Celebrating the Fall

As promised, this post is all about fall. Early Saturday morning my besties, boyfriend, and I packed ourselves in the car and headed out to explore Maryland’s rural landscapes. The end goal, however, was to pick our own apples for the sole purpose of making baked goodies (of course). We started off the morning with some homemade pumpkin donuts (slightly muffin shaped ones, as I only own a mini muffin pan. I just can’t bring myself to add a donut panĀ  to my already crowded cupboard. Apartment living means consolidating and multipurpose pans).

So yummy!

The low morning lighting does nothing to show how truly wonderful these little guys were! I ate my fair share during the baking process, after they were done, in the car on the way to the orchard, the next day for breakfast. You get the idea. They were good. And the best part? “Healthy” is in the title of this recipe! Honestly, if you find yourself with some extra pumpkin puree, or even pumpkin pie filling (that’s what I wound up using), make these.

And thank goodness we started the day with some pumpkin. It got us in the mood to go pumpkin picking. True, the goal of the day was apple picking, but when some miscommunications happen with the farm and you discover that their Pumpkin Festival is that weekend instead of apple picking, not in addition to, you just roll with it. The Festival did look like some good family fun, but since we didn’t have any kiddos with us, we opted to skip the Festival portion of things and just pick our own pumpkins in the field. With weather like we had this weekend, we couldn’t have been disappointed. even is we wanted to. The blue skies were a perfect compliment to the green surrounding us. So we happily hunted down our perfect pumpkins.

Check out that haul!

Check out that haul! The white pumpkin was mine, and my gal pals went to town to decorate their places. We really love the fall. And I was just enamored with that spooky looking tree in the corner of the field. Halloween is on its way!

I might be biased, but I have the prettiest girl friends ever!

After we heaved our bounty into the trunk, we went back down the hill to stop at the small market on the farm to purchased some pre-picked apples. But once we arrived, it just wasn’t the same. Thank goodness for smartphones. We looked up the closest apple orchard, made sure there wasn’t some other festival going on this weekend, made a few purchases at the market (because who can say no to corn that still looks amazing in October?!), and drove another half hour to Homestead Farm in Poolesville, MD. I wouldn’t consider us Homestead regulars, but we’ve been here before for apple picking, as well as berry picking in the summer, and it never disappoints. Nor did it this time around.

There were a lot of young families there, but it just brought back all of those memories of apple picking in rural NJ with my family. And with hayrides, a petting zoo, a small lake with grass sides perfect for picnicking, and hay lofts to play in, it just screams “the kids will love this place!” Being a 26 year old kid, myself, I can happily say I had a ball! Good to know that apple picking season is more early/mid-September for the DC metro area, but there were still plenty of apples to be had.

Green apples! Great for baking. And baking we did! After a sleepy ride home, we rolled up our sleeves and got down to baking: turnovers, apple spice bread, and pulled pork sandwiches rounded out the evening. Yum, to all!

That’s the apple spice bread, above. Again, my apartment lighting is awful, but the bread itself is great, and the spices just remind you that’s it’s fall in every bite. Can’t wait to use up the rest of the apples this week. I’ll keep you posted of any new recipes that are standouts.

Happy fall, everyone! Wishing you cozy sweaters and crisp afternoon air.

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