Faking fall

Although Tucson and Claremont don’t have the classic turning of the leaves, gradually cooler nights, and other telltale signs of the arrival of fall, it’s a season I’m used to feeling. It usually comes later, long after the red Starbucks cups have debuted, the crisp breeze and an opportunity to pull out boots and coats are a part of a time that I cherish. Fall means spending more time inside with loved ones watching movies, drinking tea, baking cookies and pies, and in general just enjoying one another’s company. Of course you don’t need a particular season to partake in these activities, but the chillier fall certainly lends itself to them better than spring and summer.

This past week Guadalajara faked me out with some cool mornings and rainy evenings. I thought fall was surely close! Some mornings would be deceptively cold, I was found pulling out my boots and sweaters, excited for a change of clothes. But then around 11 in the morning, the sun would be shining brightly and the cool breeze would be gone. By two in the afternoon I was regretting my boots and tying my hair back in a ponytail.

In order to fake some fall spirit, I made an apple crisp. Tomorrow night I will be having the other Fulbright girls in Guadalajara over to my apartment for “cooking club,” something we came up with when we found out that most of us like to cook. The menu for tomorrow includes minestrone soup, atole (a warm, sweet, corn based drink), some sort of bread, and the apple crisp. Since the oven will likely be monopolized by the bread, I made the apple crisp tonight. I adapted the recipe from here, changing some ingredients.

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The ingredients:

– 6 Gala apples

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 1 1/2 cups of honey

– 1 teaspoon cinnamon

– 1 teaspoon nutmeg

– 1/2 cup unflavored Greek yogurt

– 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

– 1/2 cup pre-made granola (if I were in the States I would suggest Cascadian Farm’s vanilla almond granola)

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Step 1 – pre-heat the oven to 350 F or 176 C and then start chopping apples! I found this to be the fastest and easiest way to get near equal sized pieces:

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Cut the apples in half and then half again, like so.

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Then cut into the apple on the diagonal to cut out the core. Then slice into thirds and chop into smaller pieces.

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Step 2 – once the apples are chopped, add the vanilla and set them to the side.

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Step 3 – Mix honey, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

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Step 4 – mix the oats, granola, and Greek yogurt. I originally ended up with too little of this crisp mixture, so I ended up doubling what was in the original recipe.

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Step 5 – assemble! Put the apples down as the base layer in the pan (1), then add the honey mixture – using a spoon helps to distribute the mixture evenly across the apples (2), then add the oat/yogurt mixture over top – again a spoon is helpful (3)

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Off to the oven for about 45 minutes!

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Buen provecho!

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