Tag Archives: Fall


After cooking all day Wednesday (late into the night, actually – we didn’t go to bed until after 2:00 a.m.) and starting up early on Thursday morning, we made it through Thanksgiving.

In spite of all the craziness of the last few weeks, cooking and hosting Thanksgiving was something we were both so looking forward to. We knew we wanted to do everything ourselves, and by “do everything,” we mean from scratch. None of this “semi-homemade” mentality (our hatred for Sandra Lee deserves its own post).

Telling friends about our plans inspired some interesting looks and comments (“You’re cooking the entire meal? By yourselves?”). While some admitted that just thinking about hosting Thanksgiving gave them nightmares, we were excited to have both of our families over and to cook our hearts out…and everything turned out beautifully.

It was really a wonderful day – we have much to be thankful for!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
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3 Weeks to Thanksgiving

Happy November to all – grab a hot cider, a cookbook or two, and settle in for some fun reading!

I’ve always loved November.  To those in Minnesota, this might make me sound crazy.  Right about now, the weather starts to get gloomy, gray, and cold.  We start to accept that there won’t be many sunny or warm days ahead, reluctantly bring out the heavy coats, and prepare ourselves for SNOW.  Last year, at the beginning of November, we had our first major snow storm of the year…and dealt with the harsh realities of winter until the end of April!

So far so good – no snow here.  And despite what most people think about this time of year, I love it.  It’s chilly, yes, but it’s crisp and refreshing. I happen to like my hat and gloves.  All the coffee shops have their “holiday” cups out.  And, best of all, I know that the semester is almost over…and THANKSGIVING is just three weeks away!

Thanksgiving, 2010

The one place that always gets me ready and excited for Thanksgiving is Williams-Sonoma. Whether we go in July or at the end of October, I crave turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.  My sister and mom totally gets this – for the past few years, we’ve stopped in before Thanksgiving to get our “essentials,” and always end up leaving with something (usually several somethings) that we didn’t know we needed to make the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Andrew has admitted to me that this is probably his favorite store, so I’m pretty sure that this tradition will continue long into the future! We have already studied (numerous times, I might add) Sonoma’s Thanksgiving Guide 2011, as we’re hosting both sets of families for dinner.  I’m guessing there will be several trips to W-S over the next few weeks…

Now, to focus on school just enough to finish what needs to be done before all the fun begins!

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Happy Fall!

Although the temperatures haven’t really reflected it (we’ve been having lovely weather lately – high 60s, mid 70s…), the calendar says we’ve come to my favorite season of the year – FALL!
While I’ve been spending a lot of time at school, Andrew has been, lucky for me, baking breads and making soups! We had talked about making soups last year, but hadn’t really made any from scratch until just recently.  For dinner last night, we had onion and rosemary focaccia, wonderfully spicy roasted tomato soup (adapted from a Tyler Florence recipe), and, as a treat, some beautiful chanterelles on the side.

The soup was SO good, perfectly spicy and creamy at the same time.

Drizzle 2.5 pounds of tomatoes (a mix of vine and cherry), 6 peeled garlic cloves and 2 small yellow onions, sliced, with some olive oil, then roast until caramelized. Transfer to a stock pot, add 3 cups of chicken stock, 2 bay leaves, and 4 tablespoons of butter.  Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Use an immersion blender and puree until smooth. Add 1 more cup of chicken stock, and season to taste.  We added a bit of cream to thicken up the recipe, and topped it off with some shredded asiago cheese.  YUM.

Side note: we didn’t have an immersion blender last night, so we were transferring the soup to our food processor.  For some reason, though, it would leak all over.  We couldn’t figure out where it was coming from or where there could possibly be a hole, so it turned out to be a messier experience than planned.  Long story short, we now have an immersion blender!

It turned out great – perfectly homey, orange, and autumnal. The fact that it matched our candle made it just that much better, too! And, we have leftovers!

Tonight’s menu: jerk chicken wings, french fries, and roasted veggies.  Definitely a happy fall!

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