Friday Five: Favourite Fall Foods

Food. Mmmm. I do love to eat. I always try to eat things that are healthier for me, but once it starts to get colder (read: snow, sleet, and rain) around here, I can’t help but love some of my old staples.

1) Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup

My grandma taught my Mom, who taught me, how to make this chicken soup. It ends up being more like a bowl of noodles with a little bit of chicken and some broth, but making it from scratch is so satisfying and delicious. It really is the best bowl of soup you can have, and I crave it when I’m sick or when it gets chilly.

2) Apple Cider

While not really a food, a cup of hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick can always chase the chill away. If you are trying to avoid all the coffee shop calories that come with a suger-laden cup of apple cider, you can get organic versions at the grocery store, or buy some apple tea and enjoy it at home by the fireplace.

3) Pumpkin Pie/Lemon Meringue Pie

I love pumpkin, and pumpkins, and everything you can make with pumpkin. Pumpkin Pie is the only pie I can make, and one of my favourites to eat. My fiance jokes that because he doesn’t eat pumpkin, every year I end up making a pie entirely for myself. He’s not making that up.

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But the pie that takes the cake (haha, I’m so funny) is my Aunt Sharon’s lemon meringue pie. Made from scratch and lovingly presented to me at any holiday or birthday, it is the most delicious dessert on the planet. Nobody makes a pie better than Aunt Sharon.

4) Stews (formerly chili)

I would say that chili is one of my favourite fall foods, but since being diagnosed with my severe allergies, anything chili is no longer an option. Ever. Ever ever. And without chili powder or pepper, chili becomes stew. Therefore, I’m embracing the stews!

5) Creamed Spinach

Taking me back to my Hungarian roots, and my Dad making dinner, is a creamed spinach recipe passed down generations. I make it often (usually when I have a box of spinach I can’t figure out how to use and don’t want to throw away), and it is SUCH a comfort food. With two slices of bread, a little milk, some garlic, and spinach – you can make a deliciously healthy dish and top it with some egg (or sausage). So, so good.

Things I’m craving right now (aka honourable mentions): pan fried mushrooms with tomatoes (another shout out to my parents), and squash anything. 

This post made me realize how much I value family recipes, and how cooking is really something that can hold a family together. Tell me all about your fall favourites.

As always, the lovely Mar, Courtney and Cynthia hosted today’s Friday Five. Head over to their blogs to read more about fall favourite foods!

 

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I give you permission

I spent the most wonderful twenty-four hours bathing in an entirely quiet Scandinavian spa, eating room service in bathrobes, having a nine hour sleep, watching Dog the Bounty Hunter with coffee in bed, and walking through the forest with one of the best people I know.

I can’t wait to show you pictures from my adventures, but one of the conversations I had (because we were technology detoxing) centred around why we feel so guilty for doing things that are good for us or feel good to do. Taking a nap, having a glass of wine, eating a cookie, getting away for a weekend, calling a friend.

There is this myth in our society that we have to be perfect. That we have to meet these incredibly high standards, every, single, day. That we have to get A’s, or be married by 30, or have kids early, or have kids at all. That we need the dog and the white picket fence in the city. The good job.

It’s exhausting keeping up with all the things that we “have” to do, or “have” to be, as a society.  And it leads to negative self-talk and negative thinking. I have a crap day, I want a glass of wine, and suddenly I’m feeling guilty for drinking, so the cycle continues. Here’s how it works. You have a crap day, you decide what you want, you do it, and you refuse to apologize for it. Then, you move on.

Do what serves you. Within reason, of course. You can’t help others, until you have helped yourself.

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As long as you are not going to hurt somebody, and as long as you have nothing urgent to do that would change the course of your life if you missed – you have permission to do any and all of the following.

I give you permission…. (because sometimes we need a little help)

To stay up all night (or go to bed early)

To call your Mom (or to ignore her call)

To have a bubble bath (or not bathe for a day)

To get messy (or get clean)

To go out with your girlfriends (or to stay in alone)

To eat a cookie or a piece of chocolate (or the entire box)

To take a nap (or lie there silently)

To read a favourite book (or watch a favourite movie)

To snuggle with someone you love (to ask that person for space)

To begin something new (or to quit something old)

To take a risk (or to play it safe)

To do something your way (or to step back and be a follower)

To have fun and let go (or to take something seriously)

To want what you want, when you want (even if it feels selfish)

To walk away from whatever does not serve you. To be unapologetically you, and to give you what you need. To stand up and say “I can conquer the world today,” or to sit down and say “I need somebody to hold me right now, because I can no longer do it alone.”

To nap, to laugh, to cry, to shout, to scream, to panic, to breathe, to sing, to dance.

To not be perfect. To be authentically, unequivocally, you.

 

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