Lemony Roasted Walnut + Green Bean Salad

Lemony Roasted Walnut + Green Bean Salad

"Viva la Local!"  
Numerous signs and banners bearing this message could be seen everywhere.  Look to your left, and you'd see a stand selling locally brewed kombucha in at least four different flavors.  Look to your right, and there are a couple aproned ladies setting out freshly made local/sustainable goat cheese and goat's milk soaps.  People mill about with cups of wine and beer made down the street, sampling grassfed cheddar and stuffing organic pea shoots in canvas totes. 
Standing in that field surrounded by artisan food and crafts, I could have been at some kind of hippy convention in Portland, Oregon.  Or I could have been right at home in Tucson, at one of the most characteristic events the city offers.  
You're not still trying to guess where I was... right?  

 

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Roasted Root Veggie Herbed Stuffing (gf)

Roasted Root Veggie Herbed Stuffing (gf)

I'm having one of those moments right now, where I want caffeine... more caffeine... but I know better than to give in.
One of those times where I've had enough, but somehow I'm still tired, and somehow I still think caffeine is the answer.  Unfortunately, that would be the opposite of the answer - if I want this vicious cycle to end, that is.
You have one rough night of sleep, overcaffeinate the next day, and you're toast for the rest of the week.  Or maybe that's just me and my low tolerance?
Anyway someone help me out, here.  Poke me or something.  Get me a giant green tea with soy.  Wait, scratch that - I just said no caffeine right?
You know what, I can get through this.  It's almost Thanksgiving week, and for me this means traveling to Pittsburgh to see my husband's family.  Which means vacation.  Which, of course, means lots of sleep.  This is very exciting.

 

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Hearty Slow-Cooker Chili

Hearty Slow-Cooker Chili

I almost just said I have a confession to make... but I think everyone on the planet already knows this about me.  At least, if everyone on the planet did know me, they would know this.

I have a really hard time sitting in one place for just about any period of time.  It's true.  I'm just not much of a sitter.

No matter what is going on, if I am supposed to be planted in a chair, you can bet I'll disappear in a few moments.  There is usually a very good reason.  Like I needed to open the fridge, shut it again, and sit back down.  You know... just to make sure everything was still there.

 

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Cast-Iron Cornbread

Cast-Iron Cornbread

You know how sometimes you catch a whiff of something and it immediately makes a thought or feeling pop into your head?

Like the smell of roast beef and tomatoes makes me think of my grandma's.  She often cooks with those ingredients, and it always takes me back through all the years of going to her house for dinner.  Feeding housefulls of people requires the right ingredients.  These ingredients always kept her family (and finicky-eater grandchildren) happy.

The smell of damp wood - yeah, not all food smells - instantly reminds me of being 6 or 7 and playing Lava Monsters in my great-grandpa's basement.  Yes, Lava Monsters.  Haven't you played that?  My sister and cousin and I would hop from chair to rug to stool around the room trying not to touch the cement floor "lava" while one of us, the monster, tried to get the others.  It wasn't the most graceful of games.  Bruises sometimes happened.  But ultimately, the thrill of avoiding (or being) a lava monster was worth it.

And the smell of cornbread and chili - oh, that delightfully dreamy aroma -  reminds me of a cozy home in winter, surrounded by my family.  

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Cranberry Apple Coffee Cake + Walnut Streusel

Cranberry Apple Coffee Cake + Walnut Streusel

Hey there sweet thang.

How you doin'?

Oh - HI!

I was just talking to this scrumptious little morsel - I mean... thinking about maybe having another slice of coffee cake?  

Didn't mean to get all PG-13 about it but... dang.  I try to limit myself on treats - healthy ones included  - but if there was ever a coffee cake to have another slice of, it would be this baby here.

 

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