Saturday, October 27, 2018

Fall Fun & Food


Hello my dear friends and readers,
This post is more of a "slice of life" post than a style post, which some of you, I know, prefer to pure fashion/style blogposts. I will share some of our Autumnal outings and my Fall recipes, so if it's your cup of tea - I hope you enjoy it to the fullest (pun intended)!


Mid October is a perfect time to visit a pumpkin farm which is one of the most favorite Fall attractions in the US, and my family has been doing it for years. It's been a while though since we visited one all together, and I am so glad we did. Anya had a friend's birthday party with a sleepover prior to the farm fun, and she refused to be photographed (you know girls, they chat all night long and then suffer from the lack of sleep - I was the same!). Justin and I though had fun filming (my renewed hobby in the last month) and taking pictures. I wore one of my long knitted cardigans, or knitted coats, in rich plum, rust, olive and brown tones (previously shown in DECEMBER 2017 in and OCTOBER 2016), and the green dress that has had many outings (last time, just recently in SEPTEMBER 2018).


A traditional Australian pie with lamb and potatoes, baked in a flaky crust, 
was a very welcome addition to our pumpkin adventures!

Despite our daughter's willingness to stay out of the family photos, I thought that this post would not be complete without her, so I dug for the photos taken many moons ago, on another farm, in another state, in another part of the country. Our little pumpkin was just 3.5 y.o. back then, and we had such a marvelous day at a large dairy farm in rural Ohio, complete with hay ride, corn maze, funny goats and even milking a cow!



The farm employee teaches Anya how to milk a cow. 
Who knows what skill will become useful in life, right?


But back to today. We picked some tasty treats made at the farm, such as pickled beets, peach salsa, blackberry jam, and a few beautiful squashes for decorating and cooking! 




~ FUN FALL FOODS ~

Roasted pumpkin and salmon. I used rosemary&thyme for pumpkin, 
salt&pepper for salmon, and good olive oil for both. 35 min at 375 F.

Mixed roasted veggies and turkey meatballs: cut pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, leeks, 
add rosemary&thyme, salt and pepper, sprinkle everything with olive oil. 40 min at 400 F.

October is Justin's birthday month! To celebrate, we had dinner at his favorite Mexican restaurant. Don't mind us, if for the first time in our life together we both were able to have adult beverages, because we now can trust that our daughter will drive us home. She was a bit scared when I mentioned that at first, picturing both of her parents drunk, I suppose, ha ha! But really, Justin and I, drunk? That has never happened before, and I doubt it ever will, it just isn't something we're interested in. But an occasional glass of wine or margarita for me, and a glass of sweet wine or sangria for Justin? Yes, please! Thank you, Anya!



I also made Pumpkin Cranberry Bread by the birthday boy's request. It's a bit time consuming when done from scratch, but it's fun for me. Below is the recipe in a few easy steps.

PUMPKIN CRANBERRY BREAD
INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 cups of flour
5/8 tea spoon of ginger powder (I use a shredded ginger root)
5/8 tea spoon of nutmeg
1/4 tea spoon of cloves
1 1/2 tea spoon of cinnamon
1 tea spoon of baking soda
1/2 tea spoon of salt
2 eggs
2 cups of sugar (I use less; add brown sugar for even better taste)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil (I use canola)
1 cup of pumpkin (I use shredded fresh pumpkin)
1 cup of cranberries
1/2 cup of walnuts


COOKING

1. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients, except sugar: flour, salt, soda and spices.
2. Separately, mix eggs with sugar, add pumpkin and oil. 


3. Combine the two mixes and mix well - you will get a thick, pasty dough.


4. Add cranberries and walnuts, mix well. 


5. Bake for 40 min at 375 F (I used my little toaster oven). Adjust the time as needed, but don't overbake it, so it doesn't dry out. I like that it is moist inside, with a crust on the outside. Truly wonderful Fall treat!


BON APPETIT!




The same Pumpkin Cranberry Bread recipe, 
but this time, I used a round baking form and lots of brown sugar.

I hope you enjoy your Fall or Spring, wherever you are! 
Take the season in, one sip or one little bite at a time! 
Cook something cozy and give your loved ones a hug! 

Lots of love,
Natalia

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19 comments:

  1. very yummy post!!
    of cause for the gorgeous food you´v cooked - mouthwatering!! - but too for all the warmhearted slices of daily life - and! for the wonderful outfit you have worn at the farm.....
    belated happy birthday to justin!!
    had a good chuckle imaging you & justin having fun with cocktails&sangria, dragged out of the cantina by your sweet daughter and singing on the backseat while she´s driving home ;-DDDD not the worst way to celebrate birthday in my books....... you know i´m a punk at heart ;-D
    so - i cant wait to go into the kitchen to cook something hearty - the weather is wet and cold - perfect timing for your recipes!
    lots of love and the hugest, warmest hugses! xxxxxx
    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, my dear! Singing on the back of the car is exactly what I'm going to do, after all those years of Anya's singing from the back of the car! :))))
      Lots of love!

