Saturday, December 24, 2011

pumpkin madness

If there was a dominant theme for week 43 of Project 365, it was pumpkins. Or perhaps just the color orange. In any case, it was late October and Halloween was approaching.

Steve and I went out for an afternoon snack at Mission Minis that Saturday. It had been on my list of ideas for quite a while, and I had been seeing the tiny cupcakes at Ritual Roasters for ages. Finally, it was time to try some from their little storefront. We got three: Swiss Almond Coconut, Cinnamon Horchata, and Meyer Lemon Creme. The meyer lemon one was easily my favorite. I've really started to love lemon stuff in the last few years, and this one had a lemony cream cheese frosting on top. The horchata cupcake was pretty good too, although it may have been on the dry side. The almond-coconut one was our least favorite, though. After the cream cheese frosting on the other two, the buttercream just seemed too sweet and greasy.

295/365 mission minis

The next day, it was time to cook something new for lunch. We kind of informally continued 2010's 52 Weeks of Food project this year, taking breaks when it wasn't convenient for Steve to cook something new each week. We wouldn't have been able to keep it going during the 4-week vacation anyway. But since I needed a picture of the day for Sunday, this was a good opportunity to bring it back. Steve made his first attempt at Cacio e Pepe, a Roman pasta dish with a "simple" sauce of cheese and black pepper. It turns out to be not all that easy, however. Steve has made it a few times now and still hasn't quite mastered the technique of adding the cheese and pasta water back into the pasta without it getting too hot and clumping together. Nevertheless, it makes a nice quick lunch and can be fancied up a bit with fried zucchini sticks on top, like so.

296/365 cacio e pepe

Monday seemed like a good day to go to Noe Valley for some errands, not that I remember what they were anymore. What I do remember is that there were these branches of pumpkin-shaped things outside the flower shop.

297/365 little pumpkins

Tuesday was absolutely pathetic for pictures. I was knee-deep in pictures from San Sebastian and fresh out of, well, fresh ideas. Steve and I went out for burgers at South End that evening, so I took a few shots of the pumpkins across the street from the house. And that was all I got that day.

298/365 neighborhood jack-o-lanterns

Wednesday was another walk to Noe Valley, since I wanted something from Whole Foods. I went and found some pictures to take of the pumpkins and assorted squash outside the store.

299/365 bushel of pumpkins

Day 300 of the project was that Thursday. Normally, I'd try to do something numerically significant or exciting, but I was being exceptionally uncreative that day. All I could think of was dinner at Contigo—our first time back after the visit to Spain. Neither Brett nor Elan was working that night, but the food was fabulous as always. I figured a picture of a couple tapas selections was at least fittingly celebratory for the day, even if it didn't have much to do with day 300.

300/365 contigo tapas

For Friday? More pumpkin—to eat, this time! I needed a break from photo editing and had both an itch to bake something and a craving for pumpkin bread. The Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf from the Baked cookbook was the answer, and I decided to make two, since they freeze well. I also remembered that I had bought a second loaf pan from Pot + Pantry a few months before, so I was able to bake them at the same time. And then, tragedy struck when I tried to take the loaves out of the pans: the bottoms stuck! I must not buttered them well enough. Luckily, I had taken my pictures while the loaves were still safe in their pans. Also, it was just Steve and me eating the product, so it didn't matter too much that the bottoms of the loaves looked like they had been mauled by bears.

301/365 pumpkin chocolate chip loaf

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