pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

 

 

Yesterday morning I woke up to our windows thrown open as usual. Lately the angle of the sun has been directly in our eyes around 7am every day. I was quite chilly as I hurriedly decided what to wear to church. I was glad I chose flats instead of sandals for the first time in months.

The day seemed right, then, for this perfectly fall cookie. I was in the spirit at Trader Joe's last week and decided I couldn't go wrong to throw a can of pumpkin in my cart. So glad I did.

 

 

homemade gnocchi

Gnocchi is delicious. And although this wasn't the more common potato variety stuffed with a yummy, cheesy filling, they were still awesome because they were homemade.

I'm on a vegetarian cooking kick. My husband is the least picky eater ever, which is the best. It was actually his idea to try to eat more vegetarian meals. Nice going, Luke.

 

 

Isn't there just something about kneading dough? I've always wanted to get into breadmaking. I just love that process of creating and working the dough.

 

After rolling out the dough into long strips, I cut them into pieces and shaped them with fork prongs. To make them fancy. BTW, I used this recipe.

 

 

The swiss chard was straight out of Richard and Stella Novack's garden. So, so, so good. I had the privelege of sitting in the garden with their daughter, Mary, my very dear friend, while they picked me a vegetable goodie bag last week.

 

 

Luke was a little more excited about the meal than he looks. I think. :) Recipe here.

What are you doing this weekend? We're driving to Pennsylvania and back for the second weekend in a row. My cutesy nieces are having a triple birthday party (my brother and sis-in-law are smart -- three birds one stone).

 

An inspiring story (one I can appreciate as a former waitress) about a man's last wish.

One of my very sweet girlfriends is having a baby. Eek!

This had me laughing out loud. Yeah, you're ridiculous, real Yelp users.

Really cool company selling shoes to empower women.

 

happy weekend!

 

 

Cinnamon Rolls for a Snowed-in Saturday

This morning, for the first time in a long time, I woke up to a fresh blanket of snow outside our windows. Luke and I felt like little kids; his grad class was canceled and we pretended to be snowed in and then proceeded to drink entirely too many cups of coffee. I don't often attempt cinnamon roll recipes from scratch (this may just be the 2nd time I've tried it) because it's so time consuming and, like I mentioned recently, I'm not the most patient person in the world--but something about the day called for moving more slowly, indulging more readily, and filling our little apartment with warmth and love and a thick, delicious aroma of sticky homemade goodness.

The recipe I chose took about 3 1/2 hours from start to finish. They were the best cinnamon rolls of my life, I kid you not. When they came out of the oven so soft and fluffy, I wished for a house full of people to share them with, if for no other reason than to have them oohing and ahhing over the doughy perfection (sorry, it's selfish I know. But at least I'm willing to share). Okay, even if you don't ooh and ahh, I still wish I could share these with you today. I don't foresee a positive outcome if I eat them all myself.


See my play-by-play (ish) in photos below.

 

In this step you scald the milk with oil and sugar. I used half coconut milk, half 2% milk.


Then you pause to document what it looks like outside.


The dough after it's risen for an hour.


Before proceeding, take a blurry picture with your husband.


Roll out the dough on a flat surface (I used waxed paper underneath, 'cause I'm a germiphobe like that) and top with copious amounts of melted butter, sugar and cinnamon.


Roll up tightly and don't worry if mixture spills out one end. This compromises the charm of your photo only and not the outcome of the cinnamon rolls themselves.


Thank your husband for preparing a cup of coffee for you to enjoy.


Before baking & after baking.

 

 

And it's a wrap. Have you ever tried baking cinnamon rolls from scratch? What's your favorite recipe? I hope you all get to enjoy a relaxing Saturday and something homemade this weekend!

PS - To my surprise, the deer head sold faster than any other item as of yet--in just a couple hours of listing! Thank you so much, Kat! Oh, and let me know what you name him should you decide to do so.

Homemade Granola

The first person I ever heard of making her own granola is the dear mother of dear friends, Stella Novack. What a sweet woman she is! There's much to learn from her other than you should learn to make your own granola. This particular recipe comes from Luke's Aunt Becky, though. Through the grapevine I've learned that nothing bad can ever come out of her kitchen! So thanks, Becky, for this recipe!

 

 

Earlier today I read this article from the NY Times and I really appreciated it. It's true, granola is little more than some oats mixed with a little oil & water and honey to sweeten it up. You know the Bear Naked granola that looks so appealing in the health food aisle? And it's five bucks at least? No more falling prey to it! Homemade granola all the way! I actually woke up this morning wanting to eat granola for breakfast and it's so easy that I whipped it up in time to do just that. Granted it was a lazy morning (do you think I would do this before work one day? not a chance), but really, you could do it too. I will be honest and tell you this is probably the fourth batch I've made and something seems to go wrong every time. I tried to be all Pioneer Woman and make it for my in-laws last week, and completely burnt half of it. If I can say one thing I think made a difference this time, it was to use sea salt. Well, and watch the timer. But mostly use sea salt! I keep a container in the cupboard to use for special things, like salted caramel once a year, and homemade granola.

 

 

Also: eat your homemade granola with Stonyfield blueberry yogurt for the best possible results. Mmm.

 

 

I hope everyone had a good Sunday. This afternoon Luke and I hiked Hook Mountain and saw this stunning view from the summit, and didn't take one photo. Not even a phone pic! Main because there was an army of dive-bombing beetle creatures buzzing around up there, and also because we don't own a camera at the moment. It's so tricky to be a blogger when you don't own a camera. Soon, soon this problem will be remedied. It's also tricky to be a blogger when you're not comfortable taking lots of photos of yourself and posting them. Hmm...maybe I should find a new hobby? But wouldn't you guys rather look at pictures of my beautiful stainless steel bowl full of grains than my mug?!

 

 

Click below for the recipe!

 

Summer Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

 

I rarely make the time to prepare dinner these days, and I know it's about to get worse with our transition to New York. That's partially why I made the effort last night. It was also partially to start clearing out the fridge and partially because I spotted this recipe for Basil Vinaigrette and just had to try it. Recently my basil plant bolted (grew rapidly and then flowered), and since then I've had an abundance of basil I'm not using up. While I was making the vinaigrette I thought how delicious it would be on pasta salad. It's amazing what random food items you can use up in a yummy pasta salad (full recipe below). I grilled some chicken to toss on top and used my go-to recipe for roasted asparagus (so amazingly good) as a side, but it was the vinaigrette that really made this meal outstanding.