The First of Fall

Photo Oct 10, 10 51 46 PM

I’m winding down for the night, sitting in the burnt orange armchair in the corner of my bedroom with a halo of lantern lights.  Thankfully I’m on the downward slope of a sugar rush caused by a recent baking bug that produced pumpkin pecan tea cookies yesterday and salted caramel pretzel blondies this evening.

The blondies were inspired by Damn Delicious’s recipe, but I attempted a vegan version, replacing butter with coconut cream and egg with a flax “egg.”  I also made a vegan caramel, based off Fork & Beans’ recipe.  The result was more like a soft caramel soaked cake than a blondie, which really is not at all bad.  It was a sweet and salty combo made for this season.  I’ll have to give it another shot someday to make it more like blondies.

Photo Oct 10, 8 21 52 PM

 

I’ve been quite the hermit this week–working from home, staying up late.  I’ve binged through three seasons of Breaking Bad on Netflix so I suppose you could say I’ve been productive.  Working from home with random foods in my fridge and pantry also forces me to get a little creative in the kitchen. My lunch this week has been a kale, lentil, and wild rice stew with pan-fried falafel patties.

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Once again, I had bought kale over the weekend for the sole reason of having some healthy greens in my fridge and once again I was not really psyched about eating it.  I also had some dried lentils that had been sitting on my pantry shelf for too long and some wild rice.  Fighting the temptation to walk down the street for some tamales, I decided to whip together a stew.  One pot dishes really are a wonderful thing.  The lentils, the rice, water, some vegan bullion cubes, spices and herbs, and kale thrown in towards the end–and bam, a vegan protein-packed stew.  I also had some Bob’s Red Mill garbanzo bean flour that happened to have an insanely easy falafel recipe on the package so I thought, why not have a side?

Then later on in the day, I thought, why not have a dessert.? I happened to have all the stuff for Cookie + Kate’s pumpkin pecan polvorones and they were heavenly little bites of soft pumpkin spicy goodness.

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They were just the thing to nurse a sweet tooth for a fall afternoon at home.

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Comfort for the Comfortless

It was a depressing day here in Nashville.  Near sixty degrees yesterday was merely a cruel tease, albeit a predictable one.  It’s January, after all.  As per usual in Nashville, the temperature dropped and it randomly snowed for a bit.  Combine that with a “case of the Mondays” and you get cravings for warm, fried, and/or sugary foods.   I was really craving tostones (twice-fried plantains) so I bought some green plantains, fried them up, sprinkled some sea salt, and gobbled them down before I could even take a picture.  (For dinner, by the way, I utilized that broccoli and cauliflower again, only this time I chopped it up and mixed it with couscous and red pepper flakes, yummm.)  Later on, much preferring to bake than do homework, I made those maple walnut chocolate chip cookies again.  (A few posts back.)  My roommates had no problem with this.  They were better last time (the cookies, I mean), when I had real maple syrup and brown sugar, but they’re all right.  Tomorrow I plan on trying something new……

Belated Happy New Year

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted.  Life likes to remind us everyone once in a while how little control we have.  It can give and take, begin and end.  My recent months can be itemized in life’s rituals of passage: 2 funerals, 1 wedding.  It is these events, however, that remind us to live, really live, honoring who and what we’ve lost and cherishing everyone and everything we have.  I’m back, doing just that.

What else is new?  I’ve moved into an apartment-style dorm, with lovely roommates and a kitchen to cook in (finally!)  I canceled my meal plan, so I’ll be doing a lot of cooking.  I will return to this blog with a vengeance!  Another year, another beginning.

Back in Business!

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted, but I have indeed returned.  Senior year has been a whole lot more busy than I expected.  The supreme irony of it all is that just when I’ve become the most busy I have ever been in my college career, senioritis grips me like a vice and sucks out my motivation.

I haven’t been able to cook much, partially because I’ve been so busy and mostly because the oven in my dorm was broken for weeks.  I’ve caught the cooking bug once again, however, and the oven is now fixed to satisfy my culinary urges.

My renewed motivation/inspiration to cook/bake (overdid it on the slashes, didn’t I?) stems from browsing cooking blogs for work recently and getting a lot of inspiration, and also because one of my favorite holidays is coming up:  Thanksgiving.

Pilgrims, Indians, blah , blah, blah—it’s all about the food for me.  We always have a Cuban/American spread at our Thanksgiving.   Traditional American stuff like yams with marshmallows, but also Cuban stuff, like rice and beans.  We also give a Cuban twist to our turkey with a special top-secret marinade.  My favorite part is my mom’s  “estuffin” which is a Spanglified version of “stuffing.”  My mom likes to do this kind of thing often with words, and when she first said “estuffin,” we thought it was so funny it kind of stuck and became the official name.  I’ve been busy pondering what kind of desserts to make since the postres have become my domain for the past couple of years.

It’s good to be back, blogging and baking.  Stick around.