
  • Organic gala apples (5.5 pounds, $8.79)
  • Baby salad greens (1 pound container, $3.79)
  • Crimini mushrooms (24oz, $4.49)
  • Broccoli florets (48oz, $3.99)
  • Organic carrots (10 pounds, $4.59) (not a typo)

Frozen

  • Salmon burgers (wild, 12 big ones, $14.79)
  • Mixed berries (4 pounds, $11.59)
  • Wild pacific shrimp (2 pounds, $9.99)
  • Mahi mahi (3 pounds, $16.99)

Dairy

  • Mozzarella loaf (6 pounds, $13.49) – We’ll be freezing this and using it for several months.
  • Goat cheese (2 x 10.5oz log, $6.59)
  • Butter (4 pounds, $7.35) – Don’t judge. Thanksgiving is coming.
  • Fage Greek yogurt (35.3oz, $4.99)
  • Silk vanilla unsweetened almond milk (3 x 64oz, 7.49)

Other

  • Diet Pepsi (36 cans, $9.99) – Not an amazing price, but pretty good.
  • 10 gallon trash bags (500, $9.69)

Over all, I’m pretty impressed with the prices. While I’ve only tried the apples and almond butter so far (go figure), I’ve heard great things about the quality as well.

Next time

  • Giant tubs of hummus
  • BEER. We saw some great prices on some good stuff, including Sierra Nevada, Blue Moon, and Stone stuff.
  • Coconut oil? I’ve heard that they carry this at a good price, but I didn’t see it.

Are you a Costco fan? If so, I’d love to know about your favorite Costco items.

Have a wonderful weekend!

October 26, 2013
by hannahsurges
0 comments

Weekly Eats #3

Happy weekend!

We’ve enjoyed a lot of warm and cozy meals these days. It’s still generally in the upper 60′s around here, but we’re in soup mode.

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Last Sunday we made this awesome Lebanese vegetable soup. My aunt sent me the recipe, and I knew right away that I had to try it. It includes carrots, onions, potatoes, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and chickpeas, topped fresh parsley and lemon juice.

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One of my absolute favorite recipes lately: split pea soup with fennel and spinach. I’m usually just so-so with split pea soup, but this one is so good. Plus, it’s easy to make and I’m guessing it’ll freeze well. Definitely going to start doubling this one.

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So. Much. Guacamole. We’re still getting really delish tomatoes here, so that makes guac a particularly wonderful thing.

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Lots of Mexican in general, really. We’re loving our stovetop grill for making fajitas. This meal generally served with fried eggs.

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Indian food. We finally busted out the slow cooker again for Greg’s favorite kidney bean dish, and I made my favorite curried cauliflower and potatoes. Such cozy food, and ridiculously filling. We ended up with tons of leftovers for lunches.

Speaking of lunches, same old thing.

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Leftovers and hideous eggs lunch. I had some carrots and berries that I ended up not eating at work, so I finished those off along with a sad partial avocado. The eggs: I don’t know. I messed up. An unattractive yet tasty meal.

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Lunch today was quite the same. Easy peasy, but a little prettier.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this week? Any wonderful fall recipes to share?

October 25, 2013
by hannahsurges
1 Comment

Boston Fall 2013: Museum of Fine Arts and Catching Up

On our final day in Boston, we spent the morning at the Museum of Fine Arts.

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(Seriously, I am the queen of crooked pictures. Time for a photography class?)

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We had limited time due to afternoon plans, but I can see myself spending 12 hours in this museum EASILY. It was absolutely huge and gorgeous.

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We enjoyed the Asian, ancient, contemporary, and American galleries, and a few of the European rooms (gotta see those Monet paintings).

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After a few hours, we went to meet our dear friend Albert for lunch. Albert and I were in the same homeschooling group growing up, and he’s now a law student at Harvard. Greg had to leave for his conference stuff, so Albert and I took a lovely walk around the area.

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I cracked up at this ridiculously long line of geese.

 

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We happened to be near Fenway Park, and I felt inclined to take pictures due to all the Red Sox hype while we were in town.

 

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After a wonderful time catching up with Albert, I headed back to the Museum of Fine Arts to have a look at the Sargent watercolors. I also looked at a room full of jewel displays. The museum closed, Greg’s conference ended, and we went to Quincy Market for our final Boston dinner. We called it a night early since we had a 5am shuttle to the airport. Fun fact: It takes less time to fly to Iceland from Boston than it does to fly from Boston to San Diego.

All around, another lovely trip.

