Gah! Can’t I just transplant my entire family and friends to the West Coast? Or to a spot where the temps never dip below the 60s, and I feel alive 365 days per year?
For some people, a splash of cold air in the mornings brings them to life. For me? I want two seconds of that. Which I can get with some cold water in the shower, if need be.
Whatever. I could say I’m going to run off to California all I want, but until the right opportunity strikes, it’ll likely remain a vaca. spot for now. And I will survive cold fall nights and winter days by surrounding myself with good food and good people. After all, those are two of the most important elements in life, right?
I like to think good food in the fall means soup and winter squash. Like tacos in the summertime, soups and stews become a weekly occurrence on my dinner table.
As the early Sunday evening sun begins to set, I like to have a large pot simmering away. Steam is fogging the cool glass windows. Music is playing. If I’m lucky, bread is waiting to be cut. This is how the best weekends come to a close. Make a mighty enough pot, and it can be how the best weeknight meals come to a start, too.
Following is a light and brothy soup, given heartiness with creamy roasted butternuts, kale and chickpeas. Don’t play hooky on the nutritional yeast. It’s a lovely compliment to the autumn feel of this soup, and really rounds out the whole bowl.
Sometimes the month gets away from you. Sometimes your pictures do too.
Before you know it, October’s nearing 10 days from its end, and your potato and leek soup photos are nowhere to be found. Story of my life.
Between wedding shoots, restaurant shoots, lifestyle shoots, blogging shoots and other random excursions, my camera’s seen a lot of action this month. Somewhere along the journey, I slipped up on reformatting my memory cards. Oops. That slip up left my soup MIA, cutting its modeling days short.
Disaster? Nah. Somehow I found a bunch of thumbnails on my camera to deliver that semi-pretty montage up above. More importantly, I still had a delicious bowl of creamy potato, leek & dill soup waiting for me. This was a bowl that could’ve cared less about what it looked like on camera. When dinner’s on the table, that’s all that counts.
Plus, maybe it’s time that autumn gets a little action on my blog, rather than just a bunch of food. It’s undeniably one of the most beautiful months on the east coast. And it goes fast.
Every day, I feel myself zipping my sweatshirt up a bit higher. My morning step moving a bit quicker. It won’t be long till there’s tons of time to spend indoors making (and photographing) soup. If there’s anything to look forward to about winter, that would be it. Soup.
When I get eggplant, it heads straight to the oven. Forget stir-fry. Forget sautés. Forget the grill. Forget anything else you’d ever do with the purple beauts.
Like wine is made for sharing, eggplant’s made for roasting.
This applies 95% of the time in my kitchen. Nothing beats a soft and caramelized, creamy bite of eggplant. And nothing’s worse than an undercooked bite, either. This happens all too often in stir fry, often with restaurants that don’t know what they’re doing. Stick with baking and give yourself ample time, and you’ll be golden. Your eggplant too.
Baba ganoush is a classic, Middle Eastern dip. It’s similar to hummus, but swaps the chickpeas for roasted eggplant. It’s creamy, cumin-y, and the perfect smearer for a slightly toasted pita. Try it out while you can because the summer season’s quickly coming to an end, and along with it, farm-to-table eggplant.
Who doesn’t love eating out of mason jars? Or drinking for that matter.
I bought a simple glass water jug with a swing-top, and find myself drinking so much more water throughout the day as a result. There’s something majestic about glass.
Spooning fruit crisp out of it feels divine.
Apples are quickly beginning to take over farmer’s markets, with wooden boxes that leave little room for other fruit. This past weekend, however, I managed to snag a few of the lone cartons of raspberries sitting on the table. From my freezer I grabbed some late August peaches, and went to work making this crisp.
I wanted one last taste of summer, baked to perfection.
Crisps are so simple to make, and baking them straight in a jar makes for an equally easy presentation. I love how healthy crisps feel, and how few of the ingredients really need to be measured. This compared to much of the rest of the baking world. A spoonful of cinnamon here, a dash of ginger there. It’s really up to you.
If you can’t find berries (and didn’t save any summer peaches), I’m sure apples would work well here too. Given the jar method, choose a softer apple and slice thinly. This way you ensure you’ll end up with a soft, perfect-for-ice-cream dessert. Adorable, right?
Most times of the year, when I go to the grocery store, 75% of my basket is filled with fruit and vedge. However, lately I’ve been swimming in honeycrisps and butternuts and greens from the farmer’s market where I work. My grocery trips have been minimized, and my produce budget even more so.
Now when I go to the store, I end up with a basket that looks nothing like myself.
I am a people-watcher. I love the art of observing others. So when going stir-crazy in the Whole Foods check-out line, I’m watching. I’m analyzing what the people in front of me plan to make for dinner. I’m picking out recipes for them in my mind, and I’m judging — er, I mean guessing — their lifestyle and personality traits. All from the items cruising their way to the cash register.
I, of course, am also seeking out my future husband. I’m scanning the lines in search of the handsome guy who’s buying figs and sweet potatoes, brazil nuts and oatmeal, and ingredients you can actually cook with. If you need to find me, I’ll be in that line. And hopefully exiting it with dinner plans. Just kidding.
Lately, however, trips to the grocery store have been scarce, and the farmer’s market is my new best friend. From it, I was able to pick up the fresh fall arugula and apples that compose this meal. Complimented by the rich flavors of caramelized onion, curry and parsley, this creates a surprising and satisfying sandwich. I love adding a sweet crunch in unexpected places, and here the apples carry this out beautifully. Choose your favorite eating variety, and make sure to thinly slice.