Melodramaville Halloween Home Decor 2017

Happy Halloween! I finally got motivated enough to doing a little last minute Halloween decorating with a little bit of spiderwebbing, a few DIY bats, and a ton of pumpkins. We’re staying in tonight and snuggling up at home tonight watching movies, carving pumpkins, and eating treats.

Here’s a few pics of a Melodrama Halloween!

Halloween Front DoorWe have an orange front door and I couldn’t let that go to waste! I used black construction paper cutouts and taped them to the door to create a Jack o’ lantern face. Jack o Lantern Front DoorI added a few pumpkins and a few tombstones from the dollar store.

Halloween themed BarInside I used spiders, pumpkins, paper bat cutouts, and a few gilded skulls to spook up the place. There are always plenty of spirits around the bar…get it? Spirits HAAA.Mid-century Halloween DecorI put pumpkins in the fireplace with string lights, those will be sticking around all season long. Pumpkins in Fireplace

And of course the DIY Pumpkin Planter that I made here.

Fall Pumpkin Succulent and Cacti Centerpiece Idea

That’s it for this year! I’m off to carve some pumpkins and bust open the bags of candy. Happy Halloween!

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Halloween Decor Idea: Pumpkin Succulent and Cacti Planter

If you’re a plant lover, here’s a quick and easy way to incorporate succulents and cacti into your fall decor. Use a (faux is best) pumpkin as a planter! I used a cinderella pumpkin because I love the shapes and colors of them, and they’re usually wide enough to make a great shallow planter. 

Update: I got a real one for really cheap at Trader Joe’s so I originally used that, but quickly transitioned to a faux pumpkin once the inevitable mush set in after about a week. Bummer. 
 Just cut off the top (and hallow it out if you want to try a real one) like you would when making a jack-o-lantern. Poke some small holes in the bottom for drainage. Then fill it with a variety of succulents and some extra soil or sand. 

I layered cacti and different types of succulents in mine. Since the fuzzy cacti looks like a spider nest I added some plastic Halloween spiders. I can easily remove those to transition it into November. If the little guys lasts that long. Fingers crossed. 

Use a pumpkin as a planter for succulents and cacti.jpgI love it as our dining table centerpiece.

Cinderella Succulent and Cacti Planter for fallFall Pumpkin Succulent and Cacti Centerpiece Idea

So easy and cute! I hope it lasts at least another month. Pumpkin used as succulent planter for centerpiece

DIY White and Gold Light-Up Halloween Pumpkin Makeover

Autumn is just around the corner and it’s time to start decorating! First up, Halloween! I absolutely love Halloween, but it’s not really my personal style to do a lot of gore or tons of orange and black in my home. One of the things I like to do with my Halloween decor is try to make it fit in with my home’s existing style. Here’s a really quick and easy way I updated a pre-lit, cheapy plastic pumpkin that I found for for $6. Isn’t he cute?

DIY Gold and White Halloween Light-Up Pumpkin (4).jpgSpray paint. That’s all you need. I went with gold and white of course.

DIY Gold and White Halloween Light-Up Pumpkin (3).jpgI painted the entire pumpkin with white satin paint (satin or gloss work best) and then sprayed the stem gold. I didn’t use tape or anything around the stem because I like the way the gold over-spray looks on the top of the pumpkin.

diy-gold-and-white-halloween-light-up-pumpkin-2

Cute, right?! I think I’m going to have to pick up a few more pumpkins and try different colors.

before-and-after-pumpkin

Anyway, easy peasy! Super cute and fits in perfectly with the rest of my decor.

diy-gold-and-white-halloween-light-up-pumpkin

Autumnal Brown Butter Butternut Squash Loaf Recipe

You guys, today is my wedding anniversary and I woke up to the most delectable baked treat from my hobby baker husband. I’m a big fan of pumpkin loaf and bread, but honestly this is the best squash variety of loaf I’ve ever had. Any loaf for that matter. He’d been playing around with the idea for this recipe for awhile and I think he nailed it. It’s perfectly dense and moist with a nice crust and the right amount of sweetness. So naturally I will share it with you and take all of the credit.

But without further ado here’s the recipe.

Brown Butter Butternut Squash Loaf (No I didn’t stutter)

Butternut Squash Brown Butter Loaf Recipe

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 medium sized butternut squash, oven roasted, peeled (should yield about 2 cups)
2 sticks of butter, plus more for greasing pan

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.

In a different bowl beat the eggs with the butternut squash. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined.

In a small sauce pan, brown the butter and stir it into the mixture until thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 70 to 80 minutes and cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before removing from pan.

Brown Butter Butternut Squash Loaf Recipe

Enjoy!

Elderflower Apple Cider Cocktail Recipe

Autumn is here and it’s time to start knocking back the ciders! I love apple cider in any way possible, especially with liquor. Since it’s still an inferno here in California we’ve been drinking more refreshing versions of my favorite autumnal beverage, like this cocktail made with elderflower liqueur, vodka, and sparkling water.

