Baking our way into fall

photo-80Fall officially started this weekend, and we welcomed the equinox with a lot of baking. I made the cover recipe from this month’s Cooking Light: chocolate-covered banana bread. Light sour cream, substituted for some of the butter, cuts the fat but keeps it moist. Pretty tasty if I say so myself.

My husband made an apple pie and apple sauce with the apples we picked last weekend. A few of them are already starting to go bad — quite a bit faster than we thought they would — so we’ve been figuring out all sorts of ways to use them. I cooked a few with pork chops and teriyaki sauce tonight. I welcome other apple-based recipe recommendations.

The temperature is definitely starting to drop. The mornings have been about 60 degrees — perfect for running. I did 6 miles both mornings this weekend, and hope to repeat that a few more days this week. Now is the time of the year to rack up the miles. I won’t hit my 1000 mile goal for the year, but I could make up some of the gap if this weather continues.

We celebrated our middle kid’s 4th birthday this weekend. We held the party at this ridiculous institution around here called Bounce U. It’s a couple of rooms full of bouncy house type equipment, and the kids absolutely love it. OK, I will admit I went down the slides a few times myself under the guise of helping the children. My son got to sit on a plastic throne while we had cake. I found myself really wanting a chair like that for my office.

My 6-year-old and I spent some time writing together while the others were at soccer practice. He elected to write a guide book about Disney World, done by hunting and pecking on the family computer. I started work on a post for Fast Company. He insisted on comparing how many words we’d written in the 25 minutes or so we were writing, which was a slightly tense moment — he has a tendency to get upset about things that shouldn’t be competitions but that become so to him. “Mommy, you wrote more words than me.” “But I’ve been writing for a long time.” “Yeah, like 14 years!” “Maybe even longer.” “Like 20 years!” “So I’ve had a lot of practice. When you’ve been practicing 20 years, you’ll write fast.” “As fast as you?” “Faster, since I wasn’t practicing as much at age 6 as you are.” He liked that — and went back to work. I’m definitely trying to encourage a “growth” mindset around here. People are not good or bad at things. We get better at things the more we work at them. Hopefully he learns to see that. 

7 thoughts on “Baking our way into fall

  1. Since summer starts so late in Seattle, I’m steadfastly refusing to acknowledge fall yet, though our days are limited. (Yesterday was 70 degrees and sunny, though.)

    I’m not a huge fan of cooked apple things, but have seen many recipes for overnight crockpot oatmeal with apples in it.

  2. Apple crisp with sherry sauce–your dad’s favorite!

    Chicken waldorf salad–celery, apples, walnuts and chicken. Delicious!

  3. My family’s favorite Thanksgiving treat – Apples in the crockpot. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving because I start it on Wednesday night so it requires absolutely no prep on Thanksgiving. Wash, cut and slice enough apples to fill your crockpot – as many varieties as you like – I even used to use a couple pears in the mix. Add sweetness and seasonings to your taste – I usually use a small bit of brown sugar and lots of cinnamon, maybe some nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice. Turn the crockpot on before you go to bed and you wake to the smell of Thanksgiving. Hot apples can be for breakfast or by dinner its a nice smooth sauce. Leftovers are great hot or cold although we usually don’t have much of it leftover.

  4. Savory pie: I start with a pie crust and spread about a half inch of boiled and mashed sweet potatoes on the crust. Then sprinkle half a pound cooked sausage (country style not Italian). Next is a layer of apple slices. Sometimes we add 1/4 cup cider or slices of Gouda cheese on top. Finally, cover with a second pie crust with vent holes. Bake at 325F until the crust is lightly brown and juice is bubbling at the vents, probably 45-50 minutes. Serve as a meal. Enjoy!

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