Fall With a Hint of Winter

New Jersey weather has been strange for the past year or so.*

*Then again, maybe it is as it has always been and I have reached that point in age where the breakdown of each and every day’s weather pattern is a point of extreme importance.**

**I hope that isn’t the case.

On Christmas we were in tank tops, in February we had deep negative temps followed by days in the 60’s, and now in April we are bundled up again with possible flurries and winter weather advisories in the forecast. This just cannot be!

The weather this weekend was particularly dreary here in New Jersey. In addition to the pain of the weather, Lance had to work on Saturday leaving me home alone with nothing much to do.*

*I exaggerate. There is always something to do, however, my dreams of bakery and coffee shop visits were squashed, and I sat wallowing in the depths of despair.**

**If you understand the literature reference there, I love you.

Once I caught up on all the “home” responsibilities that had started to pile up now that I’m working again, I decided to do a little baking.*

*And maybe, just possibly, Lance had suggested I do some baking with my free time.

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Tell me you are as in love with my new Pioneer Woman dutch oven as I am. It has absolutely nothing to do with the picture except that it was nearby and beautiful.

As I watched heavy rain drops fall outside my kitchen window, friends were posting pictures on social media of snow flurries and light snow dustings in areas from PA to Jersey. I knew I couldn’t bake just anything. The baking needed to fit the mood. And the mood was a chill that hits the bone, makes you want to crawl under a blanket with hot cocoa and never venture into the outdoor world again: Fall with a hint of winter.

First, I thought about making some vanilla cupcakes, but when I turned the recipe book page and saw “Gingerbread cupcakes”, I knew it was meant to be. Gingerbread was the perfect flavor, composed of the exact spices that one’s nose expects to inhale on such a chilly day.

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These babies have fall written all over them.

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Just for good measure, in hope of spring actually arriving and staying, I went ahead and made lemon cream cheese frosting.

It was spring meets fall in a single bite.

And it was glorious.

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Oh yes, and I made a sweet potato pie, too! I don’t think anything, short of pumpkin pie, spells FALL like sweet potato pie.

Here’s hoping that the days to come start feeling a bit more springy and that I’ll be making things like lemon bars and key lime pie soon!

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