Sweater Weather

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Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your sweet birthday wishes and for indulging me, as you all always do. I have so much to say about five. I think I'm going to have more time to talk and I'm looking forward to that. I took Clover out for a little walk, and that's something I rarely if ever do anymore. Andy and Amelia do all of the dog walking; I save my steps for the things that no one but me can do. But it was so lovely to be outside, in the rain, alone with my little dog, who is such an excellent and polite walker, who walks to my left with slack in the leash, who stops to sniff but not so much that it's annoying. We had such a nice time together, and it felt like the first day of fall for me, somehow. This season starts the half of the year that makes me feel the most like myself. I'm a cloud-cover, cold-weather person. I like to huddle and hibernate. I like quiet and I like rain and I like television. I like dark skies and candles and yarn in my hands, and I like sofas. And flannel sheets and flannel nightgowns.

Today was Amelia's birthday celebration at preschool. They invite us parents to come to the school for our kid's celebration every year. We ate vegetable soup with the kids and then the teacher passed out the dried apples that I'd made, at Amelia's request, for snack. It's so sweet. One of the teachers plays the mandolin and they sing songs that all the kids know and we don't. We fold ourselves under ourselves and "sit" in the circle on the tiniest little benches and share pictures of Amelia at every age, and talk about special things that happened to her at each age. She wears a rainbow silk cape and a crown and walks around the "sun" (a lit candle), once for each year, while everyone sings and then says out loud a special wish for her. I'm going to miss these particular preschool rituals that make things so special. We'll have to continue them, though it's clear that part of what makes them so special is that they belong to this group, and to this enchanted time.

Last night I made my mom's chicken and dumplings, which is, in fact, chicken paprika with dumplings. This is the thing that I request most often from my mom when she asks me if I want her to make me something. I had tried to make it a couple of years ago but I did not do it right (I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts) and it was a disaster. Yesterday I used skin-on, bone-in thighs, and it was brilliant. It is quite rich and decadent, so you don't need to eat much, but it's wonderful every once in a great while. I highly recommend this.


My Mom's Chicken Paprika

Chicken and sauce:

4 tablespoons butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, or any combination of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces to make about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
1/2 c. (or more) sour cream

In large Dutch oven, saute onion gently in butter over medium heat. Add paprika and stir around, being careful not to burn paprika. Rinse chicken pieces and add, skin-side down, to pot. Turn after 4 or 5 minutes, and let "brown" on other side (though they won't really brown, since the pan will be pretty juicy; alternatively, to make it a bit less fatty, you could brown the chicken in a bit of oil then pour out most of rendered fat before adding the butter, onions, paprika, and chicken back in, and maybe add a bit of chicken stock to the pan — but the recipe above is how my mom does it). Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper over all, turn skin-side back down, then cover and turn heat down to low simmer for about 1 hour. Test chicken for doneness and remove pot from heat. Discard the skin, which should be falling off (and look really gross). There should be a fair amount of liquid (sauce) in the bottom of pot. Stir a bit of the sauce into the sour cream to temper it. Add sour cream mixture back into sauce. Depending on how much sauce you have, add more sour cream to taste. Reheat slowly if necessary and serve over dumplings, below.


5 large eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
Splash of water
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Beat eggs with whisk and add flour. Stir to just combine. Add a splash of cold water until consistency is like thick oatmeal. Don't worry if it is lumpy. Drop by half-teaspoons-ful into boiling water (they'll grow quite a bit). Work quickly. Dumplings will rise to the surface as they cook. Let them cook for about one minute more after they rise. Remove risen dumplings with a slotted spoon as they cook and place in colander to drain. To fry dumplings, melt butter in large skillet. Add breadcrumbs and toast for a bit. Add dumplings and toss to coat with butter and breadcrumbs. Fry (sauté) on low-medium heat until golden and crispy. Sprinkle a bit of salt to taste. Serve immediately with chicken and paprika sauce. Yum.

Let me know if you make this, or if you have any questions and I'll ask my mom!

P.S.: Sweater is finished and it's a hit! I'll put it on Ravelry as soon as I get a chance. It's called Carl's Cardigan and I used Woolfolk Far yarn in Pollen.


