A Bounty of Friends & Food

Whenever Autumn comes around I am reminded of those things I hold dear. For me it is family, friends and of course, cooking. And when you can combine them, it is even better. Now don’t worry, I am not advocating cooking my family or friends. I meant I enjoy cooking with them. 😛

Noel, AnneShirley and me

We were recently down in Chicago for a very quick trip mid-week for Jess’ work. I did get to see the radiantly fantastic Noel (French Christmas) as we met for an exquisite lunch at Meli Cafe. Time is in short supply whenever I get to see her but I’m ever so thankful for the ability to even have an hour to chat and visit with my dear friend. Thank you, Noel!

Our next trip down, which I hope is sooner than later, I need to get together with my friend Cari. I have not seen her since the day we graduated from college at the University of Montana (both of us were in the journalism program there). She and her husband recently moved to Chicago and it is high time we got together. I can’t wait!

As you can see in the picture of the three of us, AnneShirley was in full goof-off-for-the-picture-mode.
Autumn in Chicago is wonderful. The more we visit, the more I fall in love with the area. It’s a special treat and never a disappointment. From our tea stops at Argo Tea to grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, I am in heaven. The people are friendly, service has always been great and there is a terrific selection of products to choose from.

Then there is my dear twin Brandon. Getting to spend time with him is always a plus. For those of you who have heard me talk about him, we’ve known each other since we were kids and he is more a brother to me than anyone. We are kindred spirits and being around the two of us is like watching sugar shock in action. 😛 Yes, you have been warned!

Brandon’s Pumpkin Pie Soup

I brought some vegetables down with us this trip (see picture of peppers and tomatoes above) so Brandon and I whipped up an Autumn-themed meal of Pumpkin Pie Soup (Brandon’s recipe), Quinoa Pilaf, Pepper Elk Steak with Mushrooms paired with some F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S wines courtesy of our amazing friend Steve who also owns and operates Vino 100 in Chicago (100 great wines for $25 or less). It truly was a bounty of friends(family) and food.

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