Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pumpkins, part two

If you read Pumpkins, part one, you know I don't really like pumpkins except as decoration and to roast and eat the seeds. Other than that my pumpkins/jack-o-lanterns usually rot outside on the front porch. This year I decided that instead of just throwing the pumpkin away I might as well try to make something since my husband does like pumpkiny treats. I wanted to go simple so this is what I did.


The pumpkin
I just sliced my pumpkin into pieces about one inch thick and two to three inches long.

blurry slices of pumpkin
adding flavor
I put the chunks in a bowl and tossed with olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon and sea salt.

onto a baking sheet
Then popped them in the oven at 400f for about 25 minutes. They look pretty good, right? Even I can admit that.
The finished product.
But I used wayyyyyy too much salt.  Oops. Hubby didn't even like them. Oh well, better luck next year. At least I still have my pumpkin seeds.

xoxo
stef

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, baby brother! Love from your sisters

Today our brother, Michael, turns 30! We just wanted to let you know how much we love you and how proud we are that you're our brother. To celebrate you and your day, here are 30 things we love about you:

Baby Michael

1.     We love your sense of humor. LOVE it. We will never be convinced that you are not the funniest person in. the. WORLD.
2.     We love that you're our Tall Paul. We don’t know where mom came up with that nickname or when that started but for some reason we all accept it.
3.     We love knowing what an amazing father you'll be. It’s only been a week and you’ve mastered the car seat, the video monitor, and poopy diapers (does he have to use the word poopy?).
4.     We love that you're sensitive and not afraid to cry. In the words of Graham from The Holiday, you are a majah weepah.
5.     Speaking of The Holiday, we love that you don’t have any problem watching chick flicks. And that you’ll even admit you like them. 10 Things I Hate About You anyone?
6.     We love that every Christmas you wear the same Bah Humbug cartoon sweatshirt that Grandma gave you when you were like 10. And even though the sleeves only barely reach the middle of your forearms these days, you still wear it and wear it proudly.
7.     We love that you are an awesome duet singer – it makes me miss you sooo much whenever I hear The Beatles’ “You Won’t See Me” on the radio!
8.     We love that you are still a mama’s boy and not ashamed of it – Sweet Baboo! – but NOT the type that doesn’t know how to cook for himself or do his own laundry.
9.     Along those lines, we love that when you were little, you gave Mom a best friends necklace for Christmas. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it-so precious.
10. We love that you will still occasionally write letters pen and paper style and that they are, of course, hilarious. Feel free to write me one right now.
11. We love that you went through a phase when you said you would name all your children after Peanuts characters. I’m still holding out hope that this might happen. I vote for Linus.
12. We love that you are super smart and talented – even though we feel like the distribution on that was a little unfair.
13. We love that even though you are so super smart and talented, that it took you 3 colleges, 4 majors (?) and 6 years to graduate with a degree in Philosophy. Go Illini! I mean Huskies! I mean Wildcats!
14. We love that you send us funny stuff off the interwebs and sign off, “You’re Welcome”
15. We love that you used to just call us collectively “The Girls”
16. We love that you once had that crazy beard that made you look either like Wiley the Hairy Man or a rabbi
17. We love that you used to have 2 sets of clothes – regular ones and ugly clothes you reserved only for work & church – oh the khakis & short sleeved button down shirts!
18. We love that over the years you’ve just done/said random things that we carry on even today – the weird hi pitched Byy-heee! at the end of phone calls and LUMUB at the end of emails
19. We love that you will email us important life decisions like this one:
“Man, I ate some cookies today at work. I saw that somebody brought some, and I was like, OK, I'll have one, and if it is crunchy, then I won’t have any more. But if it is soft, who knows? It was soft, and I had five. Shoooot.”
20.  We also love that you write songs about us and email them to us to brighten our day:
stef, uh uh uh uh. STEF!! uh uh uh uh uh! whooz da bom?
ste ste ste stef's da bom! whooz da bom? ste ste ste
stef's da bom!
That was a song I just wrote for you. If
you want me to sing it when you get home, I shirley will.”
21. We love that you used to have a Charlie Brown head. I really hope your son does too.
22. We love that you can incorporate song lyrics into everyday conversation. Get back Jojo.
23. We love that The Giggles live in your armpits.
24. We love that when you were little sometimes you would wear your shirt inside-out so that when you took it off it would be right side in.
25. We love that you let us dress you up like a girl and call you Michelle when you were little . That pic of you in the leotard and headband is one of our favorites!
26. We love that all of a sudden you’ll randomly become obsessed with making fresh bread all the time or homemade ice cream.
27. We love that you love our family.
28. We love that you love God.
29. We love that you love the new family you’ve created.
30. We love you cuz u da bom.

And Michael with  his own Baby
Best sibs

LOVE YOU BROTHER!!

love stef and kate

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Brinner, Philadelphia style

If you don't don't what brinner is, it's breakfast for dinner, obviously. The other night we had breakfast for dinner featuring two Mid-Atlantic region delicacies, pork roll and scrapple. Until I met my husband, who is from Philadelphia, I had never heard of pork roll or scrapple, but I have grown quite fond of them. We have to order it online so we can't have it very often and when we do, it's such a treat!

