An Ode to Fall: Embracing the Season’s Bounty with Pumpkin Delights

As the days grow shorter and the leaves transform into vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold, there’s a palpable magic in the air. Fall has arrived, and with it comes a cornucopia of seasonal delights that warm the heart and nourish the soul. Among these autumn treasures, the pumpkin takes center stage, offering its earthy sweetness and versatility in a myriad of delectable recipes. In this ode to fall, we celebrate the beauty of the season and pay homage to the humble pumpkin with some mouthwatering recipes that will have you savoring every moment.

The Rustic Charm of Fall

Fall, with its crisp air and cozy sweaters, brings an enchanting blend of rustic charm and vibrant energy. It’s a season that encourages us to slow down, embrace the changing landscape, and find comfort in the simple pleasures of life. As we gather around crackling fires and take leisurely strolls through pumpkin patches, we can’t help but be entranced by the magic of this season.

The Pumpkin: Nature’s Emblem of Fall

One of the defining symbols of fall, the pumpkin embodies the spirit of the season. With its rich, earthy hues and warm, comforting flavor, the pumpkin has a way of connecting us to the very essence of autumn. From adorning our doorsteps with Jack-o’-lanterns to filling our kitchens with the aroma of freshly baked pumpkin treats, this versatile gourd adds a touch of enchantment to our lives.

Savoring the Bounty: Pumpkin Recipes

To fully embrace the fall season, what better way than to indulge in some pumpkin-inspired culinary creations? Let’s explore a few pumpkin recipes that celebrate the diverse and delectable aspects of this autumn icon:

1. Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • Start your day with a warm hug from a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte. This delightful concoction of espresso, pumpkin puree, and a dash of spices will awaken your senses and fill your morning with the essence of fall.
Pumpkin Spice Latte by Ambitious Kitchen

2. Roasted Pumpkin Soup

  • There’s nothing quite like a bowl of Roasted Pumpkin Soup to comfort your soul on a chilly autumn evening. The roasted pumpkin brings a depth of flavor, while a hint of cream adds a touch of indulgence. In this recipe the added touch of pesto makes it perfect.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Pesto by Lindsey Eats

3. Pumpkin Risotto

  • Elevate your dinner with a creamy Pumpkin Risotto. The subtle sweetness of the pumpkin melds beautifully with Arborio rice, creating a dish that’s both comforting and elegant.
Pumpkin and Mushroom Risotto by The Healthful Ideas

4. Pumpkin Bread

  • For a timeless treat, bake a loaf of moist and aromatic Pumpkin Bread. The scent of cinnamon and nutmeg wafting through your kitchen is the quintessential aroma of fall.
Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Maple Glaze by Ambitious Kitchen

5. Pumpkin Pie

  • No ode to fall would be complete without Pumpkin Pie. This classic dessert, with its flaky crust and velvety pumpkin filling, embodies the very essence of autumn. Top it with a dollop of freshly whipped cream for a truly indulgent experience.
The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe by Sally’s Baking Recipes

The Essence of Fall

Fall is a season that embraces us with its beauty and warmth, urging us to take a moment to savor the little things in life. It reminds us of the simple pleasures of nature’s bounty and the comfort of home-cooked meals. As we revel in the pumpkin’s earthly sweetness, let’s remember that autumn is more than a season; it’s a feeling, a sensation, and a state of mind. It’s a reminder to slow down, cherish the present moment, and find joy in the everyday.

Wishing you a cozy and pumpkin-filled autumn.

The Art of Slow Living: Prioritizing What Truly Matters

In a world where the pace of life seems to be perpetually accelerating, the concept of “slow living” has gained a remarkable following. It’s not just about indulging in life’s pleasures, like a walk in the woods, baking homemade bread, or losing yourself in the pages of a good book. Slow living goes much deeper, and at its core, it’s about taking the time necessary to create and make space for something truly great. It’s about deliberately slowing down to focus on what matters most to you. For many, myself included, slow living is all about deciding what truly matters and having the courage to say no to everything else. It’s about living a simpler, more intentional life so that you can allocate your most precious resource—time—to the things that hold the most significance in your heart.

