So, forgive me, but I am one of the pumpkin people. I love pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin cookies. I love everything pumpkin. I even like the latte everybody loves to hate, though they are so sweet that I usually only get one per year. I could eat pumpkin every day in various forms.
It’s people like me that are probably the reason there are pumpkin Oreos, or whatever the newest abomination is. Sorry. Kind of. But I’ve been that way since I was a kid. Just ask my mama!
I don’t actually eat pumpkin every day, though. Even when awesome fall sales bring the cost down to $1.50 a can, I try to save it for every once in a while. This weekend, it was time.
The brilliant thing about these muffins is that they are very pumpkin-y, but they aren’t that sweet. I’m sure they could satisfy a craving for the sweet.
But I love slathering them with butter and sprinkling coarse salt on top. I am literally salivating as I type this – they’re so good! We might need to make another batch of these very soon. And maybe I’ll have another tonight for a savory “dessert.”
I wrote this morning’s blog post from my hotel room in Los Angeles. Annnd just a few hours later, I’m back in Portland and ready to eat this delicious apple tart.
It’s the last of the produce we have from the Montavilla Farmers Market, which I volunteer on the board for. It makes me sad to that the regular market season is over, but I’m really treasuring this tart. Of all of the things I made with things from the market this year, it’s one of my favorites.
I wish I could eat it but not have it be gone. Hm, isn’t there some kind of a phrase about that?
What a restorative weekend it has been. Dave and I worked hard on a photoshoot for a client, but after we did our work (which turned out to be amazing!!) we unwound with a Mediterranean feast with our friends, a few beers and a day at home, cooking some of our favorite seasonal treats.
Starting with fresh cranberries.
Fall is really here for real – something I was fighting for a long time but now I’m fully on board. Bring on the boots, scarves and sweaters. And bring on the apples, pears, pumpkins and other seasonal produce. I mean, look at these beautiful berries. They’re grown in Oregon, you know. Just another reason it’s fun to use the fresh ones as often as possible.
In these muffins, the orange flavor is light and in the background, and the sweet batter is a great contrast to the tart pop of the berries, which is mellowed a little with the heat from the oven. They’re the perfect combination. I had them for breakfast this morning, and I’m excited to have them again tomorrow! That’s how you know they’re good.
Hooray for the weekend. Everything feels so much less crazy than it did even a couple of days ago.
Dave and I worked cooking, styling and photographing on a shoot for a client this weekend, but we also saw Gone Girl (it’s an excellent adaptation of the book, but be forewarned that all of the characters are terrible people.) We met friends to watch the world series (go Royals!!) and we ran errands. I harvested several pounds of tomatoes from the garden, even though it’s almost November.
And, of course, we cooked for ourselves a little, too.
You can make these cinnamon-y scones with chocolate chips, but now that I know you can get bulk hunks of dark chocolate at Winco for WAY cheap, I tend to use that instead!
It’s way more fun to have big old chocolate chunks in your pastries, don’t you think?
There is absolutely nothing better than lingering over breakfast.
Today (yesterday to you probably by know) was the last day Dave’s parents were with us in town. They have a very early flight back to Florida. After spending a very busy weekend having fun in Seattle and at Mount St. Helens, we needed a little time to relax.
We slept so well, then Dave and I were up early and decided to get started on breakfast. I made a full Chemex of Coava coffee and Dave and I made this cake.
His parents had taken a day trip to Hood River while staying with us, so we have all kinds of apples. What better way to kick off a fall late breakfast?
Later, when his parents were up, we shared a meandering (and delicious) meal. It was so nice to take it slow. We didn’t have a lot of plans for the day and it did not matter that we hadn’t showered yet. I know we’ll see them again in just a few short weeks for the holidays, but it still feels good to take some time and not be on our way anywhere for some very sweet hours-that-feel-like-minutes.
There was a time when I totally pooh-poohed non-booze apple cider.
“It’s just fresh apple juice, right?” AKA the least interesting choice of juices among what’s usually available at the store. Why would that be exciting?
