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.


So glad to know that someone else feels the same way about summer foods! It is still all golden and sunny here...and your post makes me long for rain and cosiness. xo

Ha! Mama Celeste ravoli's - We have them here in CT and they are our favorite. Wish there was a way to transport some to you.
Fall cooking is the best, warm comfort food. Soups - I miss them in the summer. Can't wait to see your new pantry space.

Oh my goodness! I can't believe you made my oatmeal bread and pasta sauce! My day is made. :) I love your photos, seeing the lovely things you knit, and watching your little girl grow.

I felt the same yesterday. I had a roast in the crockpot and butternut squash soup puree'ing on the stovetop.
Definitely autumn changing winds yesterday.

Pointing her finger --- sweet.

Oh my goodness...stop Amelia from growing! She is changing before our very eyes...
Lovely photos as usual; thanks for sharing with us.

I really enjoy your pictures! Cute baby and yummy bread!

You always inspire me. I have put your pizza place on the top of my list of new places to try. And when I saw your pie pan in the post before.. well, I just googled "cast iron pie pan" and found one on Amazon.. and bought it! :-) We are also cooking up fall dishes, or should I say my husband is. We had tamale pie tonite, last night was chicken noodle soup, I made homemade chili.. I'm enjoying the fall out here in Corbett! Did I tell you our son and DIL and 2 little grandsons are living with us now? Not sure if you have time to read my blog.. but we're enjoying little voices here too. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

I miss Chicago pizza like crazy! And, any place here that says they have Chicago pizza is always wrong...well, there was actually one place years ago that came the closest and then boom it closed down & I don't know why & I was bummed, it was very good.
Baby girl is just so darn cute, especially that pic of her leaning over the high chair...she always reminds me of my own at that age. :)

I love when babies point!

OH, the little blue rosebuds and the little head resting on the high chair tray!

Congratulations on your pizza discovery, too!

my goodness, but she is just growing up so fast ... she is looking so much more like a 'little girl'. i am looking forward to trying your chai recipe. we get ours from costco and it is divine, but i really would like to try and make it from scratch. lovely autumny photos : )

I Love Bridge City! That stapled bag on the table makes our night :)

That chai recipe looks a lot like the one I used to use when I made the effort. I've tried some of the other 'quick' versions but nothing compares to the real deal so there's really no point in trying. I first had it at a cafe in Sydney and I've been trying to replicate the experience ever since - it's not a bad thing to experiment with! One thing I like adding extra when steeping it is a couple of strips of orange peel, and I often steep straight in the milk, why dilute with water is my philosophy :) And kisses to your sweet baby, she reminds me in many ways of my daughter at the same age - they don't look exactly alike but there's something that grabs me every time I see a photo - maybe the expressions, rosebud mouth and round cheeks made for kissing. A Scottish nurse told me she was a 'bonny baby' by which she meant round, healthy and just totally delicious - yours is definitely bonny too.

Fall is also my favorite time of the year and now I am so envious as we have spring here and I would rather have fall. your little baby is looking like a little girl and not a baby any more. How fast this happens. You will enjoy baking with her, putting cups of flour into a bowl, mixing and spooning the mix into tins. Lots of fun ahead.

i adore mimi's "pose"...lying on the left side of her face, in her high chair tray, in her bits and bobs. she and i share october as our birthday month. yay, fall. i've been cooking and baking as well. it just feels right. i'm in illinois now (glen ellyn) , but when i'm back in omaha, i'll be baking bread. as always, beautiful post. thank you.

Oh, so beautiful pics. Fall is the best season time over year with me.

Annika is turning one tomorrow... I am so excited!! One year - where has it gone?? On my blog you can find a current photo of her and my husband while we were glamping...
I haven't cooked much as well the past last year - but Annika tastes more and more from our meals as well - and so I bought me a book full of receipes with "children" food. Let's see how it works out me in the kitchen and Annika "helping" :-)

I always love the recipes you pick. I think I like fall cooking too!

You know, it doesn't matter how often I visit your blog (and it's probably a little too much!) I am always taken aback at how beautiful and soulful Amelia's face is, she is simply stunning. Autumn is my favourite time of year both out and indoors! I look forward to that spice in my food to match the smells outside, a hint of cinnamon in my porridge, the searing heat of a really good curry or smokey richness of chilli. I heartily recommend Jamie Oliver's lemon rice http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/rice-recipes/lemon-rice as a side dish, despite the lemon flavour it's not particularly zesty, it's warming and flavoursome and completely delicious!

Kathy, FRANCE says: September 24, 2013 at 02:38 AM

I totally get what you mean about cooking Autumn/Winter dishes rather than Summer ones!! I like hot an nourishing and I like spending time cooking - but not in a hot kitchen!! lol

That picture of Amelia with her head on the tray is ADORABLE - her expression says so much - you are such a good photographer that you must have loads - but for me that one should be blown up and framed!!

I always so enjoy reading your Blog. It always brightens my day and makes me want to decamp and move to Portland. At the very least I hope to visit this wonderful city on a trip to the US some day. The pumpkin pancakes sound devine and I there are several more recipes from this website which I will have to try as well.

Oh, how I love your posts and photos!! And of course little Amelia the cherub. I wish I could taste the Chicago pizza! Any idea where to get some in Western Massachusetts? I want to move to Portland and live next door to you. Sigh.

Amelia is such a doll! She is really changing lately and looking more like a little girl than baby. And she has a birthday soon... how exciting! I am not so much a fan of summer foods either. I am happy the seasons are changing and I am back in the kitchen making soups and chili, and just hearty meals in general. Your photos are so warm and lovely, as always. Oh, and I must try your pumpkin spice pancakes this weekend!

beautiful bread, cozy drinks and one sweet little one. this blog inspires me so. thank you thank you.

So far I've only managed to gather together ingredients for my own fall cooking, I can't seem to get nearly so much accomplished! Chili and some nice, hearty soups are on the menu. I think I need to set aside a weekend day, no plans, no nothing, and get my kitchen going. :)

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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.