Apple Pie in a Bag

My favorite season is spring. And I crave warm summer nights. But the best season to get back in the kitchen is fall.

I love fall flavors, warm spices, and rustic food. I love hot coffee and crisp, cool morning air. And I love slow, unhurried cooking, because it means I can actually get my homework done.

That’s right, fall also brings the start of another school year. And if all goes according to plan, this will be my last season as a student. So it’s back to the kitchen and back to the books. Last weekend, after a glorious morning in a local apple orchard, I decided to combine the two themes of my life right now– school and cooking– into one warm apple pie.

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Quick and Easy Brownies

Today maintenance sent some guys over to seal our granite countertops. (Isn’t that the worst sentence to begin a blog post? EVER? It screams, “I have nothing to write about! Wahhhhh!”) For this gal, freshly sealed granite means no cooking, no placing my mixer back on the counter, no TOUCHY. In fact, I yelled at Gabe when he tried to use the kitchen sink, “No! You have to wait two hours!” (Turns out it had been exactly two hours and nine minutes, so he was off the hook.)

Luckily, my dear friend Rebecca had the foresight to choose exactly this day to fly back into Boston, so we had an even better excuse to eat out. Cue Thai food. And ice cream. And leftovers for dinner.

As we walked back to our place after lunch, I excitedly pointed out the nearby Coolidge Corner Theater, where one of my favorite bloggers will be stopping on her book tour in November. (Eeeek!) So this is the perfect time to share one of her recipes: amazingly simple and delicious brownies. I added the peanut butter, because everything’s better with peanut butter.

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Holy schmoly, it’s been a whole month since I’ve posted. Uffda. First there was Hawaii, then the Cape, then the end of my internship, then the start of a new semester. My cooking this month has basically revolved around sandwiches and sausages. And one happy batch of popovers.

Last night I decided to get myself back into cooking mode– something I’ve desperately missed– by trying my hand at chocolate soufflés. I understand the basic principles of soufflé-making and have used the techniques in other recipes before, like molten chocolate cakes. Nothing was terribly new or frightening.

But last night was a bust. I turned away from my mixer for one second and looked back to find clumpy, overbeaten egg whites. Being stubborn (or curious?) I decided to forge ahead, knowing in my heart of hearts that the soufflés wouldn’t rise but hoping I could prove the laws of physics wrong.

Nope. Physics won. And while the dessert still tasted okay, it didn’t have the airy texture or dramatic puff intrinsic to a true soufflé. Sufficiently humbled, I sighed and vowed to try again someday.

Luckily I’m resilient (or naive) enough that experiences like this don’t dissuade me from kitchen challenges for long. Besides I just saw a recipe in Food Network Magazine for homemade candy corn. Bring it on.