Thursday, September 23, 2010

Favorite Things About Fall: Food

We're lucky enough to live in a part of the country where there are a lot of apple orchards. I knew fall had truly arrived when the crisp, cool breeze carried the faint sent of ripe apples. There is something so comforting about fall. The apple cider, knit scarves, hearty vegetables, snuggling under cozy blankets, sunny days and cool nights.

Even though we've actually had a major warm-up this week, I'm deep into my fall recipe file. I've already cooked a big batch of vegetable chili and had several bowls of butternut squash soup. And this week I created what I think is going to become a new fall favorite: creamy pumpkin ravioli.

We had ours with roasted Brussels sprouts. If you've never had them, do yourself a favorite and make a batch tonight. They are so good. Even my almost-4-year-old loves them. In fact, while I was cutting up Brussels sprouts for dinner she insisted on munching on a few raw.

Creamy Pumpkin Ravioli
1 pkg. pumpkin (or butternut squash, or plain cheese in a pinch) ravioli
1 pkg. (8 oz.) neufchatel cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 cup canned pumpkin (make sure you get 100% pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling)
Chopped walnuts (I didn't measure these, just added in what looked good)
Dash of pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of red pepper

Saute the onions and red pepper on medium until the onions start to get brown and caramelized.

Turn heat to low and add walnuts.

Once pan has had some time to cool, add the cheese, milk, and butter. Stir frequently until the cheese and butter has completely melted. Add pumpkin and spices, then cook until completely heated, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook the ravioli per package directions.

Devour immediately.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts
Olive oil

This really couldn't be easier, but the result is so delicious. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts, pull of any leaves that look yellow or brown, then cut in half. Toss the sprouts in olive oil, then spread out on a pan and salt. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to evenly roast.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's a Girl!

We're getting more sugar and spice and everything nice!

When the ultrasound technician said it was a girl, Ava leaned in close to me and whispered, "We're going to be best friends, Mommy." I hope so. She's already offered to share all her toys.

Image from Amy Atlas

Thursday, September 9, 2010


My little girl is growing up. Ava started preschool this week.

Cute sign from Blonde Designs.