I do love to blog. I love the people that I've gotten to know throughout the blogosphere. I love trying new recipes and I love weekends where I wake up and wonder ... "what am I going to bake today?"
Well ... here's what has happened to me this summer. My gorgeous hubby and I decided to go on a bunch of roadtrips. Over Labor Day weekend, we had a baby shower to go to for our future niece. I don't know what she's going to be named, but I like to refer to her as Sweet Pea. We've spent some great nights with old friends drinking a lot of wine. I've participated in a couple of 5Ks (that balances out my wine drinking) and even helped organize one. We've driven to many places in the Midwest. We've just had a lot of fun.
We celebrated summer's last hurrah recently with some of our family in Wisconsin. No, I'm not technically related to these people, but as far as I'm concerned - my dear friends Sharon and Weeve are my sisters. Sharon's folks are my folks. Joe is stuck with me as a sister-in-law and my husband has learned to accept that my already (ridiculously) large family is just made larger by this association.
These pictures are from the Wet Whistle Wine Fest in Algoma, Wisconsin. Every year, the Von Stiehl winery hosts this festival and this is our second year in attendance. So far, we've been blessed by extraordinary weather every time we've been there - the food, which is made by the Farm Market Kitchen, is ... I'm at a loss for words. Let me just say this - there are fresh French baguettes that are available for purchase. They hand you the whole baguette and tubs of REAL butter infused with garlic. Then you stand around and tear chunks of bread off the baguette and dip them into the butter? And this is while drinking wine bought on site at the festival ... by the bottle? I am not lying to you - in the week that preceded this event, I found myself salivating when I thought about the baguettes.
To my Wisconsin family - words do not say how much I look forward to this weekend. It restores my soul in ways that I cannot express. It also makes me participate in 5Ks. Because the bread is just that good.
From left, Joe; Dad (Charles to most people); Mom (otherwise known as Roxanne); and Sharon. The reddish-orange sleeve belongs to my beloved Weeve (who had an unfortunate incident last year with red wine and a white shirt) and the man in black is my husband. Mom is holding the bread that I dream about.
For the six-plus years that I've known Joe & Sharon, they have always been incredibly gracious to me (and later on to my husband) when it comes to letting me shack up in their spare bedroom, eat all the cheese in their house and drink their wine when I come to Manitowoc to visit. Since I love them and since I know that Joe loves cookies, instead of the usual 12-pack of Leinie's that I bring as a peace offering to Joe, this year I baked him some chocolate chip cookies. But not just any kind of cookies:
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Cherries & Walnuts from the kitchn. I wasn't sure, at first, if these were going to make a good thank you gift or what, but between my co-workers who graciously sampled them (and made them disappear in a record time of 15 minutes from when I actually opened the container and set it out from when someone told me they were gone) and my husband who almost didn't leave any cookies for Joe ... these are good.
A couple of notes - I didn't have pecans, as the recipe specified, so I subbed walnuts. Still good. I used Ghiardelli bittersweet chocolate that I chopped up for the chocolate portion of the cookie. And instead of using whole wheat flour, I used buckwheat flour. Because I'm contrary like that.