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Pumpkin Carrot Cake Muffins

Hiiii guuuuys,

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Boo! Happy Halloweenie! I have yet another pumpkin treat for you. Pretty sure that’s all I’ve baked in October. Pumpkin treats on pumpkin treats. All pumpkin everything, if you will. I am (only a little bit) sorry about the complete lack of diversity in my cooking lately…I just love pumpkin so much and ’tis the season, no? These muffins are ~healthy~ and perfect for a lil snack. Or for breakfast with a cup of coffee! They’re not-so-sweet, hearty muffins, so if you (like me) are not a huge fan of overly sweet things, these are for you! That being said, they’re still very yummy. Perfectly soft and moist. A people-are-somewhat-surprised-when-you-say-they’re-healthy kind of muffin. And I just love carrot cake so much, the fact that these are carrot-cake-inspired makes me happy. Make ’em like dis:

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. almond meal
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 c. plain greek yogurt
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. shredded carrot (about two medium carrots)
1/3 c. raisins

Preheat your oven to 375° and grease your muffin pan or line it with liners. Set aside. Combine flour, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl, whisking them together to make sure there are no lumps. (Pay special attention to your almond meal! It loves to be clumpy!) In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, brown sugar, yogurt, and pumpkin puree until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and fold together gently. Once completely combined, add the shredded carrot and raisins and divide evenly in your muffin tin. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

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Enjoy the yumminess! Yay carrot cake: fall edition (in muffin form)!

Love, Emily

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Hellooooo all,

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This is a classic. You need a good go-to pumpkin bread recipe for October. The great thing about this one that I based this recipe off of is that it’s super easy and could be very easily converted to vegan (if you’re into that). No eggs (?!), which was a pleasant surprise seeing as I was out of eggs at the time anyways. What kind of a baker am I??! Anyways, once more, I apologize for the pathetic picture. My camera and I have been reunited at last (cue Hallelujah chorus) buuut this bread was devoured/gifted before I could get any good pictures. I know, pathetic. It happens. You must understand.

1 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. (plus a little more, so liiike a heaping cup) pumpkin puree
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 325° and grease a large loaf pan (or, if you’re me and don’t have a normal sized loaf pan, 2 mini ones) with whatever your lil heart desires. Combine your dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Measure out your coconut oil and stick it for 15 seconds or so in the microwave (depending on how solid it is) until it’s nice and melty. Add the vanilla and pumpkin to your coconut oil and stir until combined. Next, add your wet mixture to the dry one and fold together until completely incorporated. Don’t freak out if your batter seems really thick–it should! You’re not doing anything wrong! Add as many chocolate chips as your heart desires (I, for one, impulsively dumped the entire leftover contents of an open bag I had), and fold together a little more to disperse them as evenly as possible. Might be tough since the batter is so thick, but ya know. Do your best. Pour/scoop/dump your batter into your prepared pan(s) and stick in the oven for about 50 minutes for mini loaves or an hour and 15 minutes for a regular sized loaf. Keep an eye on it though–cooking times may vary depending on the oven!

Shoutout to my baking-assistant for ever-so-skillfully and precisely measuring out the coconut oil for me and learning/executing the perfect “gentle batter folding” technique. Ya did good, kid. Did me PROUD.

(Sorry ~not sorry~ for the pumpkin binge. Can’t help it. It’s OCTOBER after all.)

Love, Emily


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Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Hiiii loves,

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It’s FAAAALL. Well. Kinda. Not quite. It’s technically still summer for the next couple of days. But mentally (and according to these cookies), I am 100% in fall-mode. As a California baby, I’m especially enthusiastic about this season. I really just love being cozy, and fall is arguably the coziest season of all (winter crosses the line from cozy to cold, in my personal opinion). I am all for fall baking/cooking, too. It’s by far my favorite. Pumpkin, cinnamon, apples, squash, cinnamon, pumpkin, CINNAMON. You get the picture. These lovely little cookies pretty much incorporate everything I love. Pumpkin, dark chocolate, and cinnamon, all combined in a delectable, chewy little morsel. Mmmmmm these cookies are yum. I can’t wait to eat one for breakfast-dessert when I get home. And probably another for lunch-dessert later.

1/2 c. or 1 stick butter, melted
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. chopped dark chocolate

Start to make the dough by mixing together the sugars and the butter until there aren’t any more lumps. Next, whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips as best you can–the butter will probably make it a little hard for the chocolate chips to stick to the dough since it’s so buttery (yum), but do your best. Stick the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you bake. (Ahem: That’s important! Don’t skip it!) Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease or line your baking sheets and place balls of dough about 1″ apart. (I got about 18 cookies here; you could get more or less depending on how big your cookies are and such.) Squish them a little bit flat–they won’t flatten much at all while baking–and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes. They won’t look done, but they are! By “not done”, I mean extremely doughy. I promise they’ll firm up quite a bit as they cool. Let them cool for a while on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack.

