Tag Archives: fall

HOW TO SEED A POMEGRANATE

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The arrival of the pomegranate is one of my favorite things of autumn. Pomegranate seeds can be mixed into salads or desserts for a little extra taste of fall. My favorite use is to sprinkle them on top of oven roasted brussels sprouts!

Their bright color and tangy burst of flavor make them a perfectly simple way to dress up any dish…as long as you know how to get them out of their shell.

Pomegranate seeds are inside a thickly skinned fruit protected by a thin and sticky membrane. If you don’t know how to seed a pomegranate the right way, trying to get those suckers out can be a disaster.

There are a few different ways to seed a pomegranate, but this is my method of choice:
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Remove the top
First, identify which end of the pomegranate is the top. It’s the end with the spout-like stem sticking out. Then, slice this end completely off, but only about 1/4 to a 1/2 inch deep into the pomegranate.

You want to open the pomegranate so the seeds are fully exposed (as pictured) but don’t want to take too many seeds with you in the top. It’s ok if there’s a few, though.
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Divide along the membrane
Once you’ve sliced the pomegranate open, you’ll see there is a thin, white membrane that stems from the center and divides the fruit into sections. Each section is filled with seeds.

Slowly and carefully slice through the thick skin of the pomegranate, right where each white membrane meets the skin. Go just deep enough to fully pierce the skin about 3/4 of the way down the pomegranate.
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Separate the wedges & tap out the seeds
Once you’ve made slits along the outside of the pomegranate, they should seem like wedges that are all connected at the bottom of the fruit. Hold the pomegranate with both hands, with your fingers cradling the bottom and your thumbs resting on the exposed seeds.

Using your thumbs, gently pull the wedges away from the center. The seeds will be sticking to the membrane, so be careful to pop as few as you can.

Once you have pulled the the wedges from the center, flip the pomegranate over. Standing over a bowl, use the back of a wooden spoon to tap the skin. Most of the seeds will gradually release from the membrane. Be patient! This part takes a little time.
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Pull out remaining seeds & eat!
Once you’ve gotten most of the seeds out by tapping the back, gently use your fingers to release any seeds that are still stuck to the membrane. If there were any seeds in the top you sliced off, gently turn the top inside out to release those seeds.

Sift through your bowl of fresh pomegranate seeds and remove any large bits of the white membrane. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container!

FALL TABLETOP FINDS

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As the whether gets colder, I inevitably spend more time at home. And that has me wanting to freshen things up in here a bit! What better excuse than a little fall and holiday decor?

I’m always looking for a few things to celebrate the arrival of my favorite season. To me, fall and winter are characterized by delicious comfort food around a table with friends and family. So, the table is what I love to focus most on! Here are a few of my latest fall tabletop finds:

  1. Ikea | Sittning Vase | $9.99
  2. Modcloth | Winter Cocktails Book | $22.99
  3. Crate & Barrel | Linen Table Runner | $49.95
  4. Target | Gold Flatware Set | $19.99 for one 5-piece set
  5. Zara Home | Skull Wine Glass | $5.95 each
  6. H&M Home | Gold Acorn Plate | $12.99
  7. One Kings Lane | Amber Highball Glasses | $6.00 for set of 4
  8. World Market | Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein Dinnerware | $27.96 for set of 4

Happy Fall!

ROSEMARY THYME BREAD BOWLS

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Oh hey there! Happy first day of autumn!!!

Also happy day of the season premier of Nashville. I spend the summer binge watching it from the beginning just in time to start planning my entire week around the new season airing. There’s nothing like a Hulu-induced primetime televisions obsession.

Also there’s nothing like soup…in a bread bowl! Because isn’t that one of the reasons we really love soup, anyway? Even if not in a bread bowl, I’m usually breaking up crackers or a baguette and tossing it in there…wishing I was just eating out of a bread bowl.
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So I just went ahead and made some of my own. With some beautifully fragrant and flavorful herbs, of course!

I made these bread bowls on the small size for a few of reasons. Mostly, they’re perfect to have for a lighter lunch or having soup with a salad of some sort. They’re also great to serve with some sort of soup or chile with your full football spread.

Also though, sometimes I like to enjoy soup and a bread bowl without the guilt of eating a loaf of bread the size of my head. So there’s that.
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If you’re planning to serve these with a soup that won’t jive with rosemary and thyme, just leave the herbs out. Generally, though, the flavor goes pretty well with any fall flavored vegetable soup.

If you want to get insane and put some mac and cheese in there too that would definitely work. Make it cauliflower mac and cheese to keep that angel on your shoulder in check.
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ROSEMARY THYME BREAD BOWLS

Makes 4 small or 2 large bread bowls

Ingredients
2 1/4 tsp. dry active yeast (1 packet)
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup warm (not hot) water
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
sea salt for topping

Instructions
Add the sugar and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer.* Add the warm water and stir lightly with a fork. Let sit 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes foamy. Add the flour, kosher salt, rosemary, and thyme. Using the dough hook attachment, stir the mixture on a low speed. Once the dough starts to come together, slowly stream in the milk.

Keep mixing the dough until it comes together into a wet but firm ball. Oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

In the meantime, line two small baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Kneed lightly until the dough is one smooth ball. Cut into 2 even pieces if making large bread bowls or 4 small pieces if making small bread bowls. Shape the pieces into balls and place on the baking sheets. Cover with a clean baking towel and let rise an additional 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Add the egg to a small cup and mix with an equal part water. Brush the top of each bread ball with the egg wash and top liberally with cracked sea salt. Bake for 15 minutes, and then remove from the oven to brush with the egg wash again. Bake for another 10 minutes for small bread bowls and 15-20 for larger, or until the bread bowls begin to turn golden.

When cool enough to handle, remove the bread bowls to a cool rack until ready to serve. Heat your soup in a separate pot. Use a small knife at an angle to cut a hole around the top of the loaf. Use your fingers to remove the core of the bread along with the lid. Fill the bread bowl with soup and serve the top on the side.

*If you don’t own a stand mixer, mix the dough by hand and kneed on a floured surface. Oil the bowl and return the bowl to rest.

PUMPKIN SPICE SYRUP

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This post is for everyone who’s in danger of going broke and/or being chronically late for work due to the arrival of the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

And be honest. I know there’s more of you out there than you’re willing to admit.

I think I’ve found a pretty decent solution for you. Sure, it’s a compromise. Unless you own your own espresso machine, it’s likely going to result in pumpkin spiced coffee. But that’s better than nothing!
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Plus, if you’re in that weird in-between that still has you needing iced coffee in the mornings (or afternoons) this is going to be a perfect bridge into autumn.

Pumpkin Spice syrup is really simple to make. It’s made exactly like simple syrup and seasoned with the flavors that make up “pumpkin spice:” cinnamon, allspice. ginger, and nutmeg. I also used brown sugar to make the flavor a little bit richer.

Keep a little jar of this magical stuff in your fridge and get that coffee shop taste in your favorite mug at home – for the cost of a normal cup of coffee, and not your job!
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PUMPKIN SPICE SYRUP

Makes about 3/4 cup syrup

Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole allspice berries
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Instructions
Add the sugar and water to a small sauce pan and place over medium heat. Whisk the mixture as the sugar starts to melt, careful not to let it burn. Once the sugar starts to melt, add the cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, ground nutmeg and ground ginger. Keep whisking. Once the sugar is completely melted, remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Once the mixture has cooled, remove the cinnamon sticks. Carefully strain it through a fine mesh strainer or some cheese cloth. Use to sweeten coffee and cocktails just as with simple syrup. Store the syrup in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.