Beautiful, beautiful fall (minus all the rain).
No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face. -John Donne, The Autumnal
Soon there will be pumpkins and Halloween cocktails, junk food and scary movie pizza nights. But for today, there are the colors of autumn to admire. Still very alive before the snow (Winter’s Coming!) covers my world with a cool blanket of white. Missing the colors will reflect in my humiliatingly amateurish crochet projects (there’s a blanket somewhere to finish) and elaborate scarves. I love December though. You’re probably thinking, ‘Bitch loves presents.’ But it’s the magical possibilities of the coming New Year wrapped in first snows and hot chocolate and loving Dutch traditions. Last year I found immense comfort in learning more about Dutch cooking. I bought a few cookbooks and started new kitchen adventures, looking for roots.
I don’t have the same kinds of traditions for autumn that I do for December. But still, the Halloween month isn’t without. I wasn’t kidding about those scary movie nights and Halloween cocktails. Apart from that (and the candy), I try to read as many scary novels as I can. Ann Rule has some terrifyingly none-fiction stories to consider if you happen to be interested!
Have any Autumn traditions? Halloween parties? Drinks? Homemade candies you make for your family every year? Halloween cookie recipes? I’ll try to keep track of mine. But for now, it’s all about the leaf blanketed ground and, in the immortal words of Joel Hammond in The Santa Clarita Diet, ‘What ever happened to just getting through the day?’ lol
So here’s me, just getting through the days as gracefully, hungrily, and deliciously as I can.
Vanilla Turmeric Lip Chap
1/2 cup of beeswax
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of Shea nut butter
1 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 to 5 shakes of turmeric powder
Melt all ingredients in a double broiler or in a steal or glass bowl to place in a pot of simmering to boiling water. Remove from heat and add essential oils and other flavor enhancers. I used 2 1/2 teaspoons of organic vanilla and 10 drops of seabuckthorn oil.
Makes about 20 tubes, depending on size.
Basic Lip Chap Follow Guide to make your own recipes: same amount beeswax to coconut oil to Shea butter. Melt in a double broiler remove from heat and add essential oils or flavor enhancers.
How to make your own hand sanitizers
1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol (99 % alcohol)
1/2 cup Aloe Vera gel
10 drops of On Guard
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour into reusable containers and use as necessary.
How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer Wipes
1 Mason Jar
6 to 10 paper towel sheets cut in half and then cut in half again
1 cup of 99% alcohol
1 tablespoon of dish soap
1/2 cup of aloe Vera jell
10 drops of essential oil such as lemon, tea tree oil, or DoTerra’s On Guard
Once you have cut your paper towel sheets, push the sheets into the Mason jar. Add 1 cup of alcohol. In a small bowl, add your aloe Vera jell, dish soap, and 1/2 cup of distilled water. Mix them together and pour into the jar. Top the jar off with more distilled water to cover sheets. Select your essential oil and add to mixture. Screw on jar lid and gently turn up and down to combine everything. Prepare a second jar of cut paper towel sheets. Pour about half of mixture into the jar. Screw on lid and gently turn up and down to combine.
Use as necessary.
Note: the recipe was originally for one jar, but I found the towels way too runny and messy. It works much better between two jars.
Been making my own chocolate bark this fall. Crispy Matcha Milk Chocolate Bark and a Loaded Crispy Autumn Bark. The Crispy Matcha Milk Chocolate Bark is very easy to make. Basically you melt your chocolate in a double broiler, remove from heat, stir in your crispy rice and matcha, pour and smooth over a lined cookie sheet, let cool in the fridge until firm, and then break into bark. The Loaded Crispy Autumn Bark is a touch more complicated.
Loaded Crispy Autumn Bark
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Dried apples, chopped
Dried apricots, chopped
In a double broiler (can bring a pot of water to a simmer and melt chocolate using a steel or glass bowl), melt chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and crispy rice. On a lined cookie sheet, pour and spread out chocolate. Place in fridge while you melt the next set of chocolate.
Melt the white chocolate. Spread and smooth over the crispy milk chocolate mixture until covered. Top with chopped fruit and nuts. Place in the fridge until completely set. Once set, break into pieces. Store in an air tight container and keep refrigerated. You can freeze for future snack cravings.
I didn’t have apple chips in the house when making this chocolate. So I made my own. Although, they were so tasty they almost didn’t make it onto the chocolate!
White Wine Apple Chips
Line a cookie sheet and drizzle on your favorite cooking oil.
