Wind Chill Advisory
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
Fall favorites: cozy clothing and scrumptious sweetsPosted Friday, September 16, 2011, at 3:42 PM
A cold snap is coming our way for the next few days, with highs in the low 50s, lows in the mid 30s. Outdoors activity lovers rejoice---there will also be a sharp decrease in pollen levels. Goodbye, continuous sneezing and watery eyes!
Even though it gets lost in the all-too-quick transition from summer to winter, fall is one of my favorite seasons. Cozy knits, over-the-knee socks, tall boots, light scarves and tam hats are some of my favorite things to wear during this season.
The only negative thing about the season is that sunlight ends sooner and sooner with each passing day, limiting outdoors time in the evening hours.
Most weekend nights, you can find me in the kitchen, preparing some sort of seasonal goodie. Here's a few of my favorite recipes, with a few healthy swaps: whole-wheat flour for white flour, and applesauce for oil.
Whole-wheat flour adds more texture and fiber; applesauce makes the quick breads much moister, but be sure to store them in the fridge. Using light butter and sugar substitutes can also cut a few calories from your fall treats.
*Great-Grandma Toom's Apple Goodie
Preheat the oven to 350, and grease a 9x9 pan. Peel, slice and dice 3 cups of apples (preferably Honeycrisp or Braeburn) and combine with 1 cup of sugar, 1 rounded tablespoon flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Add mixture to 9x9 pan.
In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Spoon combined ingredients over top of apple mixture.
Bake for 45 minutes; serve hot with whipped cream.
*Pumpkin Spice Bread with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and grease a 9x5 loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: 2 cups whole-wheat flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup white sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Next, add 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup applesauce, 3 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a 12 ounce can of pumpkin.
Bake for 75 minutes, and cool completely before frosting.
For the cream cheese frosting, use an electric hand mixer to combine an eight-ounce softened package of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of butter, 1 cup of confectioners' sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Whip until creamy.
*Harvest Banana Bread
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and grease a 9x5 loaf pan. In a large bowl, cream 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar and 1 cup applesauce with 2 large eggs.
Mash 2-3 ripe bananas in a separate bowl, then mix in 1 tablespoon of milk, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
Add the banana-spice mixture to the large bowl, then fold in 2 cups whole-wheat flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt.
Bake for 70 minutes; cool completely before slicing.
Happy fall baking!