Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Faves


Apple Cider


Pumpkin Spice Lattes 

Fall Colors

Late Afternoons

Fall Magazines

Portland, Oregon
Just a few that are on my mind today!

September Recipe: Pumpkin Patch Stuffed Shells

I have a serious weeknes for a fall magazine. God forbid there is a long line at the market and I get stuck looking at every magazine out. Well that did happen a week ago and I came home with about 4. Everyday with Rachel Ray, which I don't really buy a lot, caught my eye with this yummy recipe.  It was such a great amount of fall flavors! You could also use sausage instead of ground beef (I will definitely try that next time). I also recommend doubling the sauce recipe (another thing I will do next time) if you like it really saucy.  Enjoy on a beautiful fall evening with late summer tomatoes, so good!


  • Salt and pepper
  • EVOO
  • 20 jumbo pasta
  • 1 lb. baby spinach
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 1/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
  • Parsley leaves


  1. Add 2 tsp. salt, a splash EVOO and 20 jumbo pasta shells to a large pot of boiling water. Cook according to package directions. Drain and rinse until cool. Cover with damp paper towels.
  2. 1 inch water to a boil in the same pot. Add half of 1 lb. baby spinach. Let wilt before adding the rest; stir to wilt. Rinse with cold water; squeeze to get the spinach as dry as possible.
  3. Place the spinach on a cutting board and chop with a bench scraper. (Or, if you don’t have a bench scraper, let an adult chop with a chef’s knife.)
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a skillet, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Add 1 large onion, chopped; add 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until tender, 6 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef; cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.
  6. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the chopped spinach until well mixed. Stir in 1/3 cup shredded cheddar. Let cool.
  7. Heat 2 cups milk in a microwave. In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour; cook 1 minute. Whisk in 1/2 cup hot milk, then the rest. When it boils, whisk 1 minute.
  8. Remove from the heat; season with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Whisk in 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree. Stir in 1 cup shredded cheddar. Cover to prevent a skin from forming.
  9. Hold a pasta shell in one hand and stuff with a large spoonful of the beef-spinach mixture (about a 1-inch ball). Cover the stuffed shells with a damp towel as you work.
  10. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Smear the bottom with 1/2 cup of the pumpkin sauce. Arrange the stuffed shells in the prepared pan with the openings face-down.
  11. Spoon more sauce on top. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the sauce is bubbling hot, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before decorating with parsley leaves.


Zimoun + Hannes Zweifel : 200 prepared dc-motors, 2000 cardboard elements 70x70cm, 2011 from ZIMOUN on Vimeo.

Love this installation. Found here...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Julian, CA

Farm Stand 
Broke down in Ramona
Pumpkin Patch


She was drunk

Julian Cider Mill



Dog Face
We had such a fun fall day on Sunday up in Julian pumpkin and apple picking.  I have been going to Julian every fall since I was a kid and now it is our tradition. It wouldn't feel like fall if we didn't.  We spent the day picking pumpkins, drinking cider, enjoying the sunshine and eating good BBQ. It was perfect. We had one little bump in the road when our car decided not to start after getting gas in Ramona.  FYI if your car breaks down on a sunday in a small town your kinda screwed. Thankfully my handy husband (with a little advice from the Dad's) was able to fix the problem and we were on our way. Nothing like making memories. Happy Fall!

Spooky, Scary!


The Crew


We made our anual trip last friday to Knott's Scary Farm and as always it was an amazingly haunting night. If you have never gone you should, if you dare, mwaaaahhhhhh!

Molly's Pumpkin Spice Bars

We love dinner with friends! Who doesn't? We switch off with our friends the Snelson's with dinner and dessert. Our house, their house, and lots of laughs, great music and and some good beer in between.  Molly brought these heavenly pumpkin bars to a fall dinner party at my house last year and I have been hooked ever since. I thank you Molly (my waist line doesn't) for this wonderful recipe I will make every year and think of you. And any time you want to bring them over for dessert, PLEASE do!