Line apple slices on cookie sheet. You can use gala apples, green apples, yellow apples, or apple delicious. Sprinkle on salt and sugar. Pour 1/2 cup to 1 cup of white wine over the apples. Bake for 3 hours in a 225 to 230 depending on your oven.
Cooking for Today’s The Green Crepes
Blend a handful of spinach with 1 cup of milk or milk alternative and 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of matcha green tea powder. Pour into a bowl. Add an additional ½ cup of milk and set aside
¾ cup of flour
3 tablespoons of sugar or substitute (use 1 tablespoon of savory crepes)
2 tablespoons of butter, vegan butter substitute, nut butter, or olive oil
½ teaspoon of vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
In a small bowl, beat egg. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add all wet ingredients and mix until combined. Optional: add 3 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder to the dry ingredients before adding the wet
Blueberry Cashew Cream Cheese
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight, rinsed thoroughly
2 to 3 tablespoons of white wine
½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon of vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon of honey (or your favorite sweetener)
1 cup of blueberries
Add all ingredients to your high powdered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
To Make the Avocado Toast
Get your toast
Spread a generous amount of blueberry cream cheese
Top with avocado slices
Sprinkle on your favorite seeds (such as chia, hemp, and flax)
Blueberry Cream Cheese would also be good stuffed in strawberries or as a fruit dip. Can spread on sliced mango, placed in a dish with butter or vegan butter, and bake in a 400 oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Can add it to muffins, cakes, cookies, scones or stuffing for crepes with a warm blueberry sauce. Or it can be made into a vegetarian dessert pizza, using the cream cheese for sauce, and topping with whole blueberries, candied nuts, goat or crumbled feta cheese, drizzled with honey or maple syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
This Weeks Cereal Mashup
1/2 to 1 cup granola
1/2 cup muesli
1 sliced banana
3 tablespoons of hemp hearts
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
1/4 cup of your favourite yogurt
Top with your favourite plant-based milk
Sweet Potato Fries are pretty easy to make. Just slice up a sweet potato (or half of one depending on how hungry you are). Place the slices on a lined baking sheet, drizzled the slices with some olive oil and then sprinkle on your desired spices. I like to use pink or sea salt, black pepper, chili powder, and turmeric. Bake them in a 375 oven for about 25/30 minutes or until a fork can easily be poked through.
Portobello and Black Bean Burgers
1 chopped onion
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
Sprinkle on desired amount of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon veggie stock
4 Portobello mushrooms
1 can of black beans, smashed
3 tablespoons of a homemade or your favourite bbq sauce
1 egg or 1 vegan egg (or use 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water or stock to replace 1 egg)
1 cup to 2 cups of bread crumbs or panko
Optional: a cup of cooked corn
In a large bowl, add the smashed black beans and the cooked corn if using.
Finely dice or pulse the mushrooms in your food processer. Set aside.
In a sauce pan, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and the diced onion and garlic. Add desired spices such as salt and pepper and let cook on medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the stock and the finely diced or food processor pulsed portobello mushrooms and let cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add onion and mushroom mixture to the smashed black beans and add 3 tablespoons of your favourite bbq sauce.
Stir in bread crumbs, starting with one cup and then a 1/4 cup at a time, until everything sticks together but is not too dry. If the mixture is too wet, add more. If you put too many bread crumbs, you can put moisture back to the mixture by adding either olive oil or almond milk 1 tablespoon at a time until desired workability. 1 1/4 cup of bread crumbs was perfect for me.
Line and oil cookie sheets. Form mixture into patties.
Makes 8 to 12 veggie burgers depending on the size you make them.
Bake for 30 minutes in a 375 oven, flipping halfway through baking.
Keeps well in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. However, I recommend freezing for future use.
Baked Sweet Potato Donuts
2 3/4 cups of rice flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup of almond milk
1 cup of dried fruit, such as dried cranberries (which is what I used)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
1/2 to 3/4 cup of olive oil (until runny)
In a large bowl, cream together olive oil, sugar, vanilla, and mashed sweet potato. Add 1 cup of dried cranberries. Beat in egg. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
Chill for a minimum of 2 hours.
Begin to roll out doughnuts with floured hands, about 1 tablespoon at time, rolling them into a ball. Press a finger through the center to make a hole. Arrange on a prepared cookie sheet.
Bake in a 350 oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
Mix together topping ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon glaze over warm doughnuts.
Note on Freezing Doughnuts: Wrap individual doughnuts in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight freezer bag. They freeze best for 2 to 3 months, but will freeze well beyond that.