Fake it Till You Make It-Fall Recipes and Wines

This is the time of the year when I most miss my childhood home.  Glossed and changing leaves, tips curled, blanket the path and create a quilt of color.  The air, sweetened and chilled, hangs with a bit more weight. Bins of Macintosh line the path to the pumpkin patch and cider doughnuts punctuate most hikes.  The golden before the grey, the crisp before the bitter cold.  Autumn in the Adirondacks is hard to beat.


Here, the calendar says fall, the forecast argues, and we learn to fake it. Not with the pumpkin flavored syrups, but with real Maple syrup on pumpkin purée pancakes. The berry smoothies are replaced with Chai Pumpkin. And summer squash yields to Butternut. If you, like me, are wishing for the flavors of autumn and richer reds, I am with you.  Even if I have to turn the A/C a little lower to counter the oven being turned back on.

I recently added  a pick to Snooth’s list of transition wines.  We are leaning towards the whites with a winter coat, the reds get a little fuller. Several great suggestions made the list. Here are a couple more and some recipes to warm your insides…or at least to pretend it is not still 90 degrees.


2011 Cantina Zaccagnini il vino “dal trachetto” Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($14)

2013 Maison Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages (100% Gamay)* ($14)

Both wines are lighter bodied reds with red fruit and balanced acidity and tannins. Both wines could be paired in a variety of ways and are great values.  The Montepulciano reminds me of the outgoing life of the party, vibrant and zesty. The Gamay is the more studious friend, dust and floral balanced with bright fruit . Both make excellent party guests; your mood will determine which on you want to hang out with.

Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

1/2 cup Pumpkin purée

1 cup almond/coconut milk (or rice, almond, dairy, etc)

6-8 ice cubes

1 Scoop Vega One Vanilla Chai Protein Powder (or any powder and add cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla OR just spices and Chia for protein)

Blend. ( I love, love, love my Vitamix. I saw them on Groupon if you’re looking)

Gluten-Free (or not) Pumpkin Pancakes

2 cups GF flour or regular (I used Namaste)

1 tsp. salt

2 tsps. Baking powder

1 tsp Baking soda

2 TBSPs Brown Sugar

1/4 tsp nutmeg, cloves, cardamom

1-2 tsps. cinnamon

1 cup pumpkin purée

2 eggs

2 cups milk (it thickens as it sits so you may need more)

TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix dry ingredients, add wet, cook and enjoy.  These were thick and fluffy and took longer to cook than usual pancakes but were totally worth it.

Apple Fennel Relish

1 onion sliced thin

1/2-1 bulb of fennel (about a cup)

1 cup diced apples

splash of oil

2 splashes apple cider vinegar

Salt to taste

dash of clove

Sauté onion and fennel until caramelized

Add apples and continue for 10-15 minutes over med-low heat.

Add 2 cups water and cook down (about an hour or so)

Add ACV, clove, and taste.

It should resemble a chutney or jam at this point.

I served it on top of a turkey meatloaf with asparagus and horseradish sweet potatoes. Delicious. It would have been great with the Beaujolais.


*{This wine was sent as a media sample. Thoughts and opinions are my own. I received no other compensation.}

Photograph by Carl Heilman II taken with permission from the Adirondack Fall Foliage Guide. For more fall foliage and gorgeous views of the Adirondacks, check out Carl’s book “Photographing the Adirondacks”.

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

3 thoughts on “Fake it Till You Make It-Fall Recipes and Wines

  1. Don’t know if it will make it feel any better, but the beautiful fall still didn’t arrive in the lower Connecticut. It is still very warm, and there is literally no change of color in the trees. Which is sad, because when it happens like this, the trees go from green to brown and to empty, so we will probably miss most of our most wonderful season…
    Good choice of wines for the transition though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you I cannot wait for fall to arrive in Texas. I fear we are going to go from the 90’s to the 60’s skipping those wonderful 70 degree days. We were in Austin this past weekend hanging with my daughter and attending the UT game. It was crazy hot! Great post with great recipes. Thank you.


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