Welcoming the Fall with Apple Picking

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Sometimes you have to dig deep to get the best apples.

Sometimes you have to dig deep to get the best apples.

We kicked off the season last weekend with a quintessential fall activity: apple picking! We went to Barton Orchards, about an hour upstate from my house, and luckily we arrived early enough to beat the crowds that developed later in the day. Though I had worn a sweater in the morning, the weather warmed up enough that I didn’t need it, and it was a beautiful day to enjoy apple cider donuts and spend time with Todd and my parents. Continue reading

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Turning the Page: One-Sentence Book Reviews and My Fall Reading List

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I use any little change as an opportunity to form new goals for self-improvement—and with autumn’s official launch, one of my aims is to read more this season. Another is to write more book-related posts for this blog. So, on that note, here are one-sentence reviews of some recent treasures (and at least one bust), as well as my reading list (so far) for fall. Continue reading

Recipe: Fig & Pistachio Vanilla Bundt Cake

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Now that I have my own apartment, I spend most of my time in the kitchen. I’ve made cookies: old-fashioned raisin, double chocolate, chocolate chip. I’ve done lemon-blueberry and chocolate chip scones. I’ve even tried my hand at Hungarian plum dumplings. The next item on my baking bucket list? A layer cake with buttercream icing, all made from scratch. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I did take a baby step toward that goal: a fig & pistachio vanilla bundt cake. (I used this recipe as a base, though I modified it a bit to add nuts and vanilla bean, along with a few other minor changes.) Continue reading

So About That Half Marathon…

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When I signed up for an October half marathon several months ago, I didn’t realize that I would somehow hurt my leg or that it would take weeks and weeks to heal, despite a clean MRI and this diagnosis from the doctor: “You probably just banged it. Ice it and rest.” But my idea of rest is an active one—I like to clear my mind and recharge my body through movement—so I’m ecstatic that I’m finally able to run again. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll try the half marathon; I’ll just take it day by day and see how I feel.

For now, some photos to document my joy at running again. Continue reading

Recipe: Hungarian Plum Dumplings

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I can’t remember the first time I tasted a Hungarian szilvás gomboc. I must have been only five or six years old, perhaps watching wide-eyed as my nagymama sliced open the thick breadcrumb-dusted potato dumpling to reveal the sticky purple plum inside and sprinkled it with cinnamon-sugar. I don’t know if I loved or hated it at first bite, whether I needed time to acquire the taste. I don’t know how many my mom let me eat, though now I can practically inhale five or six of them if I don’t stop myself in time.

Plum Dumpling Continue reading