Today on Weekend Meanderings, a fall outfit you’ll love, quick and easy pantry pasta, a historic hotel, a yummy thanksgiving cocktail and, yes, preparing for the holidays.
Happy weekend, friends!
It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Weekend Meanderings.
Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.
And somehow we skipped from Halloween to Christmas.
But hold up.
Let’s savor fall and enjoy Thanksgiving.
And, yes, we can prepare for the holidays.
Are you ready?
GO-ANYWHERE OUTFIT FOR FALL
Last weekend I accompanied Jim to a dinner at The Madrona in Healdsburg. I had a last minute panic about what to wear. Does that ever happen to you? It’s been chilly here (into the 30’s overnight – yikes) and my late summer wardrobe of floaty dresses wasn’t going to cut it. Having gained 10 lbs over the past two years (sadly confirmed during this week’s annual physical) I felt like my fall/winter outfits were a little snug and as a result I felt uncomfortable. What’s a girl to do (besides eating less and exercising more) but go shopping. Banana Republic’s has grabbed my attention lately, so I decided to start there.
I did not intend to look at denim, but when I tried on these high-waisted, wide-legged jeans I fell in love. Same goes for this corduroy blazer. It feels a little retro but also fresh and new at the same time … and I’m loving the look. I also picked up a belt and beautiful silk scarf. When I went shopping I was wearing the Loft long-sleeved tee I’ve been raving about and it worked perfectly underneath this outfit. I ordered another two tees in soft white and one more in black. When I find t-shirts I love, I buy in multiples. Thankfully, the pants didn’t need to be hemmed (generally I have to hem everything) and my low heeled, Paul Green booties worked. A higher heel would have been fine too.
I was happy for a reason to pull out my favorite, years-old leopard print clutch from Clare V. It must be a popular one because they’re still selling it.
This is a great Thanksgiving outfit, right?!
The Madrona recently reopened after a major renovation led by designer, Jay Jeffers. The event we attended was on the veranda but I poked around inside and its spectacular. It was too dark for good pictures but here are a few from the hotel’s website. You can read more about The Madrona’s reinvention here.
The garden’s are beautiful too we had wine on the terrace before dinner.
QUICK & EASY PANTRY PASTA
A couple of weeks ago I saw a recipe for Paccheri Pasta with Peas, Peperoncino and Pecorino in the Wall Street Journal. Last Monday I was in need of a quick lunch and came up with my own version with what I had on hand. I used a combination of left over dry pasta – Lumache and Penne Rigate – and the Vella Dry Jack cheese I mentioned last week.
Here’s my version ~
Quick & Easy Pantry Pasta
- 1 lb Pasta - whatever you have on hand I used a combination of lumache and penne rigate
- 1-2 cups Frozen Peas
- Pancetta - or bacon, sausage, whatever you have on hand - cut up in small pieces I used pancetta
- 2 pinches Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1/2 cup Grated Dry Jack Cheese, plus more to finish Parmesan or Romano work too
- 2 tbsp Flat Leaf Parsley, minced If you have it, I did not.
- Bring a large pot of well salted water to boil Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
- Add peas during the last 3-4 minutes.
- While pasta is cooking, render pancetta until slightly crispy. Drain on paper towel.
- Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water. Then drain pasta & peas and return it to hot, dry pot.
- Add red pepper flakes, salt, olive oil, cheese, pancetta and gently stir until well combined. If not saucy enough add a little pasta water ... even a pat of butter.
- Spoon into bowls and garnish with more cheese and parsley, if you have it.
FOR THE LOVE OF KITCHENS
If you loved the first season of For the Love of Kitchens on Magnolia Network, I have great news … a second season is coming! Soon! Next Friday, November 11th.
In my next house, if there is a next house, it’s my dream to have a DeVol kitchen.
I can’t find a trailer for season two, but here’s season one. I could watch it all day.
APPLE CIDER APEROL SPRITZ
Earlier this week I joined the holy blogging trinity of Cindy, Mary Ann and Annie, along with their friend, Sheri, for an Autumn Progressive Dinner. We started at Snowberry with Apple Cider Aperol Spritz.
I love a batch drink for entertaining. But this one is just as good made for one or two. Here’s the single spritz version.
- 4 oz Hard Apple Cider
- 2 oz Aperol
- 1 oz Club Soda
- Thyme sprig & apple slice for garnish
Pour cider & Aperol over glass full of ice and top with Club Soda. I rimmed the glasses with cinnamon sugar.
Jim is not a fan of cinnamon, so no fancy rim for him. He doesn’t like ‘tree branches’ in his drinks either, but was too distracted by the cinnamon to notice the thyme.
