Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeen!

Happy Halloween everyone!  I love the holiday so much and am super excited that it's TODAY!

With the pumpkins carved and displayed outside my front door, next was onto the balcony display - what I was hoping everyone would see!

One of my amazing co-workers gave me a fog machine on Friday. I was planning on buying one this weekend and asked just to borrow it, but she gave it to me!  Thanks Melody! :) 

With the foggy look taken care of, next I had to figure out what spooky thing to hang from my balcony.  The first thought was to hang a noose with nothing on it, then to hang a noose with something creepy hanging from it...

After looking around at a local drug store though, I abandoned the noose idea all together. I ended up purchasing a hanging vampire bat with blinking eyes.  It's about three and a half to four feet long and I couldn't be happier with my purchase.  It ended up being on sale too - even better!

This was the right after setting up the fog machine at dusk.

A few hours later.

For some reason I couldn't get the fog to photograph when I was taking pictures of the display from below, but from the inside it was a different story!

The fog from inside my apartment.

And Halloween wouldn't be complete without giving out treats.  I prepared for trick-or-treater with a variety of candy, but I didn't get a single one! :(

Sticking with the giving out goodies spirit, I created a few little goodie bags to give to some of my friends.  They include a few mini blueberry muffins in cute Halloween wrappers, a baggie of candy, and roasted pumpkin seeds!

Hope you all had a great Halloween! 


Fall Garden - 8 Weeks

Last week I told you about the first snap pea blossom and how excited I was.  Well, I'm even more excited this week because not only do I have another blossom, but I have my very first snap pea now too!


I'm very excited about the progress of the snap peas, but I'm just as excited about my other Fall crops like the carrots, beet and spinach.


After taking these pictures, I harvested many of the large spinach leaves to enjoy this week. They'll probably grow back by next week's update that you wouldn't have really noticed.

The beets and carrots are getting bigger and stronger each week and can't wait to see what ends up happening with them.  Something great I hope!



The herbs all continue to thrive.  Well, I hope they're all still thriving actually.  

Let me explain...just like the spinach, I harvested my cilantro. But unlike the spinach, there isn't really anything left except stubs of what was once the stems of the delicious herb. I did something very similar to this with my Flat Leaf Parsley and that's doing great so I'm hoping the same will be true with the cilantro.

Cilantro Before

Cilantro After

Flat Leaf Parsley


Upright Rosemary


These too keep getting heartier each and every day!

And as always, the old favorites keep hangin' on.  Both the tomato and jalapeno plants keep producing buds, but with the weather being soooooo odd recently, not many of the buds turn into fruit.  

Tomato Plant

Jalapeno Plant

Pumpkin Carving 2010!

Since Halloween fell on a weekend this year, Friday night seemed liked the perfect night to carve pumpkins.  After a long week at work, I came home, cracked open a Sam Adam's Octoberfest and started carvin'!

I helped with two pumpkins.  Helped meaning I cut them open, cleaned them out, carved one of them completely and cleaned the other one up after a friend had done most of the work.

The two pumpkins after cutting them open.

Seeds from one pumpkin.

Kahn wanted to help...
He may be able to open a door, 
but pumpkin carvin' isn't his specialty! ;)

And now seeds from two!

All in all, the pumpkin carving activity was a good start to the holiday weekend and I think they came out great!

The one I did all by myself - a cute little owl.
I've been on an own kick lately, 
so I couldn't resist when I saw the template!

And the one I helped with - a spooky house.

And finally - outside the front door.

In all honestly, I thought the house one was better.  While the owl one I did was great, it was just a little to simple and easy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Homemade Soup: Spicy Corn Chowder

A little while ago I ran across a recipe on The Pioneer Woman's website that I had to try! I'd never made a chowder before, and I hadn't really eaten a lot of chowders either, but it looked AMAZING.

Yesterday afternoon I decided that Sunday night would be the night to try out what looked to be like creamy spicy deliciousness.

I picked up a bunch of ears of corn and went to town getting the kernels off the cobs.  I got the other ingredients ready, began cooking and couldn't wait to taste.

The bacon and onions simmering

After adding the star ingredient - the corn!

As soon as I could I dove in - not literally, but it's that good I may... 

Anyway, I think it is great. 




Just as good, wait no, BETTER than it looks online.  And by online, I mean here, because I'm a moron and have eaten it twice, but keep forgetting to take a picture of it in the bowl before eating every last drop. I blame it on how good it is! That's it. It's the soup's fault! ;) 

I served it tonight with crunchy sourdough bread and a crisp caesar salad with homemade croutons. It was such a great Fall meal for a nice, rainy, cool evening like tonight!

I think later, I might have to finish the night with a slice of the pie I made last night... 

Fall Garden - 7 Weeks

I am SO excited! On Friday night I came home to discover that I had a bloom on my snap peas! I have to admit that I was worried. I pulled the vines down the night before because they were growing so tall that I knew I'd have trouble reaching them. Plus - I like the cascading look. 

The blossom assured me that all is good, but we'll just have to wait and see for sure. I think that'll be soon though and I'm excited!

The kitties with the snap pea vines.

The beets and carrots are getting quite big. The greens are getting bigger and bushier and I think that can only be a good thing.



The Spinach continues to thrive. It's so bushy right now. I've used a leaf here or there for salads or sandwiches, but I'll saute it up again soon!

The herbs are doing amazing! They just keep getting bigger and bushier and I think it's safe to say that the ones in the big container (along with the spinach) are safe from whatever ended up attaching my garlic chives.  



Flat Leaf Parsley


Upright Rosemary


Kahn by some herbs.

And the two old favorites - the tomato and jalapeno plants.  They both continue to bloom and have new growth, but I'm not sure they are producing correctly.  The weather has been so odd here lately, so I guess I'll just have to watch and report back soon! 

Tomato Plant

Jalapeno Plant