Mark Bittmann's "Minimalist" column in the New York Times is one of my favorite "what's for dinner" resources. Last week, he offered a seasonal soup made with zucchini and pears. It can be served cold or warm, and is terrific with open-faced melted cheese sandwiches. Here is my version, topped with a little chopped mint. I might also indulge in a bit of creme fraiche or sour cream next time, to enrich the soup and balance out the sweetness.
This being fall, and apples being on sale at Whole Foods, I was moved to bake an apple pie. Earlier this summer, we had the best pie ever from a little farmers' market in Wisconsin near Nick's camp. Their signature pie is baked in a paper bag; I sought to try this method. I found the farmers' market's recipe and gave it a whirl. Sadly, my pie dough rolling skills are less than passable, so it wasn't the prettiest pie around, but it sure tasted good.