Gooey delicious. Thank me later.

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Brownieeeeessss!!!!

These are as different as can be from the sweet potato brownies I posted not too long ago—if you like fudgy, dense deliciousness, these are for you. Prepare to have your tastebuds assaulted (in a really good way, obviously).

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I happen to be writing to you from my little vacation in Oregon! I’m currently very much enjoying some drizzly, wet weather (thanks for the welcome back, Oregon, it wouldn’t feel quite right if I wasn’t slightly damp) and taking a break from my horrifically boring online bio class. Snooooze. On the plus side, I will be doing nothing much besides eating for the next week. ALL the food… ALL the time. It’s too bad I couldn’t rent an extra stomach or something to go on vacation, you know? Someone should come up with that.

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Anyway. Pumpkin brownies. It’s fall, therefore there is absolutely NO excuse necessary to put pumpkin in EVERYTHING.

Like these.

Mmm.

Complete with gooey, delicious frosting.

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AND…..

Even better… these are good for you (or at least less bad than usual, and nutrient dense)!! Refined sugar free, grain free, and full of antioxidants (hello, super dark chocolate and pumpkin, I’m looking at you). They even have a bit of protein from the almond butter, so really, what more could you ask for?

Find some rainy weather, pop these babies in the oven, and eat them with company. Life is always a little better with a brownie, don’t you think?

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Fudgy Pumpkin Brownies

Recipe only slightly adapted from Specialty Cake Creations, here! Makes one 8 or 9″ pan, or anywhere from 9-16 brownies, depending on how hungry you are… Refined sugar free, gluten free, grain free, and dairy free!

Brownies:

  • 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 100% unsweetened)
  • 1.5 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/2 c raw, unrefined honey
  • 3/4 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Frosting:

  • 1/8 c unsalted almond butter
  • 5-6 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375, and line an 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 pan with parchment paper. I used a 9″ pan and they were fine, just a little thinner.

Melt chocolate, coconut oil, and honey together in a mediumish bowl (on the stove if you’re slightly less lazy than me, I used the microwave…). Stir until combined. Whisk in pumpkin puree and egg. In another smaller bowl, stir together almond flour and cinnamon, then toss that into the melted deliciousness of chocolate and pumpkin. Stir together until just combined.

Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan, smoothing the top just a bit. Bake for just about 30 minutes (a tester should come out clean), then let cool before frosting.

In a small bowl, whisk together almond butter, pumpkin, pie spice, and maple. Adjust for taste!

Spread that goodness on your cooled brownies, and then find someone to share them with. Brownies are definitely better with company :)

[These keep best in the fridge!]

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Cookie Monday

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Cookie Monday.

Because, honestly… Mondays. Ugh. Today was an alarm goes off, I turn it off, roll over and promptly ignore it while carrying on a ridiculous conversation with myself about why I should get up morning. Or not. Not won and I spent and extra half an hour in bed. I am SO ready for this time change, I do not relish getting up in the pitch blackness of ugh.

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At least if you have cookies, Mondays are slightly better. Not that I have these, mind you, I made them last Wednesday and they were eaten in… six hours.

Yeahhh. Hello small batches and starving post-spin class family, bye bye cookies! At least they were a decent post-spin meal, what with having good fats and being refined sugar free and all that. You know, business as usual around here in the hippie natural food universe…

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Also. My lovely neighbors dropped off a bag of pomegranates and they’re GORGEOUS so I’m including photos for your fall pleasure. This is my favorite time of year!

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So now it’s Monday and I’m tragically cookie-free, but lucky for you, I hand deliver cookies to your inbox! Happy Monday, even if they’re virtual. Toddle off into your kitchen and you can have these for yourself in less than half an hour, which would a) make your Monday better, b) prevent bart strike angst by giving yourself something far more productive than work to do (who needs to commute, anyway?), and c) give your body what it wants while tricking your brain into thinking you’re eating something decadent. Everybody (stomach gremlins included) wins!

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Two types of cookies for you today: I made a half batch of each since I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to make more. Life is full of such complicated decisions…

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Quinoa Date Cookies

Lightly sweet, chewy, and thick. These are delicious warm or room temp, and if you make a half batch as I did, you should come out with about 8. Gluten free and refined sugar free. As posted, this makes 8 cookies—double for a full batch! Recipe only slightly adapted from Sweetest Kitchen, here!

