A Fresh Dille

twice the pumpkin, twice the fun

Posted in FOOD, SHOPPING, VEGAN by clairedille on November 11, 2010

Pumpkin is one way I’ve been reminding myself it is fall since being in LA.

Yesterday, I couldn’t resist a little dark chocolate, since I was still without my nut butter of choice, almond butter. The chocolate did top a little peanut butter though. I needed my nuts in some way or another.

I also drank some delicious Fair Trade coffee out of the Peerless Coffee mug V got me while visiting his family in the San Francisco. That was about as close to San Francisco I got for the Foodbuzz Festival. I may have needed some cheering up and energy. Afterwards I realized I have been coffee-less since the road trip. I guess I just don’t need it when not working or driving cross-country. Still, my body isn’t full adjusted to Pacific Time yet and I have a hard time waking up past 6. Of course V’s early call times might have something to do with it. We tend to fall asleep just after 10 o’clock most week nights…

I yoga’d a little before getting to business or as close to as it I’ve come these last few weeks. Waiting for things to happen is certainly nerve-wrecking , but I had the perfect afternoon lunch planned to distract myself a little…

with the lovely Lynn of The Actor’s Diet. For lunch, she picked out Sante La Brea, a cute and rustic place with a relaxing vibe and lots of vegan fare. The menu really catered anyone, and this is something I am already really appreciating about LA restaurants.

Although breakfast served all day was appealing (I’ll be sure to return for the organic vegan cornmeal pancakes with blueberries and banana), we both craved a sandwich. Whenever a sandwich is served panini style, I am all for it. I’ve been wanting a panini press for much too long so I had to get my fix somehow. We both went with the BLT with tempeh bacon and avocado. Yes, I’ve been eating these at home. Yes, I am still loving them.

Don’t get me wrong, this was good, just not the best BLTA I’ve ever had.

me, courtesy of Lynn and her wrap-up post.

The half sandwich, half salad combo was ideal though, because I really am a sucker for vegan desserts.

I’m not your typical cake lover, but when I saw the Jack-o-lantern cake on the menu (and waiter recommended), I was down. Pumpkin twice in one day is a little too heavenly to pass up. Pumpkin frosting, enough said. When the cake came, Lynn split it down the middle and we shared this beauty. The cake wasn’t exactly fluffy and I read the menu again realizing olive oil was the fat of choice in the cake part. The best layers were the two dark gingerbread-types spiced with allspice and nutmeg. It really hit the spot.

It was such a wonderful lunch with a new foodie LA friend. I also came home with a goodie bag I will share later! Check out her post for more photos of Sante La Brea. Oh, and a few words about vegan food satiety; I was full for so long, that I had to force myself to eat the veggie sushi I picked up from Whole Foods for dinner. It must have been the cake…

After parting ways, I ventured over to the LA outpost of one of my favorite NYC stores, Opening Ceremony. It was dangerous really. I fell in love with the Sunday’s Best rings, and many shoes and bags I can’t quite afford. I torture myself so. I will be doing some more today with a best friend who moved out here 6 months before I.  Therefore, I must go and fuel myself for some LA adventures. Hopefully I can convince her to go to one of the restaurants/cafes on my LA vegan-friendly restaurant list. I promise I will share a more complete one soon.

Other things:

-Are you a cake person? Do you prefer fluffy cakes or heartier desserts?

-Do you let yourself window-shop? Do you find it much too torturous? Who am I kidding, I definitely try things on sometimes too…



Posted in FITNESS, FOOD, WORK by clairedille on October 21, 2010

As mentioned in the last few posts, I have had to make a big life decision rather quickly and here it is: I am moving to Los Angeles. There is no real rush because I am not yet signed on my next project, (hello freelance life) so I have decided to drive west. V had to leave abruptly for a series, but we’ve been talking about possibly moving to LA for the winter, since the Detroit film industry definitely dies down in the winter months. Last year we were out west for just a month or so, but this year we will probably stay longer. Who knows, maybe we will stay out there since our lease runs out right after the new year. He is a California boy and I am most definitely a New Yorker, but I do love the state of California after spending my middle school years there. Another perk is that I will be able to run outdoors all through the winter. Yes, that is a real reason I am excited. The hiking, biking, year-long farmer’s markets…it is all so appealing. LA is also home to many of my favorite vegetarian and veggie friendly restaurants. I can’t wait for some delicious M Cafe and visiting more restaurants that I have yet to eat at. Although I miss all my friends and family in New York dearly, there are a few of my college friends in LA, and my brother, who I haven’t lived close to in 10 years.

I’ve never driven that far solo, and am lucky enough to have persuaded my mother to travel halfway with me. In preparation, I have spent the last few days at the parents, organizing plans and routes. This morning, I was happy to find some irish steel-cut oats in their pantry and many honeycrisp apples in the fridge. On the stove top, I mixed in some organic light coconut milk (another parent’s pantry find), half a banana, chia seeds, and ground flaxseed (I came with the chia but they already had flax).  When I couldn’t find any vanilla, I searched the spice rack and sure enough, found vanilla beans. I scraped half a bean into the oats while still cooking and heated up half an apple sprinkled with cinnamon on another burner. I’ve mentioned before, but I love cooking at my parents because they have an amazing old AGA stove.

