Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Butter

Well instead of carving my pumpkin, I roasted it. I was never great at carving pumpkins anyway. My sisters always did the designing and actual carving. I probably just watched and ate lots of candy. I used a smaller pumpkin to make the pumpkin butter. Ideally you want to find a pie pumpkin which has more flesh and a higher sugar content. Normal pumpkins work too, though.

1/2 small pumpkin
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cinnamon stick
5 cloves

To roast the pumpkin: Cut a ring around the stem and remove. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out all of the seeds and the stringy business. Place the pumpkin cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for about 1/2 hour at 375 degrees. The pumpkin is done when you can pierce the flesh easily with a fork. Let the pumpkin cool. Then using a spoon, scoop out the flesh into a blender or food processor. Blend until it forms a smooth puree. I only used half a pumpkin since I only wanted about 1 pint of pumpkin butter. Feel free to use all of it! I used the other half to make the pumpkin snickerdoodles : )

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Our friends Kate and Mark got married this weeked! My contribution to the Pittsburgh cookie table was pumpkin snickerdoodles from A BItchin' Kitchen! They went perfectly with the Weyerbacher pumpkin beer that was served! The wedding was full of gorgeous DIY decorations and lots of great homemade food. (Kate made dozens of cottage cheese pierogies from scratch!). My only advice is to make these as soon as possible! Halloween is tomorrow : )

Cookie Dough:

3 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 slightly heaping cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar mixture (makes extra):

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Baked Apples for Dessert

I spent a couple weeks in a mountain village when I studied abroad in Ecuador, and one of my favorite things about living there was preparing dinner with a couple different local women. The town, Principal, was "famous" for its apples, so we ate apples all the time - people would always give me them because I was a random white girl. One night for dinner we made baked apples for dessert, and I still think it's pretty much the ideal simple dessert.

 We scooped the core out, filled it in with sugar, topped them with butter and poured sparkling wine on top. Then they're roasted in the oven (or wrapped in foil over a fire) until the apples soften. 
Principal, Ecuador - close to Cuenca
The way I've done that kind of apple dessert since then is pretty much the same, but I haven't tried the sparkling wine on top again. My favorite topping is peanut butter! I also like sprinkling cinnamon on top or smushing a marshmallow on top of the butter.

Adapted from the kitchens of Ecuadorian ladies

Per person/apple 

1 apple
2-3 tbsp sugar
thin slice of butter

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

This is a great brunch recipe! It's really easy and fast, and it looks and tastes like something special. I served it with some cream cheese frosting, which is just cream cheese, powdered sugar and a little vanilla.

Adapted from Southern Food

4-5 cups day+ old bread, cut into cubes or ripped into chunks
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 apple, sliced thin
1/4 cup raisins, or mixed dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, etc.)
2 cups milk
1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp butter
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp sugar

Preheat your oven to 350. Distribute the bread pieces, apples, raisins and cinnamon in a baking dish. In a saucepan, heat up the milk, brown sugar and butter until it's all mixed and melted. Meanwhile, mix up the eggs and vanilla. Then pour the hot milk mixture into the eggs and combine. Pour that into the baking dish and use a spatula to make sure all the bread is covered. Top with some sugar and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. The top should be a little crispy.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Snickerdoodle Blondies, or "Oh hey, blog, I'm back"

So I am one of those... I search Pinterest for recipes from time to time.  Not too ashamed to admit it.  In July I went to meet my boyfriend's parents for the first time (after only dating for a couple months), and I was way nervous.  Momma D always says to not go to someone's home empty handed, and that Italians typically bring bread and wine.  Momma D also says a lot of things that aren't appropriate for this blog.  Michelle believes in always bringing baked goods, and showing people you love them with delicious foods.  With all this in mind and extensive searches and worrying, I set out to make this recipe.

