Katie Wolfendale, CSSH ‘23 //
Hi everyone, and welcome back to me shamelessly finding excuses to talk about how much I love fall via this blog. Last time we talked about some music that just hits good in the fall, but what kind of fall enthusiast would I be if I didn’t follow up with the next best thing about fall – all of the baking!
This semester I’m living off campus for the first time, and I can definitely say that the majority of my free time is spent baking with my roommates. So if you’re wondering what the possibilities are for your off-campus dessert/brunch experience, look no further!
First things first, you need some solid recipes! In all honesty, most of the time finding recipes for my roommates and myself usually just consists of me going on Pinterest or Google and searching for something, and hoping for the best. I’d recommend Pinterest, because then you can save your favorite recipes and make a whole board for them! If that isn’t fun, I don’t know what is. My other go to is texting my mom for “that one thing we had that one time last Fall?” and hoping that my very vague description is enough for her to help out. (Our track record isn’t too bad, if you were wondering).
After you figure out what you’re going to be making, you’ll also be able to start figuring out what you need to buy for groceries! Usually I can coerce my roomies to come grocery shopping with me – who doesn’t love a trip to our local farmer’s market or, if we’re feeling wild, Whole Foods? My biggest piece of grocery store shopping advice is go in with a plan. I’ve become a little obsessive in not only planning out my grocery list, but putting it in order of the grocery store itself. For instance, when you walk into the Whole Foods right near campus, the produce section is immediately to your right, so I usually head there first. Hence, the fruits and veggies I’m buying are at the top of my list. Yeah, I’m not like most girls *flips hair sarcastically* Not only does this help me stay organized, but it also helps you map out your trip. Consequently, this allows you to have an easier time remaining socially distant from others since you won’t be as likely to have to go back and forth between aisles trying to figure out what you’re going to buy and where things are located.
Another pro tip is to bring reusable bags whenever possible! This is less expensive and also super environmentally friendly! Most grocery stores also sell their own reusable bags, so if you don’t have any of your own yet, you can pick some up next time you head to the grocery store!
Now once you’ve picked up your groceries, it’s time to start cooking, baby! And what kind of post would this be if I didn’t give some recommendations of my own to get you inspired for your cooking!
For breakfast/brunch, we love going for a mix of sweet/savory whenever possible. Recently a Saturday morning hit has been pumpkin pancakes with some fruit and bacon on the side. I love this one because it’s super easy, and definitely doable in even the tiniest of off-campus apartment kitchens! Just combine your favorite buttermilk pancake mix/recipe with some canned pumpkin and cinnamon and nutmeg to taste, and grill ‘em up.
Pumpkin Pancakes: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/17036/pumpkin-pancakes/
Another sweet breakfast/brunch item has been sweet toast! One of my favorite nearby coffee places, Tatte, has this yummy yummy french toast with whipped mascarpone, mint, and berries on top. We love to recreate this one for a less expensive and easy treat in the morning! If you’re feeling too lazy or tired (as I usually am), you can just buy some bread and make toast instead of making french toast, and add the other ingredients on top!
On the more savory side, another brunch staple is a breakfast sandwich! Usually we make these with sourdough bread, an egg or two, and cheese, bacon, or avocado (or let’s be real, all three) depending on the day. Sometimes we’ll use a bagel instead of bread, or maybe just some whole grain bread, but it truly just depends on your mood. And, of course, what would any savory item be without a healthy dose of Sriracha on the top?
Some Breakfast Sandwich Inspo: https://www.delish.com/cooking/g80/egg-breakfast-sandwich-recipes/
As I’m sure you’ve already gathered since we’re skipping straight from brunch to dessert, I’ve a bit of a sweet tooth. During the fall, I 100% use Halloween as an excuse to just have candy sitting in a bowl throughout the entire season, and take full advantage of the themed dessert items that also come with the various holidays. One treat I am definitely going to try out making is these Halloween cupcakes I found on Pinterest! Just using different colored frosting, they decorated their cupcakes to look like mummies, zombies, spiders, and a pumpkin!
Spooky Cupcakes: https://preppykitchen.com/halloween-cupcakes/
We’ll start with the classic chocolate chip cookie. Usually, I just use the Nestle Toll House recipe (found on the back of the bag), but I gotta say I am totally here for buying cookie dough from the market and just popping that in the oven. My mom also is a big fan of putting some cinnamon and rolled oats in our cookies, and a sprinkle of salt on top right when they come out of the oven, which may sound odd, but I promise gives your cookies that little kick that you didn’t even know they needed.
Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookies: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/174864/original-nestle-toll-house-chocolate-chip-cookies/
Some more fall centric dessert favs are definitely anything made with pumpkins or apples. Nothing quite screams “Fall” like a warm apple or pumpkin pie! Or maybe you’re feeling bold and want to try to make caramel apples (you can do this from scratch, or you can definitely find a kit somewhere!). The best thing about these Fall staples is that they are so versatile, so whatever it is you’re craving, odds are you can make something yummy!
Apple Pie (shout out Food Network!): https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/classic-apple-pie-recipe-2043582
In summary, Fall is not only the best time to curl up on the couch while listening to your favorite Taylor Swift album (re: my previous post), but it is also the perfect time to bake some yummy treats! I hope you are feeling inspired and ready to make your own fall favs, especially knowing that on or off campus, you will still be able to fully indulge in these treats!