Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Yeah, so I've finally downloaded all my photos, but rather than post all 8,000, I've decided to edit myself before the curtain comes back.

You know how the first few days of a vacation, you're drunk with the freedom of no work and will take some photos you might not be so proud of later. (In my case, craning and straining through the window of an airplane, trying to get the best angle of the cloudy, hazy mountains without getting that damn plane wing in the shot.)

Those first couple days, I was overly excited about every wildflower, bird, cow, horse and cowboy hat that crossed our paths.

"Sage brush! Awesome!"


"What a cute rental car!"


"Jenny, take a picture of me and Andy by the covered hot tub!"


"I think I blinked, can you take another one?"


"Now let's get some of the food on the grill!"

CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK (you know how much I love photographing food)

It's a bit painful to hit the delete key so many times, but it has to be done.

Just... not yet.

The last couple days I've been working late, seeing sneak previews of hilarious and fun movies, and adjusting to life back at the center of "the grind". This is all just to tell you that I don't have any vacation posts ready yet. Not even that first day which was really mostly just planes, cars and Idaho cabins.

As a peace offering, I had Milo prepare his favorite concerto for you all. He is accompanied by Andy on the harmonica - Milo's favorite (or least?) instrument.

Milo works out his pipes from Kristin Sutter on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Home! After watching the Cubs beat the Reds (with some questionable calls), and a dinner of zucchini from the garden, I'm finally settling into my photos from the vacation.

Before I start my in-depth posts, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite photos from the weekend. Click on each photo for a closer look.

Grand Prismatic Spring - Yellowstone

Bison Herd - Yellowstone

Taggert & Bradley Lake Hikes - Grand Teton National Park

Moose Sightings in Cascade Canyon - Grand Teton National Park

Inspiration Point - Grand Teton National Park

Jenn & Chad at sunset on the hill by our cabin - Victor, Idaho

Surprise and Amphitheater Lake Hike - Grand Teton National Park

The Wedding

Reception in the Teepee at Dornan's

Perhaps that was more than a peek. And believe it or not, there are hundreds more. Can't wait to share them with some stories soon.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Goodbye parking meters, Hello hitchin' posts!

Leaving town tomorrow and heading West to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Lots of biking, hiking, marrying and such going on.

I'm looking forward to that first, deep breath outside the airport when we arrive. No matter that it will most likely be clouded with exhaust and muddled with scents of sweating, perfumed tourists.

Mountains, wildlife, rivers and lakes. Vacation smells sweet.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bring on the green stuff!

My oven loves the summer. Like my sister, it gets the summers off with a few jobs trickling in once or twice a week--mostly sitting back and gathering dust (um, that last part is just about the oven, not Jenn).

With our garden sprouting spinach and various herbs and our CSA keeping us flush with lettuce, greens and the mysterious kohlrabi, we're becoming rabbits. Add to that my love affair with lentils that didn't wane once soup season ended, and I think Andy was nervous I was trying to cut animals out of our diets for good. (Never! Though I do agree with the "eat less meat" movement for various reasons, I will never be able to pass up a good steak from Paulina Meat Market.)

How was I going to convince Andy that another lentil recipe, especially a lentil SALAD recipe, was a good idea? How about adding some blue cheese and salty, smoky cured pork product? I'm not sure I've ever seen Andy turn down anything that included bacon in the ingredients.

The recipe also called for spinach which we could grab from our garden (the spinach is definitely the blue ribbon winner so far this year), which always makes any meal more exciting.

Lentil, Bacon and Blue Cheese Spinach Salad

I liked this recipe so much that I made it again a couple weeks later when Jenn came to Chicago for her bachelorette party weekend with her friend Dawn. They were both impressed, but I think I blew their minds when I broke out the homemade pizza dough. Still, 4 out of 4 people agree: this salad is awesome. (And chock full of protein, too!)

Spinach and Lentil Salad with Blue Cheese and Tart Cherry Vinaigrette

3/4 cup green lentils
7 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
8 bacon slices (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup dried unsweetened tart cherries (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 cups baby or regular spinach leaves
1/3 cup blue cheese (about 2 ounces), preferably Oregon Blue

1. In a heavy saucepan cover lentils with water by 2 inches and simmer until just tender but not falling apart, about 15 minutes. Drain lentils well in a sieve. Rinse lentils under cold running water to stop cooking and drain well. In a bowl toss lentils with 2 tablespoons vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. (Lentils may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring lentils to room temperature before proceeding.)

2. In a skillet cook bacon over moderate heat until crisp and with tongs transfer to paper towels to drain. Crumble bacon.

3. In cleaned saucepan heat 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook shallot, stirring, until golden brown. Stir in water, cherries, sugar, and remaining 5 tablespoons vinegar and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a slow stream until emulsified. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

4. Add half of vinaigrette to lentils and toss well. In another bowl toss spinach with half of lentil mixture, half of bacon, half of cheese, remaining vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Divide remaining lentil mixture among 4 plates and top with spinach mixture. Sprinkle salads with remaining bacon and cheese.

Blogger Junior

Sitting out on the delcony, dog bloggin'.

Slow goin' since fuzzy paws + small keyboard = crazy typos.

But I loves him anyway.