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  2. This post was exactly my cup of tea. I loved catching up on your life in October, my favorite month.

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    1. October is the best! Glad you liked the post, Sam! <3

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  3. The pumpkin/cranberry/walnut bread looks wonderful! Did you make the gorgeous looking lamb pie too?
    Check out the wonderful "Endangered Species" exhibit on now at Whatcom Museum, you might be interested. JanF

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    1. Thank you, Jan! The exhibit does sound interesting, I'm glad you've mentioned it. The lamb pie was sold at the farm, it's by a Seattle pie company, I can't remember the name, but I'm sure if you google something like "Australian pie in Seattle", you'll find it. It was really good!

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  4. First of all, a belated happy birthday to Justin! It's lovely to see you again, and yes, I do love reading and seeing "slice of life" posts, in this case, several slices of your life, and seeing what you've been wearing at the same time! All that food is looking very, very yummy, and I'm taking note of your pumpkin cranberry bread recipe. Anya is looking lovelier and more grown up by the minute, and how lovely that she was able to drive her slightly intoxicated (joke!) parents home. Your last photo of you posing among the scarecrows make me smile! Hugest of hugs xxx

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    1. Thank you, dear Ann! I am happy that you enjoyed the post, it was fun to make. I love a mix of different approaches, including a slice of life. I am also very curious to see others' everyday life, there is something unspeakably cozy about it. :) Especially in the Fall, I think.
      Lots of love!

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  5. mwhaha, what a lovely post!, love to see you in the pumpkin farm, looking like a character from a Harry Potter book, a lovely character for sure, so colorful and gorgeous in your earthy colors outfit!. I love all the cute (old) pictures of Anya and all the cute pictures of all of you having fun!. It's shocking that she's so grown up and can drive!
    And love to see all the fab food and the recipe of the pumpkin cranberry bread which looks so delightful! (I'm taking notes on it!)
    Once more, a fabulous post that put a smile on my face!
    besos

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    1. Thank you, dear Monica! A character from HP books - how unexpected! But I think I know what you mean by that.
      Kids in America start driving very early, at 15. Then they get a license after 6 months practicing with their parents or other adults and passing a formal government test at 16. I always says that only babies don't drive in America. :)))
      <3

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  6. I do like a slice of life post ! Happy belated birthday to Justin and how brilliant to have a driver so you can both have a drink with your dinner. I can't believe Anya is old enough to drive - can Jon and I borrow her?
    Your pumpkin loaf looks absolutely delicious and your trip to the farm looks so American! xxx

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    1. Thank you, dear Vicky! I will ask Anya about "borrowing" her! :)))
      Lots of love!

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  7. I love this post. So cute with the pictures of little Anya :)
    I love pumpkin farms. Your style is great for this event. Halloween is near. Thanks for this wonderful reciept and inspiration about salmon and pumpkin.
    A very huge hug Tina

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    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed this post, dear Tina! Happy cooking! <3

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  8. That green dress looks great on you. Such a lovely fall styling! Visiting a pumpkin farm sounds like a great idea. A nice way to get into the spirit of the season. It makes even more sense in the US, because of the Halloween tradition and all that. So sweet to see photos of Anya as a little girl. I see you have a whole tradition of visiting pumkin farms. Yesterday I baked a pumpkin in the oven and today we have turned it into a cream soup- it was so yummy. I love your recipes. I tried salmon with pumpkin too. Btw Those photos of Anya milking a toy cow are so cute. I know how to milk goats, but not cows. We didn't have the cows on the island (my grandmother had sheep and goats).....every skill learned is useful.

    Happy belated birthday to Justin. How nice that Anya was able to drive you home. She's growing up so fast. It seems like the three of you had a lovely evening together. Have a great week ahead.

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    1. Thank you, my dear Ivana! The best salmon pumpkin dish I had at our local Thai restaurant, it was sweet and spicy at the same time, creamy and just heavenly! I remember you said once that you aren't familiar with American pastries and such. This sweet bread recipe is a good example of one kind of American preferences. They do like using spices in their pastries, maybe it's an English influence. Russian pastries and cakes have more German and French influences. They also love mixing lots of fruit and berries with dough.
      <3

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    2. it might be an English influnce or even Dutch or German. Spices in pastry sounds like a northern influence. I think our pastries are more similar to those in south of France or Italy. I love putting fruits and berries into dough.

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  9. I adore these pumpkin fields. Perfect for autumn and the green dress suits you perfectly. Love it.


    take a look at my BLOG and my INSTAGRAM

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