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Monday Musings

1. A few more flashes from the past before we get to the grub:

These photos were from a cross-country (well, Pennsylvania to New Mexico) trip that I took with my older brother. I was a freshmen in college, and he was just about to start grad school at UNM; we drove down to the southwest, stopping along the way to hike and camp.

Highlights included Great Sand Dunes National Park (nestled in front of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains) where we explored and camped, as well as a serene lake in the backcountry of the mountains where we spent a different night.

Despite enduring intense heat in the dunes and brief but drenching rain at the lake, I had a fabulous time with my bro; as irony would have it, we started to get close just as he moved 2,000 miles away :(. He currently lives in Austin with his lovely wife and adorable kids… but I hope we get to take a trip like this again someday!

2. I buy this pumpkin ice cream once a year, and always tell myself I’ll make my own after I polish off the container. Maybe this year I’ll actually do it! Last fall I was all about my Spiced Sweet Potato Ice Cream… and I bet a pumpkin version would be fantastic.

3. Not to be out-shined by the quintessentially fall round orange squash, apples are also coming into season. I have some apple recipes in the works; so for those of you who can’t stand pumpkin, (ahem, JOHN), no need to fret. Perhaps I’ll be able to tempt you with some apple goodies.

In the meantime, here’s a quick tip for enjoying fresh apples that you may or may not already know: squeeze lemon juice over cut apple slices to prevent them from browning. Not only does the acidic juice keep the apple slices looking fresh, it also adds a punch of tartness that complements sweet apples such as Honey Crisp (<– my current favorite apple variety). I typically eat apples just as they are, but if I’m taking them on the go, I find slices packed in a ziploc bag to be much easier to handle (afterwards, just rinse the bag, air dry, and use it again!).

4. I swear our neighbor’s dog, Walley, visibly grows every single day.

I’ve started to take him and Shelby out simultaneously on days that I walk him, and she is slowly becoming more tolerant of his exuberant puppy antics… such as jumping up to lightly nip her, and playing with her toys when he comes over for a visit.

So as not to be outshined by her potential canine pal, I thought I’d post a pic of Shelby in “her” leather recliner… where she spends the majority of every day.

I love this dog SO much :).

5. This album is awesome, and I can’t stop listening to it! Especially this particular song.

6. I finally found these!!!

A long time fan of Peanut Butter Puffins, I was ecstatic when the pb & chocolate version showed up on food blogs; but was soon thereafter faced with frustration when they proved to be elusive. Many, many months later I finally stumbled upon this box (at Roche Bros. in Wellesley for locals) and haven’t been able to stop snacking on it since.

7. The daytime temperatures have finally dipped below 70°F, and although it’s been rainy at least it feels more like fall. The first day of crisp, cool, sunny weather will be a good fantastic day. Bring on the leaf peeping! <– Are you familiar with this term, or is it just a New England thing (like “wicked” in place of very)?

8. I have some exciting blog-related news to share with you soon ;).

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