Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy 2011!

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

Gem Lake

Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata” has been a constant inspiration and comfort to me over the last year. There always seems to be a few lines in there that speak what I need to hear in times of self-doubt, frustration, or stress. So to close 2010 and welcome in 2011, here are some passages from “Desiderata,” in the hopes that they will speak to you as well.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

As I grow older, I find myself being more and more thankful for my friends. This year, I’m especially thankful for the ones that I’ve managed to keep close to me, even though we might not see each other very often. I’m thankful for people who both inspire me and are inspired by me. People who impress me with their determination and goodness and manage to bring out the best in me as well.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Happy New Year! It's a bit sad to be back in the dreary Midwest after an awesome time in the Caribbean, but eh, my house certainly feels as warm as the Caribbean, anyways. (Thank you Grandma who has an even lower endurance for cold than I do.) Nina would hate it - we constantly fought over the thermostat in our cruise room. ;) I'd walk in, shiver, and jam it up 5 degrees. 10 minutes later, Nina would grumble and turn it down by 7. Hey .... reminiscent of our dorm room in college. :)

All right, Anthro reviews.

This is an old dress, but I just randomly found it for the first time on a sales rack at a store I don't normally frequent (thanks for not showing up in any of my usual stores!) so I had to try it on. I saw it on a SA in my usual store and it looked gorgeous! I normally can do a 2 in Moulinette Souers and luckily enough, that's what this was. Or, not so - it was insanely tight for the lower half of my body. The top fit well enough, but ... you know that saying, where people say they shimmy into tight dresses? I shimmied, literally. I jerked and pulled and yanked on the dress to put it on, and then I realized ... oops, this thing has to come off, and it is clinging like a baby clings to it's bottle. Okay ... shimmy shimmy shimmy shimmy shake shake. As you can imagine from my descriptions of how tight it was, it was horrible to walk in and the dress cut your stride off in half. Too bad, because this would be great to get with the 25% off sale. I wonder if a 4 might work, but maybe it would mean that I could walk a 3/4 stride instead of a half. And then the top might be drowning on me. Oh well. It means I save money for ...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Traveling Anthro Addicts

Sandy joined my family for a Christmas Caribbean cruise (more on that later), and our flights left the day after the cruise ended. That left us with almost one full day in Miami. What to do? Check out the Anthro tag sale that we’d been deprived of while on the boat. A quick and easy $2 bus ride got us to Village of Merrick Park, an upscale shopping mall only a few miles away from the Miami airport and the closest Anthro store we could find.

outdoor shopping is fun!

The sale items had been pretty picked over by the time we got there, but I did manage to find a few things to buy. I was definitely less picky about what I chose to try on, so there were some things that REALLY didn’t work out.

Posh Peasant TeePosh Peasant Tee – $29.96 (original: $58)
Got this in purple XS. Not a highly rated item, and I’m still debating over whether or not I’ll keep it. It’s a really comfy fit, and I like the top, but the looseness and the weirdness with the varied length might make it a little too unflattering. The neckline is really pretty, though. I normally do NOT wear an XS, so this tee is not an option for anyone who wears smaller sizes.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stripey Scarves

At least 4 years ago, I found myself in need of a winter scarf. I have some major itchy issues with wool, and I can’t wear anything with even a little bit of wool content in it, so it really narrowed down my choices for warm scarves. At Target, I ended up picking a blue, olive, white, and black striped scarf that was the least offensive reasonably priced scarf in the womens section. I’ve been wearing it ever since: in Europe the winter of 2006, on cold hikes, skiing, etc. This time when I went to Europe, I was expecting cold weather, so it made sense to pack my stripey scarf.

scarf on a hike
(stripey scarf in Belgium ~ stripey scarf on a hike)

I get to London and walk around for a day or two. Mike vocalizes what I’ve been thinking: everyone has my scarf. So many stripey scarves. Many even have the same color combination. I am unintentionally fashionable! Except… it’s all men wearing the scarf. Oops.

stripey scarf stripey scarf
(men wearing stripey scarves, images courtesy of the Internet)

Mike was on a scarf hunt after that, searching for his own perfect stripey scarf. He finally found one (of the orange color variety) in Paris.

