We love the fall! But then again, if you’re from Minnesota, there’s not many that don’t love that season. Fall in Minnesota is a beautiful time of year filled with crisp cool air and vibrant colorful leaves. It’s a favorite season for many Minnesotans because of its beauty, weather and lack of bugs.
Fall in Southern California is very different then fall in Minnesota. In California we have had to seek out and find the little things that make fall beautiful. Riverside has very few color changing trees. And although the nights are cool, the days are still warm here in Riverside. In order to make it feel more like fall it only feels right to do the things that remind us of fall. So when the weather turns cool it feels like the perfect time of year to bake and cook anything pumpkin. Maddox and I baked a double batch of our favorite Pumpkin Muffins a few weeks ago and can I just say they were delicious! They are also healthy enough to serve them as a quick breakfast as you head out the door in the morning. Thanks Lisa Leake from www.100daysofrealfood.com for providing wholesome real food recipes that my entire family enjoys.
It’s a perfect time of year for a weekly trip to the Farmers Market. There are so many local homegrown fruits and vegetables in season this time of year. We always let the kids choose something. That way we are almost always guaranteed that they will be eating some healthy snacks throughout the week. Although not currently in season but still juicy, this week the kids picks were blueberries and strawberries. Madelyn chose something a bit more unusual and fun. She chose honey with the honeycomb. Madelyn was excited to try the honeycomb. Apparently you chew on it much like gum, and when you’re done chewing you eat it. We learned from the beekeeper that the honeycomb is the healthiest and rawest form of honey available. It adds a richness to the honey and is considered a delicacy that can be served with cheese and crackers. If you’ve never tried raw unfiltered honey, I would recommend giving it a try. It is so delicious and taste so much better then the honey in the honey bear from the grocery store. Of course we couldn’t leave without a package of turkey sugar cookies. We just love the farmers market!
And what is fall in Southern CA without a trip to Temecula Valley Wineries and Vineyards. These vineyards are commonly referred to as the Napa Valley of Southern California. The vines are so beautiful in the fall as the leaves change color and the grapes ripen. We also spotted many Olive Trees growing throughout the vineyards that the kids enjoyed climbing in. It was a beautiful fall day so we decided to enjoy the view over a wine sampling for Jon, a few bottles of wine country soda for myself and the kids, and a meat and cheese platter with artesian bread for all to share.
Fall is also about finding the best coffee and doughnut shops, and Southern California has plenty. Pumpkin and apple flavored coffees and pastries galore. Yes please! One of the best places to find these gourmet treats is in beautiful downtown Riverside. So in November we headed downtown to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos which is a Mexican holiday meaning Day of the Dead.
While Madelyn and Maddox did art and Clara took a nap, we were able to sneak in a little treat. We enjoyed a latte with the famous Casey’s Cupcakes, winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Of course we had to try the cupcake of the month, Pumpkin Patch Perfection. But we couldn’t get just one cupcake so we also tried Excellent Espresso which was topped with Casey’s signature chocolate medallion. These cupcakes are incredibly delectable! This may be a monthly tradition, especially as the months grow cooler.
We have grown to adore fall in Southern California. There is so much beauty in any destination, sometimes you just need to look a little deeper.
We feel so fortunate to experience this season through a different set of eyes. To see things differently, to smell different smells, to embrace fall the California way. Fall is different in Minnesota but definitely not better…just different. And of course the best way to experience any season is with family!
Madelyn got to baking some delicious gingerbread cookies the day after Thanksgiving. I love that she loves family so much that she shaped her leftover cookie dough to spell out family. What a perfect way to begin the holiday season!