A Thousand Threads

Category: Recipes

Hello Fall Foods

brown butter spice cake

Fall is one of the only seasons that enjoys an undeniable connection to a particular set of foods.  In fact, it might be the only… unless we count certain holidays on their own, in which case winter might also stake a little claim.

When the air gets crisp and cold I immediately begin to crave pumpkin, apple, and all things spiced… and long to ring in the new season with some of the best goodies around.

These are just a few that I’ve been dying to make…

pumpkin spice donuts and two minute carrot cakenutty hazelnut and almond pear crumble with elderflower creampear/cinnamon frangipagne tartlets and pumpkin pie bars

1 // Brown Butter Spice Cake

2 // Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Cinnamon Butter Glaze

3 // Two Minute Carrot Cake à La Mode

4 // Nutty Hazelnut and Almond Pear Crumble with Elderflower Cream

5 // Pear and Cinnamon Frangipagne Tartlets

6 // Pumpkin Pie Bars

Roasted Delicata Squash and Hazelnut Salad

roasted delicata squash and hazelnut salad / a thousand threadsroasted delicata squash and hazelnut salad / a thousand threads

So I mentioned that we’ve finally gotten on the health food track, right?

Well, relatively speaking. We cut out grains and most refined sugar and for once we’re really managing to stick to it… of course we can still have wine, dark chocolate, and cheese. I’m not gonna say we’re mostly living on cheese, but…

Okay occasionally we are eating some really healthy things, and discovering some new ones we never even knew existed (or maybe i just didn’t know you could eat them… they look so pretty in those harvest displays…) like delicata squash.

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Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

potluck / a thousand threadscarrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting / a thousand threads

All week, Mark has been going on about this thing at the farm. He wasn’t really sure what it was, but it was on Saturday, maybe in the evening. He thought it might involve food…

By Saturday, this whole thing was barely on my radar, but finally, the morning of, I got some answers. It turned out we were headed to a potluck.

So of course we all know I was excited. I’ve been rambling on about a potluck for months. I didn’t even mind the scramble to find something to cook (ah-hem).

Really though, the scramble just meant that I had a great excuse to fall back on a favorite.

If there is one blog I use as a constant resource (a cookbook more than a blog) it’s Smitten Kitchen. I’m sure it’s not news to most of you that Deb’s incredibly tasty, highly vetted collection is nothing short of amazing (I kind of want to steal all of her recipes… and while I’m at it, make off with her incredible storytelling skills). Not one of her recipes has ever let me down… and this one is no exception.

Of course… poor Mark, he may never look at a carrot the same again.

I totally buy in to the Julia Child quote “…nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should.” So when Deb says you should grate the carrots by hand?

Well… I ask Mark to grate the carrots by hand.

Really, though… I’ve never made this cake with a food processor, so I can’t speak to the difference, but I believe wholeheartedly that the teeny tiny shreds of carrot you get when you use the small side of the cheese grater (and grate… and grate… and grate) allow for the truly incredible nature of this moist, mouth-watering, truly perfect carrot cake. If you’re looking for a recipe, seriously… stop with this one. It’s the best.

Key Lime Meringue Tart with Shortbread Cookie Crust

Key Lime Meringue Tart with Shortbread Cookie Crust

Did you know that there’s really such a thing as a key lime?

(Florida natives shhh.)

Neither did I!

But hey… if you run on down to your local Wegman’s, they probably have them… because Wegman’s is just absurdly wonderful and has everything.  Even these adorably tiny little key limes.**

This weekend was nothing short of crazy.  Mark spent Saturday shooting a friend’s wedding, and I tagged along to fumble with the camera assist.  By the end of the (very hot) day we were spent, and still haven’t nearly recovered, but when we wandered by these little buggers on a Sunday supermarket run I just couldn’t resist.

Key lime pie is Mark’s favorite.  It had to be done.

So I switched up David Lebovitz’ Lime Merigue Tart with a shortbread cookie crust and went to it.

And I will say, even when I’m exhausted… key lime is totally worth the effort.

Key Lime Meringue Tart with Shortbread Cookie Crust

** Okay, okay… I know everyone doesn’t have a Wegmans, and obviously that’s not the only place you might be able to find these little guys… but if you find that you’re all out of luck, I promise, regular limes will work just fine.

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The Best Peach Jam Ever

Oh my gosh I am so proud of those little jars up there.

So proud.

This was my first time canning and my very first jam.  And because all that wasn’t complicated enough, I decided to do the whole thing without pectin.

There were no guarantees here, folks… none whatsoever.  In fact I was pretty sure it was all going to turn into a big runny unsealed mess… ruining the piles and piles of gorgeous peaches that I kind of wanted to keep around forever just for the smell… our house was like heaven.

But I went for it anyway, and after about two hours of peeling those beauties, it’s okay, I was a little less sentimental.

And minus the whole peeling thing (which, by the way, is much easier to do if you use this method… but let’s not fool ourselves, it’s still no fun at all) I was happy to find that the whole process went pretty smoothly!

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Cheesy Peach Jalapeño Bread

Mark has always been a better cook than me.  In fact, I’ll toot his horn for him a little (because I’m proud) and say that he’s a better cook than most.  The only place I’ve ever been able to up him just a little (there’s that competitive streak again…) is in baking.  So when Mark decided to start baking bread, well, I’m not gonna lie… I was a little scared.  He was encroaching on my territory and I just knew he was going to be good at it.

And I was right.  But, really, I can’t say it’s all that terrible to come home to the smell of warm baking bread… or to taste this delicious-ness fresh from the oven.

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Blueberry Rustic Tart

So, what to do with all of those blueberries?

I’m not gonna lie, we made a pretty big dent just snacking on handfuls… but with so much fresh fruit in the house, we had to make something special.

I love to bake, and my go-to favorite for fruit is always a pie. But I really wanted to try something new, and if you’re on Pinterest, you’ll know why I was tempted by this particular treat. In the land of food porn, the rustic tart is king… and there’s a darn good reason for it.

The rustic tart (or galette) isn’t just pretty, it’s also super easy to make. You just make up a pastry dough, throw in some fruit with a little sugar, fold and bake. Done.

I used a dough from Tartine that, as it turns out, is completely worth its more time intensive nature… but if you’re looking for a quick fix you can always run to the store and consult with the dough boy… he makes a pretty rockin’ pie crust that could easily go from zero to galette in no more than an hour.

Because this particular dough really is a flaky, buttery wonder, I’ll share the recipe I used. If you want to use another (maybe this one, doubled?) or buy a pre-made crust, you can skip all the way down to step six.

Enjoy! And let me know if you try this crust. It’s different than anything I’ve ever seen, but oh so worth it in the end.

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