Friday, October 28, 2011

falling into fall

the first frost came this month. the temperature shifted, a little later than normal this year. we teetered for many weeks between hot and sunny, bare feet on green grass and windows wide open to grey skies, falling leaves, slippers and the thermastat moved to heat on. there is an element of relief in just moving on to the next thing. you all know how i feel about being in the middle. so, we welcomed the frost and we welcome fall.

backyard fall 2011
backyard trees in october

dear fall, i'll take you with a grande pumpkin spice latte and a side of black bean pumpkin soup.

fall means many things to me and one of them is preserving produce from our summer garden. roasting cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of honey & a touch of sugar, then watching them burst and carmelize in all their juices. blanching, peeling, and boiling tomatoes to make a rich flavorful sauce. roasting and pureeing jalapenos for a kick of heat to warm you in the cooler months ahead.

we took down the garden last weekend and i give it kudos for holding on as long as it did. what a fighter. it still looked like a rock star on oct. 22. and i was able to get one more bag full of tomatoes and peppers. looks like i have another day of sauce-making in my future.

jalapeno sauce
jalapeno sauce:: roast japapenos on cookie sheet. oven @ 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. turning at the halfway point. let cool. pull stems off and drop in your food processor. drizzle in evoo, a little salt, & pulse until you have the consistency you desire. we kept the seeds in and ours is Spicy with a captial s. but if you prefer less heat, by all means, remove the seeds. this will be great on scrambled eggs or egg hash, smeared on a fish fillet or a thick cut steak for a nice spicy crust, a spoonful in your chili... the options are endless. keeps in your fridge for up to 6 months.

speaking of oct. 22, i enjoyed a wonderful anniversary with my hunkaroonie. many changes and years later, my heart is still so full. i owe that to him. and while it may look like we took a trip to venice to celebrate, we did not. we found our little piece of italy closer to home. giovanni did not even charge extra to saranade with italian love songs. romantic + cheesy is a perfect combination for a memory to last forever. check and check.

giovanni
meet giovanni

things to note so i do not forget. 1:hunkaroonie was recruited to work on the gondala with giovanni. 2:giovanni sung so loud and so out of pitch but we did not laugh. instead, we bit our cheeks. 3:dinner at the fabulously foodie, small 13 table and 400+ wine selection domacin restaurant & winebar. 4:we did not exchange cards because everything we want, could, and should say or write to one another we do throughout the year. 5:we did however give gifts. gifts are good. 6:we ended the night with hot tea and our tradition of predictions for the coming year.

food talk:: it's fall so clearly that means pumpkin. incase you didnt' know, pumpkin recipes are mandatory for october and november. they. just. are. here are ones that we've enjoyed this month: pumpkin cinnamon rolls. pumpkin oatmeal. black bean pumpkin soup. pumpkin turnovers with cream cheese icing. pumpkin bread. pumpkin spice creamer (staple in our house this time of year).

backyard fall 2011
backyard trees in october

here are the recipes i plan to make in next month: pumpkin risotto. pumpkin cheesecake bites. pasta with creamy pumpkin sauce.

note: i use 100% pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling.

and to get us through the midweek slump, mamasis & lilmis came up for dinner on wednesday. sharing squash lasagna and pumpkin cut out cookies was just the fuel we needed to get us to friday. and now here we are, it's friday. happy weekending.

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