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The food life at the Nerd Nest has been pretty darn good lately, I must say. Autumn foods are my favorite and we’ve really been embracing the art of weekend brunch.

Here we are at The City Diner, one of our favorite places for a good brunch. Their biscuits and gravy is killer. And, they take pictures for you when they realize you’re trying to awkwardly set up a self timer, so that’s awesome.

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We are on a food adventure, trying to use local produce the majority of the time. Or at least start with what we find at our farmer’s market. Here’s what we were working with:

Lettuce, eggs, honey, spices, green beans, peas, red bell peppers, apples, sweet potatoes, potatoes, a pie pumpkin, and stuff from previous weeks.

Here’s the highlights of what we were eating the past two weeks:

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We’ve had some sick days, and the best food for runny nose season is chicken and noodles. Jake is a master noodle maker; I can’t wait until we can save up to get fancy equipment with which we can make more sorts of noodles. Also, we add carrots and onions to the recipe: we just sauté the diced veggies and throw em’ in the soup. We also used homemade crock pot chicken stock.

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Baker man Jonas and I also made pumpkin bread. Baking with fresh pumpkin instead of canned is super easy and I highly recommend it while they’re in season! Worth noting, we like this pumpkin bread recipe more, but didn’t have all of the ingredients.

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We had family over for meatloaf, loaded mashed potatoes, and roasted green beans one night. Someday I’ll share my meatloaf recipe, which turns meatloaf haters into believers, but it’s more of a throw stuff in sort of thing, so I’ll actually have to measure out the ingredients first!

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We said goodbye to summer food with our favorite summer recipe: island chicken salad with homemade Caribbean jerk rub.

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We were inspired by Everyday is a Holiday’s Sweet Potato Black Bean Kale Quesadillas, but subbed kale for red peppers, used spices because we didn’t have chipotle peppers, and got lazy and made burritos instead of quesadillas. Sometimes, you have to go loose with recipes.

Also, we’re huge fans of sweet potatoes masquerading as refried beans. I’m the only person in the house that actually likes sweet potatoes, but spiced up with taco seasoning, they’re a win for even the haters.

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Cold weather is an excuse to make the best and least healthy foods (right?). We celebrated with very dairy potato soup, which is rich and creamy and delicious and oh so filling.

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We have officially declared Fridays as homemade pizza night. We use this crust recipe, this time around we had no tomatoes so I used some of our canned spaghetti sauce (which is too watery for pizza; I should have cooked it down and purred it). We’re boring: pepperoni and mozzarella is our favorite. But if we do it once a week, we’ll probably branch out.

We’re also trying to not eat out so much, so we’ve been buying a frozen sort of pre-prepared thing every week (like Orange Chicken + fried rice from Trader Joe’s). That way, if we’re too exhausted to really cook, we’ll go that route. Which I know makes no sense, because it usually takes the same amount of time as actually cooking (and going out takes MORE time and energy than cooking), but sometimes no one feels like putting on the chef hat and this seems to be working.

What’s been on the menu lately for you?