Five years and countless return trips in, those first seasonal memories of the Green Mountain State have actually become more vivid, growing into a lifetime of adventures not yet taken. We come up frequently to our home away from home. In the green of summer, the warm glow of autumn, and the winter white blanket of snow. Each time we come we discover new adventures to be had, treats to be eaten, and sights (and sites) to be seen.
And isn’t it high time I share a few with you? Below are my all-time favorite picks for this most wonderfall time of year in the Dorset/Manchester area, just in time for peak leaf-peeping.
Autumn (n.): crisp air and the distinctly dry rustle of scarlet and golden leaves, cinnamon spiced coffee, pumpkins popping up on doorsteps, flannel and vests, long shadows and harvest moons, hay rides, apple picking and cider donuts…
When I think of fall flavors, the three that immediately pop into mind are pumpkin, apple, and maple. And when I think of delicious holidays, the clear winner for me is Thanksgiving. Combine the latter two and you have the best pie I’ve ever eaten.
The days are long, the weather is hot, and the fireflies are aglow. It can only mean one thing: Independence Day has nearly arrived. The Fourth has always been one of my favorite holidays, if not just because of the summer magic I associate with it. Sundresses blow in the summer breeze, watermelon slices disappear from a plate, the smell of charcoal wafts through the air. Patriotic tunes enchant parks from sea to sea, striped blankets create a patchwork quilt over large swaths of grass, and bright bursts of colorful sparks fill the night sky. It's simply the best!
But what would summer be with out fresh berries bedecking every meal? Berries and cream are a must during these warmth summer months, and what better version exists than the strawberry shortcake?
It's National Peanut Butter Cookie Day today and I can think of no better way to celebrate it and these warm summer days than by making one of my all-time faves: the ice cream sandwich. (Eaten outside, picnic-style... What kind of frozen summer treat would it be if the ice cream weren't melting all over my fingers?)
There are few things as refreshing on a hot summer day as a cool ice cream float. Included in this post are my favorite five no-fuss combinations, beginning with the Creamsicle Float I shared on Instagram for National Creamsicle Day.
By the Way Bakery, a completely gluten- and dairy-free bakery recently opened its doors in Greenwich. (It turns out they already had three locations in New York, but I'm absolutely thrilled they ventured out to the 'burbs of Connecticut and opened up a local shop.) Though my diet is not dairy-free, the artisans here have definitely broadened their potential customer base as it's a common issue, especially among those who can't tolerate gluten. More importantly, I couldn't taste the difference...
I was searching for the perfect pumpkin bread recipe a few years ago and was instead lured by cookie recipes everywhere tempting me with the words "melt in your mouth". I opted out of my original idea, and justified this with my unceasing notion that not much beats a freshly baked cookie. I adapted a recipe from Better Homes & Gardens: half the granulated sugar so the (optional) addition of frosting doesn't make it sicky-sweet, filling in with brown sugar for a warmer, richer sweetness. I added ginger to mimic my grandmother's pumpkin pie recipe, and made a standard cream cheese frosting.