What’s not to love about fall. The leaves changing colors, apple picking, pumpkin carving and not to mention eating lots and lots of apple donuts and drinking gallons of apple cider.
Although I gave up a lot of these fall celebrations when moving to the big city, we still find ways to enjoy the beauty that the city does have to offer. Last weekend boasted clear skies, loads of sunshine and crisp sweatshirt-wearing temperatures.
We did what we do best, which is take a trip to IKEA on the water taxi to enjoy the weather, and of course, eat a guilty free plate of Swedish meatballs.
My favorite view of Brooklyn with the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges
Catch you later Manhatty, we’re headed to Red Hook to IKEA
Fall brings out the snuggles in everyone
Who doesn’t like playing a round of ‘Where’s Waldo’ (Neil style) inside of IKEA?
Braving the bugs to sit out on my hotel balcony for the sunset. I can’t help but realize it’s moments like these that always help me to get back on my feet and find my bearings.
I can hear the crickets loudly chirping, and the buzz of other summertime insects. The sun is just below the tree tops and the sky is filled with pastel yellows, pinks and blues. There’s a light breeze circulating; barely coercing the leaves to move. In the distance the reflection on the water blends into one with the sky.
The breeze picks up. I hear the desperate chirping of newborn chicks.
I’ve forgotten my worries, just as quickly as I’ve remembered what beauty this world has to offer.
I have come to realize that cooking is an art, or maybe really more of a science. There are rules, steps, and ‘formulas’ that must be followed in order for the correct outcome to be achieved.
Last weekend I decided, what the hell, it’s already 90 degrees, and I hadn’t turned the A/C on yet, so I might as well spend the afternoon cooking before I cave in and turn on the A/C.
I turned on the oven, and there was no turning back after that point. Anyone who has lived in NYC before will completely sympathize with what happens when you turn on an oven in NYC in the summer. Instantly your entire apartment (all 400 sf if you’re lucky) is 100+ degrees. Of course you don’t have an oven vent, that would be 1. convenient and 2. expensive for your landlord to install. They don’t care if your sweat becomes one with your cooking ingredients. Know who else REALLY doesn’t care? Con Ed. Those bastards. I’m positive my next electric/gas bill will be over $200.
So, back to my cooking misadventures, my list of recipes included homemade granola, crock pot chicken and dumplings, and the inaugural cooking with my treat pops kit that my Aunt had sent me.
Now, I should have known better to try and prep/cook more than 1 thing at the same time. I have done this before and generally ends in “Neil will you fix this…” when he gets home. Thanks to Pinterest I was feeling exceptionally adventurous. (You must admit, anyone that trolls Pinterest for hours not only thinks they are now an interior decorator, but an expect chef).
I started with the quinoa granola recipe (click here for the recipe), and was feeling pretty good about how my cooking was going to go. Mixed it all together, put it on 2 pans, and into the oven. Wow, I was thinking, that was super easy. Onto the next….
By the time things register as smelling like they’re burning you’re already in trouble. The top pan was great, maybe a little burned, but definitely edible. Bottom pan, not so much. I completely panicked, pulled the top tray out and placed it on top of the oven. Next, the not so lucky pan of burning granola. By this point it was smoking a bit, and all logic in my brain ceased to exist. Instead, I thought, if only I could get the burning granola into a plastic bag, then I could take it downstairs to the garbage and then my whole apt wouldn’t fill up with smoke and smell terrible (come on, someone must see the issue already). Burning granola went into the plastic bag, and subsequently melted the plastic bag. Now I was looking at 6 cups of charred granola on my kitchen floor, 2 cats looking at me like I was an idiot (they had a point) and to top things off, a baking pan with half of a plastic bag melted to it.
We call these ‘oh shit’ moments. I was definitely in the middle of one.
Next logical option, open the window in the bathroom, place said hot pan (on a towel of course) on top of the toilet, shut the door and forget about it for a few hours.
At least my mom found the humor in this situation when she happened to call a few minutes later and ask how my weekend was going. Interesting, was the answer that she received.
The rest of the recipes survived my horrible cooking day, and so far everyone that ate my food did too.
Super good quinoa granola! Recipe includes quinoa, oats, pecans, coconut, honey, brown sugar, and I added in chia seeds for an extra kick.
First go at treat pops!