holiday place settings

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays... the food, the family, and the details that bring the day together. Every year I like to dress up our table with festive place cards. This year I wanted to test a few options before hand and decided to go with an "elevated nature" theme. 

Here is what you need:
1. card stock
2. gold spray paint
3. feather
4. wood round
5. leaf
6. cutting knife
7. paint pen


butternut squash soup

The weather finally feels like fall here in Aptos, CA and butternut squash soup sounded like the perfect lunch on a particularly cool Sunday afternoon. I read through a few recipes online, but decided to come up  with  my own version... I have to say it turned out pretty darn good! Sliced a piece of bread from a beautiful loaf from Seascape Foods and lunch was served.

Butternut Squash Soup  with Sage & Feta

2 butternut squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons butter
5 shallots, diced
1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sage
1 tablespoon thyme
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Feta cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover baking sheet in foil and oil. Salt and pepper squash and place cut side down on baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes and then remove and discard peel. Cut squash into cubes. In a large soup pot melt butter and sauté shallots, ginger, garlic, and little pinch of salt and pepper for 10 minutes. Add cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, sage, thyme and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add squash, chicken broth, and milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Discard cinnamon and bay leaf.

Puree soup in a blender and return to pot. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Return to a simmer and serve with a bit of feta cheese on top.



happy fall ya'll

As much as I love summer... I love fall and winter even more. The feeling of the season fills my soul and in an attempt to will fall to come a little quicker this year I decided to put up a few things to get in the spirit. A simple wreath on the front door and a small display of pumpkins makes for an easy, yet festive entry.

As the seasons change I love bringing the outside inside. Fall inspired foliage and pumpkins make for an easy update to any mantle. I rediscovered a chalkboard from our wedding, added a decorative S and an engagement photo for a few personal touches. Now like the board says... let's eat, drink, and be cozy!