So, the autumnal weather is well and truly upon us now, no hope of an Indian summer it seems. Ah well. Today I had the most glorious run. Last weekend I did 7 miles, and that was fine, so today I wanted to do 9 miles, and then next weekend the plan is 11 miles, and then the following weekend is the next half marathon. After a delicious breakfast of peach porridge, and some cleaning etc while it went down, I headed out. It was such a sunny morning, but it did feel cold, so I opted for vest, capris and gloves. I think that was about right- I was chilly at the start, and I kept my gloves on the whole time, but I was OK for most of it. Anyway, I just loved it. The sun was shining, I noticed that a lot of the trees have started to turn. At one point I run around a lake, and as I looked across the water it was such a deep blue colour, framed by the trees, and a few people were sailing so the white sails really stood out- I really wished I had my phone with me so I could have taken a photo. I looked at my Garmin a few times to see my pace, but I tried not to look at the total time or anything, and I was very surprised when I stopped it, as I think it said 1.40! Seeing as a few weeks ago I ran 10 miles in 2 hours, I was pretty pleased. Then I remembered that my aim for the Great South run (last year- 10 miles) was under 1.50, so I suppose I am getting back to that sort of speed really.
I was thirsty when I got home, as I had not taken anything with me, so I had some coconut water, and a delicious bounce ball (coconut and macadamia)- I got it in Wholefoods in London, but have been saving it for some reason. I am glad I tried it- it tasted like coconut ice cream (probably because there is milk powder in it)- 9g of protein isn’t bad though.
I don’t normally take more photos, but it was coated in coconut, and it was a lovely chewy texture. Yum.
Anyway, with all this cooler weather, I have been getting excited about pumpkins again! I used some last weekend when I made spiced pumpkin cakes, and I have been adding a spoonful of purée to my porridge most mornings. I also saw that here in the UK we are going to get the Starbucks pumpkin spiced latte- I wonder if they will do it without coffee? But of course one of the best things is pumpkin pie.
I was kindly sent a lovely Baking Mad apron and a new recipe book, Tart it Up, to look and at of course bake with.
The book has a section at the start covering various pastry types and then a lot of savoury pies – which to be fair contain quite a lot of vegetarian recipes (Upside-down heirloom tomato tatin, and caramelised onion and feta tarts caught my eye) but I am not a massive pastry fan- I usually prefer the fillings, and hardly ever have a savoury pie/pastry.
I would guess that over 1/3 of it is sweet pastries though, again with some lovely more unusual sounding recipes like apricot, honey and pistachio tart, or chocolate and Earl Grey tarts with roasted figs.
A lot of the ingredients have beautiful pictures, and there are some pages with tutorials on them too, which I always think is really useful.
See how scrummy the pecan pie looks? There is also a recipe for “The BEST pumpkin pie” which I am going to try at some point (although there is no photograph on that page) as I really love pumpkin pie filling.
Anyway, if pies are not your thing, but you fancy doing some baking, you can always visit the baking mad website for cupcake recipes, cheesecake recipes, and bread recipes. Last year I made pumpkin pie cheesecakes (sort of)- I used a cheesecake base instead of pastry, and then the pumpkin pie filling, and it worked really well.
Also I have been keeping warm with tea. When I was in Newcastle I succumbed to a couple of the many wonderful loose leaf teas, and since then I have been enjoying pots of this caramel tea (it is black tea with hazelnuts and bits of caramel, and possibly coconut)- anyway it is wonderful- black tea with a hint of sweetness.
Do you like pies/ pastry? I don’t mind filo pastry, but really I usually much prefer the fillings.
What autumnal things have you been loving lately?