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I still exist, and I’m happy that you do too. We had an action-packed, relaxing, invigorating, magical summer. Hence the silence on my part.
Umm, apparently June 4th was the last time I visited here, but I swear it was only two weeks ago.
For real, June 4th?
Don’t worry, I’m not sorry at all. I soaked up every ray of sun, every giggle, every trampoline flip and fish caught. (Well, I ate the fish rather than absorbed them.) I just couldn’t remove myself from life enough to post about it, and I think that’s pretty awesome.
Now that fall is settling in and the mornings are chilly, I feel like we’ve slowed down a bit.
Want to look at my summer?
The boy turned 9!
I got my hair cut. (You’re so excited, I can tell)
I caught my first real fish! (I caught a fish once when I was 16, but it was teeny and we didn’t keep it.)
We drove boats. And played in boats. And fished from boats. And tried to ski behind boats.
Boats. Lots of boats. Can you tell that I’m obsessed with boats? I would totally live in a boat.
We went zip-lining.
All of the cousins were together for the first time ever.
I went to my first rodeo! Can you explain to me how I’ve been in Montana for my whole life and never once been to a rodeo?!?
And you guys! I drink beer now! This is a thing! I can’t even tell you how happy this makes my husband. You know him? He’s the homebrewer that I talk about all the time. Don’t worry, beer drinking was completely my decision. And in case you’re wondering whether or not I was replaced by a pod-person, I don’t think there’s any chance I’ll ever, ever, drink an IPA. Ick!
So as you can see, I was busy.
How was your summer?
I’m going on a road trip this week, and I can’t tell you how excited I am!
I’ll be performing “Views from Grandma’s Porch” with Bare Bait Dance, a fantastic modern dance company right here in Montana. I get to hang out with five of the loveliest ladies you’d ever meet, and dance till I drop.
Don’t you dare pinch me if this is a dream!
Because our schedule will get a bit hectic here and there, I’m going to be bringing some homemade snacks to get me through our techs and workshops. I was trying to think of what would be easy to make, easy to throw in a dance bag, and not be heavy in my belly.
Yes, yes, and yes.
From Good Housekeeping
makes 12+ muffins
1 cup oats, processed in a blender until mostly uniform in consistency
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk, see the notes below)
3 tbsp olive oil (or substitute unsweetened applesauce)
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (no need to thaw)
Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a muffin tin with liners or non-stick spray.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl until fully mixed.
In a smaller bowl, beat the egg with the buttermilk, then add the remaining wet ingredients.
When everything is almost fully incorporated, add the blueberries and fold them into the batter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin and then bake for 25-30 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into a muffin’s center, and the tops should be golden brown before you remove them from the oven.
Missoula loves to celebrate. Especially when it comes to beer.
So twice a year we have a Brew Fest to celebrate all the local and regional brews we have access to.
Unfortunately, I don’t like beer.
Even still, I’d never miss a Brew Fest.
you know you’re in for a good time.
Thanks Missoula! Can’t wait for the summer Brew Fest!
Step six: Ogle the baked brie. It smells like cheese heaven. Then tell everyone again how much a roasted red pepper looks like a flower. Show them the pictures as proof.
Step seven: Serve with homemade baguette. (Or, if you’re not a foodie dork like me, buy a really high quality baguette, slice it up and just tell everyone it’s homemade. When they ask for your recipe, tell them it’s a strictly guarded family secret. Or you could give them my recipe. Either way, your secret’s safe with me.)
Step eight: Bask in the glory that is baked brie. Try not to let it go to your head when everyone raves about how amazing it is.
Friends will be made, and food will be eaten. Done and done!
I can’t admit how much it saddens me that summer is almost over.
Hold on, yes I can. And I’ve been telling everyone for the last week.
So rather than focusing on how dark it’s getting in the mornings/evenings, and how much I hate being cold, I’m trying to squeeze every last drop of summer onto my vitamin-D soaked skin.
We are totally in love with Britta! She was a stray, in line for euthanasia before an absolutely lovely woman introduced us. If you’re even thinking of adopting a dog, I’d highly recommend driving over to Corvalis and visiting the MT Companion Animal Network.
