Fall in New England

This year I’ve really been taking advantage of the awesomeness that is fall in New England. The perfect weather, gorgeous leaves and seasonal events *almost* make up for the bitterly cold winter we’re headed towards.

fallThere has been apple picking, wine drinking, pumpkin festivals, and a beautiful 5k run (I set a PR!). There were three birthday celebrations for people I love, sunshiny afternoon walks, Seahawk Sundays, and a shopping date in New Hampshire. Plus, I spent a day with my grandparents in Connecticut–Gram and I crossed a few things off the wedding to-do list. 🙂

fall 2Oh man has it been a good season. So fun and so festive!

I’m really looking forward to the holidays this year too. Derek and I plan to cook our own little Thanksgiving day feast and then meet up with friends for football that evening. And we’re roadtripping with Gram and Gramps to visit Aunty Sharon and Uncle B for Christmas. There will be lots of eating, drinking and laughing. I can’t wait!

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What’s Cooking: Fall Soup

Yesterday was a gorgeous fall day. I spent the day alone and had a wonderfully relaxing day. I’ve been feeling worn out–between work, yoga, cooking and everything else–I have been desperate for a day to catch up on chores and just chill. I made myself baked oatmeal for breakfast, indulged in some trashy TV and gave my apartment the thorough cleaning it needed. I was finally able to tackle the mountain of laundry that was taking over my closet and I went grocery shopping. It felt good to get so much accomplished but to not feel any rush.

I bought a bottle of wine and decided I would make myself something nice, and new, for dinner. Enter pinterest- where I have dozens of recipes saved. I picked this–sweet potato cauliflower soup. I followed the recipe almost exactly, except that I added some pumpkin and topped the soup with some different spices (and crumbled kale chips). So you can follow her directions or mine, you’ll get pretty much the same results either way.

Shopping List
1 head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
6 cups of water
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
salt, pepper, paprika and kale chips (bake kale leaves at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until they are nice and crispy. Add a little olive oil, salt and pepper if you like. And try crumbling it over popcorn-delish!)

Step by Step

Start by preheating your oven to 400. Spread the cauliflower pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until the tops start to brown. When they are ready, take ’em out of the oven and set aside while you work on the rest of the soup.

While the cauliflower is roasting, peel and chop the other veggies. Throw it all in your largest pot with a couple dashes of salt, a little black pepper and some shakes of paprika. Oh, and 6 cups of water. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to medium heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft enough to mash. Remove from heat and use a hand masher to smoosh the potato pieces. When you’re happy with the consistency, add the cauliflower.

Let the soup cool for a few minutes and then pour half of it into a blender. Add the canned pumpkin and blend until it’s completely smooth. Pour it back into the pot, taste and add seasoning as you see fit.

Scoop yourself a generous serving and top with crumbled kale chips. Goes perfectly with a sourdough roll, a glass of wine and marathon of Sex & the City.

Mmm… Happy November friends.

Becker 2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest

Well… we didn’t win a prize, but I’m pretty happy with our pumpkin.

Derek can take all the credit for carving. I just hovered over him nervously. But I did pick out the pumpkin so at least I contributed a tiny bit. We make a good team like that. 🙂

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