  • 1/2 c sprouted quinoa flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp organic cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c dates, pitted
  • 1/8 c coconut oil
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 squares super dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Using a food processor (or alternatively an immersion blender—-this is what I did as I didn’t feel like doing extra dishes, but it works slightly less well), puree dates. Add in coconut oil, egg white, and vanilla, and stir to combine. Add wet into dry, and stir in chocolate pieces. The dough will initially seem dry, but keep stirring and it’ll incorporate. Drop by the spoonful onto your prepared cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for about 10 minutes, until firm to the touch and slightly browned.

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Almond Butter Pumpkin Cookies

Mine came out very soft and flat, with a bit of a gooey consistency (likely the result of too much flax egg, but I don’t care—they were delicious!). Gluten free, vegan, and refined sugar free. Wheeee! Again, I made a half batch of 7 cookies. Double for more! Recipe from the awesome blog Mangia, here!

  • 1/4 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/8 c maple syrup (I use organic grade B)
  • 1/4 c unsalted almond butter
  • 1/2 tbsp ground flaxseed+1.5 tbsp water (1/2 a flax egg)
  • 1/4 tsp (runneth over) vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1-2 squares dark chocolate, chopped (I used a mexican stone ground vanilla chocolate, so delicious)

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flax and water and let sit aside.

In a mediumish bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, maple, almond butter, flax egg, and vanilla. In another smallish bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, spice, and baking soda. Dump dry into wet and stir to combine (cookies are maybe like the most wonderful, easiest thing ever), toss in chopped chocolate, and drop by the spoonful onto your cookie sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes—I checked mine at 10, but let them go closer to 13. Let cool on the cookie sheet for a few minute (almond flour is delicate), then remove to a cooling rack.

I’m sure these store well, but I had absolutely no opportunity to test this as they disappeared the day I made them. Ah well, cookies are best fresh ;)

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Soup is just an excuse for bread, don’t try to deny it!

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Soooooop.

And bread.

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Because obviously you can’t have soup without some bready, carby side dish. We all know that soup is really an excuse for bread, let’s be real here.

But mmmmm, soup. I do love it (but I DO NOT love photographing it. Ugh). ESPECIALLY now that I have this fabby immersion blender!! Which means that I can dispense with all that silliness of attempting to blend soup in a food processor (no, I don’t own a normal blender), which is a dumb idea as a) soup is hot. Hot things expand and b) food processors aren’t watertight (rude). So instead of soup going slightly all over the counter, now I can just bust out the trusty immersion blender, stick it in the pot of soup buzz buzz buzz and low and behold!! Creamy soup, no mess required. Genius.

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Also. I bought a spiralizer. Possibly the BEST decision I have ever made. And also possibly the most fun kitchen utensil ever created.

See?

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Reeeeealllyyyy looooooong zucchini noodles! So much fun to play with. Obviously avoided if you do the smart thing and cut the zucchini in half first, but why spoil your fun? Incredibly long noodles are so much more entertaining. And delicious, especially when you top them with bison pasta sauce and other delicious things. Unfortunately, it was slightly too delicious and there went that before I managed to take a picture of anything besides the noodles. Whoops! Next time.

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Anyway. Let’s get seasonal! Hellooooo autumn, you’re my favorite. The day I made this, I ate three sources of beta carotene in one day. No eye problems for me!
This soup is very easy, comes together in a snap, and is (naturally) delicious. The muffins are awesome too, likewise easy and delicious. In fact, if you time it right, you can bake them while the squash is simmering, then blend your soup and have everything hot at the same time. Wheee!

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Ginger-Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4, with leftovers. Recipe inspired by Whole Foods, here! Gluten free, can be vegan with veggie broth.

  • a generous drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced (yield: 4 c diced)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 persian cucumbers, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or diced
  • 3.5 c veggie or chicken broth
  • 1/2 c light coconut milk (out of the can)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • pepitas, for garnish!

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Toss in onion, carrot, and cucumbers, and let cook until the onion is translucent (about 5ish minutes). Add ginger, let cook a few minutes more. Finally, add stock, squash, coconut milk, sea salt, and pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook, covered, until the squash is fork-tender (about 30 minutes). Once squash is soft, use an immersion blender to puree soup to desired consistency. An upright blender is fine too, just make sure the soup is cool enough.
Garnish with pepitas just before serving!

