Goodbye Summer…Hello Fall!

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After a long summer of travel (more on that in a minute), we are now entering my favorite time of year. It’s when you can wear sweatshirts again. When you don’t have to worry about sweating to death just to go to the grocery store. When the leaves change and days are breezy and nights are cool enough to sleep with the windows open but not so cold you wake up in the middle of the night confused because you’re freezing and you don’t remember that you left it open.
My September was jam-packed with travel. First, France. We took a two-week journey eating croissants through Paris and Lyon and ended with black forest cake in Munich. We were in a group of ten people, and to say it was hectic would be an understatement.
But we saw — and ate — a lot. Highlights included going up in the Eiffel Tower at night, a tour of the Pere La Chaise Cemetery, and more cathedrals and markets than I can count. I’ve been to Paris before, but I highly recommend Lyon if you’re ever in the area. Especially if you like food.

Pere de Lachaise

We got home to spend about a week before jetting off again to Chicago for a weekend with some friends. In Chicago, we ate at a place called Moody Tongue, a Michelin-starred (two!) brewery that had some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. If you’re ever that way, check it out.
Other things I’m loving this month:
This Pumpkin Cookie Dough candle. I’ve been lighting it every day for the last week and it makes my whole house smell like a fall-themed bakery.
Finally getting my hands on the Dessert Person cookbook. I rarely buy cookbooks, but some (mostly desserts and bread) are so enticing that I just can’t help myself.
Red Boat Salt. If you know anything about fish sauce, you know that Red Boat is the holy grail. Well, this is that, but in salt form. So you can sprinkle it on anything, and you’ll get an umami hit that you won’t see coming. It’s amazing. For real.
Things I want to try:
Using cans as planters. I saw this at a bar recently, and now not only do I want to buy a giant can of Luxardo cherries, but I want to put one of the many plants I have around the house in it.
Making toasted marshmallow bourbon. I love s’mores and bourbon and have infused many things into it. This may be my next one!
This Pan de Cristal recipe from King Arthur Flour. This looks like a ciabatta, but better.
I’m trying to eat better and relying on these things: Magical Beet Smoothie, Kale Apple SaladMediterranean Brown Rice Bowls
But when I’m looking for a treat: These Salted Chocolate Caramelized Hazelnuts hit the spot.
Finally, a handy cooking tip:
Since it’s coming up on the holidays and you’ll probably be making mashed potatoes, I have a tip from my grandma: cook your potatoes in milk or heavy cream with a few cloves of smashed garlic. Then mash them with a potato masher (not a mixer!) You’ll never go back to the old way.

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