Fall Deliciousness

One the of the grand things Mark and I decided for this school year is that when he gets a day off, he's going to sub in for me, following our normal school routine, and I get the day off.  As in, off.  While the kids are still getting school done.

I can't even describe to you how delightful this is.

This morning--- wait, let's go ahead and begin with last night, because I think you should all know that I single handedly ate an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream.  But that's not all.  I also ate approximately half a bag of Kettle Honey-Dijon chips.  You may think I'm exaggerating but I'm not.  Also a lime+coconut+rum blended drink Mark made me.

It's been that kind of week.  PMS hits hard and fast these days and on Sunday night I was bawling and feeling like this life of mine was impossibly overwhelming, was suddenly exasperated and irritated about all the mess everywhere, all the noise, everything that had to be done, anything on our calendar, any and all questions and all the interruptions.

So last night was absolutely necessary.

Oh.  And yes, I'm still counting calories.  I think I'd saved about 800 calories for last night's snacking, but we all know I went over by about 4000.  I figure that's just fine to do once a month.

Anyway, all that to say that today is a much-needed day off.  I woke up at 7:30 (that's sleeping in for me!).  Mark was already up with Adelia, reading books on the couch.  I went for a jog, came home, showered, got ready-- all while Mark was busy with the kids in their getting-ready-for-the-day, chores, and breakfasting routines, and now I'm at Starbucks with an iced latte and my Bible, journal, colored pencils and the laptop.  George Winston's December CD is playing happily in my ears.  It's my favorite soothing music.  I chose a sunny table by the window where I have a view of the fireplace but also get to sprawl out all my stuff.

This post is titled Fall Deliciousness because this may be my favorite time of year for cooking, baking and perusing cookbooks.  I've tried out some new recipes lately and wanted to share them with you.  Sorry for the long and winding intro.

First up: bread.  Is there anything better than freshly baked bread this time of year?  NO there is not.  So I've been baking bread.  Lots of it.  Our favorites are my grandma's white bread recipe, because it makes four loaves and because it's pure comfort to me to read her instructions in the recipe and to think of her baking it.  And the smell of it and-- it's the perfect bread for sandwiches.

baking bread
I also have another whole-wheat bread recipe that I alternate with for sandwiches.  And this recipe for Honey-Oat bread that I bake to use for dinnertime.

New to me but equally satisfying is this recipe for crusty bread.  (Thank you, Sarah E!) I have ALWAYS wanted to make this type of bread but don't have a dutch oven so I figured it was out of the question.  But a couple of weeks ago I decided to try to use an old Corningware dish I have that has a glass lid, and I'm so thrilled because it totally worked!  I made two loaves and they were perfect:

Secondly: soup.  Please do yourself a favor and make this recipe for Slow Cooker Butternut Squash soup.  (Another thank you to my friend Sarah).  I've made butternut squash soup before but this recipe is by far the best.  I think it's the coconut milk you add at the end.  Plus, you chop everything up and throw it in the crock pot and then your house smells like pure fall goodness all day long.  I think those are the best kind of meals.  [Just a couple of my notes on this recipe: I used sweet potatoes instead of the carrots and will do it again.  Because we just love sweet potatoes at our house.  Also, I peeled my apples.  I don't own an immersion blender so I just poured it into my food processor and pureed it in small batches.]  We all loved this soup!

A terrible picture, but here it is--ready to cook all day!
Serve the soup with some of that crusty bread and it's a perfect fall meal.  Or make up some quick Yogurt Biscuits but add something savory like parmesan and sage or whatever you have on hand.

Last but not least, please make this recipe for Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies from Ashley Rodriguez.  Just... yum.  It's the variety of sugars and the salt on the top.  I keep making them.  Double the recipe, for sure.  And I know she says to refrigerate the dough but who wants to wait for that?  Plus, then you have hard dough that's tough to work with so just ignore that part.  And use whatever chocolate you have and like.  I use milk and semi-sweet. 

(Recent) favorite cookbooks to pore over: Date Night In (which is where the cookie recipe comes from) and The Forest Feast (which is just pretty and inspiring.  I love her dressings and salads and her photos and illustrations throughout.)

Please share any of your favorite fall recipes in the comments.  We love to try new recipes at our house!

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  1. I love almost everything about this post, Stacy! Not the PMS, of course. But, a whole day off?!! What a gift! What precious way for Mark to support and bless you! And,

    1. Thank you, sweet Rebecca! Love to you. It is such a gift. I am so, so thankful! How are you and yours?

  2. You are so inspiring to me. Because you seem to find so much joy in your role as mom and wife and teacher and cook and...but you also are able to rest well, and give yourself Grace and do things that bring you great joy. That inspires me. Don't worry, I know you aren't perfect, but I thank you for your encouragement! And so glad I could share some recipe yuminess with you!!

    1. Aw. Your comment so blesses me, Sarah. Thank you and big hugs to you! I DO find such joy in my roles, so I'm glad you see that. :) And I think I've learned over the years that I need to rest well, too. So thankful for you, too. I definitely think we're kindred spirits even though we don't get to hang out much! ;)

  3. I've missed coming here for visits! As I sit here and sip some warm coffee topped with homemade whipped cream, your post sent joy through my heart! Baking bread, Bible journaling -- btw, I just love your beautiful art creations, and a day off...so inviting! ...and I can relate to the icky PMS stuff, too, but you just have a sincere way of cheering me up and I REALLY needed this tonight. (((Thank you!!!)))

    1. Um, YUM to your warm coffee topped with homemade whipped cream. Mmm! Sounds so cozy and delicious. Blessings to you, my friend.

  4. I've missed your blogging but still love to visit and find the hidden gems of wisdom, love, comfort, and cozy!

    Would you care to share your Grandma's white bread recipe? It looks delicious!


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