Really delicious half-eaten pumpkin loaf

IMG_3283

The first of the pumpkin loaves! I made one other pumpkin thing but this is more specifically FALL BAKING status. Because it’s suddenly freezing here and I’ve begun wondering how I survived in Oregon and also, where have all my warm clothes and layers gone?! I think I purged them from my wardrobe in a fit of frustration…. and now it’s become tank top, sweatshirt, scarf, fleece. Which is working tolerably well but… clearly I need help in the wardrobe department. Probably because whenever I try to buy sensible things I end up with boots and scarves and jewelry and don’t judge me, I know you have your weaknesses too, I see you over there on Etsy and Modcloth and Pinterest… oh wait, just me?!

IMG_3282

Also ps. Sorry for the slight awkwardness of the photos. I ate a bunch of the loaf before I realized it was good enough to share…. so you get half eaten loaf. I know that is sooooo appealing.

IMG_3285

On another semi unrelated note, I only have one more round of midterms and then it’s Thanksgiving! THANK GOODNESS. I have never been so grateful for the end of midterms in my life. Three rounds, so gross. I can’t really believe that I’m already only 3 weeks away from the end of the quarter. Can someone explain how that happened?! Mind blown. I have a feeling opera and jazzercise will get me through the last three weeks of medstats. And that will be my last three weeks of medstats EVER because obviously I am never doing that again.

I’ve been drawing again as a break from the madness:

IMG_3268

Jessie says hello, with drool:

IMG_3262

SO! Baking = coping mechanism. Let’s do this.

This bread is lightly sweet but so very fall-y and pumpkin-y and satisfying and delicious. I like the walnuts in there for texture but if that’s not your thing, chocolate would be just as good. It’s also stuffed full of beta carotene antioxidants, which is just generally fab.

IMG_3284

Quinoa Flour Pumpkin Carrot Bread

Vegan, refined sugar free, whole grain, can be gluten free! Friendly for IBS too since it has lots of great soluble fiber. Just in case you’re blessed with that sort of fun thing… it also might be fodmap friendly, depending on your fodmap tolerance; it was totes fine for me but it depends on you and your bod!

Yield: 1 loaf

  • 1 c quinoa flour, toasted*
  • 2/3 c whole spelt flour**
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • heaping 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 c pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 c pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 c coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water; let sit for 5 minutes
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 1/4 c walnuts, chopped

*toasting gets rid of the natural bitterness — I do it in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes or until the flour smells toasty

** Replace with more quinoa flour for gluten free!

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a standard loaf pan with coconut oil or your greasing thingy of choice.

In a large bowl, whisk together toasted quinoa flour, spelt flour, baking soda and powder, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a smaller bowl, whisk or stir or whatever with your fave implement the pumpkin puree, maple, coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla, and gelled flax egg. Toss this whole bucket of delicious into your dry ingredients, and stir until combined. Add in carrots and walnuts about halfway and stir until the dry mix is incorporated. The batter will be pretty thick – spread it into your prepared loaf pan, and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. I had my timer set for 46 minutes, but my loaf came out perfectly at 42 — I started smelling it baking, and I don’t trust my super hot and uneven oven, so I tested it and it was actually perfect, so out it came. Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Leftovers store best wrapped in foil in the fridge.

IMG_3286

Just for laughs, guess how many jars of nut butter I have…

IMG_6847

Guys. My songza playlist is SPOT ON tonight. Actually it’s so perfect it’s frightening. I got a bunch of funk up in here, perfect for a Thursday-almost-Friday-weekend-time.

Or let’s be real.

IMG_6853

Funk is perfect ALL the time. Fact.

Just like these.

IMG_6850

Welcome to end-of-summer-I-have-so-much-zucchini-someone-help. Or actually don’t. Really actually give me ALL YOUR SQUASH so I can make this bread over and over and over.

unnamed

Because the whole pan was gone in pretty much four hours and there were only three of us.

And I really don’t feel like I got a justifiably large amount. So obviously this has to happen again. I have a question to pose to you: Is baking a bread out of nut butter and then putting more nut butter on your bread redundant?? Because that’s basically the story of my existence. I don’t even want to know how much nut butter I consume on average (thank you, GRE studies, for immediately making me think of mean, median and mode. No, I will NOT be calculating the ‘real life word problem’ of my nut butter eating. Just… no.) Do you know how many jars of nut butter are in the fridge right now? I bet you can’t even guess.

