Left over tomatoes

This summer we were incredibly lucky to have a wonderful garden at my parent’s house. We didn’t have to buy hardly any veggies this summer. We had a ton of tomatoes left over and I didn’t know what to do with them before they rotted. I should have canned them, but I didn’t feel like making the effort. So I decided to make fresh tomato soup. It was AMAZING! I so love tomato soup. But more so I got to bust out my new toy…

That is my Cuisinart hand immersion blender. I have been wanting on for awhile and I found this one while browsing around Costco. It came with a few attachments too. It seriously blended the tomatoes into a puree in a matter of seconds.

Here is a bowl of the finished product.


We took Heidi and the twins to the pumpkin patch today. Here are a few of the pictures from the trip. The babies are bees for Halloween and they were not very happy about being in the costumes. It was kind of funny. The weather held out for us so we got lucky.



I don't know if you remember but last March I attempted a new hobby. Well between school, my lack of patients and total frustration it took the back seat for awhile. I knew that I really wanted to get into yarn crafts, but more importantly I understood that I wouldn't be able to learn everything from a book. I really needed to see some of the stuff done first hand to do it correctly and wrap my head around it. So this Thursday I am taking a knitting class. I am so frigid excited about it. I decided to put the crocheting on hold for awhile and will hopefully pick it up again come spring. But for the time being I wanted to focus on knitting because I dream of making lovely hats, scarfs and maybe even some day sweaters! And all of that just screams perfect for fall and winter.

I have been relatively lucky when it has come to gathering supplies for my new ambitions. I got all of my Grandma's craft stuff when she passed away. She had lots of yarn and some needles and hooks. She mainly crocheted however. I also have a friend who also wanted to learn how to knit and hated it. This was quite lucky for me because she gave me all of the books she had bought and he knitting supplies. So it seems to me that I am pretty set. I know that starting out I won’t need anything fancy yarn wise. I will probably just use up some of the stuff that I have in my boxes. As I improve I can get nicer yarn.

As I have said before, I spend a lot of time exploring others blogs. This has given me the opportunity to see other people who have learned how to knit and their progress. It has really helped me believe that this is a possible goal for me to have. I discovered Ravelry and have a ton of projects saved on there for when I actually get to that skill level. I am fully aware that some of them might a long time away from being created.

It will be nice to have something else to do to pass my free time I have until I start school again. Having 5 days off a week can get pretty boring. Learning to knit will be a nice hobby to help me pass the time as well as to have something to do since Blazer season is starting back up. I love the Blazers but I cannot watch 4 games a week. I am also trying to make some Christmas stockings for Ryan and me. I really hope that they turn out. I will post some pictures when I actually make progress. Right now I just have the pattern picked out. I still have to go pick out and purchase the fabric. I'm hoping to go this week when it isn't so crowded at JoAnn's. I can also use a 50% off coupon there. It will probably take me a couple weeks to buy all the fabric so I can us a coupon each time. I'm all about saving money.

ps- did you notice that I figured out how to put links in my text? I have seen it in other blogs and now can do it! Yeah me!!



It is that time of year again Halloween!! Fall is finally here and today turned out to be a pretty decent day to go to the pumpkin patch. Ryan and I were a little worried because it was supposed to rain all week. But yesterday was nice and this morning was a little foggy, but we went for it. The pumpkin field was nice and dry and we had a great time. We have gone to this farm for the last 3 years and really enjoy it there. You get to go on a tractor ride out the the pumpkin field (you can see the tractor in the background of the above picture). There were a few schools having field trips there so it was a little crowded at times but still fun!
This is my favorite picture of the bunch. Our annual pumpkin picture! You can't tell from the picture because we both have either a jacket or vest on, but underneath we both are wearing Blazer shirts because we are going to the game tonight. We got a quarter season package the first game is tonight. We are so excited, especially Ryan.

We got to be honorary 2nd graders and go on the potato tour with them. I was amazed on how excited they got over potatoes. They just mainly made me hungry.


wishing for a bigger kitchen

So as the holidays start to roll around I found myself lusting after new things for my kitchen. The sad part is that living in an apartment I have limited space to store all of the things that I want. As Ryan so kindly puts it, we would need a seperate house to store all of the things that I would like for a kitchen. To had salt to the wound I am getting tons of catalogs which are full of lovely things. Some day I will have the room to fill with things like this:

Tuscan Poppies Pasta Bowl Set from Sur La Table. The set is $69.95 which is a little more that I want to spend of a pasta set, but it is so lovely. My plan is to watch for it to go on sale and then I will snatch it up!


Flame's Maiden Voyage

So I finally cooked in Flame for the first time. I have been dying to do it since I got her, but the weather was to hot for a while and then last week we were so busy that we didn't eat at home all week. I wanted to make something special the first time I cooked with her and after much thought and consideration I decided on....Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon. This seemed perfect to me because this is a French product so why not make some French food in it?

The dinner was so yummy! It took awhile to make, but was totally worth it. We actually wound up inviting Ryan's family over for dinner because it made so much. It feed 6 people with leftovers. I'm not going to write out the recipe because it's like a total of 5 pages, but if you want it you can find it in Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol 1. Or you can also find much simpler versions online.

I wish that the first picture of me cooking the dinner turned out, but it was kinda blurry. It was kind of funny to me because Ryan and I had just came back from a run and I had on my workout clothes with my apron on. I will leave you with a picture of the view from our deck that night...

Grandma's Mac and Cheese: Mac and Cheese Friday #3

So this is my third mac and cheese Friday. I decided to make my Grandma's mac and cheese. It's super easy to make, very yummy and brings back lots of memories. When I think back to my Grandma's mac and cheese I always think of how much she would tease me about it because when I was a child she made it for me and I refused to eat it because it wasn't Kraft out of the box. Ahhh young Melissa...you had so much to learn!

Grandma's Mac and Cheese

16oz shell shaped macaroni
2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese (we use sharp, but any kind will do)
Crushed Saltines

Preheat oven to 350. Cook macaroni then place a layer in a deep baking dish. Next cover with a layer of cheese, crushed crackers and a couple pats of butter. Repeat until baking dish is full and you end with cheese. Next pour milk into the baking dish until you can just see it. Bake for 45min- 1hour until cheese is bubbly and golden.

So I have some bad news about mac and cheese Friday. It will no longer be every Friday. Ryan and I decided that our arteries nor our waste lines could handle this once a week. So maybe every other week or something like that.


more vacation pics

So my mom emailed me some of my dad's pictures from vacation. Thought that I would share a few.

Ahh yes, this last one is a fam favorite. This is me inside the Amazon exhibit that had tons of snakes in it. Have I mentioned that I am totally afraid of snakes. I wish that this picture was more of a wide angle, but can you see the little bit of Ryan's face and how happy he is?

Happy Birthday Ryan!

Monday was Ryan's 27th birthday. He asked for a pie. This was my first real attempt at making a pie. I have made the cream filled ones in the pre-made crusts. But this was 100% from scratch. It was a berry pie. It had strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in it. The lattice top was alot easier than I expected. It's not as pretty as Martha's but Ryan said it tasted great! Happy Birthday Ryan!!!