Apparently at the tender age of 21, I have succumbed to the eternal tiredness accompanied with socializing until midnight and drinking 1 glass of sangria + a single gin and tonic. This past weekend consisted of both of those events at a Friendsgiving celebration, where a few friends and I enjoyed a hodgepodge of family recipes along with a distracted game of Cards Against Humanity and a slew of various spirit glasses. While Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday, I’m starting to realize the value of a successful Friendsgiving, which in my experience is pretty similar to regular Thanksgiving without the pressure of telling your great-aunt and four second-cousins your life plans post-college, and also, you typically don’t have to talk about the disappointing political climate (except not always, but that can be solved with a simple “Sangria anyone?!”. I know how to please the crowd).
Typical to Sara Lynn antics, I provided the aforementioned sangria and a pumpkin pie with whipped cream, which after a few hours, turned into a weapon of mass destruction as it was flung throughout the kitchen, into hair, and onto faces while I ducked under the breakfast bar with my wine glass. Once whipped cream starts flinging, this chick is out. However, the pumpkin pie was amazing and enjoyed for breakfast before work the next day. As for the sangria, a twist on the classic using apple cider for a autumnal flavor, it needs to be worked on slightly. It was delicious, but it also reminded me of bubblegum which just isn’t really my style. Don’t worry…I’ll keep working on it for winter holidays.
After a weekend of socializing with friends and working, I came down with a bad chest cold that I can just tell is brewing into something horrid. Luckily, I got my ass into the doctor ASAP, and hopefully the antibiotics they provided will knock this thing out before it even develops, because again, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! I want to enjoy my family time even if it does make me evaluate my life plans and strive to keep my mouth zipped when certain President-elects are brought up. Also, I have a ton of pie dough to make before Wednesday, and this hacking out my lungs thing is making me want to do nothing but pass out in my bed with a heating pad suctioned to my chest. Yes, I like to feel sorry for myself, but I did work today and take a test and do a presentation, so I feel like I deserve a little credit here. I’d probably whine a little more, but I am hugging some warm apple cider and watching Full House reruns, so it can’t be all bad, right?
And that leads to the apple cider. As I mentioned before, my parents just moved here and have an abundance of apple trees on their property which equates to me having fresh apples in my house constantly. Pros: beautiful, freshly picked apples all the time!!! Cons: I will never be able to eat another apple pie with store-bought apples again. How come homemade apples are so much sweeter and flavorful? Anyways, I found myself with pounds on pounds of fresh apples, and that is how this apple cider recipe came to fruition.
Now, you can make this apple cider recipe on the stove which will take a couple of hours. I chose to prepare it in a slow cooker so I could pop it on before class and come home to a cinnamony-appley-smelling goodness when I came home. Either way, this recipe is fool-proof and will taste absolutely delicious.
*If you are using orchard apples, you may notice that the cores look a little funky every once in a while – yay organic!! I chose to cut these parts off, but if the cores look okay, don’t worry about removing them. You can even leave the seeds in – they’ll all get strained out in the end.
XO Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Flightless Bird, American Mouth by Iron & Wine
For my boyfriend’s birthday, I promised I would make him dinner, because in all reality, I am much better at making food than I am trying to figure out what to buy people. When I get a good gift idea in my head, I can’t be stopped, but when I cannot think of an amazing gift, dinner and dessert happens instead. Not that dinner and dessert isn’t a good gift (because it’s one of my personal favorites), but it’s also fun to hand an SO something wrapped in a big bow. But back to the boyfriend b-day dinner!…Long story short, the guy’s birthday was in late March and I just got around to making the dinner about a week ago. Aaaaaand the best girlfriend award goes to…not me. At least not in the timeliness category. However, I think I made up for it plenty with chicken pot pie and chocolate fondue! You can’t be sad with chocolate fondue, right? RIGHT?
How you choose to fondue is up to you (I’m having too much fun with the rhyming, someone stop me), but the bf and I enjoyed it sitting on the floor at my coffee table while watching Lady and the Tramp (his choice, not mine! Ugh <3). I’m not going to tell you that doing it any other way is wrong, but this is probably the right one. Lady and the Tramp included.
Now a quick story about the chocolate fondue: The reason you see the fondue itself in a ramekin stuffed in a fondue pot is simple…When you are making chocolate fondue for 2, there is not enough volume for a large fondue pot which leads to the chocolate seizing, burning, and thickening. Now, if you want to spend your dipping time adjusting temperature, stirring, and adding more cream, I promise you’ll still have fun, because that’s what my boyfriend and I had to do. However, if you want to make your life easier, I have found that placing the chocolate fondue in a ramekin surrounded by water in the in a hot fondue pot leads to a smoother, less fussy product. Wah-lah! If you are making this recipe for 4 or more people, no need to worry about it! There should be enough volume to cause no problems. Also, if you do not have a fondue pot, you can easily make this in a heat proof bowl and just heat it back up in the micro as necessary!
I served my fondue with strawberries and homemade almond pound cake, but you can do marshmallows, pretzels, donuts, oranges, grapes, pineapple, potato chips, or whatever fun thing you have laying around your house. However, I cannot recommend almond pound cake enough!
XO Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Lust for Life by Girls