IMG_6848

SEVEN.

And that’s not including the coconut butter in the cupboard (no need to refrigerate that sucker). I think I have a problem…

IMG_6851

So make that eight different types of nut butter. There are two types of peanut butter. And two types of almond butter. And a few medleys. And some sunflower butter… oh god.

Um okay so new subject.

Bees!!! Hooray for new jobs and local bees!! Welcome to my morning:

10646947_10152757360263982_2549836215237403225_n

If you want some, you know where to find me!

And you know what local honey would be amazing on??

THESE BARS.

They’re freaking fantastic. They’re even good by themselves!! Though obviously superior with a  smear of extra nut butter (obvi NOT the nut butter you used to make them, because how boring. Don’t you have six other choices to pick from?!). Super fast to whip up, which is basically as close to instant gratification as you can get with baking biz.

Side note: Playlist is reading my mind. “don’t stop till you get enough”… nut butter?! Right on, Michael, you are soooo right.

Anyway. Bars. Eat yo’ veggies! In something that is grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free, and full of healthy fats and fiber and all that good stuff! And they taste kind of like gingerbread?! Which is baffling considering there is no ginger to be found in them. Whatever. They’re delicious and I didn’t eat enough last time sooooo…. does someone have any extra zucchini lying around they want to chuck my way? Puhhleeez??

IMG_6849

Almond Butter Zucchini Bread

Recipe only a teeny bit adapted from Hummusapien, here! It was so perfect I didn’t want to futz too much, though next time I might try them with a flax egg just for funzies. Gluten free, grain free, flour free. Paleo, refined sugar free, healthy fats, good source of fiber and sneaky veggies! Makes about 9 good sized bars in an 8 by 8 pan.

  • 3/4 c almond butter [mine was roasted and very lightly salted]
  • 1 giant zucchini, grated [1 heaping c shredded zucchini]
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 c pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 c raw coconut nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt [adjust accordingly if your almond butter is salty]
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350, and lightly grease an 8 by 8 baking pan with coconut oil or whatever your thing of choice is.

In a largeish/mediumish bowl thing, combine almond butter, egg, maple, coconut nectar, and vanilla. Whisk together until combined. Add in baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt and whisk all that goodness in too. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips until combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake for just about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

Let cool for a few, then flip out onto a cooling rack. I store it in the original baking pan after it’s fully cooled, with foil over the top  in the fridge (Not like I needed to since it all disappeared in about thirty seconds anyway, but you know…). Leftovers keep for… I have no idea. I didn’t have any.

IMG_6854

A case of RUDE tonsils

IMG_0381

So guess what.

This is what happens when your tonsils rebel and you end up with…

TONSILLITIS.

So. RUDE.

IMG_0374

Look what it made me do? I was feeling sorry for myself and this happened.

And I kind of thought it was pretty so I took lots of iPhone photos while I was becoming one with the couch. Which is so not my mo, I’m getting twitchy and this is only my first full day of antibiotics (which I hate but in some cases are obviously necessary).

Ughghghhghghg.

IMG_0375

Thankfully things look a little better with a bowl of trashed up banana bread in front of you. I took a perfectly good-for-me loaf of grain free, refined sugar free banana bread and dumped a load of homemade chocolate hazelnut butter and vanilla ice cream on it. Because, obviously. I do not ever need to justify my ice cream but in this case I have tonsillitis and clearly everyone knows that tonsillitis=ice cream. There’s got to be an official rule written down somewhere that says that… right? Whatever. Just humor me, I’m sickly and cranky. And my banana bread is gone now so I can’t trash up any more of it.

IMG_0378

Good thing I still have ice cream. I’ll have to just make do with that…

IMG_0372 Simple Grain Free Banana Bread

This is one of my favorites—it comes out with a great crumb, it’s moist but not soggy (ew, no one wants that), and it bakes up cleanly in less than an hour. Grain free+gluten free, refined sugar free (in fact, it doesn’t have any sweetener added at all, except banana), and paleo. Yay! I adapted the recipe from Peanut Butter Runner, here! Makes one loaf.

