September Lunch Date
Guys! It’s September, and I love lunch dates, so this post is gonna be just like we’re having lunch together. Sitting outside, maybe? 60 degrees and sunny? Wearing boots and flannels and watching the leaves fall as we eat our tomato soup with whole-grainy grilled cheese croutons?
I like this already.
We have lots to talk about today, because September is basically the best ever, amiright?
Exactly, Sage. Exaaaactly.
I totally love summer. Summer is my spirit season. I love to be warm, I love the sun, and if spending every day of my life in the water laying on a flamingo floaty sipping a watermelon smoothie was a career option, you might never see me again.
Fall has something on summer that is worth possibly more than the warm-and-sun-and-water combo. Fall is my FOOD SEASON. After months of feeling like cooking shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes ever (summer at its best), I find myself suddenly wanting to stand in front of 15 pots of soup, stirring here and there, in between baking batches of bread to go along with it, and all the better if it takes all day. Dreamy though.
Yesterday I had a chance to make the first of my fall cooking dreams come true. It was 60 degrees and sunny, so I left the windows open and put on some nice relaxing music and lit a candle (more on candles in just a second). I was having a hot craving for tomato soup and grilled cheese, so I busted out all the stops to make my favorite homemade tomato soup which includes frying up some little bits of bacon with onions and garlic and carrots and OH MY LANTA, the house! the house smelled amazing: smokey and earthy and crisp, like exactly what fall should smell like.
I love to try new recipes and I am very excited about the new recipe posts that are yet to come this fall. But you guys, don’t you sometimes just want to make your old favorites all over again? Agh. Just totally the best. I am feeling so nostalgic for all my fall foods this year, so here are the favorite fall recipes that are on my meal plan for September:
- Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Rockin’ 5 Ingredient Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
- Detox Crockpot Lentil Soup
- Crockpot Red Lentil Curry (happening TODAY in my hizzouse)
- Simple Homemade Tomato Soup (note: THE BEST TOMATO SOUP IN THE WORLD, pictured at the beginning of this post with a pile of whole grain grilled cheese croutons)
- Creamy Pumpkin Spaghetti with Garlic Kale
- Miracle No Knead Bread
It seems almost too basic, but we are currently really loving our lake walks. Fall walks are not the same as the warm and well-lit summer walks but they have a chilly, cozy magic all their own. The days are getting colder and shorter – it’s dark by 8pm now, and yesterday I had to wear not one but TWO long sleeved layers for the quick two-mile jaunt around the lake. That’s the strangeness of life – that in the middle of summer, you can’t really imagine yourself ever needing to wear anything other than shorts and a t-shirt, but then one day, out of the blue, there you are: wearing jeans and thick socks and a sweatshirt with a long sleeved shirt under, and you’re pulling the long edges of your sweatshirt sleeves over your hands to stay warm and wishing you would have worn a hat. LIFE, man. It’s strange and wonderful. Some people roll their eyes when Midwesterners talk about loving the change of seasons. But honestly: I LOVE THE CHANGE OF SEASONS. It breathes new life and energy into the mundane day-to-day of our normal routines.
Also currently loving: CANDLES! Tis the season for a little flickering glow on the mantel or the kitchen counter as the sun sets for the day. Here’s my dilemma. I’m trying to clean up my home and beauty situation – like low or no chemicals, toxins, that sort of thing. I’ve made a lot of the easy swaps already – like dryer balls for dryer sheets and Norwex water-only cleaning cloths for bleachy cleaning supplies, but dang Gina, puhhhlease NOT MY CANDLES. I’ve been looking for something that is clean-burning and scented but not overly scented. Like, naturally scented? Is that a thing? Except I’d like it to smell like a pumpkin pie oatmeal cookie cider spice latte. They can naturally scent that, right?
Kidding, sort of. I know some of you are experts on clean living and I would love your clean candle recs.
