What would you say if I told you we’ve had absolutely NO weather here in Northeast Iowa over the last three weeks.
That’s right, no weather.
That’s crazy talk, isn’t it? Unless your orbiting outer space somewhere in a black abyss of nothingness there is weather to report each and every day.
That may be true – but we haven’t had any of the kind of weather that gets people talking. Rain gets people talking. Snow and ice for sure get people talking. So do hurricanes, typhoons, and tornadoes. Heat and humidity has people lamenting. Cold and wind get people chattering. Too many clouds and people are complaining.
We have not had ANY of those. Every single day for the past three weeks it has been sunny, not a cloud in the sky, with temps near 80. This doesn’t sound so bad but, wow, it is insanely boring! Not a drop of rain, not a breath of wind and not even the tiniest hint of fall. There has been NOTHING to talk about weather-wise. Maybe I’m just a huge nerd because I like to talk about weather? If I am, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know. 🙂
Since we are sans weather here as of late, I was actually starting to forget we were plowing through September here! I’m not sure what season it feels like out there but it’s certainly not fall. This is quite worrisome. The worst possible thing could happen here — There could be no fall. No fall! No sweatshirts, no crisp days, no gentle rains. Nope. We’re going to skip fall completely and go straight to winter. We’re going to wake up one day after weeks and weeks of this non-weather and there will be TONS to talk about. As in, TONS of snow. And TONS of ice. And TONS of winter headaches and woes.
I’m shuddering just thinking about it! Hurry, Fall! Don’t pass us on by!
I thought maybe I would try to help fall along a little bit here this weekend. Maybe if I cook and bake enough fall-y foods, fall will appear. Well, good thing I got my pumpkin fix a couple weeks back because now the stores around here either A) don’t have any because of said pumpkin shortage. Or B) They’ve pulled it from the shelves and are hording it in a back room somewhere so they are able to meet demand for the holidays. Either way, it’s nowhere to be found.
Of course, there are other ways to usher in fall in the kitchen – apples, cranberries, spices and, for me, nuts! Especially pecans! Now, nuts may not seem like a fall food but something about buttery, toasty pecans just makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. Perfect for hoping for bringing in a new season.
I decided to make Ina’s Pecan Shortbread and they turned out WONDERFUL. Tender, buttery and crunchy. I love shortbread because it’s kind of a grown up cookie. I love how they aren’t too sweet and the pecans really shine through. Sugar-obsessed kids probably wouldn’t love these but they’d be perfect along side a cup of coffee with the ladies. 🙂
PECAN SHORTBREAD (Recipe Source: Ina Garten-Barefoot Contessa Cookbook via Foodnetwork.com)
- 3/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups small diced pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter/sugar mixture. Add the pecans and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut into 2 1/2-inch squares with a plain or fluted cutter (I used a 2 1/2 circle instead and then cut little leaves out of the scraps with a mini cookie cutter). Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (20 minutes may be a tad long, check after 15), until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve.
About a year ago:
Pumpkin Cheesecake – If you can find pumpkin, this is a GREAT way to use it.
Roasted Applesauce – Mmmmm…more fall goodies
Mom’s Bohemian Pork Roast with Bread Dumplings – My absolute FAVORITE meal my mom makes. A family tradition.
Brown Rice Chicken Chili – Easy and flavorful!