Sunday, October 31, 2010

My life revolves around food...

This weekend was full of so many yummy fall foods, I can hardly contain my excitement.

On Friday night, the lovely Laura hosted a sweet Harvest dinner - and the whole event just warmed my heart. Laura had a couple of her good girlfriends from Colorado in town and wanted to get us all together and well I have to say, Jerica and Amy were absolutely wonderful and I just love it when different circles of people can come together and so genuinely enjoy one another's company.

Here we are in all our glory :)

Laura made an incredible creamy mushroom soup. Linds brought a yummy salad with pumpkin seeds and her famous hot apple cider, Kat made the most beautiful apple tarts and I tried out a recipe I've been excited about - Warm Autumn Salad - give it a try - the veggies make your whole kitchen smell like fall as they roast away! Laura, Amy and Jerica put so much love into the table setting - pumpkins, candles, flowers, cloth napkins, plates with fun conversation questions and sweet wishes. It's just so beautiful to me when people take the time to make occasions special by adding a few personal touches. Well done girls!

Kat's gorgeous apple tarts!

On top of this fun fall dinner, loverboy and I got to have a FULL weekend together because he had no class on Saturday - Yay! We made our way out for a rainy, redwood trail run on Saturday morning and then well, really just spent the day running errands, but it was nice to get to be together. When we finally made it home, we got some pumpkin soup cookin' in honor of Halloween weekend. Here's the recipe if you're interested - Thai-spced Pumpkin Soup.

Sunday afternoon we decided to give pickling a try - I have to tell ya, loverboy was the instigator on this one - sweet jams tend to excite me a bit more, but boy was I surprised at how fun it was to make our own pickles!

We started out with some persian cucumbers.

And then mixed up this concoction of vinegar, mustard seeds, dill seed, sugar, bay leaves and peppercorns.

And voila! Homemade pickles!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A lot of nature and a lot of good friends...

I love these people and I love this place! It's just not every day you meet a group of people who you adore and who can color coordinate so fantastically with, without any planning.

YO-se-MITE highlights include;

1) Spectacular views from Glacier Point
2) Hike to mirror lake
3) Long walks through the park with the crew
4) Fall foilage :)...or foliage - however you want to say it :)
5) Save the date photos for the newly engaged couple :)
6) Bruschetta dinner
7) Farbieliecki jam and almond butter sandwiches
8) Brunch at the Awahnee
9) No scary bears eating outside our tent in the middle of the night

P.S. - Check out DancingKitchen for my fav. Yosemite girls pic. of the weekend!!!

Yosemite :)

How fun is that? I feel so stinkin' lucky to have these lovely women in my life - we just spent the weekend in Yosemite, celebrating Lindsey's bday and spicin' up the gray skies with our multi-color rain gear!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall-y eyed

I'm officially fall-y eyed guys - I'm fighting to keep my eyes open, so for now, here's a list of the fall fun this weekend;

1) 1st fall batch of butternut squash soup
2) Yummy chocolate chip banana bread
3) Fall leaf trail run
4) Boots and scarves!!!
5) Mushroom risotto

** all in the company of that loverboy who I fall more and more in love with every day.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A little slice of heaven...

Time spent with loverboy is a premium these days - he's in grad school AND working full time and is pretty much doing amazing things and I absolutely love him to no end for the drive, dedication and passion he has for what he does. However, his schedule means jam packed weeks and even classes on Saturdays - so you see, weekends like this past one are extra special. With no class on Saturday, we decided to make a bee line outta town for some California field trippin' and boy was it lovely because, although we were only an hour and a half south, we felt like we were worlds away :).

We spent a good couple of hours doing this - which is exactly what this hardworking guy needs and I'm so glad he got it. oooh and the super sunny weather made me feel like we were in sweet home San Diego.

After we were good and rested, we made our way to to Gizdich Ranch - this place made my heart sing - it was so full of fall!


Harvest Tractors (and extra friends :)).

and Pumpkins!
And as if that wasn't enough fun for one day, our final destination was here...

amidst these beauties where we...

grilled up some portobellos and

added some smoked gouda and red pepper, eggplant and garlic spread for dinner- with plenty of wine and chocolate for dessert!

And then we woke up the next morning and tortured ourselves with a big, burley (as Joe would call it) trail run that my quads are still screaming at me for. I'm not quite sure how we mustered the energy for this shot after that run.

On our way home we went for a stroll down memory lane to see the first school that Joe taught at and it absolutely made my heart melt and well the afternoon turned in to quite an amazing one, worthy of it's own post - so if I get loverboy's permission that story will be coming soon :).

And the fun didn't stop when we got home - I showered up real quick and was off to meet my favorite gals for our latest book club- aren't they cute and harvesty!

Hope you had lots of little slices of heaven this past weekend too!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Feelings

If you didn't already know this - Fall is my favorite and I couldn't be happier that it's October because that means we're in it!! Yesterday in my yoga class (5th class of the week - I'm getting my money's worth out of my month of unlimited classes) our teacher led us through a fall themed Vinyasa. She talked about paralleling the natural phenomenon of shedding leaves by letting go of something in our lives that is no longer needed or helpful. It sounds cheesy, but I simply love the idea - who doesn't have some fear or stressor that they would be better off without? I've got a couple fears that I've been harboring over the past year that I know I'd be much better off without and so this fall I will be working on shedding those fears so that hopefully, come spring there will be room for new growth and light where those fears once were.

The weekend wasn't all philosophical though, don't you worry.

It started with a fabulous friend date with the wonderful Kat. How fun does this look? Red tea pots, hot cocoa with leaf decor and a chocolate-mint bar!

It was also full of fall foods! Like Fig, Lemon and Thyme Jam - which may sound different, but let me tell ya, spread some of this stuff on bread or crackers with some goat cheese and just feel yourself float on up to cloud nine.

Figs galore from a co-worker - so thankful for her generosity.

I was just mesmerized by the inside of these guys - they remind me of geodes!

The whole mixture - figs, lemon, thyme, sugar and honey. Here's the recipe - Fig and Lemon Thyme Confitures a la Mrs. Wheelbarrow who I aspire to be one day.

The final product!! I love 'em. I'm falling deeper in love with jars!

And then can I tell you my favorite part? Loverboy was busy reading and writing for grad school this afternoon so I ducked out for another yoga class and on my way home I just started to tear up because it just felt so warm to be heading home to him and a big pot of Tomato Soup on the stove.

Homemade croutons - Ciabatta, Basil, Pancetta, Salt and Pepper.

Tomato Soup that was just divine - Pappa Al Pomodoro - you must try this one! We used fresh farmer's market tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes.

Just before dinner we got out into the glorious fall evening light - something about fall makes that time of day extra golden. There is an adorable little church just a stone's throw away and I've been wanting to just go walk around it for some time now and tonight was the perfect night for it!

Hope your week is full of fabulous fall leaves like these!!