Best of the Season : Fall 2015

At the end of each season, we take a look back and highlight our favorite posts. See previous Seasonal Bests here.

It’s that time again. Kate and I like to take a look at our favorite posts from the past season in order to appreciate the projects we’ve tackled and pat ourselves on the belly for making so many desserts without gaining twenty pounds.  What kind of fun did you get into this fall?

Katie here : I had to jump in and state the obvious: time is going too quickly. I really feel it whenever we’re transitioning between seasons on the blog, but even so, I love these “Best of” posts, because they make me sit down and review the previous season. It’s always a nice reminder that we packed so much life, food, and fun into the previous three months. Yet the blog posts are just a snippet of our daily life; for example, seeing a post about pumpkin curry also reminds me that behind the scenes that was an early introduction of solid foods for Luc. Rather than be sad for how fleeting the season is, this moment of reflection gives me the motivation I need to jump into the next season with both feet as I get excited about all that lies ahead this winter. So, here’s our little toast to a fall well lived and the anticipation of a winter season full of promise.


Best of Soups & Sides

  • Katie’s pick : I loved our three sisters stew. As I mentioned in the post, I went against my gut and didn’t roast the squash, rather I diced it while raw and added it to the soup, and it added a nice texture to the stew.
  • Sarah’s pick : Yum ditty dum, Kate’s cauliflower soup was excellent.


Best of Dinners

  • Katie’s pick : It’s a tie between the pumpkin curry and pumpkin chili. They were both well received by everyone in the family, including little Luc!
  • Sarah’s pick : The butternut squash pasta was the perfect combination of flavorful and filling.


Best of Desserts

  • Katie’s pick : I’m still thinking about that pumpkin pudding, and am serious about doing a few more pudding posts in the future.
  • Sarah’s pick : I loved Kate’s pumpkin whoopie post even if she didn’t exactly pat herself on the back after that one…


Best of Drinks

  •  Katie & Sarah’s pick : The homemade pumpkin spice latte wins hands down.  True, it’s the only drink we made this season, but it is also delicious.


Best of Crafts

  • Katie’s pick : Am I allowed to boast and say the sweater project? There were moments when I just wanted to be done knitting the sweater, but those were mostly moments when I was worried about how it would turn out. I loved the challenge of a project like that.
  • Sarah’s pick : How to create a care package was not only the most fun post to produce, but I felt so much love and gratitude from the recipients of these brown envelopes.


Best of Health & Beauty

  • Katie’s pick :  The pumpkin face mask was so moisturizing. I’m hoping to convince Sarah and Kristin that they have to try it when they visit dry Colorado this winter. 
  • Sarah’s pick : I really enjoy window shopping and learning about reputable companies so fair trade favorites for fall is my top pick for fashion posts this fall.


Best How To

  • Katie’s pick : Oh man, cooking with little A is such a trip that I have to pick the cooking with kids-pumpkin muffins post.
  • Sarah’s pick : How to survive an international flight should be on everyone’s must read list before traveling for the holidays.


Best of Nature

  • Katie’s pick : Eldorado Canyon State Park, because while we didn’t get to do as much fall camping as we would have liked, that post reminds me that we got to hike on some new-to-us trails. 
  • Sarah’s pick : World rivers day was so magical for me this year that I’m feeling inspired to celebrate that seriously on all environmental holidays.


Best Around the House

  • Katie’s pick : Painting a mountain mural, because it was the first big paint job in our new house and I’m happy with how well it turned out.
  • Sarah’s pick : I loved reading about the shower spray, orchids, and bee home updates from Kate.


Best of Travel

  • Katie’s pick : Oh, those gardens of Nepal. I love traveling vicariously through Sarah.
  • Sarah’s pick : Tips for visiting temples will save you an embarrassing moment or two – I loved sharing advice in this post almost as much as I love visiting temples!

Well, what do you think? Were there any favorite posts from fall that we missed?  We love hearing what you enjoy reading here on Seasoned so give us a shout in the comments 🙂


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Holiday Drinks

Happy Thanksgiving stateside friends!  No matter where you’re reading from, these delicious wintery drinks will be cause for celebration.  Gather your friends and family (or your cat) and start mixin’.

