Category Archives: fall

I LOVE FALL: Vermont Edition

Apparently this year I made it my goal to experience fall in as much of New England as possible. Last weekend Mike and I headed up to Stowe, VT with our friends Liz and Dave for some autumn fun; we spent Saturday poking around Burlington (hello, Ithaca NY on crack!), where we stumbled upon the BEST farmer’s market (complete with thousands of samples, a pumpkin sweet potato fritter, hippie children dancing, and a morbidly obese bulldog being pulled around in a wagon) and hit up the Magic Hat Brewery. On Sunday we explored the uber-creepy Smuggler’s notch, then went to Cabot (FREE CHEESE), a perfectly Vermont cider mill (pictured above), and Ben and Jerry’s! A trip full of foliage and eating, just how I like it :)

(Sorry, Liz, about that spot of sunshine you are birthing)

{photo credit to Liz!}

If you can figure out what’s going on in this picture I’ll give you a prize.

 

 

I LOVE FALL: New Hampshire Edition

Have I ever mentioned that I love taking pictures of foliage/pumpkins/gourds/leaves/trees/sunrises/fall things? Ever? No?

Well then YOU’RE in for a surprise!

Last weekend I got to tag along on Mike’s firm’s fall outing in Meredith, NH. We had the cutest room with the cutest little balcony for watching the sunrise over the lake, found a lunch place with deeeelicious butternut squash-apple-bacon bisque, and spent Saturday afternoon driving around looking for all the best fall photo ops (covered bridge and pumpkin farm included). We also managed to snag some cider donuts straight from the fryer and make friends with a giant pig named Munchkin. All in all another perfect fall weekend!

 

*Guest Post* Fall Food Lovin’ by Emily

Today’s post (and awesome photos) come from my sister Emily, who was recently home from college on fall break and on a mission to eat and photograph every fall food imaginable (we MUST be related ;)). Take it away, Emily!

Fall Break means a few things.  It means family time, it means Reese’s peanut butter cup pumpkins (and lots of ‘em!), it means being cozy on the couch while stuffing my face with hand-fulls of candy corn, and it means ALL THINGS pumpkin and squash.  Here’s a little glimpse into what I did (but mostly ate) over my time home from college this past week: homemade Pumpkin and Candy Corn Rice Krispies Treats, homemade Pumpkin-Maple-Cranberry Granola, pumpkin donuts and homemade Butternut Squash Pizza, Pumpkin 7-layer Bars* (homemade and way too delicious to not exist all year round), a trip to Cooperstown with lots of apples, Pumpkin soup (again, homemade-thanks mom!) with soft garlic bread, homemade Butternut Squash and Apple Muffins, walks around the neighborhood to take in the beautiful fall views, and pumpkin soft serve with chocolate sprinkles!  But most importantly, is the Fall Trail Mix that I concocted, which is really just a mash of snack-y foods with a fall twist. Enjoy!

*Note: these are pictured TWICE because they are just. THAT. DELICIOUS.

Ingredients:

  • Chex
  • Pretzel nuggets
  • Chocolate chips
  • Candy corn (I used regular, Indian, Blackberry Cobbler, and Tangerine flavors)
  • Chocolate-covered Cookie Dough Pieces (or chocolate-covered anything!)
  • Raisins
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews

Mix together in a large bowl and EAT!

Homecoming at Cornell {otherwise known as “The Weekend We Pretended to be in College Again”}

This past weekend Mike and I headed to upstate NY to relive the good old college glory days at Cornell’s homecoming. We packed as much nostalgia into 48 hours as possible and I’m STILL recovering. As much as I hate to admit it, we’re definitely not in college anymore…

Here are some snapshots from our weekend of fun!

Football game with my sister, carrying on the legacy!

 Let’s go Red!

We went to the Avicii concert. I felt like I was 21 again.

But not. At all.

Before heading back to Boston, we managed to squeeze in a quick trip to the farm in Mike’s home town to get some pumpkins!

*Sparkly* shoes for a *sparkly* weekend. Uhhhh huh.

It’s fall! It’s fall! It’s really really fall! #favoriteseasonhappiness

Um, can I be an undergrad again?

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies: Pumpkin Remix

Do you know what happens when you combine your (my) favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe with the flavors of fall? Choco-chip-cookie-punkin-chunkin-REEEE-MIIIIIIX.

I’ve got remixes on the brain ever since I watched the finale of So You Think You Can Dance and heard this Circle of Life remix. DARE YOU NOT TO LISTEN AND LOVE AND DANCE ALONG IN YOUR LIVING ROOM. Dare ya.

I love this pumpkin remix cookie because:

  1. Some of the fat is replaced with pumpkin puree, so it’s healthy.
  2. Some of the white flour is replaced with whole wheat flour, so it’s healthy.
  3. You can dance around your living room like Simba to the Circle of Life remix and burn off all the cals consumed from the punkin cookie remix, so it’s healthy.

Chocolate chip pumpkin remix cookie. Health.

(Plus it’s chewy and gooey and makes your kitchen smell like the best fall smell you could ever imagine smelling.)

NAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNTSSS INGONYAMAAAAA (Did you have any idea that’s how it’s spelled? Me neiths.)

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Pumpkin Remix (adapted from my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1  cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

*I got my pumpkin pie spice from Trader Joe’s, but you can make your own using this recipe, or if you’re feeling REALLY daring, just throw together some combination of cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger/allspice/cloves.

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat brown sugar, sugar, butter, shortening, and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; blend well.
  2. In a seperate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until fully combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Pumpkin Spice Crispy Treats

HAPPY FRIDAY, friends!!

Remember last year when I was all high & mighty and refused to celebrate fall until the actual first day of fall? Who am I? Why am I so annoying?

