so many thanks

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for thanksgiving we drove over to tahlequah, oklahoma where my dad and his new bride live and run a bed and breakfast. needless to say, the accommodations were quite lovely and the food was abundant and delicious. matt and i began our day with a turkey trot around town to work up an appetite worthy of a feast. then we all gathered around the kitchen island and talked and chopped and baked and roasted and drank copious amounts of coffee. when lunch time rolled around, and all the family and friends arrived, we filled up the table with wine and food and laughter.

this holiday kind of marked the beginning of new traditions for our family. we’ve added new people and places. sometimes it’s really hard to allow for change, especially when it comes to something as sacred as holiday traditions that have been around forever. but as i’m realizing as time goes by and i get older, it’s less about the rituals and what we’ve always done, and more about love. choosing love and happiness and not getting caught up in the past, but being in the present and making way for the future. i’m thankful for how i grew up. i’m thankful for what i have now. i’m thankful for what lies ahead.

over the weekend: friendsgiving

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last night we hosted the first annual No Worries Friendsgiving. it was a delightful evening full of amazing people, delicious food, tasty drinks, and lots of laughs. matt fried a couple turkeys and everyone brought different thanksgiving treats for us all to share. we had football on the tv and smooth tunes playing on vinyl. these guys mean so much to us and i was blessed to have them around my table. at the end of the night (or more accurately, the wee hours of this morning), i had a sink full of dishes and a heart full of happiness. here’s to many more friendsgivings!

milanesa

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last saturday, after the busyness of costumes and parties, we craved the simple pleasure of a nice meal prepared at home. we used to make milanesa quite a bit, but since i had to go gluten free a few years ago, we just hadn’t thought of it. i just so happened to have some gf flour in the cupboard and matt had the brilliant idea to bring this dish back. it was soooooooo good.

we went to the hispanic market up the road and picked up the thinly sliced steak. matt made an egg wash and dredged the meat in there and coated it with the flour. we cooked it in the cast iron skillet with a little olive oil until it was done and crisp on the outside. to accompany our milanesa, matt roasted some golden potatoes, chopped some greens, and made a red pepper sauce to drizzle on top. all that paired with a sweet riesling to cut some of the heat. it was pretty much perfect.

over the halloween weekend

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so friday was super fun. i really do love halloween.

every year on october 31st, our main street basically shuts down to host a few thousand ghosts, ghouls, ninjas, and princesses for trick or treating. this was the first time i got to walk my kiddo around. you guys, it was intense. it took a solid 2 hours to hit all the shops handing out candy. and it was cold and windy. my little minecraft enderman was quite tired and worn out by the end of the afternoon. once we got home, we immediately dumped all the candy out onto the table and smelled the wonderful scent of sugary goodness. there really is nothing quite like the aroma of halloween candy. i think it’s the mix of fruity and chocolatey with a little bit of bubble gum. mmmmmmmmmmm.

then later, matt and i went to a costume party down the street. we dressed up as a gypsy mermaid and ship captain. i really kinda loved my outfit, just sayin’. we danced, laughed, had a couple drinks and by the end of the night, the house was super crowded. we lit out a bit early and had a few friends over for a chill after party. we talked about sports and ate popcorn. it was great.

i made dinner last night

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i fully realize this could’ve been a better picture, but this is what i got so this is what i’ll post. the weather here is making a turn for the cold so what better way to combat the chill in the air than with a nice hearty curry dish? nothing. the correct answer is nothing could possibly be better.

i started this by cooking some chicken strips in a huge wok. once they were done, i removed the strips and then dumped a bunch of cauliflower and chickpeas and chopped onions in the pan to start sautéing them. i added salt, pepper, lots of red curry powder, ground ginger, ground red pepper and garlic. i let those cook up a bit and soak up the spices for a few minutes before i poured in a full 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and some chicken broth to thin out the sauce. i added some spinach (i didn’t add as much as i wanted to, next time there will be more) and the chicken back in as well as a few bay leaves and a bit more curry powder. let that simmer for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower is to the desired texture. i cooked up a pot of rice to accompany my somewhat spicy little dish and voila! dinner is served.

a wedding at wedington

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saturday evening, we attended the wedding of some dear friends. it was the most glorious fall day and the scenery was a magnificent backdrop to such a romantic occasion. the bride’s dress was custom made in the philippines (where she is from) with stunning details. and it was even cooler that she wore midi boots with knee high crochet socks because she basically rules. the ceremony was short but very sweet and i may or may not have gotten super teary-eyed. ugh, i love weddings.

it was a wonderful evening and a great reminder to keep your loves close, both friends and lovers. it’s so easy to let those things fall to the side and not give them the proper care and attention. what is this life without love? even our best efforts are as a resounding gong or clanging cymbal if we don’t do them with love. so celebrate it and protect it. love is the greatest.