A new tradition.

A delightful, crazy, relaxing, and indulgent weekend of eating, socializing, and well, eating.  First it was a late-nighter of lasagna and food prepping with my sister-in-law.  Then, of course the party... Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin, Cauliflower Gratin (should have Gruyere somewhere in the title, as it was deliciously loaded with it), "World's Best" Couscous, and Hot Fudge Pudding Cake.  

As if that wasn't enough, we were up-and-out bright and early on Sunday, headed to Oak Glen for a day of good ol' fashioned fun [and food].  Picked up some apple donuts in Oak Tree Village, some honey sticks and snacks for a picnic from the cheese shop, and we were well on our way to do a little raspberry and apple picking.  And of course, the day just wouldn't be complete without a few other treats- fresh cider, pumpkin butter, apple pie...

It was truly a perfect day- one that brought great memories of a past tradition, that will most definitely be brought back to life moving forward.  It was one of those rare occasions in which a childhood activity relived was really all that I remembered it to be, even more enjoyable as an adult.  And best of all, our kids- from the little 2nd graders to the big high-schoolers- had a blast.
Oak Tree Village...

Raspberry Picking @ Snow-Line Orchard & Apple Picking @ Los Rios Rancho...

{A BIG thank you to Christi @ Grey Umbrella for this handy dandy Oak Glen apple picking guide!  For our first time picking in Southern California, it was extremely helpful.}

Now that we're all stocked up on various varieties of apples, the indulgence cannot yet come to an end, I'm afraid.  I've got apple tarts to bake (here and here) and plenty of  'fall exchange recipes' to try.  In fact, Danielle's Pumpkin Lasagna is in the oven as I type, with an intoxicating aroma of nutmeg and pumpkin bliss, I might add.  And I can't wait to see what Chassity has in store for tomorrow.
If I can roll out of bed and over to my laptop, I'll be sure to let you know how the lasagna- and tart- turn out.  Until then...


  1. that looks so fun!! i love fall traditions. and i have not had an apple doughnut, but i definitely need one. :)

  2. wonder what kind of excursion it would be for me and mine to make it apple picking... i have no sense of direction when it comes to time or space so I'll have to google it. looks like so much fun! i used to go as a child when we would visit my cousins in illinois every fall.

    that lasagna looked amazing! did you make the pumpkin puree from scratch??? seems like so much work?

  3. Awww, I've been wanting to take the kids there. I've never been! Would you recommend any "don't miss" places?

  4. Claire- Yes. You do need one. Their trick is to make them with apple cider... I'm definitely using this idea for future baking excursions.

    Stephanie- I was surprised how close it actually is! I kept thinking how much I want to go back before the season ends... I've wanted to go every year (We used to go to Placerville when we visited my cousins in Sacramento). I kept trying to plan a trip up there, but never did since fall is always a busy time to plan a trip anywhere. Then one year, I realized we can go here in So CA. But then when I planned on going (for Ryan's b-day in November), they said that the season was over!

    All of that to say that it is very close, easy to find/navigate through (all of the farms are close- off of the same road)... but the season's very short. You should really try to go (They have pumpkins too!).


    Doughnuts at Oak Tree Village (as Christi said (linked on this post)- no line and a perfect way to start the day- they have a bakery, cute stores (we totally scored on a Halloween costume for Hailey- unexpectedly), train & pony rides, music, etc.

    Raspberries at Snow-Line- They have raspberry picking at Los Rios, but this is a beautiful spot to pick them, since it's right next to a big house, a nice picnic area, and a big store with apple and cider tasting. Plus, it's better to pick raspberries first before they are picked over and it gets too hot (no shade!). They also have pink pearl apples here- pink on the inside (so far, I've only been able to buy these up north)!

    Apples at Los Rios- Very large selection of apples- different varieties, a nice picnic area as well, excellent bbq, a large store with bulk cider and apples to take home (good prices too)- and lots of other delicacies. Los Rios has corn and pumpkins a/v to 'pick' as well.

    On our way out, we stopped at Law's for Spartan apples (a friend wanted us to pick up some cider- in a cool glass jar- and Spartan apples here... not sure if they have these anywhere else, or why these are 'special' but thought I'd mention this place as well).

  5. Torrie, this sounds like an absolutely perfect Fall weekend! I love how you found festive activities for all ages to enjoy. I cannot wait to hear how the pumpkin lasagna is. I just checked it out on Danielle's blog and it looks TO DIE FOR. I also thought the white chicken chili from today looked really good. Glad you had a great weekend!


  6. Stephanie- I forgot to add, I'm a "cheater, cheater pumpkin eater" too... and used pumpkin from a can.

    BUT, I have made it before, as inspired by this link (below) 2 years back, and we seriously enjoyed a pumpkin weekend- the salad, pancake, the pasta... felt very Martha-ish that weekend:). And the pasta was incredible.


  7. Oh my goodness I want every recipe from the party. The food sounds amazing. So glad to know that I wasn't the only one carrying a "food baby".

    I love your pictures from the trip!

  8. This sounds like an absolutely perfect weekend!!!...every single detail!

    I am dying to know more about hot fudge pudding cake!

    ...and I am going to make this lasagna!! I have another one to try too that has bacon!

    Love everything about this post!

  9. Love all these fall traditions! I finally got my hands on some yummy apple pie this evening! Now those apple donuts sounds so delicious....
    And pumpkin lasagna? Now that's definitely a first. I have never even thought of trying that.

  10. I am so glad you had a great time! Fabulous photos!

    And you know I agree that cleaning out the pantry and freezer does feel so good. Congratulations on this accomplishment.

  11. Bianca- Let me know and I'll e-mail the recipes your way... or I'll make the meal again and post pictures and recipes:).

    Suzie- Thank you!! And I'll e-mail the pudding cake recipe to you... It is delicious.

    Damaris- Apple pies!

  12. What a beautiful time that looks like...and I want an apple donut NOW!

  13. Sounds like you had a terrific weekend with many good eats. My son woke up sick with a heavy cold Saturday morning so I ended up having to cancel almost everything we'd planned that weekend. ;-{ We'll have to take your cue and do some apple picking later this fall. I took a quick peek at that apple picking guide and it looks like even my little kids would enjoy that.

  14. The cauliflower gratin sounds ahhhmazing. Beautiful images, Torrie.

  15. I have not been to Oak Glenn in years. I have been wanting to take the girls for a while now. I will definitely have to make a trip after reading your post. However, I had no idea that there was raspberry picking too. I love your pictures!

    By the way, that pumpkin lasagna sounds yummy. Must try!



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