Is there anything as universally loved as an apple cider doughnut?
There are so many wonderful smells in the world. Fresh lilacs. Dried lavender. Warm laundry. New cars. Chicken roasting. Bacon frying. Brisk autumn air. These are all beautiful and evocative smells that make life so sweet. But bread baking? That might be my raison d’être. Or at least, that’s what I thought to myself two weekends in a row, each time I made maple oat bread. If I could have bread baking in my apartment at all times without even eating the bread, I would be content. It smells that good.
I just spent a weekend in New Hampshire with my grandparents. They always spoil me rotten so I really wanted to treat them this time, even just a little bit. Although, let’s face it; they were still spoiling me. Cooking isn’t ever really a chore. I was choosing between a few different chicken dishes (like this one and this one), but ultimately, we all decided on Ina’s Lemon Chicken with Croutons.
The season of soups and stews is upon us, and this year I’m ready to fully embrace it. I don’t know what got me so jazzed for soups all of a sudden. Maybe it’s because I got a Le Creuset last Christmas and haven’t been able to use it regularly yet. Maybe it’s because I’ve been perusing my Pinterest during the changing of seasons and found some intriguing recipes (see here, here, and here). Maybe it’s because soup makes great leftovers and I’m getting sick of a kale salad for lunch every day. Either way, I made my first batch of homemade chicken stock last weekend and boy am I itchin’ to use it.
Right now is the time for pumpkin everything, right? Duh, why am I even asking that, it’s October. Pumpkins are the essence of October. That’s why I took a vacation day just to visit a pumpkin patch on Friday. I had to get several small pumpkins and gourds for my fall tablescape…because this is what matters to me in the world. However, something had been troubling me all week; that something was pumpkin ricotta gnocchi.
Coziness is one of my favorite feelings, and therefore “cozy” is one of my favorite adjectives. When you’re cozy, you feel safe and protected. I believe that’s why coziness is such a part of fall – it protects you from the sometimes harsh fall elements. Everything during this season emanates coziness: the food, the apparel, the setting. For the second year in a row, I spent a Sunday afternoon making pumpkin doughnuts followed by having a drink at a local bar. In the midst of all the warehouses and graffiti in my neighborhood, several quaint bars are scattered. During this time of year they decorate their exposed-brick interiors with festive fake cobwebs and romantic candles. It’s mad cozy, and I love it. To be honest, when I did this last year, it was all part of a hangover cure. It was so lovely that I just wanted to do it again this year, hangover-free. As it turns out, I needed cozy comfort badly this past Sunday. Let me tell you why…