Yes, I've been an awful blogger lately. Let's all get over it... now!

Great. Now that that's out of the way I'd like to share with you a video of some of my favorite pictures from 2011. I absolutely loved this year. Yes, it had its trials- there was a giant blizzard, a house fire, window-breaking hail, 3/4 of my close friends moving away, and several roommates coming and going- but at the end of it all I just feel very very lucky. When I look back on these pictures and think of the time I spent and the people in them I'm filled with so much gratitude. Somehow I've been blessed with strong friendships, my wonderful family, a damn fine fella, and all sorts of characters that keep me entertained and inspired. I must be doing something right.

So enjoy! The song is "How It Ended" by The Drums. I highly recommend their album.


pumpkin scones with chocolate chips

I swear I haven't just been eating pumpkin foods this whole time. I was pretty much over it, honest. But then I saw this recipe over at said she said he and it looked so delicious and warm- like a hug for my stomach. And so I made it and I have no regrets. Neither do my roommates, who also loved them.

2 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold

1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
2 large eggs
milk, for brushing on dough
coarse sugar, for sprinklin 

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add butter (very cold and cut into pats) to dry ingredients. Work butter into mixture until crumbly. It's okay for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
3. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.
4. Mix pumpkin and eggs in a separate bowl. Then add mixture to other ingredients.
5. Mix to form a uniform dough. Be careful not to over-mix as the more you handle the dough, the tougher the scones will be.
6. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the paper.
7. Divide the dough in half and round each half into about a 6" circle (3/4" thick).
8. Brush each circle with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
9. Slice each circle into 6 wedges and carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit.
10. Place pan of scones in freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
11. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, while the scones are chilling.
12. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes.


pan-seared salmon with pumpkin seed-cilantro pesto

Continuing with the pumpkin madness- pepitas! Delicious green pumpkin seeds!

Raw they have a wonderful smokey flavor, quickly edging its way to the coveted category of my favorite snack.

Roasted and made into a pesto? Woooah. So good.

Next time I think I'll steam the salmon instead of pan-roasting, because the process is so much easier and I can taste the salmon more at the end. Also, then I can justify smothering it in this delicious pesto.

Try it. Do it. Please.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Pumpkin Seed-Cilantro Pesto 

via Bon Appétit  | November 2011

2 1/2 teaspoons plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 cup (firmly packed) cilantro leaves and stems
1/2 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds
1/2 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 6-ounce salmon fillets (preferably wild)
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin seeds; sauté until beginning to brown and pop, about 2 minutes. Transfer seeds to paper towels to drain; let cool. Reserve skillet.
Pulse 6 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, cilantro, coriander seeds, and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped. With machine running, gradually add 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/4 cup oil, then 1/4 cup water, blending until coarse purée forms. Season pesto to taste with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if desired.
Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in reserved skillet over medium heat. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and cook until just opaque in center, 3-4 minutes per side. Place fillets on plates. Spoon pesto over. Garnish with remaining pumpkin seeds. Serve with lime wedges.


pumpkin oatmeal

No, but really. Pumpkin. Everything.

I had leftover pumpkin puree from the doughnuts, so I've been putting it in my morning oatmeal along with pumpkin pie type spices. Few things can make me smile before 10am. This is one of them. You can see I had some real trouble stopping long enough to get a picture.

Pumpkin Oatmeal
1 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. steel cut oats
2 T. pumpkin puree
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. allspice
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ginger 
1 t. brown sugar
dash of salt

Bring water to boil in small sauce pan. Stir in oats, then simmer for 20-25 minutes on low heat. When oats are almost cooked, stir in pumpkin puree and spices. Continue cooking until flavors have mixed and oats are desired texture. 


baked pumpkin doughnuts

Seriously. All things pumpkin lately.

I made these for our Halloween party a couple of weekends ago. This is an awful, embarrassing picture from my iPhone but it's the only one I have of them and I wanted to share the recipe.

Up until recently I had thought you needed a fryer to make doughnuts, so you can imagine my delight when I found out about the doughnut pan (thank you, said she said he). For only $10 you can get baked doughnuts and wave goodbye to fears of scalding yourself and burning down your house (again). I found this recipe by doing an internet search for pumpkin doughnuts, then made a simple cinnamon sugar glaze.

Super good.

Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts
via Taste & Tell Blog

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a doughnut pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together the brown sugar, butter and pumpkin. Add in the eggs, mix well, then mix in the milk and vanilla. Stir in the reserved dry ingredients.

Place the mix in a large zip-top bag. Cut off the corner and pipe into the doughnut pan. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, let rest for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. 

Cinnamon Glaze
½ cup powdered sugar
1 T. milk
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg

Mix until smooth and creamy.  The glaze should pour easily from a spoon.  You may need to add additional milk or powder sugar to get the right consistency.