I was in San Francisco for just a day and a half -- this is a bit heartbreaking considering how much I love the city! Early one morning, I grabbed a coffee then snuck out with my camera to walk towards the Embarcadero and take some shots of the Bay Bridge. And of course, a few feathered friends, too.
It was the quintessential San Francisco morning: foggy, overcast, and just a little bit chilly... but stunningly beautiful.
It's been a slow creep, a slow thing to accept, but we're there.
I'm officially a homebody.
I love being home, and I will move mountains! skyscrapers! to be home.
It was a great weekend. It was also another ridiculously beautiful fall weekend (see morning pictures above!) Friday night happy hour was spent with my best best best friend to celebrate our 10-year-friendiversary! Saturday, I spent pretty much all day happily pinballing around my place.
Today I ventured allllll the way to the west loop (this is like a $7 cab ride or a 25 minute CTA commute, basically nothing, I am just that used to being within a .5 mile radius at all. times.) to meet my SCFWSC cohorts at RM Champagne Lounge for brunch.
Because I am still a huge pansy about taking my camera out in restaurants, I have zero/zilch/nada photos of this very fun brunch.
Instead, I have photos of the rest of my day: hanging out with my sister and her manfriend for Sunday night pot roast followed by a looooong walk home. That eternal journey turned out to be a great chance to practice my nighttime photography skills. It also was actually all of 15 minutes, but thanks to daylight savings time (the end of DST? the beginning of it? the second coming of it?) it felt like a million-mile-hike because I am old, and it is past my bedtime.
I hope your weekend was every single thing you wanted it to be!
So, I vowed to make my lunch last week and stop spending $13/lunch/day. I made a huge batch of salad that would hold up all week and hold up it did. As in, I ate this salad every. single. day. last week.
So, while I'm totally sick of it, I still thought it was awesome at least days 1-3 and thought I'd share.
This isn't really a recipe because the proportions are up to you.
But! I will be a little more detailed in the dressing because this sauce is the BOSS. (Did I just quote a BBQ commercial?)
Kale Salad with Quinoa, Acorn Squash and Apples
Cook up a few cups of quinoa. When you've taken it off the heat but its still hot, mix half of a diced red onion into it while it's cooling -- this will soften the onion just enough without having to get another dish dirty. #genius
Cook and dice your acorn squash. (I like the microwave method - stab it a few times with a fork so that it doesn't explode, then cook it for about 3 minutes until it's soft enough to significantly lessen the risk of losing a finger when cutting it in half. Cut it in half. Put each half upside down in a low dish of water and microwave for about 5 more minutes. It is now extremely hot and cooked through. Let it cool a bit, scoop the stuff out, you're done!)
Dice up an apple or two and squirt a lemon over it. This is a two-birds-one-stone move for both taste and aesthetics!
Mix up the quinoa, squash, apples with a few cups of chopped kale. The Tuscan variety is prettier and everywhere right now.
Now, make your salad dressing!
1/2 C olive oil
1/4 C soy sauce
3 Tb apple cider vinegar
1-2 Tb brown sugar, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
Whisk everything together... it'll emulsify better with about a teaspoon of water at the end.
Pour your dressing over the salad and lightly toss everything together. The squash is rather delicate so don't squish it like I did!
It occurred to me that it's officially been 2 months, today, since our trip to Europe. Time, as they say, flies. Stilllllll need to get around to blogging about it, but this is definitely one of my favorite memories from the trip, helpfully captured in a gif (thanks RC!)
On the night we arrived, we stopped in a deserted plaza in Venice on our walk back to the hotel, following an amazing dinner and about seven thousand aperol spritzes.
We had the whoooole trip in front of us. Sigh. I am coming back for you, Italy!
Every photography tutorial/blog/etc that I read says that you MUST SHOOT IN MANUAL, at all times, to really learn how to use your camera.
That... is difficult. The pictures turn out so nicely in any of the helper modes! (Aperture priority, I'm looking at you.)
BUT! Those photographers, those tutorial-writers, they know their stuff... because it's true. The more I practice and play in manual, the more I learn and the easier it gets. Also, some really fun stuff is starting to happen.
I had no. earthly. idea. my camera could take a photo like the one I took above of the lake at night! And I'm pretty sure that never would have happened in automatic.
So, I pretty much snapped away all weekend.
1 // Fact: cloudy days make better sunrises
2 // Tortellini, mozzarella and tomato skewers with balsamic glaze for game night
3 // New print from a small boutique just outside Chicago (read: Ikea) -- a series of animal sketches by Picasso
4 // Saturday nights in + practice practice practice
5 // Officially fall
6 // The Chicago skyline from Olive Park
7 // Loving the (city-sanctioned) street art at Illinois + LSD
8 // Olive Park walking West
9 // Old and new: animal-print Turkish jewelry dish + a landscape from my grandfather
10 // Pumpkin seeds with S&P, garlic powder + smoked paprika (the trick is not to wash them first!)
11 // Jack-o-lanterns!
Unpictured: Cards Against Humanity (yikes), strawberry + balsamic pastries by my sister, multiple trips to Dollop, Portillo salads, Ikea madness, Uncle Julio's carry-out, my first Divvy ride ever.