Sea Grapes

Photo by Chelsea Harms

Photo Info:

  • Location: Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
  • Camera: Canon T2i
  • Lens: Canon 18-55mm

One thing I love about the ocean is the variety of flora inhabiting the coastlines. I particularly love the sea grapes of the southeast US and the Caribbean islands. These bushes-turned-trees occupy dunes and sandy patches on the beach, covered in salt from the ocean breeze they face day and night. Besides providing some of the best shade on the beach, I also like to use these leaves for decor and writing purposes.

Once dried, these large, thick leaves retain a bit of flexibility but lack their gorgeous green color. Instead, their soft browns allow for your creative mind to run wild after summer ends. For painting, they become a blank natural canvas. For decor, string them together for that “Autumn in the Islands” look for your tropical home. Need a clever piece of stationary? Use some acrylic paints or ink pens to scribble out that message. How else would you use them?

About Chelsea Harms

Chelsea is a marine scientist, currently living and studying on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. She enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring the tropical island and scuba diving in the ocean. She loves to document her travels through photography and partakes in the hobby as often as possible. Although marine science is her calling, creative endeavors have always been a passion for Chelsea. She curates a blog dedicated to all things nature inspires, as well as a small and colorful eclectic online shop.

Apples and Autumn: A Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby

Photo by Beverly Wang

Ingredients

  •  2 Tablespoons / 1 oz. butter
  • 2 small apples (use any variety you like), sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use My Spice Sage’s Saigon Cinnamon, which is extremely pungent and flavorful, feel free to up this quantity if your cinnamon is more delicate)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ C / 60g all-purpose flour
  • ½ C / 4 fluid oz. skim milk
  • lemon juice, powdered sugar or maple syrup for topping

As much as I’ve enjoyed the warm weather this summer, I couldn’t be happier that autumn has finally arrived. Fall has always been my favorite season of the year, bringing about the anticipation of a new school year, heralding the changing of colors, the return of the crispness in the twilight air, and the anticipation of the holiday season. With the new crops of apples coming in, I look forward to enjoying them as much as possible.

Today I’m sharing a simple recipe for a Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby to usher in the season, easily prepared in the morning for breakfast or topped with ice cream as a light dessert. Dutch babies, with their high ratio of eggs to flour, are akin to popovers and yorkshire pudding and puff up dramatically in the oven and collapse when cooled, allowing you to top it off with your favorite syrup or just a light dusting of powdered sugar.

cinnamon apple dutch baby / recipe and photos by Beverly Wang for dearestnature.com

cinnamon apple dutch baby / recipe and photos by Beverly Wang for dearestnature.com

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large cast iron skillet (or any oven-proof skillet) over medium heat, melt the butter and add in the sliced apples and sauté for several minutes, until the apples begin to soften. Add in the cinnamon and brown sugar and continue to sauté until the apples are golden brown and the sugar melts and begins to caramelize.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs together and add the flour and milk and whisk until combined. When the apples are softened and covered in a lovely golden brown sauce, pour the batter over the apple mixture and place the skillet into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pancake puffs up and is golden brown.

3. Remove the pancake from the oven, sprinkle with lemon juice and powdered sugar generously or top with maple syrup and serve immediately.

cinnamon apple dutch baby / recipe and photos by Beverly Wang for dearestnature.com

About Beverly Wang

Beverly is a web applications developer living in lovely Southern California. When she's not writing code, you'll probably find her in the kitchen or out capturing moments of her daily life with her camera. Never content to sit still, she always finds herself trying to do ten things at once. She believes that good food, made with love and from scratch, is the panacea for all ills.

In a Word: Adventure

Ethiopian Highlands photo by Michael Nichols for National Geographic

Autumn is here — it’s time to squeeze in some more adventures before the frigid winter air arrives! The next few months promise perfect weather for outdoor activities. I can’t wait to take a hike in the crisp rall air, with a hint of wood smoke floating by.

What are your favorite fall adventures? I particularly love nature hikes, where I can collect beautiful photographs of the my favorite season.

P.S. I have those athletic sandals and they are awesome for just about any kind of adventure!

About Katie Wade

Katie is the creative spirit behind Lemon Jitters, a blog dedicated to all things crafty. Her interests are ever-changing and currently include: an obsession with kitschy kitchen timers, digital design, eating lots of chocolate and paper crafting.

The Coastal Collection by The Homeground

Coastal no. 11 by The Homeground

Brittany Campbell of The Homeground (whom we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and getting to know) recently unveiled some dreamy photos of her coastal collection captured by Abbey Moore.

The Coastal Collection by The Homeground / featured on dearestnature.com

I spied some lovely photos over at Bonnie Forkner’s blog Going Home to Roost, who teamed up with The Homeground and are offering a sweet discount to (20% off purchases over $25 at The Homeground) to members of Bonnie’s recently launched The Roost Tribe.

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.

My Cup of Tea (Towels)

One of my favorite types of gifts to give during the holidays is tea towels and they’re always well-received by aunts and great-aunts. It seems kind of early to be thinking about Christmas already, but here we are officially in the fall and just about 90 days until gift-exchanging extravaganza time.

Here are a few tea towels that have recently caught my eye and that I’m thinking of giving myself for Christmas, too, or at least directing the Mr. to this post as a hint to what I want this Christmas!

tea towels featured on dearestnature.com

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.