To go with the spritzers I made Ina Garten’s Chipotle & Rosemary Roasted Nuts. I substituted thyme for rosemary.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, yesterday I pulled out my Gobble book by our beloved Preppy Empty Nester’s sister and nephews. It’s a treasure trove of holiday recipes, entertaining tips incorporating all their family holiday traditions. This book charmed me when it was published last year (it even has it’s own Instagram) and I think it will you too. It just occurred to me this is a fun gift idea for the young and newly married. Hmmm … who do I know who’s young and newly married?
Gobble: The Quintessential Thanksgiving Playbook by Nadine, PK & Christopher Isacs
THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING, THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING
In case you hadn’t noticed – insert eye roll – the holidays are coming. Forget Thanksgiving … we’ve gone straight from Halloween to Christmas. If your tree isn’t up, I don’t know what to say … you’re already behind.
And speaking of behind, I still haven’t ordered a new tree. We sold our tree over the summer because it was sized for our house two houses ago and it was too small for Snowberry. I’m looking at King of Christmas’ Charlie Brown style tree. But I’m not sure if we need an 8′ or 9′. A decision needs to be made. Stat.
While I’m contemplating tree sizes, what I really love about this time of year is all the wonderful things to do and see. Tree lightings, ice skating rinks, open houses, holiday teas and having a Belini at the bar at Il Fornia after a rough afternoon of holiday shopping. Our local ice rink will be up by Thanksgiving (or sooner). I don’t skate, but I love watching all the fun. The Walnut Creek Historical Society’s annual Holiday Tea and Faire is back (November 26 – December 11) after a two year absence. I’m attending the tea with two friends, and I can’t say who because one of them is going to be surprised. You can find tickets to the teas here.
I also love holiday performances … plays and musicals. Especially local theater. This year, A Christmas Carol will be performed at San Francisco’s A.C.T., November 30 – December 24, and our local Lesher Center for the Arts, December 8 – 22. We saw it last year at the Lamb’s Theater in Coronado when we were in town for our annual pre-Christmas holiday. This year the Lamb’s Festival of Christmas runs December 1-24. The Town Hall Theater in Lafayette is performing Cinderella: A Fairytale December 3-18.
We usually spend a December weekend in San Francisco on Union Square. We have tea at one of the big hotels, enjoy dinners at hotspot restaurants, shop and attend a performance or two or three. Beach Blanket Babylon’s holiday extravaganza was one of our favorite holiday traditions but it closed in 2019 after a 45-year run. The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Holiday Spectacular is back with five Bay Area dates. It’s the best. And, a more recent tradition is the Allman Family Revival concert at the historic Filmore Theatre. It’s not really holiday related, but we fit it into our San Francisco weekend so it feels like a holiday thing. This year it’s December 17th and you can still get tickets here. It’s the last show in an 18-city tour and if you loved the Allman Brothers Band, it’s not to be missed. You can find all the tour dates here.
And speaking of local holiday stuff, Orchard Nursery & The Lazy K in Lafayette opened their holiday shop this week. See above photos. Oh my goodness, it gets better every year. I did a quick walk through yesterday morning and got so many ideas, my mind was spinning in 100 directions and holiday overwhelm set in. If you live in the Bay Area and haven’t experienced Orchard’s holiday showcase it’s well worth a trip. That said, you probably have a local shop or nursery that does something similar. Yay for local holiday fun.
And, finally, if you are planting forced amaryllis bulbs to bloom for the holidays, now’s the time!
So there you have it, this weekend’s meanderings.
Let’s visit Kim and Elizabeth to see what’s they’re sharing.
Odds & Socks ~
Jim’s out galavanting again.
I stayed home because of my stupid back … again.
He sent photos last night from the Hollywood Bowl.
We had plans to stay at the Proper Hotel for the weekend.
And lunch today at the Ivy.
The Hollywood Bowl is one of the coolest concert venues.
Have you been?
All is not lost, I’ll join the fun on Sunday when they head up to Oakland.
But, let’s face it, the Oakland Coliseum is not the Hollywood Bowl.
Yesterday my friend Sheila featured our kitchen on her Friday Favorites.
That was a fun surprise.
Do you follow Sheila at Maison de Cinq?
It’s one of the original home and decor blogs I followed and it’s next level.
Speaking of next level, our Kim and her pals Cindy and Sarah, had a Signature Style post out this week.
I love the topic … does your wardrobe reflect your home?
That’s a great question … be sure to check it out.
And Happy Birthday to my youngest niece, Shelby, who turned 21 last week!
It feels like yesterday I was making cupcakes for her 5th grade class, and now this.
She’s in Lake Tahoe celebrating with her friends.
Don’t forget to turn back your clocks tonight/tomorrow morning.
Unless you live in a state that does not partake.
If you missed last weekend’s meanderings, you can catch up here.
On Thursday I’m joining some friends for a holiday charcuterie roundup.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!