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Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins

My yield was 10, in my so-called ‘jumbo’ muffin tins. I never fill them all the way, but these muffins came out a totally normal size. High in vitamin A, low fat, refined sugar free, and whole grain! Recipe adapted from Running to the Kitchen, here!

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 c cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 c lowfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted (I use Kerrygold Irish butter)
  • 1 c pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 375, and lightly grease muffin tins (I use coconut oil).

Whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and coconut sugar. In a smaller bowl, whisk together egg, almond milk, yogurt, melted butter and pumpkin puree. Combine wet into dry, mixing just to combine. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 15 minutes (a tester should come out clean, and the tops should be slightly browned). Let cool for a few before turning out onto a cooling rack.
I’m sure these keep well, but ours didn’t last that long!

Cookies that play nice in the sandbox

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OoOooOOOOooohhhh the first of the fall baking has arrived!

PUMPKIN.

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Why isn’t it a year-round thing?? I always think that summer fruit is my favorite thing, but then around comes fall (which happens to be my favorite season anyway) and I get all obsessed with pumpkin. So fickle.

But seriously. Pumpkin is one of my favorite things ever. And healthy cookies are right up there next to pumpkin on the favorite things list, so obviously why would I NOT combine these?! Helloooo.

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I’m going to start my pumpkin hoarding sometime soon…. you know what I mean if you’ve hung around my inbox snark the last several years: come fall, everyyytime I go to the store, I grab an extra can of pumpkin. Can never have too much, right?! … Right. Sorry. I have a problem. BUT. That also means that when everyone else is fighting over the *last* can of pumpkin within a 10 mile radius, I am sitting pretty on my hoarded stash. And can therefore make pumpkin things. All. The. Time. Yep. Be jealous. Or don’t, and implement my genius strategy for yourself… you’ll thank me later.

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These cookies play nice in the sandbox, too, as they’re dairy free, refined sugar free, gluten free, and paleo. Even if you don’t subscribe to any particular dietary theory (like me. I’m an omnitarian), it’s only fair to make cookies that can make nice for other people too, right?! Cookies are meant to be shared. They’re like love, in food form.

Bake love. Share food (preferably with a bestie over tea). Eat. Be happy!

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Pumpkin Cookies

Recipe lightly adapted from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, here! My batch yielded 10 cookies, about 2.5-3″. Paleo, gluten free, refined sugar free, and dairy free! Not to mention full of beta carotene, healthy fats, and antioxidants. How could you pass up these little gems?! That’s right… I thought not!

  • 1 c almond flour/almond meal
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c pumpkin puree (Just pumpkin, not pie filling pleeease!)
  • 2.5 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • heaping 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I make my own: 1 tbsp cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, pinch of cardamom or mace), plus more to sprinkle on the top of yet-to-be-baked cookies
  • 2 large squares of 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped

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Preheat oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, sea salt, baking soda and 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice. In a smaller bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil, pumpkin, honey, and vanilla. Stir wet into dry (and do try to avoid overmixing, we can’t have that…). Stir in chocolate, and drop by the tablespoonish onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkleysprinkle some extra pumpkin pie spice on there because that is an excellent idea. Smooth them out just a little… then pop them into the oven for about 15 minutes.

Let cool on the cookie sheet for a few as they’re soft right out of the oven—they’ll seem too soft at first but they firm up nicely. Store them in the fridge, if they last that long!

Your kitchen will smell like heaven. Indulge responsibly ;)

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Merry Christmas, BEDFORD FALLSSSS!!!

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I just fed this to the ones I love, who are now comatose. I think I might need a nap.

Merry Christmas! Feed the ones you love.

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Pumpkin Sweet Roulade with Hazelnut Filling and Hazelnut Caramel Drizzle

This cake is freaking fantastic. Pumpkin cake rolled around a hazelnut licqueur-spiked whipped cream filling with shaved dark chocolate chunks, topped with a hazelnut spiked caramel. Um, hello, what isn’t there to love?! Pumpkin, cream, hazelnut, and chocolate: go celebrate Christmas and eat this with your loved ones!

