Saturday, October 30, 2010

Forest Fairy Halloween Costume

What a pretty little Forest Fairy!

This year for Halloween both of my girls were forest fairies, and not only did they look sweet and precious as all little girls should look, but also the costumes were super easy and fun to make.

Basically, I just followed one of the many instructions for making tutus on the web (just google "tutu tutorial") and made them longer so my girls could wear them as dresses.

Then I whipped out my hot glue gun and embellished them with flowers and ribbon from the dollar store.

Have a Happy Halloween!


Butternut & Apple Harvest Soup

Warm, creamy and saturated with fall flavor, this soup is great with some warm, crusty bread.

2 tablespoons butter
2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 cup diced carrots
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 quart chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
1/2 cup light cream
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped chives

1.Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in leeks and onions, and cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add potato, squash, carrots, apple, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
2.Carefully puree the soup in batches in a blender, or use a stick blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Once the soup has been pureed, return it to the pot and stir in wine and cream. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper; simmer gently for 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives.

Thank you!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things to do in the fall #5

Go for a walk and enjoy the fall splendor!

All of this is within 15 minutes of my house. :)


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reader Request: Fall Cakes

We recently had a request for a great fall cake recipe, and our suggestion would be to head over to the Better Homes and Gardens website and check out their Fabulous Fall Cake series.

Yum-o! There are so many to choose from and all quite tantalizing.

Happy Fall Baking!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash

In case you couldn't tell by the picture, this dish is TO DIE FOR. Seriously, it is amazing. You must try it this season. MUST.

1 2-lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 garlic bulb, separated in cloves and peeled (halve large cloves)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 14-to 16-oz. pkg pasta
1/4 c. butter
3 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped and toasted
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/3 c. shredded pecorino or parmesan cheese
sliced green onions (opt.)

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. In 15x10x1-inch baking pan toss together squash, peeled garlic cloves, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Evenly spread squash in pan. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until squash is tender and lightly browned.

2. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti, with 1 tablespoon salt added to water, according to package directions. Drain; keep warm.

3. In small saucepan heat butter over medium heat until it turns the color of light brown sugar, stirring frequently.

4. In serving bowl toss spaghetti with about half the browned butter. Toss squash, garlic, bacon, nuts, and nutmeg with remaining browned butter. Serve squash mixture over spaghetti. Sprinkle with cheese and green onions. Makes 8 servings

Thank-you Better Homes and Gardens!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Things to do this fall #4

My mom hosted this super fun and fall-ish pumpkin party. Not only was the menu complete with loaded hamburgers, fresh buttery popcorn, warm apple cider and donuts, but also the atmosphere was perfect: we had a picnic in the garden next to the pumpkin patch and corn stalks.

If you aren't lucky enough to have your very own pumpkin patch (or know someone who does), find a local pumpkin patch and load up family and friends for a visit!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Decorating with Pumpkins

I love decorating with pupkins! They're festive AND affordable. I went looking for a few new ideas for this year and here's what I found... I can hardly wait to try some out.

(Pictures from Better Homes and Gardens and Country Living)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things to do this fall #3

Pick a Pumpkin!

Whether you visit a pumpkin patch or just stop at your local grocery store, picking out a pumpkin is always a fall highlight.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween Party Food

Halloween! Yea!

There are so many possibilities for Halloween Fun. This year, I plan on trying out some new festive Halloween snacks and treats. There's about a million and one cute ideas out there, but here are some of my favorites I plan on trying this year.

Clockwise from top left:
Breadstick bones: KiddieKostumes
Halloween candy bark: DoubleDipped Sweets
Finger breadsticks: Chazzuka 
Sneaky snake pinwheels: Tablespoon (dipped in marinara, mmmm)
Spider cookies: Celebrations at Home


Messy, delicious super sandwich

To some, this probably looks revolting. To others, perhaps it just looks like a mess of stuff. To me, this is beauty. Let me tell you a little bit about this sandwich.

1) I started with fresh, whole-grain, bought-at-the farmer's-market bread.
2) Then I took a deliciously ripe avocado, sprinkled it with some lemon pepper, mashed it up and spread it on the bread.
3) I topped that with grated carrot and red pepper slices for some sweet crunch.
4) Then I added some sliced garden-ripe tomatoes.
5) And for some protein, I put some left-over cannellini beans on it.


And the best part? My 3-year-old had tons of fun making it. AND she ate it. AND she asked for another "super sandwhich" the next day.

Healthy. Beautiful. Delicious. 

Baby Leg Warmers

I happen to think that few things are as cute as chubby baby legs, unless of course those chubby baby legs are dressed up with fancy leg warmers! My girls have some BabyLegs leg warmers (which we all love), but, being a knitter, I wanted to be able to make my own.

How was it? Easy and fun! Knitting leg warmers was a quick, fun project, and I found designing them to be quite fun--the possibilities are endless! (I have a little notepad full of drawings of leg warmers now.)

Here is what I did for my two-year-old:
Using 4 double-sided size 3 needles, cast on 36 in a circle. (Alternatively, knit flat and sew in a circle when finished).
Knit 2, purl 2 for a few rows for the ribbing.
For the "body," switch to size 5 needles, knit all (stockingnette stitch) until desired length.
To finish, switch back to size 3 needles and continue the knit 2, purl 2 pattern to finish the ribbing.
Bind off and voila!

For my chubby 9-month-old, I cast on 32 stitches instead of 36 and made them shorter. Worked great. For younger babies I'd go with 28 stitches.

Here's a picture of my oldest sportin' a pair of leg warmers mommy made.

Happy Knitting!

I'm thinking of making a pair for me....