I have been so excited to write this post, as most of you know I love the Autumn. The beautiful colours of the changing leaves, wrapping up warm, pumpkin spiced everything and the comfort foods. Whilst growing up, I loved this season knowing Halloween was on its way, my mother always held Halloween parties in her house, until I moved out and took over the role of hosting. However, the last few years I have been unable to throw these parties but nevertheless I have always made sure my household had celebrated.
In this part of the challenge, I am going to share with you my favourite things & recipes and what better day to share this blog with you, than 22nd September, the first official day of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.
Pumpkin Spice Everything
I absolutely love Pumpkin and you know it is Autumn when the coffee shops offer Pumpkin Spice Lattes. My cupboards are stocked with Pumpkin Puree and after carving pumpkins I’ll stock up the freezer again with homemade pumpkin spice puree. This is really easy to make whether you are using a whole pumpkin or using the scooped out insides.
- 500g Pumpkin
- 30g unsalted Butter
- Mixed Spice
- Peel the pumpkin and cut into small squares or chunks.
- Heat the butter in a large pan and add the pumpkin. Cook on a low heat with the lid on, stirring occasionally. Approximately 20 mins until the pumpkin is cooked. Beware that due to pumpkins natural sugar content towards the end of cooking you will need to scrape the bottom of the pan to avoid burning – I did this one year and ruined my pan!
- Add the Mixed Spice to your required taste.
- Once cooked place in the blender and blitz until smooth. This can last in the fridge for up to 5 days and makes around 1lb of puree.
Last year, we made a Pumpkin Bundt Cake and I cannot wait to make this again this year, our house smelt amazing.
Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- 1 1/2 Cups of Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp of Cinnamon
- 3 Eggs
- 3/4 Cups of Vegetable Oil
- 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 Cups of Caster Sugar
- 1 can of Pumpkin Puree
- Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the bundt pan with a non-stick cooking spray or grease with oil.
- Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Set this aside
- Mix the sugar and oil together, then add the eggs one at a time, making sure they are mixed well in between.
- Add the pumpkin puree and mix well.
- On a low-speed, add the dry mixture to the wet until incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into your bundt pan and bake for 45-55 minutes.
- Leave to cool for approx 15 mins before turning the cake out of the pan.
- One completey cooled top with cream cheese icing if so desired – we did because we have a sweet tooth.
Crispy Leaf Walks
The best thing about living in the Cotswolds, is the fact we have Westonbirt Arboretum in Tetbury on our doorstep. Since moving here, almost every Autumn we have tried to venture there for Autumn walks. Planted back during the Victorian times when the Victorians went ‘plant hunting’ it has the largest tree collection in the UK with 1800 trees over 600 acres. So, dust off your walking boots, get a flask full of your favourite warm drink, wrap up and adventure in to Westonbirt, walking down the tree-lined avenue is my favourite.
My autumn wardrobe is definitely my favourite, I have always preferred my jumpers, boots and scarves, and I have quite a collection. Like the changing of the leaves, I love the colours of autumnal clothes and this year it has been fun buying pieces for Baby T’s first autumn. Wrapping up is my favourite and if we are lucky enough to have a relatively warm autumn there is no need for your big coats yet, layering shirts under jumpers and wrapping up with chunky scarves, and wooly tights. It is also the time to dust off your hats, I love big floppy hats during this season.
This time of year sees constant decoration, leading up to Christmas in our household. Once again something poor Mr N has to endure, I have always carved a pumpkin and had some form of Autumnal display whether it is a big bowl of crispy apples or conkers. Every year, I collect a selection of conkers and leaves from Imperial Gardens in Cheltenham just to add to the coffee table, this year sees the return of the Halloween decorations, I purchased for mine and Mr N’s first Halloween, although he does not appreciate it, it would not be autumn without it.
I also find this season the best season for Hygge, candles everywhere the perfect thing for snuggling on the sofa under a blanket. My favourite candle is The White Company’s autumn candle it smells divine, teamed with fluffy slippers it is perfect for evenings in front of the tv.
Cheltenham Literature Festival
You know it is Autumn in Cheltenham when you see the return of the Cheltenham Literature Festival, every October Imperial Gardens and Montpellier Gardens are taking over by large tents, authors and mountains of books. I get excited when the programme lands on my doorstep, instantly I start planning which talks I want to see. Last year was the best one yet for me, however, this year I can not choose, the choice is overwhelming, if my wedding was not a week after the festival I am sure I would be a attending them all.
The Standard Foot Photo
Every year, I take a photograph of my feet surrounded by leaves and this year will no different, I can’t really say why I choose to do this year on year but it is the only season that I do. It is possibly because my favourite things are captured in one shot, the different colour leaves and maybe the fact I have new boots? Either way I love sharing these shots per year.
The Smokey Smells of Autumn
My favourite thing about Autumn is the smell in the air of bonfires, the smokey aroma of wood burning. I did not appreciate it as much when I lived at home with my mother the smell of a log burning fire, I have a beautiful fireplace in our cottage but the chimney is unfortunately closed so we can not enjoy the cosy evenings in front of the fire. However, you do not have to go far to enjoy the scents, walking through autumn you are always guaranteed to experience the distant whiff of logs and leaves burning.
2017 – The Autumn to Remember
This autumn will be an autumn to remember, Baby T’s first autumn but also I become Mrs N. Of course with this being my favourite season we had to get married in the middle of October with a rustic feel.
So, that is what I like about Autumn, well actually I love it, I can not wait for it to arrive each year, it is when I am most happy, what is not to love. The final thing I would like to share with you are my favourite pins on my Autumn Pinterest board, hope you enjoy.