Flavors of Fall

Mid-mountain bike ride break at “the Beaver Pond”
*Note: this is the name the Geuss family nicknamed the pond.

In my last post I briefly touched upon my appreciation of spices in the kitchen during fall. To be honest, it is more than an appreciation. Cooking in the fall (and winter) is a love of mine. I melt inside when I smell a pumpkin muffin baking in the oven; I drool over the scent of a fresh apple pie, tears of joy run down my cheeks when I bite into a warm, soft apple cider donut.

Okay, so maybe the last one was a bit much, considering I dislike donuts and cakes. But, unless you are made of cold stone, the smell of them will give you a warm, fuzzy feeling all over.  Not to mention warm, homemade gingerbread with moist maple cream cheese frosting…Ouu that’ll knock your socks off.* Even fall beverages make me giddy as a school girl. Ginger tea, and pumpkin spice lattes–the one flavored coffee I can tolerate? (However , I just researched the nutritional content of this beverage, and upon learning that it cannot be made “skinny,” resulted in a very sad Molly walking out of a Starbucks with no beverage in hand…I think the Barista thought I was nuts…Not to mention it was the first time I have been in a Starbucks in a couple years). Then, of course, there is the pumpkin ale. Mmmm.

Hmm, maybe my lust over fall baking/drinks might be making my man jealous…

Anyway, the baker in me, for some odd reason, seemed to have disappeared for awhile. I remember going on baking sprees in college and the first couple years living alone, where I’d bake cookies, brownies, muffins, different type of cookies, cupcakes…You name it….And, this would happen in one afternoon, usually the day before a final exam or something highly important in my life. Of course, living in a house full of females who would faint before they dared eat one of my baked goods (that, or spend hours at the gym on an elliptical), did not help disperse the plethora of sugar and spice I had created. Then again, I developed friendships with all the males I knew. Seriously, guy+ unbelievable homemade cupcake= friend for life. Note (mainly to my man if he reads this): don’t worry, I no longer speak to any of these guys…Or girls for that matter.

Once the stresses of college and work left, my baking dwindled to an odd cake or cake pop here or there, or the batch of brownies for nurses at work (whose famous last words are always: Ouuu brownies? I shouldn’t…I’m on a diet…Well, I will start the diet tomorrow and consume three servings over the course of a morning. I admit it, I have said those words too).

This fall, however, is different. Maybe it is because of the man, and my female internal instincts to make sure her man is well fed and nourished. Or maybe it is because I cleaned and organized my closet and realized how much baking ingredients I actually own. Who knows really. What I do know is, I want to experiment with the different flavors of fall this year. That means, go out of my comfort zone and create/bake new foods I have never baked before. No, I am not in college (however, am studying for the GMAT to apply for school) and I no longer have hundreds of hungry male college friends to feed (that was an over exaggeration). But, I do have my man’s work and work colleagues who now give me an excuse to bake for, as well as stressed nurses at work.

It has already begun…Pumpkin bread. The pumpkin cookies mentioned in my last post. Halloween, or should I say, ‘a-month-before-halloween-halloween’ themed cupcakes for the man’s work (who actually witnessed an almost “Molly Baking Spree” last night when I made Orange cranberry bread, and spice cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting–also for his work friends).

The cow teapot says they are “Moooooocho bueno”

I have a long list of other things I want to try baking this season, including:

Homemade pumpkin pie pop tarts

Apple cider cupcakes with caramel frosting

Pumpkin pecan cranberry cupcakes

Pumpkin pie from scratch…meaning, puree my own pumpkin

(which I have only done once in third grade under adult supervision)

Apple caramel scones

…And the list continues, but I do not want to overwhelm myself right now, or cause you to drool on your keyboard…Sorry did I say ‘you’? I meant ‘I.’

To finish this post, I must give credit to my man, who makes amazing homemade applesauce. Many months ago, I, myself dabbled in the art of applesauce making, under his strict supervision that is…In other words, I only cut the apples, and he did the rest. After taste testing two different sauces made by different types of apples, I have concluded that Shizuka (say that really fast**) apples make  hands down amazing applesauce! Well done, K.

