Tag Archives: winter

the one where the power went out.


This past weekend we finally had our first big winter snowstorm this year. I always say that if it’s going to be so damn cold, it might as well snow a whole bunch and be pretty. Ideally this should happen on a weeknight so we get a true snow day, but we’ll take what we can get. On Sunday we woke up to a gorgeous winter wonderland and were so excited for the day. Coffee. Sledding. Pajamas. More coffee. Superbowl. Brisket. Our excitement quickly came to a screeching halt when I went to turn on the bathroom light…nothing. A glance at the clocks on the oven and microwave confirmed my suspicions – power was out. The temperature inside was 60 and dropping. Oh hell no. Didn’t the winter gods know about our plans for a Good Wife marathon? Didn’t they know that our phones were only charged to a collective 50%? That we need coffee to function? DIDN’T THEY KNOW THAT WE HAD A 5-LB BRISKET THAT I SPENT $40 ON TO BRAISE?

Despite my internal first-world-problems freak out, we tried to stay calm and as my mom would say, adapt and overcome. We moved a few things, including the brisket, into the freezer where it was still pretty cold. I posted a dramatic Facebook status. Friends and family offered for us to come over and get warm. Kevin went to check on our elderly next-door neighbors who don’t have a cell phone. We decided we’d eat leftover pizza for breakfast and a banana for lunch and patted ourselves on the back for aging some beer in our makeshift basement cellar. We’d be needing that.

We got back in bed and I thought, maybe this won’t be so bad. Thirty seconds later, this was so bad. I couldn’t stop thinking about everything in the fridge. My feet were cold. I’m always wishing I had more time to read, but suddenly the thought of having to read all day seemed horrible.

But we’d waited months for this snow and I was determined not to let this glitch get in the way of our snow day. I think it was like 8:05am and still negative degrees when I decided to tell Kevin to get dressed, we’re going sledding. We put on approximately 18 layers of clothing, grabbed the disc sleds I’d bought the day before, and headed out.

We walked the few blocks up to the middle school with the best hill – the same hill my dad and aunt grew up sledding on – and went for it. Despite the fact that we were sledding against the wind and somehow managed to forget a layer to cover our faces and it took 5 minutes to thaw out after every run, we had a blast. I packed my phone in a ziploc bag and we took videos of each other. (Editing out the curse words might be too difficult, so they’re not going public). In true Hollyanne and Kevin fashion, we even snuck in a selfie or two.

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On our way back, we sledded down little hills here and there most of the way home. I felt 110% happier. Maybe this day won’t be so bad after all. I’ll finally finish my book. We’ll play Monopoly. We won’t eat a million calories.

I went inside to grab the shovel so we could start working on the driveway, and the first thing I noticed was that the heater had kicked on. CAN IT BE? Flipping a switch in the kitchen confirmed that our power had indeed come back on. Apparently all it took was for us to get over ourselves and go out and get a better attitude (and some very hardworking power company crews). Life is funny that way.

We got our happy snow day after all. We got to chat with a few of our neighbors while we all cleared our driveways, one of which let us borrow his much bigger shovel after he had finished. (Right afterwards, he came outside to announce, and I quote, “Praise the Lord, church is cancelled!” We LOL’ed a lot). We got to have our coffee and make our brisket and we got to have our Good Wife marathon. And what do you know, we played Monopoly anyways.

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{recipe} potato, white bean, and kale soup with mascarpone.

sometimes you just need a little bacon in your life, can i get an amen? anyone who knows me, knows i love bacon…almost as much as i love baseball. (in case you haven’t guessed, this is k). this soup/stew/bowl of amazingness that was created saturday night was something i needed to write about. to be honest, i can’t take much credit for this. in fact, i can’t take any credit. all i can say is that with every bite of this, i fall in love with it more and more. is it the bacon? is it the potatoes? is it the mascarpone cheese? for those wondering, i classify this soup as healthy, since it has kale in it. anything with kale is healthy, right? right.

let’s be real for a minute here. i can really only describe this as a party of flavor in my mouth. how everything plays together is so incredible, it’s hard to even describe it. if this were the last soup on earth, you had better believe i would be the one licking the bowl at the end. yes, that’s how i feel about this soup. as we like to say in our house, h really #nailedit. we’ll be seeing a lot more of this in our future.


-few tablespoons canola oil
-4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
-1 yellow onion, diced
-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
-3 russet potatoes (we used 2 russets + a handful of purple fingerlings)
-2 15-oz. cans of cannellini beans, drained
-a few handfuls of kale, washed and chopped
-3-4 cups vegetable broth
-4 oz. mascarpone cheese
-salt, pepper, cayenne to taste

1. heat a few tablespoons of canola oil in a large pot. once hot, place bacon slices in the pot and fry until they reach your desired crispiness. remove bacon from pot and set aside, but reserve grease in pot.

2. meanwhile, par-cook your potatoes so that your soup will cook faster. i do this by slicing the potatoes into bite-size pieces, placing in a single layer on a plate, and microwaving for 3-5 minutes, or until they start to become soft-ish when poked with a knife.

3. place onions and garlic into pot with bacon grease and cook for a few minutes, until onions start to become translucent and fragrant. then, add sliced par-cooked potatoes, 2 cans of drained white beans, and about 3 cups of vegetable broth. give everything a good stir. bring soup back up to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer at medium-low until potatoes are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

4. after potatoes are cooked mostly through, add chopped kale to the pot and use your judgment to determine whether additional vegetable broth is needed. i liked having this be a thicker soup, but still added another 1/2 cup after putting in the kale. totally up to you. continue cooking soup until kale starts to wilt, about 5 minutes.

5. remove soup from heat and stir in 4 oz. mascarpone cheese and the bacon pieces you set aside earlier. add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. serve with crusty broiled bread. bon appetit!

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Posted in food + drink | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

winter wonderland.

thankfully, the fam made it here safely about an hour before our first snowstorm of the year hit with a vengeance yesterday. even though it’s freezing cold, super windy, and was basically impossible to drive anywhere last night and this morning, i think the snow is just beautiful. we ventured outside for a few minutes this afternoon to snap a few photos; i especially love how the super white snow flocks the trees all over campus. i think it’s safe to say that winter has finally arrived, and we’re gonna have a very white christmas! <3

Posted in adventures. | Tagged , , | 2 Comments