Enjoying the Beauty of Autumn

Ive decided I want to start quarterly posts featuring what I love most about the current season and ways I’ve taken advantage of what the season offers. Its easy to let seasons come and go and feel like you were too busy to really enjoy it. Taking time to enjoy the simple pleasures of a season is a great thing to do for you mental health and happiness. I love the changing air, baking fall treats, and admiring the foliage. Im also a huge fan of fall flavored beers and being able to drink hot coffee again after living off iced coffees all summer. This fall has been rather busy with work, but that hasn’t stopped Corey and I from doing quite a few autumn related things! There is still plenty of fall to go but here is glimpse of how we’ve spent it so far.

Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard – Lafayette, NY

We kicked off fall — a few days before fall actually started — with a trip to Beak and Skiff Apple orchard for my birthday. Though the 80 degree weather wasn’t very fall like, it was a beautifully sunny day so we couldn’t complain.

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If you live in New York State and have never gone to Beak and Skiff, I highly recommend you make the effort to get there before the fall season ends. Its a beautifully designed little campus that features endless apple orchards along with a bakery, a hard cider tasting room, a bar serving signature drinks featuring 1911 distilled liquors, and ample amounts of tables and grassy areas to just sit and enjoy the weather and scenery. We did some damage and went home with a bottle of special edition hard cider, a bottle of gin, and about 5 lbs of apples.

Burrville Cider Mill – Burrville, NY

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Right outside the limits of our small city, is the adorable and quaint Burrville Cider Mill. It opens for business in the middle of August and people flock there as soon as possible get their hands on freshly pressed apple cider and freshly made apple cider donuts. The donuts. I can’t even tell you how delicious they are. Literally salivating thinking about them. Aside from cider and donuts, they have crates of apples, squash, and pumpkins. Its usually best to go in October if you want a killer selection of apples and pumpkins. For many years, my squash consumption was limited to standard green and yellow zucchini. While I do love zucchini, it can often become rather boring and bland to me. Id been jonesing to try delicata squash after seeing so many delicious recipes on Instagram and Pinterest, so when I saw a crate of them at the cider mill, I had to snag a few so I could finally try it. I am pretty sure that now its my favorite squash variation ever — Check back for a blog post with a simple delicata squash recipe! — We went home with piping hot cider donuts, fresh cider, pumpkins, squash, and a couple more pounds of apples (I can’t stop). We’ve been toying around with different cocktail recipes involving the apple cider! Our favorite was an Apple Cider Moscow Mule. Seriously so delicious — vodka, Q brand ginger beer, apple cider, and a rosemary sprig.

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Fall Baking and Pumpkin Eats

You’re probably wondering what on earth I’ve done with all of the apples we’ve gotten this fall, and the answer is: SO MUCH APPLE CRISP. I’ve made two so far and am literally about to make another in the next few days. While I love making homemade apple pies from scratch, an apple crisp is about 1000 times easier and just as delicious. Its much easier to change around ingredients and make adjustments to a crisp topping than it is to a pie crust.

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Fall is also the perfect time of year to put pumpkin in and on everything. One of my favorite ways to use pumpkin is to add it to spaghetti sauces and to make chili with pumpkin. Im also a pretty big sucker for pumpkin pancakes; who isn’t though?!

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Halloween Fun

A little over a week before halloween we went crazy and bought 2 large pumpkins for carving and 6 mini ones for painting. It was the first time either of us had carved a pumpkin in over 6 years. It was really enjoyable to just lay down some newspapers on the floor and carve out the pumpkins. –We save the seeds in a bowl so we could roast them. I soaked them overnight in a bowl of water with a dash of sea salt. The next morning I tossed them with avocado oil, cumin, cayenne, S+P and then roasted them at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Soaking them overnight cuts down on the roasting time.– After we carved our pumpkins we channeled our inner artist and painted a few mini pumpkins. We used the pumpkins to line our walkway on Halloween night. We were trying to be as obvious as possible that we were home so that we wouldn’t get stuck eating 5 lbs of candy all by ourselves. We had about 35 trick-or-treaters so it was a successful night. We dressed up as Bob and Linda Belcher from Bob’s Burgers and made the Jack-o-lentil burger from a recipe book inspired by the fictional burgers in the show. Corey and I want to continue to dress up on halloween for as long as we can, be it simple or elaborate. It makes it more fun, even if your just passing out some candy at home.

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Hope you’re all having an equally enjoyable autumn season; and If you haven’t been able to take advantage of it yet, its never too late! Stay tuned for plenty of thanksgiving recipes in the coming weeks! Bye for now loves! — Meg