Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Apple Fritters

Monday was the first day of Kindergarten!

My little boy is growing up too fast.  He did so great on his first day!  All smiles. No tears. And the only one with butterflies was me.

I couldn't be happier with his class and teacher.  I know he's in good hands and learning something new every day.  We have met wonderful people and I feel an enormous sense of community within the school.  Plus he looks pretty darn cute in his uniform, if I do say so myself!  : )

As we were dropping off,  the teacher handed these out to all the Mom's. 

It was a goodie bag with a tea bag, a tissue (to dry tears), and a cotton ball to remind you of the softness of your child.  It thought it was so sweet. 

Monday was also one of those perfect September mornings I love so much.  The air was cool and crisp & everything was wet with dew.  The sun was out, but I still needed a sweater to keep warm.  My coffee tasted especially good. 

It's no longer summer.  The streets are lined with yellow buses and take a look at this....

*Alert* We have candy corn in the house!!!  This could only mean one thing. 
Its officially Fall and apple season has arrived ~  Horray!

To celebrate this good feeling I turned to my love, Miss Susan Branch, for inspiration.  Thumbing through Sweets to the Sweet, this recipe practically jumped off the page (and into my mouth!).

I wanted to make my little Kindergartner a first day of school treat.  Last year I made Apple Pie Pockets (click here to see : ). This year I thought these Apple Fritters would be perfect.  Crunchy on the outside, cinnamon-appley on the inside.  Oh ya!

Here we go...

4 large sweet apples, McIntosh or Cortland
6 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
12 oz beer, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
extra flour
extra cinnamon & sugar

Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/2 inch rings. 

Mix together 1 1/2 c. flour, salt, and beer. 

Beat well ~

Put about a cup more flour into another small bowl.  Mix with sugar and cinnamon & set aside.

Coat apple rings in flour mixture and then cover completely with beer batter.

Fry in hot oil, a few at a time,  about 4 minutes, till golden. 

Drain on paper towels.  Roll in cinnamon & sugar and serve.

Try not to eat them all before your kid comes home from school : )

If they get cold you can always crisp them up in the toaster oven, which is what I did with the leftovers.  Also, don't forget to fry up all little broken apple bits and pieces.  The smaller they are, the crunchier!

Since no one was home while I cooking (which is RARE), I had to give myself a little company in the kitchen.  The Holiday....a favorite or mine!  Oh how I love that little English cottage!  (Jude Law aint too shabby either....: )

I hope your September has gotten off to a terrific start.  And if not, try Apple Fritters and The Holiday.  Oh, and don't forget a cup of tea.  Enjoy. 

Happy Fall!

Danielle xo

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Strawberry Fair

Hello Friends and happy September!  
Today I would like to show you my favorite restaurant.
To celebrate the end of Summer (and more importantly the end of school shopping! Yay!) my mom, my son, and I went to lunch at Strawberry Fair.  (click here to see : )
Oh how I love this place!  It's my go-to restaurant whenever I want something familiar and delicious.  My favorite things to order are the homemade mac and cheese, beef stew served in a bread bowl, and the Thanksgiving turkey sandwich.  All their bread is baked fresh and I could go on and on about the desserts. If you are a lover of strawberry shortcake, you've come to the right place!
I've heard some say Strawberry Fair is a "ladies" restaurant, even though I know a lot of men (my husband included) that love it there.  Mostly because the food is SO good! Sunday morning breakfast is served with cornbread and homemade strawberry jam. Who wouldn't love that?
The atmosphere feels like you are at your grandmother's house.  Warm and cozy. It's a place the family meets for breakfast, the spot the girls gather for tea and a macaroon, and the perfect suggestion your hubby makes after you've had a bad day.  He's very smart, isn't he?! Whenever I need to be cheered up, you will find us here.
There are tables of all kinds in every corner.  Some old, some new, some are even made from sewing machine tables.  Seriously!  The floors are wood and creek when you walk on them. There is strawberry wallpaper (yes, wallpaper!) in the bathroom.  I've connected with this place.
There are kick-knacks galore! Tea pots, cups, quilts, butter dishes, hat pins,  wind chimes, antique jewelry, hand painted canisters - you name it, they have it. 
And most of it is for sale! You can buy the pictures right off the walls if want to. A few times I have wanted to...and have!
In the middle of the main dining area there is a Christmas Tree.  They change the ornaments according to seasons.  You can't see from this picture, but this tree is decorated with lobsters and shells to celebrate summer.  I'm sure they will be changing it to a Fall theme soon : )  
Today I chose a special, which was a lobster salad croissant.  YUM~
While waiting for your order Strawberry Fair will bring you a house special, which is a homemade honey wheat bread with strawberry butter!  It's so good!
This would not be complete without a strawberry ice tea - Mmmmm!
As you can see, Strawberry Fair isn't just the name, it's a theme.  There is strawberry everything!  There are even strawberries hanging from the ceiling!
My lobster croissant was wonderful!
It was so good that I decided to go all out on dessert as well.  Can you believe this cheesecake?! Wow!
My mom got the grapenut custard pudding, which looked just as delish! And I love that bowl!  So cute! By the way, none of the dish patterns match.  It's a little of this and a little of that. Another reason why I love this little place.

On the way out I snapped this picture of the bar.  On Sunday mornings they have a coffee bar set up here so you can have coffee while waiting for a table.  I love the white twinkle lights hanging above.  The lighting is usually very dim, so the soft white lights (as on the Christmas tree) are a nice ambient touch. There is also a wood burning stove in the middle of the dining room.  In the winter they always have a fire crackling and sometimes on Saturday nights there is a guitarist.  I love coming on a cold October evening, having a hot cider, and listening to the music.

I always find something new here every time I come.  Like this sign!   xo
Do you have a favorite go-to restaurant? Is it anything like mine?