Fall Food

comments: 112




















Aw, yeah: I cooked and baked and brewed. Buttermilk oatmeal bread, hearty mushroom and sausage pasta sauce, pumpkin spice pancakes, and homemade chai. All of it was very good! (The raviolis, by the way, were these, and they were AWESOME awesome awesome — I am really weird and picky about my ravioli because we do not have the same brand here that my mom used to buy when we lived in Chicago [she says it was Mama Celeste? does that brand still exist in the Midwest, or beyond?], and these are the closest I've ever tasted to those, my childhood favorite food, so I'm rather joyful now, because I just love ravioli, and you know how there are some things that you just want to taste a very certain way?).

(Speaking of, calling all Chicagoans now living in Portland: RUN to Bridge City Pizza in Woodstock [or just past Woodstock — or maybe it's still Woodstock there]. Oh. My gosh. You will completely freak out. The guy [nicest guy ever] who owns this place is an actual south-sider and he actually makes Chicago pizza the way Chicagoans think of pizza. And cuts it in sqaures. And puts it in the big white bag with the staples at the end that is transparent with cheese grease by the time you get home. You guys, this is the pizza. This is not the stuffed pizza. This is not the thick-crust pizza. This is the heavy, cheese-and-sausage, white-bag pizza. And you know what I'm talking about. Tell him the girl from River Forest [me] and the guy from Elmhurst [Andy Paulson] sent you. [And if any of you are from River Forest and you grew up eating River Pizza, you may start almost-sobbing like I did.] It really, really tastes like home. Andy actually called the pizza place back after we got home with our pizza the first time we tried it and he said, "This actually changes the whole city of Portland for us," and I was just standing in the background chewing and nodding vigorously with tears streaming down my face, unable to speak.)

I'm kidding. But he did call and say that. And I think his voice had a little quaver in it.

Mimi and I walked up to the get the chai ingredients yesterday in the rain. It's been raining for a couple of days, though it is still warmish, which is just delighting me. In the effort to get the mud room space ready for the pantry (which arrives tomorrow), I've been thinking about what's going in the pantry, and thinking about how to reorganize all of our kitchen storage space in general. I started to get a little excited about cooking again. It's really been a while. It's hard to admit this, but summer food just doesn't appeal to me that much, cooking-wise. This past year I really haven't cooked that much because of the baby, but now that she's older and much more willing to hang out with me in the kitchen for longer stretches, and now that it isn't four thousand degrees in the kitchen and we can use the oven again, and now that it's pouring rain and there really isn't anything calling us outside ('bye river, 'bye park, 'bye woods) for days at a time, I guess I finally hear the call of the Dutch oven. Of the slow-simmering sauce. Of the bread that takes hours to rise. Of the chopped onions, the butternut squash, the apple pies, of the long, lazy, candlelit mornings, of the bubbling Irish oatmeal I so love, of the spicy chili, or the black bean soup. Yeah. I like fall cooking a lot. I'm pretty excited about it again, especially because every day Amelia is trying new foods, and this girl loves to eat!!!

Anyway, that pasta sauce above was really nice, especially, I thought, because of the green pepper. A little sweet, but I like it sweet. The pumpkin pancakes, well, yum; we've made those many times and I think they are my absolute favorite pancakes. That's just a good recipe. (And I do have one of those beautiful crepe pans [mine's from the Mirador] that makes making pancakes pure pleasure.) The bread was good and dense and salty. The chai was a little too delicate and a little too rich; next time I will make it stronger by cutting the milk to only one cup (instead of four) and adding one more cup of water, and keeping everything else the same.The flavor was just what I was looking for, but I want a bit more intensity, on a cold, rainy, glistening, beautiful, cozy little old September afternoon.


It's hard to believe your baby girl is growing so quickly! She's such a cutie. The photos show such joy ... I can only imagine what it's like in real life. :-) Blessings ...

claire ashworth says: September 24, 2013 at 04:49 PM

Those three pics in the middle of your little girl are just--ugh... Alicia they are so divine. Love watching her grow through your beautiful photographs!

What is Irish Oatmeal? So much fun! I just love fall baking. I absolutely love your pictures of Mimi! What a sweetie!

Goodness, how do you do it? Most days I feel lucky to boil water with my little 15 month old. But mostly I would just like to know, does your little one just naturally keep those beautiful rose clips in or does she find them and pull them out?

