Maddy’s antics never cease to amuse us (and, let’s be honest, sometimes drive us crazy); the image above is of one of her rubber squeaker toys which she’s dropped into the toilet all by herself – we fished it out and properly cleaned it off…but it did give us a good laugh! She’s got that “Border Collie stare” down pat and her curly tail is the cutest. We enjoyed a relaxing weekend at home with Maddy, lots of long walks in our neighborhood (the crisp, fall temps we had were much appreciated!), and we made this Blue Apron meal and used up about half of our garden basil to put together a quick pesto sauce for a pasta dinner Sunday evening.
Look at this photo above…beautiful fall leaves scattered on the ground and you can almost feel the crispness in the air, right? While it is officially fall, as of last Friday, September 22nd, it certainly doesn’t feel like it here in A2; the high reached 92 degrees here on September 22nd which matched the record high for this date set in 1895. While some of you may be happy to have summer all year long, I am really looking forward to the cold front headed our way for mid-late week this week. We received ingredients for this meal in a recent Blue Apron delivery and just couldn’t bring ourselves to make chili with this 90+ degree weather we’ve been having. Our weekend included watching Tech beat Houston on Saturday (making them now 3-0), a fun game night with friends, and some delicious Blue Apron meals (Fusilli Bucati Pasta with Summer Squash, Corn, & Tomatoes, Summer Vegetable Paella with Saffron, Spiced Freekeh & Chickpea Bowls with Glazed Carrots, and Katsu-Style Eggplant with Stir-Fried Green Beans & Sweet Peppers).
Although we still have some highs in the 80s here, it is cooling off and there are signs of fall everywhere…changing leaves, cooler nights, an abundance of Michigan apples, and college football. This Texas gal will never get over how truly breathtaking Michigan is in the fall! We recently made our first batch of veggie chili at home and watched our first Texas Tech football game of the season on TV last Saturday (TTU 52 – ASU 45). We paired two excellent, local beers with our college football experience last weekend too: Wolverine Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest and Homes Brewery “Bang Down” Oat Stout. To top it off, we enjoyed watching the game while relaxing on our DIY pillow cases; we found some beautiful wool fabric at an estate sale which we bought for next to nothing and managed to sew 8 pillow cases from out of 2 different fabrics (4 euro shams and 4 standard shams). Happy fall!
We spent a fun, Labor Day weekend in NYC; most importantly, we visited the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia University where we saw some very rare type catalogs. While there, we also enjoyed seeing some of the sights, like Top of the Rock, the High Line, Central Park, and a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge; and of course we had some amazing food (pierogies at Veselka) and drinks (cocktails at PDT) too. You can view more photos and videos of our NYC trip here.
Yesterday was National Dog Day; here’s Maddy with lots smiles to wish you a happy National Dog Day!
We had a great Saturday afternoon at the Ann Arbor District Library too; they invited Ryan to be part of the Letterpress Open Lab and screening of Pressing On: The Letterpress Film. The film was beautifully done and it was really cool to see Ryan’s Bevel Chromatic Grotesque type in action (pictured here).
In case you’ve been living in a cave or hiding under a rock somewhere you might not be aware that today, Monday, August 21, 2017, there will be a total solar eclipse which will be visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States, passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast. In other countries it will only be visible as a partial eclipse. The last time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire contiguous United States was during the June 8, 1918, eclipse, and not since the February 1979 eclipse has a total eclipse been visible from anywhere in the mainland United States. (see more here)
Here are some safe ways to view the eclipse; Ryan made his own pinhole camera using a box, some tape, a piece of white paper, and some aluminum foil.
Interested in seeing this from the comfort of your own, home, office, etc.? Here are a few sources for a live-stream of the event:
Listen to this…I’m, sorry I just can’t help myself!
It’s peach season in Michigan and there is an abundant supply of juicy, ripe fruit available at our local farmer’s markets – or if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who has peach trees and is willing to share, from friends too! We were inspired by our friend Jennifer, who recently made and shared a beautiful peach crisp photo, and our friend Laura, who generously gave us a bag of peaches from her yard, to make our own peach crisp and it did not disappoint; we used this recipe as a guide (thank you, Jennifer!) and Ryan did a bit of tweaking using what we had available in our pantry (we added oats and cinnamon and left out the garam masala).
While we aren’t growing our own peaches, we are growing our own tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries, peppers, and herbs this summer and our tomato plants are producing some beautiful fruit; just look at this heaping bowl of tomato (there’s a zucchini hiding in there too) goodness! As our ripe tomato count is rising, we’re considering what do with them all…pasta sauce, salsa, etc. I couldn’t resist snapping a quick photo of them all piled up in this beautiful bowl by Abigail Murray Studio on top of this tea towel by MirDinara.
We also took some time this weekend to use the laser cutter at Maker Works to make a custom-etched dog tag for Maddy; what we ended up with was 100 times better than what we were able to get from the machine at the pet store too. DIY for the win!
Our garden is producing peppers like crazy now and our tomatoes are doing pretty well too; I picked another zucchini and a decent-sized poblano pepper yesterday! We had a fun weekend catching up on past Game of Thrones episodes for this season, visiting with friends, and we had a relaxing Sunday filled with a nice walk in a local park followed by some dog park fun with Maddy, then lunch at a local place that was new to us, and a visit to our local Humane Society to drop off some donations. The weather cooled off this past weekend and it was beautiful weather to be outside in! Cooler temps are already making me think of fall and I’m getting excited at the thought of having our first fireplace fire, fresh apple cider, and the changing leaves.
Ryan and I recently spent a day enjoying lots of summer things – cold beers on a warm, sunny patio, stopping in our local ice cream parlor, enjoying those beautiful, blue summer skies, etc. And our garden is starting to produce a good amount of fresh produce for us as well now; we’ve picked a whole bowl full of jalapeños and serrano peppers, 6 ripe tomatoes, 1 zucchini, and a whole lot of fresh herbs. Amazingly, the summer is already almost gone and suddenly it’s August! Where has the summer gone? Maddy seems surprised too…