The cake is gratefully borrowed from (and caramel inspired by!) Cate’s World Kitchen, here, but the rest is my brainchild! Serves… enough. Probably seven 1″ slices? Ish? Depending on how large of a dessert coma you’d like to go into.

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For the cake:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • scant 1/4 c brown sugar, loose (not packed)
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • scant 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar

For the filling:

  • 1 c (ish) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp of powdered sugar
  • good glug of vanilla
  • a healthy glug of hazelnut liqueur (I used Fra Angelico)
  • several squares of dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used 72% Belgian dark)

*I never measure for the filling, so just taste as you go until you have the right balance of flavors for you and your audience. My particular audience loves hazelnut, so I was veryyyy generous, hehe.

For the caramel:

  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/4 + 1/8 c heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • another healthy glug of hazelnut liqueur (I used Fra Angelico)

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For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the pan to stick the paper down, then lightly grease the paper as well. I always use unrefined coconut oil for this.

In a medium-sized bowl, whip egg yolks until they’re light and frothy, a few minutes. Add in brown sugar, and beat another minute more. Into a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. Beat into the egg/sugar mix in three additions, until incorporated. Beat in pumpkin puree on low. In a separate, non reactive bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form (I like to use the bowl of my kitchenaide with my handheld mixer). Slowly drizzle in sugar, and beat until the eggs hold stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the pumpkin mix, until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan, and smooth it out so that it looks nice… Pop into the oven for 15ish minutes, until the cake springs back when poked.

Let cool on a wire rack in the pan for a few minutes, then remove from pan (by lifting up the parchment) and set back on the wire rack temporarily.

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Whip the cream in yet another bowl, until it just barely starts to hold shape. Pour in your several glugs of hazelnut goodness, as well as vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until the cream holds it’s shape (but isn’t butter… believe me, I’ve gone too far a few times). Fold in chopped dark chocolate.

Spread the filling on the top of the pumpkin roll, reserving a bit of cream for topping dollops. Start rolling (carefully!!) from the short end, removing the parchment as you go, until the roll is complete. Carefully transfer it to a plate. Cover and store in the fridge until served.

For the caramel, melt sugar over medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan until just barely melted (don’t stir it, just swirl the pan around frequently). Stir in butter until combined. Turn heat to low, and add cream a spoonful at a time until the caramel is the desired consistency. Remove from heat and add Fra Angelico. Pour (drizzling is for sissies) generously over cake slices, and garnish with extra whipped cream (it’s Christmas, after all). Eat the leftover caramel with spoon, obviously… I mean, why WOULDN’T you do that?!

Eat with loved ones. Be merry, be grateful, and spread love!

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Being out of cookies is a good thing… said absolutely no one, EVER.

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Welcome to the ridiculousness that is my random life:

Thursday things! A compilation of totally irrelevant, irreverent, and random things. Because I know that you totally want to know all this stuff. Really, you do.

1. I am utter crap at turning my brain off in savasana. Like, I’ll be laying there going “oooh this is good I’m not thinking! Look at me, being a boss in savasana, like a not thinking boss..” and then I realize that there’s this subconscious little stream of thought going on the whole time about random crap. WTF brain?! Can’t you see I’m savasing?? Sheesh. You’d think my own train of thought could give me a break for all of five minutes.

2. Stupidly obsessed with Mad Men. Why won’t they tell me when it’s coming back?! For that matter, why isn’t it on NOW?

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3. I just made cookies. But only two. And all for me. Because I went to Whole Foods in search of a gf/vegan cookie…and. they. FAILED. So I made my own, which were infinitely better and cheaper, as per usual. I think I just made my own day. Besides, I have to power up before bodysculpting class. Duhh. Cookies are clearly an optimal way to do this.

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4. I might look like a fool doing the gangnam style dance, but sorry I’m not sorry don’t care! Ridiculously catchy. I’m sure I look especially precious trying to do it in my car at a stoplight…

5. Saturday morning, I will be consuming an egg and english muffin sandwich for breakfast and I. CAN’T. WAIT. The end of the ridiculousness is in sight! Thank god, I don’t think I could take too much more of this, especially since I’m seeing no noticeable differences. Bread and eggs are happening, ideally together, and as soon as possible. That being said, I have developed a newfound appreciation of buckwheat flour.

