Monday, September 26, 2011

Gearing up for Fall

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year.  The smell of the leaves falling, the cool air, warm sweaters, apple cider, dishes that feature pumpkins and winter squash- I love it!

The past couple of weekends have put me in the mood for fall, and I love to bring natural elements of the season inside my home too. Here's how I've been embracing fall in my home decor:

My fireplace mantel nearly always gets a makeover each season, and autumn is no exception. For the Living Room mantel shown here, I used a collection of items that often sits on the mantel combined with a few pieces of my brown transferware, wildflowers with mums, colorful squash and gourds, and a ghoulish-looking black crow.

A fall-inspired mini-wreath hangs on my china cabinet.

My fall decor could not be complete without fresh pumpkins and beautiful mums embellishing the entrance to my home.  I love non-traditional, "heirloom" pumpkins and pie pumpkins for decorating. They are not only unusually pretty, but after they've served their purpose as decor when it is time to switch to Holiday greenery you can use them for baking, soups, and general cooking. They last forever!

My half-eaten pumpkin scone and tea; I forgot to take the photo until I had already indulged a bit.

And lastly, the beginning of autumn always brings out the baker in me, cooking with seasonal fruits like apples, pears, pumpkin and squash with warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove. Over the weekend we made some pumpkin scones for a brunch we hosted- the perfect way to start the season officially!  Below is the recipe:

2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cold butter
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin (can used canned or fresh pureed pumpkin)
1/3 cup milk

In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pie spice, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, pumpkin and milk; add to crumb mixture just until moistened. You can add pecans if you like. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead 10 times. Pat into a circle, cut into wedges and place wedges (separated) on greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with jam, apple butter, or honey.

 Be sure to stop by soon for my autumn-inspired table setting. Happy Fall, everyone!

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