Fall is a great time to enjoy moments at home. One of my favorite ways to do this is to cook a homemade dinner and pick a fall-themed movie. Fall has a feeling of new beginnings, connections, and discovery— the first day of school, dressing up for Halloween, and gathering with friends for Thanksgiving. I’ve listed some fun fall movies below, or pick your own! I’m feeling inspired by the movie set for Practical magic. Can you imagine cooking Thanksgiving dinner in that space?
Mushroom Pumpkin Lasagna
Use your favorite recipe or try this one. I serve this with a nice spinach salad and a pint of Jeni’s Brambleberry Crisp for dessert.
(Adapted from Moosewood New Classics)
4 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups chopped portabellos or other mushrooms
¼ cup chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup marsala, vegetable stock or a combination
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3½ cups canned pumpkin (29-ounce can)
3 cups ricotta cheese
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ pound uncooked lasagna noodles
1½ cups parmesan cheese grated
½ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
Or use puréed cooked or frozen butternut squash. Two butternut squash will yield about 3½ cups puréed squash.
In a large pot, sauté the onions in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for another 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are somewhat wilted. Add the sage, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and the Marsala or stock and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, pumpkin, ricotta cheese, pepper, nutmeg, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Dip out about ½ cup of the liquid from the sautéed mushrooms and pour it into the prepared baking dish. Cover the bottom with a layer of lasagna noodles arranged close together. Evenly spread on half of the pumpkin mixture. Spoon on about a third of the sautéed mushrooms and sprinkle with ½ cup of parmesan. Add a second layer of noodles followed by the remaining pumpkin mixture, another third of the sautéed mushrooms, and ½ cup of parmesan.
Finish with a layer of noodles thoroughly moistened by the last third of the sautéed mushrooms.Evenly sprinkle on ½ cup of parmesan and top with the grated Pecorino.
Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the lasagna is bubbly, the noodles are tender, and the top is browned. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.
This week we will learn about two tools that will change your Instagram game! I'm serious when I say these 2 tools changed my business life. If you use Instagram for business you're in for a treat with these two tools. If you're using Instagram for personal use, these tools will teach you all sorts of new ways to think about your content and they will come in handy in the future. I consider them magical unicorns. Whew! Are you ready?
Step One- HIGH DESIGN
If you’re looking to create social graphics from scratch, look no further. Canva boasts several templates for inspirational images, text-based photos, announcements and everything in-between. Best part, it is super-duper easy, and you don't need a design degree to use it. This tool is free to signup and there are plenty of free graphics, templates and tools! You can buy graphics and photos for $1 and $2, but you should have your own photos for Instagram to upload so I suggest using the free items. Now, that being said, if you do have a brand already with a color palette, logo etc. you may want to sign up for the paid Canva for Work version where you can upload your brand. However, I only suggest this to companies that are creating tons of graphics like social graphics, emails headers, blog images etc. If you are simply using this for Instagram, go with the free version.
Sign up for CANVA.
Then head over to the tutorials page and do the "Beginner's Challenge" as homework this week. This exercise will familiarize you with how Canva works (and it's only about 2 minutes long!) After, you can click on "create a design," then choose "Instagram post." Choose a template, then look to the left and click on the tool tab that says "Upload." Upload the photo you would like to post. From here you can custom design your post with the type, font, and colors you would like. Design Tip: Choose 1 or 2 consistent colors to use every time so your Instagram feed looks curated. After you are done designing, click "publish" to download your design. Below is an example of a graphic I created in Canva.
STEP TWO- CURATE YOUR FEED
Now that you can add text designed images into your feed, let’s learn how to curate your content. This tool helps you pre-plan content for your feed. This is good for two reasons, this helps curate your content so it looks branded and well-thought out. Secondly, it can help you be intentional about the messages and visuals your sharing. I'm so excited to show you this tool. GAH! Ready for mind blowing goodness? Go ahead and signup for a free Planoly account.
Below I have provided all the basics you need to know to get started!
1. The GRID pulls up your latest images from your Instagram profile feed.
2. Allows you to upload multiple images.
3. Hold on to image, then drag & drop to arrange your feed.
4. Tap on image when you’re ready to write copy & save. You can schedule now or later.
5. The “S” blue tab means you’ve scheduled that image.
6. The “U” pink tab means that image is not scheduled. The “Unscheduled” photos are the images that you can drag & drop to arrange your feed.
1. Tap on each day to see how your day looks like.
2. Scroll your calendar feed to see all scheduled posts for each day. It shows you a thumbnail of image, date, time & a snippet of your drafted caption.
3. You can also post now by sliding each line RIGHT. To delete, slide LEFT.
4. Each post that goes live gets “greyed out” to identify that you’ve already posted it.
5. You can re-post or regram an old photo from any day, week, or month by sliding each line RIGHT even if it’s greyed out.
HOW TO SCHEDULE A POST
1. Tap on photo when you’re ready to add caption.
2. Type out caption and tap OK at top right. If you’re ready to save, tap “UPDATE” at bottom footer. This will save it as a draft and will be here for you when you are ready to schedule the day and time to post.
3. When you’re ready to schedule, tap toggle to “schedule”, then dates and time slots will appear.
4. Select month, day, and time. Tap UPDATE at bottom footer.
Above are the basics to get you started. Try playing with uploaded graphics from your CANVA designs you created. Mix those with regular photos (without graphics or text.) Drag your posts to create the look you want. Below is an example of my Planoly. Want more? Teach yourself to become a Planery pro with mini class tutorials.