  • 3/4 c almond flour
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp unrefined coconut oil (measured when completely liquid)
  • 3 medium-large, extremely ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • shredded unsweetened coconut for topping, optional

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 350.

Whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, trying to get all the lumps (sift coconut flour if it’s super lump-tastic). In a smaller bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Pour wet into dry and stir until just combined—the batter is thick, and almost a little ‘dry’, but it spreads out easily into a loaf pan. Top with shredded coconut, if using, and bake for 45 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

Use the parchment to lift it out onto a cooling rack, and let cool completely before wrapping in foil. It does best stored in the fridge!

Trash it up with anything you feel like. Chocolate? Peanut Butter? Ice cream? (I mean, obvi)… This banana bread is your oyster.

IMG_0376

Vat o’soup Monday

IMG_0158

I just love vat o’soup Mondays.

Such a satisfying feeling to know that I have leftovers for DAYS. And besides, it was my favorite kind of day (overcast, rainy) so obviously soup was a must. Because everyone knows that soup+cornbread+rain are like the three musketeers.

IMG_0156

Don’t be fooled by what looks to be a large amount of space in that pot… it is a MASSIVE pot. I can practically fit in it.

Also…

Happy Fat Tuesday! Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Not that anything I’m posting about has to do with Mardi Gras… perhaps I should have made pancakes. Oops. Whatever, at least this happened this weekend (in typical Mardi Gras indulgent fashion):

IMG_0082

Sorry I’m not even a little bit sorry! Ha.

And this food happened to be pretty. So here you go. I’m not even going to dignify that with a recipe though, it’s stupid simple. Beans+avo+cucumber+salasa=lunch. *Someone* was apparently feeling lazy…

IMG_0150

But anyway. SOUP!

Butternut Squash, Pinto Bean Soup with Ginger and Nutmeg

This is one of those “let’s see what’s in the fridge that needs to be used” type of soups, which incidentally are my favorite kind. This one is primarily butternut squash, pinto bean, and carrot—it has overtones of nutmeg and ginger. Mmm. I won’t lay this out as a “recipe” per say… but it’s a waitarethosecookies original, and it’s delicious. I never measure when I’m making soup, so bear with me. As always, adjust to taste as suits your tastebuds!

It’s kind of even ridiculous for me to even try to quantify this into a recipe, but whatever. You get the gist and improvising is fun! Have at it.

Things you sorta kinda should have, but can probably fake it without them anyway:

  • 1 large +1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 onion
  • some carrots
  • olive oil
  • seasonings (Salt, pepper, fresh ginger, fresh+dried sage, nutritional yeast, nutmeg)
  • chicken stock (or veggie), about 4 cups worth
  • 3 potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cans of pinto beans, rinsed
  • 2-3 c greens, roughly chopped

Ooookay let’s do the soup thang!

Halve butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. Place squash cut side down on a cutting board and bake for 30 minutes at 375. Take squash out, flip over and let cool until you can scoop out the puree without burning yourself.

In a large soup pot, saute an onion in a good glug of olive oil. Add a bit of salt and pepper, minced fresh sage (3 leaves), a sprinkle of dried sage, and about a tsp of diced fresh ginger. Toss in 3 or 4 good sized carrots, diced. Let all that cook until the onions are translucent, then add butternut squash puree and about 4 c of chicken stock. Puree the whole thing with an immersion blender.

Slice up a few potatoes reeeeally thinly, and add them in. Let the soup simmer until the potatoes are soft, then add two cans of pinto beans (well rinsed), 1/4 c nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, salt to taste, 1 c cooked green peas, and 2-3 c roughly chopped greens. Simmer until the greens are wilted, then serve hot. I like mine with chopped up cashews and walnuts+pepitas, because you know it’s all about texture!

Makes excellent leftovers, clearly…

Also.. cookies and a good book are always a good choice.

IMG_0137

Yes, I’ve been known to eat this for breakfast too…

IMG_5462

MUNG BEANS!

No, they’re not lentils.

