Categories
Active Aging

Fall Flavours: Cooking With the Season’s Bounty

With spring and summer on their way out, it’s time to start looking ahead to fall, and one of the best parts of this time of year is cooking with all the great seasonal fruits and vegetables that thrive in these cooler months.

If you’re unsure what’s in season in fall or don’t know what to do with the piles of produce-lining grocery store shelves, look no further. Here’s a handy list of some common fruits and vegetables, plus ideas to help you make the most of the season’s bounty.

Apples

Apples are a quintessential fall food. Not only are they a traditional gift for the teacher on the first day back at school, but they also can be cooked into some fall favourites like apple pie or apple crisp or made into a delicious hot cider to warm you up on cool nights.

Blackberries

Berries are like nature’s candy and are a sweet treat you can enjoy without the guilt. Blackberries are delicious on their own if you like a little tartness or can be baked into a cobbler and served with whipped cream for extra decadence.

Broccoli 

You may have shied away from broccoli in your younger years, but this iron-packed veggie is great roasted in olive oil or air-fried. Or, if you’d rather cover up the flavour while still getting your vitamin K, make it into broccoli cheese soup.

Cantaloupe and honeydew melons

These last bits of summer flavour mature right as the seasons start to change, making them the perfect snack for those last few hot days. There’s nothing like a cool slice of cantaloupe on a hot late-summer afternoon to cool you down.

Carrots

Carrots are a super versatile veggie with lots of health benefits, including reducing cancer risk and boosting heart and eye health. You can munch them raw with a little dip, slice and roast them, or julienne them into a salad or stir fry.

Cauliflower 

Cauliflower is having a serious moment right now as health-conscious eaters everywhere swap it out for all kinds of carbs, from pizza crust to rice. For an impressive vegetarian main dish, roast it whole or slice it into “steaks,” brush with olive oil and spices, and throw it on the grill.

Corn

Sweet corn is a fall favourite for many and can be made easily on the grill alongside any main dish. For a Mexican twist, try making elote by grilling the corn, then spreading on mayonnaise and sprinkling with cotija cheese and cayenne pepper.

Photo: Brzozowska via gettyimages.com

Eggplant

Eggplant, also called aubergines, are famous for being included in the Italian favourite eggplant parmesan. This is a delicious way to serve them, but they can also be cubed and roasted in olive oil, mixed with pasta, or even sliced and grilled to be served up in Greek gyros.

Garlic

This flavorful favourite should be a kitchen staple. Saute it with onion on low heat to add flavour to pretty much anything. Or, cut the top off, drizzle it with oil, and roast the whole thing for delicious roasted garlic you can use in a variety of recipes.

Peppers

Peppers are another versatile vegetable that you can add to many different cuisines. Slice them into fajitas or stir fry, or dice them and add to your first chili of the year. Or, just slice and eat them. Red bell peppers are the sweetest and make a delicious snack on their own.

Pumpkins

Of course, you can carve pumpkins into a festive jack-o-lantern a little later in the fall, but you can also find a roasting or sugar pumpkin and use it to make your own pie filling. Plus, you can roast the seeds for an extra treat. 

Squash

Another quintessential fall favourite, squash comes in many varieties that are good for many different things. Zucchini can be sliced and fried, while butternut squash can be boiled and pureed for a delicious soup. Or, if you’re going the low-carb route, roast a spaghetti squash and swap out its strands for spaghetti topped with marinara.

Just because the summer growing season is coming to an end doesn’t mean that you have to stop eating fresh fruits and vegetables. With a little creativity, you can whip up delicious, fresh dishes that provide a health boost to boot!

Categories
Home Sweet Home

Elegance in Autumn: 6 Classy Home Decor Must-Haves

As the air gets colder, the leaves turn red and orange, and your regular Starbucks order switches from classic to pumpkin spice, you may be wondering how to maintain a classy home decor while still participating in the autumn aesthetic. 

Whether you are trying to impress your holiday guests or simply attempting to get into the harvest spirit, there are boundless opportunities to incorporate fall festivity while still keeping a chic appearance. From gourds to candles to table dressers, these decor ideas are interchangeable with any home theme. No matter your pick, these items will leave your home feeling cozier and festive for the autumn season. 

Wreaths

It seems only fitting to begin with the exterior decoration of the home, which is the first thing you and your guests will see when arriving. Dating back to ancient Rome, wreaths were signs of victory and, according to Bustle, representations of “eternity” or the “never-ending circle of life”. To continue this tradition, try a wreath with warm oranges, yellows, reds, and hints of gold to mimic the colours found naturally during the autumn season. There are plethoras of options, some including flowers, sometimes sprinkling in a mini pumpkin or two, and sometimes feathers or barley. To achieve a more put-together or cohesive look, find a wreath that both highlights one component (like the feathers/flowers/etc.) and has splashes of colours already found in your home. You can find autumn wreaths at nearly any local craft or decor store, with prices ranging from $25-$200.

Artificial Pumpkins

One of the most sure-fire ways to switch from summer to fall decoration is through pumpkins and warm autumn colours. Also available at virtually any craft or decor store, a classic stack of artificial, white, or orange pumpkins elevates any front porch, mantel, centrepiece, bookshelf, or coffee table from homey to harvest. Some come with gold embellishments on the stems or even flakes on the pumpkins themselves, leaving endless options to enhance your home’s style and match your fall vision. Try mixing and matching sizes and colours to give dimension, depth, and variety to your gourd group. 

