Autumn Equinox Eats

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Day 23: Autumn equinox eats.

Truth be told, my stomach has felt off all day — not much appealed to me for dinner tonight. I considered celebrating the first day of autumn with some kind of pumpkin- or apple-based baked good, but a sugary dessert didn’t sound like a great idea for an unhappy tummy. I decided to go super simple instead.

Autumn Dinner

I defrosted the last few pieces of Unpork and gently pan-fried them, then served them alongside a big helping of sauerkraut. I also whipped up a quick cornbread, because I thought the mild flavor would soothe my stomach. Unfortunately, it was lackluster and a little too salty, even though I reduced the amount called for. Sigh! Not a very auspicious start to this autumn!

Welcoming Autumn (without photos of leaves, apples, or pumpkins!)

Happy autumn, my Northern Hemisphere friends! Happy spring to any Southern Hemisphere folks. :]

Time-lapse photograph showing the path of the sun and stars. A house or other building is nestled in rolling, verdant hills, but most of the photograph shows the sky, with streaks of white representing the movement of various celestial bodies.

Equinox.

Isn’t this a great photograph? It’s by Juan Carlos Casado, and it’s a really fantastic time-lapse photo from last year’s equinox:

This unusual time-lapse image shows the rotation of the Earth from the vantage point of Ecuador on the day of the Equinox in 2010. As the Sun passed directly overhead then sank into the west it burned a bright path across the middle of the sky in the long-exposure image. Then, as the sky darkened, the stars became visible, the Earth’s spin making them trace their own circular paths about the north and south celestial poles. This picture combines daytime and night-time photography and uses the equatorial location to show both northern and southern hemispheres of the sky together.

Pretty cool, right? Check out more gorgeous astronomy photographs here.

What are you doing to welcome autumn? I plan on baking cinnamon buns this weekend… :)

Apple-Carrot Harvest Bread

Hello, friends! Happy Tuesday. Sorry for the prolonged silence – remember when I said that summer made a triumphant return to Wisconsin? Well, this weekend things really got crazy – the temperature soared into the low 80s and quite possibly shattered a record or two. So, needless to say, I made sure to get outside and soak up some rays. Gotta stock up on enough vitamin D to get me through the dark days of a Wisconsin winter!

However, the high temps don’t negate the fact that it is, quite obviously, still autumn. Ochre and burnt rust colors dominate the skyline; most of the trees around here have changed already. It’s quite sensorily confusing to feel summer-hot while hearing brittle eaves crunch underfoot and seeing yellows and oranges and reds. These autumnal colors are also prevalent in my food lately, because I haven’t given up on autumn-inspired meals and ingredients. Carrots and apples and pumpkins, oh my! Inspired by a bounty of freshly-picked apples and the beautiful, bright carrots from my latest CSA share, I came up with a perfectly autumnal recipe:

 

Autumn in bread form?

Apple-Carrot Harvest Bread
Ingredients:
2 medium-sized apples, grated
2 carrots, grated
1 flax egg (1 T ground flax + 3 T warm water)
2 T oil
3 T applesauce
1/2 t vanilla
2/3 C rice milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
1/3 C vegan cane sugar
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
2 t cinnamon
1/8 t cloves
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
dash ginger
3/4 t baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350˚F and lightly grease or spray a loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the water and ground flax to create your flax egg. This is a great time to grate the carrots and apples. Next, add the oil, applesauce, milk, vanilla, and sugar to the flax egg. Whisk until well-mixed. In a large bowl, sift the remaining dry ingredients together. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until just incorporated – be careful not to overmix! Fold in the grated carrots and apples, pour the batter into your loaf pan, and pop that baby in the oven.

I baked mine for probably 45 – 50 minutes, and it was just a little bit under-done in the middle. I recommend keeping it in for longer – just wait until a toothpick or thin knife inserted in the center comes out totally clean. Remove from oven, let cool, and enjoy! You now have a slightly dense, very flavorful, and quite healthy quick bread, perfect for enjoying with a mug of tea and a good book on a cool afternoon.

…not that I’ve had any of those recently. :)

Hey, don’t leave yet! You still have one more day to enter my giveaway! I’ll choose a winner tomorrow night at 9:00 CST (not 7:00 as previously mentioned… I’ll be in class then!). So get on it!

Apples in Autumn

Happy autumn, friends! It’s the first full day of fall and I’m about to be an unashamed SUB – a Seriously Unoriginal Blogger. Celebrating the advent of autumn by making something with apples is pretty much the epitome of food blogger cliche, but let’s face it – there’s not much else that screams AUTUMN! like a post about this particular fruit.

And honestly? I don’t mind, because going apple picking is one of the highlights of fall. I have many fond memories of heading to local orchards with my family when I was a kid, and since my wonderful college provided free transportation to a nearby orchard, I was able to go apple picking even while 1300 miles away from home. This year, I headed to Dame Farm and Orchards with my mom, aunt, and a friend. Oh, and by the way – all the pretty photos in this post were taken by my wonderful mommy since I didn’t bring my camera to the orchard with me. :)

Gorgeous fruit.

The picking was fabulous, probably because it’s still early in the season. We’d never been to this orchard previously, and we appreciated the fact that it didn’t feel overly commercialized – we paid a man in a small wooden stall, and he didn’t take credit cards. They also had an impressive variety of apples, and the trees were laden with fruit.

Manzanas.

The temptation to grab an apple and take a bite is nearly unconquerable when these luscious beauties are hanging tauntingly at eye level.

Modern Eve?

And everyone filches a couple apples for sustenance whilst harvesting fruit under the hot sun, right? ;)

We also saw some gorgeous seasonal produce, like all these bright and colorful squash.

New Crayola inspiration?

And of course there were pumpkins galore.

One of these things is not like the other...

I love the odd one out on the bottom of that picture.

All in all, we had a lovely day and returned home with about 30 pounds of apples. Yeah, you heard that right. That’ll make a lot of Apple Pie Oat Bran! Last night, though, Mom and I put our apples to use by making a batch of homemade applesauce. Rather, I kept an eye on the huge pot of apples, water, and sugar for a few hours and made sure it wasn’t exploding or doing anything equally bad, and then Mom stole the fun part and got to use our applesauce maker/strainer thing to mash up the apples. Oh well. At least I can drown my sorrows in this huge bowl of applesauce and revel in the joys of autumn.

Bowl o' applesauce.

(The peanut butter jar (my breakfast; it’s full of oat bran & PB leftovers) is there for scale purposes, in case you were wondering. Oh, and this photo is mine… hehe.)