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Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Blustery Fall Weekend

Brrr.  It got quite chilly here in the Allegheny Mountains this fall weekend.  There were even spots that saw a mix of snow, sleet, and rain.  We spent most of our time warm and cozy indoors with good food, extended family, and fall treats.

To start the weekend, we baked, filled, and frosted these Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes from Duncan Hines.  Every now and then, I do break down and use a boxed mix.  The grocery stores are carrying so many interesting autumn treats, so I thought I'd give this a try.  They were quite tasty and are all gone by now, of course.  One problem: my oven quit working, so we mixed them up in our kitchen, then walked up to the cabin to bake the cupcakes, and then carried them back down to the house to frost.  Perhaps the little hike shaved off a few of the 225 calories in each cupcake.

Another fun find that my husband surprised me with that has no calories is this Pumpkin Body Butter found at Trader Joe's.  It's just as luxurious as the regular body butter but smells scrumptuous.

We spent Saturday afternoon around our long kitchen table playing card games with the grandparents.  The big people played Phase 10.

Then we played Uno Attack with the little people.

I was going to wait another month to break out my thick sweaters and boots, but it was so cold that I gave in and even broke out my long silk underwear... And I was still cold.

The grownups decided to dine at a new, unique, farm-to-table restaurant called Revival Kitchen.

Don't try to get in without reservations because chances are you'll be out of luck. 

 Fortunately, we did think to make reservations, and we had a table back by the wine bar where we sampled wines from Seven Mountains Winery, and then ordered a couple of bottles to drink with dinner.

For appetizers, we tried Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs and Miso Glazed Shitake Mushrooms.  My father-in-law is the truly adventurous eater though, and he ordered Bread and Bone, which is bone marrow served with grilled sourdough bread, short rib onion jam, and an herb salad.  There was no way I was touching that even though I was assured that it is delicious and healthy too.

My husband and I tried the Maple Cured Smoked Duck Breast with roasted brussels sprouts, crispy polenta, and those fancy rings of squash.  This was tasty, but I realized I'm not a polenta or duck lover.

The grandparents tried the Herb Marinated Chicken with risotto, goat cheese, and grilled broccolini...

...and the Gnocchi with ricotta, charred broccolini, garlic cream, and crispy Lacinato kale.  Everyone was in agreement that it was all superb, but I was stuffed.

However, we weren't too full for dessert.  We sampled the pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate brownie with peanut butter mousse, and a chocolate pudding cake filled with fruit and nuts with a toffee sauce underneath.  It was unanimous that the pudding cake was the most original and the winner of the evening.  Somehow, my husband and I awoke in the middle of the night with indigestion from eating so much, but the grandparents slept like babies.  Go figure.

On Sunday, after we attended Mass together and had lunch, we ventured over to the public library where they had all kinds of organized activities for children.  Our youngest was the only one willing to make paper bag puppets.

But they were all more than willing to decorate cookies with autumn decorations.  If it involves eating, they're in!

When we came home, I discovered why I have to recreate my porch display every morning because the pumpkins and Indian corn have been knocked off the hay bale.

And despite the cold, winds, snow and sleet, the weekend ended looking like this. 

I'm loving fall! 

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