Autumn Harvest Salad

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Since our visit to Mapleside Farms, I haven’t been able to get that delicious autumn salad out of my mind. So, until we make it back out that way, I decided to make my own version of that amazing salad. Here’s what I came up with:

What you need:

  • Romaine lettuce (one head)
  • 2-3 small apples, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • Half of a 6-8 oz bag of radishes, diced
  • 2 small pears, diced
  • 1-2 tbsp cranberries
  • Blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp walnuts (optional)
  • 2 hard boiled eggs (optional)
  • Apple cider vinaigrette
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

What you do:

1. Start of by cleaning and chopping up the head of romaine lettuce.

1. Start of by cleaning and chopping up the head of organic romaine lettuce.

I bought a vibrant bag of organic radishes.

Next, wash up and chop your radishes. I bought a vibrant bag of organic radishes.

Next, wash up and dice your radishes.

I purchased some Ohio-grown apples from a local farmer’s market, along with a local-grown cucumbers, and Washington state pears.

Now gather up your apples, pears, and cucumber. Similarly clean and chop these up.

Now gather up your apples, pears, and cucumber. Similarly clean and chop these up.

All of your fruits and veggies looking good & diced up.

All of your fruits and veggies looking good & diced up.

For the dressing, I wanted to make an apple vinaigrette  using apple cider (which we really stocked up on this year). After poking around Pinterest for a little while, I found this recipe from Little B Cooks: Chronicles from a Vermont Foodie. I pretty much followed it exactly, only I used a little less olive oil because we were low. This dressing turned out delicious and was so easy to make with ingredients that I already had on hand.

Apple cider vinaigrette can be easily made with just a few ingredients.

Apple cider vinaigrette can be easily made with just a few ingredients.

This salad definitely needed some cheese. I crumbled up some blue cheese that I picked up at Trader Joe’s.

Finally, its time to grab up your ingredients up and put the salad together.

Finally, its time to grab up your ingredients up and put the salad together.

Once everything is plated and mixed, I added a dash of salt and pepper to taste and drizzled it with the apple cider vinaigrette. I did not include walnuts, as I am allergic to tree nuts (womp womp). I also didn’t include any hard boiled eggs on this one, but it is definitely an option. I decided to opt for cranberries, which really fit in with the autumn theme and brightened the plate up even more. This salad made about 4 servings or (in our case) 2 and a half ridiculously big dinner salads.

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Like many people, autumn is by far my favorite time of year.  Whether it’s taking photos of the leaves changing, cheering in the bleachers at a football game, or decorating for halloween, I just love getting into this season. Making autumn-inspired food is just another way I try to keep this season alive before the dreaded winter returns.

Hope you’re having a fun fall and indulging in some autumn-themed food and activities!

DIY Nautical Rag Wreath

DIY Nautical Rag WreathI positively adore all things nautical and have been especially pleased that it’s been such big trend this year. In fact, I love this style so much that I decided to do a series of DIYs showcasing all things nautical. First up is this lovely nautical rag wreath, which is super easy to make and doesn’t require a ton of supplies.

Nautical Rag Wreath

Supplies needed:

  • One 4 loop 18″ wire wreath frame 
  • 3 yards of off-white or solid colored canvas-like material
  • 1 1/2 yards of heavy material in nautical stripes
  • 1 1/2 yards of braided nautical rope
  • A seashell, starfish, or other type of embellishment (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • Ruler
Supplies

Supplies

Instructions:

1. Using your rotary cutter, mat, and ruler, cut your fabric into strips that are about 9" in length and 1 1/2" wide.

1. Using your rotary cutter, mat, and ruler, cut your fabric into strips that are about 9″ in length and 1 1/2″ wide.

2. Starting with the inner most ring of your wire wreath frame, thread a piece of the solid print fabric through.

2. Starting with the inner most ring of your wire wreath frame, thread a piece of the solid print fabric through.

3. Tie a simple knot.

3. Tie a simple knot.

4. Next, lace and tie another solid colored piece of fabric.

4. Next, lace and tie another solid colored piece of fabric.

 

5. Once you have two solid colored pieces tied on, lace and tie on a striped piece.

5. Once you have two solid colored pieces tied on, lace and tie on a striped piece.

6. Now repeat this pattern all the way around the inner ring, alternating two solid colored for one striped.

6. Now repeat this pattern all the way around the inner ring, alternating between two solid and one striped piece of fabric.

7. Once you have finished the inner ring, simply repeat this pattern on the next ring out, then the third ring out, and then the last ring.

7. Once you have finished the inner ring, simply repeat this pattern on the next ring out, then the third ring out, and then the last ring. The more fabric you add to each ring, the fuller your wreath will look. I definitely wanted a fuller wreath and had no problem using all of the fabric I purchased.

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8. Tying each row of fabric on takes some time! To keep from getting too bored with this project, I took breaks, completing each ring on a different day.

In the meantime, it made a really great cat bed.

In the meantime, it made a really great cat bed.

9. Take the nautical rope & loop it around your wreath a few times. Use the rope to tightly secure the starfish (or embellishment of choice) onto the wreath.

9. Now that the hard part is over, you are just about done. Next, you just want to add a the rope.
Take the nautical rope & loop it around your wreath a few times. Use the rope to tightly secure the starfish (or embellishment of choice) onto the wreath.

10. Gather extra rope on the top of the wreath & tie an easy nautical knot.

10. Gather extra rope on the top of the wreath & tie a simple nautical knot.

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I really enjoyed making this nautical-inspired crafty project. Plus, the options are endless. Rag wreaths are traditionally made out of left over scraps (or rags) of fabric, so this would be great for all you sewers out there who don’t know what to do with your extra fabric. You can always use different fabrics for an entirely different look, such as mixing florals and bright colors for a summery look. I think I’ll make one in the fall with dusty autumn browns, deep reds, and burnt orange.

Happy Crafting! ~Kat