Tuesday, September 25, 2012

... hitting "pause" for fall ...

Since this day took me out and away from my paintbrushes (still working on the completion of my faux stained glass panels for my home - project how-to soon to be shared!) ... I decided to save a bit of time to "pause" and take in our newly arrived season ... autumn :)  A toast was in order - - Oh, yes!  My Pumpkin Spice Latte was finally in my grasp!  Close to $5 for a coffee ... this doesn't happen too often for me!

 While picking up the french loaves for dinner (courtesy of Sam's Club - $2.77 for TWO "arm-length LOAVES!  Why bake?!), I browsed the racks of seasonal recipes and crafty, gift ideas,
selecting a few mags to peruse for my "Hit Pause and Enjoy the Moment" episode at one of my favorite spots ...
 ... along our town's riverbank.
(the leaves are just beginning to change across the water ...)
I love this time of year -- I love taking walks with my kiddos ...
 ... finding treasures on our way ...
 ... and taking in the beauty of God's artistry ...

 ... and receiving "hearts" from my little guy ...
 And, if this day could not get any better ... I opened my mailbox to find the latest This Old House.  Another of my favorites in my hands before the buses came!  So, I nestled in on the porch with a cup of Chai and honey (never mind that my dining room was still covered in paints and a load or two of laundry still remained  - but they will still be there ... seasons and moments will not).
I flipped through the pages ... sprouted new ideas ... made my husband roll his eyes (I don't think he appreciates my ever-growing renovation plans - can't imagine why???)... and breathed in the scent of this beautiful season.

... when inspiration hit for a companion to that french bread ...

2 T. olive oil
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 pkg. baby carrots, roughly chopped
5 russet potatoes, cleaned and diced w/ skin
5 c. chicken broth
5 T. butter
5 T. flour
1/2 t. chicken bouillon
2 c. milk
1/4 t. ground pepper
1/2 t. sea salt
3 dashes of cayenne pepper

Heat olive oil in stock pot on med heat.  Add sliced smoked sausage and saute.

Remove sausage from pan to bowl lined with paper towel - set aside.

Add chopped onion to pot and stir briskly to deglaze.  Once onions are caramelized, stir in carrots and potatoes.   
Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes, checking tenderness of potatoes. 

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over low/med heat, add flour and chicken bouillon, and stir briskly for approximately 2 minutes.  Add milk and continue to stir occasionally, allowing the mixture to thicken.

Add mixture to stock pot and stir.  Simmer on low for 5 minutes.
(Isn't that one beautiful looking loaf??  And to think that I have another one for french toast in the morning!! 
Life's good.  :)

And ... bon appetit!
A tasty offering to celebrate the rustling of crimson leaves on baring branches, the warmth of hand-knitted cowls on chilly days, the scent of burning wood on starlit nights and the sound of dulcimers and flutes in all their sweet splendor.
And, I leave you with the words that struck me speechless today ... as they hung on a banner in our Sam's Club, of all places!! ... the words rang true and grabbed my heart ...
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.
 - Helen Walton
... funny to be reminded of life's truth while shopping bulk at a discount club!

Happy Autumn :)
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Catherine Holman said...

What a blessing to live near such beauty! Enjoy that coffee and that sweet love of your family. Thanks for stopping by today!

Ramona from Sam's Club said...

Jenny, what a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing all these gorgeous photos and that delicious recipe. It’s important to take a little time to appreciate the changing seasons and all the beauty that comes with it. Thanks for shopping at Sam’s Club. – Ramona from Sam’s Club