On the cooking front, I’m loving our red Lodge Dutch Oven, which I’ve mentioned only about 800 times on this blog. It is home to all the soups that are happening in this little kitchen this fall, and it couldn’t be cuter. I’m also loving (still, more than a year after buying it) my Saveur cookbook called The New Classics. It’s just the best, you guys. I’ve made so many recipes out of it – like, at least 30, which is A LOT for me and a cookbook – and they’re all winners. For some reason, I associate this book with fall, so I’m currently re-falling in love with it all over again. PUN!
It’s been so fun this month to be cooking and working together with a real live team for POY content and workshops. This is a picture of Alana (video guru) and Krista (our new shoot assistant) working on some videos, like they do. Secret tip: working with people makes this blogging thing a whole lot more enjoyable, and these two are just phenom. The videos? Have you seen them? All credit to Krista for the swift cooking hands and Alana for the video wizardry. We have the best girl-power team (+ Bjork, our v important non-girl member) and I’m so very grateful for all the hands – literally – that helps us continue to be able to do what we do. We’re working on a new About page so you can get to know our team even better. Teamwork makes the dream work! <– file under phrases you will hear when you go on a lunch date with me. You’re welcome.
One more fun kitchen thing?
WE GOT A TEAL SMEG FRIDGE. ♡ It lives at the studio, tucked up against a brick wall, and it’s so adorable, I can hardly stand it. I know it’s been a looooong time, but we should finally have the finished studio pictures to share with you sometime this month or next! It’s *thisclose* to done. And I haven’t been a perfectionist about it at all. …Promise.
It’s that time again!
I sort of half-heartedly capsuled my way through summer, which basically means I wore the same two shorts and three t-shirts and my flip flops from 12 years ago for the entire three months of warm weather. It was not amazing.
I am so ready to get my capsule game back on point.
Luckily, I have a renewed energy for things like this in the fall, so we are capsuling once again. Since I started this whole capsule wardrobe situation last fall, I have most of what I need already and I will probably just give it a boost with a new pair of booties or a few new tops.
Do you fashionistas have any recommendations on shops or specific fall boots / scarves / sweaters you are loving? I mostly always shop at the Loft / Lou and Grey, Express, Athleta, and Macy’s every once in a while, but I would love for you to hold my hand and walk me through a virtual mall of expanded options.
Hey, remember audiobooks? They are back, they are cool, and they are LYFE. I listen to audiobooks every day on my 20-minute commute to the studio and I can crush books at an absolutely ridiculous rate – like one per week. YOU GUYS. This is literally life-changing for me.
On the logistical side, I use Audible for paid audiobooks and OverDrive for borrowed – aka free – audiobooks from the library. I keep track of all of my read or want-to-read books like a Type A Bookworm in a supergreat app called Goodreads.
Current favorite (audio)books have been Bloom by Kelle Hampton (cried like a baby basically the whole way through it – so beautiful and incredibly moving) and Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. If you are a human being who lives in the world, I’d highly recommend Present Over Perfect. I think her message is so timely and necessary and literally life-saving for so many of us right now – trading in the hustle for more rest, peace, and life.
Travel Tips Wanted
Alright, last thing I wanted to talk about before we wrap up: WE ARE GOING TO EUROPE! Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh! I studied abroad in Spain for a few months during college, but Bjork and I have never been to Europe together, so for the first time, we are headed to Southern France, Switzerland, Southern Germany, and possibly London for a two-week adventure later this fall.
Here’s why I’m mentioning this -> I would LOVE love love your help in planning this trip! Probably worth mentioning that our time in Southern France is already pretty scheduled out since we’ll be jumping on board a river cruise (don’t mind us being all proper and adult over here?!?!!) for a good portion of that time, but we have a lot of flexibility with the rest of the trip and we know zero things about what to do in each of these places.
What are the must-see cities? Foods to try? Landmarks to hit? You guys never disappoint when it comes to travel info, so I am supes excited to hear back from you on this one.
Also if you have travel tips in general – like, for example, apps that will help us get organized and make sure we don’t miss any trains or boats or flights? – that would be amazing to the max.
Sage has been waiting very patiently right here, right next to me, during this entire post (this is my dog’s actual real life) and now she wants to know – what’s on your mind this September? How are things going in your corner of the world?
I’m a big fan of this lunch date thing. XO