If I didn't know better, I'd say we were separated at birth. I share your love for the cooler weather and all things of this season. Having time to call my own with a new skein of hand dyed yarn, a soft place to sit while listening to the rain fall outside is pure heaven in my book.
Dumplings in our family comes from just about the same recipe but with a bit of difference ~ we roll out our dough, a bit on the thick side and cut long strips, somewhat like pasta noodles. Then we cook them in chicken broth until done. Yum, yum yum!
Miss Em's sweater is beautiful. You did a fantastic job!
Don't know if I'd mentioned the Grocery Girls podcast. They are a hoot. If you can watch them from the beginning. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsHAwj2jXiwpiYOdYiY3Tgg/feed
Also, I'm lacyknitsdaily on Ravelry

Wonderful birthday posts and a happy birthday to Amelia! So glad you can share it all with us! Fall is the best time of year and I, too, love rain, clouds, fireplaces and all those cozy things! Your recipe sounds perfect and thanks for sharing that too!

Love those pictures. I just want to channel my inner Mary Poppins and jump in.

Another Kay says: October 21, 2017 at 08:50 AM

"This season starts the half of the year that makes me feel the most like myself. I'm a cloud-cover, cold-weather person. I like to huddle and hibernate. I like quiet and I like rain and I like television. I like dark skies and candles and yarn in my hands, and I like sofas. And flannel sheets and flannel nightgowns."

This so much! I practically burst into tears reading it.....it is hard to communicate this to people. I'm here in Massachusetts and our Fall is not so glorious this year. Too warm, blah color. I was just commenting to my teen daughter this morning that I was...not leaving the house today because it's supposed to be close to 80 degrees. I was once asked if I felt that I suffered from seasonal affective disorder and I responded maybe but it would start in April,or May if anything. I don't hate spring and summer I just feel kinda blah. I like cold and dark. Wind and snow and RAIN!!.....it's sometimes hard to communicate and find people who relate.

Your cozy home and pictures make me wish I could jump in and relax there too (not to sound like an Internet weirdo).
Anon in mass

Debbie Welch says: October 21, 2017 at 02:03 PM

I love your pics and crafts that you do! Amelia looks like such a sweetie. There is green gingham chair in your photos that I have a question about, is it slip covered? If so, did you order them or make them yourself? I live in a small town and cannot find an upholstery class. So many slip covers do not fit!
Thank you for your blog!

Rebecca K Ringquist says: October 21, 2017 at 07:24 PM

That chicken got printed out immediately and is going on next week's menu.
Yes! I can hardly wait. I don't think a single fall has gone by since you shared your apple pie recipe that I haven't made it and sent more people home with the recipe. It's always a huge hit.
Thanks for the inspiration.

I am so much like you with the fall/winter thing. I just moved from Portland to Everett and was so happy that it tends to be 10 degrees cooler up here than down there! During the summer people will say to me during a 90 degree, sunny day, "I hope you're enjoying the gorgeous weather!" I feel rude if I say, "No, I wish it were 45 degrees and raining!" haha! I love comfy and cozy!

Your sauce recipe is very close to our Hungarian family recipe. I debone the chicken before adding it back in to the sauce and add a little flour to the pot while the chicken is out to be deboned.

We also make really tiny Hungarian dumplings (nokedli) and they're not fried.

Happy Birthday Amelia, it has been a joy to watch her grow and all the things you've created for her. What a mom she is blessed with...picked just for you. Adore and love everything about your blog have been following for, well, years. Love the way you blend patterns in your home. Your house feels warm in photo's. I don't quite have the knack for that even though I am creative. Is there are key to doing so? My living room is sorta brownish green walls from the center up below is off white. Main wall is off white. Sheepskins rugs and chair, off white couch. Black accents...living room curtains are just like your one bedroom cream and black homespun check. Off white lamps and bookcase. Oh, how I need a change not so much in colors yet a pop of color, small print. Where do I begin? Going to give your mom's recipe a go it looks and sounds so delicious. Thank you for sharing your life it's giving this lonely single lady a place to visit and it's inspiring.

