Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Favorites

Although I love summer, the fall just has an excitement in the air. So in honor of the beginning of fall, here are a few of my fall favorites:

1. Sunday afternoons in the park with my hubby

What is more perfect than reading, relaxing and then playing football, Frisbee, and bocce ball in beautiful Grant Park? (In high school, our friends all joked that John was like a camp director who always had a bag of baseball bats, balls, and other sports equipment... well, that's still true in marriage!)

2. Pumpkins... anything pumpkin!  Pumpkin candle, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin muffin...

Pumpkin Muffins
These are very similar to my banana oatmeal muffins, but you simply add cinnamon and replace the bananas with a can of pumpkin, or do a half-and-half combo like I did.

2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup almond milk
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3 cups gluten free rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbsp. chocolate chips (optional- I didn't add them this time)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray, or use liners.
  4. Divide batter between 12 muffin cups, filling almost to the top.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or just until edges start to brown and the muffins are firm to the touch.
  6. Let muffins cool, and then remove them from the pan - they won't stick this way.

3. It fits into #1 above, but reading either outside in beautiful weather or curled up in a blanket after dinner

I am currently reading an excellent book called Half the Sky, but since it's heavy and sobering at times, I'm also re-reading The Chronicles of Narnia, a favorite series from childhood.

I'm still in awe over the creation scene in the first book of the Narnia series, The Magician's Nephew:
"In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing... Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard... One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out - single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world... If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves which were singing, and that it was the First Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing."
4. Pulling out the slow cooker!  

...And making my slow cooker pork tacos for friends.

5. Approaching our first anniversary in less than a month and reflecting on God's many blessings

John was back at Wheaton yesterday for work, and had lunch at one of his old favorite spots, Portillos. He sent me a text that made me pause and be so grateful for our journey together:

What are you thankful for this fall?


  1. I have 'Half the Sky' sitting in my dining room, but I have to admit, I've been putting off reading it (because of its heaviness). Did you know that PBS made a documentary of it? Two parts, the second airs tonight, but you can watch them on their website. Unfortunately they're not available in Canada yet.

    1. It is definitely eye opening but worth the read- even if it is just in bits and pieces while reading another book. I did hear about the PBS documentary but haven't seen it -good to know it's online! Too bad Canadians have to wait though!