Anyway, just goes to show that fashions cycle. Sometimes across genders. (See also: plaid flannel shirts that women are wearing now)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Parking sucks.

Well, two weeks out from Christmas, and on a lunch break on a Wednesday morning, the mall parking lots are jammed full. Usually the nice upper deck of the Nordstrom parking lot has maybe 20 cars total. Today - all full, and I had to circle a few times before staking out my chosen shopper and stalking her back to her car, and then warding off two old ladies (I know, I know) to get her spot. Well, I was there first. :D Then I got to watch the exact same scene being played out as I left. I turned around to back my car out just in time to watch a lady suddenly jam on the gas on her minivan, dash forward five feet or so to block off another car (and er, blocking my back out escape route), and turn her head and scream at the other car. Note to self: avoid weekends at the mall for the next two weeks at all costs.

So, this is what all the stress of getting in and out of the mall frenzy parking lots got me:

I was hoping to try on the pink, but couldn't find it, so here's the black. Grabbed this on Jenni's recommendation, I don't think I would have thought about it otherwise. I thought this was very well made. The shirt below felt nice and thick, so no sheer see through problems with that. It felt very heavy, for a short sleeved shirt. However, not a whole lot of stretch with the material. This is an xs and I'd definitely would want to size up to a s. I did really like this shirt though, although I would have liked to try the pink color as well.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Snow!

... or so my facebook friends claim anyways, that the first snowfall of the season just hit Chicago. I haven't been outside to look yet, and my work desk is nowhere near a window. Here's hoping it's not too bad!

Alright, I am way behind on Anthro reviews. Mainly this is because my closet light broke, so all my pictures are dim and blurry. So, the answer is to wear your new purchases to work and use the work bathroom lightning!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hello again

last CSA box of the season

As you’ve probably noticed, we three have gone into a miniature hibernation after the flurry of summer activity. For me personally, it wasn’t just a hiatus from blogging – it was a break from the things I’d been blogging about and a time to catch up on things I’d neglected during my many weeks of cooking and hiking. It’s gotten grey and rainy in Seattle, and with the time change for Daylight Savings, day “light” disappears too early in the afternoon. It means I have to fight the seasonal force of inactivity and get out and do stuff. So I’m going to Europe for a few weeks.

tortellini and brussels sproutsSince receiving my last CSA box of the season (pictured above in all its tomato-y and pepper-y glory), I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking. The other day, I bought some hazelnut tortellini to fix with sundried tomatoes and alfredo sauce, and when searching the grocery store for a vegetable accompaniment, I noticed that brussels sprouts were on sale. It’s a vegetable that was never forced on me as a child, but I’ve also never cooked them either. They seem to be at their peak when the weather turns cold and many of the other veggies go away, and their surprising sweetness were a great alternative to bitter winter greens (which were forced on me as a child). I followed Mark Bittman’s recipe for “Braised and Glazed Brussels Sprouts,” using butter and vegetable stock, but I made the mistake of using one of my cheap non-stick pans so I didn’t get very much browning. Still, they tasted great, and I’ll be revisiting this one (with a better pan) this winter. Don’t discount the hated vegetables!

French bread pizzasHiking for the season is done as well. The weekend after I did the Ingalls Lake hike, a woman got stuck out there in whiteout conditions and it took search & rescue a few days to get her out – fortunately, alive. Weather can change so fast. Now everything I’m interested is covered in at least a foot of snow, so it’s time to put away the hiking boots and start looking towards ski season, which should be well underway when I get back in town.

Happy Thanksgiving, and happy Black Friday shopping!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Horse show

So, a couple weeks ago, I was in a horse show. Didn't do fantastically well (yay for subjective judging!) but I know some people were interested, so I thought I'd throw it up here. This was a schooling show - as small as you can get - pretty much the equivalent of a piano recital. "Look Ma, I kin ride a horsie! I gots participation ribbon!" But even as small as it is, you have to look pretty. :) The day before, all the boarders lined up at the wash stalls for bathtime.

Soap, and water. Soap soap and water ....

Although this doesn't quite prevent the horse from rolling around happily in hay and dirt all night in his stall, so there's still quite a lot of boarders that get to the barn at o-dark-oclock (5:30-6AM) to school their horses and rewash the morning of the show. This may be the one time I'm glad I don't own a horse.

