I think I can safely say that no one else in the entire virtual world has that blog post title! Speaking of blog posts, Sarah of Pink of Perfection wrote a fabulous one called 8 Things I’m Happy About in October, which naturally inspired comments of the same topic, including one from yours truly. The list of things in the title are all currently making it a very happy October for me and now, I shall elaborate upon them.

This past weekend, my friend Marla and I had one of our Not-Summer Barbecues in Prospect Park, and as usual, I was too occupied with grilling and chatting to actually take pictures, except for at the very beginning when we set up our spread, seen above. Decided to Martha Stewart the picnic table a bit! Hence, the flowers, tablecloth and crochet pumpkin. It was a really great day, with temperatures in the 70’s, blue skies, bocce, badminton, juggling, familiar faces, new faces, tons of food, beer, sangria and good conversation.

When I was biking through Park Slope on Friday to work at the Brooklyn Pig Roast at The Yard, organized by Brooklyn Based, the thrice-weekly email newsletter I occasionally write for, the following Mrs. Dalloway-esque thought popped into my head: “Tomorrow, I’m going to buy dahlias at the farmer’s market.” After a few hours of doing a little bit of everything at the Roast (chair-arranging, chair-cleaning,corn-shucking, corn-roasting, corn-serving, pork taco-serving), I made my way back home, where my parents arrived a half hour later for the weekend. Guess what my mom brought? Dahlias from our garden at home. (And zinnias, gaillardia, gladiola and sunflowers, all of which can be seen in the above 3 photos).

All the fall colors, sights and smells have made me more motivated in the craft department, and this emerging creativity has taken the form of…wait for it…new owl soaps! So far, I have made: Earl Grey, Pumpkin Spice, Cocoa, Crabapple, Vanilla Bean, Orange Spice and Spiced Apple Cider. Mmm. All of them have coordinating crochet scarves, of course! I like seeing them all lined up every morning next to a cup of scarf possibilities. They like to mix and match. 🙂

When planning the menu for the barbecue that I mentioned before, I tried to pick fall-ish foods and flavors, and one of the recipes I chose was beer cheese dip, a really gluttonous mixture in which to dip those healthy veggies. Unfortunately, the recipe I use doesn’t really pack a punch, and where’s the autumn theme? Well, Alicia likes to tweak. So, I added some punch in the form of garlic and scallions, and used pumpkin ale instead of regular beer. (You could try different cheeses in place of the cheddar) This and a few other dishes received those dramatically-delivered compliments that I love and which begin with, “Alicia. Ohmygod. Alicia.” and variations of that. This would be perfect for football-watching at home if you’re not the fall grilling type! The recipe follows:

Pumpkin Ale Cheese Dip

16 oz cream cheese
16 oz shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 scallion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup pumpkin ale (I recommend Shipyard)

In a food processor, combine both kinds of cheese thoroughly. Add scallion, garlic and pumpkin ale and process again until well-mixed. Ta-da, you’re done! If you really want to get fancy, you can hollow out a round loaf of bread OR a pumpkin and put the dip in there. I bought a pumpkin specifically for this purpose and subsequently forgot. Oh well! And those, my friends, are just a few more ways why October is my favorite month.