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How To: Create a Care Package in Five Simple Steps

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live seasoned fall15 care package-1-2   Happy Monday friends!  Way back when we started this blog, we had intentions of posting something inspiring and uplifting every Monday, cause ya know, Mondays, amiright?  I’m especially excited to share this spur of the moment Monday inspiration post with you because I just photographed it ten minutes ago.  There’s something energizing about writing a post that you thought of and followed through with all in the span of a couple hours.  It’s either that or the extreme procrastination of it all that really amps me up.  Anyway, here’s some creative inspiration for this Monday morning : how to create a care package in five simple steps.

Creating care packages is pretty much my favorite past time.  I’m always in the process of putting together something for someone.  Sealing up the envelope and shipping it off to an unsuspecting recipient makes me feel like the santa of snail mail.  There’s nothing reaaaally special in each envelope, but the whole feeling of the package is sure to put a smile on a friend’s face.  Usually when I make one care package, I end up creating a dozen more so I put together a simple formula to make sure each of my envelopes contains just the right ingredients to inspire my pals.

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Two Bits

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Happy Friday!  It seems like each week that I’m home from my big adventure, I just get sleepier and sleepier.  I’m not sure if I keep taking on more work each week or if I really am just tired.  I feel like I did so much during my time in Nepal, especially during the yoga teacher training and trek, but here I am, just trying to work 8-10 hours a day and I’m exhausted.  Anyway, all that is to say, f yeahhh for Fridays.  I wanted to leave you with a few podcast episodes relating in some way to terrorism because it’s been a sh!t storm on social media this week and this is the only intelligent way I know how to enter the conversation. Go ahead and listen to one or all of these episodes this weekend.

This American Life 387: Arms Trader 2009

This American Life 471: The Convert

This American Life 572: Transformers

Katie here :

My head has also been back and forth all week between living in the moment with the boys as we enjoy fall and prepare for Thanksgiving, and then listening to the radio and reading social media comments about the situation with ISIS and the confusion about who refugees are, why they are fleeing, why then need our compassion, and finally, how we can help. I am definitely not educated enough to speak on many of those points, but I do know that they are fellow humans in great need of help. If you are interested in learning more and are looking for ways to reach out, Girl’s Gone Child has a great post up with many thoughtful ideas.

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Pumpkin Galette

Pumpkin is our ingredient of the season. We have all sorts of sweet and savory dishes, as well as a face mask to wear while drinking your lattes.


Have you made a galette? I have the feeling that they’re a trendy-food-of-the-moment, as I keep seeing them pop up on blogs and places like the cooking section of the NYTimes. And you know what I think? If it’s trendy, there might be a reason why… flaky pastry crust and savory fillings. That’s why.

Very simply, a galette is a rustic pie without a pan. The pastry dough is rolled out into a rough circle, the filling is piled in the middle, and then the sides of the dough are turn up and over the filling. It gets baked on a flat pan and that’s it. Simple as pie (I had to say it)! Galettes can be sweet or savory. With a filling of pumpkin, caramelized onions, apple, and ricotta cheese, this one is a little of both. The dough’s whole wheat flour is a perfectly nutty compliment to the savory-sweet fall filling. Enjoy!

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Sarah’s Fall Uniform

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Hello, hello, here we are again, in the throws of autumn, spiraling towards winter hibernation.  From time to time, I like to share my seasonal uniform.  I tend to wear basically the same thing every day.  In the spring, I rocked this duster daily, in the summer I lived in my bull’s cap and this vintage bathing suit I found at a thrift store, and this fall it’s all about my new poncho.  Whether I’m walking dogs, taking photos, or curled up in my office chair working from home, I’m living inside this beautiful poncho.  Who wouldn’t want to wear a blanket all the damn time?!