Refreshing Elderflower Apple Cider Cocktail

Elderflower Apple Cider Cocktail
Makes one cocktail

1.5 oz apple cider
1.5 oz vodka
.75 oz St. Germain
Sparkling water

Refreshing Elderflower Apple Cider CocktailShake cider, vodka, and St. Germain with ice. Strain into glass and top with sparkling water. Garnish with an apple slice.

Refreshing Elderflower Apple Cider Cocktail

Enjoyyyy!

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe

We all know that one of the most popular (and basic) autumn activities is to go apple picking. You’ve probably already noticed all the posts on Instagram with boots, scarves, cider, and apples galore. This is mostly known as a North Eastern tradition, but believe it or not we have orchards for apple picking in Southern California, too!

Last weekend the weather cooled down for a whole day and we finally got some rain, so my husband and I took the trip out to our favorite apple picking spot, Oak Glen, to take advantage of the cool, rainy, fall-like weather.

Oak Glen, CA Apple pickingOak Glen is a quaint little town about 2 hours outside of LA. There are lovely orchards where you’ll find all of the traditional autumn favorites, from apples to hayrides to hot cider donuts.

Oak Glen ApplesThe reason I like going to pick my own apples is because I can usually find varieties that aren’t found in our local markets. This time we came home with Pink Pearl apples. These apples are sweet and tart with a gorgeous pink color.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via Melodrama

We had some left over pate brisee dough hanging out in the freezer, so I decided to make a galette with the apples and apple jelly we got from our trip. These apples are amazing for baking. They’re super juicy and I think the flavor gets even better when they’re cooked.

Plus, they’re really pretty.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via Melodrama

Here’s a recipe to make your own apple galette. You can use any apples you want, but if you can get your hands on some Pink Pearl apples, I highly recommend you do.

Galette Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
Apple Filling
1 lb apples, cored
1/4 cup apple jelly
3 tbsp sugar
whole milk

In a bowl combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and use a dough cutter or food processor to mix the butter in until the mixture until it reaches a course meal texture. Add ice water slowly (1 tbsp at a time) until the dough just holds together without being wet. Divide the dough in half and into balls. Flatten dough balls into discs and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for one hour.

Roll out chilled dough on parchment paper or a lightly floured surface into a 1/8 inch thick circle. Chill again for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile core and slice the apples. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via Melodrama

Remove chilled dough round from refrigerator and spoon two tablespoons of jelly on to the dough, leaving at least a 1.5 inch boarder.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via MelodramaPlace apple slices over the jelly in slightly overlapping concentric circles. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via MelodramaFold the plain dough boarder over the apples. Brush with milk and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via MelodramaTransfer galette and parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees for another 15 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Heat remaining apple jelly and brush on top of cooked apples for a nice shiny finish. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via Melodrama

Day Tripping: Fall Vibes and Apple Picking at Los Rios Rancho in Oak Glen

Even though I grew up in Southern California, I’ve always yearned for a traditional fall where the leaves turn and the air is crisp. On a good year we’ll have lots of days with chilly weather and some rain. We’ll also see an orange tree or two. I know it’s nothing compared to what other parts of the country sees, but I’ll take what I can get.

I was feeling particularly desperate to get into the autumnal spirit this year. California has been suffering from heat waves and drought, and most of October was a sweaty 80+ degrees. It was really bumming me out. As soon as we heard that temps were dropping and that the mountains might see some light snow, we immediately planned to wake up super early and take a day trip up to Big Bear.

It was definitely cold but no snow. Just some a couple of flurries and drizzle. We really had nothing to do without snow so after breakfast we decided to ditch Big Bear and head back down the mountain to Oak Glen in Yucaipa for apple picking. Best idea ever.

The scenic drive down the other side of the mountain was gaaawwgeous. Look at the trees!

San Bernadino National Forrest in November

Where to see fall foliage in Southern CaliforniaThere are several orchards to choose from in the area of Oak Glen. We visited Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho.

Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho is an adorable little spot to pick winesap apples. They hand you the necessary tools and you’re off to pick as many apples as your heart desires.

Riley's Apple Farm - Apple picking in Southern California

Apple Picking in Southern California

After spending some time there we went over to the main part of Los Rios Rancho. There’s a cider press, BBQ, a shop with tons of yummy apple foods, live music, and a petting zoo.

ANIMALS.

Piglet Goats at Los Rios Rancho

horses at los rios rancho

My phone died so I couldn’t take any more pictures, but you get the point. IT’S AWESOME. If you’re looking for fall fun, definitely look into visiting the Oak Glen area.

Now I have pounds and pounds of apples sitting in the kitchen which means one thing. Gnats. Just kidding! APPLE BUTTER.