Hiya! Hope you had a wonderful Halloween weekend. Here’s a quick recap of mine:

The weather has been doing some crazy things this week, with the temperature jumping around between the 70s down into the 20s at night, and (sadly) settling in the 30-40 degree range on Saturday and Sunday. Luckily the sun powered through enough to make being outdoors mildly pleasant, so we weren’t stick inside the whole time.

My parents stopped into town for the day on Saturday, so we bopped around Madison while they were here (hi, Mom and Dad!).

Saturday morning we braved the temps for one of the last outdoor farmer’s markets of the year on the capitol square. I’d never seen it quite so empty before. Usually you get swept up in the mob of people moving from stand to stand around the square, but that day we had free reign to move around as we liked.

We brought home quite a haul: butternut squash, jam, cranbury baked cheese, and these pretty dried flowers. They actually came in a bouquet about 15 times this size, but I separated them out in smaller arrangements.


We warmed up back inside while brunching at Cento, which is a newish Italian restaurant downtown. We thought it’d be fun to reminisce about our trip to Italy over food, and it did not disappoint. I had a bacon, potato, and onion pizza, which I’m planning to recreate later this week at home.

After lunch we visited the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. First we wandered around the outdoor gardens, where I hung out with some bears:


I’ve been here before during the summer months, when the gardens are blooming with bright flowers and other plants. Looks a little different now, but luckily there are still plenty of pretty fall leaves!

And then we headed inside to the tropical paradise of the conservatory (I’ll definitely be coming back here to warm up once the dead of winter sets in!):


Next up was a stop at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art to see the current art exhibits. And we picked up a new puzzle in the gift shop! It’s already taken over our kitchen table. Pretty excited to work on it after the fun of doing them in Italy. #nerdalert

Before my parents headed back home, we stopped for dinner at the Weary Traveler. We used to live within walking distance of the restaurant, so it’s definitely a favorite spot. I ordered an Ale Asylum Hopalicious and a grilled cheese sandwich with greens. They make their own wheat bread in house, which made it even more special!

Aaron and I decided we weren’t really feeling venturing into the cold, so opted to stay in for Halloween celebrations this year. Instead we cuddled up with a movie and a nightcap:


This is a special brew from Dogfish Head in Delaware. It’s potent stuff (18%!), and flies off the shelves of our neighborhood liquor store whenever they get it. The name (120 Minute IPA) comes from the amount of time used for the boil. It would seem like this should lead to an insanely hoppy beer, but it was actually pretty balanced. Just very boozy!

Sunday morning I went to a BodyPump class, caught up on some magazine reading, and planned out a few meals for the week. After an errand run, I spent most of the rest of the day in the kitchen.

I ended up doing a ton of baking/cooking this weekend! My dad’s birthday was last week, so I had this apple crisp ready for him when they got here. (No pictures of it sadly. I was too excited to eat it, and it didn’t last much longer after that!). The crumbles on top ruled, and I loved finding a new use for my cast iron skillet! I think a skillet brownie may be in my future next…

Sunday night I made a butternut carrot ginger soup with the squash I picked up from the farmer’s market. I used a combo recipe of this and this. It ended up a bit spicy, but overall quite tasty. We ate about a quarter of it, put another quarter in the fridge for leftovers and froze the rest.


Aaron requested an apple bread pudding, so we topped the meal off with a pan of an incredible caramel apple bread pudding (cross of these recipes here and here, and this caramel sauce). I like that I’m starting to feel more confident in the kitchen and am able to more freely mix and match and craft recipes as I see fit!


The rest of the night was spent catching up on some TV shows and generally relaxing. Gotta love a weekend full of cozy time on the couch, especially when we gain an hour in the process.

Have a wonderful week!

How did you celebrate Halloween this year?


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