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I have always admired ponchos, but I never found the right one for me that is until about a month ago, when I was supposed to be shopping for a dress for the final ceremony at yoga teacher training.  I’m hot, exhausted, and stopping in every single store I see looking for a dress. Nothing special, just a dress, preferably plain and flowy, but nothing looked right then I see this poncho peeking out of a dark corner of a store full of yak’s wool and knitted mittens.  Not exactly a dress store, but I shuffled out of my shoes and went inside anyway.  As I’m sifting through the rack and telling myself the last thing I should buy on this eighty degree day is a yak’s wool poncho, I see the perfect one.  I pull it over my head, do a little twirl and that’s it, I’m sold.  After a few rounds of bargaining, I paid the agreed upon price of $12.50 and I’m the newest owner of the most perfect poncho in Nepal.  I skip all the way back to the hotel with the poncho tucked safely in my bag.  I won’t wear a new dress for the ceremony, but I will wear a new poncho every single day of autumn.

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I only ever own one or two pairs of jeans at a time. It takes a lot of water to produce a pair. These are my current blue jeans, I’m not disappointed, but I’m also not impressed. You can probably tell that I wear these jeans every day too.  I bought them a couple years ago to replace my old favorites.  Besides the jeans and the poncho, I’m usually wearing some type of basic tank top or simple t-shirt.  Every outfit needs a sensible pair of shoes (I can hear Katie laughing in agreement..) and these Merrells are my most favorite for fall.  I just realized I bought them three years ago and they are honestly in the same condition (maybe a little dirtier) as the day I walked out of the store. (Update as of 07/31/17 – I’m buying a new pair of boots today!)  These Merrell boots hiked up a volcano in Costa Rica, ran across deserts in Utah and crossed the Thorong La Pass in Nepal – so sensible they are.  Hope your fall uniform keeps you as cozy and comfortable as this get up.

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Thanksgiving Inspired Tapas

We’re republishing this yummy Thanksgiving inspired Tapas post from last year because it was so darn yummy.  Steal a recipe or two (or all five) for your big dinner this year.


Happy Thanksgiving! I know, I’m a couple days early, but I wanted to show you how I celebrated Thanksgiving with my bf  last week.  I’m currently visiting a friend in Florida so I wanted to celebrate with K before I left.  I decided to create a tapas inspired Thanksgiving because it is perfect for couples, small families or those who are scared of cooking a turkey (me!). With some prep the night before, this all came together in under an hour.  Can you believe it?! I think my favorite part was the aioli tossed potatoes and the fact that everything is bite sized.  Eating tapas helps me slow down, enjoy the meal and talk between tiny bites.  We had a bunch of leftovers too and who doesn’t love that?!

One thing I try to do before starting to prepare a huge meal is to write a schedule.  I jot down all the names of the recipes in the order that I should start them.  That gives me a general guide so I’m not standing over the stove wondering what to do next.  At the end of the post, I’ll share my schedule with you.  I think it’d be easier to understand after you read the recipes.


Garlic Tossed Green Beans with Toasted Pine Nuts

  • Half of an onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fill a tea kettle with water and turn it on to boil.
  • In a large sauté pan, pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil and turn the burner onto medium heat.  After a couple minutes, when the oil has heated up, add the pine nuts.  Toss the nuts every couple minutes.  When they start to pop or turn slightly brown, use a slotted spoon and place the nuts on a paper towel to drain. Turn the burner off for a moment. This should take no more than six minutes.
  • Place the trimmed green beans in a medium sized pot.  Pour the boiling tea kettle over the green beans and turn the burner on high heat.  Time the beans for seven minutes.  The green beans should be cooked, but still crisp. Once they’re done, drain them in a colander.
  • While the green beans are cooking, finely chop half an onion and two cloves of garlic. Add the onion to the sauté pan that you toasted the nuts in. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions.  Cook the onions on medium low heat until they are soft and translucent, about five minutes.  Add the garlic and continue to sauté for two more minutes.
  • By this time the green beans should be finished boiling.  Add them to the sauté pan and drizzle the remaining tablespoon over the green beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir the beans around to coat them with onions and garlic and add the pine nuts.  Stir for another minute or two to incorporate all the flavors and serve.