I brought these to Boston with me for a little weekend trip and they were certainly appreciated. My two lovely boys and I ate 3 a day until they were gone, so they didn’t last long. Not to toot my own horn (okay, maybe a little…I’m proud of these cookies) buuuut I was told by my toughest critic (and others) that these cookies are his favorite thing I have baked to date. Welllll, okay, his favorite thing that he has tried at least. To be honest, that is probably a pretty good indicator of how delicious they are, seeing as he’s tried probably 60% at least of the food I’ve made. I rarely get compliments from this individual, so this is a big deal, guys.

Prepare for more pumpkin. I guarantee you it’s COMING.

Love, Emily

PS: THIS PHOTO IS SO TERRIBLE I AM SORRY I am honestly so embarrassed. It’s heinous. I don’t have my Nikon and it was nighttime when I took this on my phone. I was in a hurry and ate them all before proper photos could be taken sooo this will have to do I suppose. Don’t judge me.


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Pumpkin Ground Beef Casserole

Hello friends!

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Okay bear with me. I tried to make the title of this post the least repulsive I possibly could, but this clearly proved difficult. I hate the word “casserole”. It grosses me out. I always associate it with heavy, creamy, chunky, lumpy, processed, Campbell’s-soup-based dish–not the most appealing. Unless you’re into that. Which I am not.

Okay let me take this opportunity to go on a rant for a minute: I absolutely HATE it when I come across a recipe somewhere that claims to be “only 3 ingredients!” or “so simple!” and it involves a mix or a premade ingredient. That cake is not made of 3 ingredients. It is made of the 8297 creepy ingredients that no one can pronounce in the cake mix you bought, plus the other 2 you add yourself. If you’re baking/cooking something from scratch, COMMIT, people! Come on! It’s one thing to use a stock something, but to make a casserole with a whole can of cream and mushroom soup and claim that it’s “homemade” just makes me sad.

Anyways! This is the perfect, cozy winter dinner. If I were to live in any given casserole, I would choose this one. It was nice to have an dinner all in one pan. Veggies, protein and bread–all together!

Filling:

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 yellow onion, diced

3 large carrots, chopped

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 cups mixed vegetables (I used corn, peas and green beans…frozen…shh)

2 c. beef stock

1/4 c. pumpkin puree

Pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, and cayenne pepper

1/4 c. cornstarch, dissolved in water

Topping:

1 1/2 c. flour

1 c. beer of your choice

1/2 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons melted butter

Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium and cook your onions until they turn clear. Drop in your ground beef and cook until it’s nice and browned. Set aside. In a saucepan, bring your beef stock and veggies (carrots and whatever mixed ones you choose) to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let this cook for about 10 minutes until the carrots are tender. Once the veggies are done, separate them from the broth–you can put the veggies in with the meat and leave the broth in the saucepan. Add your water-cornstarch mixture and your pumpkin puree to your beef stock, bring to a boil, then back down to simmer again. Stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes or so. Season with a generous pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, and cayenne pepper. At this point, you should probably preheat the oven to 350 in preparation for the baking of the bread-top. For your beer bread topping, fold all ingredients (except for the melted butter) together in a bowl until combined. Easy as that. Once all your separate parts are done, put the meat and veggies into an 8×8 square pan. Pour the gravy on top, making sure it’s evenly dispersed throughout the whole pan. Spread the beer bread batter over the whole thing with a spatula, pour the melted butter on top, and stick it in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. I would suggest putting a foil-lined cookie sheet under your pan just in case–my casserole was very close to overflowing. Remove from the oven and prepare for the ultimate comfort foodie meal.

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Okay so yeah, this took a while. It’s just a lot of steps. But it was definitely worth it! I’d make it again. Also, it makes surprisingly good leftovers. So yeah.

OH also: MERRY CHRISTMAS, foodies! Hope you consumed plenty of deliciousness these past few days (I know I did). In fact, I probably consumed enough cookies for several people my size. Yeah, actually, I definitely did. Without a doubt. That’s what the holidays are about though, right (…)? Recipe for my holiday dessert to come!

