collections || recipes for rainy days

At the risk of being a complete broken record here, I'll say it again:

I love all things cozy.

In my estimation, rainy days are perched high atop the list of what makes a day cozy. Now, the very best of rainy days are when they are accompanied by cool temperatures, sweaters and flannel blankets, a classic read or a classic film, and your hands wrapped around the warmth of a mug full of something delicious. So when the first rainy autumn days make their arrival I thrill. My husband knows this so well about me that when he spots such days coming on the weather app he'll send me the forecast via text with some sweet comment about just how happy he's knows this will make me. 

I love cozy rainy autumn days.

Yes, it is true. And forever it shall remain. Those other may mock me or be shocked that I could love such a day (and they have) I will stand steadily by this love of mine.

So when I spotted some more days bearing this description in the forecast for this week and next I thought I would share with you lovelies some of our favorite rainy day recipes. Some of our go-to's when that chill in the air is accompanied by those pitter-pattering sounds. 

50EEA508-D1E2-46E6-9BCC-8EDEC5E33C20.JPG

Soups and stews are musts in this list. This Irish Stew is the very definition of comfort food and when you make it -- because you must -- it must be paired with a good (as in chock full of butter and other dairy products) mashed potato recipe and a crusty-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside bread.

This chicken gnocchi soup is like a warm hug. Our favorite roasted tomato soup recipe paired with an oozey grilled cheese. And no stew list would be complete with a nod to dear Julia's beef bourguignon. The woman was just a fountain of foodie wisdom.

Pasta. Always pasta. This spaghetti with white wine and roasted tomato cream sauce has such great flavor from those roasted tomatoes. This marinara sauce is so simple and quick and makes for a delicious combination with a warm baguette and heavy sprinkles of parmesan.

Finally, the baking. You must always have baking. The apple crisp in the picture up there we made twice in a couple weeks period. So simple and tasty, especially paired with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. These pumpkin donuts are so good, like really really. Up the spice amount a bit and just dip them in melted butter and cinnamon/sugar if you don't want to worry about the caramel glaze and you'll be oh so happy.

My precious mama's pumpkin bread is the best of all the pumpkin breads. Just look at the amount of spices she puts in. She knows her way around a kitchen. If you like, you can make a little cream cheese/powdered sugar concoction to spread across the top of your slices of pumpkin bread and then you shall achieve pure fall bliss.

These carmelita bars. Gracious, they are yummy. These with a fresh cup of coffee and you'll be closing your eyes and making all the "mmmmm" sounds with the best of 'em. I discovered these bars on pinterest a few years ago and tried them on a whim for a Christmas party for J's work. They were devoured and highly requested afterwards. A favorite was born.

Lastly, the biscotti recipe from my lovely friend, Rachel's. She lives in Minnesota now and I miss so much our long chats over cups of coffee and pieces of fresh biscotti while our littles play. But I love how making a recipe like this stirs up memories and so many reasons to be thankful.

I think that's why recipes become dear to us. Along with the fabulous tastes and the comfort of spending time in your kitchen you build memories around recipes as you share it in that moment in time with family and friends. Sometimes tears fall into a bowl of soup, sometimes you come close to choking on a bite of pumpkin bread because you're laughing just that hard, sometimes you share news or clink celebratory wine glasses together over a plate of pasta, but always, you are building up those memory blocks. Then the next time you are trying to think of something warm and wonderful to make you find yourself drawn to that particular recipe because it's so much more than a good blend of ingredients.

Stay cozy, lovely ones, and Bon Appétit!

 

autumn heart stirrings

"I am delighting in the arrival of September and the perfectly cozy way that it has begun. It poured down rain all day yesterday, and today the clouds remain and the chill in the air is lasting along with it. We've been lighting candles and wearing sweaters, sipping hot beverages and making the inaugural loaves of pumpkin bread, welcoming our beloved season in with the widest open arms."


This was the start to my journal entry the other morning. This was the first of those beginning of the day thoughts as I sat this past Saturday morning, taking in the a.m. hours of the 2nd day of September, happy in the fact that this month had arrived again.

As I sat there looking out the windows at the cloudy morning, a sweater wrapped around me, feeling giddy that my favorite season was upon us, the giddy turned to gratitude.

I was grateful for the change in the season, for the fact that they always do change. It's a constant, one of those things you know will come, bringing their own rhythm with them. It's one of those beautifully faithful things, a reflection of the One who placed the seasons just as they should be.

