Fall Features

Someone’s excited for fall break!

We are off of school this week due to conferences and MEA, here in Burnsville.  Most school districts only get Thursday and Friday off, but our district likes to add those three conference days at the beginning of the week and that works out just fine for us.  We’ve only been in school for 28 days, so it always seems a bit silly to me that our conferences are this early, but I can’t argue with a few extra days off during my favorite season and calling it a “fall break.”

What have we been doing this week?  Well, you know that Kelly got her braces on and that has been about the most exciting thing that has happened.  On Sunday night, we drove up to Hugo and  had dinner with Sandra, Jim and my sister Terry.

They made a delicious Champagne  Chicken with mashed sweet potatoes, salad and an almond cake with fresh fruit on top for dessert.  It was very tasty.  We got to meet Sandra’s dog, Bam-Bam, who has recently transferred from Puerto Rico and now living here in the states with us.  Sandra says he only speaks spanish, so we weren’t sure what to say to him.  Is that really true?   Anyway, he’s a cute, little nine year old Daschund that loved to be held and wanted everyone’s attention at all times.  I think he was a little spoiled down in Puerto Rico with her daughter Cristina.  Poor Ginger is being pushed aside a little when Bam-Bam is around.  You sure have to watch where you’re walking too, he’s so low to the ground, mostly black and very quiet.  Hard to spot him, I was worried I would step on him.

Megan loved holding him in her lap.

The rest of the week has been slow.  I had to bring my truck in for a new radiator.  There was lots of liquid dripping from the front of it and the garage now has a puddle in it, where I park.  So that was a “must do” on my list this week.  At least it was fixable and not something too horribly expensive.  They did, however, tell me I need four new tires before winter.  ugh!  While they were fixing my truck, I decided to walk home, rather than them giving me a loaner.  It was a gorgeous fall day, so why not.  I was texting Nate on my walk home, telling him what the problem was with the truck, when I looked up and saw that the city workers were flushing the fire hydrants on our streets!  I had to get off the street and walk through people’s yards in order to get back home.  What are the odds?

Yesterday (Wednesday) was quite a relaxing day for me.  I say this because both the girls were at a sleepover and didn’t come home until 2:00…Kelly at 3:30, so I had the entire house to myself.  Loved it!   I only wished that the sun would’ve come out.  It was so cloudy and gloomy out, that I became quite sleepy and lazy.  I found myself on the couch either reading my book, playing on the computer, iPad or my phone for hours.  Wow, I sound like the girls!  I did get one task done though.  A good friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago.  Her neighbor started a dinner calendar for the family.  Each week someone brings them a fully made dinner that they can enjoy and nobody has to cook.  She is quite tired after her chemo appointments and doesn’t feel up to cooking.  Who can blame her.  Yesterday was my day to bring them dinner.  Kelly and I went over and brought her a dish that she could freeze because they were leaving the next day for South Dakota to visit her family.  She was thrilled to get this dish and I could see it in her eyes how happy this made her.  It made me realize how such a simple thing can mean so much to someone.  I wish I could do more than just dinner.  I was glad that Kelly came along with me so that she could see how well my friend is doing.  She looks great and I know she will beat this cancer.

Today, I was determined to be more motivated (even though the sun was not out again!).   Fall is the best time for cooking.  The house starts to smell good, the warm oven heats up the kitchen and those fall colors start showing up in your food.  The colorful squashes & pumpkins, the vegetable and the herbs that go with them.  Oh, it’s all just good eats!  Today I made a Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken & Apple Sausage.  Just so it’s noted…I have been making soft foods for dinner all week, to make up for my caramel apple trick played on Kelly.  See, I’m not that mean!

They really are the best! hee-hee

Back to my soup…This is a wonderful and healthy soup that I found in my Food Network magazine.  It’s filled with butternut squash, onions, carrots, and celery.

Love Butternut Squash

fall goodness~

I simmered them on the stove in chicken broth until they were tender and then pureed it all in my blender.  The chicken sausage is sautéed in a pan just until browned, then added to the pureed soup to give it a wonderful smokey taste that goes well with the sweetness of the squash & veggies.

We’re not big on vegetarian meals. Meat eaters!

Sage leaves on top for presentation.

I asked Kelly and her friend Lauren, if they’d like to make some muffins to go along with the soup.  They were excited to help.  I love that they are old enough to do this without my help (but I’m always nearby, just in case).  They followed the directions and tah-dah, perfect muffins came out of the oven, smelling delicious.  We couldn’t wait to try them.   Nice job girls!  Megan was busy doing homework today, but she was eager to help eat these.  It was nice having Megan sitting at the island with me, as I cooked in the kitchen.  She said that I kept distracting her by offering her samples of my food, so she didn’t get as much done as she’d hoped.  Oops, guess that’s my fault.  Hmm, let’s see where she does her homework tomorrow when I make my Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins.

Lauren spoons in the batter~

Love the cooking outfit! She’s no June Cleaver ha~

Look out Food Network!

While I was busy making my house smell so good, my friend Becky stopped by with a bottle of wine she had found at a local liquor store in Savage.  She thought of me while at the store because of our HalloWine party, which is coming up soon and is donating this bottle to for the party.  How great is that!  Thanks Becky!!!     Can’t wait to taste this.  It comes from Door County and on the back of the label, it has the Legend of HalloWine.  I will have to dim the lights and read it to our guest.  Bwahaha!

Love it! I’ll use it as a centerpiece for awhile before opening it.

Tonight I drove Megan and her friends, Olivia and Emily, to ValleyScare (Valleyfair amusement park during October).  When we pulled up to the entrance, it was a sea of taillights!  I guess this is a pretty popular place during the halloween season.  Megan’s been there already once this month, but hasn’t gone into the haunted houses.  She likes to go on the rides at night but maybe tonight she’ll be brave and go get scared.  ha!   I know I wouldn’t go near that place.  I hate being scared.  Like mother like daughter~

That about wraps up our weekdays thus far.  It’s been a wonderful fall and continues to last quite a bit longer than usual this year.  Our trees in the backyard, haven’t lost their leaves yet and are just turning color this week.  The front yard has changed and dropped all of it’s leaves, so I’ve been spending time out in the backyard enjoying the last of the season (especially after a Viking game..grrr).

On Saturday, we’ll be going out pumpkin picking, so until then….enjoy your fall!

Jazzy & I playing in the yard.

Playing around with my photography~


  1. Cathy it was great to read your blog,the colors of all the food you were making were a delight ,making my mouth water.
    Girls looked like they have had a fun MEA.looking forward to next week so I can sample that spooky wine,cool bottle.

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