girlfriend guru,friendship recipeAutumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.  ~Albert Camus

Whether you call it “fall” or “autumn,” this time of year is just delightful. There is a crispness in the air, a lightness in our step as we enjoy the break between the oppressive heat of summer and the storms of winter.

For girlfriend guru LINDA STEELE, fall is about traditions, finding new girlfriends, and fabulous food. What are your favorite fall foods?

The fall is all about transitions. My kids are back to school and I am back to my teaching schedule. The weather changes dramatically this time of year too. The humidity is gone and there is crispness in the air. I spend more time in my kitchen on the weekends preparing tasty comfort foods for the week ahead.

 We go from spending long days at the beach in our swimsuits to soon wearing thick sweaters with a favorite pair of boots and raking leaves in the backyard or packing up the car for a Sunday trip Apple picking.

Even the foods we eat the most change. We go from eating lots of Summer Salad, fresh fruit, Pizza cooked out on the grill and Chicken Cesar Salad Wraps to Pot Roast in my Crock Pot, and home-made Chicken Noodle Soup with Gourmet Grilled Cheese on thick slices of Sourdough bread on the side.

One thing that remains constant as the seasons change though is our need to connect with our friends. I miss the long days at the beach with a good friend, tasty lunch, and our kids happily playing at the water’s edge nearby. Yet if I’m willing to stay proactive about grabbing good time with my girlfriends then as we get used to the changes the new season brings we all can take a little time for things that matter—and for me it’s quality one on one time with my close friends.

Simple Ways to Stay Proactive for Girlfriend Time Once Autumn Arrives

Invite a new Mom you just met out for lunch: My bus stop has been extra busy this school year. I’m lucky enough that the bus stops right outside my door to pick up my daughter and bring her to school. Last year there were only two other families that waited at the corner of our house for the bus. This year there are a whole gang of us with a new family that just moved to Cape Cod from California and another girl who is entering Kindergarten. It’s a bustle of activity. My daughter is beginning a friendship with the girl from California, welcoming her into her play circle. I decided to get to know her Mom a little so we’ve made plans to meet for lunch soon. So far we seem to have a lot in common and you never know where a new friend might come from.

Host a Book Swap with the kids, serve cookies and milk: Life gets busy and afternoon schedules can be hectic between driving my teens to sports practice, getting Sophia to ballet, helping her with her homework and getting dinner started—it can feel like a small miracle for the kids to have some free time to simply play. We decided to invite all the girls over after school one day next week for a book swap, cookies, and milk. Sophia has a ton of books but it also feels like she’s reading the same thing over and over. We wondered if the same might be true for her friends. So we’ve asked everyone to choose a handful of books they can bring to swap for other titles. It’s an easy, fun, and productive way to get the girls together and grow their friendships. And you can invite the Mom’s to stay so you can all have a chance to connect.

Host a Limón cello Making Party: The arrival of autumn reminds me of how a few years ago I invited two friends over to make batches of our versions of Limon cello. At the time, it seemed like everyone was talking about and serving the tasty Italian Liqueur. We got together on a few different occasions to first grate the zest off the lemons, boil water, add sugar, let sit, and then re-check. Making homemade Limón cello is a process that takes about six or more weeks to complete—and perfect for mini get togethers with friends. We had a blast bonding and talking throughout the process. We’d eat appetizers while grating the lemon peel off the lemons and get together again when it was time to boil the water with the sugar.

We made enough to package as Christmas presents and host a Limón cello tasting party too. Back then I wrote about my experience in an article for a local magazine. I will leave you with the recipe we used here in case you want to host a Limón cello Making Party of your own.

Limón cello de Malibu

Makes 1½ Quarts

6 large thick skinned Lemons (preferably organic)

4 cups vodka

1 2/3 cups sugar

2 2/4 cups spring or distilled water

Peel the zest off the lemon with a lemon zester; preserve the rest of the lemons for another use. Place the zest in a clean large jug or container with a tight fitting lid. We used large glass mason jars. Pour in the vodka and cap the jar. Set aside in a dark cool place for three weeks, giving the jar a shake from time to time.

Combine the sugar and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer briskly for five minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool completely. Add to the lemon zest vodka jar and store again in a cool, dry place for another month-shaking occasionally. Transfer to small decorative jars and chill in the freezer until using. To serve pour a small amount over ice and enjoy. Limón cello will keep indefinitely.

LINDA STEELE knows how important maintaining supportive friendships are. She’s an avid baker, Professor, writer, and mom. Her first fun and personalized recipe collection called “Meet Me in My Cape Cod Kitchen” can now be purchased in e-book form on her blog. She loves to inspire people to always share fun times with friends while eating good food. You are invited to like her on Facebook at Sweeter by the Beach and become a follower of her blog. 

What are your favorite fall recipes to share with a girlfriend?

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