How are you feeling about the end of summer?
It’s macque choux! (Pronounced mock shoe) My sister and I cooked at her house on the 4th of July, and other than heating up the kitchen a bit, it was no sweat.
adapted from Eating Well. This recipe makes enough to feed an army. Feel free to modify as needed. But you might regret not making more…
sesame oil (or olive oil) for the pan
1 large onion, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cans of fresh corn, some of the liquid reserved (if you have time to cut corn off the cob, you’re awesome)
1 tomato, diced
6 green onions, sliced thinly
1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp freshly chopped)
1 1/4* tsp paprika
1* tsp salt
3/4* tsp cayenne
*Use less or more, depending on tastes
Heat sesame oil in a large pan. Add onion and saute until soft and opaque. Add red bell pepper and garlic, saute until the peppers are tender-crisp. Add the corn and some of the canning liquid to keep things moist (or water if you used corn from the cob), then saute the mixture for about 5-7 minutes more.
Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Taste often to make sure everything’s just the way you like it.
More summer bbq recipes coming soon. Until then, I’ve got my mouth full.
I’ve made cakes before. Delicious, moist, fluffy cakes. Sometimes with frosting, sometimes glaze, sometimes with just a dusting of powdered sugar.
But I’ve never made a layer cake. And we all know that presentation isn’t my strong suit.
They remember the sweet Batman cake. And the even sweeter birthday boy.
Thanks for working on Father’s day, Nick. You make Batman proud.
Oh my gosh, it’s been so long!
You *look* fantastic!
*I can’t really see you, but knowing you, I can assume.
What have I been up to? Oh geez, where do I start?
Well, we’ve been moving. And that’s seriously hectic.
Have you ever moved? I swear things start appearing. Literally materializing out of thin air! You think you know how much stuff you have until you try to move from one house to another. Just as soon as I thought we were close to being done, I’d open a closet or a cupboard and have another carload of stuff. Plus, if I ever have to scrub walls again, I may die.
*Also, Nick is rolling his eyes. I can feel it. It’s cool.
And that’s been mixed in with working, rehearsing, performing yadda yadda yadda.
But it’s great. All of it. I can’t believe how lucky I am. How awesome our friends and family are. I’m never hesitant to say that I’m loving life, but there are times when it’s truer, more real. This is definitely one of those times.
What about you? What have you been up to lately? I’d love to hear from you, and let’s promise to meet like this more often!
See you soon?
I really do mean to post with some kind of regularity, so I apologize for disappearing. I promise that soon I will post more often.
It’s just that, things have been happening. Exciting things. Like, big, awesome, things.
Before you freak out, we’re staying in Missoula. I’m not sure we’d ever choose to leave this town. But we’re moving into a house. With a yard. And a garage. And wood floors. And the dryer won’t be in the kitchen!
See? Only the dryer is in there. The washer is in another part of the apartment. Ridiculous, no?
We are super excited, but it’s going to be a big change. We’ve lived in our apartment for over six years. Six years of good neighbors. Bad neighbors. People walking over head. Parties. Car alarms. Pregnancy. First steps. Bike rides. No kids our son’s age. Lots of kids our son’s age.
It will involve a change of schools. Leaving the Northside neighborhood we’ve grown to love so much. Trying to pack up six years worth of stuff and moving it across town.
But it will also involve exploring a new neighborhood. A yard with a fence! A garden!! A big trampoline!!! (Be still, my dancer’s heart!) Getting used to a new oven. Backyard bbqs. Mowing grass, for the first time ever.
All the amazing things that are involved with moving your things, your heart, your sense of home into a new space, and making that place your heart, your home.
It makes me feel like a kid.
I can’t wait.
Be patient with me while I sort through our life and pack it into boxes. I can’t promise that I’ll post much during the next few weeks, but I can promise to take lots of pictures, and check in with you now and then. Because you know you’re coming with me, right? I promise, it’s going to be great. You’ll like it.
There’s a trampoline.
You see, Farmer’s Market is back. And it was Brew Fest.
I don’t drink beer (still. Shocking, I know), but I got to people watch,
In short, it’s that time of year in Missoula.
And I am happy.