Show Day! You can buy some saddle pads and belts .... (Yes, I see the name La Oreo is embroidered on the baby blue pad. No, I don't know what it means. I suppose this is useful if you're French and your horse is named Oreo?)

Or a generator. These people are always here, but nobody ever seems to talk to them.

It's the fall show, so the Costume Class was unveiled in it's full glory. Mary Poppins and her carousel horse (the girl clutching a giant pole) took blue.

I entered Adult Equitation (adult long stirrupers, so nothing more fancy than the usual walk/trot/canter and two circles of crossrails) and did so-so. I was quite pleased to be competing against people my age and older. All the past shows, it's been me against 13 year olds. I just want to say, it's not a great boost to your ego when a little kid with pigtails looks allll the way up at you (because, you know, your head is up in the sky) and says: "Wow. You're so old." Sniff. Adult Eq over fences was just crossrails today (I thought they did 1'9 verticals the last time, but I'm not sure) and .... yeessh, I didn't do well at all, so we won't talk about that. The flat class I thought went really well though, and I was really happy with how I rode. (Too bad the judge didn't agree! But my trainer was happy.) Due to a camera malfunction, only the second half of the flat class is available. (Don't worry. The first half looked exactly the same, only going in the opposite direction.) If you can't tell, I'm on the spotted grey.

Blurry Anthro reviews

Yup, they're blurry. Sorry, I only had my iphone with me that day, no camera. And sorry, they're a bit late. They're from the 10-5 sale. But um, better late than never? :(

I think I might have just been in mourning for Chicago sports. Or well, not even Chicago sports, but all the sports I follow. October has been such a horrible month sports wise. I'm really not sure what the Bears are doing - besides losing in the most embarrassing manner possible. Blackhawks are up and down, but that's to be expected with all their turnover this season. Purdue lost Robbie Hummel for the season. (SNIFF.) The US imploded at the World Equestrian Games. (SNIFF. Sapphire!) China imploded at the World Championships. (SNIFF. Sui Lu, I don't understand this neon pink leotard you had on, but you deserved to medal on floor. So sad.) Maybe the Bulls can rescue us. But they also have almost a quarter of the team injured. Maybe not.

Okay, moment of lament over. Clothes!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In search of gold

Ingalls Way (to Ingalls Lake)
9 miles, 2500 ft elevation gain (I don’t believe it, I think it was longer)

Mt. Stuart and Headlight Basin(Mount Stuart standing majestically before Headlight Basin and its larches)

Anyone who has listened to me talk about hiking this year has heard the names of two hikes mentioned over and over: Blanca Lake (with its light blue glacial waters) and Ingalls Lake (a shocking gem of a lake, with the possibility of golden larches on the way). I gave up on Blanca for the year after a failed attempt to reach the trailhead but continued to watch the weekend weather forecasts for an opportunity for Ingalls. Last weekend was it! Sunny weather, golden larches barely still hanging onto their needles, perfect. Unfortunately, everyone else thought so, too. By 10:30am, the trailhead parking lot was way more than full, and there were over a dozen cars starting to line the side of the road. This weekend was also the opening weekend of hunting season, and we passed many hunting camps on the way in, including one very reassuring sign that said, “Kill zone.” The last stretch was 9 miles on unpaved, bumpy USFS road that was pretty slow going.

Mt. Rainier Crunchy ice
(left: Mt. Rainier is watching you, right: crunchy ice threads on the trail)

Three trails leave from this trailhead. The Esmeralda Basin trail splits off pretty quickly, then the trail starts a nice series of switchbacks upwards. We started to see crunchy ice in shapes that looked like bunches of little threads (see above) along the trail, and there were light patches of snow as well. Despite the highs being forecast in the 50s, at 10:30am it was definitely in the 30s. Nice weather for hiking while the sun was out, but it got chilly pretty quickly anytime we would stop moving. We hit the first point of the day where we’d look and see teeny tiny people in the distance, far away and high above us, and think, “We have to go there?!” This happened a number of times during this hike. I don’t think I’ve ever done a hike where it really felt like we covered a lot of distance, maybe because so much of the hiking was on exposed surfaces where the distance was visible.

