Every now and then I pull out my Grandma’s recipe box looking for inspiration.  There is just something about seeing her handwriting, she had beautiful penmanship.  But not all the recipes contained in the box are handwritten.  There are magazine and newspaper clippings, sections snipped out of the back of boxes, product inserts.  Seeing all of it reminded me of my own recipe binder, with the addition of printed emails and website recipes.

southwestern soup

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Did you know that hazelnuts are also called Filberts?  This was new for me.  A couple of weeks ago I bought a bag of hazelnuts at the store.  Not for any real reason, they just caught my eye and ended up in my cart.  I got them home, tucked them away in the pantry and that was it.  Last week, I came across them sitting on the shelf and decided it was time to put them to use.  Except…I didn’t really know where to start.  When this happens, I pull out ‘The Flavor Thesaurus’.  This is one of the most used books on my kitchen shelves.  It is a thesaurus of foods, listing combinations of flavors that work well together, just about any ingredient you can imagine is listed.  Turning to the page where Hazelnuts were featured I quickly scanned down the list of pairing flavors.

Avocado?  No, thanks.

Caviar?  Yea, don’t think so.

Almonds?  Maybe.

Chocolate?  Yes!  Pears?  Yes!

With a bag of dark chocolate chips in the pantry and a bowl of ripe Bosc pears on my counter I was set.  Pears dipped in dark chocolate and hazelnuts.

pears dipped in chocolate

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Did you have a good weekend? I hope so. We are finally back to usual after last week’s bout with a flu bug. Our weekend was filled with soccer, watching our favorite football teams and running my first trail race (hopefully, the first of many…loved it).

On Friday, with a day off from school and a free afternoon, we decided to make our own tortillas. It was something I had been wanting to try for awhile, as we go through a lot of them on a weekly basis. I found the recipe on one of my favorite blogs, ‘100 Days of Real Food. If you haven’t visited it before, I would encourage you to check it out. It’s the journey of a family that gives up processed foods for 100 days. The recipes are delicious and practical, using easy to find ingredients.

flour tortillas

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It snowed yesterday.  Big, white, fluffy flakes, that fell quietly on the grass that is still green, and stuck to the leaves still on the trees.  It was a pretty snow, peaceful. With all the boys home the last few days, sick, it’s been anything but peaceful around here.  Watching the flakes fall quietly felt like a huge sigh of relief. I literally felt the tension and fatigue of the last few days leave my body.  I’m not really even a fan of snow, but there was something very calming about watching it fall.

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The last few days have been a little rough around here.  A weekend of long work days, coming home Sunday night to one sick boy that quickly turned into 3 sick boys. It’s days (and nights) like this that can leave a mama feeling very tired.

But let’s look on the bright side, shall we?

It’s November!  The trees are in full color, the air is cooler and our calendar is looking lighter.  Thanksgiving is in just a few weeks…my favorite holiday.  No pressure, no shopping.  Just family and food.  I’ve been brainstorming about our Thanksgiving menu already.  Sweet potatoes will surely make an appearance.

sweet potato soup

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