The Perfect Fall Date Night

November 2, 2013
This past week just seemed to drag on and on.  I had two really early mornings with a PT test (2 minutes of push-ups, 2 minutes of sit-ups, and a 2 mile run), office team building (ultimate Frisbee at 6:30 AM (ugh...)), and a couple of late nights.  By Friday evening, I was ready to relax, cook a yummy meal while listening to mellow music, and spend time with my man.  I recently visited my friends Kady and Dave and met their beautiful newborn son Hudson, and while I was there she cooked a delicious fall meal that she found on Pinterest.  I was craving this hearty meal again, so I decided to try my hand at Roasted Pumpkin Risotto with Sweet Italian Sausage, Apples and Gruyere from the delicious and inspiring blog the cozy apron.  

A delicious skillet of pumpkin risotto!
I swapped the sweet Italian sausage for tomato and basil chicken sausage, and I added some extra cheese (you can never have enough cheese!).  This was an amazing recipe that I'll definitely continue to make.  Cutting up a pumpkin for the first time was a little intimidating and time consuming, but it was absolutely worth the trouble.  Give it a shot if you're looking for a yummy fall recipe!

A bowl full of cheesy and pumpkiny goodness!
After dinner we decided to head up on the roof of my building to enjoy the nice fall weather and the view of the Washington Monument.  What did we bring with us?  Gluhwein!!!  Never heard of it?  Well, it's a hot mulled German wine that warms your insides on a chilly night.  Trader Joe's started selling it this past week, and I snatched up two bottles as soon as I saw it.  Gluhwein brings back wonderful memories of family trips to Germany for me, and I'm always a sucker for tradition and nostalgia. 
  You can make your own gluhwein with red wine and mulling spices, but the Germans normally use this exact product at gluhwein stands in the fall and winter, and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me!  I just filled up coffee mugs and zapped them in the microwave for about 2 minutes and we were ready to head outside.  It's the perfect cold weather drink, and I'll definitely be going back for more on my next trip to Trader Joe's.  What's your favorite hot toddy?

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