There’s something about the fall weather that always inspires me when it comes to getting creative. I don’t know if it’s the anticipation of making Christmas gifts, or if I’ve just given myself a long enough break over the summer that I’m ready to jump back into working on something new.
I usually crochet something for our kids for Christmas. This year, our daughter has hinted at a crochet horse or elephant. I’m not sure about our son yet. Last year, I made our daughter some things to go with a stuffed dog she played with all the time, including a coat, bed, food and water bowls, and a blanket. I crocheted our son a large octopus (and I’m still amazed at the details in the pattern I followed).
I’ve been taking portraits for our family since our son was two. Honestly, I didn’t start off all that interested in photography, it was more born out of necessity and later turned into a fun hobby. When our son was born, we took him in for portraits. That newborn session was fine, but every session after that was horrible. He would cry and cry. I remember the last time I took him in for a session and saw how miserable he was. That’s when I decided I would learn enough about photography to take my own portraits. That next year, we found out our son had autism and all of those details fell into place. I’m so thankful I made that decision to become the photographer for our family!
When I first began to publish my books, I also considered taking the images for my book covers. The very first cover for Calming the Storm was created by me with a combination of photographs I’d taken. While I loved the way it came out, and it was a lot of fun to make, I’ve since left cover design to an expert.
Cooking and Baking
I also enjoy making fun seasonal foods around this time of the year. From soups and stews for dinner to all the wonderful baking at Christmas, I probably do two or three times the amount of cooking October – December. I thought I’d share the recipe for one of the more unusual fall foods I try to make at least every other year.
Dinner in a Pumpkin
Make sure you move the rack to the lowest setting1 medium pumpkin
2 lbs. ground beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups hot cooked rice
Cut the top of the pumpkin around the stem. Keep the top and discard the insides (or save the seeds to roast later).
Brown the ground beef and drain the fat. Add the veggies and cook them until tender. Remove from heat and stir in the other ingredients.
Spoon the mixture into the pumpkin.
Replace the top.
Lightly grease the center of a baking sheet or cover it with aluminum foil.
Bake 1 hour until the pumpkin is tender.
Scoop everything out of the pumpkin and enjoy!
This recipe has room for a lot of variation. We use green onion, a cup of bell pepper, no added salt, and brown rice. Celery would also be a yummy addition.
Do you find yourself feeling more creative during certain seasons of the year? What do you like to bake/cook/make, etc.? I’ll randomly choose one comment and that person will win a $5.00 Amazon gift card. A winner will be chosen Friday morning (October 27th) and contacted through e-mail.