Fishing the Elkhorn

The past few weeks have flown by at such a rapid pace~ summers tend to do that. And this summer, one rather large project is lending itself to an even swifter pace of life.
Thankfully, I have a host of people in my life, reminding me that there is balance to be had.

Evenings with friends eating lots of pizza~ both homemade and from my favorite walk in pizza joint, lots of cuddle time and pool time with the boys, some work related roadtrips and late night Ms. Marple watching.

The best 2 hours in recent memory happened one evening last week. Fishing the Elkhorn. There is no proper way to put into words the level of stress relieving magic this endeavor had. City life is busy...and bustling...and oh so fun. But I crave (and sometimes forget I crave) those moments of complete stillness and quietness. Up to my knees in cool, flowing water, casting my line, watching fish jump, leaving their circular ripples in the slow current downstream...I go far too long without these times. Shame on me. Because these times are, without a doubt, nourishment for the soul.

How do you best find quietness and solitude?

And before I forget~ the winner of the Swissmar V-Slicer is
Tina Knezevic said...

I would use this to make my fabulous sweet potato fries!!
Congrats! Send me an email so we can get your prize to you~


Swissmar V Slicer Giveaway and a Blue Cheese Potato Gratin

The Ohio State Fair is just around the corner (yes...I live in Kentucky now, but an annual trek to the homeland is always in order.) One of my guilty pleasures each year at the fair is watching a demo from the Swissmar company demonstrating their Borner V-Slicer. I am a sucker for those sorts of things. Watching a head of cabbage being shredded to smithereens in a matter of seconds, seeing perfectly cut french fries happen before my very eyes....oh yes, this girl loves a good infomercial (I was stuck like glue to QVC during my last pregnancy).
10 years ago, I bought a the fair. And to this very day, I use that same slicer, all-the-time. It has traveled to the jungles of Papua New Guinea with me and to the vast lands of Mongolia. In fact, I put it to great use one night to make poutine (its a yummy Canadian thing...french fries, gravy, cheese~ oh my) for 20+ people to celebrate Canada Day while in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

I have contemplated stepping up my game with an all out deluxe mandolin. But frankly, it has served me perfectly for a decade. I don't feel like I missing a thing by not investing in a mandolin.
Last week I was in dire need of a grocery shopping trip and too lazy to make one. I rummaged through the fridge and cabinets and pieced together a rather amazing little dinner, if I do say so myself. This gratin was the star of the night. Some potatoes, some blue cheese, caramelized onions, and butter; couldn't be simpler or more delicious (scroll on down for the full recipe).
Swissmar is generously giving one lucky reader a Borner V-Slicer. I must say, I am quite jealous of you guys. Those bad boys look pretty amazing.

Mine may have some miles on it, but its still going strong. And the fair is just two weeks away~ who knows...I may just have to pick up another one~ for the next 10.
Head over to Swissmar's Facebook page to read more about their amazing products. You have until Sunday night at 8 to drop a line in the comments section. What delicious food would you make using the v-slicer?
*for US and Canadian residents only. Sorry, readers from the far reaches of the world~

Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion Gratin

Applegate Winners

And the winners are... (please email me your address~ and I will pass it along to Applegate)

Abby Elizabeth said...
I recently discovered Applegate and I'm so glad I did! It's not just good for you, but it also feels good for your brain and heart that you are testing out products that have been humanely raised. Love it!

Mindy said...
Over the past couple of years, we've steered away from the yucky-stuff-laden meats as well, and I know my husband misses those hot dogs! We'd love to try a new company's product!

Lindsay said...
I have never tried Applegate meats. I usually buy local uncured bacon from the local food co-op. I would love to try Applegate.

Applegate Giveaway & Tamale Pie Recipe

Applegate is offering a fantastic giveaway for 3 lucky readers! A box full of many of their all natural foods will be delivered to your door. Just keep reading...grab a delicious dinner recipe...leave a comment....and head over to their page to learn more.
The giveaway ends on Sunday, August 12th at 8pm. So get your comments in, tell a friend and spread the word. Not one but THREE lucky winners, I say ;)

As a Midwest girl, I have a deep appreciation for cured meats. Bratwurst, hot dogs, bacon, sausages....these are the staples of a good Ohio childhood diet. Now living in what most would consider the South, I don't find myself surrounded with as many people singing a Bahama Mama's praise. Fewer cookouts with Bratwurst and Sauerkraut...more cookouts with BBQ and Fried Chicken. It all goes back to heritage and cultural influence, right? 
Now with kids and a better awareness of the health hazards tied with those pre-packaged meats (nitrates, smoking agents, etc..) I've steered clear of much of it in recent years. Occasionally I'd buy a pack of brats for an OSU football game celebration or hot dogs for a camping trip but there was always a bit of reluctance. Until recently.
Have you noticed the amount of healthy/ often organic sausages and hot dogs hitting grocery store shelves lately? Here in Kentucky, we're getting loads of them at not only the "healthy" grocery stores but even our local neighborhood Kroger, which is great news for this gal! Applegate  is one company we're totally impressed with. No nitrates, added chemicals...and uncured. To boot, everything we've ever had from the company tastes amazing.

