How exactly good it is
to know myself
in the solitude of winter,
my body containing its own
warmth, divided from all
by the cold; and to go
separate and sure
among the trees cleanly
divided, thinking of you
perfect too in your solitude,
your life withdrawn into
your own keeping
–to be clear, poised
in perfect self-suspension
toward you, as though frozen.
And having known fully the
goodness of that, it will be
good also to melt.
- The Cold, Wendall Barry
Last week, we celebrated Thanksgiving in Memphis. It was the first long visit we have had in about a year and didn’t disappoint!
I got to spend lots of time relaxing and hanging out around the house with everyone.
Thursday morning, we ran the Turkey Trot at Shelby Farms. It was a good way to break through the stereotypes of the holiday.
On Friday night, my mom, brothers and I went to see John Mayer and Phillip Phillips. Half of the tickets were purchased days in advance and the other 2 were a day of decision. I got to sit in the close seats for Phil and then swapped seats for the main attraction.
Holmes and I had a blast people watching in our section.
We brainstormed ideas for the Christmas card the entire time and didn’t come up with an idea until lunch on Sunday. It ended up being a great one.I am really grateful to be a Hill. Its a blast.
I have a very creative friend from college, Leslie, who I like to keep an eye on via the internet. We had several graphic design classes together and she was alway designing the coolest things. Now she is designing really beautiful information graphics in Louisville.
I wanted to share a side project she has with a coworker that makes me laugh every day. It is called Daily Threads. This is how they describe it: “The concept is simple: one outfit, one title, and one caption everyday.” Check it out and stay tuned for a post every day!
Since we all trained together for the 10K, we of course had to make a huge deal about everything leading up to the race. Loren, Ryan, Sarah, Bryan, Karissa and I went to get our bibs together and check out the expo. We all spilt up for a little bit since people had other commitments. But Loren and I went to Target, with Ryan in tow, to get matching outfits.
We had a sleepover too. Why not be over the top?
We started off the morning really excited and happy that the weather was better than expected…..
Right as we go to the starting line, it started to sprinkle.
Just a few minutes into the race, it started to pour. It just got worse and worse.
But the best part of the race was all of our friends who cheered us on. They were all over the route under umbrellas making it really fun. Ally even made signs:
By the last mile, I was freezing cold and getting wind burn (is that real?). It was so awesome to finish and be proud of ourselves though! My sweet 10K team even ran the end with me even though they had finished already.We celebrated by taking really warm showers and being lazy for the rest of the afternoon. Then we had a fall celebration dinner with some friends and downtown neighbors. It was one of those weekends that you hope to repeat.
I have decided to keep riding the pumpkin wave as long as things keep disappearing from my fridge and countertops.
This weekend, I needed to make a dessert for small group and remembered this delish recipe for Pumpkin Squares. I decided to make it one and a half times so I could bring it to work too. It only took about a day for it all to vanish.
A couple people even said that they don’t like pumpkin pie, but really liked these. My guess is that the butter makes it better than pumpkin pie.
1 yellow cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter
1 can (2 cups) pumpkin pie mix
2/3 cup milk
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
First layer: Combine cake mix (remove 1 cup for the top layer), 1 egg, 1/2 cup melted butter in a medium bowl. Press into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan.
Second layer: Mix together pumpkin pie mix, 2 eggs and 2/3 cup milk. Pour over first layer.
Topping: Mix 1 cup cake mix, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in 1/4 cup butter. Sprinkle crumb topping over 2nd layer. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool, cut into squares, serve with Cool Whip.
Earlier this week, I watched as Ryan and Bryan made dinner. They wouldn’t let me help at all and it was such a treat!
They used this recipe to make Chicken Marsala. I let them know that this can be a once a week thing if they are willing!
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Essence- they didn’t use this
2 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in halves and pounded thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups sliced mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shiitake)
3/4 cup Marsala
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped chives, for garnish
In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour and Essence and stir to combine thoroughly. Quickly dredge the chicken breast halves in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown around the edges and have given off their liquid. Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Lower the heat to medium and return the chicken breasts to the pan and continue to cook until they are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, add salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately.