Pumpkin Spice is a Try-Hard
This might be the most perfect fall muffin of all time.
I love me some pumpkin spice as much as anyone, and fully gorge myself on the flavor of the season as soon as the air turns chill. But real-talk time: after a few weeks of spice sensory overload, the universally adored flavor gets a little… tired? Or at least repetitive. Not bad, mind you – put the pitchforks down! Just, too much of a good thing and all. Makes me ready to experiment with something new.
Something that keeps the warm-blanket hug feeling of toasted spices, the comfort and anticipation of a familiar friend you haven’t seen since last fall – and still something with pumpkin.
I’m not an animal, always with pumpkin.
Spice Up Your Every-day Hot Chocolate
It’s only been a day since we left Playa del Carmen, and I’m already missing the flavors of Mexico (not to mention the luxurious summer heat, the lazy days by the pool, our palatial hotel bathroom, and the pleasures of room service and housekeeping :-P).
Though I’ve always loved Mexican food (or really, Tex-Mex, which is a totally different animal), I’ve always skewed more French or classic American with my cooking at home. Mexican food is so delicious and affordable at restaurants, we usually just default to that when a craving strikes (which is often); but after having exceptional coastal Mexican cuisine at our fingertips all weekend, I’m thinking I may need to expand my repertoire!
An easy gateway recipe that fuses my love of Mexican flavors and my infatuation with chocolate is traditional Mexican hot chocolate. I’m always on the lookout for versions of this spicy treat, comprised of steamy whole milk infused with warm spices like cinnamon, cayenne, star anise or nutmeg. I like mine thick and slightly gritty with the rustic texture of the ground spices and minimally refined chocolate – this is a homey, handmade affair that luxuriates in the process.
Clinging to Summer
I’m a summer baby. Born and bred (clap clap clap clap) deep in the heart of Texas, I grew up where the main seasons are summer and slightly less summer, so the antagonizingly pleasant weather here in Denver has always thrown me off-kilter a bit.
Only on rare occasions does it get oppressively hot, and it’s such a change from the banality of consistently perfect weather, that it’s a welcome change.
I like to go outside and soak in that heat like a snake on a rock on those days. Heat like that makes me want to eat like I should eat all year round – light and healthy, fresh, whole ingredients with minimal fussing.
It’s practically the only time I’ll eat a salad.
Because Nothing Says Romance Like Garlic
Who eats garlic pasta on a first date? It’s either a sign that you absolutely won’t be making out later, or that you are so comfortable with the person that you won’t even care that you both have toxic, anti-vampire garlic breath when the time comes.
I think it was the latter for me and Jason.
“Just go out with me once – if you don’t have a good time, I’ll never ask again.” Who can turn down a proposal like that?! It didn’t take much convincing, anyway. I could almost see my fate through the mist – I knew I wouldn’t say no. I knew I’d be saying yes for a long time.
Guess I was right.
I Don’t Like Your Altitude
Every year since Jason and I married, I attempt to whip up a replica of our wedding cake – an Italian cream cake – in honor of the occasion. A dreamy confection made up of coconut and nut-flecked batter topped with a swirl of cream cheese frosting, the cake is the perfect edible anniversary gift. Just one problem, though.
Cake is my archenemy.
Do Your Dance at the Peach Jam
“Everybody get up it’s time to slam now
We got a real jam goin’ down
Welcome to the [Peach] Jam
Here’s your chance do your dance at the [Peach] Jam”
I was literally singing this out loud. All day, be-aproned and hovering over the stove with jam splatters on my face. That was a Space Jam reference, in case y’all missed it.
Millions of Peaches
It’s peach season here in Colorado, y’all. Know how I know? Because they are EVERYWHERE. Grocery stands with piles upon piles tumbling over themselves, lip-smacking honeyed aroma spilling into the aisles. At the farmer’s market, with twee little baskets lining the tables. Even roadside, enterprising peddlers have pop-up fruit stands trying to get rid of the season’s bounty.
And then Abby took a drive up to peach country. Who can refuse when a friend offers to pick you up a pallet of Colorado delights, straight from the land of milk and honey? Arrangements were made, money changed hands, and then – there they were.
Y’all, there are so. Many. Peaches.