Friday, October 17, 2014

Fall in Love with Apple Crisp

Fall is in full swing around here. We have had a few rainy days, the leaves are starting to change colors and the cool weather is descending upon us.  In fall, one of my favorite things to make is my mom's apple crisp!

I have great memories of watching her make a warm soup or spaghetti to go along with the apple crisp.  This is probably one of my favorite desserts next to a dark chocolate mousse! The best part is the apples do not need to be sweetened up with any sugar.  Between the naturally sweet apple pieces and sweet crunchy topping, you won't miss the extra sugar!

To make the apple crisp, you can go to the store to buy the ingredients, but if you live near an orchard, I highly suggest going to pick your own.  This is the second year wear have been able to pick our own apples at a local orchard and we always come back with at least 1/2 bushel of apples.  The picture below 1/4 of a bushel because the other 1/4 went home with a friend of mine who came to visit Boston.  I want to say it was around 35 apples.

To make the apple crisp you need the following ingredients

- 4-5 large apples
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- pinch of salt and cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


1) Start by combining the flour and oats. 

2) Next, mix in the cinnamon and salt with the flour mixture.

3) In a separate bowl mix the brown sugar, butter and vanilla until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the brown sugar mixture.  The topping should be crumbly.

4) Peel and quarter the apples. Cut the quarters into even thinner pieces if you want slices instead of quarters of apples.  Place the apples in an 8x8 baking pan.  

5) Finally, add the topping to the sliced apples and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  The apples should just be starting to get soft, but not mushy.  The crumble topping should also be getting crispy.  Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I do this time of the year!  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Where did summer go??

I can hardly believe summer has come and gone already.  This was arguably one of the busiest summers I've ever had.  Unfortunately, that left very little time to blog about everything going on.  I want to remedy that and get back into blogging regularly.  I apologize already for all the pictures coming in this post, but I decided to do one long post recapping summer rather than several short ones.

Summer kicked off with my sister's beautiful wedding in early May.  The wedding was held outdoors at Cedar Bend Events around 20 miles south of Austin, TX. Their ceremony started with both her and her husband dancing down the aisle to Happy by Pharell Williams.  If you know my sister, it was very fitting!

All of the bridesmaids and flower girls were asked to wear floral dresses and cowboy boots which turned out to be a lot of fun! The only problem was trying to find cowboy boots in the middle of March in Boston. It was worth the search though! 

One of my favorite pictures was this one [left to right] of me, my mom and my sister Vanessa.

We had so many friends and family there to celebrate with Vanessa & Cory on their wedding day.  The day turned out absolutely perfect and I couldn't be happier for both of them.  

Two weeks later I was off to the inaugural Women in Statistics Conference held in Cary, NC. That was one of the two events I did blog about this summer, so rather than elaborating on it again, I encourage you to read the blogs linked above.  I will say this: the entire conference has had a lasting effect on me.  I love the old friends and new friends I was able to meet.  New opportunities have come out of it, and I am very grateful that I was able to be a part of the conference. I look forward to the next one!

On a more heavy-hearted note, we lost my grandmother to cancer at the beginning of June. She had been battling cancer for several years now, but it was still very hard on our family.  This is an older picture of my sister and I with her from Easter many years ago.

We were fortunate enough to have all of the family come together for the funeral in Concord, CA. The picture below was taken at The Warehouse Cafe in Port Costa

We took this picture of my dad with his two brothers and dad (my grandfather) by the railroad tracks and the water next to the restaurant.

Somewhere in the middle of the summer, Chris and I found time to explore Boston a little bit too.  We canoed down the Charles River (twice!): 

We attended our first Red Sox game:

We made our first lobster rolls:

and took a duck boat tour around Boston with an out of town guest who came to visit us!

At the end of June, we had our annual BCB Department Retreat which was very informative and fun including catching the end of one of the world cup matches at lunch time!

At the end of July, there were two major conferences happening back to back: Bioconductor Conference (BioC 2014) and the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM 2014), both held in Boston this year. I had never attended a Bioconductor conference, but I really enjoyed meeting the major contributors and developers behind it. Here is a picture from BioC developer day:

Here are two pictures fom JSM advertising the This is Statistics campaign:

In addition to the conferences, I also found time to fit in progress on my research.  I submitted an R package to Bioconductor called quantro and it was successfully accepted a few weeks later!  Also, one of my projects required some of my calculus to be dusted off the shelf, so I drew this to explain my feelings on the subject at the time. :)

Finally, the biggest news of the summer was I got married Labor Day weekend!  I figured I had already maxed out my photo quota for one blog post, so stay tuned for that in the next post.  For now I leave you with this picture of our penguin cake topper which was designed, 3D printed [design available on thingiverse] and painted by my husband Chris! :)

I promise to get back to my usual posts very soon!  I hope everyone had a restful and productive summer.