Category Archives: More pen than pan

Quick update and long vacay

Hi guys! It’s been awhile, I know. I’ve had a couple of amazing weeks of vacation interspersed with hard work, and have maybe cooked one night. Cah-razy, right?

Even more cah-razy….this blog is one year old. It’s been one year since I was immersed in packing and planning for a move, wanting to stay in touch, and recipes galore. It feels like far longer than just one year since we packed up that big ol’ moving truck and arrived in paradise.

All of which brings me to today’s topic. I promised myself I’d make try this whole thing out for one year and see what happened. And I’m mighty pleased with the results. Now, hold on a second, don’t stop reading, I’m not going anywhere. I’ve just decided that summer up here is far too short and I need to be focused on enjoying it between the multiple jobs! I mean, look at this, there’s FUN to be had…

Bemidji tourism1


Dino pic and dino shirt! Playing tourist! Winning! So, you’ll forgive me while I go on summer vaycay, right? I’ll be thinking and stewing and dreaming up all kinds of new recipes in the meantime. Now get outside and enjoy yo’self!


Wind chills aren’t going to stop us none!

Last night may have been ridiculously cold, we’re talking -25 degree temperatures even without the windchill, but there was one heck of a Northern Lights show going on! I mean, we’re talking so cold that my glasses didn’t fog up, they iced up. Crazy cold, right?! But that wasn’t stopping us none.

Ever since we moved up here, I’ve been fascinated by the great, big expanse of sky surrounding the house. Seriously guys, you have to look hard to see any neighboring buildings. So naturally, I’ve been on a mission to see the Northern Lights in all their glory. I’ve lived in Minnesota all my life and been an avid sky gazer since that first awesome undergrad astronomy class, but up until last night I’ve seen the Northern Lights exactly one time. It wasn’t a spectacular show, but the timing sure was…the night before Himself and I tied the knot at Jay Cooke State Park.

And then as I stood in our darkened house last night, peering out the windows, there it was. Not only the Northern Lights, but a shooting star. Below zero temperatures be damned, we had to get a better look, and capture it on “film!” There are times when I’ve shook my head at Himself’s enthusiasm for purchasing photography gadgets, but last night wasn’t one of them. Feeling awed and amazed in the freezing temperatures is one thing, but being able to share with others is pretty dang rad too.

Northern Lights_Red Meadow Farm 01
In the first image is just the Northern Lights and bunkhouse. That weird second image, why that’s me! I walked out to the bunkhouse so Himself could focus the camera, with a flashlight and long, long exposure, you get me as a blur. But the most amazing part of that shot is the huge meteor falling to earth. We actually thought that someone had lit off a firework for an instant.
Northern Lights_Red Meadow Farm 02Definitely worth the frozen toes and chilled fingers.

Nautical needlepoint

I like to make things, all kinds of things. This isn’t just limited to food type things. Nope this old-fashioned girl likes her crafts too. Needlepoint, cross-stitch, a little beading, I’m a jill of all crafts. So today, I wanted to take a bit of a break from recipes. Instead, I’ve got a little “pen” to share with you. Now, if you know Himself, you know that he’s a huge fan of all things sailing. Decorating the new place has been filled with A LOT of compromise as we try to figure out where to put all his sailing pictures, sextant, and even sailing carvings from my g’pa.

And then I just had to go and throw one more item into the mix. Last year, I spied this awesome nautical needlepoint craft from Laura at the Purl Bee. We have a ton of coasters at the home, but I thought these would be pretty awesome framed up. And, if I do say so myself, I was right. At least, based on the reaction from Himself, that is.

Now with a little subterfuge and a lot of furtive stitching, I have a finished product. There you are, our last name spelled out in nautical flags.

Nautical needlepoint

The coasters make a rad hostess gift, and if you aren’t trying to be as sneaky as me, they come together really quickly. Lucky for you, the patterns and instructions are free as can be. Now, if you don’t have to do this craft in stealth mode, you have plenty of time to finish them in time for the holidays.

Happy stitching!

We’re home!

