A Novemberish Friday Fifteen.

Wow. It was a month ago that I last posted. Crazy, right? I apologize. First,  I had a water leaking issue in my kitchen that caused most of my upper cabinets to be ripped down (along with the walls behind them and ceiling above, etc), then for over two weeks I was very sick, and then when I recovered my cat got sick. $2,500 dollars later she’s finally better. Life throws you curveballs! So the blog had to take a backseat for a while.

*sigh*

But I’m back!

And I’m back with a Friday  Fifteen. Chock full of amazing fall/Thanksgiving/whatever awesomeness.

A Novemberish Friday Fifteen

1. Some of my favorite Thanksgiving-y pies: bourbon sweet potato pumpkin, black-bottom oatmeal, shoo-fly pie, salty honey pie, and winter squash pie with brandy whipped cream. You won’t be sorry if you stick with ANY of them.

2. Speaking of pie- 5 ways to prevent soggy pie crusts!

3. Here in New York, November has a tendency to be really rainy. I was desperately in need of new rain boots since ever single pair I had cracked and the rubber rotted. So I needed rubber rain boots (and snow boots too, so I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on the rain boots- no Hunter’s this year) and so I got a pair of Sporto Nova’sLOVE THEM. The built-in gray “sock top” keeps cold air and rain from getting in the boots and they’re lined in a fleecy fabric. Great purchase! I highly recommend them. Plus they’re “cheap” enough that when the and if the rubber cracks, I won’t lament the cost. Now for snow boots, I’m thinking Sorel. We can get a lot of snow!

4. Want the perfect Thanksgiving cocktail? Apple snap cocktails from Joy the Baker win at life.

5. The two-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy came and went. Thankfully we’re safe from hurricanes this year! Or maybe I should hold my breath until December 1st?

6. In terms of coats for the upcoming season, I’m in love with this tipped peacoat, the stadium cloth boulevard trench in ‘neptune green, and the bow coat in ‘vibrant fuschia’, all from J. Crew.

7. I think I want some awesome Mason Jar lighting in my new kitchen.

8. Into the Woods! Into the Woods! I can’t wait. Check out the moving posters!

9. Delicious light meal for the fall/winter, this is it: Rainbow chard & roasted pear salad from Brooklyn Supper.

10. For a not-so-light side dish: bourbon glazed sweet potatoes from Kleio’s Greasy Spoon.

11. Now that my hair is finally getting longer, and it’s a pretty bright red now, I can plan on doing something like this with it.

12. My new beverage obsession: Trader Joe’s organic tea and lemonade. Yum. Like summer in a bottle.

13. As we’re thinking about getting married SOON- aka this winter, this shoot drew me in. Lovely. More traditional than I’m going for, but still.

14. MUST GO TO NUTERIA!

15. I think I need to order like 6,000 pairs of these for the winter. $8 bucks a pop!

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Tart, sweet & spicy apple rings.

Canned spiced apple rings.

You’re seeing apples everywhere aren’t you? They’re crazy this time of year. And when you live in a state like New York that’s known for it’s apples, you really see ‘em everywhere. It’s almost as bad as pumpkin (which has already been popping up, too). And I’m sure you’re thinking, “I’M OVER IT.”

This recipe is a bit different than your average September apple-fare, however.

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Black bottom, a new rhythm.

Black bottom oatmeal pie recipe from Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie shop.

I love pie plates. Whenever I see one, I’m drawn to it. Big ones, small ones, ruffled ones, plain ones. I love them all. I don’t even make pie that often, but for whatever reason I just love ‘em. I don’t have all that many… maybe 6 or 7. But I just adore them. And really, when one has so many cute pie plates, they ought to be making more pies, amirite?

However pies are usually not my bag. I can make them just fine, but the crust is a pain in my ass & I’m always paranoid that the filling won’t set. I’m more comfortable with cakes than pies.

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Hard cider jelly… yes please!

Jelly made using Woodchuck hard apple cider.

When (if ever) is it appropriate to quote Destiny’s Child when posting a jelly recipe? Just asking for a friend.

“I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly”: A few months ago, the folks at Woodchuck Hard Cider asked me to create some recipes with their ciders. They sent me a bunch of different ones to sample & create with, and when I got them it was so hot out I couldn’t even think of cooking. So, I made a cocktail. And it was delicious.

But now that it’s fall, and it’s apple-time, I started thinking about those other ciders. And I thought, “Why not make a hard cider jelly?” I did it with champagne, Guinness, and tea (twice! No- three times!), so why the hell not use a hard apple cider?

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Toasted walnut maple cupcakes… with a maple rye whiskey butter glaze.

Toasted walnut maple cupcakes! With a maple rye whiskey glaze!

For some reason, I always associate the maple-y flavors with fall. Maybe because that’s when maple syrup is tapped? Maybe because it goes great with pumpkin & cinnamon & nutmeg- all fall/winter flavors. Who knows. And even though it isn’t “fall” yet, the kids are back at school, the stores are shoving Halloween & Thanksgiving stuff in your face, and- like me- you probably have baking season fever. It’s a real thing, I swear.

So… here’s a cure.

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Hashtag caraway pickles, hashtag end-of-season garden.

Caraway seed pickle recipe.

Summer might be over, but the weather begs to differ. My garden is in full swing- cucumbers and tomatoes all over the place, green beans like crazy, banana peppers quicker than I can keep up with. Literally I picked 4 of them on Sunday and three more today. But I know it’s nearing the end, so I’m trying to enjoy them. And if I can’t do that, then get them all preserved or used up as fast as I can.

I made this big ol’ jar of pickles specifically for my dad. Other than me, he’s the only big caraway seed fan in the family. Sad thing is, I don’t like pickles. So this is allllll him. It’s a really easy recipe that doesn’t require canning, so you can make it and toss it in the fridge to let it sit a few days. I just put it in a repurposed spaghetti sauce mason jar.

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