Fall Makes Me Happy, Part 3

by Holly on September 27, 2010

in dinner,rambling,snacks

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.

Don’t believe me? Check out Part 1 or Part 2.

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.

Twice.

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?

This.

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?

{ 35 comments }

Evan Thomas September 27, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Definitely go for Gena’s butternut smoothie! It lookd delicious

That meal looks perfect. I’ve been having acorn squash up my wazoo(not even sure where that is). It’s just perfect with syrup, cinnamon, and salt,

Matt September 27, 2010 at 8:09 pm

For some reason that chicken looks really good…

Lauren September 27, 2010 at 8:09 pm

There are so many things about fall that make me happy too. But all food related. I actually don’t like the coolness in the air because it just reminds me that brutal winter is in the future. Ugh, I hate the cold.
But amen for squash, cinnamon, pumpkin and apples! They seem to make Fall worth it. :)

Abby September 27, 2010 at 8:20 pm

The only think I would know to do with that squash is paint it to look like Mr. Peanut or something, but I wish you luck with an edible solution. Even though I love warm weather, I am also getting into fall here in Michigan.

I automatically want more warm bowls of goodness and less salad, more candles and less incense, more curling up on the couch and not feeling bad because it gets dark at 8pm now. Hip hip hooray!

Alex @ IEatAsphalt September 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Love the idea of getting pumpkin spice syrup in a misto. You didn’t think it was too sweet with the vanilla soy?

Kailey (SnackFace) September 27, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Oh that dinner looks like perfection! I know, I know, I don’t eat chicken, BUT STILL. It all looks incred.

I can’t do lattes either! So I do two pumps pumpkin in a medium coffee with an inch of steamed soy…some call it a misto, I call it “my drank.”

This was a beautifully written and constructed post. Thank you for some inspiration tonight, my friend! xoxoxoxo

Angharad September 27, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Let’s not go there…

BroccoliHut September 27, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Mmmm.. I love adding dried fruit to couscous!

Kaleigh September 27, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Once, I made butternut squash ravioli with wonton wrappers and it was devastatingly delicious. I believe it was a Giada de Laurentis recipe from Food Network, but it had crushed up gingersnaps inside the ravioli and was made with browned butter and sage sauce… oh goodness! It was super fall-esque!

Here it is!.. she actually called for amaretti cookies, but I did gingersnaps.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/butternut-squash-tortellini-with-brown-butter-sauce-recipe/index.html

I think I just convinced myself to make this in the very near future!

Erica September 27, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I do really enjoy fall foods- totally delicious. Squash, pumpkin, apple, cinnamon ANYTHING- I’m in. The couscous dish look fabulous too. Squash ideas: http://itzyskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/01/adjusted-tina-bars-acorn-squash-and.html and http://itzyskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/09/vegan-creamy-butternut-squash-soup.html

katie September 27, 2010 at 9:11 pm

oh my gosh so YOU just got me so excited about the seasons changing! I love fall but HATE WINTER!!! … i guess i need to be more positive eh? anyway i am LOVING sauteing my butternut squash in some EVOO and cooking em like hashbrowns!!! OR sweet and baked with butter and drizzled w. syrup!

Susan September 27, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I love fall too! It makes letting go of summer a heck of a lot easier. As for you squashie, everything is better in fry form. You know this is true.

Becca D September 27, 2010 at 11:54 pm

A squash that big…I’d make a curry stew out of it. In fact, that sounds so good, I might have to find me a giant squash…

Katie September 28, 2010 at 12:04 am

Butternut squash soup. Roast that sucker at 425 for about 45 min whole. Scoop out the flesh into a pot, add a can or so of vegetable broth, ginger, cinnamon and whatever spices you like. Simmer and puree. SO GOOD.

Madeline - Greens and Jeans September 28, 2010 at 12:29 am

Butternut squash and apple soup! Do you know what makes me happy? The fact that I get to see your lovely face SO soon!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 28, 2010 at 1:46 am

“the luscious pumpkin glaze on these bars is worth licking off and eating by itself.”–

omg I think i will be buying those bars JUST for that very reason. That glaze looks like a perfect healthy “fruit roll up” just kinda tacked on there and i would love to un-tack it :)

Uncle Tommie Timbertoes September 28, 2010 at 6:23 am

Refer back to yesterdays post with you holding that gourd in your hand. I say put a curly wig on it, a pair of sunglasses, and draw the same attitude half smile you have in that pic on it. Then take a new picture (with you in your shades holding this modified gourd). Now save that picture for a blog entry entitled “Am I out of my gourd?”

