acorn squash pasta al forno with apples, pistachios and marscapone


Fall’s here everyone, and there’s no better way to welcome it back than by dusting off the fall spices, firing up the oven and making fresh squash pasta noodles!  These noodles, which can be made from any edible pumpkin or winter squash, have a delicate flavor and rich texture. We used this week’s gorgeous acorn squash from Emanuel Stoltzfus’s farm.

With this recipe, we choose to make layered Pasta Al Forno—or, if you like, a lasagna.  We’re reluctant to call it that however because this one contains no meat, tomato sauce, ricotta or anything else you’d typically associate with this classic family-friendly favorite.  Why? Because, Let’s face it, lasagna is rather boring.  Tried and true, sure, but boring.  We though we’d festoon our lasagna with all flavors and trimmings of fall—namely Macintosh apples (from Leola Produce auction), pistachios, sage and sweet, creamy, heavenly marscapone. We threw in a heavy dose of parmesan because, well…just because.

This dish is labor-intensive, but with day light shrinking and beach-going out of play, we thought you’d be able to find an extra hour or two to devote to making something memorable.  For us, making fresh pasta is a great way to slow down and unwind.  After you’ve gotten it down, it’s easy and imprecise, repetitive and soothing. Plus making fresh pasta is a great group activity to be shared with friends and family. 
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Serves 4

2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 acorn squash
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp all spice powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup pistachios
1 cup marscapone
2 cups parmesan
4 sprigs fresh sage, chopped
2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tbl honey (approx.)
Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Carefully cut the acorn squash in half and, using a large sturdy spoon, scoop out the seeds and inner flesh. Drizzle the squash halves with olive oil and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt.  Place on a sheet tray skin-side down and roast for at least 45 minutes or until the squash is tender and brown.  Don’t be afraid to roast this baby hard—the browner it is, the deeper the flavor will be.
Remove the squash from the oven an allow it to cool for a few minutes. Scoop the roasted flesh from the skin and transfer it to a blender and puree.  Add the cinnamon, clove, all-spice, and more salt if desired.  Set aside to cool.
On a clean surface, pile 2 cups of all purpose flour into a mound and dig a little cup in the center like a volcano. Drop the eggs and yolks into the crater and beat with a fork, slowly incorporating the flour around the rim.  After the dough begins to form, begin working in 3 Tbl of the squash puree.
After about half of the flour has been incorporated, set aside the fork and use your hands to work the rest of the flour into the ball.  Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it becomes “springy” to the touch.  
Keep some cold water nearby to adjust the dough. It shouldn’t be too dry and caky, just ever so slightly tacky.  Pasta dough is never an exact science. If it’s too sticky, simply work in a little more flour.
Once you’re happy with your dough, cut it into four equal size balls.  Using a rolling pin, flatten each ball and fold it over itself. Roll it again. Do this a few times to knead the dough further.
Run the dough through your pasta machine several times on progressively thinner settings(or work it as thin as you can with a rolling pin) until you have a long sheet.  Cut the sheet into roughly 10” x 4” inch rectangles and set aside on a well-floured surface to prevent them from sticking.  Repeat until all the dough is used. 
Finally, brush olive oil around the inside of an 10”x 8” baking pan and layer in two pasta sheets.  Spread on some marscapone, shingle some apples, sprinkle some parmesan, drizzle some more olive oil and repeat layer upon layer until you have a lasagna.  Spread any remaining squash puree in there too.  
Top the lasagna with chopped pistachios, chopped sage and drizzle it with honey. Cover the baking dish in foil and bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

sister : sister


Personal selects from a fun little shoot with the sisters behind jewelry brand, Dannijo. Read the full story here

the perfect facial: how to get salon-grade results at home


Note: This post was previously published here as a part of my freelance work.
Those whose wallets can actually afford a monthly facial are few and far between. The average Jane, like you and me, guffaw at the thought of blowing $200 for one hour of TLC. But that doesn’t mean we don’t care about our skin. Like every other women on this planet, we enjoy the intimate experience of doting on our bodies. We want that glow, those clean invisible pores, just as much as the fortunate of upper echelon society.