Yes, I eat them for breakfast! In oatmeal. Or not, and just by themselves.

IMG_5463

Whatever, I told you I got more alternative/awesome every day! It’s why you hang out with me, isn’t it? Right. That’s what I thought!

I find this kind of hilarious, but one of my bestie friends (who happens to be Thai) told me the other day that apparently I’m a closet-Asian. Like, I eat more traditional Asian foods with ridiculous gusto than she does! Probably not true, but I’ll take the compliment ;) And then she pointed out my obsession with aduki beans… and now mung beans… and woonsen noodles… and the amount of tea I drink… and so on.

IMG_5467

Another work friend of mine and I mess with each other daily about what we’ve brought to eat that day: I’ve been accused before of bringing rabbit food… so every time I have some new kind of bean or legume or whathaveyou, I make sure to point it out (alternatively, if I bring beef, obviously we make a huge deal out of that too since that’s generally her province). This kind of thing really only encourages me… I continually try to one up myself and bring the most alternative beans I can find. Muahaha. Rabbit food for the win! Mung beans were the last iteration… let’s see what I can come up with next, heeheehee!

This soup is delicious either by itself or (as I ate it) over brown rice. Mung beans are one of the most easily digestible beans, are low-glycemic, and full of fiber and protein. They’re also a really good source of iron, potassium and zinc, AND provide vitamins A, K, B6, and folate. Eat them! Beans, beans they’re good for your heart (among other things)…

IMG_5470

Mung Bean Stew

Recipe slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum, recipe here! I only used about half the mung beans in the stew, and then used the leftovers the rest of the week. You can also use all of them, up to you and how many you’re feeding! Delicious warm or cool, and supremely simple to make. I soaked my mung beans for about 4 hours before cooking, but the online searching I’ve done has given me mixed results on whether or not this is necessary. I usually soak things, so I split the difference and only soaked them for a short time.

IMG_5468

  • 2 c mung beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 6 c veggie (or chicken) broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c canned coconut milk (I used light)
  • one massive double handful (or half a bag) of mixed greens or spinach
  • salt to taste
  • brown rice to serve, optional

Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot. Add drained and rinsed beans and cook, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. They will eventually absorb most of the liquid, but I found that around the 30 minute mark I added a bit of water each time I checked it. The beans should be soft but not smooshy, with a really thick consistency when you stir them.

Heat the oil in a pan, and, when hot, add onion and ginger. Sauté for 3-5 minutes over medium-low heat, until the onion is translucent. Add greens and cook until they’re slightly wilted. Add the contents of this pan into the bean pot, and let simmer for just a few minutes. Stir in cardamon, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and coconut milk. Salt to taste.

I served mine warm, but I ate it later at room temp and it’s delicious both ways. Leftovers keep in the fridge for a few days no problem! I ate mine over brown rice, which was an excellent decision.

IMG_5471

An absurd amounts of lentils (is maybe the best thing ever!)

IMG_5173

Shut the front door.

LENTILS.

IMG_5171

There are no words.

Except…

I’m obsessed?! Forget the question mark after obsessed. No question. Ob. Sessed. As in…I eat them for three meals a day (not in the same day, obviously, but I do kind of have to stop myself from doing that): breakfast, lunch, dinner. I put them in oatmeal. With coconut milk and a date (seriously. You don’t know what you’re missing until you try it). Over sautéed mixed greens for lunch. With bread and mo’ veggies for dinner. Or a snack. Or whatever. OBSESSED. Lentils, where have you been all my life?!

IMG_5170

I’m not entirely sure what I was eating up until now in order to fill this gigantic hole that is now filled with lentils… thankfully I can make huge vats at one time so that I have lentils for days (literally). Which means I kind of go through them a little, ahem, rapidly. Kind of like vegetables. But lucky for me, last week Whole Foods had a one day bulk sale!!! (danger, danger, this is my kryptonite) So now my cupboards are exploding with all kinds of fun bulk-type things like pepitas, mung beans, brown rice, dates, and.. oh yeah. LENTILS. Three. Different. Kinds. I literally have enough lentils to feed a small army. Or me. For about a week.

