Ok, so fall in Okinawa isn't full of turning leaves and crisply cool days. I mean, coolER yes. We are very excited to have highs only in the 70s. I've been wearing jeans even though, yes, that could still be shorts weather. But it's fall! Sort of.
Anyway, I do have a few fall-ish good things for you, as well as the usual random and assorted. A while ago, I even made a list so I could add things to it and not forget everything when it came time to write a post. Except it was on my January 2013-purchased Macbook Air, Joaquin. Joaquin has suffered a traumatic brain injury. A.k.a., his hard drive is dead. Living in Okinawa complicates matters as our one Apple Authorized Service Provider tells me it will take 4-6 weeks to get a new hard drive. I have a plan B which I will explain in a later post, but for the moment I'm coming to you from Paolo, my old, slow, and GIGANTIC circa 2008 Macbook. For once in my life, I actually have all of my important stuff backed up (translator at the Apple place: "Your data...gonna be gone. Yeah?" Yup.) but "important stuff" doesn't include Text Edit notes to self. So I will share what I remember.
Item One: Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque. Perhaps your skin has gone all to oily hell like mine has? From the limited supply of skin care products at the PX, I picked this up and it does have some serious oil-zapping powers. Plus, minty fresh!
Item Two: Netflix original series House of Cards. Raj and I just finished the first season and are pretty bummed that we have to wait for new episodes. Starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, who are perfect as a DC power couple on a coldly calculated quest to aquire even more power. It's not the feel-good DC of the West Wing, but it is excellent television.
Item Three: Pumpkin snickerdoodles. I hosted the monthly social for the officers' wives from Raj's squadron this month. Among the food I offered (which was mostly cheese because of course this thing was an elaborate excuse to go wild at the gourmet shop I recently found, but also included this lemon basil hummus, which I've linked to here before, but seriously you should make it because I get the most compliments on it of basically anything I make and it is super-easy) was these pumpkin snickerdoodles which turn out so incredibly soft and fluffy, you will eat way too many of them while also sounding like this:
Items Four and Five: A Month of Son is a Tumblr written by Matthew Baldwin, whom I've followed for years on Twitter because he's funny. The Tumblr is about what it's like to live with and raise his autistic son. It's fascinating and beautiful. One post talked about his son's love of music and how much it helps him to sleep. He mentioned a band, Lemolo, that is one of his son's favorites. I bought their album The Kaleidoscope, which is great for doing yoga or just as relaxing, mellow music.
Item Six: Pumpkin apple sauce overnight oats. 1/2 c oats, 1/2 c apple sauce, 1 T chia seeds, splash of vanilla, lots of cinnamon, little nutmeg, big spoonful of pumpkin puree, splash of water (depending on the consistency of your apple sauce), chopped walnuts (optional). I don't measure my pumpkin puree, but it's maybe in the neighborhood of 1/4 c. (You don't want too much or your oats will taste too vegetabley and then you'll need to add brown sugar and you're maybe trying to be healthyish.) Fall: it's what's for breakfast.
Item Seven: If you've taken none of my advice thus far, you want to actually pay attention now. What I'm about to share with you is not only good stuff, but BEST STUFF EVER material. I mean, you're free to ignore this, but probably your life will be incomplete. Raj has a book he loves very much called The Science of Good Cooking from Cooks Illustrated. It is a cookbook, but also explains the science behind cooking, how different types of heat affect food, the difference between the many types of flour, why you should let meat rest and for how long, etc. It's fascinating reading. On Sunday, I got back from my race, had a bowl of cereal, took a shower, had a nap, and woke up to Raj making me what I declared to be the best burger of my life. Sure, it was possible this had something to do with not actually having eaten all that much since the half marathon the night before. But then he made them again for company yesterday and everyone went on and on about the special sauce. Which made us feel better about the extent to which we'd been in love with it the week before. It's amazing on burgers, but also good for dipping sweet potato fries and we all thought probably there are a million uses for it, including maybe licking it off your plate. When I asked Raj what was in it, he said it was a secret family recipe, coming from his grandmother in India. You know, because Hindus are all about the hamburgers. Really, it's pub-style burger sauce from the aforementioned cookbook. And Imma give you the recipe for free. But if you have me over, you have to make it. Deal?
3/4 c mayonnaise
2 T soy sauce
1 T packed dark brown sugar
1 T Worchestershire sauce
1 T minced fresh chives (I don't think ours had these - fresh herbs are not so easy to get here)
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 t pepper
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Then thank me.
Then share some good stuff with us in the comments. Or do that first. Either way.