Well, hello my little chickadees. It’s been a while. I feel like the worst little blogger in the world, but you understand don’t you? No matter how organized I think I am, a move throws everything into chaos. Add a move across the state and things have been a little up the air. You forgive me, though. You have to, I have so much awesome in store for you guys.

I know many of you have been clamoring for pictures, and I’d love to invite you in, but it’s just such a mess in here. I want to put my best foot forward. I’m working ever so hard to clean up, and hope you can stop back by this weekend. Then you can come on in for a nice long visit, I’ll give you a tour, feed you some goodies, it’ll be a blast.

In the meantime, bet you’d like a sneak peek. So, I have a few quick iPhone shots, enhanced with my lovely Snapbucket app.

Himself fixing the drain

It’s those sudden things like kitchen sink leaks that make moving such an “adventure,” right? Luckily, Himself happens to be the handiest of men, and got right to fixing.

It wasn’t all unexpected repairs. Turns out the happiest moment in a home cook’s life, is the arrival of brand new appliances. The house was lacking in anything but a dishwasher, so this lucky gal got to pick out a new refrigerator, oven, and the raddest of washers and dryers (that even play me a song!). Here’s the fridge in it’s new home, with the oven just awaiting installation.


It wasn’t all hard work, that, I can promise you (y’all know us better than that!). Luckily, when the cleaning and disorganization got to us, the beach was short drive away, and that turned into a wee exploration trip. Here we are, rolling 20130826-121116.jpgdown the most scenic of highways.

So, is your interest piqued, yet? Good, because I have plenty more to show and tell. And it’s going to be wild (or at least filled with wild-life). I’m super excited to have you guys along for the ride!

Two years!

It’s more pen than pan today, but I promise I have a tasty-asty recipe up my sleeve. I usually post on Tuesdays and Fridays, but yesterday marked an exciting day for Himself and I. It was two years ago Tuesday that Himself and I tied the knot! We took a break from all the moving hoopla to celebrate.Ring tats

First stop. Tattoos! Himself and I are moving to the country, so tattoos totally make sense, right? Ok, maybe they don’t, but here’s the thing, we take our wedding rings off all the time to work in the dirt here in Minneapolis, imagine what it will be like when we have 20 acres. Ring tattoos seemed like a perfect way to celebrate our anniversary. And they turned out absolutely lovely!

We also have this tradition of taking pictures every year on our anniversary. This year’s stop was at the Peace Gardens at Lake Harriet.

Anniversary photo

Look how relaxed I look. Fooled you! We have officially entered freak out mode. Well, not freaking out exactly, but the big day is next week already. NEXT WEEK! That’s right folks, a week Sunday, and I’ll be busily unloading my life from the rental truck, attempting to calm the cats, and relishing in all the space.

Though I’m not cooking today, I am drooling over a few recipes, and I promise that I’ll be making these before too long.
blackberry blondies
sweet cherry freezer jam with lime
blackberry lemon cake
It’s all about fruit today. Enjoy!

the Pen and the Pan becomes a reality

Here it is, the blog that you’ve all been waiting for.

Red Meadow FarmIn reality, this blog has gone through so many iterations, face lifts, and ideas that never came to fruition. I wanted a blog that would be so perfect. You know, one that went from zero to award winning in about the space of a week.

And then it hit me, if you know me, you aren’t looking for perfect. You want to see what we’re doing, what we’re loving, what our dreams are and how we’re making them a reality. So here goes, folks, it’s not perfection, but it does detail just why Himself and I are making the big leap. And for the next few weeks, I apologize, but there’s going to be a whole lot more pen than pan, as we make the big move up north.

It all started with a simple conversation, “Let’s start a hobby farm one day.” Like this blog, the dream has transformed, shaped itself to fit reality, but it’s happening. Himself and I have found a property that’s not perfect, but is mighty close. Being a realist, I want to start small. We transform a garden into a lifestyle.

And this will be the place to document that lifestyle. This grand adventure we’re embarking upon, with a fantastic recipe or 18 along the way.

The view from my kitchen

The view from my kitchen

Thanks for following along, this adventure would never have come to fruition without the support and excitement of people like you.

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