I was grateful for the refreshment of it, the new page it was turning in this year. Limbs begin to stretch that haven't been used as much, fresh thoughts and plans stir, you feel a bit more awake at the start of a new season. How wise of the Lord, and how kind, to give us the chapters in a year.

B9E3BC60-CB57-4780-BE82-8A3467607382.jpg

I was grateful for that pure joy I felt, the same feeling that springs up in my soul each year at this time. The arrival of September and the coming of fall will never cease to feel like that friend to me. That dear old friend who shows up at your doorstep with your favorite hot beverage and one of those rather wonderful hugs.

And I was grateful for the gifts of words that morning. Words that give a bit more life to the things that stir inside of you during quiet moments like this. Words that allow you to put your heart thoughts on paper, to hold onto, to read over later, to not just think anymore, but to see before your eyes, which, I believe, there's something really sweet about. 

I was grateful for words that morning because of what that cozy, cloudy September 2nd morning, with it's delightful chill in the air revealed to me about my God. I want to keep these realizations, these thoughts, these moments where I come to love Him even more because of who He is as dear, close reminders. He is in it all, all the pieces of the days of the chapters of every year, and He's using it. That chill in the air, the first red leaves I spot, the way the crisp air smells just a certain way. These things aren't lost on Him, they are fashioned by Him, and He's showing Himself to me, to us, through each one.

This was how that journal entry of mind ended the other morning..........

The way September has begun has felt like a gift to me, a sweet and tender way that the Lord has shown me the grace-filled ways that He knows and loves me so intimately. He knows my love for fall and all things cozy, my happiness when a day is full lot rain, the pure joy I feel in the changing of the seasons and the new rhythm that fall brings with it. It is such a comforting thought, a humbling thought, to realize again that the Almighty One, the One who calms seas and breathes life, the One who holds all things together, the One who sets rainbows in the sky and raised up mountains to sit so high with such beauty, that He is the One who knows the most intimate pieces of me, pieces I don't even fully know, and He loves me with the most tender, most kind, most perfect love. Oh, what a thought!"

fall bucket list

Though it dragged its feet getting here in, what in my mind, is a timely manner, fall has weaved its presence into all the corners and crevices of our October days. We've been able to turn the heat on, we've sat on our tiny deck with blankets and hot cider and books, and we've picked up the perfect carving pumpkins.

Though spring does carry with it that automatic sense of renewal and reflection, fall is where I find that to come even more naturally for me. There is just something about this season. I think it starts somewhat with how much I savor "cozy." I'd take rainy days, crisp blue sky and chilly breeze days, sweater-donning, light a fire, and read a book days over any other day. Days like those just have rest built in.  And this season carries with it such a natural presence of reflection with the changing colors, the all-the-way-to-your-toes sense of comfort, and Thanksgiving on the horizon. I love that about fall.

The Lord always uses this season to stir my heart in a unique way, and He's brought so many of my best gifts to me in the fall time. I think we all probably have a season that's like that for us; a season that holds some of our most treasured memories, a season that feels like one of our oldest and dearest friends just arrived for a long stay. I'm thankful for how fall is that way for me. And wasn't the Lord kind to give us such a variety of seasons? How generous of Him.

Because of what fall has held for us up until now (i.e. getting a puppy) some of our traditions have been put on hold until now. Plus, we get a little weird about the weather needing to be appropriate for many of them. So this upcoming month of November is going to be our especial Ode to Autumn, where-in we fill our days with all things fall-natured. Oh, happy month!

Fall Bucket List

carve pumpkins and watch a movie by their candlelight

eat popcorn and sip cider and play games

bake pumpkin donuts on a lazy Saturday morning

heart talks and crunchy leaf walks

evening reading on the deck snuggled in blankets

press leaves

light fall candles every day

watch the World Series 

college football game days with our people

work up our Thanksgiving menu and try something new

watch Anne of Green Gables

build our first fire and make s'mores

put together a fall-scape puzzle

hole up at a coffee shop for a few hours

write some notes to send via snail mail

order that record player I've been eyeing

start reading the next Little House book all together

eat soup and pumpkin bread and apple desserts

text fall wishes to dear friends

drink in all the sounds and feels and tastes of this season

think. dream. and be so very thankful.

What's on your fall bucket lists this last month of celebration, my friends? I hope this month is the loveliest kind of goodness for you.