IMG_5161

This is my favorite way to make them: they can be sweetish (in oatmeal with coconut milk and a date), or savory, over sauteed greens with avocado and a little splash of coconut aminos (or soy, if that’s your thing). I love that they can go either way, depending on what meal I’m eating or whatever.

You don’t even have to be alternative like me to enjoy them… if lentils in oatmeal scares you (we might not be able to be friends anymore but I’ll try really hard…) just make the lentils! They’re fast and delicious and… healthy! Naturally. Would I share anything less than that with my invisible internet friends? Answer: no!!

IMG_5165

Lentils are also awesomely little super nutritious powerhouses: full of fiber and complex carbs, folate, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Which all means that they help lower cholesterol, are good for your heart and digestive health, provide an excellent source of energy and iron, and help stabilize blood sugar. Therefore… in a nutshell: eat lentils!! Your body will thank you :)

And look!! Sorry for the radio silence, my former roomie Kira visited me!! We went and had some fun in Mountain View Cemetery, so I was a little too busy going face-first into a plate at Rick and Ann’s to eat lentils. But. I’m back, in full lentil eating mode, here to cheer your inbox!

IMG_3163

Marjoram, Cinnamon and Cardamom Spiced Lentils

Recipe by… me! Mutti gets credit too, especially when I have absolutely NO time, and she nicely makes may weekly vat of lentils for me. The measurements here make enough for dinner three, with leftovers. Or for one: Dinner, followed by three days of breakfasts….

  • 1 c lentils (I like green lentils for this)
  • 3 c water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, finely diced (or roughly chopped, whatever floats your boat)
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • 1/4 c low-sodium chicken broth (to make vegan/vegetarian, sub veggie broth)
  • 1 tsp marjoram, chopped
  • 2 tsp cinnamon*
  • 1 tsp cardamom*
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg*
  • salt and pepper to taste

*the measurements are approximate: I season to taste as I go with all the spices, and salt and pepper. I tend to go light on the pepper in this.

IMG_5172

No need to soak the lentils, which is awesome. Toss lentils and water into a medium pot, bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Let cook until the lentils have absorbed *most* (not all) of the water, about 15-20 minutes. They should have a bit of chew to them, but be on the softer side. Taste them, and you should be able to tell. Drain and rinse them, and set them aside.

Finely dice the onion and carrots. Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan. When hot, toss in onions, and sauté until they become translucent. Add salt and pepper and marjoram, and let cook for a minute more. Add carrots, lentils, and chicken broth. Cover and let cook until the carrots are soft (this is why I like to dice them really finely, or microwave the carrots first, as it shortens cooking time and I’m usually hungry). Stir in cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg to taste, while the carrots are cooking. I usually let it go for about 10-15 minutes, unless I’ve precooked the carrots.

Leftovers keep well in the fridge for at least a week, not that I’ve ever really had them around that long… Serve warm! Excellent over greens with some bread on the side :)

IMG_5175

Goodbye, moderation, hellooooo ice cream

Thursday things.

1. Apparently I make an excellent napping place:

IMG_5564

2. You know that Oscar Wilde quote I always toss around, “Everything in moderation, including moderation”…? Yeahhhhh. About that moderation thing. Out the window it went on Tuesday when I went to Fenton’s and ate this food coma-inducing wonder. Luckily I split it with Vacuum Vati or else I might be dead by now, ha. This was moderation in moderation in action:

IMG_20130219_154217

and then.

2013-02-19 15.08.49

muahahhaha.

3. And then last week I ate this: bourbon cornflake ice cream with bourbon caramel and tahitian vanilla ice cream with slivered, sweetened almonds. Thank you, Humphrey Slocombe, for sending me to gastronomical heaven.

IMG_20130213_151943

4. AVO!!! I made paleo cookies to use up the last of my coconut flour. They were… ehh. As much as I love coconut, I just can’t get past the sucks-all-the-moisture-out-of-your-mouth grittiness of coconut flour. It’s okay… but ehhhhh is really how I feel about it.

IMG_4854

5. I really like architecture. Juuuuust saying. Neo gothic seems to find me everywhere after my thesis, but I can’t say I’m sorry: it’s like finding an old friend wherever I go!

