Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Punkin Time(lord)!

Can you believe, in the nearly five years I've lived in this apartment, I've never carved a pumpkin here?

Me neither.

Sister decided it was time for that streak to end. Just in time for a Who-y Halloween.

Yes, she's also a gladiator. Woman of many talents. 

We sketched out our designs and began to carve. 

Little dog was very interested in the proceedings-especially nibbling on the discard pile. 

I opted for a happy-dappy smile, since I'm taking this to a friend's house for Halloween night. We're passing out candy together, and this will likely be the only decor present so I wanted it to be kid-friendly. 

Sister, on the other hand, went the Awesome route. 

Yep, it's a TARDIS. A Whovian Halloween!

All lit up!

Bring on the trick-or-treaters!! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Accio Fun!

Did you know that people actually play Quidditch?

(You know...the magical sporting event from Harry Potter, played with four balls, seven players, on broomsticks?)

Yep, it's an actual collegiate sport played by several real schools. And every fall, Chestnut Hill College hosts the Brotherly Love Quidditch Tournament.

On top of that, just in case you weren't sure that magic was real, Chestnut Hill transforms itself into the wizarding village of Hogsmeade. There's costumed children (and adults...), performers, events, and the shops give themselves Harry Potter style nicknames for the weekend.

Naturally, I was psyched to spend my Saturday there with Sister.

There are our "magical faces." That was my prompt. 

We stopped by the sweetshop and bought a delightful pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting (they were out of butterbeer cupcakes, so sad). 

The bakery is actually called Cake, when it's not Harry Potter weekend. 

We walked the whole avenue at least twice. 

Finally, we jumped the Knight Bus ( bus...) and took a ride down to the college to watch a Quidditch match. 

The Snitch has been spotted! (The guy in yellow). 

So (obviously) the players don't actually fly on their broomsticks, but when in play they run with them in between their legs. When they get hit with a Bludger (which is essentially a kickball) they are "out" until they sprint back and tag their goalposts. The Quaffle is tossed around, just like in the books, and thrown through the hoops to score points. The Snitch can run around the whole campus, and he's got a tennis ball in a sock tucked into his waistband, which the Seeker tries to get (like in flag football). 

There was one particularly violent Snitch who actually wounded the Penn State Seeker quite badly. Guess even in the real world Quidditch is a dangerous game. 

After the game, we finally found one place that was still selling butterbeer! I know there are a million versions out there, but this was a cider-based concoction with caramel flavoring. Sooo warm and tasty. 


Saturday, October 19, 2013

On Heaven

"...I should want a guarantee that you are taking me to a place where I shall find a wider sphere of usefulness--and scope for the talent God has given me--and an atmosphere of free inquiry..."
"No," said the other. "I can promise you none of these things. No sphere of usefulness: you are not needed there at all. No scope for your talents: only forgiveness for having perverted them. No atmosphere of inquiry, for I will bring you to the land not of questions but of answers, and you shall see the face of God." 

-C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite authors, and a little reflection for your (and my!) weekend. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Perfect Fall Weekend

After a couple days of dreary, gray, rainy weather, the sun broke through to give us some glorious fall days. Happily, they were just in time for my mom to visit!

She had a wedding to attend, but I got to spend time with her and Sister on Saturday morning (farmer' market and Elcy's cafe, yes please) and Sunday afternoon. We ate pumpkin French toast and went apply picking. It was our pre-Oktoberfest apple picking event, and it couldn't have been nicer.

Good friends,

Delicious apples,

And family.

Yes, that's my mom. Are you surprised? 

Add in a weekend bonfire,

And a glowing dog,

And it's pretty much a perfect weekend.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Culinary Wish List

I've had a rough couple of weeks lately, and I've been slacking off on the delicious recipes (and blogging) as a result. But no more! The rain has gone, the sun is out, and I went to Trader Joe's with my mom today, so I'm feeling full of inspiration and excitement.

Since my mom is here, I made an enormous pot of Pioneer Woman's knockoff Zuppa Toscana (it was absolutely delicious--creamy and brothy and flavorful).

PW's picture, not mine. None of the photos shown are mine. 

I have some canned pumpkin to make goodies like these.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Honey Frosting

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I'm also hoping to use some of that pumpkin to make risotto--I'll post the recipe if/when that happens!

We go apple picking tomorrow, so some Jewish apple cake will be in my future, possibly along with some of these guys:

Crockpot Apple Butter

Brown Sugar Apple Muffins

Of course, some of the apples/apple products (you know, like...pies...and crisps...) will be saved for our 5th Annual Oktoberfest. We always have tons of delicious fall foods there.

In other news, my mom is in town! She's been here for less than 24 hours and it's already so wonderful. It'd been a long time since she visited, and man was I ready. She even gets to come apple picking with us, which will be awesome.

Have you tried any new recipes lately? Anything awesome you're itching to make?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Wait, I Thought It Was October...

Where did my fall weather go?! How is one supposed to bake things with apple and pumpkin when it looks like this outside?

I guess I'll just have to enjoy the sunshine in shorts again, and relish the last few days of iced coffee.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Blue Box

"It's bigger on the inside!"

Despite his general bemusement at my Who-obsession, look what my totally awesome husband brought home for me from his business trip:

My very own TARDIS, which conveniently doubles as a nightlight. 

Yep, I'm a lucky gal.