Love, Emily


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Hi guyz,

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I had some leftover pumpkin to use (shocker) so I made (my version of) a half recipe of these! These cute little oatmeal cups are basically like a solid form of delicious pumpkin oatmeal. They were quite convenient to grab on the way out the door as a quick snack; I definitely nibbled on a couple of these on the subway on the way to work. Yummy. Even though I only made half a recipe, I’ll post the full one for you guys. Here ya go:

1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree

1/2 c. milk

2 eggs

1 Tbsp. baking powder

3 c. old fashioned oats

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/3 c. brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 375. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and let sit. Grease or line a muffin tin and fill each muffin spot with the batter almost all the way to the top–since there’s no flour or anything, they won’t rise too much at all. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the centers are firm to the touch and the edges start to look a little browned. Let them cool for a bit before removing them from the muffin tin so they keep their shape!

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These did not take much effort to prepare, but the baking was a bit of a struggle. It took quite a while to get them to bake all the way through…initially I took them out of the oven after about 20 minutes thinking they were done and they were rather mushy. I took them out and put them back in probably 4-5 times; I probably had them baking for at least 35 minutes. They turned out fine eventually though! Patience was key.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. Go outside and see some fall leaves, New Yorkers! They’re beautiful.

Love, Emily


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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Chers mes amis,

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See? I told you there would be more pumpkin goodies. And I’m SURE there will be more this entire week, seeing as we have the leftover pumpkin puree to have tons of fun with (heh heh heh BRING ON THE PUMPKIN). Oh and this post goes out to mah main gurl MARIANNE aka my only loyal blog-reader and my best fwiend. Thanks for loving me always, boo. ❤

So guys! I bought a cookie jar today! His name is Francois–he’s very French, as you can see. My roommates and I decided it was about time we have a cookie jar in the apartment; I can tell we are going to get along great. Francois has a lot to offer, really. Just look at how happy he is to offer us cookies! What a guy.

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Ugh okay also: I’m really irritated at how gross my pictures are lately. I am so, so sorry. It probably isn’t nearly as big of a deal as it seems to me at the moment, but I’m FREAKING OUT about how not nice-looking they are. Long story short, my camera got knocked off of a shelf, fell lens-first onto the ground, and the lens survived (thank GOD), but the UV lens filter shattered and got dented, so I can’t get it off. And clearly I haven’t had any time to take it in somewhere to get it looked at…so funky, blurry photos it is. Sorry ’bout it.

Alright, down to business. Pumpkin snickerdoodle business–the best kind of business there is. I adapted this recipe here (although I’m sure there’s an original somewhere, this one worked out just fine). These were lovely cookies. Very puffy and soft. I was super into them. The ooone thing is, they weren’t all that pumpkin-y! They had a nice pumpkin aftertaste kind of flavor, but other than that, they were mostly just a really good snickerdoodle. Which, seeing as I consume more pumpkin than the average person, was kind of okay with. If you want a PUMPKIN-Y pumpkin cookie, however, I would suggest the chocolate chip pumpkin bars I have in my Pumpkin Appreciation Post. Those are really just the best.

Cookie:

2 c. flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

A pinch of nutmeg

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. dark brown sugar

A very heaping 1/4 c. pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

Sugar coating:

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg) and set aside. Cream together the butter and the sugars with a spoon (or electric mixer, if you’re one of the lucky few with one of those…I’m a little bitter, it’s fine) until combined. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture and stir together. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet, stirring constantly until all is combined. The next part is the hardest–cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about an hour (ooor as long as you can stand it; in my case, 47 minutes). I KNOW it’s tempting to skip this step, but it really helps the cookies stay thick and soft! I recommend sticking with it. Although I know it’s torturous. I know. Don’t forget to preheat your oven to 350 during the time you’re waiting for your dough to chill! Once your hour is up, take the dough out and combine your sugar-spice coating mixture. Roll heaping tablespoons of dough in your hands until round, into the sugar mixture until covered, and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. Flatten them slightly with your hand so they don’t come out completely round–that would be silly. Bake them for 10-12 minutes (mine took exactly 11) and let them cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring them elsewhere. Like your mouth, for example. Or your cookie jar.

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Saturday night well spent. My bed is calling. Sweet dreams, friends

Love, Emily


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Pumpkin Appreciation Post

OKAY HI GUYS.

Hi. It’s been a while. My camera lens shattered–hence the weird blur thing I’ve got going on in the pictures, I’ve been a busy busy girl, etc. Anyways: IT’S FAAAALL, EVERYONE. I absolutely adore fall. I am such a southern California baby; any sort of weather change makes me SO EXCITED. Especially when it involves beautifully colored leaves! And big comfy sweaters! And boots, and tights, and thick socks, and tea, and apples, and crisp autumn air, and scarves, and pumpkin flavored things. I repeat. Pumpkin flavored things. What’s not to love? Come October, I search the city of New York high and low for the best pumpkin themed treats and products (FYI New Yorkers: Stand Burger on E 12th and University has FABULOUS pumpkin milkshakes, and the pumpkin scone that I’ve tried so far is definitely at Alice’s Tea Cup) and I’d say I’ve done a pretty good job with my findings.

