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Fall Patio and Fire Table

It’s finally the time of year we can start enjoying more time on the patio.  You know a little heat doesn’t keep me indoors and I’ve mentioned how our misters make a big difference in the brutal heat of the summer. 

However, October is really the month those of us in Arizona revel in.  So it’s time to rearrange for a fall patio and start using the fire table.

After the window installation was complete, the patio was a mess and needed a bit of a deep clean.  That, combined with all the spider webs we’ve suddenly accumulated, meant I had to bite the bullet and scrub everything down. 

It’s seems wrong since I’m on the patio several times a week wiping things down that suddenly everything could be so dirty.  Not fair!

Additionally, we had invited neighbors over for Friday happy hour on the patio, so it had to be done anyway.  I was so glad I took the time to set up because it was a perfect evening and then I got to enjoy it the rest of the weekend.

Perfect Patio Weather

Fire Table

We purchased this fire table from Costco a few years ago.  We had a wood-burning pit for a while, but our county frequently has a wood-burning ban in the winter due to air pollution, so we couldn’t use it the exact times that we wanted to.   This gas table can be used anytime and the added benefit is that it doesn’t kick up our allergies or burn our eyes with smoke.  The chairs which came as part of a set are super comfy as well.

Charcuterie Board         

Easy Happy Hour Charcuterie Board

We got a killer deal on a meat and cheese tray (also from Costco).  I always love how beautiful this board turns out with just a few details. 

Mummy Dogs

Super Scary Mummy Dogs

Halloween won’t be the same this year, but I couldn’t resist doing something a little fun.  I made mummy dogs for our Sunday morning post-pickle ball brunch.  They were fun to put together and fun to serve. 


Get Mama a Fresh Cup of Coffee?

We took Roxy to the vet last week and blood work came back as borderline renal disease.  That’s very common for cats and we were happy to find it early enough to be able to treat her with prescription cat food.  This girl is definitely slowing down and is just one iota less wild than she used to be.  When she snuggles next to me while I’m reading and having my morning coffee I always tell her, “This is the best part of my day.”  It’s so awesome to share that quiet time with her. 

Anthem Pumpkin Patch

Anthem Pumpkin Patch

Each spring and fall, our town holds a fair with a carnival. Well, that all got cancelled this year. However, Anthem was able to salvage the pumpkin patch. I didn’t attend, but I did see their cheerful little celebration in the park.

What I’m Eating

Sweet Red Pepper Bisque

DF Evon gave me a recipe for Sweet Red Pepper Bisque.  I am going to type the recipe just as it was given to me and then I’m going to tell you what I really did.  It turned out so good!

Sweet Red Pepper Bisque

  • 4 red bell peppers
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 ripe tomato, cut into quarters
  • 2 Tbsp white rice
  • 2 Tbsp cognac
  • 3 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ tsp paprika

Cut the bell peppers into quarters, discard the cores and seeds, and slice into thin strips.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter and sauté the onion until translucent.  Add the peppers and tomato and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the rice and continue cooking for 5 minutes more.  Add the cognac and cook for 2 minutes; then add the chicken stock.  Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the cream to the soup and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat, transfer to a blender or a food processor and puree.  Strain through a sieve and season with salt, pepper and cayenne.  Ladle into 2 soup bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley and paprika.

Ok, here’s how I modified to use what I had on hand. 


I had some mini bell peppers – red, orange and yellow.  I cut the tops off, discarded the seeds and sliced lengthwise.  The different colors might have made the soup a bit more orange that you would think, but the taste was still as expected.


I had small tomatoes, so I used three of them.


I added the seasoning right up front into the onions.  But I could have added less salt to be honest, but the cayenne was the deal maker. Perfect amount of heat.

Chicken Stock

Better Than Bullion is what is in my fridge and what I used.  I think the saltiness of that is why I should have skipped salting the onions.


Does anyone have cognac on hand?  Well, I did have some brandy I bought last year to add to egg nog.  Which I must not have because the bottle is pretty full.  I used it and I’m not sure what it did or did not add to the recipe, but again, tasty!


Half and Half goes in my coffee and I didn’t purchase anything for this recipe.  So, the half and half worked out just fine.

Parsley and Paprika

Didn’t bother.

Blending Soup

Stain Through a Sieve

I placed about 1 cup at a time into the blender and made sure I held on tightly to the lid.  After I blended everything, I didn’t strain it.  I liked the consistency and I would never throw away fiber in food.

Praying for a bountiful fall for all of us. God bless you and thank you for sharing my journey.

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