There is a feeling to Fall .... it feels whimsical, happy, and a bit mysterious. It has always been my favorite season! It's so close to the holidays and not to mention my birthday (which just past) is in the Fall! And after a long and hot Texas summer just the mere breeze of cooler weather is like heaven! When this time of year hits all of the sudden I want to listen to different music, read a fun & whimsy book, as well as bake different things...things that fit the mood of the season. It’s hard to believe we’re already in the middle of November! It feels like it’s going so fast. So since we are quickly waving bye to Fall and will soon be saying hello to Winter (and Christmas! Woot!) … below is a list of music, books, & recipes that have been making my Fall feel a little bit more warm and cozy! Hope you enjoy the rest of Fall and enjoy reading! :)
My Fall Soundtrack ~
These are songs that either feel like Fall to me or simply remind me of the season! Hope you check some of these songs out and listen along with me! :)
1. We Mapped The World by Joy Williams
2. Just For Now by Imogen Heap
3. Moon Is A Magnet by Jon Foreman
4. Bitter Heart by Zee Avi
5. Dance Me to the End of Love by Madeleine Peyroux
6. Mushaboom by Feist
7. Soul Meets Body by Death Cab For Cutie
8. Rewind by Deas Vail
9. Southbound Train by Jon Foreman
10. Faithful by Brooke Fraser
11. Turn by Sarah Brendel
12. Forgiven by Relient K
13. Opposite Way by Leeland
14. Add To The Beauty by Sara Groves
15. Lover, Find Your Cover by Joy Williams
16. I've Got A Feeling by Ivy
17. All The Stars and Boulevards by Augustana
18. November by Tristan Prettyman
19. Where The Colors Don't Go by Sam Phillips
20. Smile by Grant Lee Phillips
Subjects by Judd & Maggie ~
"Subjects" by Judd & Maggie is an album that totally fits a mellow Fall day. Though it released in 2005 I just recently picked it up at my local Christian bookstore. I had heard a song or two by this brother and sister duo but had never purchased any of their music, but I'm glad I finally did. Their sound is just what the season calls for! My sister even stole this cd from me almost right away and fell in love with it! "Subjects" is full of honest, heartfelt songwriting set to laid back acoustic/folk music, as well as Judd and Maggie's warm and inviting vocals. Songs like "One Year Past 20", "Perfectly", and "Used To Love" are highlights. The beautiful acoustic/folk styling's of Judd & Maggie feel like the perfect backdrop for a pretty Fall day.
“Boo” by Rene Gutteridge ~
Even though I would recommend reading this book more around Halloween I still had to put it on the list! This quirky and funny novel is one of my favorites and is such a great read for any time of the year really, but especially Fall! Set in the fictional town of Skary, Indiana, "Boo" is the story of Wolfe Boone (or Boo as he's often referred to), a horror novelist who made his tiny town famous with his scary stories. Even the local restaurant aptly named, the Haunted Mansion, becomes a tourist trap serving up "bloody fingers" (fries splattered with ketchup). But when Boo finds God and stops writing the scary stories he's best known for chaos ensues. The towns people revolt and scheme to get him out of the church and back to writing horror stories once again. This book had me laughing out loud it's just that funny! You'll love the humor and wit of all the quirky and quite odd characters. Author, Rene Gutteridge, is so good at creating characters as well as a setting that transports you into that world. You feel Skary, Indiana is your town...and if you really are from a small town, like I am, you'll find yourself relating that much more. "Boo" is the first book in this series, be sure to also check out; "Boo Who", "Boo Hiss", and the Christmas edition - "Boo Humbug". "Boo" is a funny and entertaining novel that us sure to warm up your season!
Pumpkin Cake Roll ~
Ah, Pumpkin Roll, the dessert that signifies the start of the holiday season for me. It’s kind of become a yearly tradition to bake a Pumpkin Roll around Thanksgiving. Not only do I make them for my family and I to enjoy; but it’s also become a tradition to make them for extended family and friends who always ask me to make one for them at this time of year. In fact I will be making 5 next week…and I’m looking forward to it! I love to put on some Christmas music (Relient K’s “Let It Snow Baby Let It Reindeer” ;) and make a Pumpkin Roll…it just feels like the holidays. I always say that the first Pumpkin Roll of the season is lucky… um I really don’t know why actually… but it just makes me happy! :) Pumpkin cake with warm flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg, fluffy cream cheese filling, and powdered sugar on top, it really makes a great holiday dessert!
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin
1 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
Pre-heat oven to 350. In a small bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, set aside. In a large bowl beat eggs till foamy, gradually add in sugar and beat till fluffy. Stir in pumpkin and lemon juice. Fold in the flour mixture.