They are both meat. Kind of...

Pork roll kind of tastes like Spam but is smoky and tangy (pictured below right, pink sliced looking "meat")

And I'm going to leave it up to Wikipedia to explain scrapple (pictured below left, brown mush looking "meat"): Scrapple is typically made of hog offal, such as the head, heart, liver, and other trimmings, which are boiled with any bones attached (often the entire head), to make a broth. Once cooked, bones and fat are discarded, the meat is reserved, and (dry) cornmeal is boiled in the broth to make a mush. The meat, finely minced, is returned to the pot and seasonings, typically sagethymesavory, black pepper, and others are added.[2][3] The mush is formed into loaves and allowed to cool thoroughly until set.

Sounds delicious, huh? Well it is. It really is.

Scrapple (brown mush) and pork roll (pink slices)

Another part of the breakfast was eggs. Eggs over easy. Well, that's what I and most of America would call them but my husband thinks they are called dippy eggs. DIPPY EGGS. They are dippy because the yolk is left runny and you can DIP your toast in it. Dippy eggs.

"dippy" eggs



xoxo
stef

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dusty Miller

Three years ago today, Mark and I went to the Humane Society to pick out a feline companion for our puppy, Fred. We named him Dusty Miller, after Aunt Kate and Aunt Chatty's cat in the book Anne of Windy Poplars. I love him. My husband thinks he is weird. He doesn't like people and I find it absolutely thrilling when he ends up sitting two feet away from me on the couch. His fur is so soft and everyday, without fail, he always wears his favorite white turtleneck and gray, stripey cardigan. He is a very good hunter and kills moths within two minutes of getting in the house. He recognizes three words: kitty, hungry, and garage.

HAPPY GOTCHA DAY KITTY MILLER!!!

Here he is looking shy
with his best friend, Fred Rogers
with his sister Pippi Catstocking
wearing my scarf

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pumpkins, part one

I have a love/hate relationship with pumpkins. I LOVE that they represent autumn, cool weather, harvestiness, and October. I love having pumpkins as decoration. They make my house homey. They are orange. They are happy.

That's about where my fondness of pumpkins ends. Some people eat them. They see pumpkins as pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cheesecake, etc. I do not eat these. I do not like them Sam I Am. Perhaps it's not necessarily the pumpkin I despise, it's probably more the spices that always accompany such foods: cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg--all things I try to avoid.

However, there is one part of the pumpkin I do love. The seeds! Roasted pumpkin seeds are such a nice treat and I made them today. Come along with me on a pumpkin seed journey.

It started a few weeks ago when Katie and I went to an apple orchard/pumpkin patch. I'm going to spare you the story of how disappointing and boring Ferrara's Happy Apple Farm is, but that's where we got our pumpkins.


Boring Apple Farm
Katie amongst the punkins
Here is my pumpkin. A small one, but that's just what I wanted. It has served as decoration for a few weeks now and today I turned it into a recipe.


I sliced open my pumpkin and dug out the seeds.


Once I got rid of the orange pulpiness, I rinsed the seeds in a colander...


...then boiled them! I had never done this before but I recently read that boiling will result in shells that are less tough. So they boiled for ten minutes...

...then I drained them in a colander and dried them thoroughly with a paper towel.

I tossed them with olive oil and sea salt and roasted them in the oven at 325f for 12 minutes, stirring half-way through.

And now I have a nice snack!


Aren't you jealous?

At this point I will say that I do like Pumpkin Spice lattes from Starbucks and, on occasion, pumpkin ice cream :)

See you tomorrow!

xoxo
stef

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My absolute favorite thing at the moment

The most exciting thing has happened! My brother, Michael, and his wife, Lauren, have recently had a baby. And, by recently, I mean five days ago. It's a boy. His name is John. I haven't met him yet and I already love him.

John is the first new Schulz since 1985. My parents are now grandparents for the first time. My 92-year-old granny is finally a great-grandmother. I just think it's all so magical and miraculous. We have a baby!

My brother is one proud dad. Here are some of his texts I've gotten from him recently sharing the joys of parenthood. (Don't read if you don't think poop is funny)

  • Just nail my first diaper change. And by nailed I mean barely managed.
  • Sometimes when he's getting his toots out he gets this look on his face like he's smiling, which is pretty awesome.
  • John just had his first real poop!
  • Oh man, we just had our first blowout

His mom and dad want to keep some things private for now so they don't want any pics online, so here is a picture of John that drew myself




I will meet him in three weeks and I'm so excited! I'm sure he will appear on my blog towards the end of the month.

See you tomorrow!

xoxo
stef

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaBloPoMo?

Well, today is the first day of National Blog Posting Month. Though I hadn't really considered doing it this year, someone is trying to peer pressure me into participating and I think I just might do it.

This counts as my first post. See ya tomorrow.

maybe

xoxo
stef