take a stroll

I like a good stroll. Jersey City’s downtown is kind of small by NYC metro standards of pleasant walk-ability, but its smallness makes it feel nice and homey. It’s a good spot for strollin’. Good for poking around to see what new restaurants are popping up (so many Italian/pizza places) and get some ideas on stoop decoration techniques – there seems to be a firm divide between classy mums and fake, stringy spiderwebs.

Here are a couple of the neighborhood eye-catchers as seen in a recent stroll:

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apple butter jeans

I get seduced by farmer’s markets. If I see a cluster of white tents that even hint to a promise of produce, I’m probably heading that way. Most of the time I don’t even need to buy anything; I get a contact high from just being there. Sometimes I buy too many things though, and that’s how I found myself with a growing population of apples living in my kitchen.

With only two of us in the apartment, making a pie seemed a little excessive (and I need to work on my pie crust confidence and today was not the day), so I needed a recipe that would let me use up the apples without resulting in a huge dessert. Enter, apple butter.

apple butter mess

Since this recipe suggested using  a slow cooker, I had the added bonus of making my apartment smell f’ing great all afternoon.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter (adapted from Dinner a Love Story)

  • 10 apples peeled, sliced (I had a hodge podge of varieties and mixed them all together because I’m fearless like that)
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • slice of lemon
  • 1/2 c. water

To do:

Peel and slice your apples. Please try not to peel the tip of your thumb in the process (guilty as charged). Drop the apples as well as all other ingredients into your slow cooker. Turn it on low and stir occasionally. It’s probably recommended to stir as little as possible so that the slow cooker retains the moisture, but if you want to stir yours so that your kitchen gets hit with some appley perfume, be my guest. Make sure the lid is cracked a little open so that moisture can escape and the flavors can really concentrate down.

Once the apples have broken down and are taking on that distinctive apple butter brown color, turn off the slow cooker to let them cool. Remove cinnamon stick and what’s left of your lemon slice, and puree (immersion blender, food processor, whatever you have).

cinnamon

pumpkin seeds dressed up

The idea for these pumpkin seeds was less about needing to participate in celebrating fall (though scarf-wearing and Bean Boots are getting me pretty revved up) and more about needing a seasonably appropriate vehicle for Old Bay. I spied that little yellow bottle in the back of my cabinet earlier this week and it’s been singing a siren song for the last few days. So with that, here are some snackin’ seeds.

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