More importantly, WHY would I EVER resist putting pumpkin into things A.S.A.P???

If you do one thing this weekend, you should make these crispy treats, for the following reasons:

1. Browned butter.

2. Pumpkin spice.

3. Easy peasy.

4. Scrumdiddlyumptious.

5. Browned butter.

6. No oven needed!

*Please pay extra attention to numbers 1 and 5. Brooooooowwwnnned buuuutttttterrrrr is my friiiieeeennnndddd.

These bars are SO easy. You can whip them up in 10 minutes and bask in their pumpkin spice glory for however long it takes you to down the entire pan. For me, it was 35 minutes. *Insert thumbs-up sign here*

Pumpkin Spice Crispy Treats (adapted from the traditional Krispie Treats recipe)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, browned
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 6 cups puffed rice cereal

*I bought pumpkin pie spice from Trader Joe’s, but you can make you own by combining these spices)

Directions

  1. In a large pot, melt and brown the butter over medium heat. Swirl the butter around in the pan until it starts to brown (it will deepen in color and smell slightly nutty, but watch it closely so that it doesn’t burn!). Turn the heat down to low and add the marshmallows, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice. Allow to melt completely, stirring occasionally to combine.
  2. Add the cereal and stir until fully coated. Press the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan using a rubber spatula. Allow to cool, then cut into squares.

 

Apple Cider Doughnuts + a Giveaway!

Let’s talk doughnuts.

Let’s talk about how cider doughnuts are my most favorite doughnuts in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD, and how a perfectly simple and delicious recipe for cider doughnuts just happened to fall into my lap (more on that later).

Let’s talk about how I made these doughnuts three days after moving into our new apartment (love!) with its teeny-tiny kitchen (hate!), a mere 30 minutes before Mike and I decided to host our very first dinner guests (poor! planning! Melanie!).

Let’s talk about how I frantically snapped 850 photos of said doughnuts in the rapidly setting sun while our dinner guests waited downstairs.

Then, we should probably talk about how we ate cider doughnuts for dinner instead of….well, dinner. Worth it.

If you know me, like, at all, you’ll know I freak out over fall. Fall is my jam. Some people like summer, others prefer spring, but, personally… I lose it over pumpkin and crunchy leaves and apple picking and cinnamon and cool temps and CIDER.

So when the super cool people over at Harvard Common Press contacted me to see if I wanted to host a stop on Dede Wilson‘s blog tour for her new book, A Baker’s Field Guide to Doughnuts, and included  a recipe for cider doughnuts, you better believe I f-r-e-a-k-e-d o-u-t. I’ve been dying to make fried cake doughnuts for at least 100 years but figured it was too complicated and instead spent the last month buying (and eating) dozens of doughnuts at a time.

The good news is, making fried doughnuts isn’t so hard! These cider doughnuts came out fluffy and cinnamony and perfectly cider-spiked even in my teensy tinsy kitchen.

The even better news is, you can make doughnuts too! Because I get to give away a copy of Dede’s new book to one very lucky reader :)

The bad news is you’re going to have to quit your job because after one look at the recipes in this guide you’re going to be a doughnut-making-ma-CHINE.

First, the recipe! Then, the giveaway deets. Priorities, people ;)

Apple Cider Doughnuts (Recipe ©2012 by Dede Wilson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press)

yield: about twenty-four 3-inch doughnuts

Ingredients:

  • 21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sifted cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 ⁄3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup apple cider, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Flavorless vegetable oil for deep-frying, such as canola
  • 1 recipe Cinnamon-Sugar Topping

Directions
1. Whisk together both flours, the baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and allspice in a medium-size bowl to aerate and combine.

2. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until pale and creamy, or whisk well by hand. Beat in the cider and melted butter until combined. add the dry mixture in two batches and stir with a wooden spoon just until the dough comes together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

3. Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with a triple layer of paper towels. heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pot or deep-fat fryer to 350° to 355°F.

4. While the oil is heating, dust the work surface with flour. scrape the dough onto the surface, dust the top of the dough lightly with flour, and roll out to 1⁄2-inch thickness. Cut out doughnuts with a lightly floured 3-inch round cutter. Gently gather the scraps, press them together, roll out the dough, and cut out as many additional doughnuts as possible. Place the cinnamon sugar, if using, in a shallow bowl.

5. Fry a few doughnuts at a time; do not crowd. Fry until light golden brown, about 1 minute and 15 seconds, flip them over, and fry for about 1 minute and 15 seconds more, until light golden brown on the other side as well. Using a slotted spoon, remove each doughnut from the oil and drain thoroughly on paper towels.

6. If desired, immediately transfer the doughnuts to the bowl of cinnamon sugar and roll and toss them to coat completely. repeat with the remaining dough.

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping

Yield: enough to coat the tops of about sixteen 3-inch doughnuts or about 24 doughnut holes or small fritters

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar or superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions: Stir the sugar and cinnamon together in a shallow bowl large enough to hold a doughnut. Place a still-warm doughnut on top of the mixture and toss around to coat thoroughly.

*A Baker’s Field Guide to Doughnuts Giveaway!*

How to enter (you can enter up to three times!):

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite kind of doughnut and/or favorite thing about fall (you better believe those comments will warm my heart);

2. Follow @dedewilsonbakes on Twitter and leave a comment saying you did;

and/or

3. Follow @melssweetlife on Twitter and leave a comment saying you did.

**Make sure to leave some sort of contact info in your comment so I can contact you if you win! The giveaway will close on Sunday, September 9th, at 9PM. (9/9 at 9 – got it?!)**

PS: There’s a copycat recipe for Krispy Kremes in there. As IF you needed another reason to enter. Good luck!