Tag Archives: autumn

Autumn, A Fall Menu + Shepherd’s Pie

Autumn (or Fall) has definitely arrived here in North Carolina. After one windy night our deck is completely covered in leaves. I love the yellows, reds and browns at this time of year. IMG_0992

My favorite thing about the photo above is the splash of green against all those warm colors. I had to take a close up to capture the contrast.IMG_0995

It is the perfect time to pull out those winter recipes as the nights get colder. One of our family favorites, a recipe I grew up with, Shepherd’s Pie.

Ingredients (serves 4-6 people)

Tbsp Oil
1 onion, diced
250 g ground beef/ mince or 1/2 pound of ground beef (I use 96/4 ground beef)
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp Ketchup/ Tomato Sauce
3/4 Vegetable or Beef Stock
1 Tbsp Marmite (or worcestershire sauce)
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 Potatoes, chopped, cooked
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 low-fat milk
1/2 cup grated cheese

Pre-Heat Oven to 375 degrees F (or 190 C).

In a sauce pan, heat oil. Add onion and cook until glassy. Add the ground beef and brown the meat. Once meat is brown, sprinkle 2 Tbsp over the top. Mix the flour into the meat sauce. Over medium heat, add the carrots, peas, ketchup, stock, and marmite (or worcestershire sauce). Stir until blended, turn heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Place the meat mixture in a baking dish. NOTE: I like my carrots a little crunchy, if you would like them soft – cook carrots or use chopped frozen carrots.

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After draining your cooked potatoes, add butter and milk. Mash potatoes, butter and milk to make smooth mashed potatoes. Spread the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the potatoes. IMG_1001

Place the baking dish in the oven for 20 minutes. The cheese should start to brown. Remove the dish from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

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Serve with a side of vegetables (e.g. Broccoli or Cabbage).

Here is the rest of our dinner plan for the week on our $70 budget.

DAY BREAKFAST DINNER
Sunday Ham + Egg + Hash Brown  Asparagus + Mushroom Spaghetti (GF)
Monday Oatmeal + Banana + Soy Milk  Shepherd’s Pie
Tuesday Oatmeal + Banana +
Almond Butter + Soy Milk
 Split Pea and Ham Soup (Slow Cooked)
Wednesday Toast + Banana + Peanut Butter  Beef Curry + Cauliflower + Brown Rice
Thursday Pumpkin Bread  Vegetable Frittata
Friday Oatmeal + Dried Fruit  Take Out

Mosaic competition finalists, Voting open

Today, the finalists were announced and the voting opened for the Washed Earth Mosaic competition, over at Stitched in Color. Great news, I am a finalist along with a couple of my blog and quilting friends!! It would be great, if you go over take a look and vote on your favorite. Voting is open until midnight Sunday.

This is my entry that made it through:mosaic4ae2a2c8a565760c2b8870d34823252756bc8098

It was inspired by these photos of autumn/fall in Appalachian mountains in North Carolina.
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Have a great weekend.

 

WiP Wednesday: Fall Quilt Panel

So I am back blogging after taking a two week break. I was enjoying a great vacation with my parents who are visiting from New Zealand.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I did manage to get further in the 4 seasons quilt (see previous blogs for ongoing progress). I finished all 4 panels, fall/autumn panel was the most recent one. Here are some photo’s:

  • Autumn/Fall and Winter Panelsfall_winter_panels
  • Spring and Summer Panels
    Spring_summer_panel
  • All four seasons4seasons_panel

Now it’s on to the borders and finishing the top, and deciding how to back it.

Our first pumpkin patch visit

Today, we all went off to a local pumpkin patch to choose the perfect pumpkin for the pumpkin carving party tomorrow night. This was our first visit to a pumpkin patch – it was a lot of fun. Here are a few photos:

Goal Achieved – Relaxed

The mountains put on a scene that was amazing today. This was our best and last day in the mountains. The autumn/fall colors really came in, these are a couple of trees surrounding our cabin.

We spent the morning in Boone, strolling down the main street enjoying the park benches and the flower gardens along the pavement (footpath).

  

Next stop, was lunch in Blowing Rock. We tried Bistro Roca, while the food landed up tasting good, it was a little disappointing. Our lunches of Salmon with fries and a Veggie Burger, were cold the first time out. The second round the food was great; the veggie burger was Eggplant and Quinoa with tzatziki, and would recommend giving it a try.

For the trip along the way, we grabbed a coffee at the acclaimed “Bald Guy Brew of Blowing Rock”. They made the best Latte I have ever tasted….I will be stopping by there again tomorrow – one for the road, so to speak.

The afternoon of sight seeing started with the overlook at Linn Cove. It was totally worth the stop.

    

  

We got back in the car to spend the afternoon at Linville Falls region, a little further south on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had decide to go to the Linville Cavern and do the Linville Falls walk. I would definitely recommend both – Sean’s favorite is the cave. Some facts we learnt about the cavern:

  • There were fresh water trout that go blind in the dark after approx. two years of living in the spring cavern creek.
  • The stalagmites grow up (grow with all their might), stalactites grow down (they hold on tight). They are made mostly of Calcium Carbonate, Iron oxide give them a rust color. Algae (green) grow over the growths.
  • The bats return to the cave in winter when it is cold enough for them to hibernate.

We throughly enjoyed the 0.8 mile walk (each way) to the Linville Falls. Sean went a little crazy and pretty much ran there and back, jumping off every rock, tree stump or step he could find – exhausting just to watch let alone keep up 🙂 (I am getting old).

We started the walk around 5 pm, and got great sun-light in the late afternoon.

            

As sun was setting as we made our way home, stopping quickly to catch the sunset at the Grandfather mountain overlook.

  

It is always a little daunting at night on a windy road….I kept myself entertained by experimental with some night shots :-). The last of our photo tour.

  

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed our vacation photographs. We had a successful vacation and, yes it was relatively STRESS FREE=RELAXING!!!!  Goal achieved.

Day 1 Photos

Day 2 Photos

Sean’s Photographs (age 5)

Vacation through my 5 year old son’s eyes

So, what would a 5 year old take photos of, on his vacation in the mountains? This is the experiment we are trying out :-).

This vacation, we decided to let Sean have his own camera to take his own photos. He has been so excited about it. I think he has done a great job!! Here are some of his photos.

Day1:
The Streets of Blowing Rock

    

Bass Lake Walk

    

Day 2: 

Lunch at The Village Cafe
(Daddy was a camera “hogger” today and this was Sean’s only chance for photos)
    Day 3:

Boone

  

Linn Cove Viaduct

  

Linville Falls

Grandfather Mountain Overlook

Day 2: Amazing Fall Day

Today, was the most amazing day here in the North Carolina mountains. Perfectly clear, I do not think we saw a cloud at all today.

We spent most of the day along the Blue Ridge Parkway, visiting Grandfather Mountain and the Moses Cone Mansion – Arts and Craft Center. It was for sure cold up at Grandfather mountains but wonderfully warm in the sun along the rest of the parkway. Boy, are we now exhausted.

Lunch was great!!! We had tried to go The Village Cafe in Blowing Rock twice now, but always seem to land up there when they were closed. Today, we had success – and so worth the wait. It was a small Victorian cottage converted into the cafe, surrounded by a wild garden….and the food was amazing.

Photographs of the day are below.

Grandfather Mountain memories:

            

(now Dad…..that is a big tongue 😉 )

The Village Cafe in Blowing Rock:

  

Moses Cone Mansion:
  

Day 1 photographs can be found here.