It’s the first day of September. Welcome!

August was an all around winning month. I spent time in Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, and Mississippi, and drove through all the states in between. I watched movies, laid in parks, rode a Ferris wheel (twice), learned how to change the oil in my car, had people over for dinner, hung out with the family, enjoyed many-a campfire, watched the stars, wished on a shooting one, made new friends and spent time with old ones. I wouldn’t wish for a single thing more out of my month of summer.

I canned. Tomatoes! And I got them at a bargain price, if I do say so myself.

As far as my professional life is concerned, I’m on LinkedIn. I didn’t update my resumes, but I am all prepared for this semester of piano lessons.

In August, unlike in July, I actually cooked a recipe or two of my 101 in 1001. Most notably, I made pasties. Twice. I also made some ginger cookies. And homemade tomato sauce. Once I get around to blogging the cookies, I can cross that recipe off the 101. Because those cookies were a winner.

With August behind us, here comes September. The bottom third of the year two thousand and eleven. The month of fall’s advent. Crazy.

  1. I’m going to travel to Virginia this weekend and Minnesota in 2 weeks. Camping. Hiking. Wedding. Canoeing. Good friends. After this month, I’ll stay put for awhile. Promise.
  2. I want to make as many veggie dishes as possible this month with all of the farmer’s market goods I can find, including a tasty tomato recipe I found in this month’s Whole Living magazine.
  3. More canning and freezing.
  4. I want to take more pictures. Pictures of people. I have a pathetically small amount of summer pictures.
  5. Also, I’m going to get into a routine of cardio and strength training that will carry me through the fall.

I wanna know: Are you excited about fall’s arrival? Or would you like summer to stick around longer?

Roasted Roots

First things first, I loved hearing about the happinesses in your life! Life really is full of a lot of great things, and I know that I don’t remind myself of them often enough.

Next things next, my solutions to Monday doldrums. The latter part of the solution will be a beer at Mad Anthonys. $2 pints on Monday. You can’t beat that. The former part of the solution is dinner. And tonight, dinner=roasted veggies.

I got turnips at the farmer’s market on Saturday and and radishes at Meijer. I’ve never eaten either, so I didn’t know what to do with them. My go-to with veggies that I don’t know what to do with is to toss them in EVOO, sprinkle spices (liberally), and throw them in the oven (not literally, that would be a mess. they get a pyrex casserole dish to hang out it). You can’t really go wrong.

So, preheat your oven to 400 degrees, gather your roots, and let’s go. I used about 8 turnips, a bunch of radishes, and a couple of potatoes.

1. Wash them. They’re dirty.

2. Dice ’em up! Bite sized it good. They’ll cook through faster. And you won’t choke taking too-big bites.

3. Toss the root cubes around in 3 Tbs. EVOO. I might have been able to get away with 2, but I like my EVOO, so I didn’t.

4. SPICES! The best part. Just wing it with your proportions. You can’t go wrong (unless the top falls off one of your spices. Then things will get interesting). My seasonings of choice were rosemary, adobo, ground peppercorn, oregano, and basil. Mix it up!

5. Slice a cute, little red onion, and lay that on top.

6. Cover the casserole dish with tin foil (helps trap heat so they roast faster) a slide them in the oven. Set your cell phone alarm to go off in 60 minutes, turn on the Alison Krauss station on Pandora, and chillax for a minute. After all, you just expended a lot of energy chopping all those veggies.

If you’re curious, the Alison Krauss station will bring you the wonderful sounds of James Taylor, Norah Jones, Nickel Creek, the Dixie Chicks, and Eva Cassidy. Also, you will be introduced to The Wailin’ Jennys, a Canadian folk trio. They’re great. I might have to buy some of their music.

Before you know it, an hour has passed, and dinner is served!

I wanna know: have you found any new music recently? Tell me about it!

ArtPrize, take 2

After flipping through the paper Saturday night, I noticed a few more ArtPrize exhibits that I wanted to see. I took advantage of the opportunity and killed two birds with one stone. I did my Sunday morning run downtown by the exhibits I want to see.

Turns out, one them is named after me! OK. Well, probably not named after me. But it has my name.

The name plate is above the numbers….see? It’s called “Rachel.” Love it. This piece was comprised of 14 large postcards that depicted the long distance love story between Rachel, who moved overseas, and a guy that she left in Grand Rapids. The postcards were 4 ft by 8 ft and featured photographs that the artist took over the 9 year span.

It was a tragic story, as it seemed that nothing was going to work out for the couple. Their plans to meet and/or visit each other were always thwarted. By the last postcard, there was no resolution, and the viewer is left wondering what happened to Rachel. Did she move back? Did they ever find each other? What the artist the one left behind?

Another fun sculpture installation in a park:


In other news, I got 2 runs in today. I don’t do that often, but it’s a nice way to get some more mileage in without the effort of a long run.

In order to assuage the pain of it being Monday, some happy doings were called for tonight. First things first, pizza! Top with grape tomatoes, red onion, zucchini, and green pepper.

Serve with a glass of red:

And smile because God loves you. The proof (among other things) is that O Brother, Where Art Thou? was on TV tonight. It should be illegal for Monday nights to be this awesome.

I wanna know: How did your weekend turn out? What was your favorite part?