As mentioned before, I have an ongoing love affair with Uppercrust bakery in Gainesville. Every time I head to that part of town, I am drawn to Uppercrust like there’s some kind of creme-filled magnet pulling me towards it. This visit was particularly wonderful because they finally have started baking their amazing chocolate bread again!
A thick slice of chocolate with chocolate bread with peanut butter is better than most things in life. And that’s exactly what I had for a pre-dinner snack on Friday night…just because I could. Chocolate bread and apple cider out of a flamingo mug.
Later that night, my friends and I carved pumpkins! My poor pumpkin ended up looking a little janky due to a mustache malfunction, but in the end it wasn’t too awful.
Although my pumpkin was so pretty I felt a little guilty carving it. I knew that whatever I attempted with my limited art skills would be a disservice to my cute little pumpkin. However, we carved our pumpkins, large and small, and toasted pumpkin seeds while watching Hocus Pocus and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
Toasted pumpkin seeds fresh out of the oven
I was already feeling the Halloween spirit before Friday night, but now I am going to doubly enjoy what’s left of October!
The finished pumpkins! Mine is the one with the strange bat-shaped mouth.
(Fellow Gator fans: the FSU pumpkin was later thrown off the balcony to a slimy, messy death by someone as my friends and I were leaving. I felt a bit sad about that, FSU carving aside).
The first day of October was ushered in by beautiful 70 degree weather. I think this means Mother Nature loves October as much as I do.
It’s the best month, hands down. Soon there will be the Micanopy Fall Festival, Halloween parties (who doesn’t love a good costume party?), and lots and lots of pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Loads of it. I’m not holding back this year. Even better, my fondness for decorating the apartment with pumpkins is totally appropriate for the next two months.
I guess March is pretty great, too (month-wise), but it doesn’t have apple cider, mini-pumpkins, and Halloween movie marathons going for it. I’ll wait at least until the second week of October before I break down and watch Hocus Pocus for the 117th time.
October 1st also marked the day that it is now officially okay to start baking (and buying…) Halloween-themed desserts! Fresh Market had some adorably festive cupcakes on display.
On Saturday, my friend Amanda came over and we feasted on two different kinds of pasta, mini-cupcakes, and 6 episodes of Parks and Recreation, also known as The Best Show on Television.
A pretty fantastic start to October, if I do say so! This weekend, I’m heading home for my father’s birthday, and I’m looking forward to that. While this year has been busy in a good way, I am definitely ready for a bit of a breather. And for animal cuddles.
Today was a lovely Saturday! It was a bit hot, and yet it felt like a perfect fall day even though I spent most of it running errands. I ended up at Fresh Market, Target, Publix, and this adorable French bakery in Gainesville, Uppercrust.
I love Uppercrust. Its one of those places that I often go to just because I haven’t been there a while. They’ve got loads of gourmet pastas, olive oils, various sauces, and of course, wine. Lots and lots of wine. But my favorite part is the bakery aspect, of course! I often buy their rosemary bread and their chocolate bread (though they’ve not been making that lately and I’m desperately in need of a loaf! No, really. I’m not sure how much longer I can go on without a chocolate bread + peanut butter sandwich, and I’m not being at all overly dramatic about this).
Anyway, they sadly were still out of chocolate bread, so instead I decided to get a little pastry for later and moved on to other errands. After an unsuccessful hunt for red lentils, I decided to make this delicious-looking soup that my mother sent me. The recipe can be found here, on the blog How to Be Chic (links straight to recipe).
Its a lentil + tomato soup. Super easy to make, and it was absolutely wonderful! Very filling, and now I’ve got lunch covered for the next few days. My favorite kind of recipe. I added in some garlic and a yellow zucchini I already had, and the flavor complimented the lentils nicely.
Then, after a long day of errands and work, dessert in the form of a raspberry cream rose from Uppercrust and a cup of tea. A lovely end to a busy day!
What’s better than raspberry jam and cream cheese wrapped in flaky pastry dough? Nothing, I tell you.
Tonight I was craving pho like you wouldn’t believe. I haven’t had Vietnamese cuisine in a while, and my stomach was telling me it had been quite long enough, thank you. I found a lovely little place near my apartment: Pho Hanoi, in Gainesville, FL. I didn’t know much about what Gainesville had to offer in terms of Vietnamese food, so I let yelp.com be my guide. My favorite place in Tampa is the Pho Quyen on Hillsborough Ave (anyone in Tampa, check it out!), but unfortunately that’s just too far away now!
Anyway, I got the Pho Ga (pho with chicken instead of beef), and it was wonderful! Here’s a (very green) photo of tonight’s dinner:
I loved that when I picked up my order, the broth was packaged separately from the meat, noodles, sprouts, and basil. Now I can reheat the broth for seconds tomorrow and not worry about my noodles becoming mush in the microwave!
Back in school two weeks and already I’m neglecting my poor, sweet blog. My schedule has been pretty hectic, and I’ve not had the time nor inspiration to write a proper post in a while. Hell, this isn’t even a proper post, I just feel like I need to write a little something before I go straight to the posting of food pictures.
With that said, I made a light dinner tonight: veggies and rice! I sauteed squash, sweet peppers, onion and garlic in olive oil, then plated it over a bed of white rice. Easy, simple, and delicious. And I got to use my new Anthropologie bowl with it (which I totally got on sale–makes me love it even more). A good dinner all around, if I do say so myself.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself for actually cooking a healthy meal instead of giving in to the temptation to go to Steak and Shake for fries and a milk shake. I was thinking, “Good job, Self. Way to buy sensible groceries and cook real dinner like a real adult.”
Then I ruined it all by eating half a box of Frosted Flakes in one sitting.
Heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad. An easy and flavorful summer salad. The seasoned mozzarella was from the Fresh Market, aka the Second Best Grocery After Publix.
I know some people will argue Fresh Market > Publix but…let’s be real. Publix is fantastic. Their bakery is my life force. An existence without Publix would be bleak indeed, at least for me. I lived in North Carolina for two years and I’m sorry, Kroger + Harris Teeter just didn’t cut it. Although Harris Teeter is pretty damn nice, I will admit. It’s just no Publix.
Last summer it was soups. The summer before it was ~French cuisine. This summer, my mother and I have become obsessed with trying different salad recipes.
Tonight, we had roast chicken with one of the best salads we’ve tried so far. Blackberries, strawberries, peaches, and walnuts on a bed of mixed greens.
Not pictured: the amazing goat cheese dressing. I don’t have the exact measurements because I’m pretty sure my mom just winged it, but mix together goat cheese, sour cream, white vinegar, and a little sugar and voila! Light, creamy, and a little tangy sweet. A perfect combo with the fruit. If the dressing is still too thick for your tastes, add a dash of milk or water and a little lemon juice.