  55147_10100183774496368_13722459_56600387_3520486_o 51913_10100183772365638_13722459_56600310_5104342_o
(left: a bit of meadow, right: golden larches)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2010 Nike Women's Marathon

Today was race day, and my performance for my first 26.2 mi. marathon was less than stellar. I made several mistakes that I suspected would come back and haunt me. 1) Didn't do enough hill training--in the South Bay, there's few areas to find good hills to train on 2) Didn't account for the unpredictable San Francisco weather 3) Didn't practice my running on cement, but instead did mostly soft trail running.

The challenges that I found out while running was that there were 5 massively steep hills, it started raining 1/3rd of the way through the race, most of the race was on cement and had urban objects like metal manholes, gratings that were easy to stumble/slip on, and the event was massively, massively crowded.

The Nike Women's Marathon wasn't as well organized as the Silicon Valley Marathon (where I ran the half)--we didn't start at 7:00 am, though there was about 20k women there, people weren't really lined up in their right pacing corrals, and the participants were required to pay for a bus back to Union Square (SVM did that for free). Also, though there were some entertaining events such as parkour, Japanese drumming, and random bands playing--I found the blasting speakers at every milestone mark obnoxious since it was too loud. Also, many parts of the marathon were a bit overly-commercialized--including the Expotique. Don't ask about my finishing time--it was pretty crappy due to twisting my ankle from slipping in the rain halfway through and hobbling/running to the 26.2 mi. marathon finish. I'll do better next time.

I did really like the design of the 2010 Tiffany's sterling silver necklace though. The prior year versions weren't very stylish, imho. But despite the corny phrase on the bar, it's elegant enough to go with many tops.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Horses and clothes, these are just some of my favorite things ...

Mario Deslauriers and Urico

So, if you're at work and you're trying to figure out how to configure your environment for a new project, clearly the correct thing to do is to post on your blog while following Show Jumping Round 1 at the World Equestrian Games. (In my defense, these pictures are waaaayyy overdue. I took them two weeks ago before I went off on vacation. And well, show jumping is more fun that work.) Currently, they're through 96 out of 121 riders. As of now, Mario Deslauriers and Urico of the USA stand in first, with heavy hitters Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum of Germany in 5th and Eric Lamaze of Canada in 6th. (Still to come, US anchor rider McLain Ward and the amazing Sapphire, going 119th. Go Sapphire!)

This was the only thing I tried on from this trip that I actually liked. Except I already have a black jacket of similar length. I love the ruffles on this jacket, except black always hides the details, so from a distance, it looks exactly the same as my other black jacket. :( I think I tried on the cream version of this when it first came out and I remember the ruffles that stand up around the neck looking really weird on me, and making my neck look really short. I still look like I have an ultra short neck. I think I'm passing unless I can catch it super cheap on sale.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Surprise Hike

WaterfallSurprise Creek (to Surprise Lake)
8 miles, 2300 ft gain

I normally don’t hike alone for safety reasons, but this weekend I decided to throw safety to the wind to seek some solitude. At a yoga retreat I attended, one of the activities was to spend a few hours in the morning in silence, not speaking, gesturing, or making eye contact with anyone else. A lot of people found it to be weird, but I didn’t. This is my preference in groups of people, and I only feel the need to speak due to societal expectations. So spending a few hours in the woods without the pressure to speak was really refreshing for me.

Surprise Lake

Not that there weren’t challenges. My navigational incompetence came out even more when there wasn’t someone to assist. My original plan was to hike Blanca Lake, so I drove to Index to get on Index-Galena Road, only to discover 5 miles down that the road was closed. I had done a bit of research before, but not enough. One of the roads to the trailhead was repaired last year, but not this one. Oops. My phone was out of data range, so I picked another hike in my book and headed there. Surprise! (groan) I should also mention that on the way to Index, it started raining (real rain) around Gold Bar, and my mood instantly darkened. It was not in the forecast at all, and I thought about turning around, but fortunately, it stopped quickly. I missed the turn for the Surprise Lake trailhead – well, I actually saw it, but I saw signs that said “emergency parking only” and didn’t think it was a road – and the next place to legally turn around was at the Stevens Pass ski resort. So I ended up driving 8 miles up to the pass and briefly considered changing itineraries yet again to Lake Valhalla, since I was already there. But 11 miles sounded long, so I turned around and drove back down. It wasn’t an entire waste – there was a toilet at Stevens Pass and there wasn’t one at the trailhead, and the drives down Index-Galena Road and Stevens Pass were gorgeous. Pollyanna Nina sees the bright side!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rice Rocket