Brown Sugar and Maple Syrup Glazed Carrots

  • 1/2 lb of baby carrots or large chunks of full-sized carrots
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Whisk together the maple syrup and the brown sugar.
  • Put the carrots in a cast-iron pan or a vessel that is able to be baked.
  • Add the carrots to the pan and pour the glaze over them.  Don’t worry if the carrots aren’t completely covered or saturated. The glaze will bake into the carrots just fine.
  • Cover the pan with tin foil to create a steaming effect.
  • Time for thirty minutes. Check the carrots by piercing them with a fork.
*These measurements are based on baking carrots for 3 people – increase as necessary.


Roasted Brussel Sprouts

  • Stalk of brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 375°
  • Optional step: Wrap the stalk of brussels in plastic wrap and microwave for three minutes.
  • Whisk together olive oil, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  • Place the brussels sprouts in a glass baking dish and drizzle with olive oil mixture.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
*I like my brussels sprouts nice and brown, if you don’t, check the sprouts every ten minutes.


Aioli Tossed Potatoes

  • 1 egg – room temperature
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • sprinkle of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 lb of very small potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Bring a medium-sized pot of salted (add the tsp of salt) water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until just soft.  Test the potatoes by piercing them with a fork.  About ten minutes.
  • Whisk together the room temperature egg, pressed garlic cloves, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice.  Sprinkle some pepper into the aioli.
  • Slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil, little by little while whisking the aioli.
  • When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and put them in a large bowl.
  • Toss the warm potatoes with aioli and parsley.
  • Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving so that aioli soaks into the potatoes.


Warm and Spicy Grilled Pork Skewers

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Juice from one large lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 – 1 lb pork
  • skewers
  • The marinade must be made the night before; please keep that in mind.
  • Whisk all the spices, garlic, lemon juice, parsley and olive oil in a bowl.
  • Cut up the pork pieces into quarter-sized chunks and place in a single layer in a shallow nonmetallic dish.
  • Pour the marinade evenly over the pork pieces, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Ideally, you should stir the pork two or three times over the course of 8-12 hours.
  • 8-12+ hours later, place the pork pieces onto skewers.  If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least twenty minutes prior to grilling.
  • Place the pork skewers on the grill or broil them.  I used a George Foreman grill and it took approximately 6 minutes to grill each group of skewers.


Also shown in the photos are cranberry goat cheese topped crackers and mini no bake pumpkin pies.  I picked up the goat cheese from Trader Joe’s; served at room temperature, it is the perfect appetizer. The mini pumpkin pie recipe will be shared tomorrow, so stay tuned 🙂

After typing all those recipes, I realize that seems like a lot to do, but with a little preparation it comes together quickly.  The night before you can prep by washing the carrots, brussels, green beans and potatoes.  Chop a big pile of parsley and make the marinade and the aioli as well.  I also did a mental walkthrough of all the recipes and pulled out garnishes, gadgets, pots, pans and serving dishes for everything.  It’s a small step, but it really helps on the morning of.  That way everything is sitting out on the counter ready to be grabbed at a moments notice.

The day of, start by making the brussels sprouts and carrots.  Then bring several pots of water to boil for your beans and potatoes.  After your green beans are completely finished and the potatoes are tossed with aioli, quickly grill up the pork skewers.  By that time the oven veggies should be finished up and you are ready to serve dinner!

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Hey there, I thought it was time to look back at a few posts and share some updates with you. Today’s post includes a success, a failure, and a modification.

The Failure :


I made a space for native bees, and they never came! I was really bummed, because I was so excited to have Alex, our little bug lover, watch the bee activity all summer. I was also hoping to share updates with you all summer, oh well. Fortunately, the bee house is in great condition, so I took it down for the winter and will hang it again next spring. I’m going to try a different location.

The Modification :

 {warning : dirty glass walls ahead!}


That’s an close-up of what I did, but let me take a step back and explain. When we lived in PA, I had great success keeping my orchid happy, healthy, and blooming. Then we moved to dry (dry,dry) Colorado, and it became such a struggle. I finally got the conditions right in our rental last year, and then we moved into the new house.

After moving, I was keeping the orchids in a corner of the living room. They were getting plenty of light, but they were dry. I tried to stay on top of watering, and I even added a big pan underneath that I filled with water to try to raise the humidity level in the air around them. Unfortunately, it was just too dry.

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Introducing the Seasoned Etsy Shop!