Its National Hot Dog Day tomorrow, so I thought I'd share a recipe Canaan and I concocted recently. Its kind of like a corn dog meets taco. Pure genius in my book. Its healthy, inexpensive, belly filling and ridiculously simple to make...oh...and it's the best South-of-the-Border Corn Dog Pie ever.
Click below for the full recipe and photos.

Inevitably Instagram

It was bound to happen, I suppose. It seemed everywhere I went lately and every email I received from a blog reader I was being asked if I was "on" Instagram. What did that even mean? I had a hard time wrapping my head around the hullaballo, especially as a non I-Phone user. But, as with most technological stuff, I am always a few months behind but eventually I arrive.
This week I finally arrived on Instagram. All those amazing pics my friends have been posting on Facebook for months and months~ the perfectly captured sunset at an outdoor concert, the funky polaroid of their hamburger and fries at lunch, the sweet sepia snapshot of their farmers market all makes sense now. Instagram certainly makes even the dullest photo pleasing to look at.
I'm not sure how to follow people yet or how to have others follow me. Feel free to school me in the fine art of Instagraming when you see me next~ I'll take our photo together and add a nice "Hudson" finish to it.
Date night downtown with the most clever 9 year old around.


An (almost) Finished Writing Studio

(window boxes with flowers and Boxwoods someday soon...)

Only about 6 short weeks ago, Mike and I started a project. We had a very limited budget but big ideas and dreams for the humble concrete pad and roof off of our detached garage. We had $300 in a fund from Mike's mom; a stockpiling of Christmas gift and Birthday gifts from the past year. We've never been ones to back down from a challenge~ especially a budget challenge. And this writing studio was no different.
Everything but this $40 couch (a find on Craigslist) was brought in from what we already had.

With a stack of reclaimed horse farm boards ($.50 a board) and a Craigslist App we dove head first into the project. Old windows from a friend in town, some elbow grease from another to help frame and install them, tireless hours of nailing in old oak boards, priming and painting...and voila. Mike's skills as the ultimate handyman have always amazed me. This project surpased my wildest expectations.
Painted Concrete Floors

The only idea we had to lay aside was the hope for a sleeping loft for the boys. We might add it on sometime down the road but for now, sleeping bags on the floor will have to do.
Of course, it is a working by this weekend it will house the computer, printer and loads of papers flying everywhere. Oh why can't electronics come in soft buttery yellow and gray? The black HP printer has to go and ruin a perfect ambiance.
In time there will be more decorating ahead. I am terrible about committing to things on the wall. Once its there, its there and I'm fine. Its just nailing those darn holes in the wall...crazy stressful.
And, oh my!!! Before I forget. That sweet heart above the mantle? Ezra, my six year old painted that last weekend with some help from his Nan. I'm in love.

Click here for the picture below to look at a full photo tour~


A Peak into the $300 Writing Studio~

A full tour tomorrow~

He's a Reader

Otto has discovered books. He has also discovered that books make excellent airplanes when he's finished looking through the pages. His favorite right now; Doctor Dan the Bandage Man, which incidently was Ezra's favorite as well~
What books are your little ones reading nowadays?

A Morning Photoshoot with BraveTart & Sanola

A morning photo shoot with some talented friends. This little town of Lexington we live breeds some really facinating, creative people; I consider myself blessed. On this particular Tuesday~ a photoshoot for lovely Ms. BraveTart. Who's writing a cookbook. And who makes really yummy desserts at Table 310. Sarah Jane, her photographer and owner of Sanola, makes magic with photographs. I occasionally held a prop or light but mostly I stood back and watched these two work in harmony. They have quite the partnership forged and some big, exciting things are on the horizon for them both~

Cake & Whiskey

This first Monday of the month is usually my Mompreneur Monday feature....this month a little something different. How about some Cake & Whiskey?

Ah...Cake & Whiskey...a brain child that has been developing over the course of the past few months and finally was "born" this past week. Its a hobnob of sorts. A gathered group of business women who came together to eat cake, drink whiskey and talk shop.

This incredible group of women came from all business backgrounds and are at different stages of their careers. The entire room exuded smarts and genuine goodness...a result that proved utter perfection.

The next gathering is already in the works. I crave time with women that inspire, that have ambition (but also have the right balance of priorities) and that seek to encourage one another through the ebb and flow of life. Cake & Whiskey...fingers crossed...will do just that.

*Big thanks to Tina Carter of Vrai Photography for capturing some amazing images of the night~ and the location, Finderskeepers Market in Lexington...oh my word...dreamy, dreamy, dreamy. And~ Martine's Pastries made the most amazing Pistachio cake and Triple Chocolate Bourbon cake imaginable. Thank you Martine!