Bottom layer
29 oz can of Pumpkin
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 can Sweet Condensed Milk
3 Eggs
3/4 cup Sugar

1 box Spiced Cake Mix
3/4 cup Butter (melted)
3/4 cup chopped Pecans

Mix pumpkin, salt, sweet condensed milk, eggs and sugar into bowl. Beat well. pour mixture into a 13x9
pan. Dust spice cake mix evenly over top. Top with chopped pecans. Drizzle butter over top.  Place in a preheated 350' oven and bake for 50 minutes. Let cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.  Its even better on the second day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Craving Fall Flavors

Image via Not Without Salt

Spotted via A Subtle Revelry
Blog hopping and ran across these delicious images of fall food. Im ready when you are!

Last weekend of summer!

 There was something about this past weekend that really felt like the official last weekend of summer. We had so much fun spending time with friends and soaking up the last bit of summer fun! Saturday Brad and I went out on a fancy dinner date. It was fun to get all gussied up for a night on the town. Every time we do we always say how we need to do that more! Sunday was busy! Brunch at one of our favorite places Ramos House Cafe,  we then rode our bike all the way from San Juan straight to the beach for Doheny Days. It was awesome, and exhausting! Monday and Tuesday (still the weekend for me) we spent at smokey karaoke with friends, reading and relaxing in the sunshine, and having lunch with my dear friend. Now i'm ready for fall! My favorite time of year! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the last bit of summer magic!

Summer Fruit, Winter Fruit

Oh summer fruit I will miss you so! Into the next season. Loved these prints found here...

Love her!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Are You Happy?

Image found while blog hopping. Artist unknown.


I was down at my folks last weekend and my Mom and I were talking about what a sweet tooth my Dad has had lately! I don't remember exactly what happened but all of a sudden Dad was in the conversation and before I knew it I was making him shortbread. So Dad this is for you! I hope you loved your shortbread, I know I loved having it for breakfast the next two days with coffee and tea!


  • 1 1/3 cups (2 sticks plus 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-by-1-inch baking pan, and line bottom with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add salt and vanilla, and beat to combine. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed until just combined.
  2. Press dough into prepared pan, leveling and smoothing the top. Using a dough scraper or the back of a knife, cut dough lengthwise into nine strips, each slightly less than 1 inch wide. Cut the strips crosswise into thirty-six 3-inch bars. Using the tines of a fork or a wooden skewer, create a decorative pattern on the surface.
  3. Bake shortbread until evenly pale golden, but not browned, 70 to 85 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Invert pan, and remove parchment. Turn shortbread over, and carefully break, or cut with a serrated knife, into bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
    Recipe Via Martha Stewart

Love this site!

I stumbled upon this site  on accident a few months back and fell head over heals! It's every thing a girl could want in a beauty site. I love how fresh their ideas are, the photography, and the tutorials on hair, make-up, and nails. Written by Lauren Conrad and a few of her friends, this site aims to please and educate. Go to the The Beauty Department and check them out, you won't be dissapointed!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I can't wait...

This show cracks me up!

Say Something Nice

Found via A cup of Jo

21, finally!

Last night we celebrated my baby brother's 21st birthday! It seems like only yesterday he was just a baby and now he is a 21 year old man. Crazy! Didn't I just turn 21? Happy Birthday brother, we love you so much and hope you had an awesome birthday (i'm pretty sure you did)!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Birthday Cupcakes

I know, terrible picture, but I never said I was a photographer!
We celebrated my brother's birthday on sunday and I had asked him what kind of cake he wanted me to make him. He said "carrot cake, with cream cheese frosting", and I said "done little brother"! I found a great recipe on Not Without Salt, and loving everything she makes I decided to try it. It was awesome! I mean really who doesn't like a cup cake. Happy early birthday Devin, hope you loved your cup cakes!

Carrot Cake

1 1/2 cup grated carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 cup toasted and roughly chopped pecans
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Combine eggs, oil and vanilla. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices. Add dry to wet. Stir until just combined then fold in carrots, pineapple and nuts.
Bake 350* approx. 30 min. Until cake a toothpick comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

10 oz (room-temp) Cream Cheese
5 oz Mascarpone
2 tbl. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
½ tsp Cinnamon
Mix until combined and super fluffy.
Recipe via Not Without Salt

Enjoy your day!

unknown photographer

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