Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Quick Update

Oh, what to talk about today? In truth, not much has been going on in my own little foodie universe. I have been busy with work and school and life in general, leaving less and less time for cooking and watching Food Network and so on. Some highlights to hit on:
I went to visit my grandparents over the weekend – something I try to do every month or so. They live about three and a half hours away, and I always enjoy my visits. While there, I had my last lobster roll of the season. We go to this really cool place called the Clam Shack. It is just a seasonal stand with picnic tables outside. The menu is heavy in classic New England seafood dishes, including the infamous lob-stah roll. They do a really good job on it, too. A simple grilled and buttered roll, topped with 100% lobster – no mayo, no filler – served with a side of onion rings and a pickle. Perfect!
Yesterday I went to the grocery store and stocked up on ingredients to make three different autumn suppers, all of which I am looking forward to preparing (and eating). The first is a skillet rosemary chicken. I can use rosemary from my herb garden, which is always extra special. This lemony rosemary chicken is prepared completely in one skillet, and served with new potatoes. Yum. The second dish is a turkey cutlet with herb gravy (again from the garden) and an apple celery salad. The third and final meal is one I have prepared before, tried and true (whereas these other two are new). It is an autumnal roast of sorts – baby potatoes, chicken, italian sausage, shallots, and black grapes are all roasted together with EVOO and herbs, and then topped off with a balsamic drizzle. I got this recipe from Rachael Ray (of course), and it has become one of my favorite easy, simple cold weather meals. And it is supposed to be chilly this weekend – highs in the lower 50s! Brrr.
I am pretty sure I see another apple pie in my future. This time I will be sure to take a pic and post the recipe. I have been eating a lot of different varieties of apples this fall, when they are all so plentiful. As a native Northeasterner, I am of course biased toward the macintosh – and with good reason, in my opinion. They are sweet but not too sweet, juicy, and they stand up well to baking and other cooking methods (such as homemade applesauce). To answer a previous comment, macs are usually my apple of choice for making pies. I do try to incorporate some variety to add interest to the pie, so I might use mostly macs but include one or two apples of a different variety. Same goes for applesauce and apple crisp (another seasonal favorite that I have not even touched on yet). My favorite apple for just munching on, however, is the honeycrisp. Crunchy, as the name implies, and sweeter than most, they are the perfect snack. Too bad they also tend to be a bit pricier than other varieties.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Apples, pumpkins, and fall foliage, oh my!

It is autumn! Okay, maybe not technically for a few more weeks (Sept. 23, to be exact), but can’t you smell it in the air? We can here in Vermont – mums are starting to grace the front porch steps, gourds and pumpkins are making their way into the supermarkets, and the apple orchards are in full swing. And of course, the leaves are already starting to get a tinge of vibrant color. Fall has always been my favorite season, as it marks the beginning of the phenomenal eating of months to come.
This past weekend, I had my first Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffin of the season – something I look forward to for the whole month of August. I don’t know what it is about these muffins, but they are so good – moist, with candied pumpkin on top and a cream cheese filling. I could die with happiness from eating one. Also over the weekend, I made my first apple pie of the season. No pictures, but no worries – there will be many more to come. I take a lot of pride in my apple pies. They are simple yet undeniably delicious, topped with fresh whipped cream…and no, I see no reason for modesty here. I am going apple picking this weekend, and am already wracking my brain for ways to use all the fresh local fruit. Another pie, to be sure – my co-workers requested that I bring one in, and I’m happy to oblige. Lumpy applesauce is also a must. What else? Maybe a tart? Or perhaps a savory application for chicken or pork? I’m sure I’ll find many yummy ways to use them up.
As you might guess, fall is also the gateway to my two favorite holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas – both of which just happen to be jam packed with lots of delicious goodies. Is there anything better that Thanksgiving dinner, with turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes and green bean casserole and cranberry sauce and orange Jell-O and pumpkin pie and….I guess I am getting a little carried away. Seriously, though. It is fantastic. I do tend to get carried away with the holidays (my home is already decorated with leaves and gourds and candles), but I think it is part of what makes me so endearingJ.