humbler than pie [olive oil apple crisp]

humbler than pie (15 of 15)humbler than pie (14 of 15)A good friend of mine and I sometimes joke about worrying that we peaked in high school. We were just big fish in a little pond, but I sometimes feel that I lost some of the confidence I had after I left that teenage-comfort zone. It might be that I’m overthinking things, or it might just be a part of growing up—maybe a bit of both.

While I often found my undergrad challenging, I find myself occasionally missing the structure that came with the “occupation” of being a student and the kind of certainty it offered; I knew what I was doing with my life for a solid chunk of time (that good ole’ BSc), at least most of the time. And even if I didn’t know what lay ahead after graduation, I had another year or two to think about it, another semester or two, another week or two…

Since graduating, I’ve doubted myself a lot in a way that doesn’t feel like “me”. I’ve given in to mini-cry sessions that creep up on me without warning, and indulged in little pity parties for seemingly no reason. Motivation has been a little low, Netflix usage has gone up. I have learned how to cross stitch. Continue reading

early fall [tomato & sourdough soup]

Without the back-to-school rush in September, there was less of a definite seasonal shift in my head. A little less excitement, less novelty, less homework, less sense of impending doom. A freeing feeling for the most part, but occasionally one that I let stress me out when thoughts of future plans (or lack thereof) get the best of me.

Of course, classes or not, the learning never ends. Working Continue reading

Shorter Days [Apple Spice Granola]

shorterdays1shorterdays1Winter is tiptoeing its way in. Frosty mornings have arrived, along with the first dustings of snow, though it has yet to linger. shorterdays2I’ve nicknamed this month No-fun No-vember due to the mess of schoolwork I can never seem to actually catch up with. With the days getting darker earlier though it is slightly more conducive to getting cozy with my textbooks. And I can’t whine, even when I try to cut back on the fun and ramp up the studying, I always seem to find time for some fun — there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Weekend moments

Weekend moments

What does the fox say? (Zzzz after Halloween festivities.)

What does the fox say? (Zzzz after Halloween festivities.)

Happy Diwali!

Happy Diwali!

I always have a little notebook with me in which I like to write down things that flit through my mind, and this summer I jotted down a whole bunch of different combos of ingredients for “seasonal” granolas. In my head I imagined bright, sunny flavours for summer, and spiced warmth in the colder months. Most of these little inspirations that get written down never see the light of day, but I managed to make one of my “fall” granolas the other day. Pepitas, apple, spices, and maple syrup might help make these cold mornings warmer.shorterdays6shorterdays7 Granola for Fall…

Give Me Spots on My Apples [Cinnamon Apple Sauce]

But leave me the birds and the bees.applesLiving in a place with four seasons is wonderful. Mother Nature gives us reasons to celebrate every change, every coloured leaf, every crisp morning, every apple picked from the tree. This might be the first year that we’ve been able to pick significant amounts of ripe apples from our trees without them all being half eaten by the suburban wildlife. Cause for celebration indeed.applesauce1

First fall colours last weekend in the Laurentians (yay, fieldcamp!).

First fall colours last weekend in the Laurentians (yay, fieldcamp!).

Read on…

Ginger Spice Cookies

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I’m away from Huelva in Madrid this weekend, but my roommate texted yesterday saying that we finally got a new stove and oven in our apartment. Hallelujah!! I haven’t baked at all since I came to Spain (one whole month without an oven! Does that count as roughing it?), and so I’m pretty excited that we can start making some warm comforting food as even Huelva is starting to get a little cool. Cookies definitely need to happen soon.

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I made these just before I left for Spain, to go with our pumpkin spice lattes. Along with pumpkin flavoured anything, around this time of year I love ginger and spices in desserts. These soft cookies feature flavourful flecks of crystallized ginger and are a perfect taste of fall with some hot apple cider and sharp cheddar.

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Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Gratitude

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My silly twin in action. No one takes me seriously at home.

I know I’m not being original in proclaiming my love for all things pumpkin once fall arrives, but I figured (Canadian) Thanksgiving was an appropriate time to fawn over my favourite season and its treats. Autumn is just so wonderful: sweater weather, the breathtaking trees with their coloured leaves, sunny days and the crisp air, warm comfort food, pumpkin galore…I did scrounge the grocery stores here for pumpkin purée, but no luck so I don’t think we’ll be tasting a pumpkin pie this weekend. That’s really quite alright, though, because I am in España!
These coffees were actually the last thing I made at home before hopping on a plane over here — my lovely mother, (silly) twin, and I sipped our lattes and enjoyed my last fall morning in Ottawa until next year.

When I first started spending (wasting?) my money at Starbucks I could only handle the flavoured coffees, and pumpkin spice was my favourite by far. I would anticipate that day in early September when pumpkin was back on the menu. I don’t have anything against Starbucks, I just can’t afford to maintain that habit– so it was pretty thrilling to enjoy a homemade pumpkin spice latte, that also tastes a lot more like coffee and less like syrup.

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I’m so grateful for the exciting experience I have been having so far, the great people I have met, and my super supportive/loving/overall excellent friends and family — some of whom are coming to visit me soon; I’m grateful for that, too!! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in Canada! Enjoy your dinners, the long weekend and those marvellous fall colours. I’ll be at the beach!

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20121005-145127.jpg Pumpkin Spice Latte