Lorraine Frischkorn says: September 24, 2013 at 08:16 PM

Your post is making me hungry! I must try your chai recipe! I love making bread. Kneading is so therapeutic! I lived in a cape cod in Franklin Park IL until I was 16. I miss that house and all the memories made there. Andy, remember the deafening jets overhead? Then, at 16, we moved to Des Plaines,IL. Now, I live in a nostalgic, little Georgian just like the ones that shared my street with the cape cods! Lorraine ...North of Chicago! P.S. Tomorrow, I'm going to make your Chicken quesadillas with black beans - great recipe! Tonight I'm making my grandmother's Norwegian sour cream waffles, because my husband bought full fat sour cream, by mistake, instead of fat free. So now, I have an excuse to eat those as we did when she would make them...rich, moist, tender and at room temperature, slathered with smor (butter)! We Norwegians know how to appreciate real butter! No syrup on these, just butter!
P.P.S. Amelia is so sweet! I love her comfy wardrobe too!

I'm from Milwaukee originally, and I'm not sure I've ever had real Chicago pizza...but I live 5 blocks from there, so I'll have to go try!!!

Bridge City is the best pizza ever! We are over in Foster Powell and were so so happy we found it. I love it and the guy is so nice. Also fun to follow a blog of one of my neighbors and see your photos of our lovely city. I found you through soulemama one fine day and have been following every since.

Oh my goodness - your photos and words about fall food are just so beautiful that for a split second it makes me wish for the coziness of fall here! Which is crazy because I've been longing for summer all winter long :-) And the light - I think that's the thing I love most about your pretty home - that golden, syruppy light. Hope your fall continues to be lovely.

That little pointing finger!

I too love the Fall season...having homemade soup with peanut butter & jelly sandwiches or chili with cornbread...yummy.

My three sons are grown and have flown the "nest", but when I read about or look at your beautiful little Mimi, it makes me feel like a "grandmother." I can't wait until I am one! Thanks for adding your "little one" into my daily life. :)

Mimi is starting to point! That's the first sign of language. She's going to be a babbling baby!

Troy Louise says: September 25, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Yum, yum, yum! I'm with you. I really like fall and winter cooking over summer except for all the really fresh produce. Does that little Mimi just keep getting cuter? She's so adorable. Thanks for the lovely post & have a wonderful week.

ah, that sideways picture of her! adorable!

I see a beautiful headstrong young lady developing.

That cup of Chai looks scrumptious.

Ok, I just started the Paleo diet AND I'm done having babies so, this post was utter torture for me! I'm salivating for bread and pasta and babies.

Amelia looks JUST LIKE an Eloise Wilkin baby. So darling!

She is just a doll baby! I can see why you haven't wanted to be in the kitchen. I love, love, love to garden, but I much rather cook comfort foods. I love spring and summer vegetables, but come fall, I'd much rather throw them in my stock pot. We moved from MA to TN a month ago , and I'm still waiting for fall to arrive. I will be patient though, bc I prefer that than 90 inches of snow. And when I'm done painting and removing 4 rooms of wallpaper, I'm going to try my hand at ravioli, bc it is pure comfort food, IMO.

My word... there is just the sweetest unspoken understanding in her little eyes... Amazing.

if you want to try a different chai - heather at beauty that moves has a wonderful recipe. she tells you how to make a concentrate. my first time, I made a giant batch + loooooved it!
I think you add about a third of the concentrate to a cup of your favorite milk. it's so do good!
thanks so much fir your posts! I so enjoy reading your words + your beautiful photographs! I'm so very happy for your family! really, truly!
happy fall!

Miss Amelia - how charming and beautiful are you?!

and I so like the way you write for us, Alicia ...
especially that very last sentence with eight adjectives in a row - perfect!

much love,
Barbara xxx ooo

Your enthusiasm for the pizza place cracked me up! If I ever come to Portland I'll be sure to look it up. Honestly I've never been that crazy about pizza. However, having just got back from a trip to Florence and enjoying real Italian pizza, I finally know what all the fuss is about! I'm not mad about summer cooking either - though I love that I love to eat salads in the summer months. I'm getting back into my baking now and looking forward to soups :o)

What are the flowers?

Just in case you haven't been told today - you are an inspiration take a peek at this photo http://emmavarnam.co.uk/?p=4399

It all looks delish. How do you do your homemade chai?

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.