In New England, we love to celebrate the fall season. Fantastic morning with warm sunny days, jewel-tone leaves, farm roadside stands bursting with the last of summer’s bounty all signal the change in the seasons. Nature’s premier show is on display for all to enjoy. Fall baking is one of my favorite pastimes, and I especially love to make apple desserts. Going through all my posts, I realized I’m kind of obsessed with apples, cakes, pies, cupcakes, and more. When I’m creating a new cake or pie, the fall inspires me to give nature my all and go wild! Here are a few of the fall favorites that I have posted over the years.
Did I mention that I love fish! And if you read my blog, living in New England affords me access to the freshest fish. Our local grocery stores all have excellent fish markets.
Cod is a staple in our region, and the most famous dish is Baked Cod with Ritz crackers. On the menu in every traditional New England restaurant. I’ve put a new twist on this recipe to create a healthier version with fewer calories and fat.
During the pandemic, my recipes have tended to be for two and one-pan meals. Double the recipe to serve more people; use a large roasting pan.
4 cups kale, cut into bite-size pieces, and stems removed 1-pint cherry tomatoes 1 lb. cod, cut into four pieces 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup unseasoned Panko bread crumbs 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pre-heat oven 425F. Arrange kale and tomatoes on a baking pa—place cod nestled in kale and tomatoes.
Mix olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle over cod and vegetables.
In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle over cod and vegetables.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cod. I purchased a thick cod fillet for this recipe.
When I was a young girl, introduced to Robert Frost’s poems, I immediately became enamored with his words. I felt a kinship, his poems about the seasons, New England, and life’s everyday choices resonated in my soul. I am not a scholar, nor do I profess to be an expert on Frost. I know what has meaning to me and brings me joy! Even all these years later, when I reread my favorite poems, I discover fresh nuances hidden between the familiar words on the page.
I grew up in Pennsylvania, far from Frost’s New England. Then fate stepped in; I married a New Englander and moved to Boston. Years later, another coincidence happened, my husband and I purchased a vacation home in New Hampshire not far from the Frost Place in Franconia, NH. The farmhouse is where Robert Frost and his family lived full-time from 1915 to 1920 and spent nineteen summers.
Touring the farm and viewing his possessions – like the desk where he wrote – I understand the inspiration for many of his poems. The house is a straightforward, honest, remote, classic New England farmhouse without any pretense situated in the White Mountains with gorgeous views from the long front porch. I can imagine Frost perched in a wicker chair with a commanding baronial scenery, breathing the clear autumn air, drawing inspirations for his works from the majestic surrounding vistas.
Autumn is magical in the White Mountains, especially October, nature’s premiere season, and Frost’s Poem ‘October’ captures the majestic beauty on display. I am partial to fall and love to celebrate the season. When the leaves peak in October, forming a breathtaking backdrop, I sit in my study and read Frost’s poem ‘October,’ transported to my youth, and I remember my initial exposure to the beauty of his poetry with the first line.
“O hushed October morning mild, Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;”
Finished reading, I am filled with gratitude for my old companion, peacefully basking in nature’s glory, preparing for the change of season, and approaching winter. All is right with the world!
In New England, we celebrate Autumn with gusto like the strong winds creating falling leave whirlpools on front lawns then whisking the colorful leaves away to decompose in the woods. Fall is a glorious season inviting all to partake in the cornucopia of scents and tastes indicative of the season. I love to bake aromatic cakes, pies, and cookies filling my home with spicy fragrances; a perfect companion to falling temperatures complimenting the change from summer to fall. On a brisk fall day what could be more appropriate than a piece of spice cake with a cup of tea sitting by the fire watching the changing jewel-tone leaves float quietly to the ground.
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing the bundt pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-ounce can; not pie filling), Libby’s Pumpkin
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream1/4 cup salted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a 10-inch nonstick bundt pan (3 quarts)
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bundt pan generously, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Whisk together flour (2 1/4 cups), baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl.
Beat butter (1 1/2 sticks) and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, then add eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.
Spoon batter into the pan, smoothing top, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then invert onto severing plate. Cool 10 minutes more.
Bring light brown sugar, heavy cream, and salted butter to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan over medium, stirring often. Boil, stirring often, 1 minute; remove from heat. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract until smooth.
Drizzle icing over warm cake, then cool cake completely. Icing will harden slightly.
The cake can be made 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container