Friday, September 14, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday!

I have one very important thing to share with you today, and several small, unimportant things. Read on. :-)

1. Rough Draft Farmstead Fundraiser

A couple of years ago, I worked for several months at Whole Foods in Lincoln Park, where I met Hannah (holding flowers in the photo above). That was around the time when I first started learning about honeybees (and how amazing they are), and Hannah fueled my interest! It was her dream to become a beekeeper someday. Shortly before I left, Hannah moved to Kentucky to work and live on Bugtussle Farm, where she met her husband Jesse. They decided to start their own farm last year, and have been chronicling their adventures on their blog. They had a hiccup and ended up having to start over, and right now they are trying to raise some money with which to build a little off-the-grid cabin. Please head to their site to learn more about them (they are very inspiring!), and most importantly, head to their fundraising page and make a small (or large!) donation to their building project! They have such a reasonable budget, and such honorable life goals - they are people worth supporting. Support them and spread the word to others who might also be interested! Thank you!

2. Pumpkin Spice on a Budget

Do you look forward to the coming of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks? I love them. But at like $3.50 for a tall, that is not something I can do more than once or twice. Enter the new Pumpkin Spice VIA packets. I have not been a fan of the VIA packets in other situations, preferring my coffee to be brewed from freshly ground beans in a French press, but this is an exception. One of these packets + 8 ounces of hot milk = pumpkin spice latte at home. For a fraction of the price. And it's delicious! Put a little whipped cream on top, and a little nutmeg, and you are golden.

3. Um, my shoes don't fit.

I've heard this might be a permanent pregnancy-induced change. I am not a fan.

4. Just Add Spinach!

I posted this recipe for stuffed shells last September. Last night, I made it again, but with the addition of a small box of (extremely well-drained) frozen spinach to the cheese filling. It was delicious. I encourage you to try it - it really bumps up the nutritional profile of that meal.


Photo from
Back when it was so hot that I could hardly move (and by that I mean the entire summer), I saw this recipe (and the photo above... so lovely) for black raspberry ice cream. I just happened to be setting up a baby registry at the time, and I thought... well, the baby would eat ice cream if I made it... And so I half-jokingly put the KitchenAid ice cream attachment, and this book that I've been drooling over for months, on the registry (that is one of the beautiful things about registering on Amazon). At the beginning of August, my sweet sister bought me... the cookbook. Which was great, except that now I had hot weather, awesome ice cream recipes... and no ice cream maker. This week, that all changed. Some dear friends of ours (who we got to see briefly over Labor Day weekend) sent us the ice cream maker! I could not care less that summer is over. We are going to have ice cream all winter. Flavors I can't wait to try: pumpkin, apple pie, and ginger, which I had in Maine last fall and haven't been able to find since. I. Am. So. Excited.

6. Smitten Kitchen Book Tour

Deb is coming to Chicago (well, the burbs at least) on Monday, November 19. The estimated due date for the baby is November 7. I can imagine myself going with a week-old baby, and I can imagine myself going if I'm still pregnant. I just hope I'm not in labor that day, ok? Ok, baby girl? Can we make a deal? I want to go have Deb sign my Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Please arrange your travel plans accordingly. 

7. Make this salad, while the tomatoes are still at the farmers' market.

Trust me.

Have a great weekend, and go see Grace for more quick takes!


  1. THANK YOU for the PSL @ home tip! :) And happy ice cream making!!! I'll send you my fave recipe - ginger buttermilk! xo

  2. Yum - that ice cream look amazing!!! I'm totally coming to your house!

    (So sorry about the shoe size! I've had friends who experienced this. If I'm ever pregnant and this happens to me, I'm doomed - I already wear a 10!)

  3. I was just thinking of you the other day when I picked up some raw honey. I could taste the clover! I'm thinkin, so this is why Elizabeth loves honey so much! :) Love the bit about the couple trying to build their own farm. Not only because I dream of off-the-grid cabins, but these are exactly the kind of farmers we need more of.

    I can practically taste that ice cream through the screen, I can't wait to hear about your adventures with the new toy. Best baby registry idea ever!

  4. I cannot wait to read about your delicious ice cream!!