The truth is, you can meet your outlandish desire for professional facials and flawless skin somewhere in the middle. Great results don’t just come with money. Carve a little time out of your weekly routine, and squeeze in this DIY treatment once a week. I’ll show you how it’s done — the natural way, of course.
Step 1: Cleanse
You’re going to cleanse your face in layers. First, take some jojoba oil (your new best friend) on a round cotton pad, and remove any make-up you have on. You can also use q-tips to remove around the eyes. 

Next, take a lightweight oil cleanser, like this one from Elizabeth Dehn, and wash your face with lukewarm water. This will help to remove impurities without drying out the skin. 

After you’ve done that, especially if you tend to have oily skin, use a mild bar, cream, or foaming cleanser. I’m a huge fan of the Apoterra Skincare line, and this is where I use my Lavender + Green Clay Complexion Soap. I find that it helps draw out all of the dirt and extra oil in my pores. If you’re less acne prone or tend to have drier skin, I suggest her Aloe + Rose Clay Complexion Soap

Gently pat your face dry with a towel, and move onto step two.
Step 2: Exfoliate
After the face is completely clean, it’s time to remove any dead skin cells sitting on the surface. For this, I’m going to have you make a face mask that contains powdered milk, oats, chamomile, and turmeric. I usually make a bunch at once, and store it in a glass jar, so it’s ready any time I need. 

To throw it together, follow the measurements below. Put everything into a mortar and pestal, grind it to a fine powder, and then transfer it to a storage vessel. When you’re ready to apply, take a heaping teaspoon and throw it into a small bowl with 1/2 tsp raw honey, 1 dropper of jojoba oil, and a few sprinkles of water. Mix it up, then gently massage across the face and décolleté in circular motions. Spend a few minutes with this process to let the mask work its sloughing magic. Then let the mask sit for 5-10 minutes before gently washing away. Be sure to dry your face with a colored bath towel or paper towel because the turmeric’s color will come off on anything you use. 

Mask Ingredients + Benefits
1 Tsp Powdered Milk - The lactic acid in powdered milk helps breakdown and remove dead skin cells. It’s also great for getting into those pores and washing them out.
1 Tsp Oat Bran - Oats are extremely soothing and healing for the skin. They help to remove redness and to restore moisture.
1 Tbs Chamomile Flowers - Chamomile is also extremely soothing. It helps calm down inflammation and will aid in healing any ruptures on the skin.
1 Tsp Tumeric - This is my little Ayurvedic touch. Turmeric is an excellent exfoliant, and it helps with anti-aging, acne, and scaring.
Step 3: Tone
Now that you’ve cleaned & exfoliated the skin, those pores should be pretty well emptied of any dirt and grime. To follow this up, apply a toner. Toning tightens the pores, removes any residual residue, and restores the pH balance of your skin. I’m a big fan of (wait for it) Apoterra’s Rose Hydrating Toner. It smells amazing and feels like you’re basking in freshness. 

No matter the toner that you prefer to use, I highly suggest transferring it to a spray bottle. This way, you can mist your face with the toner, saving on cotton pads and giving yourself a very refreshing experience. It’s also a more tender application and is gentler on the skin. Since I like to use oil moisturizers, I find that it’s also a good way to leave the skin wet, so it readily soaks up the moisturizer that will come next. 
Step 4: Moisturize & Massage
To top it all off, it’s time to apply a shot of moisturizer. I love jojoba oil-based products, like Apoterra’s Rose Nourishing Serum, because they are natural and extremely nourishing. It’s said that jojoba actually mimics the sebum in the skin which keeps your face from over-producing oil. Think of it like delivering a shot of nutrients from the outside in. 

As you apply your moisturizer, take it as an opportunity to massage the face and increase blood flow. This will help combat the effects of gravity, aka aging. Every school has it’s own brand of face massage, so I highly suggest researching YouTube videos and seeing which resonate with you. Two of my personal favorites that you can start with are: Ayurveda Facial Marma Massage and Lymphatic Drainage Massage

And there you have it, a little at home treatment. Do this all the way through once a week, and you’ll feel and look amazing.