Friday, September 24, 2010

I Welcome In The Fall

Happy Autumnal Equinox...Happy Mabon...Happy Second Harvest!

Normally at this time of year I feel defeated on one hand by all I didn't get done over the Summer and giddy on the other at all the blessings I have in my life.

I think I will skip the defeated emotions and move on to the giddy.

I am surrounded by wonderful people. I am blessed to know so many beautiful souls...some only through words and pictures on a screen...but all of them enrich my life in so many ways.

My home, though over-crowded at times, is so beautiful now with her coat of paint and accessories to match. I feel this great sense of peace surrounded by all that purple. lol

I took a hiatus from my projects this summer and worked on charity blankets and then stuff for Mom. I did at least a row every day even during the hottest... driest summer ever...and got quite a lot done.

I got to watch my little boy start taking on more responsibility and become eager to be more. We took time to play since our time is limited by academics during the school year...and as a family we had a lot of fun.

DH as always is my rock. He always takes on life's challenges with enthusiasm and gusto. It was wonderful having so much time with him and watch him really enjoy making the miters for our baseboard...ya know men and power-tools. lol

It really was a wonderfully productive and fun summer. :)

But now it is Fall. And Fall to me is all about vivid hues...tantalizing tastes...and magic.

Every year the squirrels leave me a perfect acorn that I keep on the altar until the next year to remind me that even the mighty oak starts as a small acorn. Everything for that oak to be is in that little acorn. Just like in all of us is great potential to be so much more if we choose.

Squirrels also teach us to gather up tools and supplies for the cold days ahead. So it is time for me to decide what things I want to work on this Winter.

When I finish this lapghan for Mom I want to get back to Dianna. And I already have the yarn for that project...so I'm good to go.

I figure there is no sense in making this huge list. I started the Summer vowing to work on WIPs...and I got quite a few done...and then things changed and I worked on other projects. I think it is better to give myself the whole Winter to finish one thing then make a long list.

And right now at the start of Fall; I'm not exactly sure where I want my path to go in the season of ice and dare I even say it...snow. So I'm going to meditate on what I need to squirrel away for the cold's Winter's days.

This weekend I made this awesome simple dish which you could change up anyway you want.

Take a piece of sausage for each person - we used Bratwursts...they were not overpowering yet had a nice flavor. Take an apple for each person - We used red delicious...which I do not recommend...we are going to try it again with a granny smith...I think that will be much better.
1 tbs thyme
1 tsp pepper to taste
2 tbs real maple syrup
1/2 cup rice per person - but it could be any grain like quinoa or bulgar

Cook the sausage...and make rice.

Take the apples and de-core them. DH wants to try them without skin this time but it is up to you if you skin them...and cut them into bite sized pieces.

If you want use the pan you cooked the sausage in after pouring off the oil...or use a tbs of olive oil in a new pan.

Put in the apples, thyme and pepper. Let the apples cook for five minutes then drizzle in the maple syrup.

Let that cook until the apples are tender. Keep stirring because that sugar will burn if left unattended.

When the apples are cooked. Add the sausage and rice and stir to coat. Let the whole thing meld for another five minutes and serve. Enjoy!

I've really been trying to make one thing a weekend from scratch. I love to cook. My parents always made food into a celebration and I enjoy a good meal that has a lot of parts and dances on your tongue.

Here is the recipe I made for our knitting group. I love mushrooms and this came out delish.

Mushrooms stuffed with Sage Pesto

1 - Cup fresh sage leaves
1 - Cup fresh parsley leaves
4 - Cloves garlic
1/3 - Cup, plus 2 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 - Teaspoon salt
1/2 - Cup olive oil
1 - Cup walnuts
1 - Cup browned bread crumbs
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Twenty 2 1/2 inch mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Put the sage, parsley, garlic, 1/3 cup of the cheese and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until combined. Gradually add the oil. Finally, add the walnuts and pulse until they are minced.

While you are pulsing the sage pesto brown the crumbs. This will take a long time and you cannot stop stirring them for long. If you want to add a bit of butter to help them brown; add it first and let it melt to liquid then add the crumbs stirring to coat as many as possible. You want them a deep brown. Take them out of the pan as soon as they are done so they can start cooling.

Transfer the pesto mixture to a bowl and stir in the bread crumbs. Season with pepper and check the salt. The filling should be quite pungent as the mushrooms will absorb a lot of flavor. If the mixture is dry and crumbly, add a little water.

Brush the pan with oil and the top of each mushroom around the cap with oil.

Fill the mushrooms caps with the sage pesto and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Arrange the mushroom caps on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: If you have leftover filling you can use it to crust chicken, fish or steak. We tried it with chicken and it was delish.

Now I'm hungry. lol

Have a beautiful weekend blessed by the spirit of harvest and thanksgiving.

Ruinwen

:)

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