ugh

The dog is currently whining outside my bedroom door because i don’t want him to come in here and get in the bed.

The children are currently whining in their bedroom because they “need something.”

I am currently whining here on this blog. I’m tired and my feet hurt and I feel like shoveling candy into my face with an actual literal shovel but I don’t even have any.

WOW I AM IN A BAD MOOD.

K

Pie Season

I love fall baking, especially pies. I mean, one can bake pies any time during the year, of course, but fall is when I tend to bake the most pies. Apple and pumpkin are my favorites for Thanksgiving — I love doing decorative crusts on the apple, especially. Here are a few inspiration images I’ve saved over the years:

Mine are never quite this elaborate, but it’s so much fun to try!

This weekend, I get the chance to bake a couple of early Thanksgiving pies for a neighbor-friend get-together, so I think I’m going to do a double-crust apple and a savory vegetable galette. Lots of folks on Twitter recommended the butternut squash and caramelized onion from Smitten Kitchen, which looks right up my alley. I love butternut squash for fall dishes (a fun gourd that sometimes gets forgotten due to all the pumpkin), but do you know what I really love? Caramelized onions. Cooked in butter, in particular. That smell is one of the most heavenly cooking smells I CAN’T EVEN STAND IT. So this recipe seems perfect. I think I’ll make the crust doughs tomorrow night, bake the apple Friday night, and then do the galette Saturday morning.

In other pie news, tonight I made the dough for Friday night’s pizza (this recipe is pretty much flawless every time) which will be resting and slowly rising in the fridge for the next couple of days. Pizza, apple pie, squash galette– pie season truly is upon us and I. AM. HERE. FOR. IT.

Magic Bullet

It’s that time again! Time to organize my new bullet journaling supplies, that is. I have recently received delivery of some of my favorite pens and a new notebook, so once I straighten out my tab situation I should be in good order for 2020.

I thought I might share some of my favorite supplies in case anyone is interested:

Leuchtturm 1917 A5 dotted grid notebook. This is such a great notebook, y’all. It’s no wonder why this is so popular. The pages are numbered and there’s a built-in index, for one thing, which means it’s already set up for bullet journaling. There’s the usual pocket folder and elastic band to keep it closed, and of course the subtle dot grid that helps me keep my pages neat while allowing freedom to doodle and hand letter as I like. Comes in a rainbow of colors, too. I went with navy this year, which is emerging as my favorite color of late.

Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens. I bought this three pack that came with two black pens of different hardnesses and a dual-tip black and gray pen that has become a fast favorite already. I am so into the gray for lettering.

Sakura Pigma Micron felt tip pens. These are my favorite, favorite everyday pen. I buy the “01” size, which is (I believe) the finest point they make. Please alert me immediately if you come across a double zero or similar. They are super neat seem to dry instantly — they don’t smudge or smear, even if you brush colored ink over them immediately after writing.

One item I haven’t found to my satisfaction yet: In the past I have bought these K&Company Smash Tabs in the fabric version, which are basically my holy grail tabs. However, this year I’m only seeing a listing for 12 tabs for $5.99, which seems ridiculous. I feel certain that I’ve ordered 36 for that same price previously, so. Hmm.

And one for the wish list: Stabilo Fineliner pens come in a million colors and have that fine felt tip that I love.

Got a favorite pen? Let me know about it. I mean it.

Quickie

Apparently it’s the last week of classes before Thanksgiving break and I have no idea how that happened. October and now November are flying by.

Today has been a busy day full of only the most boring nonsense: tasks like open enrollment for my benefits at work and updating my holiday card spreadsheet. (Obviously, I have a holiday card spreadsheet.) I also spent many hours grading papers and doing laundry and cooking and then the garbage disposal started leaking.

ANYWAY, I don’t have an idea for a post today, so please allow me to refer you to a few good things I’ve read recently — please enjoy:

  • Lauren Fleshman’s op-ed in the NYT “It is grown women, not girls, who top the most prestigious podiums. It is grown women in their late 20s and 30s breaking American records. It is American women in their mid-30s winning the Boston and New York Marathons. Imagine if we gave more girls a chance to get there.”
  • This Tom Hanks Story Will Help You Feel Less Bad “So Tom Hanks is as nice as you think he is and exactly what you hope him to be, which is great unless you are someone trying to tell a good story about him, with elements like an arc and narrative tension. ‘Saintly Actor Playing Saintly Public Television Children’s Host Mister Rogers Is Saintly’ is not a great story. But what am I supposed to do? He sat facing me, cheerful and focused and willing. Maybe this could just be a story that makes you feel better.”

