Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c pumpkin
1 c brown sugar
1/3 c apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice,
1/8 tsp salt
mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F
Mix the pumpkin, sugar, apple sauce, and vanilla in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl sift the rest of the ingredients (except for the chocolate chips).
Add the flour to the pumpkin mixture and mix.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Bake for 20 mins, or until just slightly firm.

These cookies are awesome! They are perfectly fall-flavored, vegan (so you can eat the batter without guilt!), easy, tasty, and they stay soft and chewy. Yum!

L helped me make these (in literally 30 mins from start to finish) to bring over to a playdate. Everyone loved these tasty little treats.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sweet Potato Falafel

As promised, more sweet potato recipes have graced the blog this week, and I am happy to say that with this dinner we are almost through our sweet potato stock!

Tonight's dinner was a family favorite: hummus and falafel, but with a twist. A sweet potato and falafel twist! These tasty bites were totally unexpected and delightful, and the picky-to-try-new-things children actually gave these the "thumbs up".

Next time, I plan to add some fresh parsley, and to bump up the amount of lemon juice. I also popped these into the fridge to chill and firm before baking. Totally easy, and super delicious. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sweet Potato Walnut Bread and Sweet Potato Hummus

We have an abundance of sweet potatoes from our last CSA share. I'm getting sick of roasting the sweet potatoes, and I needed to find something else creative to do to use them up! I always like the idea of something baked with sweet potatoes because they keep everything so moist, and they're naturally sweet. So, when I saw this recipe for sweet potato pecan bread, I knew it would be making an appearance in my kitchen asap! I subbed out some of the oil (I used 1/3 c of canola oil) with 1/2 c applesauce, and reduced the sugar to 2 cups. And, since I didn't have any pecans in the pantry, I used walnuts instead. Totally delicious, amazing quick bread...and the kids love it as well. Yum!

In addition to making this bread, during my research I found a recipe for sweet potato hummus. (I didn't use any sriracha, but otherwise I stuck to the recipe.) A bit odd I initially thought, but because we're all huge hummus lovers, I thought I'd give it a go. I am SO very glad that I did! This hummus might be my favorite homemade hummus variety ever, and the kids gobbled it up as well. Total sweet potato victory! Oh, and we were too busy eating the hummus for me to remember to snap a picture...

Stay tuned for even more sweet potato madness;)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

 I have to admit to having a slight obsession with baking. I'm sure by now that you all have noticed this fact, but I really do live for this stuff. Decorating cookies is very time consuming, but for me it's a form of relaxation. I love the creativity and the repetitive nature of the task.

Tomorrow is Carnival at J's school. It's a huge school fundraiser, but most importantly it's a ton of fun for the kids. I volunteered to bake cookies for the bake shop, and what a better fall theme than pumpkin and maple leaf shaped sugar cookies?

Of course I have to go straight to my favorite sugar cookie recipe, which is also by my favorite home cook: Ina Garten. It is very important to weight out the flour here, so don't try to skip that and estimate cups...

For the icing, I like to keep it simple and eggs-from-the-fridge free for bake sales. So for the royal icing (for the decorations) I turned to my favorite baking source: King Arthur Flour. I absolutely love their merginue powder, and it really makes the whole royal icing thing a synch! Happy fall baking, and happy decorating!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Sourdough Baguettes

Yesterday morning I woke up to this mess in my fridge. Clearly my sourdough starter is VERY healthy, and decided to explode everywhere. I cleaned up the mess, closed the door and didn't think much of it. A couple of hours later I opened the fridge to see it exploding again! It was time to take action...so, of course I visited my most trusty bread-baking-website: King Arthur Flour, and got to work.

I found a recipe for sourdough baguettes that required fed or unfed starter. This was perfect since my starter clearly needed no feeding, and it would take some of the bulk down. The dough was thrown together in a matter of minutes. I didn't have any vital wheat gluten around, so I added about 2 tsp of whole grain dough enhancer (I figured it couldn't hurt, right?), and 2 tsp of yeast.

The results were fabulous! These baguettes were crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and perfectly tangy. A total success. Plus, ever since we found the book Monsieur Saguette and His Baguette, the kids just can't get enough baguettes! Happy baking:)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pumpkin Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Everyone knows how much this family loves cinnamon swirl bread. I have my go-to sweet cinnamon swirl bread recipe, then my whole wheat cinnamon swirl one, my other pumpkin swirl bread, so I figured why not add another pumpkin variety to the list! This swirled pumpkin yeast bread really appealed to me for it's variety of grains: regular all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and oats. In addition, I love baking with applesauce, so that addition also caught my eye.

This bread is so yummy. It's a bit less sweet than the other pumpkin swirl bread, so it's slightly more fitting for a savory snack or a slice of breakfast toast, but it's just as good. The kids were so excited and happy to munch on some of this with pumpkin butter, no less.

Let the pumpkin baking season commence!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sweet Potato Cakes and Tomatillo Salsa

Tonight's dinner was definitely brought to us by our CSA. J had picked out one of Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes, sweet potato cakes, for our week's menu. Luckily for me this week's farm share came with an abundance of sweet potatoes! These cakes were easy to make, hearty, sweet and savory all at the same time. The yogurt sauce was the expected condiment, and certainly rounded out the cakes. But, we also had an overwhelming number of tomatillos in our farm share this week, and something told me that they'd make another great addition to this meal. We topped the cakes with the salsa, but also ended up dipping carrots and pita chips into it as well because it truly was addictive!

Tomatillo Salsa
1.5 lbs tomatillos, rinsed and cubed
1 medium avocado, chopped
1 banana pepper, chopped
2 tbs lime juice
2 tbs cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the desired consistency. Enjoy!