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A Time for Fun and Experimenting

Explore, enjoy and have fun – are words I love to live by especially during fall. For me it’s time to get back into the kitchen and start experimenting. There is something about the weather becoming cooler and the need to create warmth.

Just to set the record straight: I am not some urban hipster “homesteader” or any other trendy label that comes to mind. I am a semi normal, humorous sort who loves to experiment.  I have always been curious and have a passion for learning. When deciding what to cook,  I begin with looking through both old and new recipes to see what grabs me. Do I feel like a challenge or something easy? Each day is different.

I’ve been “canning” for at least three decades. It started out as a money-saving pursuit that has morphed into a quality of life pursuit. I know exactly what is in the jars and where it came from. It’s not mysterious or scary – it’s more like a little bit of science and a whole lot of love for preserving the best of the season. Does it take time and some effort? Yes. My suggestion is make a party out of it. Gather your closest family and friends then break out the big pots. It’s fun and everyone gets a little something in return.

What are your Fall/Winter staples? At my house this includes soups, pizza and quick breads. I am always on the hunt for new soup recipes to test and modify. In our house we try to keep the soups as nutritious as possible – so modifying the fat/sodium, etc. is generally the goal. Also, it’s a great way to sneak in more veggies into our meals. Future posts will include a recipe (or two) that’s a promise.

Pizza is a big deal in my house. Dough has always been my Achilles heel. It gets stuck to the counter and/or all over the place then turns out tasting like cardboard. That was until my mom came to the rescue her dough recipe. LIFESAVER! Now we have a great pizza crust anytime we want! YES! I generally keep at least 2 balls of frozen dough on hand in the event of a last minute pizza night happening.

As soon as the cranberries are ripe I will be whipping up batches of fresh cranberry bread. I love the way the house smells as the bread is baking. There is nothing like it. The Pacific Northwest has the best of the best, when it comes to cranberry farmers. My advice, jump in the car and take a road trip! Visit the Cranberry Museum ( ) and then take a short drive and see the beautiful cranberry bogs. Buy local cranberries! You won’t be disappointed.

As the picture at the top of this post says, “Be Inspired!” – Visit new places, meet new people, try new recipes or foods, and be creative – you will be glad you did.

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