Entries in fall weekends (3)


conchiglie with delicata squash, bacon, leeks and escarole

This past weekend we visited our dear friends Page and Adrian for our annual trip to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival. After spending a fun day in Rhinebeck we went and spent the night at their house in Connecticut. Page had bought tons of gorgeous vegetables as the farmer's market in anticipation of our visit. While the kids spent hours outside looking for salamanders (they claim to have found 18!) Page and Lauren and I spent time hanging out and cooking together...something we love. This pasta includes some of my favorite fall produce: delicata squash, leeks, and escarole. It was delicious!


When using leeks be sure to wash them really thoroughly. Thinly slice into rounds and submerge in a bowl of cold water. Agitate the leeks to loosen any sand. Lift out of the water into a colander and repeat with fresh water until there is no residue in the bowl.


We used conchiglie which is a snail shaped pasta for the dish but you can substitute rigatoni or penne. We doubled the recipe below since there were 12 of us in all.



3 small or 2 large delicata squash, cut into 1/2 inch thick rings, seeds removed

Extra virgin olive oil

1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips

2 large leeks, thinly sliced and washed (see note above)

1/2 head of escarole, washed and thinly sliced

1/2 pound fresh ricotta

1 pound conchiglie


Preheat over to 400°. Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta. 

Toss delicata rings with olive oil and salt and pepper. Arrange on a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides (you will need to turn the rings halfway through cooking) and tender. When squash is cool enough to handle cut rings into bitesize pieces. (You can return the squash to the oven to keep it warm if you finish this step before the rest of the dish is ready.)

In the meanwhile saute the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Trasfer to a plate, reserving the fat. Cook leeks in bacon fat until very wilted and begining to carmelize. Add escarole and continue cooking until very soft. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Cook the pasta until al dente while sauteeing the greens. Drain it in a colander and return to the pot. Stir in ricotta until pasta is well coated. Add greens, squash, and bacon and stir. Serve immediately.



apple picking


Every year we seem to find some time to go apple picking. Picking berries and other fruit is fun, but the great thing about apples is that the kids love them so they usually all get eaten. I like to think of ways to incorporate them into my cooking as well...certainly the oatmeal with carmelized apples is one way, but I also add them to salads and soups, or throw a few wedges in the roasting pan with vegetables, chicken, or pork. Of course, apple desserts are pretty great too! I am sure a few recipes will pop up here in the coming weeks.




sheep and wool festival


Last year I had the pleasure of going to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival for the first time. I had heard about it from various yarn loving friends over the years, so when I heard that my dear friend Page and her Purl Soho partner Joelle Hoverson were going (Joelle was doing a book signing for her book More Last Minute Knitted Gifts) I asked if I could join them. 



In the end Page and I decided to bring our families, and although I felt like I was asking Adam and the kids to tag along on something that was clearly all about me, we all had a fantastic time. We started out admiring the sheep, goats, and alpacas -- they have such whimsical faces that I could have taken a hundred photos. Then, while Page and Joelle and I spent way too much time pouring over all the beautiful wool in all its various forms, the kids and dads got to sample lots of sweet treats, listen to music, and play games. They even went to an airshow at the nearby Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. At the end of the day we found the amazing animals created from fleece that the kids are holding in the photo at the top of this post. They are their favorite stuffed animals to this day, and have already asked if they can each choose another this year.



The photos above are just a few of the many things I could not resist buying. The photo on the left is skeins of wool roving...I had admired one just like it hanging from a knob in the living room at Page's house before we went to the festival and was so happy to find it and copy her!  The photo on the top right is more roving, just presented differently. The pale grey spiral on the bottom right is actually an enormous bag full of carefully combed roving that I plan to crochet into a rug...we will see when I actually get to that project. I am slightly terrified of ruining it!


I think this may be an annual tradition for Page and me and our families...I know we will be going back this year on October 15th...my kids have been asking about it since June. It is a great way to get out of the city on a beautiful fall day. All the details of the festival can be found here.