Falling for Fall!
So the past couple of days I’ve been super busy – hence the lack of a recent post! But for those of you who don’t know I will be officially converting from Ms. Foodie to Mrs. Foodie this coming Saturday! As many of you know, the weekend before a wedding is packed with a million and one things to do. However, to make the weekend slightly less stressful, I insisted that my parents, my fiance and I all go to the annual Fall Festival in Catoctin Maryland – the Colorfest. It’s a family tradition and it warms my heart and makes me incredibly happy each year that we go. Our family has been going for as long as I can remember. Every mid-October we make the 30 minute trip to Catoctin – a quiet, sleepy little town in western Maryland – to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage, cooler weather, and of course….to try out the local foods.
Now granted, its not hard to “try” a fried Snicker’s bar. Yes…I have actually eaten one and YES it is delicious. Hot and melty and gooey and chocolatey all in one insane bite. Not the healthiest choice out there, but worth a try every now and again! My usual choices however are hot apple cider, caramel apples WITH peanuts and kettle corn. This year they even had pear cider. It had wonderful sweet taste of delicate pear. It was one of the best new items I tried. For lunch, the 4 of us split a “fish boat.” Two pieces of fried white fish and hand cut fries. And as it is a Maryland festival, the fish was topped off with the state seasoning, Old Bay. Hot from the fryer and super crunchy and tender – it was the best fried fish I’ve had in a long time. As a yummy side dish, the kettle corn. It’s a must-have for our family. There isn’t a year we haven’t gotten it. Sweet, salty and crunchy, its the best snack. I always love how you get a bag fresh from the huge cast iron pot, still piping hot!
Lastly, I got a caramel apple with peanuts – it comes sliced in a bowl topped with hot and gooey caramel and sprinkled with salty peanuts. It’s my all time favorite fall dessert – on a stick or in a bowl, I can’t get enough caramel apples. Only this year… I also got the caramel in my hair. And a lot of caramel. Dont ask me how I did it…I just did. Needless to say, the amount of conditioner applied that evening was more than usual. Unfortunately, we were all pretty full after all that deliciousness. So even though there were plenty more foods I wanted to try, I just didn’t have the room. But next year, I will most definitely be trying the pumpkin flavored funnel cake!
Are you hungry yet? I sure am! I wanted to find some good recipes that I could make at home to help recreate some of those yummy fall festival favorites. But the challenge was finding recipes that tasted great but also won’t raise your cholesterol by 50 points in one sitting. Here’s what I’ve found:
- Caramel Apples – this is from Eating Well (one of my top favorite recipe websites). The key here is that the apples aren’t 100% covered by the caramel which shaves off some calories. But you still get a little gooey caramel in each bite. It has salty peanuts and all! HIGHLY recommended!
- Kettle Corn – this is from Cooking Light (another go-to healthy recipe site). I really like this recipe because the popcorn is sweetened with maple syrup. It has a great fall taste, plus maple syrup has a good amount of antioxidants and 15 times more calcium than honey!
- Fish and Chips – (another recipe from Eating Well) This recipe closely matches what I munched on at the festival. The corn flake crust gives this fish the needed crunch. Sprinkle with Old Bay and you’re in for a serious treat!
- Apple Cider – No, I don’t actually have a recipe for making apple cider from scratch. This is a spiced cider recipe which is great for a cold fall/winter day. I just leave out the brown sugar, as apple cider is naturally sweet!