Sweet Autumn

comments: 63


































Oh, we're in the thick of it, and it delights me: Cold clear days, cold gray days, mucky-bright leaf-slicks, neighborhood tromps, drooping gardens, hikes on the butte, boots and sweaters, roasted things, flushed cheeks, woodsmoke, white moons in the early evening sky. Halloween was just utterly adorable — Amelia had a fantastic time going door to door with her friends (that's the neighborhood crew, above, and my friend Gillian in her totally rad Mary Poppins costume — isn't that just brilliant? She looked so awesome). There are a LOT of stairs in our neighborhood. We made it to about fifteen houses, and once the Tootsie Pop showed up she was so focused on the lolli it became hard to walk up and down them and hold/eat the lolli at the same time. Man, it was cute. First-ever lollipop. I had to sneak it away when she was distracted. We didn't trick-or-treat last year because she had just learned to walk, so this year was basically her first Halloween. I had her wear the costume I made last year. It's so adorable watching her trying to figure out what in the world is going on. Every time someone opened their door she'd push past them and walk right into the house. Hilarious. Sweetly, she would also take the candy out of her basket and put it into the other kids'. Definitely my favorite Halloween ever.

When we weren't out walking — that was Powell Butte, on Saturday — I was cooking. Yes, me! I made this black bean soup (which we both thought was totally delicious). And then on Sunday we did our traditional First Fall Feast, though we did it a little differently, and just made several really savory side dishes: Ina's spinach gratin, and Brussels sprouts lardons, and caramelized root vegetables. Everything worked really well together and I was very happy! I also made a salad with mushrooms, shaved Gruyere, candied walnuts, pear slices, and my favorite salad dressing, Stacy and Elizabeth's "What Vinegar?" Salad Dressing. I swear I've written this down on the blog but I can't find it (all I can find is a picture of the recipe card, but I'll keep looking, or I'll rewrite it when I get a sec). THANK YOU thank you thank you for all of the soup suggestions. I'm in the process of pinning them all to my board and I am so incredibly inspired. Thank you so much. I even ordered some new soup bowls. I actually feel quite thrilled to cook now — thank you! Now I just have to figure out which one to start with! I think I should experiment with some breads, too. Okay. I can do this.


I think your house is the coziest house I've ever seen.

The pic with your little lady in front of the steps? Best. Ever. I love watching Autumn (Fall!) through your photos.

I have to echo Rosie's sentiments ... such a cozy house! I love it!
We went to our local farm and got brussels sprouts (still on the stalk). We had to buy 2 large stalks and everyone agreed we should have bought 3! They are so delicious!

It looks like a fantastic Hallowe'en, Amelia is so sweet in her costume. Lovely to see how the community garden is doing. Still lots of leafy things and flowers. Well done with the cooking, I know what a triumph it can be, preparing food with a little person about the place. I hope you enjoy your week Alicia. CJ xx

Many of your photos on this post are especially fabulous! And may I recommend my (current) favorite everyday bread: http://food52.com/recipes/23747-no-knead-sandwich-bread. Incredibly easy to make, doesn't contain any odd ingredients that you might not have, and it's phenomenally delicious!

{Alicia, where's my thesaurus? I find myself looping through "inspired," "lovely," "breathtaking," and "darling." It cannot be helped.}

A Fall Feast, what a good idea to have the day after the time change! I may have to adopt that tradition too. Amelia looked so cute in her costume. Soup is on the docket for dinner tomorrow. We're aiming for long simmered beef bones with barley. No real recipe for that one, we just sort of wing it.

I recognised the costume from last year - so cute! I wonder if it will fit her next year too? Christmas will be lovely this year, but next year will really be when she starts to know what's going on. Black bean soup is gorgeous, I am a vegetarian so try and eat my beans. Love lentils too. I must say I like the look of those sprouts. Yes, lots to love about autumn isn't there? Always enjoy a read of your blog and looking at your pictures reminds me what a beautiful world we do all live in, no matter where we are and what landscape we have. Thanks for sharing.

I love those plates...they are just perfect! Any chance you will share the maker?

Your photography is exquisite! Amelia has the sweetest little face and you always capture her so well.

I love the idea of the first fall feast. I'm going to borrow that idea...hopefully we'll be in our house soon and I can have a housewarming/fall feast party.

Enjoy all these fall days, the bright ones and the gray ones. ♥

Lovely, so beautiful!

October went by much too fast. Hoping the rest of this year slows down so we can all enjoy this weather, the leaves, and buckets of fresh warm soup dinners.
Love Amelia's sweet costume.

This is the best & easiest Roasted Tomato Basil Soup recipe I've ever made.
It's one of Ina Garten's great recipes w/video.

oh oh oh the fall! beautiful fall pics, precious picture of A. and her walking stick not to mention that costume! cutest costume EVER. everything cozy, tucked in, tied up and ready for chilly nights. enjoy!

I look forward to your blog posts and have been reading them for several years. Your photography always tells a beautiful story without needing words, and your writing is lyrical and descriptive. I know all of this takes time, especially with a child and a business. I want you to know how I appreciate it.
(PS I believe my daughter, Jane M., and her husband, work at the same hospital as your Andy. The hospital with the tram. She's a Pathologist there and she loves your blog too!)

What a lovely post! I think Autumn is my very favorite season. I thoroughly enjoyed your beautiful photos! The food all looks so delish & your daughter's costume is too stinkin' cute! :D

Such gorgeous images! I especially like the one of the colourful fallen leaves. The soup looks delicious. And Mimi makes the cutest matryoshka!

Your posts are gifts. I can't say it enough: THANK YOU for the time you take sharing your world with us. You inspire me to see the world with more beauty, gratitude and breath. I look forward to them every week!

Her sweet little costume!!! Gah! Too precious.

I feel the same way. Where to start! (Usually pinterest too...) And soups are a fall/winter staple. You have a win-win situation in my book!

Warm..beautiful post..
Like always..she is adorb with the lolli!

Utterly inspiring post! Like you I've been in a bit of a cooking slump shall we say. I'm definitely inspired to create some of these recipes. Your photos are always so lovely. Gorgeous little one in her costume. Happy November!

Wow, lovely images and lovely story, just love your poetic words about autumn... after a big snowload last week all has melted again so we are back at a regular autumn now, hoping to spot some more fungi this week now the sun is coming out again :) Thanks for sharing ♥

What beautiful pictures from beautiful autumn. I can feel, smell and taste it all over the Atlantic!

Sounds like you're really back to the cooking and it looks delicious.

It astounds me how quickly the seasons change in North America. Maybe because in Australia the mild seasons all blend together a bit. I love seeing your garden and surrounds change! I feel like you were only posting about summer yesterday and now your little one is dressed up snug as a bug!

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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.