Saturday, September 26, 2009

Farmer's Market

I love the downtown Farmer's Market. It's a great place to spend a Saturday morning. Today was a successful trip. I was able to stock up on all sorts of items. I am enjoying all of the fresh produce. I'll miss it next month when it's gone.

Today they were giving away reusable market bags, so I picked one up and filled it with fresh gouda, eggs, honey, raspberries, apple gouda sausage, and lettuce. I will be eating fresh food all week. I was even added to the egg e mail list so I can get farm fresh eggs year round, instead of just at market time.

I can't believe it's already fall. I don't know where the summer went, but I miss it already. I'm just not ready for another long winter.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pretzel Love

There are foods I love so much I can distinctly remember the first time I had them. For soft pretzels it was at a Brewer's game. We went to see them play at County Stadium in Milwaukee. I had some of Mom's pretzel dipped in mustard. I wasn't interested in the game, but I was interested in the food. I still enjoy having a pretzel at a ball game, but now I enjoy watching the game. I think it took becoming a Cubs fan for me to enjoy baseball.
Having a day off from running and not having the urge to knit I decided to give making pretzels a try. I am glad I did. They may not look as pretty as a ballpark pretzel, but they taste much better. I can't wait to be invited to a tailgate party so I can bring these pretzels. I think they'll go great dipped in mustard accompanied by a cold beer.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cake Success!

When I went to Chicago for Mary-Claire's birthday I attempted to bring a cake. I ended up with a German Chocolate trifle. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I wanted to make. I found the recipe I wanted to use, bought the ingredients, and didn't think to check my cake pans until I had made the batter. The recipe called for 9 inch straight sided pans. I had 8 inch sloping side pans. Having recently switched from cake mixes to making cakes from scratch I figured it wouldn't make much of a difference. It did. It turns out cake mixes are much more forgiving than homemade mixes.
I was pretty annoyed that the cake didn't turn out. Like the pizza incident I knew I needed to give it another go. I went to Kohl's this weekend and picked up some new cake pans. John requested a carrot cake for his birthday, so I found a new recipe to try. This time it turned out great. Which is good. I would hate to have invested in cake pans for nothing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Bike Paid Off

You may remember that I bought a bike last March. I started a spreadsheet to track my cost per hour of the bike. My goal was to get the cost per hour below $14 within two years. Why $14? Because you can rent a road bike for $14 an hour in Des Moines. Why two years? Because Beaverdale has some great patios, so Hot Toddy and I sometimes decide to visit one of those instead of riding...but I digress.
Today I met my goal. My cost per hour is now below $14 an hour. I think this is justification for buying all sorts of new fun bike stuff.

It's Happy Apple Time

Every year Aunt Kathy and I head to Norwalk to pick apples at the Happy Apple Orchard. Today we headed down to the orchard and stocked up on apples. I'll now spend the rest of the week baking with apples. My house is going to smell awesome.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fall Fest Parade

This morning was the Fall Fest parade. It is my favorite parade. Ann and I went to Jamie's house to watch it. We had the best seats. We were two blocks from the start so no one had run out of candy and everyone was excited to throw it out.

Sebastian and Violet had their buckets ready and couldn't wait to get some candy and see the floats.
I think their favorite part of the parade was Dale the Beaver. They are president and vice president of his fan club.
They are both fans of any animal mascot in a costume.
Halfway through the parade their buckets were so full they had trouble lifting them.
One of my favorite parts of the parade was the motorized cooler.
By the end of the parade both Violet and Sebastian had filled their candy buckets and their Easter baskets. Jamie said she may not have to buy Halloween candy this year, she has enough parade candy to hand out to the entire neighborhood.
After the parade we headed over to Tricia and Neal's for a BBQ. We ran into Justin who was happy to find Boulevard.
Not a bad way to start a Saturday. I hope the afternoon can live up to the precedent set by this morning.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fall Fest Fireworks

Tonight is the night I have been waiting for. After months of anticipation I put up the caution tape and yelled at teenagers to stay behind the tape (coincidentally tonight was also the night that I discovered that teenagers think I'm a bitch [and that is the nice teenagers. I won't even type what the others say]). Tonight was the kick off of Beaverdale Fall Fest. I started the festival by taping off the fireworks area with Ann. It wasn't that exciting, but it was much more difficult than I had imagined. Without her strength I never would have got the poles in the ground. She also made it much more fun.
After roping off the area I went to visit Jamie. She was busy discussing the bouncy house with Violet, so we didn't get much of a chance to talk. No worries, the parade goes past her house so we're sitting in her yard tomorrow.
When the fireworks started I had the best seat in the house. If you are yelled at by teenagers they let you watch them set off the fireworks with the people that set off the fireworks. It was so cool words cannot begin to describe it. I guess I will have to work on some sort of interpretive dance that explains it all.
After the fireworks we wandered around for a bit. After a while we decided to just sit down at Christopher's to avoid the teenagers (could this blog post make me sound any older? Seriously.). They developed a special drink for fall fest: the blue beaver. It. was. delicious. We had a great time, but with Hot Toddy, Ann, Stimmel, and me in the mix, how could you not? Hot Toddy & Stimmel even agreed to pop their collars for a few pictures.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Work Happy Hour

Tonight I went out to happy hour with my work team. There are only three of us in Des Moines, so it was a small gathering. It was a lot of fun to hang out with Mark and Rand outside of work. It gave us a chance to talk about work without being around cubes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I spent last weekend in Chicago. It was a great time, and action packed.

Friday night: Small Bar
Saturday: Cubs game (BLEACHER SEATS!!!)
Saturday night: Dinner & drinks for Mary-Claire's birthday
Sunday: long drive home

Not bad for a weekend.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


You know what is cooler than canning your own salsa? Canning your own salsa using tomatoes, jalapenos, and bell peppers from your garden.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Ah. The weekend. A long weekend at that. I decided to spend my evening trying to unwind and get ready for a weekend filled with a trip home to Cedar Falls, hiking Browns Woods, and cleaning my house.

Prior to unwinding I needed to meet with Ann so I could talk with her about her dogsitting duties this weekend. Luckily Cooper is an easy dog to care for, so after 5 minutes of explanation we decided it would be best to go have a cocktail on the roof bar at Tally's (formerly B&B).

Tally's is pretty much the same as B&B, but their drinks are about $1 more each. A little expensive, but if you're only going for one it really doesn't make much of a difference. After a $5 margaritas we headed home. It was great talking to her and catching up. I'm really enjoying her being back in Iowa. I can't say Tally's will be my #1 choice when heading out in Beaverdale, but it does make the top 5.