October 24, 2013
by hannahsurges
2 Comments

Boston Fall 2013: Salem, New England Aquarium, and Museum of Science

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The view from our hotel room. Not too shabby.

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After spending a few hours exploring the Freedom Trail, we took a train to Salem for some Halloween festivities.

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I got a kick out of the name of this stop. Easily amused, I guess?

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We took a witch tour, which I thought would be kind of informative and historical. It ended up being pretty gimmicky. Still entertaining, though.

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There was a lot of this kind of thing. Costumes, spooky music, witch stores, and a fun Halloween market.

On our second day in Boston, we went to the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science.

Greg and I hit the aquariums in pretty much every city we visit, and we thought the New England Aquarium was definitely one of the best we’ve seen.

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The highlight of the aquarium is definitely the giant, 200,000 gallon ocean tank.

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Here it is from the top. It’s surrounded by a spiral walkway, so you can walk around the whole tank. It holds more than 2,000 animals, including 3 huge turtles. So cool!

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We also saw an IMAX film about great white sharks, touched stingrays, and saw lots of fish with funny names.

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Dusky squirrelfish? Love it.

After a quick lunch, we were off to the Museum of Science.

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Greg had an especially good time with the robots.

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As far as science museums go, this was a really cool one. They had a great mathematics room, and we saw a presentation about electricity and another about turtles. There was another presentation about knee replacements in progress, but we skipped that one. It seemed like they had some pretty cool stuff in the work, too, including an interactive Pixar exhibit.

October 20, 2013
by hannahsurges
1 Comment

Boston Fall 2013: Freedom Trail

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Greg had a conference in Boston last week, so I decided to tag along and we made a little vacation of it. We arrived Friday evening and spent Saturday morning exploring the sites along the Freedom Trail.

We started at Faneuil Hall.

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Walked over to the Old State House and the site of the Boston Massacre.

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City Hall.

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We visited several cemeteries, but I don’t remember which is which.

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Mother Goose’s grave.

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We missed out on a few sites due to weather and Greg’s injured leg, but overall it was a great morning and an excellent way to see a bunch of cool stuff in just a few hours.

October 10, 2013
by hannahsurges
2 Comments

Weekly Eats 2 + Excellent News

Excellent news: I was accepted to the accelerated nursing program that I applied to over the summer! My first day is January 21, 2014, and I’ll be graduating 24 months later. It feels so good to have a somewhat clear direction in terms of career. It’s a little overwhelming at the moment since there are so many unknowns and we have a lot to figure out in terms of financing this endeavor, but at the moment, I’m feeling pretty confident that everything will fall into place and work out just fine.

In other news, we’ve been eating some fine food around here, and I’ve finally been interested in cooking again. I’m really horrible lately at photographing the stuff I make, but I did snap pictures of a few favorites.

Vanilla bean coconut macaroons. Grain free, soy free, dairy free deliciousness. We ate the whole batch in a day.

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Gluten free dairy free corn muffins.

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Dangerous, but absolutely amazing with this batch of poblano white chili.

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Greg and I are off to Boston tomorrow morning to enjoy what will probably be our last semi-real vacation for a while. It’s only semi-real because Greg still has to present at a conference, but close enough. I’m looking forward to some real fall weather, changing leaves, clam chowder, hot beverages, learning some history, and as much museum time as I can get.

Hope everyone’s doing well, and quite sorry if email updates are going to your spam folder.

September 30, 2013
by hannahsurges
1 Comment

September 2013 Foodie Penpals

This month, I participated in a really fun thing called Foodie Pen Pals. You can read more about Foodie Pen Pals and/or sign up to participate in October here. You don’t have to have a blog to join in!

My Pen Pal was Katie. Check out her lovely blog!

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In my box from Katie, I received tea, salmon, almonds, couscous, and spinach pasta. The salmon and almonds were great to have on the go!

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She also sent me a very seasonal protein shake recipe.

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Thanks, Katie!

Katie will also be writing a Foodie Pen Pals post, so you can head over to her blog to see the goodies that I sent to her.

Have a great Monday!

September 29, 2013
by hannahsurges
0 comments

Milwaukee Visit

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I spent last week in Milwaukee with my family. Fall in Milwaukee is just about my favorite thing in the world.

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Lots of time with family, lots of time just hanging out around a fire in my parents’ back yard.

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The 5 of us hadn’t been all together in over 3 years.

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There were lots of matching boots.

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And my sister has a new cat. His name is Oscar.

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