Wednesday, September 2, 2009

bring on baking season!

The perfect way to welcome September - with Apple Pie! Okay, it was just a larabar, but it was delightful!

This was a dense and very sweet bar. I was initially inclined to think it was too nutty, but after a few more bites I realized that the nuts helped to calm the flavor some. It reminded me a bit of the Apple Cinnamon Nectar bars (which also have gorgeous packaging), but easier to eat, due to the nuts - the Nectar bar is just too sweet.

The first thing I noticed when I unceremoniously ripped open the wrapper was the wonderful smell of apple and cinnamon...absolutely one of my favorite scent combinations. It was like tearing open the wrapping paper on Autumn (my favorite season).

Now, when I say "baking season," I am primarily thinking about tasty little treasures made up of warm syrupy fruit, smothered with an oaty, streusal topping, or maybe the melt-in-your-mouth crumbs of a coffee cake, or these fantastic little cookies baked with freshly cut apple chunks. However, I also love baked dinners. They provide warmth from the inside out in a way only slowly cooked foods can...the rich scent of lasagna or pastitsio, the tenderness of stuffed peppers baked in the oven, rather than on a skillet, and the inherent sweetness roasting brings out in vegetables. Also, baked dinners allow me a little bit more time to relax in the evening, as opposed to the whirlwind of perpetual motion that leaves me dancing around my small kitchen, tending to three pots at once and hoping I don't burn the garlic.

My inaugural baked meal (welcome, dear September!) was Isa's BBQ Pomegranate Tofu, served on a bed of coconut rice (with real toasted - and almost burnt - shredded coconut). I love this tofu - I keep saying "this is my favorite," but seriously - this is my favorite tofu. It's baked to perfection, then smothered in the best BBQ sauce ever and baked some more. We ate every last morsel!

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