Grease cookie sheet and line with wax paper. Pour batter into pan and bake for 15 minutes. When cake comes out of the oven, turn it out onto a dish towel that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Roll length wise while cake is still hot, then let it cool.
Cream Cheese Filling:
4 tbls. butter
1 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1 cup powered sugar
1 small Cool Whip
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream together butter and cream cheese. Stir in powered sugar. Fold in Cool Whip and then add in vanilla.
Unroll cooled cake and spread on the cream cheese filling. Roll it back up length wise and sprinkle with powered sugar. Serve and devour!
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups ~
(Recipe found @ www.tasteofhome.com)
This is a recipe that my sister and I tried out for Halloween this year and loved ‘em! These Homemade Peanut Butter Cups are so quick & easy whip up, and trust me, they are way better than store bought. The peanut butter in the middle is so rich and creamy, and the thickness of the chocolate compliments it perfectly. They are rather sweet so next time we make them we want to use mini candy cups, because a little bite of these go a long way. We also decorated ours with pretty Fall sprinkles! Try these Homemade Peanut Butter cups and you'll be telling the store bought ones bye bye!
1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
4-1/2 teaspoons butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
4 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each), coarsely chopped
Colored sprinkles, optional
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, butter, confectioners' sugar and salt until smooth; set aside.
In a microwave, melt the chocolate chips, candy bars and remaining peanut butter; stir until smooth.
Drop teaspoonfuls of chocolate mixture into paper-lined miniature muffin cups. Top each with a scant teaspoonful of peanut butter mixture; top with another teaspoonful of chocolate mixture. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. Refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3 dozen.
Apple Dumplings ~
(Recipe & photo found @ www.tasteofhome.com)
The classic Fall combo of apples and cinnamon make these dumplings so delectable! My mom started making these Apple Dumplings a couple years ago and my sister and I were so crazy about them that I think we made them a bit too much .... we actually ended up getting tired of them! lol But now of course, we're craving them once again. You'll love the buttery pastry, sweet apples and warm taste of the cinnamon, and a brown sugar sauce on top. These Apple Dumplings feel like comfort food and are perfect for those cold (or if you're in Tx like me, semi-cool) Fall nights!
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
1/3 cup cold water
8 medium tart apples, peeled and cored
8 tsp. butter
9 tsp. cinnamon sugar, divided
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter, cubed
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide into eight portions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
Roll each portion of dough between two lightly floured sheets of waxed paper into a 7-in. square. Place an apple on each square. Place 1 tsp. butter and 1 tsp. cinnamon-sugar in the center of each apple. Gently bring up corners of pastry to each other ; pinch edges to seal. If desired, cut out apple leaves and stems from dough scraps; attach to dumplings with water. Place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar.
In a large saucepan, combine sauce ingredients. Bring just to a boil, stirring until blended. Pour over apples. Bake at 35o for 50-55 minutes or until apples are tender and pastry is golden brown, basting occasionally with sauce. Serve warm. Yeilds 8 servings
Pumpkin Gingersnap Parfaits ~
(Recipe & photo found @ http://www.foodbuzz.com/recipes/2739693-pumpkin-gingersnap-parfaits)
I recently made these Parfaits for dessert and they were not only really yummy but also such a cinch to whip up! Plus they look so pretty layered in parfait glasses! Pumpkin spiced up with cinnamon and nutmeg, homemade whipped cream, and crispy, almost spicy gingersnap cookies (Never realized how good these cookies are!) make these parfaits taste like the season. Though I must say while delish they were also a bit too Pumpkiny for my taste. Next time I make them I plan on making a Pumpkin Mousse and layering that instead of the puree. So if you're like me and you like Pumpkin but aren't a total pumpkin lover, you might want to go that route too. Side note, the parfaits also taste really good just spooned onto a gingersnap cookie hehe. These creamy Pumpkin Gingersnap Parfaits are the perfect Fall dessert!
1 15-ounce can Pure Pumpkin
4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Ginger
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Sugar
12 Gingersnap Cookies
Crush 8 of the gingersnap cookies. Beat together the pumpkin, cream cheese, brown sugar, and spices until evenly combined. In a separate bowl, beat together the heavy cream and sugar until thickened.
To assemble the parfaits, divide half of the pumpkin mixture into four cups. Sprinkle half of the gingersnap crumbs over the pumpkin. Spoon about half of the whipped cream over the gingersnaps in the four cups. Sprinkle with the remaining gingersnap crumbs. Spoon the remaining pumpkin over the gingersnap crumbs. Top with the remaining whipped cream. Garnish each parfait with a gingersnap cookie. Serves 4.