Tag Archives: pumpkin

Boo! & Brr

Wow, November has started out with a cold snap. It’s been quite fresh and crisp outside, which has been lovely. Right now I have been taking a mellow approach towards the holidays. I have been already looking at cookie recipes for Christmas, but I have also been enjoying the moment, i.e., no Christmas songs until December! It’s helped that I actually celebrated Halloween this year.

First, in celebration of October, I made these amazing pumpkin swirl cheesecake squares, which got rave comments. The crispy shortbread crust and the smooth cream cheese made one good bar. I used spreadable cream cheese instead of the brick cream cheese, since that was all I had. I was concerned that it wouldn’t turn out, but it was totally fine. I recommend you make these if you still have pumpkin hanging around!

Nov4

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The entrance to our current school abode before a Halloween party.

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This year I decided to dress up for Halloween. I don’t think I’ve had an actual costume since grade 6. I didn’t have midterms so I had some time to put together a costume: I became a flamingo for the night. It was fun to dress up in pink feather boas, even though I shed everywhere. I made a no-sew tutu out of tulle and boas and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. This was also my first time putting on fake eyelashes, but I tried them out anyway and they really made the costume.

Hope you all had a good Halloween, and that you enjoy this upcoming holiday season!

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Fall Food

This week felt so long because I was looking forward to Thanksgiving this weekend! Finally it’s here, since I don’t have class Fridays. Lately I really embraced fall in my food for all meals of the day.

Breakfast:

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Apple and cranberry oatmeal. After boiling a 2/3 cup of water, I threw in a finely chopped apple along with 1/3 cup oatmeal, half a banana, thinly sliced, and a good dash of cinnamon. I simmered that for about four minutes on medium. Then I stirred in some cranberries, frozen from last year (ahem), and cooked the oatmeal on low heat for several more minutes until a good thick consistency.

I had been meaning to bake with pumpkin for the last two weeks, but for whatever reason I hadn’t, so I got my pumpkin fix in quicker ways.

Pumpkin oatmeal! I followed the recipe here. This time I used 1/3 cup of milk, 1/3 cup of oatmeal, half a banana, thinly sliced, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, and heated them, stirring continuously until it was just about bubbling. Then I stirred in a 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree. I turned down the heat and let it reach a thick consistency.

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I also made some pumpkin smoothies. I soaked 1/3 cup of oatmeal in a cup of milk overnight to soften the oats. In the morning, I blended the oat mixture with some pumpkin puree, half a frozen banana and some cinnamon and nutmeg. This could have been sweeter, but it was still fun for breakfast.

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For lunch one weekend I made pumpkin mac and “cheese” using Oh She Glows’ recipe. I say “cheese” because I used nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a yeast that comes in flakes with a tangy “cheesy” flavour (and a very cheesy orange colour!) that vegans often use to substitute for cheese. I bought some a couple of years ago and I hadn’t used much of it. If you have any good recipes that calls for nutritional yeast, I am all ears! This pumpkin mac and cheese was pretty good–it was not quite the same as a regular mac and cheese, but the pumpkin gave it a thick and smooth texture.

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I didn’t use pumpkin for dinner, but for the past month, each Saturday or Sunday I made a big pot of something and ate it throughout the week. It was not exciting, but it worked for my schedule since I had night class three to four times a week. I liked not thinking about what was next for dinner.

Chickpeas with cauliflower, tomato and homegrown basil.

Oct10

Pork tenderloin roasted with grapes and red onion.

PorkTenderloin

Meatloaf: I know this is not a flattering picture, but I swear this was very good and simple to make. It was a mixture of ground beef, bread crumbs, an egg, ketchup, cayenne pepper, onion and broccoli for some greens. Something about meatloaf screamed homey, even though I didn’t grow up with meatloaf.

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A simple beef stew.

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And finally, pot roast.

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Unfortunately the meat in my beef stew and pot roast turned out slightly tough–not like my mom’s beef stew or pot roast at all. I suspected I didn’t cook them long enough, since I knew that the meat I used, beef chuck, was inherently tough. It was still edible and nutritious, especially with all those veggies, but it was disappointing.

I suppose this calls for more experimenting. Life of an aspiring home cook!

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