Most normal people recognize that Saturday morning is the best day of the week to sleep in, but I’m a little dumb about these things. After a week of sleepless nights, I still have a tendency to get up at 6am to make it to my dance class at 10… in Connecticut. It is, in fact, insane. But my dance school is one of my favorite places in the whole world and the concrete towers and grand avenues that are my New York day-to-day are no substitute for the fiery autumn country roads that lead me home.
Usually I go home on friday nights so I can get up for dance at a normal time, but by a beautiful stroke of luck I took the train last week. And when I got off the train in South Norwalk to transfer to Bethel (which is so great, you’ve never even heard of it) I had what can only be described as “a moment.” All at once, the friendlier people, bright colors and most importantly the crispness of the air whacked me in the face and though the equinox was still a week away, my fall had arrived. Ever since then, I can’t get enough of apples, pumpkins, squash and cinnamon… but I decided I’d better hold off to share my insanity until it was really really fall, and also until I had a recipe worthy of my sentiments to share with you – something truly special. Which luckily, I found today on the first full day of fall! This recipe is inspired by Martha Stewart’s recipe, but with added sherry, more rosemary, cream, garlic and cheese. It tastes vaguely Northern Italian, but distinctly American and very very fall. And the best part is it only takes 1/2 an hour max from start to finish, even for a slow cooker like me!
How about you – do you have a savory way to welcome in the season? We’d love to hear about it!
Penne with Pumpkin Cream Sauce
From: Gabrielle Siegel, inspired by Martha Stewart
12 oz penne pasta
2 tbsp canola oil
4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp dried rosemary
2.5-3 tbsp sherry
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2-3/4 cup grated parmesan
1 tbsp sugar
Cook pasta, according to package directions, in salted water until al-dente. Drain, and reserve 2 cups water.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan, and sauté garlic and rosemary for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and slightly toasted
Carefully add the sherry, pumpkin, half-and-half, parmesan and sugar, and stir to combine. Add reserved water in 1/2 cup increments until desired texture is reached.
Add pasta to pan, and stir to coat.
Eat, sprinkled with parmesan and a little rosemary.
There’s something oddly comforting about peaches. Peaches have been a part of my family for years, starting with my father’s allergy to peach fuzz. My mother refused to eat peaches when carrying me, swearing by the old midwives’ tale that consuming peach fuzz during pregnancy causes fuzzy stomach hair on babies. For summers, my mother stored peaches in a plastic bag in a plastic bag in the crisper, tragically excluded from all the other fruits.
Since moving to New York City, peach fuzz has been the least of my problems. Peaches are beginning to end its season, and before it officially puts up its annual “Gone Pitting” sign, they deserve a grand last hurrah. Eating a peach whole sounds terribly drab, so I was excited to learn on Kitchy Kitchen last summer that you can combine peaches and s’mores, the combination dubbed “s’meaches”. S’meaches replace chocolate with caramelized peaches.
S’meaches is not only a great way to celebrate the final wave of peaches, but also great for fall housewarming parties and September kids parties. S’meaches also make an ideal midnight snack, so put down that Tupperware of leftovers and make yourself a s’meach!
From: Soyeon Kim, based on Kitchy Kitchen
2 ripe peach (halved or quartered)
handful brown sugar
pinch cayenne pepper
Pit and halve or quarter the peaches. Skin if you desire, but not necessary.
In a small bowl, mix a handful of brown sugar and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Heat a saute pan on medium stove. Place the peaches, flesh down, on the saute pan. After 2 minutes, sprinkle half the brown sugar-cayenne pepper mix over the peaches and pan. Let the sugar and peaches begin to caramelize for 2 minutes.
Flip the peaches and pour the rest of the sugar mix over the peaches. Let caramelize for 2-4 minutes. Repeatedly pour the caramel over the peaches. Flip once or twice if desired.
Turn the heat off and allow the peaches to sit in the caramel.
Skewer one marshmallow to a bamboo stick and roast the marshmallows over a fire. (If you do not have a fireplace or a barbecue, you can roast marshmallows over a lit, uncovered gas stove on medium heat with the fan on. If you fear marshmallow combustion or gas poisoning, you can roast it over a candle.)
On one half of the graham cracker, place the roasted marshmallow.
On the other half of the graham cracker, place one half of a peach (or two quarters).
Squish the marshmallow-graham cracker half onto the peach-graham cracker half.
Francesca and I have been reading Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events this summer, and we are trying to finish up The Miserable Mill before I go back to school next week. If you are unfamiliar with this series, it is a wonderful set of children’s books in which nothing good happens to anybody ever. But in this installment we have been learning, of all things, about optimism because there is a character named Phil and he is an optimist. It’s a timely lesson because Francesca and are both recovering from surgery and if your house is going to be an infirmary anyway, it’s best to look at it with the most positive attitude possible. So instead of focusing on what we’ve lost (our adenoids and wisdom teeth) Francesca and I are going to focus on what we’ve gained – the right to do nothing for a few days but watch The Flintstones and eat ice cream.
Over the past two years of college I’ve been lucky enough to live with people who care a lot about Haagen Dazs, and would stuff the freezer with quarts of it whenever it went on sale every few weeks. Luckiest of all, these people introduced me to the Haagen Dazs trifecta of perfection – Coffee, Vanilla and Dulce de Leche – that Francesca and I are using to celebrate our recovery period. Usually we make these into sundaes, but since I can’t really open my mouth wide enough for a spoon, we’re going to go with milkshakes. We hope you enjoy our Trifecta Shakes no matter how you’re feeling. And we want to know – when you’re sick, what food cure works best for you? Comment below to let us know!