Tag Archives: autumn

Squash, Pickles, Cider

acorn squash uprightIn recent years, I’ve tried to eat more squash in the autumn. It’s cheap and delicious, and looks good sitting around the counter this time of year.

Last week, as part of my effort to combat the pregnancy sweet tooth and eat vegetables with my three year-old, I came up with an evening meal that was high in veggies and hearty to boot. Better yet, Iris ate it all without argument. That is the true victory.

Squash Food Bowl


  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 small pats butter
  • Seasoning to taste
  • 2 servings cooked brown rice
  • 1 handful diced baby bella mushrooms
  • Olive or grapeseed oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°
  2. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds (reserve for roasting, if desired) and place one small pat of butter in each half. I added a little minced onion, salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish, in about 1/4 inch of water, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  3. Cook your rice and set aside (I did mine in a veggie broth).
  4. Heat a little oil in a stovetop skillet, and sauté the mushrooms for maybe 5 minutes.
  5. When the squash is finished, and has cooled for a few minutes, stir up and scoop out the flesh.
  6. I used most of the rice to make beds for the squash in our two bowls, put the cooked squash on next, and topped it with the mushrooms. Mixed together, the three items made a delicious main course.

We also had my take on this dill pickle soup, which is basically a light potato soup with chopped pickles, a little pickle juice, a few squirts of mustard and a couple tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt (easier than the flour and sour cream ordeal in the recipe). I also threw in a large collard green leaf.

Along with a cup of Michigan cider, and the promise of the last of the chocolate Goblin Cake with strawberries for dessert, this was the perfect thing for us after a brisk walk. Some days, there is nothing as satisfying as eating (and feeding a child) healthfully with food that is filling and delicious.

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Autumn Indulgence

cookie doughnut cider slush asparagus Autumn just isn’t autumn without a trip to a local orchard. And it’s not a proper orchard visit without donuts and cider.

This year, we checked out the Ed Dunneback and Girls Farm just north of Grand Rapids. Aside from the fact that they were all out of ice cream for the caramel apple shakes, the experience did not disappoint. The pumpkin donuts even had a pumpkin spice frosting. Coupled with some cranberry walnut cookies and a cider slushie, they made an excellent feast for our sunny afternoon.

I rounded it off with a jar of pickled asparagus. Since the hubby is violently opposed to pickled veggies, this is an indulgence I get to hoard for myself.

One of these days, I’ll get around to a more thoughtful, healthful post. For now, I’m preparing for the cold by wallowing in a donut coma.

Have an indulgent Monday!

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Autumn Acceptance

girl with veggie pumpkin plateEvery year, I kind of have to resign myself to Autumn. Don’t get me wrong – I like the colors and the cozy and the flavors. I also love LOVE Halloween. I just don’t like how the warmth continues to wane and the gray of winter draws nearer, both events accompanied by drier skin and higher bills.

Usually, though, by October, I’ve accepted it. This Sunday was a gloomy one, and we spent the afternoon with seasonal wines and peanut soup. I got some work done in our upper level, which escaped the deep clean and decrapify we did in the Spring. I even found an unopened package of cushiony socks. It’s the little things.

Hope you’ve started stocking for mulled wine and planning those excellent costumes. Food and festivity are essential for making it through the cold, as are good times with old friends. Get as much as you can – of all of it.

To your week!

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Fire Trees, Black Bean Chili and Sweaters

yellow autumn leavesThis weekend was one of those “I’m slowly accepting that summer is over” kind of weekends.

Really, I do love fall. It’s got a ton of awesome things – Halloween, chili, pretty colors, pumpkin stuff, lessened concern about body hair… It’s what comes after that I have trouble with.

You see, I take some issue with winter and its holidays. Add to this my addiction to Michigan summers, and fall is basically the come down before withdrawal.

Still, I try to enjoy it. I appreciate our sunny days when the temps are only in the mid 60s and leaves reflecting the warm side of the color wheel drift around the lawn. I happily stir a pot of black bean chili. I spend two days straight in a soft brown cardigan.

I listen to Ben Folds 5, Counting Crows and Tori Amos (my ‘fall music’ since the late 90s, when the gloomy seasons were all the rage for goth kids and alternateens).

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Autumn Official

young couple outside coffee house

13 autumns ago today

I agreed to exclusivity

Forecasting futures at 18

A lucky shot

A good investment

One of many steps

On our tour of bliss


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The Pumpkin Challenge, and a Challenged Pumpkin

carved pumpkin

A face only the carver could love…

In case you haven’t noticed, I really like Halloween. It is one of my two favorite holidays (three if you include summer). I think the vibe and theatrics are fabulous, and I especially appreciate the emphasis on parties and creativity rather than rampant commercialism and chaos (at least, that’s how it goes in my world).

Over this weekend, we attended a pumpkin carving party. I usually don’t have too much trouble coming up with a design, but this year, the orange squash wasn’t speaking to me.

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You Must Accept Fall… Now


Once we actually hit October, I’m generally a little more accepting of the fact that summer is over. I’ve donned that first sweater, pulled out the gloves and stopped leaving the windows open 24-7.

This past weekend, I made chili, mulled cider, broke out the Halloween decorations, layered my outfits without protest and officially announced my acceptance on Facebook.  Fine. I can handle it.

Of course, I may have been encouraged in the confidence that this week is anticipated to be a bit warmer.

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