baking · easy · gluten free · healthy · pumpkin · quick · snacks · vegan · vegetarian

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds… and more dating

I’ve been a little MIA lately because CORTNEY WAS VISITING! It was magical to have her here. Seriously. My apartment felt brighter with her in it. That sounds insane, but it was really very helpful for me to have her here. We did all the “Family Circle” activities. You see, Cortney grew up in Hawaii (without seasons), and always wanted to be able to do the traditional Fall activities that she would read about in Family Circle magazine. So we went apple and pumpkin picking at a local orchard. She lost her damn mind with the pumpkins. I guess in Hawaii they just place pumpkins in a field and pretend they grew there? I mean… why pretend? Just put them on a shelf or something. Seems fucking weird to me. Anyway, she got to have the whole experience and pull a pumpkin right off the fucking vine. It was fucking magic.

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Look how cute she is living her dream!

During her stay, she helped me sign up for Bumble (a dating app). I even had my first date while she was visiting! I know that seems weird, but she insisted. She can be very persuasive. So I went out on a date after yoga (I wasn’t going to miss another yoga class for some guy I didn’t even know). We didn’t click, and only ended up having one drink together, but he was very nice and maintained good conversation the whole time. I considered it a successful first try. Keep in mind, this was literally 24 hours after just signing up for the app. It all happened very quickly!

Online dating goes against everything I was taught about strangers as a child. Stranger danger is real… but I guess that doesn’t matter when you’re dating? Apparently it’s totally normal to meet a complete stranger, by yourself, at night. Obviously, I sent a screenshot of his profile, along with my location, to several of my friends… in the event of my impending murder. He even changed the location at the last minute, so I called Cortney and said, “We’re going to this bar instead. If I get murdered, look for me there.” I now realize that’s crazy… he’s not going to murder me at the bar. He’d definitely lure me into a dark alley by offering me donuts or kittens… then he’d murder me.

20161009_101728Okay, has anyone ever seen some of these profiles on Bumble? I can’t stop screenshoting them and texting them to all my friends. These people seriously need help. What would possess you to have your main fucking photo be of you in a bathrobe? What are you doing with your life? This is how you want to present yourself? And then when I finally do find normal looking profiles, and actually match with that person, more than half of them don’t message me back. But then! The half that do message me back end up being fucking morons. Or we have some decent conversation, and just as I’m starting to get excited about meeting them, they fucking ghost me. Seriously, guys, I can’t even believe ghosting is a thing. It should just be called “being an inconsiderate asshole.” The others that message me back say gross things like, “Something tells me you’d like to twist my body into new positions and climb on me.” I’m sorry, what? Did you just make a sexual joke about AcroYoga? Acro (and yoga in general) is my safe space. It says right in my profile that I’m a feminist. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? He then followed up with a racist joke about Native Americans, and, when I told him how offensive he was being, said he’d make it up to me by holding the door open. You can’t make this shit up. Delete and block.

Bumble keeps telling me that I’ve run out of people to swipe through.

I think maybe the type of person I’m into wouldn’t use an app.

Sigh.

Advice is welcome. But don’t be a dick.

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Can we discuss how adorable Harriet is being while investigating the pumpkin situation? Fuck. She just kills me.

Roasted Pumpkins Seeds

All the pumpkin seeds you can get from as many pumpkins as you want!

Olive oil

Paprika

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse all the pumpkins guts off of the seeds (as best as you can) in a colander. A little bit of leftover guts won’t hurt anyone. Pat the seeds dry(ish) with some paper towels. Toss the seeds with a little drizzle of olive oil, plus salt, pepper, and paprika (or whatever seasonings you like!). Roast for 30-40 minutes, moving the seeds around every 10ish minutes or so. They should be slightly browned and crispy. You might be surprised how few seeds are in a single pumpkin. I had 2 pumpkins, and still only ended up with less than a pint of seeds. Cherish them! They are like gold this time of year.

Don’t use dating apps. Just meet people organically. Also, don’t be willing to follow someone into a dark alley if they promise kittens or donuts.

Oh, and don’t lower your standards just because everyone you meet online sucks! I’d rather be alone than date an idiot/bro/racist/sexist/douche bag.

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Cortney and I posing with the pumpkins! Fuck, we’re so cute.

breakfast · brunch · cake · comfort food · cupcakes · dessert · pumpkin · snacks · vegetarian

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

20151124_150358Is there anything better than pumpkin cake?

I think it’s better than all the other pumpkin desserts. It might even be better than a pumpkin spice latte.

