I'm have a moment right now with fall.
Finally after several weeks of warm weather here in North Carolina -- seriously, who should have to sweat in autumn? Did we not paid our dues in July and August? -- it's seasonally appropriate and downright lovely.
This past weekend Scott and I went camping with college friends in Western NC (Asheville and Hendersonville) and hiked the Art Loeb Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Black Balsam. If you're ever close to that part of the world, take that hike. It's now on par with my favorite place, Max Patch, as a Sound of Music-esque place to get 360-degree views that hit my heart in a special spot. There's no doubt I'm a mountain girl (place of birth: Fletcher, NC.)
A trip there this time of years means you can't pass up bringing back a ton of local apples. We bought a mixed bushel of Moss Farms' Jonagolds and Courtlands at the farmers market -- but only after buying about 10 pounds of Pink Ladies from a stand at the top of the hill. Had I only known the producers sold in a special spot at the market, I would have kept it to a bushel only. I got a little carried away -- blame it on the Magic of Fall.
Thus some apple projects are in my future. This week I'm making an apple-celery-blue cheese salad from a Moosewood Cafe cookbook, and there's a cheddar potato soup that I could sneak an apple or two in easily. I found two recipes from the Parade magazine -- yes, we are eight hundred years old, subscribe to a old-fashioned newspaper, and actually read Parade -- for an apple crisp and dried apple chips that I might try. I have a lot to work with!
Also, soup's on for the next few meals. The cheese soup is great because, well, it's CHEESE soup, and I have a recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup that we both really enjoy. I need to to track down some good bread to serve alongside the soups -- maybe a trip to the new Fourth Ward Bread Co is in order?
Speaking of new or new-to-us places, an update on Charlotte dining spots should very well happen. We've explored the East side (not counting Plaza Midwood) since moving further out this summer and holy frijole, we found some great eating. Look for that coming soon.
Whatcha chompin' on this week? Let us know!