Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Ramblings

I'm madly in love with this season.

I'm in love with how easily it awakens the senses...how quickly a breath of its fresh air can boost my mood..how the trees drop blankets of leaves in shades and colors I find most soothing...
Coffee and red wine taste even richer.
It's a time to be comfy and cozy.
It makes me feel the love even more.

Fall is just plain romantic.
Fall is just plain peaceful.

And yesterday, truly felt just that. With how on-the-go things have been around here, I took advantage of a day with nowhere to be. My car didn't move from the driveway once. I spent the day in an old shirt of Steve's and pajama pants. My friend, Kim, came over for our weekly breakfast, of Wegman's finest carbohydrates, coffee and chatter.

I did laundry. Cleaned our bathrooms (sounds romantic, right?!?)

Made dinner.

Yes, you read that right. I, Maria, made dinner.
I was nervous. But, I really wanted to give it a whirl. You see, I'm not the best cook. I'm actually horrendous in the kitchen. The first time I cooked for Steve, 6 years ago, in the beginning stages of our relationship...it ended with us going to the local joint down the street, 5 minutes after Steve tasted my nauseating creation. Angel hair with grilled chicken. Doesn't sound so tough. Well, the chicken was so undercooked it was still clucking, and the pasta was so overcooked, it all stickily clumped together, forming the shape of the bowl. It was so bad, if you turned the bowl upside down, nothing would've fallen out.

Let's just say, we like Steve's cooking around here. He loves to cook. I love his cooking. So, it works. But, it's time I start learning a few things in the kitchen.
Wednesday night, while on the phone with Kelly, we got on the topic of food. This happens often. I ended up jotting down a recipe she had just tried. She said it was easy. I like the sound of that. Still, it's me. I can ruin a bowl of cereal. I headed to the store afterwards for the ingredients. I figured if I had what I needed, I couldn't back out of giving it a try.


I don't know the actual name of this recipe, so we will call it, Gnocchi alla Spinach Garlic Onions and Sausage *super original*
I learned a few things right away.

*Onions REALLY do make you cry! I must be sensitive to those suckers. I had to walk out of room.

*Kelly was right, *Don't forget to take the casing off the sausage*. See, the old Maria would just throw the whole wheel in the pan and stare at it as it caught on fire.

*And, if you follow the directions, the meal will be edible...maybe, even taste good.

I set the table...put on some music...poured some wine...waited to surprise Steve...


The kitties sat and waited patiently...

yea, yea...NO CATS ON THE TABLE...we find Mr. Twinkie passed out like this far too often.


And after not much time at all, and surprisingly no mishaps...it turned out great!!  Thank you, Kelly!!

Steve was impressed, instead of choking and begging for Burger King. I genuinely believed him when he said he loved it. He's even taking leftovers to work today. And now, I feel a bit more confident. I'm ready to try another meal. Anyone want to share any great "fall" recipes? Send em' my way! :)


Krimpet relaxing with Steve after dinner

It was a nice little night with the Mr.

*
The pottery we painted for my birthday arrived.
It's awesome to see how much the colors change once they get fired up.

Before



After





We love how vibrant they became.

*
Everything gets sweeter this time of year...

Pumpkin cupcakes from a friend *down to the last one, Brie :)

gotta eat the icing first!

Lunch outside...on the perfect autumn day...with this pretty lady.
Gina and I don't see each other as often as we should. But, whenever we set up a date, we gab for hours and manage to catch up on all the lost time.
Thanks to her, I finally experienced all the rage that is "Kiwi Yogurt"
Once I realized I had control of how much ice cream trendy frozen yogurt stuff and toppings I could put in my cup, I went a little wild. And of course, managed to turn the candy corn thingy majiggy a little too hard, causing about 83 of them dance all over the floor.

pumpkin spice yogurt with candy corn and graham cracker crumbs...SUGAR!!!

our creations.

Speaking of sweet, how thoughtful and adorable are these homemade magnets I found in my mailbox, addressed to "Tacohead" Marino?!
kitties!!!


*

The next couple days, it's all about Girl Time. I've got a date to "get my craft on" with Jessica today. My friend, Jen, is going to be a Mrs. in 8 short days!! The celebrating begins tonight and throughout the weekend.  Lots to do.  Lots to love.


Fall, I adore you. I will take you any day over Summer.
You're brightening my days, even if the sun goes down earlier. You're warming up my nights, even if it's starting to get chilly out there.
You're making me slow down and calm down, even when things are busy, busy, busy. You're slowly but surely making sense out of things that don't make sense at all.
You're bringing me more hope.


*What are your Fall Favorites?


*Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend full of everything and everyone you love*



Friday Fall Lovin',

20 comments:

Tammy @ The Stitching Coop said...

That's a good question! My fall favorites: The last really good clean before winter sets in for a few months. Bringing out projects left for the colder days such as quilt tops. Just sitting on the back deck watching the pups play friskly in the backyard. Checking smoke detectors on the last day of October before heaters come on. Walking in the crisp air with my sweetie. Pulling out the chili and shepherd pie recipes. Preparing my thanksgiving food list (yes I really start in october). It's all the little things before cold hits as when it does, it also hits my RA pretty bad too! I like doing quilt tops in the colder weather as they keep me warm as I work... now that's thinking ahead.

A wedding.. how blessed! Girl time is always good time spent! Craft time, you should make more of those coasters in red and creams.... hehe... sell them... to me!
Hugs
tammy

Mrs. E said...

