As we are officially into the October month of Hocus Pocus, pumpkins, and leaves – I thought it would be appropriate to write a blog about ways to enjoy and make the most of the crisp, dry and saffron coloured season that is autumn. Baking, sweaters, acorns are just a few things that pop into my head when the autumn season reaches us so this blog consists of 3 ways to really grasp the autumnal season. These ways will make you love what the season brings and for all you autumn-hating people out there – your mind will be changed!
Now this one gets me very excited! There’s nothing better than to cook up a storm in the kitchen when the weather is cold and dry. From soups to pies to cold drinks, the list is endless when it comes to cooking something autumnal. However today I have a recipe picked up from Pinterest (devoted user remember?) which is…wait for it… a warm, moist pumpkin chocolate chip bread loaf! (weeps tears of joy). This recipe is by Sally’s Baking Addiction and I have two words to say to her – thank you. This loaf is a concoction of pureed pumpkin, warm cinnamon and tangy orange juice – an explosion of sweet, comforting flavours integrated with the perfect fall spices; perfectly summarising what autumn is meant to be about. The majority of ingredients you likely have in the cupboard minus the pumpkin puree and it can be frozen for 3 months max, so there’s no excuse to not make this. Now enough of me torturing you – here is the recipe summarised in 5 informal steps!
- Heat up your oven, my tip is never turning it up to the maximum heat as it will just burn and not cook the inside. Spray/oil your loaf tin or any cake tin you have on hand.
- The first bowl is dry ingredients, add 1 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and ground cloves along with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a good sprinkle of salt (I said it was going to be informal)
- Now in another bowl, break 2 eggs, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar along with 1/2 a cup of brown sugar.
- In one last bowl, I promise, whisk together 1 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree (absolute lush), 1/2 cup of veg oil and 1/2 of smooth orange juice. Add the bowls of wet ingredients to the dry bowl, mix together with a reasonable amount of chocolate chips. Pour the final batter into the tin, throw it in the oven (sarcasm, avoid if you don’t want to clean up a dirty oven) for 1 hour and a bit until cooked and voila!
One of my favourite things not just in autumn but all year round excluding summer for the obvious (sweaty weather) reasons are candles! Different scents and colours really make a difference whether it’s in your living room or bedroom. Autumn is the arrival of scents such as berry, wood and light floral which are guaranteed to make those autumnal evenings just that tad bit cosier. However, I’m aware that candles can be pricey especially when you’re looking at brands such as Jo Malone or Yankee Candle so I decided to go to my local shopping centre and hunt for you all reasonably priced candles so you don’t miss out (I’m great right). I popped into Sainsbury’s, checked online and discovered they had a variety of autumnal scented candles – £14 being the most expensive in contrast to Yankee Candle selling them for a minimum of £20. My favourite one by far had to be the £14 Warm Amber & Fig 3 Wick Candle – it had light scents of sweet fig but also a citrus twist from the clementine. Now if you want a classic scent that is also cheaper – the £6.50 Sainsbury’s Vanilla & Musk Large Candle is your pick. The main scent is obviously vanilla but you get light hints of spice. If you’re not a fan of spicy scents which a lot of candles have around the autumn season – any fragrance you decide to pick in the end is guaranteed to make this autumn, the cosiest it’s ever been.
3. Enjoying the weather
Autumn is the season of crisp air, foggy skies and cold winds with specs of sunrays here and there – the perfect mild weather. As tempting as it sounds to stay at home bundled up with a warm drink (my type of settings), this weather is perfect for brisk walks around parks and well just anywhere. The different coloured leaves on mild green grass honestly creates the most picturesque scenes. Autumn is the last season where you can honestly enjoy the last few sunrays before winter – so whether it’s taking your dog out for a walk or grabbing a hot coffee – making the most of the weather is definitely one of the great things to do during autumn.
Goodbye iced tea, sandals and shorts – hello scarves, movies and frost!
Till next time,