Happy Friday friends!  We’re making a few changes around here and we wanted to let you in on them.  First, we opened our Seasoned etsy shop for the holidays! Second, we revamped our about page and added more images and information about our little lives.  Sometimes we forget that this blog may be your first introduction to who we are.  For those of you that know us personally, do you think the new about page does a better job of explaining who we are? For those of you who only know us from the internet, do you feel like you actually get a sense of who we are? Should we add a video? More information?  Any feedback here is welcome and greatly appreciated.

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healingAs for the shop, Katie and I have been thinking about the Seasoned etsy shop for a long while.  We want it to be a space where we can sell the products that we create and talk about here on the blog.  We play around with potions a lot and some of them turn out so well that we want to share them with the world.  Everything we sell in our shop has been researched and tested by myself and Katie.  We even use our pals as guinea pigs when it comes to testing our lip balms and sunscreens.  We’re starting small this season, but with your support and honest feedback, we’re hoping this grows into an ever changing selection of Seasoned goods.  So if you have a chance, take a peek at the shop, <3 us on etsy, or tell a friend who may be interested.  We’re so grateful that you read Live Seasoned. You are the reason we keep experimenting, researching and posting each week, so THANKS! It’s a bunch of fun.

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Pumpkin Pudding!

Pumpkin is our ingredient of the season. We have all sorts of sweet and savory dishes, as well as a face mask to wear while drinking your lattes.

I don’t remember when or if I’ve ever made a homemade pudding before, but the idea of making a homemade pumpkin pudding has been on my mind for a few weeks now. Finally, with snow on the ground yesterday and plans for a cozy day at home, I made a batch and it was delicious!

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When searching for recipes, I was looking for a basic pudding with pumpkin and spice in it. What I found were many recipes for baked pumpkin custards (almost like mini pumpkin pies but without the crust). I also found many pumpkin puddings that used boxed-pudding shortcuts or had unnecessary ingredients. I wanted something with simple ingredients from scratch. Finally, I happened upon a few that looked like tried-and-true pudding recipes, and I ended up taking some ideas from one and some from another to develop the final recipe written below.  


Using a few staple ingredients, it’s relatively easy to whip up a homemade pudding. The key to success is to never. stop. whisking. Whisking the pudding as it cooks will eliminate clumps and stop the pudding from burning on the bottom of the pan. The other step you’ll want to be careful with is tempering the yolks.  Tempering eggs is done whenever you want to add eggs to a hot liquid, but you don’t want to scramble the eggs. To temper the yolks, you’ll slowly pour some of the hot milk mixture into the yolks while constantly whisking them (there’s the whisking again!). You add enough of the hot milk mixture until the temperature of the yolks is fairly warm, and at that point you can then pour the yolk mixture into the pot with the rest of the milk without fear of scrambling.



Calder and I ate this pudding as an afternoon treat while the boys napped (parents have all the fun!). I served it in these little Duralex Gigogne tumblers that I had picked up on sale with this pudding in mind… I’ve really put too much thought into this one dessert. BUT if you do make this pudding, serving it in these glasses will make your childish treat more refined. And now that I have the tumblers, I see many more pudding afternoons in my future (I’m really overindulging in this parenting gig now).

Pumpkin Pudding!

Pumpkin Pudding!


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/16 tsp ground cloves (or a pinch!)
  • 1/16 tsp ground ginger (or a pinch!)


  1. While whisking, bring the milk, sugar, and cornstarch to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Boil for approximately 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly. If the mixture is bubbling wildly, you can turn it down slightly. I also use the method of picking up the pot or sliding it off the burner for a few seconds if it's getting too hot.
  3. Gradually pour about a cup of the milk mixture into the egg yolks, constantly whisking the yolks as you do this.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the pot with the rest of the milk. Return the pudding to the stove and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes while whisking constantly.
  5. Remove the pudding from the heat, whisk in the pumpkin, salt, and spices.
  6. All the pudding to cool and set before serving. We ate it while it was still a touch warm, and it was delicious.


It was absolutely delicious served plain, but I also added a bit of whipped cream and sprinkle of cinnamon. Best November snow day treat ever.

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