Fall Semester in Photos

This treat transports me to fall, where trees are exploding with warm colors, squash are in season, school is in full swing and it's time to carve the pumpkin! It is my favorite time of the year, it signals a new start, the fresh crisp evening air is rejuvenating and I feel reborn. Pumpkin muffins are certainly a treat, I'm a pumpkin enthusiast, if it's got pumpkin - I'm sure to love it. For something extra delicious and to satisfy my chocolate cravings I add dark chocolate chips to the batter before dividing it among the muffin tins. My absolute favorite way to bake them is with granola on the top, and a dash of cinnamon - it adds sweet crunch!

She looks like she is about to say something profound, but can't find the words.

Illy is the best coffee I have yet to taste, roasted to perfection, not too acidic, very smooth finish and leaves a chocolate-y taste in your mouth. I'll admit I am pretty obnoxious about my brew, if it's not just right, I don't drink it. One of these containers is about 11-14$ -- it's a treat but well worth the investment. To me, no price is too great if I can guarantee that I will awake to the perfect cup every morning. The only competition Illy has run up against is Nespresso. Illy has temporarily taken a back seat now that *thank you for indulging my habits, Ian* a Nespresso maker sits on my countertop.

On a week where I didn't have clinical because I was rotating between MedSurg and Maternity -- I knew exactly how I would spend my extra time - making homemade applesauce and an apple crumble. So I headed over to Easton to check out a "pick your own" apple farm -- which turned out to be a little bit of a disappointment. Not only did they use pesticides *I make an exception when I'm peeling the fruit* - not uncommon - they sell "farm fresh" applesauce, chock full of high fructose corn syrup! *Gasp* Given their prices, I was disappointed in the lack of integrity. However, I found some great Jonagolds -- which I find to be the best for pies and sauce. They were fairly massive, which cuts down on peeling time. The applesauce I made goes great on top of peanut butter toast with a dash of cinnamon, or with greek yogurt. Either way, it's a no fail. * The above is a picture of my apple crumble, which only lasted twenty four hours in my house. It's one of the easiest and best recipes.

My biggest culinary disappoint has been the reccuring glitch in my meringue recipes. For instance, the above was a failure - a delicious failure but a failure none the less. In this instance, the reason that they lost air and thus turned out a bit chewy was because I accidentally used ground almonds instead of ground BLANCHED almonds. This was attempt one. Attempt two is still a mystery -- it was a Macarons de Paris recipe that I found on epicurious. If you're unfamiliar, they are macaroons sandwiched between ganache (and when I say macaroon I mean the egg white/almond/cookie type confection - sans coconut). Though I did everything correct *I think* something happened when I folded the ground almond into the egg white. I may have ground the blanched almonds down too much to the point where they were closer to almond butter than anything else. Attempt three bombed because the oven was too hot and there wasn't enough sugar. Needless to say, the day I make macaroons/meringue correctly I will feel invincible! While I hate when my recipes don't turn out, when things aren't perfect - I am beginning to see it as progress, not failure.

Trying to come up with meatless but hearty lunches, I topped a french baguette with sundried tomato tapenade with fresh arugula and goat cheese. Quick, easy, and beautiful. I had to take a picture, beautiful food always tastes better.

Sunday morning, I call this recipe my "Bleeding Heart French Toast" -- a nod to one of my favorite flowers. In honesty it looks like an organ is bleeding out on my plate but mmmmm so delicious. It is toasted spelt bread soaked in a milk, honey, egg, and cinnamon mixture thrown on a non-stick and very hot pan until golden and crispy. Instead of making it a sugar laden breakfast by adding maple syrup, I instead blended some blueberries and raspberries after heating them quickly on the stove. I added a dash of honey and lemon zest and voila! This was when the garden was still fruitful with my ever invading spearmint, so I garnished the plate with that and a scoop of plain yogurt.

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