rice rocket

A few months ago, I stopped by Powells Books in Portland. Since it’s the most awesome book store in the world, I can’t seem to leave without buying at least one book. Since I’d started cooking a lot more vegetarians meals, I decided that a veg cookbook would be worth having. As tempted as I was to shell out $35 for Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, I opted instead for a $9 used copy of Vegetarian Cooking & Vegetable Classics, by Roz Denny & Christine Ingram. I admit, I mainly bought it for the pictures.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Melakwa Lake

Keekwulee Falls 9 mi, 2300 ft elevation gain

Wikipedia: Melakwa Lake is a lake in King County, Washington. The name Melakwa comes from a local native term for “mosquito.”

I admit to being a weather wimp, and usually when the forecast looks bad, I cancel my hikes. But the hiking season is reaching its end and I hadn’t gone anywhere in a month, so this Sunday’s hike was a “rain or shine” sort of thing. Having exhausted all of my lucky weather points on my backpacking and Rainier trips, of course… it rained.

fall foliage I guess there are some benefits to the rain. The cool weather drives the bugs away, and the rain drives the people away. When we reached the lake, we were the only ones there for a little while, something that would be pretty impossible during a summer weekend. It also gave the views a little more depth, I think. It’s easy to see the beauty when the sun is shining and everything’s green, blue, or flowery. But on an overcast day, you have to look a little harder to find that beauty, and in a way, you see more.

Trees that are usually just trees end up looking magical because of the layers of fog in between them. One of our party members discovered that since the fog was moving, if you stared for a moment, it gave the illusion that the trees were moving, too. Not too many blueberries left (the Saturday people probably ate anything that was there), but the fall foliage was in magnificent form, the bright oranges and yellows popping out even more in the overcast conditions.

trees and fog

One of the reasons that this is a great hike is because there’s a lot to see on the way to the lake. There are several waterfalls, Keekwulee Falls being probably the most impressive of them. As we were looking around for Snowshoe Falls (harder to spot), a little kid heading back with his family announced to us, “Pat yourself on the back! You just passed Snowshoe Falls!” We really must have looked like sad drowned rats in desperate need of encouragement!

I-90 over the trailMy hiking group did part of this hike a few years ago but turned around before reaching Hemlock Pass. Looking back over those pictures, things look so different as the seasons change. Nice to experience it in another way and to finally reach the lake at the end! Cautions about trail conditions at this time of year, though… lots of mud, and a good portion of the trail is rocky, which slows things down when the rocks are wet.

Great hike, but I am hoping for some sunny weekends in October. Still a weather wimp. :)

cairn  Melakwa Lake 


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Anthropologie dressing room fail

This cardigan is decent. The fit is well-proportioned, the cloth durable, but still deciding if the asymmetrical ruffles doesn't throw off the symmetry of the outfit. Not very visible in the photo, but the buttons are kind of unique and sparkly.

Lemon Cucumbers

One of the most fun things about CSA programs is that occasionally I encounter items that I’ve never seen before. Pleasant surprises in the past include mizuna, cranberry beans, and garlic scapes. This time, when I saw lemon cucumbers on the produce list, I selected it, expecting a regular cucumber with yellow skin.

lemon cucumbers lemon cucumbers

Nope! They’re yellow in color and somewhat lemon-like in size. When I first looked in my box, I briefly mistook them for potatoes. Looks like a cucumber on the inside, though! I wasn’t sure what to do with them, so I searched for recipes, and this recipe jumped at me. I ended up really barely following it. I didn’t have any yogurt, so I used mayonnaise. I’ve been eating a lot of eggs and potatoes for breakfast, so I skipped those and put in some leftover pasta instead. My very casually written recipe is below. Fresh, sweet corn + cherry tomatoes + lemon cucumbers = yum!

salad before adding dressing

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Anthro sale loot 9-18

Though I like fall colors, I love summer styles, no matter how impractical or work inappropriate they are. I’m with Sandy with the growing collection of “useless summer dresses,” and yet… I’m drawn to these end-of-summer sales. Ridiculous Ruffles shirt ended up being returned, so I allowed myself to hunt the sale rack today. Hopefully this is the last round for the season!