6. Based on the last few sets of photos I’ve taken, it would appear that I’ve subsisted the last few weeks on cookies. LIES, I promise I’ve eaten some savory stuff… here and there. Oh. And an enormous pile of spaghetti squash.

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7. I am now out of cookies. How did this happen?

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8. I may be out of cookies, but there are BALLS in my fridge! (hehehe). The recipe is here!

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9. My cats are officially adorable.

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That’s all.. for now! Muahahha.

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Oaty Ginger Cookies

Ever so slightly adapted from Imma Eat That (I freaking love her ideas!). I got 12 cookies. These are excellent with ice cream and peanut butter, juuuust sayin.

  • 1 c + 1 tbsp gluten free oats
  • 1/3 c raw pecans
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • scant 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed+2 tbsp milk bev
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chippies

Preheat oven to 350. Make flaxegg by combining flaxseed and milk bev, and let sit while you throw everything else together.

In a food processor, whizzzzz oats, pecans, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, and salt, pulsing until combined into a flourlike consistency. Combine pumpkin puree, molasses, and flaxegg in a smallish bowl. Add wet into dry, stirring to combine. Stir in chippies. Form cookie-like shapes and drop onto a cookies sheet (flattening slightly). Bake for 15ish minutes, then cool on a rack!

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Turkalurk and friendy musings

Turkalurk time. Obviously I have to do a Thanksgiving post, with Thanksgiving being… you know… FOOD related. But guess what?! Something waaay more exciting than Thanksgiving happened on Thanksgiving: I got to see one of my best friends, who I haven’t seen in fifteen years! Yep, you read that right: fifteen.

We’re adorable. I know, you’re just jealous.

We were best friends in second grade (for 9 months) and then she moved back to Korea. But we’re awesome, and we stayed friends. And then she nicely said she’d come visit me over here on the west coast when she was studying abroad. Wheeeeee friendy time! That meant I got to be all touristy and show her around the city. AND we got to hang out with our second grade teacher, who is beyond fabulous and one of the most wonderful people I know.

So we had mega fun and I was busy busy working the Black Friday madness of shopping. WHY people shop that day is beyond me, don’t you want to just stay home and digest your turkey? Whatever.

Anyway. So here are your pumpkin biscuits, courtesy of my Thanksgiving linner (lunch-dinner, get it?). They’re vegan, ish. Because I’m currently off eggs due to some egg/gluten allergy testing, which is LAME: you’ll likely be seeing some allergy-friendly posts coming your way.

Side note. Why is it that both my cats reach up to paw my face when I’m blogging?? Tonight it’s Jessie: is she taking lessons from Nosh?!  I’m assuming this means they’re miffed I don’t feature them in every post… or that they’ve been learning from Simon’s cat…

Enough of my tangents! Here is the recipe :)

Pumpkin Biscuits

Recipe ever so slightly adapted from Crepes of Wrath! My yield was 14 biscuits, but they were rather flatish… if you want fluffier ones, I suggest not rolling the dough out as thin as I did. I chilled mine for a bit before baking due to lack of oven space (that freaking turkalurk always takes FOREVER), so that may have affected their rise a bit.

These are fabulous with a bit of goat cheese and cranberry sauce. They’re lightly sweet but pair well with either savory or sweet—I ate some with dinner and then  made a dessert napoleon for later with ice cream and whipped cream + cinnamon. Food repurposing for the win!

  • 2 c whole wheat pastry flour, plus a bit for rolling
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • scant 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp cold unsalted butter, chopped into smallish pieces*
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c light coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp honey

*vegan with Earth Balance or other vegan butter

Preheat the oven to 400, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking power, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in the butter using your implement of choice (I like a pastry cutter, but two forks work just as well) until the mixture resembles coarse sand. In a larger bowl, mix together pumpkin, coconut milk. molasses, and honey. Add liquid to butter/flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Sprinkle a bit of flour over your work surface and roll out the dough to about an inch thickness, using a biscuit cutter (or a cookie cutter, if you’re jank like me) to make biscuity-type shapes. Transfer to baking sheet, and continue with the scraps until you have no leftover dough.

Bake for 12-15 minutes (mine were done at 13), until golden. Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then serve warm!