Homemade Vanilla Extract

by autumn on October 23, 2014

Homemade Vanilla Extract // Autumn Makes and Does

Hi all! I’m really honored to have Megan Scott from the Joy of Cooking here for a guest post today. Megan works alongside her husband, John Becker, to bring the knowledge and empowerment of cooking to home cooks everywhere through the Joy of Cooking cookbook. Together, they maintain the book, its official website and social media presence, and the Joy of Cooking app  They are currently working on a proposal for the next print edition of Joy, with the hope of keeping the book relevant for modern cooks without succumbing to trendiness or resorting to kitsch. 

It made me laugh when she told me she wanted to talk about the wonder that is homemade vanilla extract because like the ghee that I just made, I’ve had homemade vanilla extract my “wanting to try” list for what seems like forever. As Megan notes, now is the time! Oh, and my two cents is that I absolutely agree with Megan’s suggestion to buy vanilla beans in bulk online. I’ve also done that in the past and it made them so much more affordable for me!  If you don’t already, be sure to connect with Joy of Cooking on instagram, facebooktwitter, and pinterest too!

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Shaved Fennel Salad with Pomegranate and Lime

by autumn on October 21, 2014

Shaved Fennel Salad with Pomegranate & Lime // Autumn Makes & Does

This is my favorite type of salad–one that’s thrown together with whatever is on hand, but ends up being worth replicating again and again. I hadn’t necessarily planned to post another recipe featuring pomegranates just yet, but this past weekend 2 more bags full showed up at our door. If you haven’t been following along on instagram, no short of 4 different people have given me pomegranates in the past couple weeks. My mind is blown! Every single time!

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How to Make Ghee

by autumn on October 16, 2014

How to Make Ghee // Autumn Makes & DoesLately, I’ve been trying to give myself time to do more of those things on “I’ve always wanted to do/try/make” that list–the things that all too often get deprioritized because they don’t come with a deadline attached. A big part of this is recognizing the difference between “not having time” and “not making time,” which is an area in which I really have to push myself. Making ghee has been one of those things for a while and I’m happy to say that it is now off the perma-deferred projects list.

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Roasted Kabocha Squash with Pomegranate and Tahini

I’m usually not one to declare food “life changing,” or “THE BEST THING EVER,” but I need to tell you about this pomegranate. It is from Paul’s aunt and uncle’s tree, which is just a few miles from our place. I had been feeling a little Eeyore about missing fall in the northeast (the leaves! the apple picking!), but then I cut this baby open and couldn’t. stop. eating. it. It was the sort of shoving in one’s face that is usually reserved for salt & vinegar chips or those darn Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Afterwards, I went to the bathroom to wash my hands and looked in the mirror to see that I definitely had a big pomegranate juice splatter on my face. This pomegranate was amazing and two more showed up at my door overnight this week. So, I might be adjusting to my new fall here in the desert better now that there are fresh pomegranates. [click to continue…]


Homemade Dirty Chai Almond Butter

by autumn on October 7, 2014

dirty chai almond butter // Autumn Makes & Does

My new kitchen, which I promise to share “before” pics of soon, is pretty big. The fun challenge is that it’s maybe the most awkward shape–basically the longest galley kitchen ever (it runs the entire length of our house). At the opposite end of the kitchen from where the stove, sink, etc are is what the previous owners used as a craft room. I’ve dubbed it my kitchen office/appliance annex because it has a low counter that I use for my computer and a slightly longer, higher counter where I have all my small appliances set up so they don’t take up valuable counter space in the actual kitchen.

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Pomegranates // Autumn Makes & Does

I saw pomegranates at the farmer’s market and loaded up on winter squash.

I admired the prettiest ever panna cotta from Blahnik Baker.

I tried to decide what to get with a gift card to Mountain Rose Herbs that my mom got me for my birthday. Seriously though, it’s really hard to decide when you want everything. Do you have a must-order from them?

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Brown Butter Amaranth Pear Crisp

by autumn on October 1, 2014

Brown Butter Amaranth Pear Crisp // Autumn Makes & Does

The past few months have easily been some of the most challenging of my life. I’ll be the first to admit that I like things to be calm, settled, and stable, and our landing here in Arizona was anything but. We’ve lived 4 places (it makes my stomach churn just to type that) since arriving at the end of June. It has been a huge personal challenge for me to find stability internally during this time (real talk). When we left New York people asked if we had jobs, a place to live, and I just kept saying “We’ll figure it out.” Well, after a few crazy months, it finally feels like we’re figuring it out and I am so grateful!

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Roasted Pear Infused Mezcal Old Fashioned

by autumn on September 22, 2014

Roasted Pear Infused Mezcal Old Fashioned // Autumn Makes & Does for The Joy of Cooking

I’m really honored to have a guest post over at the Joy of Cooking (!!!) today. I’m sharing a big, bold roasted pear infused mezcal and a recipe for a smoky roasted pear old fashioned. Is it like fall in a glass? YES. I’m also sharing my new favorite hack for getting the most flavor out of your infusions.

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Apple Pico De Gallo

by autumn on September 9, 2014

Apple Pico De Gallo // Autumn Makes & Does #yahoofood #spon

A couple of weekends ago I got to try some prickly pear pico de gallo. The guys at the little burger stand that was serving it were so darn proud, I think they asked us three or four times how we liked it. It was pretty amazing, so much so that we had a fairly serious debate about the appropriateness of asking for a cup or two for the road. I was too bashful to ask for more, but have been regretting the decision ever since. [click to continue…]


Buckwheat Waffles

by autumn on September 2, 2014

Buckwheat Waffles // Autumn Makes & Does

Two summers ago, before we went away to Vermont, I set up a ziploc baggie assembly line and measured out a vacation’s worth of dry ingredients for my favorite buckwheat pancake recipe. I needed to be prepared for the maple syrup. Once we were there, I made Paul drive me out to this farm that was waaaaay further away/in the mountains than I initially thought to get what was–thankfully–maybe the best bacon I’ve had in my life. I cooked the pancakes and bacon in my cast-iron on the grill of our Airbnb and we had some legendary porch breakfasts.

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