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Entries in cinnamon (54)

Monday
Dec022013

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins Pumpkin Streusel Muffins Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

The first of the three holidays is over now. The turkey is carved, the stuffing is eaten, and my stomach is pleasantly stretched. Though the weekend was only a short break from everyday life, the time spent with family was reenergizing. Putting off the to-do list, if only for a few days, makes me feel as though all of my responsibilities have been lifted. For once my thoughts revolved around something other than lesson plans, grading, and my next caffeine fix.

For this, I am thankful.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Though many of you have moved on to December’s peppermint and gingerbread flavors, I haven’t finished with pumpkin yet. Perhaps it’s because my favorite loaf of pumpkin espresso bread never made it to the kitchen table or the beloved pumpkin spiced latte never warmed my chilled fingers. I feel as if I didn’t do autumn enough justice, so now I’m rushing to right those delicious wrongs.

I hope that the cinnamon and nutmeg spices in these muffins are enough to transverse the winter flavor barrier. Join me. Let’s not forget about fall just yet.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins are sweet, spiced, and have just the right crunch. The pumpkin muffins are topped with a cinnamon streusel topping and drizzled with a maple glaze. The muffins are best eaten the day they are made, but they can be stored for a day or two in a container with the lid cracked; this leaves the streusel crunchy and the muffins moist. These muffins make any morning, weekend or weekday, into a special occasion.

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Sunday
Nov102013

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

When I fall in love with books and songs, I fall hard and fast and deeply. Belonging and acceptance can be a feeling so rare at times. When I find something that I can identify with, I draw myself into its world, surrounding myself with pages of words and looping tracks. Books are devoured in days, the written words joining me during spare moments throughout the day, at the dinner table, and late into the dark night. A single song may be put on repeat for weeks, meaningful for far longer than the few minutes it plays.

I breathe it in, taking in the experience and the moment, and I take and I take and when there's nothing more for it to give, I share it with someone else, hoping they will find the voice and spirit in it as I had.

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

And I ran back to that hollow again
The moon was just a sliver back then
And I ached for my heart like some tin man
When it came oh it beat and it boiled and it rang

The Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isakov is one of the few songs that speaks to me in a way so many others cannot. When it plays, I find myself stopping whatever I am doing and listening. Listening with ears-wide, mind-open abandon. A hundred listens later, I still get the chills, still find the words speaking to me. Each time the guitar tells a slightly different story, the chords evolving with my life and its changes.

Yesterday it was about loss, tomorrow it is about self discovery.

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

With my eyes shut tight, I imagine myself in the mountains on a warm summer night, the smell of green, of life in the air, the feeling of peace and sadness and emotion, and it somehow all fits together. The chords on the guitar allow me to live outside myself for a moment, live another life before my eyes open and I'm brought back to my kitchen table and my computer and an empty coffee mug and a distinct awareness of feeling drained but in a way I would never change.

I never want that moment to end.

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts are moist and spiced with the scents of autumn. Pumpkin is baked into a cake doughnut, adding a bright flavor to match its bright color. The doughnuts and glaze complement each other well, providing the right amount of sweetness when paired together. A cup of coffee in one hand and a doughnut in the other is the best way I've found to enjoy these.

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Monday
Nov042013

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

I adore autumn weather for many reasons—the comfort foods, the colors of the trees, the days of nothing but drizzling rain—but ripe, fresh apples are what truly bring this season home for me. Apples are one of the few foods I keep continually stocked in my refrigerator. I eat apples like other people enjoy bread or drink milk, daily and sometimes more than once. A few years ago, I found myself with an unquenchable apple craving. One thousand apples later, it hasn't dissipated.

When fall rolls around, and the apples become crisp and sweet, this simple fruit becomes irresistible.

Apple Crisp

When the cold sets in for the year, I surround myself with apple recipes. My grandmother's applesauce recipe is on constant rotation, popping up several times a season. Slightly bruised apples, fallen from the tree, are often the stars of this dish. Once the soft parts are cut off, the apples are salvaged in such a simple, but beautiful manner. Likewise, this Apple Cinnamon Cake has never failed to grace my autumn table. More apple than cake, the ingredients vary to accommodate the ones already in the cupboard.

A few years ago, I branched out and made my own homemade apple cider. The final result was so fresh and delicious, my roommate and I were so afraid to drink it (lest it should disappear) that the cider nearly spent too long in the refrigerator.

Apple Crisp Apple Crisp

On a phone call with my mother, she told me about an apple crisp my sister had made for her when she last visited. As I eyed the freshly picked apples boxed on my counter top, the idea seemed like the perfect plan to enact with my own apples. When the weekend rolled around, I peeled and sliced nearly a dozen of the small apples, coating them with sugar, and baking them in the oven until tender. I had plans to share the apple crisp with my coworkers, but after two greedy forks kept stealing bitefuls while it was cooling, half of the apple crisp disappeared in a day.

It is safe to say that my coworkers never saw this dish. Sometimes, I've found, some foods are just too good to be shared.

Apple Crisp

This Apple Crisp is an autumn favorite, with enough variance in texture and flavor to call itself a classic. The apples are baked in a mixture of butter and brown sugar, with a hint of rum to round out the flavor. The crisp bakes on top, sweet and spiced, providing a crunchy contrast to the tender apples. Served cold with whipped cream or hot with ice cream, this apple crisp never fails to please. You may even find yourself scraping the sticky remains from the bottom of the pan, wishing for more.

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