I don’t know whether it’s witnessing the trees turn rich, velvety shades of red, orange and yellow; the simple joy of a long walk on a brisk October afternoon followed up with a mug of hot apple cider; or giving myself one more reason to crawl in my comfy, warm bed with a Jake Gyllenhaal movie.
All I know is fall makes me insanely happy.
While technically the coming of fall happened last week, the mild temperatures in Wisconsin are still hovering in the mid-60s. Born and raised a tough Midwestern gal, I am a firm believer it doesn’t actually feel like fall until those digits start dropping into the 50s. However, since it’s my absolute favorite season, I have no problem getting into the autumn groove no matter what the weather.
Case in point, I bought my first cinnamon candle of the season…
If you must know, the only candles that are lit in my house from September to February are of the cinnamon kind. Cinnamon sugar, apple cinnamon, cinnamon maple, cinnamon spice…I don’t care what it is as long as cinnamon is somehow in the title.
Another thing I appreciate about this most splendid time of year is the sudden plethora of fall-flavored goodies one can find at the store. While I am pretty sure Kashi’s Pumpkin Pecan granola bars are sold year-round, I don’t feel quite right eating them unless it’s fall.
For the record, Mama Everythingtarian demanded (yes, demanded!) I pick these up at Tarjay this weekend, and I am so glad I did. Not only are they a delicious, 120-calorie snack, but the luscious pumpkin glaze on these bars is worth licking off and eating by itself.
I wouldn’t joke about a thing like that.
In fact, I may have already done it.
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, apples, maple syrup – to me, these are the most quintessential of fall ingredients.
What do you get when you combine six of those aforementioned ingredients together?
An exquisite Sunday dinner consisting of Angharad’s Coconut-Lime Grilled Chicken, roasted acorn squash + drizzle of maple syrup and Quinoa with Almonds, Apples + Currants. I can’t even pick a favorite dish out of the three, because each added such a lovely component to this meal.
The Coconut-Lime Grilled Chicken was moist, tender and protein-packed…
The Quinoa with Almonds and Currants (with the Everythingtarian addition of diced apples) was fluffy, spiced and bursting with unique flavors and contrasting textures…
And the roasted acorn squash + maple syrup was creamy and comforting with a touch of sweet…
The best part? I have leftovers for the next three days.
Another reason why I’m not going to fight the season is that despite the fact Wisconsin feels more like summer than anything resembling the beautiful season I never know whether to call fall or autumn, Starbucks has officially brought out the big marketing guns in the form of Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
If I am going to be honest, this is in fact a Grande Soy Misto with two pumps of Pumpkin Spice. The lattes are a bit much for me, except if it’s of my beloved winter Gingerbread kind. If you keep reading my blog through the end of 2010, I will guarantee you the appearance of a Gingerbread Latte in a post titled, “Winter Makes Me Cold, Damn Cold.”
Between the warm scent of cinnamon candles, fall-flavored goodies, harvest-themed dinners full of classic autumn flavors, Starbucks seasonal drinks and perfectly crunchy, local Honeycrisp apples…
Fall just makes me happy.
Some may call me weird for declaring my love for an intangible thing as this; some may say, “Whoa! That girl is sure easy to please!”; and some may even join in my slightly obsessive love for all things pumpkin (minus the pie).
Some may also want to help and tell me what to do with this big guy…
For the love of fall, ideas please?