Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day always marks a time of transition in my home. Even though the calendar says autumn begins on September 22nd... Labor Day is the start of fall for me! At least inside the house. Usually I wait until the Saturday after Labor Day to start putting out my fall decorations and lighting fall scented candles. But Labor Day falls a bit later this year and I just couldn't wait any longer. It still feels a bit like summer outside, but inside... the signs of fall have started.

My fall wreath has been hung on the front door... looks like my old wooden door needs a bit of a spruce up! It's looking worn and faded like the color of my hair. (I believe a trip to the "Magic Kingdom" (hair salon) is in order this week as well!

I have several of these amber glass pumpkins... most go on the mantle.

I love this autumnal vine that I place on my dining room chandelier...

We have purchased several mums that need to be planted or put in pots... and I cannot wait to pick up pumpkins when they become available! I love pumpkins!

Jim moved up firewood from the back today... Yippeeee! One of my favorite things to do in the fall and winter... relax in front of a crackling fire w/a good book or an old movie!

Here he is working hard today!

Soon we will join Jim's sister, Ann our brother in law Rick, our niece Stephanie Ann and her fiance' Tim at Jim's mom's house. Today Jim's mom turns 88! We are so happy to be celebrating with her tonight! It marks the first birthday she has celebrated without Jim's dad. It's bittersweet, but we are delighted to be gathering as a family to celebrate the gift she is to all of us! Jim's mom loves fried chicken, so our niece Steph will be bringing Kentucky Fried Chicken and the fixin's. My contribution is this:

The dish doesn't look to appetizing in the photo, but I assure you it is!!!

Jalapeno Popper Mac 'n' Cheese


Salt & Pepper
1 pound of pasta (I used rotini)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
2 Serrano chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups whole milk (I used 2%)
8 ozs of Cream Cheese
2 Tablespoons dried minced onions (I used fresh onion, chopped)
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

1.) Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Drain and return to pot
2.) In a skillet, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium heat. Add the jalapenos, serranos and garlic and cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Add to the pasta. (I then saute'd the onion until tender and tossed into the pasta.)
3.) Preheat your broiler. In a saucepan, combine the milk and cream cheese (dried minced onions if you are using them instead of fresh) over medium-low heat cook until smooth. (about 5 minutes) stir into the pasta. Stir in the jack cheese; season w/ salt and pepper
4.) Transfer the pasta into a baking dish and broil until browned, about 3 minutes.

I have truly enjoyed a wonderful holiday weekend. I am embracing our transition into fall! Seasons change... we cannot stop them. Just as God moves us on... embrace each journey, each season each day!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven

Ecclesiastes 3:1