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Somehow it's already fall...and well into it at that! We took this picture two weekends ago, and all of the leaves on these trees are now in a damp mess on our lawn.

We did enjoy the season, while it lasted. We had our annual fall get together at Alex's mom and stepdad's house, complete with picking apples and making our own cider with a cider press! We had a great time - click here for pictures from the weekend.

We've also been enjoying time with our new puppy...

...and fall wouldn't be complete without comforting fall foods! We had two great fall-inspired meals last weekend, one we cooked ourselves, and another cooked for us by our friends. I'll let them blog the recipes from the meal, but it was an incredible four-course feast that included potato and leek soup, pear, walnut and gorgonzola salad, spice-rubbed pork, mushroom and edamame risotto, lemon madelines, and dark chocolate with dried fruits. AMAZING.
The night before, we attempted a simple fall dinner (at least, all the recipes were simple on their own - I'm always surprised at how compounding "simple" recipes exponentially increases the time and effort in the kitchen...)
Anyway, I picked two recipes randomly from epicurious.com, and I was pleasantly surprised at the results! I based the first course on a similar salad I had recently at R Bistro, my most favorite restaurant in the world. I will save singing R Bistro's praises for another post, but let me just say that it is the BEST food you can get in the area, and is the establishment that introduced me to the creativity and artistry that is possible in the culinary arts.
First course: Persimmon, Cashew and Goat Cheese Salad
Recipe: Peel and slice persimmons (drop them in boiling water for a couple minutes to loosen their skins) and place on lettuce with cashews and cheese (the original recipe used French feta). My recreation wasn't half as good as R Bistro's, but it was still very good!
Second Course: Tilapia with Creamy Leeks

Recipe: Click here. This was SO good, and healthy at that! The leeks were amazing.
Dessert: Chinese Five-Spice Roasted Pears with Toasted Almonds

Recipe: Click here. This was also SO good! I am now addicted to Chinese five-spice. The toasted almonds and ice cream were the perfect addition.
Now I'm on to brainstorming ideas for our Thanksgiving menu, which we're excited to be hosting this year!
~Sonja

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