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Creamy Pumpkin Rigatoni

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The seasonal obsession with pumpkin definitely caters to those with a sweet tooth. Flavored lattes, baked goods, and even the scent from a candle all represent the squash’s affiliation with dessert. While its natural flavor when cooked is mildly sweet, similar to that of butternut squash, the flavor most of us lust after this time of year isn’t really pumpkin at all. The spice squad of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and allspice, collectively known as pumpkin pie spice, are all used to create that notable “pumpkin” taste we’re so familiar with.

I’m not one to pass up a pumpkin scone, but I actually prefer mine in hearty recipes, like soups or sauces. This pasta recipe uses autumnal herbs to flavor a rich sauce and coax canned pumpkin to the savory side.

fall ingredients

Best of the fall.

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Scallops and Pancetta with Romesco Sauce

As I grow older, which seems to coincide with becoming busier, I value simplicity in my daily activities and chores. At times, I have to remind myself to “keep it simple;” usually, though, reminders come in the form of the free time that is created by living the motto. For example, an absence of complication at work makes my to-do list feel lighter, and I feel less stressed. I’m even trying to tackle my wardrobe and donate the things I no longer wear, opting for a handful of key, classic pieces. My girlfriends and I would much rather chit-chat over a bottle of wine and a nice cheese board than make reservations for a night out at a crowded restaurant where we’d struggle to hear each other over the noise.

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Clean Plate in Paris

Joe and I just returned from our belated honeymoon voyage to London and Paris. Having something else to look forward to after the wedding planning madness died down was exciting, and it gave us the opportunity to schedule and plan enough things to do to cover two weeks across the globe. Our itinerary was evenly dispersed while still allowing for time to get lost in the two cities and live like the locals do. We cheered on West Ham at a “football match” in East London, had fresh oysters from Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House, saw priceless works of art in both cities, toured Paris by boat in the Seine River, and went to a late evening mass at Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. Of course, we ate some amazing food. And lots of it.

Oysters from Wright Bros.

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