It’s getting to be that time again! So soon! This summer went by faster then ever. I’ve been hiking, biking, swimming and generally just ticking things off on my Summer Bucket list. It’s been a summer that I’ve actually enjoyed for the first time in years, largely due to living in Central Oregon (no more humidity! YAY!). I am one with my Teva sandals and shorts. Yep, it’s my summer adventuring uniform these days.
But I am beyond excited for fall. Here’s a couple things on my back to school list:
Winter boots. Slipping on snowy sidewalks is not cute. Good thing these are on sale right now, and they are adorable!
Pouf for my office. Technically I bought this long before back to school time, but I am loving it and including it here as a great suggestion for dorm room decor or just to add to that comfy corner of your room.
New PENS. Because opening up a pack of new pens is the best, right? I love these Pilot Precise v5 pens for my everyday writing. When I’m feeling fancy or arty, I use my color set of Micron 05’s or my Copic Multiliner Brush pen.
And we can’t talk about pens without talking about pencils. These are my favorite mechanical pencils. I’m VERY particular about my writing utensils. I like these because they are easy to hold onto, colorful, and the lead is a little thicker like a regular pencil. The eraser works great too! I do love the smell of a freshly sharpened pencil, however.
When I bought my new winter boots I also got a Hydro Flask. Gotta stay hydrated, even in those cold, dry winter months. I’ve heard so many good things about these babies! They have a growler size too, OMG. That would be perfect for all the breweries here.
There are always books involved when it comes to back to school time, isn’t there? Whether you are in college and you have to buy all your text books, or you are covering new books, they didn’t invent the term “time to hit the books” for nothing. Now that I’m out of school, I love getting a couple new cookbooks or business books (or any books I can learn something from!) around this time of year. A couple I’ve got my eye on:
I love finding new ways to expand my mind, feed my belly and rock some personal (and warmer) style in the fall. Back to school time feels like the time of year when we all kinda get more focused, get a little busy in the kitchen again. The words cozy and home come to mind. I can’t wait for that special chill in the air!
So what’s on your list for back to school 2016?
Need more ideas? Check out my Pinterest board: Back To School for Adults
We’ve been enjoying that pig over and over again. This time we tucked into one of the roasts! Funny thing is, Joel grabbed this out of the freezer and I totally thought it was a different roast…. a boneless Pork Loin roast. When I looked at the package again to check if it was thawed, I felt something funny… a bone! After planning a completely different meal all morning, I realized the mistake and saw the label on the package. Good thing I noticed that this is a bone-in pork shoulder roast, or we would have been eating dinner at 9pm. This roast is far easier then the menu I was imagining, as long as you start it about 4 hours before you plan to eat it!
If you could see me on the first day of fall, I would be an absolute giddy school girl. I would be so completely beside myself, singing at the top of my lungs, and basically bouncing around the house.
Okay, so it’s not the first day of fall anymore, we are into November, and these muffins have just renewed my love of those first fall days. It’s amazing what maple can do! Here’s the trick with maple. You usually want to buy the “grade B” maple syrup. I know that goes against all forms of logic, but grade B in this case is a darker, more intense flavor. It is also less refined then grade A.
These are adorable little muffins… they are spongy and light, and would be so perfect filled with something goopy. Like a maple whipped cream with a little orange zest in it, or a strawberry jam? They come together quickly too! Just remember to preheat your pan, which gives the muffins a head start on the rise they’ll do in the oven. Eggs are getting whipped and maple syrup is on stand-by:
These already start to puff when you put them in the pan:
These taste like a pancake in a muffin form, that already has some maple syrup on it. I love them with plain yogurt, but they are also excellent with this easy strawberry jam.
Literally, I was running around the house when the scent of maple hit my nose. Try them out for yourself and remember all the things you love about fall. Stop and look around, take a moment to enjoy the space and time you are in. Take a bite.
Slightly adapted from Cast Iron Cuisine.
Looking for a cast iron muffin pan? Try here.
I absolutely love this time of year. Back to school shopping is my personal favorite kind of shopping. I realize now I may be a little old for that hot pink Trapper Keeper, and I have little use for all the pencil erasers in my basket, so I relinquish school supplies (well, sorta) and move on to the things I would buy as a full-fledged adult. So the back to school list I made for this year is all about things I want for fall, for the year and just to start the year off strong!
So that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this little round up of fun things for fall. If you want to see what was on my list last year, you can check it out here: Back to School for Adults 2014
Images from sites where products link to (except #2, which is from this article on The Kitchn that you should totally check out. No affiliation or kickbacks of any kind have been collected, this is just a fun list of stuff I think is awesome for back to school lovers… who are a little old for the roll call.
I modified this recipe based on an old standby from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, which I got from my first marriage. I love this cookbook. When I don’t want to take any chances, and I just want something to work and be good, I go to this cookbook over all my others. It’s especially good for all the basic recipes, and it explains why they work!
Biscotti can be done one of two ways. Soft, or crunchy. I like mine just slightly soft, so that you could almost eat it without dunking it in coffee, so I tend to under bake mine ever so slightly.
Pumpkin Cranberry Orange Biscotti
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoons ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup cranberries
Zest of 1/2 orange
2 tablespoons orange juice
With the oven rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves together in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a mixer, beat the sugar and butter together in a large bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3-6 minutes). Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract until all incorporated, scraping down the bowl and beaters as necessary.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add in the flour mixture. Mix in the pumpkin seeds, cranberries and orange zest and juice.
Split the dough in half and press each half into logs that are roughly 2×13 inches and an inch and a half apart on the baking sheet. Using a bit of flour on your hands while pressing and shaping the logs is helpful.
Bake until the loaves are golden and beginning to crack on the top, about 35 minutes.
Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Lower the oven to 325 degrees F.
Move the loaves to a cutting board using a wide metal spatula. Slice each loaf with a serrated knife into 1/2 inch thick slices. Lay the slices about 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheet.
Bake until the slices are crisp and golden on the top, about 7 minutes. Take the baking sheet out and flip each cookie over and bake for an additional 7 minutes, for 14 minute baking time total. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.