Monday, October 15, 2012

Three Easy-Peasy Fall Foods

     Happy Monday everyone. I'm sitting at my computer wearing my glasses and the flannel orange and yellow plaid pajamas I wear only in the fall. It's finally cold enough at night that I can wear them. I love that. I love cozy pajamas too, and even though it's supposed to be 80º here today, I at least get to wear warm jammies at night (and I guess during part of the day, too). I wanted to share a couple super easy recipes we've been making lately that are really helping to bring about the fall feeling, despite the weather. If you shop at Trader Joe's, these meals and snacks will be even easier for you to make. I got all the ingredients there in under 15 minutes. 
1. Butternut Squash Ravioli with Organic Vodka Marinara: The raviolis are already stuffed and ready to go. Get them in the refrigerator section of TJ's (near the tofu and cheeses at mine). They are a little sweet, so I chose the vodka marinara (also from TJ's) and added shaved parmesan cheese and hot pepper flakes to spice it up. For a different taste my mom sautes them with butter and fresh sage leaves. 
2. Honey Apple Butter Spread: We returned from our summer road trip craving assorted cheeses. It wasn't too long ago that I despised the taste of blue cheese and its stinky cousins, but after friends and family in Chicago and New York re-intorduced us to many cheese varieties we became hooked and make a toast and cheese plate once a week. To prepare this snack, I toast multi-grain bread and then spread the honey apple butter on it (serving it with a tiny little knife makes it look fancy, too), adding cheese of choice on top. Lately, we have had brie and gouda cheese. I usually have some hummus out as well. 
3. Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread: I'm just gonna come out and say it: it came from a box. Yep, and it was good. If you want to make this delicious holiday staple from scratch I suggest trying Tammy's recipe. It's probably better. If you don't have a lot of time (or are a lazy baker like me), Trader Joes (and probably other stores) make a box kind. All you have to do is add eggs, oil, water and chocolate chips. The box says to bake at 350º, but I lowered the temp to 325º and cooked it an extra 10-15 minutes to account for the added chocolate chips. I wouldn't have known this if my mom didn't tell me. I also used light olive oil instead of vegetable. I wouldn't have known this if it weren't for my mom, either. I made this bread with the five year old I tutor and, although she said the pumpkin smell was "stinky" and plugged her nose while stirring it, it was a fun and simple recipe to make with a kid who loved it once it was baked (and so did we). 
     I hope you like these (easy) fall foods. I'm off to surf now. The waves have been pretty good so far this fall and I'm still wearing my spring suit (only 2mm thick versus 3 or 4mm) since the water is so warm. I've been working on my top turns and have honestly been a little frustrated with my progress. I'm trying to get to a place where I come off the top and turn my torso back towards the white wash behind me, but it's hard. After that, I am going to the salon to support a friend who is shaving her head before chemo therapy. I don't think I'm prepared for how emotional it is going to be. If you're the praying kind, please send out a prayer for my friend, if you're not, please send positive thoughts. They are very appreciated.


  1. I love these easy fall foods! Definitely going to attempt a few of these now that the weather is getting slightly cooler.

    Just found your blog and am a big fan!


  2. Oh my gosh this all looks delicious. I have never been to Trader Joe's but I might just have to go for this pumpkin bread. Good thing we have one here in Athens!

  3. i love me some trader joes sauce. their three cheese is my go toooooo.

  4. Hello there!
    I'm loving your blog and just became a follower :)
    It's not fall where I live but, who cares? Great recipes, thanks for sharing!


  5. mmm mmm mmm good ideas, I'm going to the store

  6. Great suggestions! I'm always looking for new recipes to make and you always have great ideas for vegetarians, which is rare. Positive thoughts and prayers to your friend as well.


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