Tag Archives: spring

sunday funday in the loess hills

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we’ve had so many fun adventures lately, and i’m so behind on blogging! a few weeks ago we bought our first ever brand new car, a 2016 subaru forester, who we have named susie. the next day, we were itching to take susie on her first adventure somewhere, so we decided to head out to hitchcock nature center, because being outdoorsy is just what you do once you own a subaru. it’s a non-negotiable.

hitchcock is awesome because it’s only about a 20 minute drive from omaha but feels like a whole other world. it’s full of great trails that range from easy to difficult (just steep, not technical). we set out to hike for about 2 hours and ended up going around 7 miles (we mixed in a few minutes of trial running), stopping for lots of pictures, water (in our new camelbaks!), and snacks, obvs.

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iowa is so green and gorgeous in the springtime.

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we had tentatively planned on visiting a nearby winery after our hike, but decided we probably needed some lunch beforehand. we drove a few miles back into town (crescent, IA) and found a great diner called Henry’s, where we enjoyed some delicious breakfast food.

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after our stop at Henry’s we headed just a few doors down to loess hills winery. nebraska/iowa wines are typically nothing to write home about, but we like trying new places and supporting local businesses, so we gave it a go. we tasted a few different wines and landed on a “dry” red called the sbr, which we got a bottle of to enjoy outside. we grabbed a blanket out of our car and spent the afternoon laying on the winery lawn!

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all around, a lovely day in the loess hills area and a great first adventure with susie the subaru! if you’re looking for a quick getaway from omaha sometime, we highly recommend hitchcok nature center, henry’s diner, and the loess hills winery!

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{recipe of the week} grilled coriander-cumin shrimp + balsamic broccoli.

i love grilling season. we got a grill from some of k’s family for our wedding, and interestingly, it was the thing that made me feel most “adult.” the first meal we cooked together as a married couple was on that grill, and we used it countless times throughout our final year in tucson. sadly, it didn’t make the trip to omaha with us because we didn’t think we’d have the space to set one up and/or store one. recently, k’s mom gave us a little smokey joe charcoal grill that they weren’t using, and last weekend, we FINALLY had good enough weather to pull it out and give it a shot. turns out this grill is small but impressively mighty. we grilled both salmon and shrimp over the weekend, as well as lots of different vegetables and baguette, and everything turned out great!

i really didn’t intend for this to actually be a recipe of the week, but kevin was outside cleaning up the grilling stuff after bringing the food inside and i decided i’d snap a few photos just because. but since the photos turned out alright (for it being nighttime and me kind of stinking at nighttime photography) and the food was amazing, i thought it was worth sharing.

i don’t know if i can really call these recipes. honestly, i just threw together different ingredients into each dish and hoped they’d turn out ok. these are both extremely simple, but that’s what i like. occasionally i do spend time cooking a more complex recipe from a cookbook or meticulously experimenting with ingredients, but i feel mostly drawn to really simple dishes that don’t require too many ingredients and where multiple foods can easily be substituted. the marinade for the shrimp could easily be used on practically any other seafood, and probably chicken, too; the spicing on the broccoli would translate well to your favorite vegetable or whatever needs to get used in your fridge. it’s really the grilled flavor that shines through in these dishes; the other ingredients are really just there as compliments.

coriander-cumin shrimp (serves 2):
-2 servings of raw shrimp, tails removed if you like (about 8oz)
-1/2 tbsp cold butter, cut in small pieces
-1/2 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed (put it into a ziploc bag and hit it with a hammer to break it up)
-juice of 1/2 lemon plus a few lemon slices

place shrimp in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil. add all ingredients on top of the shrimp, and mix together to marinate.* close foil to make a rectangular pouch. place on the grill and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until shrimp are opaque.

balsamic broccoli (serves 2):
-1 small head of broccoli, trunk removed and chopped into florets
-1/2 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
-drizzle of olive oil
-drizzle of balsamic vinegar
-pinch of garlic salt
-pinch of crushed red pepper

place broccoli in the center of a large piece of foil. add all ingredients on top of the broccoli, and mix together to marinate.* close foil to make a rectangular pouch. place on the grill and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until broccoli reaches desired tenderness. 

