Hillary, a cook on another food blog called Chew on That, put up a post today that shows how she made the butternut squash risotto with saffron and sage. She made it for Rosh Hashanah, which starts tonight, and modified the recipe so she could serve it along with a meat dish and keep it kosher (she just took away all the dairy.) She did a great job, and I think you should all take a look at it and give her a comment for a job well done.
It has been so hot lately (and I think you all know how I feel about that!), but now that the weather is actually pleasant, I’ll take the time to tell you about our little day at the pumpkin farm. I say little because it lasted all of forty-five minutes.
I had had dreams of a breezy fall day in the crisp cool air. We would wear thick hand-knit sweaters, pick bushels of apples, find the perfect pumpkins. Then we’d come in from the cold and have cider and doughnuts.
It felt more like we were in a scene in Grapes of Wrath, complete with ninety degree heat, dead crops, and dust.
We had fun, but I will be glad to be in New England soon, where I can have a real fall!
Well, yesterday I had a horrible time thinking of new and innovative recipes. After deliberating for the whole morning and most of the afternoon, I finally decided on a caramel sauce I had been wanting to try. I thought how nice and simple that would be—apple slices and caramel. And it will take only ten minutes!
It did not take ten minutes. My first batch burned, and I had to send my husband out to buy more cream. Then I wasn’t happy with the photography. I was very stressed out and pathetically dramatic. (Now my kids’ teachers will know how close to the tree the apple lands around this house.)
When I could see that a new post for yesterday was impossible, late last night I made some apple crisp to pair up with some ice cream and the improved batch of caramel sauce. I hope you like it.
It’s 82 degrees outside today. But I will press forward with the fall recipes.
I was pretty happy with the way this recipe turned out. Then again, I would be happy with pretty much anything that has a handful of parmesan cheese thrown into it.
Fall should have been here by now.
New England always felt like fall at least a week or two before the autumnal equinox. Here in the Rocky mountains, we’re still waiting. This could go on, with 75 degree highs everyday, until a week before Halloween. Then it will snow, and my children will freeze their little fingers and toes when they go trick-or-treating.
I hate being cheated out of fall.
I usually make these pumpkin cookies the first time there’s a nip in the air. It seems like that will never happen. But that doesn’t mean that all the rest of you aren’t in your own homes, curled up next to real fires (as opposed to my make-believe gas fireplace fire), drinking hot apple cider and roasting marshmallows. So if you are one of those people who are already enjoying a cool autumn, this recipe is for you (but they’re still good, no matter how hot it is).
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What you see in the picture is not what we ate.
When I was making the egg salad, the kids pulled the kitchen chairs up to the island to watch. Everything was in the bowl, ready to mix, when I went to get a spoon. As I turned my back, I heard a sound, like sand pouring out of a glass. Then my two-year-old started shouting, “I did it! I helped you!”
In the bowl was a mountain of salt.
I thought I got it all out, but as I stirred, I heard the crystals scraping along the bottom of the bowl.
A word of caution: be careful with the salt. You can always add more—you can’t always take it out.
When my husband was still in college, I used to go to a little apple shop in Provo, Utah called Allred Orchards. They sold canisters of dried tart cherries which were so addicting I had to exercise major restraint to not eat them all in under three days. Since then, dried cherries have become more widely available at grocery stores. I buy mine at Whole Foods, and I’ve even seen them at Target.
I’m a huge C. S. Lewis fan. In his autobiography, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, he takes great lengths to discuss his education. He said his father bought every book he had ever read, so Lewis was at liberty to read anything lying about the house. When Lewis’s boarding school experiences proved to be disastrous, his father sent him to live with his own former college professor William T. Kirkpatrick (the inspiration for Professor Kirk in the Chronicles of Narnia), who was his private tutor for years and taught Lewis to think logically.
Since reading it, my dream has been to get wealthy and hire a live in governess to teach my children privately. She could go on trips to Europe with us and tutor my children in logic, literature, and languages (no alliteration intended). A couple years ago, when I saw we weren’t getting rich, I thought I’d take a whack at homeschooling and volunteer myself as the governess. My son was very cooperative, and enjoyed the one on one teaching, but after about six months we abandoned it for several reasons with which I won’t bore you.
Homeschooling was not a waste of time, by any means. I had based the curriculum on Jessie Bauer and Susan Wise Bauer’s book, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, which has become a homeschooling standard on classical education. With it, Stuart learned much more history and literature than public schools would ever try to cover, and we even began Latin. Since my dream of giving him the perfect education has halted until we have an extra $70,000 every year to pay the governess, he and I try as often as we can to supplement his learning with things the book suggests for people who can’t homeschool: world history, writing, literature, and logic. That way, when I write my best-selling novel, or my husband becomes a real estate tycoon, the governess won’t have to start from scratch.
A couple years ago we stopped by my friend Alisa‘s house quite unexpectedly. I don’t know how she pulled it together, but she served us a lovely dinner with broiled fish and these amazing sausage stuffed mushrooms. Since I had some leftover sausage from the tortellini soup, I tinkered around in my kitchen this week and made something close to Alisa’s mushrooms. They are just delicious. My husband and I must have eaten 25 of them in one evening.
I believe in cream cheese. Brownies are fine on their own, but I usually have the will power to pass them up. Adding this cheese-cakey swirl on top makes these difficult to resist.
These are so easy; you only need two bowls, and you don’t need a mixer.