Oh dear, wanted to add the sweater is gorgeous! Haven't done one from the bottom up should give it a go.

I love your posts so much! And I agree with you about fall and winter! For the first 45+ years of my life, I lived in hot places (Houston and Florida), then moved to the Pacific Northwest, north of Seattle. I love it here so much! Four seasons, but not extremes. The fall leaves are so pretty! Your photographs are always wonderful. And now I live near a great-niece who is just one day older than your Mimi--so I love seeing your chronicle of her life and comparing it to my great-niece's. Your posts are always so full of love and beauty and coziness--thanks so much for sharing your life with us--and I wish you love and beauty and coziness back!

Love all the preschool rituals. Also love that chartreuse sweater--that is my favorite color of yellow/green and it's impossible to find anywhere in any store for any object.

I rarely read blogs anymore, but I keep a tab open on my iPad for yours. I don’t know what it is but your photos and words always fill me with calm.

I wonder if you could tell me who makes the beautiful ditsy wallpapers you have in your home? Are they vintage? We have wood panelling in our bathroom and I want some tiny floral paper for above. I’ve an idea to make a pelmet out of ditsy floral patchwork too.....

S x

My Mom made dumplings very similar to these. Delicious! Must try your recipes above.

I have been following your blog for years but don't comment as frequently as I should. Your posts bring a smile to my face. I love the sweater you knitted and that you are a cloud-cover, cold-weather person. Both my 2 adult daughters and I are too.

Made the chicken with penne instead of dumplings - just used regular paprika cause that's all I had. Enjoyed it. Was wishing for a creamier sauce; next time I'll explore the lower fat method you describe above.

Mariangela says: October 23, 2017 at 05:50 AM

Hi love your photos and blog. Your daughter is adorable and I can't believe how quickly she is growing up. Can I ask you about the dried apples do you just dry them out and how long do you leave them drying out for ?
Regards Mariangela

Cat McKenzie says: October 23, 2017 at 09:08 AM

You have absolutely captured the feeling of fall with your amazing photos. The sweater is really perfect, I checked it out on Ravelry and may give it a try for my granddaughter, your knitting is inspiring.
Looking forward to trying the recipe, it looks so delicious and would be perfect on a stormy cold night.
I do love Fall in Oregon but have to admit that I am looking forward to a sunny week after a very wet weekend.

For years, I said, "Everyone should have a four year old." That was my favorite age when my girls were small. And before the young granddaughter grew to be seven. But there is still a three year old granddaughter. So I have time to re-evaluate my position. Maybe FIVE is the magic year. I'll watch closely this time. I'll let you know what I decide in a few years.

Melissa L. says: October 25, 2017 at 12:57 PM


Nice to see Ms. Clover Meadow out and about :-)

Alicia, hands down for this beautiful sweater, i really like the color. Thanks for introducing your little one with us.

I'm a cloud-cover, cold-weather person. I like to huddle and hibernate. I like quiet and I like rain and I like television. I like dark skies and candles and yarn in my hands, and I like sofas. And flannel sheets and flannel nightgowns.

We are Kindred Spirits I am exactly the same I like to be home and cozy!

My grandmother grew up in Detroit and learned to make Chicken Paprikash (family name: Hunky Chicken) from Hungarian neighbors. That's how an Irish-French-Scandanavian family has a Hungarian family recipe. I make it the same way my mother and grandmother did, and yes, skin-on, bone-in chicken is crucial, as is real butter. I make the chicken in a pan on the stove and then transfer it to a slow cooker, cover with chicken broth and drippings, and let simmer all day. The noodles we make are boiled, and added to the sauce to heat through before serving. It's a wonderful make-ahead meal when having company. My sons love it and my 23-year-old wants me to teach him how to make it when he comes home on holiday tomorrow. A new generation to pass his great-grandmother's recipe down to, and I have the privilege of doing that since she's no longer with us. Aren't the little things in life just the biggest?

It was lovely to read this post. I rarely comment, but you're the first person I've met to have a similar experience with my favourite dish of all time. Thank you for sharing this, and Happy Christmas wishes to you and yours.

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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.