Finding Meaning in Slow Living

In today’s fast-paced world, the art of slow living might seem like an unattainable luxury, an idealistic notion reserved for those who can afford it. However, the truth is, slow living is not a lifestyle restricted to a certain demographic; it’s a mindset accessible to anyone willing to make a few intentional choices.

Slow living is the antithesis of the chaotic, always-rushing culture that pervades our lives. It’s an invitation to pause, breathe, and reflect. The essence of slow living is not just about savoring life’s simple pleasures, but about consciously curating your life to focus on what truly enriches it. It’s a commitment to being present in each moment, rather than constantly racing toward the next one.

Prioritizing What Matters

At the heart of slow living is the practice of intentional prioritization. It’s about identifying your values, your passions, and your true purpose in life. Once you’ve established these core principles, you can then dedicate your time and energy accordingly.

In a world brimming with endless distractions and opportunities, it’s crucial to learn the art of saying no. Slow living is about having the strength to decline commitments and engagements that do not align with your core values. It means cutting out the unnecessary noise in your life to create a space for the things that genuinely matter to you.

Cultivating Richness in Time

One of the most significant dividends of embracing slow living is the newfound wealth of time that you’ll discover. When you declutter your life and free yourself from the incessant hustle, you can redirect your precious hours toward activities that truly enrich your life.

Imagine having time to nurture your relationships, pursue your passion projects, and invest in your own personal growth. Picture having the leisure to prepare and savor homemade meals, to travel without rushing, and to meditate in tranquility. Slow living is, in essence, the art of being rich in time, rather than being constantly on the run, chasing a mirage of success.

The Slow Living Journey

The journey towards slow living is a personal one. It requires self-reflection, intentionality, and a willingness to break free from the societal pressure to be constantly busy. Here are a few practical steps to get you started on this meaningful journey:

1. Identify Your Values: Take time to reflect on what truly matters to you in life. What are your core values and priorities?

2. Declutter Your Life: De-clutter your physical and digital spaces. Simplify your surroundings to create an environment that promotes calm and focus.

3. Say No: Learn to say no to commitments and distractions that do not align with your values. Your time is precious; guard it carefully.

4. Embrace Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness in your daily life. Be fully present in the moment, whether it’s during a meal, a walk, or a conversation with a loved one.

5. Create a Slow Living Routine: Establish daily rituals that encourage a slower pace of life. This could include time for meditation, nature walks, or simply enjoying a cup of tea without rushing.

Slow living is a conscious choice to break free from the relentless race and to invest your time where it truly matters. It’s about simplifying, prioritizing, and, in doing so, discovering the incredible richness that comes from being rich in time. By embracing this way of life, we can savor the sweetness of existence, find meaning in our daily experiences, and create something great, both for ourselves and the world around us. So, why not take a step back, breathe, and embark on your own journey of slow living? Your heart will thank you for it.

4 Tips and Tricks to Make Your Home Cozy

In the words of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Most people have forgotten nowadays what a house can mean, though some of us have come to realize it as never before. It is a kingdom of its own in the midst of the world, a stronghold amid life’s storms and stresses, a refuge, even a sanctuary.” 

Cozy cottage designed by Krister Allen – Straight Line Building Design

More than ever, we need our homes to be places of refuge within the disorder of life. How you decorate your space will make a significant difference in your mood and quality of life.

Add Natural Textures

Natural textures add depth and comfort to your home.

For instance, touches of wood connect those inside to the outside world. You can mix wood tones in your design,  just keep to either warm or cool undertones, and pick one kind of wood for your dominant feature.

Grasses are also a perfect textural addition, as are organic cotton elements and knitted throws. For your knitted throws and pillows, choose larger weaves that are more visually interesting and are popular right now in interior design.

For a comfortable room, add some pattern to the walls and bring in living plants. You don’t want a jungle, but some living greenery brings an oasis of life (and oxygen) to your  home. We now have our designs on Wallpaper as a collaboration with Mitchell Black both in premium matte paper and easy peel & stick so that you can do it yourself.

A buttery, leather armchair is the perfect, cozy add-in texture for a room, especially when there are lots of books nearby. Designers are also making wonderful creations with vegan leather these days.

