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!



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


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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Filed under Baking & Cooking, Life

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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


Pork tenderloin roasted with grapes and red onion.


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.


A simple beef stew.


And finally, pot roast.


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!


Filed under Baking & Cooking