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

Rich Colors and Natural Textures: 7 Fall Centrepiece Ideas

As you begin to decorate your home for fall, try a simple DIY centrepiece for your table this year. By focusing on the colours and textures of the season, you can easily incorporate natural items and décor that you already have to achieve a stunning look for less! 

Here are seven easy ideas to inspire your creations.

Glass Cloche

The best thing about using a glass cloche for a centrepiece is that it’s easy to switch the décor year-round without much effort! Invest in a medium to large cloche so that you can style the inside with a variety of items. For fall, use small pumpkins, berries, faux or real leaves, and acorns. You can also add candles to mix up the height of the items. Experiment until you have the look you’d like—don’t be afraid to stack pieces and fill the cloche up towards the top if you’d like a more abundant look. Place it on your table and enjoy the elevated feel you’ve given to these everyday fall items.

Mini Pumpkin Floral Vase

Flowers make a great centrepiece year-round, but to add a festive fall touch to the arrangement, try using mini pumpkins as a vase! Simply cut out the top and clean the inside, then fill with some water and cut flowers. Change the water daily to avoid mould. You can use white pumpkins for a neutral arrangement or use traditional orange to really highlight the season’s colours. Choose flowers that are on the smaller side, like mums, so that they don’t overpower the mini pumpkins.

Candle Wreaths

Try these easy wreaths if you’re looking for an easy way to dress up the candlesticks or pillars that you have on hand. Using a faux greenery stem (eucalyptus is a nice fall foliage), cut lengths that will make a circle slightly larger than the base of your candles, then use floral wire to attach in place. Paired with gold or orange candles, these simple wreaths will add the perfect pop of life to your tablescape. Try incorporating candles of varying heights to give more interest to the display.

White Pumpkins with Affirmations

Sometimes the simplest décor helps your message stand out best! If you want to emphasize positive affirmations, gratitude sayings, or even display some autumn poetry verses, this easy white pumpkin centrepiece is a great option. Small white pumpkins are easy to find at your local grocery store or farmer’s market this time of year. Arrange them on a cutting board, tray, or fall-coloured table runner and attach these leaf tags with your words of choice. Need space for longer writings? Print out the text and display it in a gold frame nestled amongst the white pumpkins.

Photo: CatLane via gettyimages.com

Amber Bottles with Wheat

One way to incorporate the rich colours of autumn into your centrepiece is by using amber bottles. The deep orange-brown-gold tone of this glass is the perfect backdrop for otherwise neutral décor like wheat stalks or other dried grasses. The amber bottles are also an ideal vessel for miniature lights. They create a night glow that’s cozy and warm, perfect for celebrating the season.

Oranges and Pinecones

For a simple, easy, and colourful fall centrepiece using only items around your house, try displaying small oranges, pinecones, and some candles down the middle of your table. The fruit gives that brilliant pop of colour while also being an unexpected item—we usually see orange show up in leaves or pumpkins this time of year. The contrast between this bright colour and the darker, earthy pinecones lends balance to your table, and candles dotted throughout will add a welcome glow in the evening.

Farmer’s Market Basket

Celebrate the abundance of fall by showcasing your local harvest as a centrepiece. A wooden crate or basket makes the perfect base since it won’t compete with the colours of your fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Using kale or other greens to layer on the bottom and sides of the basket helps add some depth to the arrangement, while pops of colour from oranges, apples, pomegranates, and pumpkins add visual interest. If you have space left, add small jars of water and some cut flowers between the food.

No matter the occasion this season, you can easily create a fall-inspired centrepiece yourself using things around your home and yard as inspiration. Try one or more of these creations today!

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.