Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Welcome Fall! I am so glad you are coming back into my life.

Fall is my favorite season.

There are good things about the other seasons.
Spring - Green grass and warm weather
Summer - Lots of delicious, fresh produce and time at the pool and beach
Winter - Christmas.  Enough said. (Winter definitely gets 2nd place, only because of this one holiday)

But there are also bad things about the other seasons.
Spring - Pollen
Summer - Unbearable heat and mosquitoes
Winter - Frigid frigidness

But fall?  Oh fall, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

In a nutshell, fall means
  • Apple picking
  • Halloween candy
  • Comfy sweaters
  • Cute coats
  • Pumpkin...well, pumpkin everything!
  • Crunchy Leaves
  • Crisp Air
  • Outside activities
  • Hot apple cider or cocoa
  • Warm soups
  • Thanksgiving memories
What is not to love, people? :)

I have already started celebrating the return of fall.  First of all, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks.  Can I hear a hallelujah? :)  I have definitely been enjoying a couple of those!  Also, we picked up our first bags of Halloween candy.  I don't know what it is about that giant aisle of purple, orange, and black bags of candy.  It is irresistible.  A couple of weeks ago, Lester and I went to the apple orchard and picked up a half bushel of Honey Crisp and Golden Delicious apples. (There was a big thunderstorm the day we went, so we didn't get to pick them ourselves.  Hopefully we will go again soon!)  Since then, I have made applesauce, individual-sized apple pies, and apple chips. 

Most recently, I baked up some Apple Cinnamon Bread.  I love quick breads - banana, lemon, pumpkin chocolate chip, etc.  They are all so easy to make and so yummy!  This Apple Cinnamon Bread is no exception.  It smelled so good as it was baking and tasted even better.  My favorite thing about this bread is the slices of apples mixed in to the batter.  You can actually see the little pieces of apple when you slice it.  It also has a scrumptious brown sugar-cinnamon crust for all of you who - like me - have a big sweet tooth.  Enjoy it for breakfast or a sweet snack.  Apple Cinnamon Bread is the perfect way to welcome in the best season of the year.

Apple Cinnamon Bread
adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod
makes 1 loaf

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups apples, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, add the eggs and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add in oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Next, add the sugar and mix until well combined.
4. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until flour is barely combined. Fold in the apple chunks. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
5. Mix together brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the batter in the loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a thin knife or toothpick comes out clean.
6. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes. Loosen sides and remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Note:  Next time I would probably only put half the topping on, but - I don't know - maybe not :)


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