lately, i’ve been talking a lot about the “changes”. as many of you know, there have been a lot of changes over here on the blog. this summer jr. style joined us as our new cameraman and videographer. he’s helped me revamp our YouTube channel. we’ve introduced several new series, including fashion flash, style secrets, and fashion squared. my daughter in law, kelly, has also joined the blog and helped redesign our aesthetic across all of our channels. but as you know, although change is good, it can be exhausting. thank goodness it’s Fridays with Oscar! so let’s all kick back, relax, and jump into fall with pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins. hop into a comfy fall outfit and enjoy a pumpkin spice cocktail and savory pasta with Oscar and me.
fall fashion: outfit of the day
the weather in Athens is finally turning. after a record heatwave, we’re headed into a cool(er) weekend. since it’s Friday—and since the name of the game is to relax—i’ve chosen a comfy halogen sweater purchased at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in July. similar sweaters are available here, here, and here. fall fashion and style is just as much about comfort as it is chic elegance.
animal prints are in this year in a big way. anyone who follows this blog knows how much i love them. and i’ve given the outfit a little oompf by pairing it with a pair of laney wedges from Talbots (see how i’ve worn prints this year here and here.) wedges are a great alternative to heels as they give height but also have extra support for your tootsies.
tablescape: pumpkin patch
last week, i refreshed my porch for fall. if you missed it, you can catch it here. today, i’m moving inside. i put together a tablescape for fall inspired by a pumpkin patch. i hope that it will get your creative juices going in preparation for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
notice that i’ve mixed glass and steel pumpkins with fresh ones i picked up from Trader Joe’s. much like floral design, mixing synthetic with organic creates visual interest.
entree: pumpkin alfredo with butternut squash ravioli
kelly chose our entree this week. it’s a pumpkin alfredo with butternut squash ravioli. i picked up the pasta from Trader Joe’s. (stay tuned for my upcoming post on how much i love, love, love TJs.) but the alfredo sauce is totally homemade. and it is d-e-l-i-s-h.
i can tell you with certainty that of all the recipes we’ve rolled out over the past few months, this one was the biggest hit with my kiddos. my oldest could not get enough. he ate more than his share, and is asking for more next week!
- 2 (9-oz.) packages refrigerated butternut squash ravioli
- 2 tablespoons Spectrum® brand Organic Extra Virgin Mediterranean Olive Oil (+ extra for drizzle)
- 6-8 fresh sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
- salt and pepper to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon of each and taste to see if you need more)
- 1/4 cup each; crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries, toasted pine nuts and pecans for topping
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, reduce to medium heat and add sage leaves. Fry just until oil stops bubbling around leaves, 10 to 15 seconds (try not to let them brown), then remove carefully with tongs and set aside to drain paper towels.
- Add butter to the pan and melt over medium heat. Then add garlic and saute it start to turn yellowish. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking frequently, for 3–5 minutes, or until bubbly and fragrant.
- Next, add half and half and 1 cup of chicken broth. Whisk until combined and add pumpkin, Parmesan, minced parsley, minced sage, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. Use the remaining cup of chicken broth to thin sauce as needed (I ended up using all of the remaining cup, by adding a little at a time).
- While sauce is simmering cook ravioli according to package directions.
- Drain ravioli and gently stir into sauce.
- Plate and top each serving with a drizzle of olive oil, crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries, and nuts. Enjoy!
cocktail: the white pumpkin
in case you missed it, last week i made an apple cider mojito. in the spirit of fall—and pumpkins—this week i’ve got something totally new and totally fun: a white pumpkin cocktail. this is a rum based drink with almond milk as a mixer. (but you can imagine substituting the almond milk for regular milk and/or cream.)
- 1½ ounces white rum
- 3 ounces unsweetened vanilla/almond milk
- 1 tsp. honey
- Pumpkin spice - a teeny, tiny dash
- Pour 1½ oz. white rum and 3 oz. vanilla/almond milk into a shaker with ice and add 1 tsp. of honey. Shake vigorously and pour into a frosted coup glass. Sprinkle with a teeny bit of pumpkin spice. Garnish with a lovely, delicate, wispy flower sprig.
this cocktail looks almost as good as it tastes. it’s 5PM somewhere, isn’t it?
all right, gang! that’s a wrap for this week. it is my hope that with all the changes you may or may not be going through this fall, that you too are finding some time to relax. carving out time for ourselves is important. what does that look like for you? do you throw on a movie or pull out an old book? do you go for a hike in the park near you, or do you prefer a friday afternoon cocktail? let me know in the comments below.
oscar, jr. style, kelly and i wish each of you a lovely weekend! cheers to friday.