Meal Plan Sunday

Here we are again getting ready to begin another week! But there is pizza to look forward to on Friday, so we’ve got that going for us, which is good.

Here are a couple of highlights from last week’s kitchen efforts:

Crockpot Thai curry and brown rice. Garbanzos, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers. They all hold up pretty well in the crock all day, especially if you cut the peppers a bit bigger. Cannot recommend strongly enough going to an Asian grocery for imported Thai curry pastes. The flavor is noticeably better.
Antipasto-ish salad. The protein was roasted garbanzo beans and I just went to town with artichokes, slow-roasted tomatoes, olives, peppers, and so on.

Sunday: Caesar salads (CW)

Monday: Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps à là PF Chang’s. These are super tasty but require a good amount of chopping. I like to make a double batch of the filling and repurpose some of it for another meal — see Wednesday.

Tuesday: chicken salad, maybe in sandwiches? CW is in charge of this one.

Wednesday: Rice bowl featuring sushi rice, leftover lettuce wrap filling as the protein, some other veggies, and yum yum sauce.

Thursday: BLTs (CW)

Friday: Pizza, New York Style. Will do one pepperoni and one veggie + Field Roast.

There you have it! Let me know if you’re making anything great this week, especially if it’s vegetarian or can be easily made to be.

Questions

Where is the best place to shop for twin size duvet covers in cute patterns that aren’t a million dollars? As an example, I like the Pillowfort stuff at Target, but they seem to operate more on a comforter model. As another example, Pottery Barn is cute but pricier than I’d prefer.

If you’ve read The Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter (the first 2-3, anyway) to your kids, at what age did you start? I remember reading Narnia with my dad, chapter by chapter, and I think I must’ve been around five, but I’m not sure.

Is there anything good on the new Apple streaming network? I apparently have a year of it for free thanks to a recent phone upgrade, but the app isn’t compatible with my old-ass original FireTV Stick. Is it worth trying to watch it elsewhere?

Related sub-question: the old-ass original FireTV Stick is a little slow and unreliable. Worth upgrading to a newer version?

Why do I always, always eat chips and salsa/guacamole/bean dip past the point of fullness? I feel so bloated and uncomfortable right now. Why do I do this to myself?

If you’ve got answers for me, feel free to comment or just @ me.

Friday Wrap

It’s here! It’s here! I wrapped up my longest run of the week — and the training cycle! — at about 8 miles. It has been raining for about the last 24 hours here, but I just got dressed and made it happen this morning. Running in the rain, and the cold rain — a real downpour — is one of those things I always forget is actually completely tolerable. I wake up and hear the rain and decide to postpone, or I look at the forecast and rearrange my schedule. But why? For no good reason, that’s why! Today was a lovely chance to be outdoors and connect.

And if you saw my menu plan from Sunday, you may remember (I mean OF COURSE you remember; why wouldn’t you remember my menu plan?!) that I scheduled grilled cheese and tomato soup for tonight and it could not have been a more perfect night for it. The recipe from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen is super simple (canned whole tomatoes, leeks sautéed in butter, veg broth, nutmeg, tomato paste), but I think the secret lies in the prep: you roast the canned tomatoes with a sprinkle of brown sugar before making the soup. Y’all, it’s so good.

I tied up some loose ends administratively at work and, as per usual, left several boxes unchecked on my to-do list. But I have come to be satisfied with that at the end of the week. Having a few un-done tasks leaves me hungry for more on Monday. (Side note: am I the only academic who doesn’t work weekends? Highly possible, if one believes what people say publicly about their workloads.)

I’m sitting in bed with my laptop and my husband and my dog and a glass of wine and I think in a minute we’re going to try to watch a movie or something, by which of course I mean flip through all our streaming services for an hour before we decide to just go back to puttering around on the internet. It’s! Friday! NIIIIIGHT!