Well, it turns out that the “apple juice” that is commercially produced bears little resemblance to the cider anymore. It’s been filtered until the flavor and nuance are gone – not to mention the freshness. The tiny particles of apple that make apple cider cloudy or even opaque bring you a bright, less sweet and fresh-out-of-the-orchard flavor. But that fresh-from-the-orchard flavor doesn’t last long, so now is the time to get it.
We used apple cider and applesauce that we made to create these donuts:
Of course, we were also sipping big cups of cold cider the entire time
Well, it’s been a busy one! I’m just getting back from two days in Seattle. I love traveling for work, but this one was pretty busy! I literally sprinted through the streets of downtown Seattle until I found a cab that could take me to the train station. I made it with about five minutes to spare.
I’m excited to get back home. It’s thisclose to the weekend and I’m looking forward to enjoying some of our homemade granola with Greek yogurt. Dave likes his with milk; I love the tang from the yogurt. And we both love homemade granola so much.
I tried to “fall spice” this one up a little bit. Granola is so good on its own, but this week we had our first real fall weather, and I think we were both feeling like it was finally time to bust out the non-summer food as well.
This weekend is supposed to be sunny, but I have a feeling full-on fall food is going to be happening soon. Stay tuned.
I love eggs. This will surprise no one who reads this blog with regularity. Is there a number of them per day/week that we aren’t supposed to eat? I’m sure there is a ceiling, but I hope I’m not close to it. Team healthy fat! Team protein!
Dave was out of town this past weekend, so I was on my own to make and eat this frittata. But I’ve really enjoyed having the leftovers as a healthy lunch this week.
Which has been a good thing, because while I’ve been solo at the house I’ve made a habit of staying up too late watching Star Trek and Sherlock and then not had a ton of time to make lunches. She says as she finishes a post at 12:40 a.m.
A couple of things I like about frittatas: 1) they are such an easy way to show off whatever vegetables are in season. and 2) They’re pretty easy to make and the only non-negotiable ingredient is eggs. You could make them anytime.
Especially if you are the type of person who always has eggs handy.
It has been the best long weekend.
On Saturday, Dave and I headed out to an adventure in wine country, visiting the Eola-Amity Hills AVA which is just west of Salem. I’ll be detailing our adventure there soon in another post. But we had a great time driving around together, meeting the families that make great Oregon wine, and enjoying each other’s company. We’ve basically decided to retire and become winemakers. I assume the gorgeous estate is easy to come by, yes?
Then on Sunday we toured Bull Run Distilling, makers of one of my favorite bourbons, with our friends Bee and Kevin. And we spent the evening at their house having a delicious dinner and all kinds of fun.
And finally, Sunday we played soccer in the park. We barbecued. We made tons of good food – including a chocolate cream pie, because OBVIOUSLY. Even though I’ve gotten 9-10 hours of sleep every night this weekend, I am exhausted.
Also, we bought and consumed a ton of booze and ate all the best foods.
I loved these oat pancakes because Dave put steel cut oats in them – This made them a little chewy, which I loved. I added a few roasted figs – the last of a carton that I already am feeling the urge to replace.
And we topped it with a drizzle of local honey and a pinch of coarse salt.
Adding some roasted produce will improve almost anything.
Whew! I’m home again after two busy days in Seattle. It is crazy how much I’ve been back and forth this summer. And apparently I missed the hottest day of the year in Portland.
Due to so much travel, for the most part, tonight’s post is not so much a recipe but directions for using a few premade items to their very highest potential.
I do know how to make my own puff pastry; I have many times and I enjoy it. But sometimes you don’t plan enough ahead to do that. Or you just don’t want to. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying something so complicated if you aren’t going to enjoy the process of making it that particular time.
I love these pastries because when I studied abroad in London, they were actually a pretty cheap breakfast for my student budget. They would go on sale at Sainsbury’s for 2 or 3 for a pound, and I would buy whatever quantity the deal was for or more, and I also didn’t only eat them for breakfast. I couldn’t not eat them when I had them in the house. Let’s not talk about what I weighed when I got done with studying abroad. I don’t actually know, and I don’t want to know, but it was worth it.
And also, there is absolutely nothing better than having fresh chocolate croissants and chocolat chaud on a Sunday morning with your beloved. If you’re ever going for a romantic breakfast… this is a good way to impress.
Come on. Look at how flaky that is. Are you hungry yet?