Maya September 28, 2010 at 7:44 am

I really, really want to light a cinnamon candle now. Unfortunately, I cannot do so in a dorm room. Maybe I could get one of those scent plug in thingys?

Kashi pumpkin pie bars are sold all year round and they’re delicious! Fall is a cozy time of year. If only it weren’t followed by winter…

brandi September 28, 2010 at 8:42 am

Your fall posts make me so happy :)

Butternut ideas:
risotto (with rice or barley or steel cut oats!)
pureed soup with apples
made into a pasta sauce
steamed and mashed, added to oatmeal, pancakes, etc
roasted in chunks

Kate September 28, 2010 at 9:01 am

i am feeling you on this one! i bust out my creamy nutmeg fall candle two weeks ago and have been lighting daily :) fall just makes me so happy. a trip to the apple orchard and watching the TC marathon this next weekend is going to rocket me into a state of fall euphoria. you have been warned.

laughed at your gingerbread latte comment. as much as i love fall, it means that winter is on the way. boooooooooo

Sami September 28, 2010 at 9:15 am

AYYYYYYMENNNN. I’ve got to get some of those kashi bars! i’m in <3 with all things pumpkin…and glaze… :)

for the bnut squash, this may sound random, but I steamed some until soft in the microwave, drizzled in sugar free syrup (maple would work too) and cinnamon. then i blended it up with 1/2 c. peanut flour….i'm telling you it's a foodgasm. one of the most delicious things i've eaten for AWHILE.

Kacy September 28, 2010 at 9:43 am

I lit my first cinnamon candle this weekend. I’d had it since my birthday but hadn’t felt it was the right time until the temps fell into the 70s. We’ve still been in the 90s up until last week so that was Fall enough for me!

Hmmm. butternut squash ravioli? butternut squash fries? butternut squash gnocchi? butternut/ginger soup?

Misty September 28, 2010 at 10:48 am

Fall is my favorite, too!!!! Make butternut squash fries! I can eat a whole squash in one sitting. I’ve got one at home right now. Going to make some tonight….YUM ;)

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete September 28, 2010 at 11:05 am

I love me some butternut squash soup! AND…with the butternut squash seeds toasted and sprinkled on top!

I love fall too. It is my favorite season as well as the hubs, and that is why we chose to get married in the fall with fall leaves everywhere. I’m starting to smell the fire places too! Sigh.

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete September 28, 2010 at 11:05 am

P.S. I’m sorry I’m behind in commenting! Life is crazy. Your post did make me a little more calm though! ;)

Mama Pea September 28, 2010 at 11:31 am

I’m going to buy a cinnamon candle today and light it “just because,” not because someone was just in the bathroom. :)

Make bnut squash fries! YUM. Plus, you know…ketchup.

emily (a nutritionist eats) September 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I am loving fall this year, it seems more so than in past years…not sure why, but yes to everything fall!
I love roasted squash, sauteed greens, brown rice and a balsamic reduction. Perfect meal and perfect leftovers!

Justine September 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Butternut squash: soup or curry!
I still haven’t bought one yet, but I am all over the cinnamon candles! :)

janetha g. @ meals & moves September 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm

i love fall, too! love it! i gotta find those bars. they look exquisite. dude. i have never handled a BN squash. i don’t even know what to do! but allison from GDW posted a good one recently!

Laura September 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm

wow, they really are some gorgeous fall foods!! such BEAUT colours too!

Virginia @YtotheUmmy September 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Fall is la bomba. It’s definitely one of my favorite seasons too :) I don’t know what you could do with the squash exactly. but I’m sure you could use it for any recipe that calls for sweet potatoes/pumpkin…

Mary @ Salads and Shakespeare September 28, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Hi Holly! I’m new to the food blogging world (I just made mine yesterday). I’ve already added those TLC bars to my grocery list. They look delicious – perfect for a quick pumpkin/pecan pie fix!

Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum September 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Butternut Squash Soup – I just posted a tasty easy recipe for it! :)

K September 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm

This post just made me smile. The first post I ever remember saving of yours was “Part 2” Those Cookies! I think it’s a sign I should make them soon. I might have to get creative if I can’t find all of the ingredients in Madrid. On that note – I have found some of the coolest food products here. More on that to come… Happy Fall to you :)

Erin Rose Robertson September 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm

When I was in Ireland this summer I had the most amazing pizza: roasted butternut squash, red onion, spinach and goat cheese on a thin, crispy crust. Paired with a pint of Guinness (sadly, it’s not the same here in the States…) it is a super flavorful, delicious meal!

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