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2013/10/14 / Shanan

THANKFUL

For mischievous smiles, wooly sweaters, silly dancing, loud get-togethers, boots in tall grass, afternoon sunshine, knowing glances, dumb jokes, brewing cider, mutual understanding, wandering minds, endless baking, light-bulb moments, garden vegetables, changing leaves, moody skies, spontaneous emotions, prospective adventures.

Happy Thanksgiving.  xx Shanan

Image above: Three generations out for a walk before dinner; Theo, Jeannine (my mother-in-law) and I.

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2013/10/09 / Shanan

THE APPLE CINNAMON CAKE

Keeping promises isn’t really my forté at the moment – after our apple-picking party I may have mentioned that I’d post some recipes for the desserts later that week.  And then I didn’t.  Sigh.  Next thing you know we’ll be forced to endure trust-fall exercises together.

This Apple Cinnamon Cake was the most requested recipe from the day; I used muffin tins here but they will bake up just as beautifully in a loaf pan.  It’s also vegan, if you do so happen to care about that type of thing.

apple cinnamon cake ingredients

apple cinnamon cake whole apples

APPLE CINNAMON CAKE (adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup kamut flour (you could also use spelt, etc)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup coconut sugar

a pinch of salt

3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into small chunks

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup applesauce (despite the million trees in our backyard, I got lazy and used the jarred stuff)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

 

Make It

1.  Preheat oven to 325 F and grease a loaf pan or place liners into a muffin tin (will make 10-12 little cakes).

2.  Whisk all dry ingredients (the first nine on the list) together in a large bowl.

3.  Add the chopped apples and stir to combine, then add all the wet ingredients save for the lemon juice.

4.  Stir everything well, then add lemon and blend it through the batter.

5.  Pour batter into your baking receptacle of choice and bake til a toothpick inserted in the cake’s centre comes out clean.  It will be about 45-50 minutes for the loaf and closer to 30 minutes for the cupcakes.

6.  Cool cake(s) on a rack.  Can be stored covered at room temperature for a couple of days, or wrapped and frozen.

TheSymmetric-apple-cake-chopped-apples

TheSymmetric-apple-cake-peels

TheSymmetric-apple-cake-muffin

TheSymmetric-apple-cake-muffin-closeup

ps. If you’re looking for more desserts, you may also like the Lemon Cream Tart and the Aperol Float.  I swear I actually do way more savoury cooking than I do baking, although you certainly wouldn’t know it by the blog’s recipe track-record.

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2013/09/25 / Shanan

PLAY MISTY FOR ME

The last few mornings when I’ve woken up early with Theo, this is the view off the back deck.  The light just changing from grey to a hint of pink, with a heavy cloak of mist suspended just above the ground.  It’s silent and beautiful and kind of eerie, and if I’m in a particularly dark mood I imagine myself as a character in that Stephen King novella, The Mist.

Otherwise? I pretend we’re in Forks.  Embarrassing, I know.

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2013/09/23 / Shanan

APPLE PICKIN’ PARTY

Bye bye summer, it was fun while it lasted.  Five days ago Theo was running naked through the sprinkler, and then this past weekend autumn showed up, rained like a b*tch for awhile, and then forced the scarves and hats out of retirement (ps, nonchalant woolen beanie FAIL, above).  We hosted an apple-picking open house because I ask you – what else are you going to do when you have a small orchard in your backyard?  Live the dream, share the wealth.

autumn apple picking party

Last year there was some unusual weather that ruined the entire apple season up here.  I can’t even remember eating one decent one.  This year?  We must have thousands.  Talk about a comeback <insert “how do you like THEM apples?” joke here>.

autumn apple picking party baby

Good apple.

apple-picking-yarrow-badapple

Bad apple.

autumn apple picking party snacks treats

I did a little baking the day before so we had an indoor spread of apple cinnamon cake, brown butter + sea salt chocolate chip cookies, truffled popcorn, mini chocolate-apple cakes, and sparkling apple cider.  In other words, just a typical Sunday afternoon where I break out the table runner and fancy beverage dispensers.

birch straws apple picking party

Oh, the plight of the printed paper straw.  You’re a big fat Pinterest cliché but I love ya.

apple hauling

apple-picking-frida

apple-picking-bitess

This is how feral animals children eat apples.

iceland sweater napkins

handsome dad apple picking

Almost forgot to tell you, then Jon Hamm stopped by with his kids.  Sweet.

homemade sparkling apple cider party

bucket of organic apples

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apple-picking-gillian

The award for Best Fall Hair goes out to Gillian.

apple-picking-theo-hood

brown butter sea salt chocolate chip cookies

apple-picking-nathan

My nephew Nathan, who generally doesn’t give me the time of day (and why should he, he’s five), managed to drink his weight in apple cider and told me I should be a chef.  Thanks, kid.  Except how can I trust you with that crazy eyebrow??

apple picking party tree

Thanks so much to all our friends and family who came out, and to those of you whom I didn’t get pictures of! And thanks for looking through my many, many photos.  This will be an annual event for sure.  xx Shanan

ps. I’ll post some of the treats recipes soon.

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2013/09/11 / Shanan

THE APPLE OF MY EVENING

Tonight at about 5:30 PM, I emerged from a kitchen stupor and stepped outside into the most beautiful early evening ever.  The light was just so; everything was bathed in a warm glow and a sense of ease. Chris and our friend Matty were picking apples while Theo sat in her ‘magic chair,’ snacking and watching the girls ride horses next door.  I brought out beers for the guys and then climbed the huge ladder; I got right up in a tree, looked down from above, and sighed.  I just felt like sharing some of the pictures we took, which already feel sun-drenched and hazy and too perfect to believe.

view-from-above

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matty-chris

horse-riders

theo-horse-watch

shan-ladder

theo-snacking

apple-tree

matty-beer

chris-apple-ladder-bw

pally-apple-tree