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Oh Fall! I’m not sure I’m ready for you, but here you are! It’s odd, in San Francisco the temperature seems to rise in October giving us 70 degree days, then they drop off to the consistent 55 degrees we’ll see for the next few months. I’m in New York City right now & it’s definitely Fall. We started with some rain & now the temperature has dropped to the mid-40s. I would almost say the heated subways feel good!
Another installation of the brunch cartel occurred awhile back & once again there was no shortage of amazing food! I utilized the apples I picked & made an apple crumble with a toasted hazelnut topping. I made sure to include all the varieties, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, & Fuji. The crumble was great & with the toasted hazelnuts, I was very happy with the outcome! In fact, I wish I had some right now for this cool fall day! I also used the apples to make a vinegar-based slaw with apples cut into matchsticks, plus cabbage & other vegetables. The rest of the crew spoiled us with Vegan McMuffins, Pumpkin Waffles, a Frittata, Home Fries, Biscuits & Gravy, Blueberry Mousse, & Poha, an Indian puffed rice snack. Needless to say, my plate & belly were quite full!
Ryan & I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary at the beginning of October. We kicked off the celebration with a night at Millennium Restaurant for the Aphrodisiac Dinner, which was fabulous! We shared a butterscotch pecan tartlette that seriously rocked my world. On our anniversary, Ryan had to take a business trip, but he was able to get home late that night, so I made a Chicago-style deep dish pizza, inspired by Bazu. For dessert, I made Isa’s Smlove Pie, a rich bittersweet chocolate pie, layered with peanut butter caramel, candied pecans, & drizzled with chocolate. While we loved the whole thing, the peanut butter caramel was the stand out in the dish! It was excellent on the pie, but would also be excellent on ice cream or anything you’d use a caramel sauce for. Additionally, it’s easy to make & you should do so, right away.
Peanut Butter Caramel
1/3 cup peanut butter at room temperature, preferably natural.
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
Add all of the ingredients to a small sauce pan.
Gently heat everything over low heat, stirring constantly, just smooth & heated through.
The consistency should be somewhat thick, but fluid & will fall from a fork in ribbons. If it's too stiff, turn the heat off & add a bit more brown rice syrup. Different peanut butters have different moisture content, so adjust accordingly.
As I mentioned, we loved the peanut butter caramel & men love peanut butter, so I used it in birthday cupcakes for Ryan’s brother. I’m always trying to think of new cupcake combinations & settled on rich chocolate cupcakes filled with peanut butter caramel & topped with chocolate ganache! They turned out quite well & were quickly devoured by all I offered them to.
That being said, I’m a perfectionist with my baked goods, so I’m still trying to find my favorite chocolate cake recipe. I think I’m quite close, but I’d love suggestions from others as to their favorites. I’m looking for something with deep chocolate flavor, but not too dense in texture, even a bit fluffy. So far, the cocoa based cakes I’ve made & sampled have been a bit bland, but maybe I haven’t had the right recipe. Bring on the recommendations, please!
October also brought on a job in Seattle, a great Vegan friendly city. I made sure to squeeze in some extra time there, so I could eat my way across town. I went to my favorite spot, Sidecar for Pigs Peace to pick up some groceries for workdays. I also went to Carmelita, Araya Thai, & seriously enjoyed a snickerdoodle cookie at Cinnamon Works in Pike Place Market. I was thrilled to see I had food options, even when the crew stopped at Bainbridge Island on the way to Olympic National Park, although Elise & I were content with lovin' on some broccoli!
Of course, no trip to Seattle is complete without going to donut mecca, Mighty O! I couldn’t resist the many types, so I bought a large assortment & brought them home to enjoy in bed with Ryan on a cold Saturday morning. Does it get any better than that?!
Well, I’m back to my insane food fest in NYC. I’ve sampled goods all over town & I’m preparing to bring you the low down on the best eats & treats of NYC in a future post. Until then..