IMG_20130219_133618

6. OHMYGOSH. I made the ehhh paleo cookies. AND THEN. I made… these. They’re amazing and amazing for you. Make them. (Just as long as you’re not allergic to nuts please). I want them for second breakfast since it’s nine and I’ve had eggs and spinach already. Time for cookies, obviously…

IMG_4871

7. One last thing. Um… Downton Abbey?! Helloooo, what a horrible way to end the season. Couldn’t we have just had a nice ending to the SERIES, with everyone all happy and whatnot? Jeez. At least my favorite Machiavellian meddler is still alive and sarcastically kicking—I’d seriously have to quit watching the show if Maggie Smith left. I think I now have sympathetic post-partum depression. Ugh. At least Mad Men is starting up again in April (!!!)… I’ll attempt to fill the gaps between wildly addicting tv shows somehow… more baking perhaps?!

IMG_4865

Chocolate-Date Almond Butter Cookies (No Bake)

The recipe is from Vegetarian Ventures, here! Sooo glad I came across it, these are freaking amazing. Especially with date caramel on top! You can never have too many dates. These cookies are raw, no bake, and vegan (and gluten free!). They’re full of healthy fats, good protein, and antioxidants… annnndddd all they have is natural sugars! No added or refined anything, which means they’re a snack/breakfast/dessert you can eat and love! I got 11 2″ish cookies.

Whatcha need:

  • 1/2 c raw pecans
  • 1/2 c raw almonds (mine were already partly ground)
  • 1 c dates, pitted and soaked in water for about 15 minutes
  • 1/2 c unsalted organic almond butter (I used Maranatha)
  • 1 oz of dark chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt for a garnish

This is beyond easy, no excuses:

After dates are finished soaking, chuck everything into a food processor, and blend until smooth. Mine went for probably about 3-4 minutes, or until the “dough” forms a bit of a ball. If needed, add a little bit of water (I didn’t and mine stay together fine). Here’s where you get to play with your food! Roll dough into little balls and smoosh them out into a cookie-like shape… make a crisscross pattern with a fork if you’re feeling fancy, and sprinkle with sea salt. Or leave them as balls, up to you! Store in the fridge, in a sealed container with wax paper between the layers. I let mine chill for a bit before eating—they solidify into sort of a fudgy-consistency. Soooo. Freaking. Good!

IMG_4870

Just disregard the slightly orange-ish tinge I seem to be acquiring…

It’s pumpkin-hoarding season.

And yes. I DO hoard canned pumpkin. And maybe pumpkin butter. Just ask Kira. Mostly because when you want it, it’s nowhere to be found! Yeeesh. So I become a temporary hoarder of specific foodstuffs.  Also because  I am apparently obsessed with all forms of orange food. Like really, ALL of them. Today, I single-handedly ate my way through four different kinds of orange veggies. It’s kind of embarrassing… except not really. HA. Because I looooove my beta-carotene! And so do my eyes, thanks to Vitamin A. That’s probably why I have 20/15 vision, which is what you’re required to have to be a fighter pilot! Shazaam. Maybe I should rethink a career change?!

But yeah.

Today.

Carrots at lunch. Pumpkin cornbread (FAB, by the way). Sweet potato muffins. Pumpkin-Butternut Squash pastaaaaa (Also SO FAB) (Like, mind-boggling amazing).

See? I warned you. At least I ate all my orange bell pepper at the end of last week, otherwise this would really be ridiculous.

Whatever. At least my Vitamin A levels are covered for the next four millennium. Not a big deal.

I feel like I’m setting myself up to start channeling my inner oompa-loompa what with all this orangeness… Perhaps I should start composing an original song or something…? Or wearing white overalls? I do, however, draw the line at dyeing my hair green. None of that.

Apparently you really can turn yourself slightly orangeish if you eat enough orangey pigment… I’ll have to watch myself for this semi-alarming state of affairs, just in case I suddenly need to apply for a job monitoring a chocolate waterfall.

Right.

Moving on.

These recipes are aaaaaamazing. Mega props to pumpkin cornbread—who would have thought? But hey, I love pumpkin, and I love cornbread, so why not together? This cornbread is moist and sweet, but not tooo sweet. It’s corny and delicious, and excellent with a little butter and honey. Yum yum yum.

cooooornbread!

