The unofficial end to summer is here, but don’t fret, here are my top ten reasons to look forward to fall!
1. Apple cider doughnuts: I LOVE to bake, and I’m pretty good at it, but nothing compares to a hot, fresh apple cider donut from the farm, complete with cinnamon and sugar-coating. One of the first things I do when summer is over is plan my apple picking trip. When and where to go, a list of what I want to make and of course if they sell fresh donuts! I’ve been to a few great apple picking locations in Massachusetts over the years: Nashoba valley (which also doubles as a wine tasting venue…can’t go wrong there), and Smolak Farms (which also has great strawberry picking in the summer), but the best cider donuts were from Shelburne Farms. They also had the greatest variety of apples!
2. November Project: I’ve mentioned my awesome workout group once or twice before. I’ve been going to the workouts for about a year and a half. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, rain, snow, hot, humid, negative degree wind chills, etc. But it’s those crisp fall mornings that I look forward to the most. Being able to run hills or do stadiums without having a heat stroke or being bundled up in a million layers is the best!
3. Flip Flops: Let’s be real, this should probably be number one on the list! We still have a good 3 months before the snow comes (knock on wood) and we have to pack away the flip flops. Until then it’s a good pedi, a pair of jeans, your favorite hoodie and your trusty pair of flip flops!
4. Running: (Maybe that should read: comfortable running). It becomes insanely easier to run without the added humidity. Fall marathons always seem like a great idea until you’re doing long runs in August. You have to get up at the crack of dawn just to beat the heat and humidity. Here’s to hoping September mornings and evenings bring a little bit of relief. Marine Corps Marathon here I come!
5. Grilled Cheese and Soup: So I’m one of those people who thinks drinking coffee in the summer is weird, and don’t even get me started on ice cream in the winter. That’s why, for me, fall is the perfect season for grilled cheese and soup!! I like to try new soups recipes each year but one of my go to’s (and my very first blog post) is Butternut Squash Chipotle Soup. It’s healthy and delicious!
6. Crockpots: Just as grilling is synonymous with summer, I associate crockpots with fall. Coming home after a long day at work to a house filled with the smells of a home cooked meal is one of the greater things in life. Soups, Stews, Chillis, pulled pork or chicken. You name it and it can probably be cooked in a crockpot. I’ve even made oatmeal in it, which smells insanely delicious on a chilly fall morning,
7. Football: Are you ready for some football?? Football is by far my favorite sport. I love spending my Sunday afternoons, sitting on the couch in my sweats, smelling dinner cooking in the crockpot (see #6 above) and yelling at the TV. I have the unfortunate luck of being a Philadelphia Eagles fan, so for the past 20-30 years there has been a lot of yelling!!
8. Halloween: It’s not the actual holiday itself that I love but the costumes…lots and lots of costumes! As I’ve gotten older, less and less of my friends like to dress up. Luckily I married well and found myself a group of loonies that love costumes as much as I do (see #2 above). The Hubs and I usually go with a group or couple theme. My two faves over the years were the smurfs, and last years Annie and Daddy Warbucks!
9. Pumpkin: I’m not a huge coffee drinker, but I do LOVE most things pumpkin, so I totally get the pumpkin spiced latte craze that happens every year around this time of year. I add pumpkin to everything, brownies, cookies, soup, oatmeal, risotto, muffins, chili and of course pie! One of my favorite recipes is my mom’s Jewish Apple cake. I use a lot of the apples from #1 and substitute pumpkin purée for the oil. “Healthier” and Delicious!!
10. Sights and Smells: Fall marks the end of the rotting garbage smell (you know what I’m talking about if you live in a city) and the beginning of delicious and wonderful earthy smells. Burning fireplaces, crunchy leaves, cinnamon, apples, pumpkin, a lovely cup of tea. I live in New England, so leaf peeping is huge up here. Last week, I was inspired by a local author Maryanne O’hara to take a trip out to the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts. She wrote Cascade a novel based loosely on the events that lead to the building of the Quabbin, one of the largest drinking water reservoirs in the world. She recommended it as a great location to do some mid-fall leaf peeping, a little hiking and maybe some apple picking on the way out there!
What do you love most about fall? Any recipes you’d like to see here in the next few months?