Snickerdoodle Blondies
Adapted from My Own Sweet Thyme  

2 2/3 cups all-pupose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed brown sugar, light or dark
1 cup butter, room temp
2 eggs, room temp
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup white sugar (last time I used turbinado sugar, added a good texture)
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon (last time I accidently added a lot; feel free to do the same)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pumpkin Ginger Cookies

Cookies! Plan ahead so you can let the dough chill in the fridge for an hour or overnight.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

End of Summer Tomato Pie

I pulled up my cherry tomato plant, and this pie used up the last garden tomatoes! I really really love tomato pie - made the way my family makes it, covered in a mayo-cheese mixture in a buttery pie crust, it is probably one of the least healthy and most delicious way to enjoy tomatoes. 


1 pie dough (I used the same pie dough that I used for the butternut squash galette because it's amazing but any savory dough will be good)
1/2 onion, sliced 
1 tsp butter
pinch salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup mozzarella, grated
pinch cayenne & salt & pepper
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
fresh herbs - I used sage this time but basil is traditional

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

We've already been making quite a few pumpkin recipes at our house, but so far pretty much all of them have been revisiting old favorites. This recipe is an old favorite, too, but not one that's already on the blog! 

From Very Best Baking (aka Nestle)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or big pinches of nutmeg, cloves, giver)
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups sugar
15 oz pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease or line 24-30 muffin cups.

2. Combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the pumpkin puree and oil and whisk again. Stir in the flour mixture until moistened. Add in the chocolate chips. 

3. Divide the batter into the muffin cups. Bake them for 20-25 minutes (unless you do mini-muffins, which will take about 15 minutes per pan). They are done when the tops spring back when poked. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Vegan Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cashews!

It seems silly to call this dish macaroni and cheese, but it actually does taste like it! Brittany said this is her favorite version of my many vegan mac and cheeses. I made it for a late dinner after yoga class at the Union project (it was much needed)!

2 cups butternut squash puree
1/2 apple, roasted until soft
1 small onion, roasted until tender
2 cups cashews, soaked overnight in bowl of water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
salt and pepper
1 pound pasta

Monday, October 14, 2013


I'm going to admit, I had to double check the spelling of this dish before posting it! Well I'm definitely not Polish. The first time I had this was from a Croatian church and it was drowned in butter : ) This is the perfect dish to serve with pierogies (carbs plus carbs!). Nick, Laura, and I rolled these homemade egg noodles out pretty quickly. The recipe is from the food blog, Sugar Aunts.

For the egg noodles:
2 cups flour plus more for kneading
1 tsp sea salt
4 eggs
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp warm water

Whisk the flour and sea salt together. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients. Mixing with a fork, beat the eggs and start incorporating the flour a bit at a time. Add additional flour as needed until the dough forms a ball and does not stick to the mixing bowl too much. (I added maybe half a cup of flour since the  eggs I used were pretty large)

Cover mixing bowl with damp tea towel and let sit for 10 minutes. On a floured surface, knead the dough until it no longer sticks to the counter.
To roll out the noodles: divide out the dough, roll it out thinly, and then slice into thin strips of pasta (like linguine). Slice again to make shorter egg noodles. We also just formed some noodles by breaking off small pieces of dough and shaping rough noodles with our hands.

For the haluski:

1/2 head cabbage (1 whole head if it's a small cabbage)
1 large yellow onion
2-3 tbsp ghee
homemade noodles!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Simple Apple Crisp

This gluten-free and vegan apple crisp is so perfect for a fall day. With some vanilla ice cream, it's even better! My favorite recipes are the ones that are so simple, they can be made in just a few minutes. I didn't even peel the apples (I used Jonagolds for a sweet taste). The recipe is from The Minimalist Baker!

