Shameless self-promotion . . .
One of our photos from Italy has been entered in a photo contest. We are currently 21 out of 354 photos. You can vote by clicking here.
Remember a 10 is good!
What is it about the weather? Why does it come up so much in conversations? Why does it affect my mood so much? What is it about a sunny day that makes me so happy and why does a rainy day make me tired?
Well, I might not have the answers to those questions but I am sure loving the cooler, fall weather we've been having. It has been so nice to turn the air conditioning off and open the windows for a more natural (cheaper) way of cooling the house down.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that fall is definitely my favorite time of year. And I think most of that has to do with the type of weather we get during this season. It's not too hot and not too cold. It's perfect for a light jacket. I think that fall is the prettiest of all seasons (it might be tied with spring) and that the smells outside are so clean and fresh.
Today we decided to go to a apple farm about 30 minutes from our home to pick some apples and to buy some things we needed for our fall display on the porch. We picked 30 lbs of apples (Cortland, Empire, and McIntosh). It was an incredible day for driving in the country. We had the windows rolled down and were able to enjoy the sights and smells of the season.
Not only did we pick apples but we visited the farm animals. Paul renewed his acquaintance with the goat. We popped into a number of farm markets to buy some of the incredible local produce (and we may have bought some butter tarts as well *smile).
Next weekend is Thanksgiving here and we are hosting dinner so we had to do the big clean and start decorating the place.
Tonight is a special dinner. Mom is coming over and we are commemorating our trip to Italy last year with an Italian feast. I used some of the apples in the dessert: Torta di Mele con Pinoli e Uvetta.
Originally from a Williams Sonoma cookbook: Savoring Tuscany, this cake is common in the Arezzo area.
2 large cooking apples
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cups sugar plus more for dusting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup raisins, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
1/4 cup pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly butter a 10-inch spring form pan, then dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
Peel the apples, halve and core them. Slice thinly (lengthwise). Place in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice (to prevent them from discolouring).
In a bowl whisk the eggs and 1 1/2 cups sugar until creamy. Stir in the butter, milk, and vanilla.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a separate bowl. Mix in the lemon zest to coat.
Using a wooden spoon gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet. Drain the raisins and add them to the batter. Gently stir in the pine nuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles over the surface.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre cones out clean (about 45 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, the release the sides of the pan and slide the cake onto a serving plate. Dust the cake with sugar. Cut into wedges to serve.