Marblehead Tank Marblehead Tank

Marblehead Tank - $39.95 (original price: $70)

Everyone says they want this tank, but I found surprisingly few blogger reviews of it. I ordered this from the website and based on the reviews, I uncharacteristically ordered an XS. The body fit fine, but the size of my shoulders/bust made the top part look awkward. I exchanged in-store for a size S. I still don’t get the fit. Everything about the top part is narrow, and everything on the bottom part is wide. The straps are also surprisingly short, so tall girls might be out of luck on this one. I love the details, the menswear-like black fabric, and the fact that I can wear it without a bra. So I’ve got it for now, and I’ll think about whether or not it’s worth the $40.

cardie cardie

Mystery Cardie (by Guenevere) - $19.99 (original price: unknown)

I just can’t pass up the 2nd cut rack. Liked the color, decent enough style, great price. It’s a size M, the smallest they had. I paired it with Leifsdottir’s Majestic Cypress Dress just as an excuse to put the dress on. :) (Speaking of useless summer dresses…)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Saving a buck or $163

With the economy and job market as unstable as they have been for a little while now, it’s not surprising that discount sites are the latest fad. Sites like Gilt Groupe, RueLaLa, HauteLook, billion dollar babes, and ideeli have short sales that offer large percentages off designer clothes, home furnishings, and occasionally other items. Suddenly, brands like Vera Wang and Valentino are priced in a range that normal people like me can stretch to reach. And a few of the designers that are found at Anthro have had sales pop up on these sites, including Leifsdottir and Tracy Reese.

Funny enough, even discount sites have sales! If you don’t manage to snag the item you want the first time around, you can cross your fingers that it comes back in a second round sale (usually for a cheaper price). I hit a Gilt weekend sale and managed to snag one of their cheapest items, a pair of Loomstate organic cotton jeans (normal price: $168) for a mere $5!

IMG_9131 IMG_9129
Grace Hats pork pie hat, Threadless tee, Loomstate ‘Flux’ twill jean, Simple Shoes sneakers

But we three at Myriad of Muses are all about experiences (and as studies show, experiences make us happier than possessions). Fortunately, there are plenty of discount sites for those, too!

Daily local deals – cheap spa treatments, yoga classes at incredibly low rates, 50% off at restaurants, even trapeze classes – are available at lots of sites: Groupon, LivingSocial, LocalTwist, Plum District, etc. Or how about 50% off tickets to local plays, concerts, and shows at Goldstar?

I’m excited about deal sites like these because they make it cheap and easy to try something new. A few deals I’ve purchased and am looking forward to using:

  • Unlimited month of yoga at a new studio near me
  • Class for making lotions and salves
  • Sea kayaking in the San Juans
  • High tea at the Fairmont in Vancouver


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What’s for dinner?

It’s nearing the end of the summer CSA session, as well as the seasonal closings of many local farmers markets. Though I do have some visions of a winter full of take out containers, I’m more focused on the awesomeness of this part of the summer. At this point, it has been warm enough for the later summer crops to be available, and I’m enjoying a bounty of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and zucchini.

huge green leaf lettuce salad

Though I’ve been getting lettuce all along, but there are some really big, beautiful heads appearing in my box right now. That green leaf lettuce pictured above is about 1.5x the size of my head! Sungold cherry tomatoes, marcona almonds, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and Italian dressing for a traditional salad. Tangerine slices, French-fried onions, almond slivers, and a sesame-ginger Asian vinaigrette for a fusion salad. Why pay $12 for an entree-sized salad in a restaurant when it’s so easy to do at home?

eggplant pasta and red potatoes

Eggplant, tomato, and Italian parsley is another combination of seasonal ingredients I’ve been having a lot of lately. Last week, I made an eggplant bruschetta, which ended up on a few of my leftovers flatbreads for days afterwards. Tonight, it went into a creamy pasta sauce (with spinach), paired with a side of red potatoes.

And that’s what I’m eating these days! Next thing to look forward to: winter squash.