It’s been a picture-perfect week!

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I think this’ll be the last one with temps in the upper 70s, so I went for a run in the sun then over to my parent’s house to snap some photos to last me awhile. (Don’t you love their tree-lined street? "Oak Alley" in the Midwest!)

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Winter in Iowa is…rough…and I figure I’ll want some reminders of warmer weather to gaze at longingly during those bitter cold months.

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The leaves haven’t fully changed yet, but they’re on their way.

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There’s still a few blooms holding out,

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but things are quieting down.

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So long sweet summer!

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In other news, earlier this week I asked if there were any foods you were intimidated to cook. Mine include anything involving yeast (seriously, it’s alive!) and risotto! I’ve seen chefs on The Food Network prepare it hundreds of time with ease, but it’s always seemed too difficult to try myself.

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How much liquid do I to add? What if it tastes like glue? How will I know when it’s done?! My fears were compounded after I saw Chef Ramsey hurl a plate of a contestant’s risotto against a wall, calling it wallpaper paste, on the last episode of Hell’s Kitchen I saw. Double eeks! :lol:

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Well my prayers were answered last week when I stumbled on this recipe for Microwave Butternut Squash Risotto. "Bingo!" I thought. "Let the microwave do the cooking!"

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Ok, so I burned the rice in the early stages, I think because I used short grain brown rice instead of white, but overall – not bad!!!

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I still want to try my hand at regular risotto, someday, so I can compare textures, but for now the sweet squash and savory parm will do juuuust fine. :D

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To round out my meal, I made golden brown roasted brussels sprouts.

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Talk about intimidating foods to cook! I grew up thinking Brussels sprouts were of the mushy, boiled variety you always saw on cartoons.

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Little did I know that one day I’d grow up, go out on a limb, toss them with some olive oil and garlic salt and come to love them more than french fries.

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MORE THAN FRENCH FRIES, people! They are that delish! I think this may have been my best batch yet even! :D

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Well Ben and I compared feelings about this evening and found that we are both equally giddy about the prospect of lounging on the couch and watching our favorite shows ever, 30 Rock and The Office. Thursday night is our NIGHT, baby!

Goodnight! :D

~~~~~

What’s the street like where you grew up?