*if i would have been thinking ahead, both of these would have worked great as actual marinades for a couple of hours in the refrigerator in a ziploc bag. if you have the extra time, i’d recommend doing this to really bring out more flavor, but mixing them up on the spot worked just fine too.

do you guys have any go-to grilling recipes? after our successes this weekend, i pretty much want to grill every night. on the docket for this week are grilled naan pizzas and maybe even some grapefuit!

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a ride in the park.

b-cycle is a national bicycle rental program that lets you check out a bike for the day (or longer with a membership) from one of their “b-stations” and then return it at any of the stations around the city. b-cycle is starting to pop up in lots of cities around the country, including kansas city, des moines, denver, salt lake city, and of course, here in omaha. omaha’s b-cycle program consists of 35 bikes across 5 stations in the aksarben village / university of nebraska omaha neighborhood. we do own our own bikes, but we thought it would be fun to take these for a spin for the day last weekend.

it’s just $5 per bike for a 24-hour pass, which i think is a great deal compared to a lot of other bike rental programs i’ve seen, both here and other cities. the only catch is that you do have to check the bike back in each hour to avoid extra fees. i’m assuming they do this in case others want to check them out, as they can also be reserved online. i thought that checking the bikes in would be kind of annoying, but we did it twice and it actually wasn’t too much of a hassle. if you truly wanted to take a day-long bike ride across the city, this might not be the best option, but for casual riding with stops for frozen yogurt and iced coffee, they’re perfect.

the bikes themselves are quite nice. after you pay at the checkout station, it tells you which dock(s) to get your bike(s) from, and you just pull them right out. each bike has a relatively large basket on the front so you can store your wallet, phone, etc. while riding around. we had a great time trying them out and will definitely be doing it again. we love the aksarben area, but it’s a little far for us to bike to on our own bikes, so having this option is really nice. i hope that people will continue to use the program and that we’ll see it start expanding to other areas of town. if you live in omaha, a day with a b-cycle would make a great springtime family activity, and if not, check their website to see if they rent bikes in your town.

oh, and apparently it’s not possible for there to be a photo of me without my hair sticking up in some fashion. awesome.

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dreaming of spring…

welp, i made the mistake of looking at the 10 day forecast this morning and even though we’re supposed to have ONE 60-degree day this week, there’s still snow in the radar several times. i’m feeling pretty cheated by that stupid groundhog, so to cheer up i put together a couple of happy spring fashion boards full of items that will be perfect whenever warmer weather decides to arrive.

01. madewell sidewalk skimmer in tearose ($69.50) i tend to wear a lot of solid tops & bottoms, so i always love colorful accessories and prints. these floral flats are perfect for spring.
02. everlane classic v in white ($15) if you’re a t-shirt lover, you need to check out everlane. they’re completely online, so they can cut out the middleman and sell you a normally $50 tee for $15. they fit great, are so soft, and come in lots of great neutral colors and a few fun spring tones, too.
03. everlane classic tote in grey ($35) confession: i just bought this tote last week and love it. i wanted something lighter than my red/brown longchamp to use for spring and summer, and this definitely fits the bill. it’s sturdy and well-made, has a great pocket, and the leather straps are soo pretty.
04. old navy rockstar skinnies in creme caramel ($18) spring definitely means colored jeans. i love this color because it’s not quite gold, but not quite mustard either. a great color that’ll match with everything. of course, these come in a ton of colors and are a great deal (i hear emerald green is the color of the season?)

01. chicago cubs cooperstown cap ($20) every man needs a great baseball cap, you know, for watching baseball and things. i love this classic cubs one.
02. everlane weekender in mustard ($95) k told me i could make a men’s style board for this post as long as it didn’t include a man bag. whoops.
03. old navy button front v-neck cardigan in light grey ($25) every man also needs a cardigan. just ‘cuz.
04. sperry boat shoe in tan-beige ($100) k and i both own a pair of sperry’s and love them. kevin is the absolute pickiest shoe-wearer ever, so that’s saying something.

happy almost spring!

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