That dinner looks awesome! Congratulations, Chef Maria "Tacohead" Marino (LOL!) Anyway, I laughed out loud when you said that the chicken was still clucking!! I once cooked (ruined) a pot roast because I didn't stick the thermometer in far enough...it was "done" about 35 minutes later. Fastest pot roast in history!! Too bad only the outer 2cm of the roast was cooked =) Love, hugs, and candy corn~~ xoxo

Judy Haughton-James said...

Wonderful post with beautiful pictures Maria. Fall is really an amazing season. In Jamaica we do not get to see the beautiful autumn scenes but it gets a bit cooler. I love the Halloween lantern, the pottery and other decorations. I am getting better at cooking and bold enough to try some new recipes these days!:) There was a time when I was hopeless! Your table looked great. Your cat is oh so cute! I can also see that you have wonderful friends. Have yourself a great weekend. Lots of Love and best wishes to you.

Rebecca said...

I LOVE this post!! Fall is my fav season. CONGRATS on the dinner. I've been cooking more too lately but I'm a veggie so I don't have any recipes you would want! I love the way you set up the table, everything looked AWESOME!! Enjoy girl time!

Kelsey said...

I hope this posts because I'm doing it from my phone!! I have lots of recipes to share with you.. Tons of easy crock pot ones that can cook all day and make the house smell delicious! :)

Glad you're enjoying fall! It's my favorite too! Ate a loaf of pumpkin bread by myself! Fat girl power!!!

Minta's Creations said...

I Love Fall and all the color of the leaves..Just joined your blog..would love a follow back.
Minta

http://mintascreations.blogspot.com/

Steve said...

I love the weather, the lower electric bill and the AWESOME BEERS in the fall. :)

Dinner was great, so happy you took the steps to cook, I love you - from my hospital bed. ;)

corabeth said...

New Follower from Finding New Friends Blog Hop. Hoping you will follow back! =0)
My Crazy Life

MrsV said...

Love love love fall!

And love gnocchi! We just do ours with a tomato sauce which I usually just make from scratch now. Not as good as when hubby's nonna makes it but good enough to please a picky Italian husband lol.

I myself am still learning how to cook i'll see if I have any hunt simple recipes to pass you way :)

Have a good weekend!
<3

Maria said...

I am far from being a good cook but I can throw some easy stuff together. We like to cook in really big batches then can or freeze it. Maybe you and Steve could have cooking days and then you can enjoy home cooked meals made with love!
-says the girl who's husband is picking up pizza for dinner. :)

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

The dinner looks fantastic Maria! And yum, pumpkin yogurt, my favorite! I might just need to stop and get some tonight after seeing this. Fall is the best season, isn't it! Have a fabulous weekend. Xoxo

Aleisha McD said...

OOOOOOHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I SCREAMED out loud when I saw the picture of the magnets. Then I started clapping and cheering like a total doofus!! HA HA HA!!! Lilly was like, "Mom...why are you acting weird?" HA HA HA!! Yep, I was THAT excited about the "holla" over the magnets. THANK YOU SO MUCH for the shout-out. They look so cute on your fridge. That little kitty girl is YOU! HA! SO, SO, SO glad you liked them. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Kelli said...

Love your blog, gonna follow along. :) Nice to meet you.
xo
Kelli

KellBellz said...

I'm so glad the recipe turned out for you! It looks exactly as it should! :-) xoxo

Stephanie said...

HA HA HA HA HA... I love this post! Your kittie's though bubbles just cracked me up :) And your rendition of the first cooked meal made me laugh so hard! I brought Kevin up to read this post and he was dying laughing too! It's so nice to have fast food or pizza close by in case of emergencies! :)

Love the pottery! Have fun celebrating and planning these next couple of days with your bf! :)

XOXO, Stephanie

PS: I cannot stop thinking about pumpkin pie yogurt!!!!!

mag said...

Um, that dinner looked totally awesome! I am for sure going to pull some of my yummy simple recipes for you to try. Food is so deliciousssssss.

I wish we lived close, because I am super obsessed with pottery painting! Gosh that looked so fun :)

Also, there are about 2529582 Fro-yo places around here. Love me some candy corn topping!!

Hope you are having a good weekend girlie. xoxoxoxo

Skylar Magazine said...

Hey Maria, I'm Sarah, I'm a new follower from Welcome Weds hop. I love your blog, I'm a country fan and love Miranda Lambert! Anyway, I would love for you to stop by my blog and follow back. Thanks:)

http://skylarinc.blogspot.com/

Carolyn said...

I love Fall as well. I am following you now. Stop by and visit some time.

http://celebratinghomewithcarolyn.blogspot.com
http://lovinglifeasacouponer.blogspot.com

Nicole {Miss Mommy} said...

Hello!. I feel kinda special since i'm follower number 301!. I'm coming over from the blog hop!. So glad to meet you and your babies (cats) are so cute!. I have 2 of my own cats which I love - perhaps sometimes more then hubs and the kids!!. Nah - just kidding. Hope to see you around my place ;)

KERRY said...

Hey Maria!! I'm a little late reading this on my Wednesday lol but better late than never I say!! Thankyou thankyou thankyou for always visiting and commenting on my blog and I like you so much I have added your button to my home page :)
That last pic of the pumpkin is too cute! I want one of those cupcakes like now and you and your friend Gina (?) look so pretty in that photo! I bet hubby was thinking "what's she up to with this meal?" am I right? hahaha anyhow great work!! Gonna go read your other posts xo

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