With the freezing rain that we have had over the last 24 hours, it is a good day to stay inside, have a warm drink and read a book … or go outside and take pictures in the garden for a wee bit first if you are someone like me! These are quite a contrast from the photos that I took just 12 days ago. It is so dreary out today that I had to use a flash to get a few of the shots, something that I almost never do outside.
Wishing you a warm and lovely day … and safe travels to anyone out on the road in this area today!
So far this year, it has been a very mild autumn here in Manhattan, Kansas, allowing for an extended period of color in the garden. The weather, the last few days, has been grey and damp, with rain on and off. So the colors are really showing up in bright contrast to the skies. Here are a few pictures that I took this morning. I hope that you enjoy them!
Here are a few photos that I took in our front garden earlier today during our first snowfall of the season. I was glad that the snow did not amount to much, but it was fun to get out and get a few pictures before the colors in the garden had entirely faded. But, brrrr …. it was cold.
Sweet, soft cookies with bits of fresh pear, flavorful autumn spices and a zesty lemon icing.
Makes about 24 cookies
1/2 c. peeled and diced pear
1 t. fresh lemon juice
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. rolled oats
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
1/3 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c. granulated white sugar
2 T. dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 t. freshly grated lemon zest
2 T. of beaten egg
3/4 t. almond extract
1/3 c. sweetened dried cranberries
1 1/2 t. cinnamon sugar (or Lemon Icing, recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Toss pear chunks in lemon juice and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat together butter, sugars and lemon zest. Beat in egg and almond extract.
On lowest mixer speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Fold in pear chunks and cranberries.
Scoop batter by rounded teaspoonful onto bakings sheets, spacing cookies 2” apart. Sprinkle cookies with cinnamon sugar, if not using Lemon Icing.
Bake for approximately 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned. Place baking sheets on wire racks and allow cookies to cool.
A tart icing that enhances the citrus flavor in baked goods.
1 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 T. + 1 t. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. fresh lemon zest, optional
1/4 t. lemon extract, optional
Place confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl. Stir in lemon juice until the mixture is perfectly smooth and a workable consistency. (Icing should run off a spoon in a thick stream.) If desired, stir in 1/2 t. fresh lemon zest or 1/4 t. lemon extract for a stronger flavor.
Drizzle or pipe onto baked goods right away. (This is thick enough to pipe thin lines but not thick enough to pipe firm shapes.)
Here in Manhattan, Kansas, we’ve been having unseasonably warm weather this October with recent day time highs hovering around 80 degrees F. (It is actually supposed to get up to 85 here tomorrow.) So it seems as though nearly everyone is giddy over the sunshine and warm temperatures. I took advantage of the weather today to get some photos of the gardens. Enjoy!
Hibiscus (This is probably the latest I’ve had one bloom. My other three are already dying back for the season.)