Candles

Not only can you find expensive scents for affordable prices, nothing feels more like fall than the assuaging aroma of apple, cinnamon, or caramel wafting through your home. Not only do they leave a comforting scent, but they also have endless potential to be elegantly dressed up. To reach a “fancy” presentation, consider different heights of glass candle holders (clear or coloured). For a sleek, modern look, consider glass cylinder holders for your fall candles. Adding these ornaments to your tables, mantels, or shelves will certainly add to your festive room. 

Garlands

Although these are more common during the Christmas season, don’t be afraid to garnish your mantles or banisters with garlands of leaves, flowers, barley, and perhaps lights.  Whether you hang them as one long strand or in individual clusters, anything that introduces tasteful autumn foliage into your home will automatically provide a classier festive feeling. You can find them (guess where?) at your local craft and decor store, ranging from a DIY project to about $50. 

Photo: Liliboas via gettyimages.com

Cutlery, Crockery, and China, Oh My!

The right tableware is crucial to maintaining your fashionable post-summer feel, especially if your house tends to be the hotspot for fall family dinners. You can achieve this by matching warm, festive colours or through finding the right elegant pattern for your china. Matching, simple silverware can only add to the charm of your autumn dinner spread. Virtually any home-oriented store will have available options, as well as numerous online shops just a click away. 

Throw Pillows/Blankets

As fall approaches, so does the desire to cuddle up and relish in the relaxing, comforting change in weather. There is no better time than to celebrate with a new set of pillows. 2021 brings numerous different trends in media, clothing, and especially home decor. The new has become a wilder, brighter version of the old, with influences and sprinkles of decades ranging from the Victorian era all the way to the 70s. Whatever your preference may be, you can never go wrong with a light overtone and splashes of warm, vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges. Try smaller, circular pillows contrasting with large square and medium rectangular pillows. If pillows are not within the vision board of your dream fall aesthetic, try a throw blanket to cozy up the room and add a pop of colour. 

Table Runner

These simple decorations are perfect for elevating a simple dining room table. Over a table cloth, a properly draped emerald or warm-coloured silk runner provides a sense of elegance. A macrame table runner can be equally as decorative and emits a more bohemian style. Gauze table runners are perfect for a fun yet relaxed feel. 

Whether you want a simple or complex look, these decor ideas are sure to elevate your home’s appearance and leave your guests and family feeling cozy and relaxed!

Categories
The Entertainer

Celebrate Fall With 8 Seasonal Decorating Ideas

Autumn is right around the corner, and it’s time for your home to go from the airy, openness of summer to the cozier, crisper feeling of fall. In celebration of the season, you might want to bring those oranges, reds, golds, and browns into your home. 

We’re inspired by all the ways autumn plays on your senses, from the cool air on your skin to the smell of fireplaces burning and the sight of brilliant gold and red leaves. With those ideas in mind, we put together this list of fall decor ideas.

Real Pumpkins and Gourds

Real pumpkins and gourds are one of the best natural decor pieces you can bring in for the season. Line your stairs (inside or out) with pumpkins of varying sizes. Go with all orange, all white, or all green for a more classic look, or mix and match for a fun hodgepodge. Pile a wicker basket with a selection of gourds as a centrepiece, or flank the fireplace with an array of squash.

Fake Leaves 

While we’d love to bring the real thing inside, live leaves won’t hold up to more than a day of decorating duty. Fortunately, fake leaves can look almost as gorgeous and can be added to wreaths and garlands or even stuck to windows in a decorative representation of their yearly fall. 

Candles & Candle Holders

Swap out your sea- and cotton candy-themed summer candles for spicier, warmer scents. Fill the house with the aroma of cinnamon or pumpkin spice. Add a pumpkin-shaped candle holder for even more seasonal appeal.

Photo: fotostorm via gettyimages.com

Pillows

One of the easiest and most effective seasonal decorating items is the throw pillow. Pile orange, red, and gold pillows on the sofa, or go with a warm plaid to give the impression of piles of blankets. If you love representative images, choose one or two accent pillows decorated with a gold leaf, an orange pumpkin, or your favourite fall image.

Arts and Crafts Accents

Craft time with the kiddos (or grand-kiddos) can do double duty. Make turkeys from pumpkins by adding heads, tails, and feet. Or break out the paint and make patterns or faces on your pumpkins instead. Cut out leaves from orange, red, and brown construction paper and hang them on a string to make a garland. Feature these arts and crafts around the living areas and entryway.

Corn, Stalks, and Wheat Sheaths

Nothing says harvest time like dried corn, cornstalks, and wheat sheaths. You can prop large corn stalks by the front door, or tie them to the columns of your porch. Hang dried wheat sheaths from the mantle and line the top with multi-coloured corn, or create a centrepiece from a combination of them.

Fall Flowers

Marigolds, sunflowers, and mums bring a pop of fall colour into the home. Set a vase of sunflowers on your kitchen island or beside the guest bed. Feature large pots of mums at the front door or beside the fireplace. Fall flowers add a sense of freshness that compliments the coming indoors that’s natural with the season.

Colour 

To really create the autumn atmosphere in your home, focus on neutrals and earthy colours with accents of deep orange, brilliant red, and warm gold. Blankets and throw pillows are easy ways to make a significant impact with colour. Natural accents are also a quick and easy way to bring the hues of the outdoors in. Fill a glass bowl with pinecones for an end table accent, or fill a vase with dried wheat and a stick of dried berries. 

Celebrate the changing of the season and fill your house with autumn colours, harvest decorations, and that cozy feeling.