Apple Picking Fun

 

Last weekend we joined every family in the Chicagoland area and went apple picking! I love apple picking. Apple picking and cutting down a fresh Christmas tree are two activities that are TOTALLY worth driving an  hour + to do [in part because you get fresh donuts]. Unfortunately Andy does not agree with my valuation of these activities. But hurrah, we now have a child so it’s TOTALLY for the BABY that we need to do this. What father would deprive their child of moments like this:

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My guys. So cute. So matching.

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We went with a handful of friends and their babies. It was a beautiful day, not too hot, nice blue sky. Grant loves apples and we were more than happy to let him gnaw as many as he wanted [result: two very full diapers in an hour]
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If this doesn’t look like the life…

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All the moms took the hayride out while the dads pushed empty strollers

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Apparently apple farms also sell pumpkins. We didn’t buy any but Grant had a blast playing with them.
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He wanted to lift them up so bad…IMG_0043

Maybe next year bud, maybe next year.
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Lane and Andy and their happy progeny.

IMG_0049Our sweet friend Stef snagged a great family photo of us! Thanks Stef!

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After picking apples and eating my weight in apple cider donuts [SO GOOD], we headed home. I now have approximately two months to convince Andy that cutting down a fresh Christmas tree will be this much fun…

Friday Night Dinner: BYOBB

When I was a kid Friday was pizza night. And if you read this post you know I love me some pizza. So basically Friday was completely and totally the best night ever.

Unfortunately my dear husband probably wouldn’t go for having pizza every Friday [the things you don’t know before you get married…]. But I still try to make something yummy and fun for dinner on Friday, if we end up eating at home.

This week we had some guests coming over and I decided to make a “casual company” standby. It’s one of the first meals I make for new friends or at least guests I haven’t had over much. It’s super customize-able and you don’t have to worry about someone not liking everything.

[picture from annies-eats.net]

Build Your Own Burrito Bowls [BYOBB]

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Rice:

Make rice like normal and once it’s cooked throw in a pat of butter, a half a squeeze of lime, some cilantro and a good sprinkle of salt. I like to add in garlic powder too. For four people I made two and a half cups of rice and had a little bit left over.

Chicken:

I do about a half a chicken breast per person and then throw in another half if it’s a lot of guys. Coat the breasts with a mixture of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and some oregano. Salt and pepper to top. Toss those babies on a hot skillet [grill is WAY better if it’s not freezing out].

*Note – you can do these in the crockpot and just have shredded chicken. I have done that before when I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to prep.

Toppings:

  • Bell peppers and onions, sliced and sautéed
  • Pico de gallo
    Chop tomatoes, white onions, jalapeno and cilantro. Toss with some lime juice and salt. Pico.de.gallo. Done
  • Shredded cheese [I like cheddar]
  • Sour cream, if you like it
  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • Black beans [we love Kuner’s black beans with jalapeno. You can get them at Mariano’s in the Hispanic food aisle]
  • Salsa [if you are like me and don’t like pico]
  • Guacamole [follow my recipe here]
  • Hot sauce

Make all the pieces, plate them or put in serving bowls. Give everyone a bowl and let them fill to their liking! You can omit any toppings you don’t like or add in any you want. The original recipe I got this from doesn’t have sautéed onions and peppers, which is my favorite part. So I just added them in there.

The best part about this meal is that almost everything can be done ahead of time. So really you can just reheat the night of. And I don’t know about you, but on Friday night the last thing I want to do is be stuck in front of the stove forever like I was last Thursday. When I made risotto. And had to stir for 45 minutes. Shoot me.