By that, I mean that I have been going pumpkin crazy. Literally though. I think my roommates are starting to get a little annoyed by my compulsive need to purchase any product with the word “pumpkin” in it. For example, I have recently eaten/have recently made/currently have in my pantry or fridge:

-pumpkin spice coffee
-pumpkin spice rooibos tea
-pumpkin pancake mix
-pumpkin bread mix
-3 cans organic pumpkin puree
-pumpkin chocolate chunk bars–my favorite (recipe to follow)
-pumpkin spice simple syrup, for coffee! (recipe to follow)
-pumpkin spice oatmeal (recipe to follow)
-pumpkin pie smoothie (recipe to follow)

Now that I actually look at a list it does seem rather excessive…whatever. Sue me. I’m just a girl who loves pumpkin more than anything, that’s all.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Bars:

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You’ll note that this picture was taken towards the end of the life of this batch of pumpkin bars…they go fast. I made this yesterday, so the fact that a 9×13″ pan of them are already in this state is saying something. Apologies for the terrible quality of the photo, the camera lens issue plus the state of the pumpkin bars when I actually got around to photographing them was not idea, but oh well. These pumpkin bars are my absolute favorite pumpkin dessert to make for my family when I go home in the fall/winter. They are much appreciated by my dad and brother especially. I really, strongly believe that you will love them just as much!

2 c. flour

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cloves (if you have it! I omitted)

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 c. sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla

1 c. pumpkin puree

12 oz. semisweet chocolate chunks (or chips, but preferably chunks)

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×13″ pan and set it aside. In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, spices, baking soda, and salt) and set this aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fully combined, then add in the egg and vanilla it all together. Next, add the pumpkin puree to your butter and sugar mixture and mix well. This will look a little curdled and funky; you didn’t do anything wrong! It’ll all come together in the next step: gradually mix in the dry ingredients to the large bowl a little bit at a time, stirring constantly. Once completely combined, dump that entire bag of chocolate into the batter, mix, and pour into your prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes (mine took the full 35, plus even a couple extra for the middle to set) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Voila! There ya go.

Prepare for these to be eaten very quickly; they’re pretty wonderful.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup:

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See that mason jar of gritty-looking, thick, brown liquid? Yep, that’s what you’re making! I understand it looks highly questionable, but let me tell you. It is delicious. I adapted this recipe from this one for a pumpkin spice latte, but since I do not have an espresso machine (I wish), I just pour it in my coffee and it does the trick just the same! It’s my own version of the obscenely expensive–but equally addicting–Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. It certainly does the trick!

1 c. water

3/4 c. sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ginger

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring every once in a while. Do so for about 10-15 minutes; it should thicken a little but it will do most of the thickening once you take it off the stove. Once it has cooled enough, you can strain it if you’d like to get rid of some of the gritty situation caused by the spices that will inevitably settle to the bottom, but you don’t have to! I don’t mind the spices, nor do I have a strainer or cheesecloth on hand, so I just stuck it in a mason jar in the fridge and called it a day.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal:

Sorry guys, no picture! This was just done on a whim since I had extra pumpkin puree that I needed to use (as was the pumpkin pie smoothie). It’s a super simple recipe. You could probably figure this out for yourself, but here ya go anyways

1/4 c. cooked steel cut oats

2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Ginger to taste

Mkay guys, all you have to do is mix this all together. Maybe add some dried cranberries or whatever else you like (I did that plus some walnuts, it was delicious).

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

Also no picture for this one. Apologies. This was DELICIOUS. I am absolutely in love with my banana smoothies, so this pumpkin version nearly killed me. In a good way. Death by pumpkin deliciousness.

1 frozen banana, broken up into pieces

1 scoop whey protein powder

2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp. old fashioned oats

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to taste

1 c. milk

Ice (optional)

Blend this all together, and there ya go! The oats add a nice “pie crust” kind of taste; and honestly this is just all around delicious. I want one right now, but I don’t have an open can of pumpkin puree (blasphemy!). I can imagine blending some dark chocolate chips into it would make it a pretty fabulous healthy dessert…think about it…

For all of you who do not understand what the “big deal is” with all this pumpkin stuff: shame on you. Pumpkin is magical and wonderful in every way. It is the epitome of FALL FLAVOR. I will definitely be making more pumpkin things soon (pumpkin snickerdoodles have been on my radar recently, along with my eventual pumpkin apple crumb pie eventually for my Thanksgiving masterpiece), so pumpkin fans, stay tuned. It’s going to be a great fall for food.

Love, Emily