Parker’s Maple Barn

I like to keep it real seasonal over here at B4EM. Autumn is my favorite time of year- I like to keep my hair the color of foliage, and as a fetus I made sure to time my grand entrance into the world on November 1st (because I knew I would love Halloween, but didn’t want to share my special day with a holiday- people are busy with their own celebration, which doesn’t give them enough brain space to think about my birthday). In my opinion, NH is the best place to experience the fall… or Vermont. I can’t say I know that there’s a difference between the two states besides their longitude and latitude.

Anyway, my mom and I celebrated the season and went on a really lovely little Autumn excursion through NH. First, we went to Parker’s Maple Barn. This restaurant makes their own maple syrup and it may or may not be a law that NH school children go there on field trips to see how maple syrup is made and then eat pancakes. I don’t know anyone raised here that hasn’t gone for a school trip- oddly enough most every NH kid I know has also been to Bertucci’s for a field trip to uncover the mystery of how pizza is made.

Anyway, I haven’t been to Parker’s since said field trip. It’s has all sorts of rural charm, which I didn’t really ever realize NH had.

Pumpkin pancakes.

Maple ribs with maple baked beans. I told myself I wouldn’t have any burgers or fries this week (it’s either embarrassing or absolutely charming that it’s necessary this goal be made from time to time) so I had a half rack of ribs and homefries instead.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Oktoberfest Frosting

The title of this post is very misleading. A bait and switch if you will. I intended to make pumpkin cupcakes with Shipyard Pumpkinhead frosting last night so I could blog about what a triumph I am in the kitchen, but then realized I had none of the ingredients and it was too late for me to go to the grocery store (because I was in the middle of Desperate Housewives. I don’t even like DH anymore, but just about anything could keep me from going to the grocery store. I also didn’t end up finishing the episode).

Anyway, I ended up making squash and pumpkin pie spice cupcakes with Oktoberfest and pumpkin pie spice Swiss buttercream frosting. These were actually really good, so if you want to make it, put a can of squash in yellow cake mix. Then make Swiss buttercream and add Oktoberfest beer and food coloring. Done. You can take that recipe as your own and open up a cupcake shop or something.

Since the cupcakes didn’t work out as a recipe post, I just used them as my usual Sunday night last hurrah of sport eating until I “start Monday.” I think I’ve been starting Monday since I graduated college. It was 80 degrees Sunday so I went to the beach with my mom and dad and basically ate everything that I ate in this post.

I swear, though, I start today! What makes this Monday different from all other Monday’s? I start Oprah’s Lifeclass tonight, and please don’t underestimate how excited I am. Living my best life does not include eating 5 pieces of pizza over the course of a day!

Is anyone else doing the Lifeclass? You should so we can write in our gratitude journals and talk about it!


Halloween Decorating

You might remember that in my last post I made an Autumn To-Do List so I could remember that I wanted to buy a costume and do such detailed activities as carve pumpkins. I almost forgot that I wanted to put up decorations that have been put up every year since my birth (not before, though. Pretty sure nothing existed before 1988), but thanks to my trusty list those witch figurines and candy corn wreaths went up without a hitch.

I decorated some squash and pumpkins. Look at my artistic prowess. Those black circles were really intricate.

More importantly than the decoration was the stuff I was eating and drinking whilst decorating.

Cheddar and caramel popcorn- also known as “The Chicago Mix.” It was supposed to be the recreation of my favorite food from Garrett’s Popcorn in Chicago, but it was nothing like the original. I believe this was fall-ish because of the orange cheddar corn and because I put a pumpkin next to the bowl.

These go down like green tea!

What do you like to eat and drink during fall (or what do you like to do, I guess. I’m most concerned about eating and drinking)?

Autumn To Do List

Stop it, I'm so cute.

Fall just happens to be my favorite season- I was born November 1st, so of course it’s the best season. I love it so much that my hair is the color of foliage so I can celebrate all year long.

This season I want to make the most of Fall so I made a little to do list of all the things I’d like to do:

  • Decorate Pumpkins
  • Have a pumpkin muffin at Starbucks (and then go spinning for a week straight to work it off).
  • Go apple picking and get an apple cider donut….or just get the donut.
  • Find a matching Halloween costume for myself and my dog… We’re going to be skunks! Obviously, I have a lot going on in my life.
  • Buy some black and/or gray boots.
  • Find pumpkin wine.
  • Decorate for Halloween.
  • Buy some green flannel to go with my hair.
  • Get my nails painted in a Halloween theme.
  • Go to Salem, Mass. and buy a new t-shirt of a black kitten wearing a witches hat to replace my old one. So cute, y’all.
If I think of more I’ll let you know.