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Carrot Muffins – fall again

click image for recipe

I started cooking and trying to eat healthy sometime last summer. I started this blog in the fall to try and stay inspired to cook. I’m a summer person. And the coming of cold weather is always depressing. So rather than submit to a mild seasonal depression by just eating pizza, I decided to try and get a positive feedback loop going. Enter the world of food blogging. You find pictures from a recipe online that looks great (and of course the blogger is fabulous in one way or another) — you are inspired to try it — it tastes and looks good! — you take pictures of it — you feed it to others/they see pictures and are impressed — you want to do it again.

So here goes the beginning of this fall’s loop!

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Lemon Bars – A Taste of Summer

YAY summer food! I made these lemon bars on the first day it was even mildly warm enough to call it almost summer. They were so great I even tried my own gluten free version on Sanibel Island so my dad could have some . They were a perfect addition an amazing trip –Thanks Gigi!!!


I have to say that while I did make a few things this winter that I loved (Short Rib Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner in Savannah, Lamb Holiday Kickoff Dinner in our apartment in NYC, Peppermint Ganache Brownie Christmas presents with Missa in Marshfield, and my Go-To holiday gifts-Ginger Bars), summer food is my favorite! I also never take pictures of anything in the winter (I may have SAD?) so here’s to the return of Bourbon Lemonade and Food Blogging!
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Suzy Homemaker - Oh Abby, these look beautiful! So delicious looking!

Apple Cider Donut Holes

Living in New York City, people think you can’t be more than a couple blocks away from a few things; the subway (not true), a pizza place (true), a yoga or pilates studio (maybe), a great local coffee shop (I wish), Starbucks (true but who cares), and a good Farmers Market (now true!) The Fort Washington Farmers Market has been growing in the past two years, and is now a really great place to buy produce on Tuesdays. The farmers are friendly and eager to inform you about their produce. It’s not too crowded like the ones deeper in the city can be, and it’s two blocks from my apartment!

This has been a huge help in buying seasonal cooking supplies, like the apples I used in these Apple Cider Donut Holes. The first fall ingredient I explored was pumpkin. After a bourbon pumpkin spice bread (pictures still to come) and the Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Brownies from Smitten Kitchen, I was kind of done with pumpkin for a while. Then, (warning: another embarrassing confession) I was watching The Barefoot Contessa….ugh I know………and I saw her making her own apple cider!

I’ll include a post just about making homemade apple cider (SO easy), but for now suffice to say it makes the entire apartment smell like a warm fall day and you can use it for so many things…and not just sweet things. Back to some healthier recipes soon I promise! But here’s another great fall recipe from one of the best resources for them – Smitten Kitchen.

The recipe is for Apple Cider Donuts, but being a little worried about only having donut eating experience, I though donut holes might be a little easier to start with. I think I was right.

I started with homemade apple sauce and a homemade donut hole cutter (a whiskey glass)

My dough was very wet at first so I had to add quite a bit of flower to work with it.

I have to say, while these were SO tasty, deep frying anything yourself may make you think twice about eating it ever again.

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Fall at the Farmers Market » Considerable Trouble & Considerable Joy - […] Fort Washington Farmers Market, which I previously got very excited about here, is right on my way to work. Their evolving produce is just like watching leaves turn on trees. But […]

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies – Pretty Little Liars

One of the things to get used to with blogging, is making confessions. In order to tell a story, it often takes admitting something that you hadn’t really planned on just putting out there on the internet. But, my journalist father would be appalled to see me sacrifice a story in order to save face, so here it is. I made these really great brownies, for a Pretty Little Liars Halloween party. Yes, I watch Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family. And it scares me. Thank you Anna Simone Krementz. It’s all her fault.

The second season of the show is over. BUT, ABC family figured, it’s so scary that they might as well do a random special Halloween episode. So Anna and I (and her boyfriend because she got him into the show as well, poor guy) decided to have a PLL Halloween party to watch the episode. And to make things cheesier, I decided to try and make a Halloweenish dessert – sticking with my goal to cook more seasonally and such to keep from getting depressed about the cold weather.

I found this recipe for Pumpkin Swirl Brownies on Smitten Kitchen.  They were easily the most successful and popular dessert I’ve made yet. And honestly, not really hard at all!

Once you’ve layered the two batters in the pan (chocolate then pumkin, then chocolate then pumpkin), you swirl the batter in the pan to try and create a marbled effect.

Then add some nuts, in my case Hazelnuts.

And there you have it. The perfectly cheesy little brownie for an ABC family Halloween party for adults with no children or other excuse for watching. However, Anna did provide really great wine and cheese which made us feel a little more mature. And we TOTALLY figured out who “A” is. So……worth it.

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Apple Cider Donut Holes – Still Embracing the Season » Considerable Trouble & Considerable Joy - […] like the apples I used in these Apple Cider Donut Holes. The first fall ingredient I explored was pumpkin. After a bourbon pumpkin spice bread (pictures still to come) and the Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl […]

Roasted Tomato Soup – Seasons Changing


I’m easing into fall slowly. Or at least I wanted to. To quote a recently aired episode of a show I’m not going to admit I watch, “I had hoped denial would last longer as a coping mechanism.” I’ve started to list the few things I like about cold weather.


1.My hands and feet get poor circulation I guess because they are frequently blocks of ice (not a good thing, I know, but wait for it) so occasionally, and without warning, I accost Michael with them and he screams like a little girl.

2. The surf gets better…..but I become less likely to want to get in the water

3. The cat gets cold so she cuddles more

4. My birthday

5. Christmas….my sister and I watching Muppet Christmas Carol


Yea that’s it for me. At least that I can think of now. So I’m going to try to embrace the changing season through food. The kinds of food that might feel a little odd to eat during the summer (the best season ever) and can be relished during the colder months. This recipe from Sprouted Kitchen is….like I said…easing into it. I almost cried when I saw pumpkin ice cream as a flavor at the end of August, so cut me some slack.

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