Add Something Plush

A few luxurious accent pieces will add a plushness to your textures and bring in an element of coziness. A velvet chair or a faux fur throw pillow is all you need.


Green visors became popular in the late 1800s. Worn by accountants, editors, and telegraph operators to reduce eye strain from overhead lighting, they’re still sold today. This invention shows us just how hard overhead lighting can be on our eyes, which keeps any room from being a cozy retreat. 

In a feature in the Style section of The New York Times, it was reported that “while several studies show that the angle, intensity, color and quality of light can have a profound impact on perception and mood, lighting remains an oft-neglected aspect of interior design. “People just don’t realize how much lighting affects them,” said Robin Muto, an interior designer in Rochester, N.Y. “Even if you’re not in a bathroom looking at yourself in the mirror, if you’re looking at other people in lighting that makes them look dreary, drawn and horrible, you start to feel that way, too.”

To counter this problem, think less overhead glare and more soft, golden glows from table-height lamps. Also, light sources that direct lighting to the ceilings rather than downward softens a room.

Use overhead lighting when you’re looking for your keys or mopping the floor and need to see hidden dirt in the corners. Otherwise, “find fixtures that can be angled so light bounces off the walls and hits people at a side angle. Also effective are so-called wall washers — fixtures designed so light bounces off baffles or reflectors inside the housing, which then directs the light out more horizontally than vertically.”


Art is deeply personal, and we can’t dictate what kind you should collect for your home. However, for areas that you long to make particularly tranquil, consider softer colors and subjects. 

Look for something that brings a holiness to quiet places, calms your mind, and comforts your heart. For instance, consider art that focuses on natural themes.

“Human beings are naturally drawn to vastness in scenery,” says  renowned artist and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History David Chang. “Landscape throughout history has served the rich and poor, it’s given that quality of nature brought home. The vastness is the ever-infinite sky, it’s the depth of field, it gives human beings this calming quality. Artist or not, rich or poor, we all have that response. I’ve met very few people who would open the window on a beachfront hotel or house without saying, ‘Wow.'” 

As always, we wish you the best in creating a sanctuary for you and your family. Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey.

How To: Easy Crowd Pleaser Meals That are Ready in a Snap

Nothing is better than gathering together with the people who make our lives rich and meaningful. 

In the end, we’ll find that the friends and family who’ve made up the fabric of our lives were more precious than money or any worldly success.

As Clarence the Angel says to George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, “Remember-No man is a failure who has friends.”

Yes, friends are wonderful. But what do you feed them all?

When I need to fill up a lot of people fast, I find pasta is always a popular choice or my rustic chicken recipe.

My go-to is to put out a platter loaded with mounds of grapes and any other fresh fruit I can find that looks particularly delectable, an array of interesting cheeses, and then I serve a large pasta bake that can be assembled ahead of time. 

The bake I used to rely on was inspired by Saveur magazine. It called for ground veal, but I substituted ground chicken because, well, baby cows. 

Photo by Tina Rupp

However, this recipe based on  Food and Wine Magazine is made for the host in a hurry. It uses pre-made flatbread instead of noodles, so you can assemble the meal quickly and get it into the oven.

Flatbread Lasagna


  • 1 pound hot spicy chicken sausage, casings removed 
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups jarred marinara sauce (Ina Garten uses Rao’s in her home)
  • 4 pocketless pita or naan (why not pick them up from your favorite Indian restaurant to make the dish truly divine?)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (12 ounces)


  • Step 1
    Preheat the oven to 350°. In a skillet, cook the sausages in the oil over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat, until browned. Season the ricotta with salt and pepper. Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce in a deep-dish pie plate. Top with 1 flatbread, one-third of the sausage and 1/2 cup each of the ricotta and mozzarella. Repeat the layering twice more. Add 1/2 cup of sauce and the last flatbread. Top with the remaining 1 cup of sauce and 1/2 cup of mozzarella.
  • Step 2
    Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 minutes longer. Let cool for 20 minutes and serve. Serves 6-8. Make two when you have a huge crowd. More is always better.

Suggested Pairing