Sunday, October 23, 2011

fall cookin'

I wanted to pop in and share with you two recipes you MUST make. The first is from Apples for Jam and uses up apples which are currently plentiful here at the farmer's markets. Apple bread!
I made mine without the walnuts, well, because I'm not crazy about nuts in bread (and I also didn't have any walnuts). Apple Bread (walnuts optional!)

3/4 c sugar
1/4 lb. plus 3 tbsp. softened butter
2 eggs
1 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom (I used ground coriander, it was fine)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
about 2 apples, peeled, cored, coarsely grated
2/3 c walnuts, lightly toasted/coarsely chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 c walnuts, finely chopped
1/3 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

heat oven to 350F. butter and flour a loaf pan. beat together sugar/butter till "fluffy" ... add eggs, beat them in well. add flour/baking soda/baking powder/cardamom/cinnamon/pinch salt. mix well. add apples, walnuts, vanilla. mix well. scrape into loaf pan. for the topping, mix those three things together and scatter abundantly over the batter. bake 45 min but check after 30. cover top with foil if it's already quite brown. cool slightly, then turn out carefully. serve slightly warm (of course!!) ... this bread is SUPER moist and delicious!!!

The second is a recipe I've been making every fall for years, pumpkin lasagna!!. I just finished off two big slices fresh out of the oven. Divine!! I just use 1 tbsp. ground sage when there's no fresh.

This week, planning on making tofu burgers and potato salad and slow-cooked dry beans as well. I'm learning how to work two jobs and having very little time to cook. I also pulled a huge bag of homemade bean and lentil and veg stew leftover from a friend's dinner party that I'll use for one or two meals this week.

Today was my first day off in a while, so the beagle bestie and I went for a bit of an unplanned "urban hike" that was park parkland, part neighborhood. we ate lunch under cloudy skies from a local deli ... on a park bench in a post-industrial part of town facing a flood wall. sounds kind of gritty. it was. i felt a bit gritty afterward. we both loved it. I am happy to be nesting a bit, staying in more, feathering the nest.

Making plans for the summer, oh, a mere seven months from now. I'm basically planning on getting a teaching job that takes me closer to home for a while to save money and progress my career in Montessori. For now, I'm trying to make two jobs work to pay bills. It's not going to be easy. It's a lot of hours, probably no days off, just snatches of time. This may not work with me suddenly being the only mommy of a dog. So we'll see about that. If you know me, you know I do NOT like feeling overwhelmed, even if I do need the money.

I am not knitting nearly enough. This must change! Perhaps when I've caught up on my Mad Men and Grey's Anatomy episodes. This year, I've all but decided to give up on the idea of Christmas. Well, not the spirit of it. I plan on donating to St. Jude's as I do every year, and Farm Sanctuary since I missed their walk due to working at Trader Joe's. I will buy things for my parents and grandparents and brother, small things (I have a $30 credit at a used bookstore here that will help ...). But travel, dog care, even knitted items for friends or the fair trade gifts I usually buy .... will have to be spread out throughout the year. It's just the money situation right now. I found myself in an unexpectedly tough place and stressing over this holiday won't help. For me, Christmas will be about simplicity. But I will so miss being home. It will be my first Christmas EVER away. .....

Oh, so yeah ... not knitting for anyone this Christmas. It makes a craft that I enjoy doing much too stressful and my eyes get really strained the two or three weeks before the holiday b/c that's all I do, literally. Projects: dog sweater, finishing a scarf (gift from last year ...oy) and shawl (for me), I'd love to knit a pair of socks and legwarmers for me, and start another scarf for a friend and a shawl for my grandmother, and dishcloths, dishcloths ... but oh how my attitude changes when there are no deadlines!

 I still plan on getting coasters sewn ... my goal is before new year's. And painting my bedroom shimmery gold! Hope you all have a wonderful week. Do yourself a favor, and keep it simple! I'll be giving myself those reminders, too!

1 comment:

  1. We're SERIOUSLY feeling the money pressure, too, ugh. :( I hate it SO MUCH. It's not like you or I are big spenders!!!! I don't buy $800 purses or designer jeans. And yet we're still the ones suffering, even though all we'd do with a bit more money would be feel more COMFORTABLE. Not go out on a shopping spree! Just...not worry so much. =/

    Anyway. Blerg, is what I have to say about THAT. But I am glad as always that you are managing to find the wonder, comfort, and joy in the little things. That's what it's all about, honestly. I just wish that I weren't so broke, because I really was thinking it'd be awesome if I could visit YOU around the holiday season this year...! Perhaps I can still swing it - we'll talk. I know you'll also be super busy so I wouldn't want to impose!

    Anyway - I'll stop babbling! Love you bunches!!!! And please continue being the inspiring, amazing woman that you are to me. I don't know what I'd do without your reminders of what is important, truly important, in life. <3