I found this recipe a few years ago, and it has become somewhat of a tradition at this point. I make it every year for Thanksgiving, and sometimes for Christmas. This year I cut the recipe in half, and made it in cupcake form. I brought extras to work with me. Hannah’s response after hardly finishing her first one was, “Can I have another one?”

20151124_160004This is literally the best thing I make.

My best friend and I recently started trying this new “diet.” We’re calling it “being kind to ourselves.” It consists of eating healthy and delicious things, while not restricting anything. My version also includes tons of yoga. Basically, we can eat whatever the fuck we want, as long as we’re hungry. No more emotional eating. No more beating ourselves up for eating cupcakes. We will no longer let food control us. And we will not let society tell us we don’t deserve dessert.

I ate chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast this morning, plus one of these cupcakes. For dinner, I’ll eat leftover turkey with sauteed bok choy. It’s all about balance.

Is this getting too rant-y? Oh wait, I don’t care.

20151124_161742Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting 

Cake ingredients:

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 can (15oz) pureed pumpkin

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup milk

 

Frosting ingredients:

12oz (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 cups powdered sugar

A generous dash of each: nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves, all spice

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease cupcake tins, or use paper cups. This can also be made into a 3 layer cake, if you’d prefer. In that case, grease 3 round cake pans (8 or 9 inch).

For cake: In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Cream together butter and sugar in your mixer, or by hand in a large bowl. Mix until light and fluffy, then add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, pumpkin, and oil. Slowly add in flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Divide into cupcake tins or cake pans, and bake for 25 minutes(for cupcakes) to 35 minutes (for cake). Check to make sure it’s done by sticking a toothpick or a clean knife in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, they’re done! If not, bake for a few more minutes. Once done, place into the freezer. Since learning this trick, I do it with pretty much all my cake recipes. It really keeps the cake from drying out. Leave it in the freezer for 20-40 minutes (until cool).

For frosting: Cream together butter and cream cheese in a mixer. Add remaining ingredients, saving the powdered sugar for last. Slowly beat in the sugar until combined, then beat on high until smooth.

Assemble the cake with layers of frosting in between. Or! Top cupcakes with a generous layer of frosting. Serve right away, or keep refrigerated. When cut in half, this recipe makes about 36 cupcakes.

Make extra frosting, and just eat it out of a bowl.

 

 

breakfast · cake · dessert · pumpkin

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Icing

I’m out of control with my pumpkin spice lattes. Seriously. I need an intervention.

With the exception of pumpkin flavoring, I’m not embracing fall at all. In fact, I got a pedicure yesterday, because I intend to keep wearing flip flops until the snow flies. Firm denial. Plus, I have a new adorable paw print tattoo on my foot that it pains me to cover. I won’t do it. Fall can just fuck right off.

DSC_0232This is the time of year I start nesting like a crazy person, though. I’ve been canning and baking like I’m someone’s grandmother, which is insane because I’m not having kids, and will never be anyone’s grandmother (Thank God!). So I made this cake the other day, on the same day I canned a bunch of tomato sauce and salsa. I also made a zucchini gratin casserole that morning, and topped it with an egg for breakfast (see pic to right). Out. Of. Control.

The pumpkin cake didn’t actually look exactly like the pictures from the original recipe. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but the icing is way thicker on my cake. This isn’t really a problem, but an improvement, in my opinion. The cake itself isn’t very sweet, but the crumbly top and icing makes up for it. I honestly think I’ll double the topping next time. If you do that, let me know how it turns out.

This recipe originates from Pinch of Yum.

DSC_0255Pumpkin Cake with Maple Icing

For the cake:

1/2 cup salted butter, mostly melted

1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

3 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon all spice

1 pinch of nutmeg and ground cloves

DSC_0243For the topping:

6 tablespoons flour

6 tablespoons brown sugar

6 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter, melted

DSC_0253For the icing:

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 6×11 (or equivalent) baking dish. Whisked together butter, brown sugar, pumpkin, and eggs until smooth. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Mix until combined, and pour into prepared dish.

Mix topping ingredients with your hands, until it becomes crumbly. Sprinkle over top of cake. Bake for 45 minutes.

Melt butter for the icing in a sauce pan over very low heat. Add the maple syrup and vanilla, then the powdered sugar. Whisk over low heat until all the sugar dissolves into the liquid. Pour over finished cake. Eat immediately, preferably with a PSL. Tell fall to fuck off (except for its pumpkin flavored treats).