The word “fall” has a whole lot of different connotations depending on who you are. For most of us, it means the end of summer and the beginning of weeks of excessively edited #summerthrowback #tbt #ughmissthis Instagram photos. In the Southern states, fall means that it gets a few degrees cooler and every girl in the area puts on her Uggs and North Face sweater to brave the harsh 70° temperatures. For those of us lucky to live in the Northeast, fall means the arrival of leaf-peeping season and the emergence of beautiful fall colors if you’re over the age of 30; for everyone else, it means the arrival of pumpkin spice latte season at Starbucks and the emergence of every scarf and sweater in your closet.


Photo by Tarika Narain

If I seem super jaded about the fall, that’s not entirely true; I did become a fan of “I Will Go Slightly Out of My Way to Step On That Crunchy-Looking Leaf” on Facebook in seventh grade and I’ll never say no to a warm cider doughnut. But to me, the arrival of sweater weather has one huge, horrifying drawback: I have to wear pants. Most people stress out about the arrival of swimsuit season or whatever, but I’m the opposite. Anyone who knows me has probably, at some point, heard me justify my aggressive choice to wear shorts in freezing temperatures with the statement, “Cold is a state of mind.” You might have thought I was brave or have iron willpower, or you might have thought I was a huge idiot. I’m here to assure you that I am most definitely just a huge idiot.


Photo by Tarika Narain

Some people love wearing pants and are actually excited to put on a new pair of jeans for the first time, but not me. Actually, who was the sick masochist who invented skinny jeans? Since when did “fall” actually stand for “how many times can you fall flat on your face while struggling to put on pants seemingly made for the legs of Flat Stanley?” What are these, pants for ants?!? These jeans need to be at least THREE TIMES bigger than this!!!


Photo by Tarika Narain

Over the years, I’ve developed a few (sort of) rock-solid strategies for navigating my crippling anxiety over pants season:
Option 1: Just outright refuse to wear pants. Wear leggings, or if you’re averse to those as well (like me), wear dresses/skirts/shorts instead. The downside to this is hypothermia or pneumonia, or even both at the same time if you’re lucky. I’ll weigh the pros and cons and get back to you on this one.
Option 2: Attempt to bring overalls back into style. Fail miserably, but enjoy the beautiful sensation of your body looking like a giant sack of potatoes. You could also try to pull these off. May the odds be ever in your favor with that one.
Option 3 (a personal favorite): Never leave your heated room or bed. Drawbacks: loss of friends, family and any kind of personal connection you ever had. BUT you will never have to wear pants again and you always have Netflix. Could be worth it.


Photo by Tarika Narain

In the end, though, no matter how strong-willed or supremely stupid I am, the aggressively cold temperatures will always have the upper hand. After a long day of leg oppression, I console myself by returning to my room, taking off my pants and making myself a panini. Because, although fall fashion may not be my thing, fall flavors definitely are.


Photo by Tarika Narain


Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 7-8 minutes
Total Time: About 15 minutes

Servings: 1 (The lower half of your body has basically been imprisoned for an entire day so I think you’ve earned it.)


Photo by Tarika Narain


2 slices cranberry walnut bread
4 tablespoons maple almond butter
4 tablespoons maple chèvre
½ an apple
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


Photo by Tarika Narain


1. Preheat your panini press to medium heat.

2. Evenly spread maple almond butter on both slices of bread.

3. Slap a few pieces of maple chèvre on one slice of bread. (Pieces? Globs? What’s the correct terminology for goat cheese?)

4. Slice up half an apple in crescent-shaped pieces and layer neatly in a grid on top of cheese.

5. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice over apple slices.

6. Assemble your sandwich and pop it in the panini press for 7-8 minutes (the goat cheese takes a bit longer to heat).

7. Enjoy a perfect symphony of the tastes of fall, pants not required OR recommended.


Photo by Tarika Narain

Hungry for more? Check out last week’s recipe, the Panhell-ini!