The Flavors of Fall

The Flavors of Fall

Apples, and pumpkins, and cinnamon, oh my!
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Autumn really is one of the best seasons for cooking and baking - not just because of the recipes, but because there's just something about being in the kitchen that has a distinctly autumn fall for me. Maybe it's memories of cutting up apples with my mom for homemade applesauce or different sides of my family in various years gathered in the kitchen, cooking Thanksgiving dinner. No matter why, I love baking in the fall and I wanted to share a few recipes with y'all. They're largely ones I have to try still, so I can't vouch for them, but they still look tasty!

1. Snickerdoodle banana bread

Just warning ya, I'm going to feature snickerdoodles a lot in this post. They're a perfect fall/winter staple, no matter what form they come in. I love a good quick bread, so try this one.


2. Cinnamon lamb stew

Stews and soups are perfect as the days get colder. I'd love to try this recipe over Thanksgiving or Christmas break.


3. Pumpkin cookies

What's fall without pumpkin? Plus, look how luscious that frosting is.


4. Pumpkin buttermilk biscuits

The idea of pumpkin biscuits (the American type) is a bit wild, I'll admit. But can you just imagine these for a Saturday brunch - or on Thanksgiving morning?


5. Skillet apple biscuits

More biscuits! Except they're made with another classic fall ingredient - apples.


6. Chicken tortellini soup

Everyone loves chicken noodle soup, right? Well, here's a twist on the childhood favorite.


7. Apple snickerdoodle cobbler

Cobblers are great potluck food. I also have a feeling this one'll taste a lot like pie.


8. Pumpkin cheesecake muffins

I love baking muffins. If I had a little more time and a few more resources, I'd definitely make these this fall.


9. Pumpkin snickerdoodles

My mom LOVES snickerdoodles, so I think I might have to make these over Thanksgiving break...


10. Roasted red pepper and Gouda soup

My university's bistro had this as a weekly special a couple weeks ago, and it was so tasty!


11. Apple pie crescent bites

Small and cute, I think these would be good for any fall luncheon (or maybe even dinner party?) you host.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go write all these recipes into my book so readers will hate me for all the delicious food I describe.

Cover Image Credit: The Latin Kitchen

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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You Should 100 Percent Not Go Out To Eat If You're NOT Going To Tip 18 Percent, Or More

My current summer job is serving at a restaurant and it is the first serving job I have ever had. Here is what I have learned so far, in terms of tipping.

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Being a server can be the best job at times and the worst job at times.

Most servers only make between 3 and 3.50 hourly, we rely solely on tips.

There is nothing more disappointing than picking up the check from a table and seeing that they tipped you under 20 percent. I would say a good rule of thumb is to always tip your server 20 percent unless you have a valid reason not to. If their service was truly terrible, then tip them under, but when their service was good and the meal was good too, you have no reason not to tip 20 percent.

I've been serving about 2 weeks now and I have been undertipped or not tipped at all several times.

I'm still learning as I go, but I think I am a good server. I always greet my customers, offer input on the menu, and constantly check on them during the meal. I can confidently say that I think I am worth a 20 percent tip. When I see that someone did not tip me what they should have, it's upsetting. I always wonder what I could have done to earn a better tip but the fact is that some people are just oblivious.

Some people are not aware that you are supposed to tip 18 percent as the bare minimum.

When I don't receive a tip at all, it feels like a waste of time. I put in your orders, brought your food to you, made sure you were enjoying my meal, constantly offered my services, and you don't tip me? Not tipping your server is just plain rude.

There are always some people that tip over 20 percent so, for the most part, it evens out between these people and those who do not tip, but there is no excuse for not tipping your server.

In conclusion, don't eat out if you are not going to leave a decent tip for your server.

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