Our friend Lisa Waud (of Pot & Box) recommended we visit Graye’s Greenhouse and we finally got around to it yesterday; what a lovely place it is – I was like a kid in a candy store! The staff/owners that work there are so kind and it’s such a beautiful and charming place to be on a cold January day (or any day I’m sure!); we left with several plants in hand, including a few succulents (one of them is so itsy bitsy and so darn cute that I couldn’t resist taking it home with me), a lovely lime-scented geranium, and a few Calathea. We also found a pretty hanging ivy and a yucca plant after a few other stops, before heading home. It’s so nice to have beautiful, green plants to help make our house feel like a home. Melody and I were enjoying the new additions this Sunday morning – and a little Lionel Richie certainly didn’t hurt; I love Sunday mornings at home.
What a difference a week can make; the photo above was taken this morning of the daffodils and hydrangea on our kitchen table and the photo below was taken last weekend on the day I brought these flowers home. It’s fun to watch the daffodils grow and if I’m missing spring, which I know will come eventually, I can always just surround myself with spring flowers to remind me that it will be here some day.
It snowed here almost all day yesterday – big flakes, then little flakes, then big flakes again…blowing and drifting through the sky. This perfect little snowflake hitched a ride on my coat as I was leaving work yesterday afternoon.
We have a love/hate relationship with Melody’s snow jacket – we love it because it keeps her warm and fairly dry when there’s snow on the ground, but she hates the process of getting in and out of it for some reason (#winterainteasy)…once it’s on her though, she doesn’t seem to mind it and she bounds through the snow happily in her little red coat.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
The highlight of my week was definitely shaking the hand of Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, yesterday; he gave the keynote address for the Ross School’s McInally lecture honoring Martin Luther King Day. What an honor it was!
We celebrated our anniversary last week with dinner (at Grange) and drinks (at Ravens Club) out on the town; cheers to 14 years! And we spent a nice weekend of mostly just relaxing at home, cleaning house, and picking up some fresh flowers to help warm up the place during this chilly, winter weather – amaryllis in full bloom, mini daffodils in a shiny gold pot, and hydrangeas seem to be doing the trick for the time being!
It’s cold outside (high of 13 on the 13th – #winterainteasy), but it’s cozy inside…and these over the knee boot socks I’m wearing certainly don’t hurt (I have a hard time resisting a good sweater knit)! Hope you’re staying warm in this wintry weather. Bonus: Ryan surprised me with these beautiful, white spray roses, for our anniversary.
Celebrating 14 years of marriage with the love of my life tomorrow. He makes me happy every day and I will always love the way it feels to hold his hand.
We decided to make some soup to warm us up from the cold weather that finally arrived. So I made a spin on a classic, spaghetti-os. It is a simple roasted tomato & red pepper soup with circle shaped pasta, anelli, added to it.
- 1 package of anelli pasta (or any other circle shaped pasta)
- tomatoes on the vine (about 24 small/medium sized ones)
- 6 red bell peppers
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine + a little more to splash in later
- a heaping tablespoon dried oregano
- a heaping tablespoon of course ground black pepper
- enough olive oil for roasting the red peppers and tomatoes and cooking the onion and garlic
- salt to taste
Roast the tomatoes and red peppers, lightly coated with olive oil, in an oven at 350° for about 35-45 minutes or until they start to blacken here and there. Set aside to cool. Once cooled enough to the touch core the tomatoes and cut the stems and deseed the red peppers. Cut the red peppers into strips (if your blender is powerful enough no need to do this). Put the tomatoes and red peppers in a blender and puree. Add some olive oil to a large soup pot over medium heat. Sweat the onions and garlic, about five minutes. Add the red wine and bring to a boil. Cook until the red wine reduces. Once reduced add the tomato and red pepper puree. Add the oregano, pepper, and a few extra splashes of red wine. Simmer for at least 10 minutes to get the flavors to mix. Salt to your taste preference. You can puree the soup again at this point, or just let the onions and other ingredients add a bit of texture to it. I’m lazy so I just left it as is.
In a separate container cook the pasta according to the directions. Once cooked you can add it directly to the soup. The pasta will soak up some moisture in the soup when stored, so if you can’t eat it all when you make it I recommend coating the pasta in some olive oil with a sprinkle of sea salt, storing it separately, and just add the pasta to the soup before serving. “The greatest invention since the napkin.”
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
Outside: Yesterday, in Ann Arbor, the temperature dropped to -2 degrees with a wind chill of -20 and we got some snow overnight and this morning too. While I can appreciate the way it looked in the light last night, gleaming like little flecks of white glitter all over the ground, and that everything is so still and crisp after a fresh fallen snow…it sure makes it hard to leave the warmth and comfort of your home in the morning! #winterainteasy
Inside: I find that a good pair of flannel pj’s (like these) or lounge pants (like these), some warm slippers (like these), a nice warm fire, and some lovely fresh flowers and candlelight are crucial to my well-being through the winter months here. Which is why I treated myself to some white tulips and alstroemeria and placed them next to a mercury glass votive and a bowl full of tomatoes on the vine – which we’ll use to make some hearty soup over the weekend. Winter is definitely here and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!