Awesome in September

Awesome in September

Awesome in September

September has been chilly and cloudy and all the things that Autumn should be. Of course, August was pretty much the same, so it doesn’t quite have the same effect here. But you can get a pumpkin spice chai, and isn’t that what September is really all about?

We started off the month with way more burgers than is probably decent, including a trip to NYC Glasgow and one final grill out before the rain set in. Then at the end of the month, we had a cozy, quiet long weekend that included Geoff’s birthday. I promptly proceeded to eat a ridiculous amount of desserts, including some amazing chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. In between all that, we managed to squeeze in an afternoon in Largs for a Viking Festival and an ocean view.

I also read a fantastic book called When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe. It takes place in the Philippines during World War II. It was a bit of history I had never really considered before. If you enjoy historical fiction, I definitely recommend this book.

Gorgeous Fall food is starting to show up all over the internet, including this One-Bowl Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

This Salted Caramel Yogurt Shake will ease you through to Fall if it’s still blazing hot where you live. If not, just eat it while under a blanket.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is actually tempting me to eat vegetables.

Double Chocolate Muffins | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorites this month were all on the cozy side, too. You’re totally into Double Chocolate Muffins, Frito Chilli Cheese Wraps, and Corn Bread-Topped Chilli Mac. Let’s eat it up. 

Before we know it, daylight will be a distant memory. I plan to have as many adventures as I can until then. 

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Pork & Apple Hot Pot

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m sitting on my sofa, watching The Golden Girls, and thinking about how I don’t want to write a blog post. I struggle to find any space for creativity at the end of a long day. At the end of a work day I just want to throw my to do list out the window. Work out? No thank you. Make dinner? Do I have to? Write a bunch of words that no one will read? Surely it can wait until tomorrow. But then I don’t want to do it tomorrow either.

I’m just so crap at staying motivated. Tell me your secrets, friends. How do you keep up with your life? And before you suggest it, no I can’t afford a maid. 

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Pork & Apple Hot Pot is decidedly not a quick and easy week night dish. I mean, it’s easy, but it’s anything but quick. It’s a slow cooking autumn fantasy. Apples, onions, and bacon cook down to a soft flavorful mush that makes your pork unbelievably tender. I’m normally not a pork chop person, but man, this is tasty.

A bit of good news for you. This whole thing can be cooked in one pot. Just make sure you have something that can transfer from the stove top to the oven. A bit more good news. This will make your house smell heavenly.

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

The weekend will be here soon, friends. We can make it. And once we get there, let’s eat Pork & Apple Hot Pot.

Pork & Apple Hot Pot
Serves 6
Pork & Apple Hot Pot is a one pot all day dish that's perfect for autumn.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 3 onions, peeled, halved, and sliced into half moons
  3. 250 grams bacon (of the streaky variety)
  4. 50 grams flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  7. 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. 6 boneless pork loin chops
  10. 4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  11. 750 ml apple juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (170C). Heat the oil in an oven proof pot and cook the onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes until soft. Remove the onions to a separate bowl.
  2. Scissor your bacon in small pieces into the hot pt and cook until the pieces start to crisp up. Remove the bacon to the same bowl as the onions and mix them together.
  3. Put the flour, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, and pepper into a zip top bag and give it a bit of a shake to combine. Add the pork chops two or three at a time and shake it all about to coat the pork in the seasoned flour. Shake off the excess flour, and sear the pork in the hot pot for a couple of minutes per side and remove to a plate. Repeat until all the pork is seared.
  4. Tip the remaining flour into the pot and give it a whisk until it soaks up the oil. Slowly add in the apple juice, whisking it with the flour after each addition to get rid of any lumps.
  5. Add half of the onion bacon mixture back to the pot, then three of your pork chops, followed by half the apples. Repeat the layers again.
  6. Pop the lid on the pan and put the whole thing in the oven to do its magic for three hours. Your pork will be tender and the apples and onions will be soft.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Pumpkin Pancakes | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Awesome in September
Pumpkin Pancakes | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Does anyone else feel like the world has gone completely insane lately? It feels like every morning we’ve woken up to news of another natural disaster or political debacle. We humans are having some very bad karma right now. We’ve got to get back to taking care of one another. Like fast.

If you’re thinking about what you can do to help these days, my suggestion is always the food bank. And while a food drive is always hugely helpful, a monetary donation goes even farther because food banks can usually purchase food for cheaper and make your money go farther to feed more people. Plus, they need to keep the lights on. 

There are so many worthy charities out there. Take a breath and give yourself five minutes on GuideStar before clicking donate. Give smart.

Pumpkin Pancakes | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

So what’s all this got to do with pumpkin pancakes? You’re right, absolutely nothing. The truth is, I rarely know what I’m going to set out to write about before I begin. I just have a recipe I’m ready to share and a blank page. I know most people just scroll to the recipe anyway, so I feel less and less compelled to make things go together.

Pumpkin pancakes remind me of when I used to make these for Christmas for my family, and we all need a little comfort right now. This recipe is extra awesome because it contains some cornmeal which add a bit of crunch and texture to the whole situation. And don’t be a heathen. Make sure you have plenty of maple syrup.

Pumpkin Pancakes | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Times are hard all over the world. Dig deep and find the love, then share it with everyone you see. And eat pumpkin pancakes because you can, and that’s awesome.

Pumpkin Pancakes
Serves 3
Pumpkin Pancakes will make you happy no matter what's happening in the world.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup cornmeal
  3. 1/4 sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  8. 1 cup buttermilk
  9. 1 egg
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, all spice, and cinnamon. Give it all a gentle mix to make sure everything's coordinated.
  2. In another container (I use my big measuring cup) whisk together pumpkin puree, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir and fold until just combined. Don't overmix and don't worry about a few little lumps.
  4. Put your skillet or griddle over medium heat and add a bit of butter to avoid sticking. Spread it evenly around the pan with a paper towel and tongs.
  5. Once your pan is sufficiently hot, add your pancake batter to the pan. I used my third cup measure. Cook them about two to three minutes per side. Serve warm with butter and syrup.
Adapted from I am Baker
Adapted from I am Baker
http://awesomeon20.com/
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