Winning applesauce is on the right…Please ignore the “finger-dipping” marks.
Neither were made with additives or coloring…Nor the harming of anything except for apples.

Happy fall cooking!

*Yes, I do associate gingerbread more with winter cooking.But, that is a post in itself.

** I really have no idea what happens when you say “Shizuka” really fast, but if you actually did when you read this, I am secretly laughing inside.

Fall, How I’ve Missed You.

Fall.

My favorite time of year. From the crisp, cool air to the rainbow of gold speckled foliage…From warm apple pie to pumpkin spice tea…Mmmm, I can smell the aroma of cinnamon and cloves in my kitchen already.

To commemorate the start of autumn, I thought it would be fun to go apple picking. It has been two years since I picked apples for the first time with my Aussie pal (which I wrote about here). After passing the “Pick-Your-Own” signs on my way to-and-from work, I thought it would be fun to pick pumpkins and apples….And what better way to strengthen a relationship, than to drag your man along with you?

Despite waking up with my throat killing me and my sinus’s at war with each other in my head, I decided to buck up and enjoy a weekend off, especially after working a seventeen hour shift at the hospital (read: ohh-my-goodness-I-want-to-kill-myself hour shift.) I guess it’s that time of year when I need to start consuming double the daily dose of vitamin C. Armed with packets of tissues, chap stick, and tummies full of Taste Budd’s breakfast sandwiches, we made our way to the orchards.

K and I first went to the same orchard I went to two years ago, only to find there were no apples on the trees.Bummed, we headed to the pumpkin patch before trying another orchard (Lord knows there are a zillion apple orchards in this area of Dutchess County). To my inner child’s delight, we were greeted by a field of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes.

I forced my man to sit in a field of orange gourds so I could use the 10-second timer and take (possibly the cutest) pictures of us.

Christmas card 2012?

I then went on to plan the outside fall decorations of our houses…Martha Stewart, you would be proud of my pumpkin choices.

Albino pumpkin and green pumpkins are always in Martha’s magazines

I was overjoyed when in a field of orange I found my sought-after albino pumpkin (note: I have no idea of that is the correct name for these white pumpkins, but that is what I call them).

Yes, we all know I’m a dork

K had to have his share of fun too. To think he just turned thirty.

I still heart him.

My pumpkin

Our trip to Grieg Farm was a success!

After time in the pumpkin patch, we headed north towards Meads Orchard in search of apples. And apples we found.

K took some flattering pictures…And some not so flattering pictures of me.

Give a girl a beak…I mean break…

I’m starting to think there is a resemblance between Kevin the Bird from the Pixar movie “Up,” and me when I try apples.

Go pick them apples.

I wasn’t the only one overjoyed finding apples.

Ohh crap, there’s a bee…

K did some tree climbing.

Uh, Molly, could use some help please?

I did some apple crate climbing.

And then, after a sip of water (or gallon in K’s case), we went to explore the farm (not really sure if we were actually allowed to do such, but, ohh well.) We came across a different type of pumpkin, which excited me enough to run and attempt to pick up thirty (plus) pound gourds.

Never stop a man from drinking his water.

Grrr

K, I really want this one. Pleaseeeeeeeee.

Are you really going to deny this girl a pumpkin?

Seriously, she seem’s super excited about this vegetable.

I then went on to tell K to pick up a really heavy pumpkin. No joke, it was heavy.

C’mon, you can do it! Put your back in to it! (Well, lift from the legs)

After prancing in the pumpkin field, I spotted small red objects, thinking, are those strawberries? In September?

Always tell the man to try fruits to make sure they are safe to eat.

Yes, they were strawberries…In September.

It was K’s time to get excited.

Men can prance in fields too, you know.

So what if he might grow a sixth finger in a month from eating these (probably) over-sprayed pesticide drenched strawberries?

Alas, before we knew it, it was time to head home, so I could bake and fill the house with all the frangrances of fall.

Lighter-than-air pumpkin cookies

Today’s outing: a success

When was the last crazy post written?

September 2012
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Monthly Archives of my nonsense