8-10 apples, cored and sliced
splash of lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup gluten-free flour mix
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
1/3 cup solid coconut oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss the cut apples with some lemon juice and cinnamon. Add to baking dish. Mix the topping by combining the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Then add the coconut oil and mix to form a crumbly mixture. Pour over the apples and bake for about 45 minutes. Serve with ice cream or for breakfast with oatmeal!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Roasted Squash with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

I got an acorn squash and a delicata squash at the East Liberty farmer's market on Monday, so it was a good time to try out this Bon Appetit recipe! We really liked the lemon-tahini sauce. It was all of our first time trying delicata squash, and it's really good! You can eat the skin of the delicata but not the acorn squash. I made it for part of our dinner last night (Michelle made curried cauliflower and enchiladas!) and then ate it again today for lunch with cream of spinach soup.


      1 acorn or kabocha squash, washed and chopped into 1" wedges
      1 delicata squash, washed and chopped into 1" wedges
    7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    1 tbsp tahini
    1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
    crushed red pepper flakes

    1. Preheat to 425°. Place acorn or kabocha squash on a rimmed baking sheet and delicata on a second sheet. Divide 3 tablespoons oil and 1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne between sheets. Season squash with salt and pepper; toss. Roast for 25 minutes or until at least most of the pieces of squash are browned. When you take them out, combine them into one dish to serve. 

2. Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, tahini, and Greek yogurt in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • 3. Transfer squash to a platter. Drizzle tahini sauce over and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Curry Roasted Cauliflower with Cilantro pesto

    I've been dreaming about making this cauliflower all day at work. It's a perfect cool, fall day for roasting vegetables in the oven. This is a take on the traditional tandoori roasted cauliflower. I decided to not make my own tandoori spice mix because of a lack of time. Instead, I mixed a couple different spices together and slathered it on the cauliflower. On the side we had some cilantro pesto that I had made earlier and some pickled red onion.

    For the Spice Rub:
    1/2 cup plain yogurt
    1 tbsp curry powder
    1 teaspoon coriander
    1 teaspoon garam masala
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 lemon, zested and juiced

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Trim the stem of the cauliflower so it lays flat on a baking sheet. Then mix the spices with the yogurt and lemon juice. Spread the mixture generously all over the head of cauliflower.

    Bake for about 35-45 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Baking times will vary based on your oven and the size of the vegetable.
    To serve: Slice and garnish with cilantro pesto and pickled red onions. Laura also made a lemon tahini (plus yogurt) dressing to go with some squash. It goes really well on the cauliflower too.

    Cilantro Pesto (I found this recipe in a magazine a couple years ago and I've been making it ever since):

    1/3 cup cashews (raw or toasted)
    1 tsp curry
    1 large bunch cilantro, just the leaves and the tender parts of the stems
    salt and pepper
    olive oil

    Place the cashews (I've even used hazlenuts) and the curry into a food processor until chopped. Then add the leaves and process again. Add enough olive oil to form a paste. Season with salt and pepper.

    This recipe makes more than you need as a garnish. This pesto is great on some raw zucchini noodles or even cooked zucchini.

    Saturday, October 5, 2013


    Basically fancy French grilled cheese! It's really quick to make and can serve a lot of people if you use a long loaf. 

    From Martha Stewart Living, Nov. 2011

    1 1/4 cups whole milk (I used half & half)

    2 tbsp unsalted butter
    3 tbsp flour
    3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, divided (I used rosemary)
    Coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
    1 long loaf rustic bread, such as Ciabatta (I used TJ's Rustic Loaf)
    3 tbsp Dijon mustard
    3/4 lb sliced ham
    4 cups grated Gruyere cheese (8 oz)
    1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    Cashew Milk

    Recently, I've been making my own nut milks instead of buying them for smoothies. They are surprisingly easy to make. I've only made cashew and hemp milk so far, as they don't require straining. This recipe is from Cookie and Kate!

    1 cup cashews
    4 cups water
    2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
    1 pinch sea salt
    1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 pinch cinnamon (optional)

    Let cashews soak in a bowl of water overnight. Rinse and strain. Add cashews to blender with 2 cups water. Blend until smooth. Add the rest of the water, salt, sweetener, and other additions. Keep in refrigerator for a couple days.


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