Pumpkin Cornbread!

Adapted from here.

This recipe makes an 8 by 8 pan, but being only two, I made half! In my cute little 6.5″ round pans :) Love love love. I’ll give the full size recipe here—making half is very easy.

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup brown sugar (I might reduce this ever so slightly next time?)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. (Also convenient for roasting your butternut squash for dinner, just sayin’)

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg,  brown sugar, and cornmeal in a medium-type bowl. In a smallerish type bowl, whisk the eggs, and then add pumpkin puree and olive oil. Mix wet into dry. The original recipe called for a tablespoon of molasses, but being college-y, we don’t currently have any. Soooo, I adapted and left it out. I’m sure it would be delicious, but it was WAAAYYY tasty without, so I don’t feel cheated in the slightest.

Pour/scoop (this batter is really thick) into a lightly greased 8 by 8 or 6.5″ pan, depending on the amount you made. Smooth out the top for aesthetic reasons, or just use it as an excuse to play with your food. For an 8″ pan, bake for 30 minutes, until a knife comes out clean. For a 6.5″, I baked it for 15 minutes. It could probably have gone a bit longer, the center was a teensy bit underdone,  but not in a bad way. Maybe like 2 minutes more?

It is deeeelicious any way you slice it… I think this may have been the main component of my lunch today!

So guess what?! Today you get TWO recipes, for the price of one! Get excited.

ALSO. This is BIG NEWS, I mean like BFD status.

Wait for it…

This is my first ORIGINAL RECIPE! I made it alllll up, on my ownesie! I had help in tasting and making by Kira, of course—much more fun that way. BUT! I am SO EXCITED to post my first recipe! And it was amazing. Not bragging. But it was! So it was a win all around. Behold:

Pumpkin Pasta with Butternut Squash and Chèvre

Serves… a lot. We have LOTS of leftovers, hooray!

Adapted from… no one! This is an original Wait are those Cookies recipe.

Procure:

  • 1.25-1.5 c pumpkin puree (NOT canned pumpkin pie filling, ewwwy ew ew)
  • 1/2 c (ish) coconut milk beverage, or milk
  • 1 medium or large butternut squash, roasted (see below)
  • 1 large onion
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp (or to taste) salt
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • whole wheat spaghetti (or pasta of your choice)
  • grated parmesan, crumbled chèvre, and fresh basil for serving

First off, roast your butternut squash! Preheat your oven to 400. I cut both ends off of my squash, and then cut it in half and scooped out the seeds. Lay it down, cut side down, and then peel it with your trusty veggie peeler! Cut it into relatively similarly-sized chunks, and toss with olive oil, pepper, a bit of salt, and honey. Spread the squash on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir it once or twice while roasting.

Gettin' intense with my squash

When you’re ready for din din, start your pasta water and do all that jazz (I’m assuming you’re quite familiar with making pasta). We used whole wheat spaghetti, which turned out to be fantastic.

While the pasta is cooking, dice up your onion, and saute it in olive oil. When the onion is translucent (ish), stir in the pumpkin and milk-beverage. The thickness can be adjusted depending on your preference—ours ended up being super thick, and on the chunky textural side, which was awesome. And tasty. Anyway—add pumpkin, milk, and roasted butternut squash. Add nutmeg, pepper, and salt (these quantities are estimated—feel free to adjust according to taste preferences). Simmer until the sauce is warmed through and tastes like you want it :)

Toss with spaghetti! (Plus this way you can leave the copious leftovers in the fridge in their original pot, hooray for less dishes!). Serve with freshly grated parmesan and crumbled goat cheese (aka chèvre—I like the way this sounds, it makes me sound even more like the gastro-snob that I am), and garnish with a few fresh basil leaves.

We ate ours with warmed fresh crusty bread and butter. YUM YUM YUM. Today was quite an epic gastronomical adventure. I’m very proud of my first recipe… as if you couldn’t tell with the excess of exclamation points and capital letters, haha. Whatever, it was worth it, and delicious! It got rave reviews from Kira AND her mom :)

Eat. Drool. Love!