They also have my favorite latte bowls (I have the little ones for prepping) in every color imaginable. My mother and I both have an affinity for kitchen goods, and she made sure to show me her recent finds and gifts (thanks to my lovely Aunt for picking up an olive tree cutting board while in Italy).

Since I’m currently working on emptying out my fridge, I brought over leftover roasted veggies. The parents always have veggie burgers in the freezer in case I come for a visit, which I used to round out a lunch.

While the car was getting a check up for the road trip ahead, I stopped in the local gourmet market for a snack. This Pure NRG bar is made just a few miles from my parents home. Usually I am not a fan of carob, and opt for pure dark chocolate, but this bar really surprised me. Maybe it was the coconut flour and flakes, but I didn’t find the carob overwhelming at all and actually enjoyed it.

When dinner rolled around, I centered it around the dumpling squash I also had picked up while out. Oh, and there were GT’s Kombucha too! That needs to be mentioned since there have been months of an unplanned Kombucha famine.

Isn’t she beautiful? She is local and organic too.

The other component I wanted to use was the lacinato (or  dinasour) kale my father picked up at the farmer’s market on Sunday from my favorite organic farmer.

The kale was sautéed with this stoneground Inglehoffer mustard and I loved it. Wanting to eat with my parents, I threw together this local and tasty dinner for one in a hurry. I roasted the squash in the highest oven of the AGA to cut down the cooking time and used Michigan’s eden baked beans (organic and bpa free) to fill the squash.

Other things going on in my kitchen:

The two pie pumpkins on my counter needed to be roasted before I leave. I sliced and deseeded them, and then baked them for about an hour at 350 degrees. All I wanted was some simple pumpkin puree for morning oats.

I see some pumpkin oats taking over my morning meals these last four days I am in the midwest.

Other things:

Considering I had taken off most of the summer from running, I started slow and with low mileage. Unfortunately it might not have been little enough, because instead of aggravating my consistent left shin or foot problems, I have a new-to-me pain. Although I’ve heard the words “IT Band Syndrome” before, this is a first for me. The pain has appeared on the outer side of my right knee on each run. Even just running 3-4 days a week, totaling 10-15 miles, I feel pain. Honestly, I’ve been doing most of my runs on a treadmill because Detroit isn’t necessarily the safest city to run alone in. I’m hoping that running outdoors on dirt and grass will help it heal.

Other strategies to let it heal:

– Cross training to keep building my endurance

IT Band stretching

Walking breaks during runs

Ice Massage

If you have any advice, I’d really appreciate it.

Thanks for all the brownie advice on my last post. I am thinking I might have to wait a little before baking some fudgy brownies, but I can’t wait.

How do you keep your attitude positive when sidelined by an injury early into training? There were a few half and full marathons I’ve really been intrigued by and I don’t want to write them off yet. At the same time, it is pretty discouraging to be caught off guard by this new injury so early in my training. Of course I am not a doctor, and am not sure that it is ITBS, but the pain does nag in that general area. I even feel pain going down the stairs.

What is your favorite road trip food? Do you pack sandwiches, fruit, bars, etc? Do you stop places? So far, I am stopping in Des Moines, IA, Denver, CO (to see a best friend and get my mom on a flight home), and Richfield or St. George, UT (anyone know which is better?).

Have a grand week!

good bars vs. bad bars

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on October 15, 2010

A few days ago, I found myself with a cold I couldn’t shake off. But when Danielle told me she would be stopping in Michigan for a day, I knew that I wanted to drive to Ann Arbor to see her. It was the perfect excuse to “feel better,” try a vegetarian restaurant I had yet to visit, and meet a friend I feel like I have known for a few years. My blog began over two years ago after studying abroad in the Netherlands and traveling around Europe. Around that time, I found Danielle’s blog, where she often wrote about traveling, food, and many things I love. Since both of our blogs origin’s, our lives have changed tremendously, and it was great to finally meet her in person. Her drive across the country has been well documented on her blog, and I am so envious. She has been to many American cities I have yet to explore  these last six weeks and it was wonderful hearing her go on about each one.

I had to whip up a batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies to give her for the last leg of her drive. Who wouldn’t want a big fresh chocolate chip cookie on a road trip? Hopefully she doesn’t get chocolate on the steering wheel.

Ann Arbor, home of University of Michigan, is probably my favorite small city in Michigan. It doesn’t just feel like your typical college town, but has a lot of charm, artistic venues, and good places to eat. Seva was a place I’ve known about for a while. Since moving back to Michigan, I have learned about every vegetarian restaurant in the state. Of course I can eat at most restaurants, but the state really lacks vegan friendly restaurants compared to all the other places I’ve lived in my life. It is a good thing that I love to cook because I really do miss the cafe’s and restaurants of New York, Boston, and Amsterdam.

Naturally, I was more than happy to try Seva for the first time. Upon arrival, I was greeted by  smile from Danielle and a delicious glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Although I wanted to try a wine flight, as Danielle did, I still had a 45 minute drive home. Food-wise, we both felt like stir fry’s, which may not have been the best decision. She opted for a stir fry from the Special Menu:

Thai Style Stir Fry Stir-fried broccoli, red & yellow peppers, mushrooms, mung sprouts, carrots and green onions served over organic brown rice with a Thai-inspired sauce of coconut milk, lime juice, garlic, ginger, chili, fresh cilantro and ground pistachios, garnished with sesame seeds.

It may have been the lack of my usual taste buds due to my cold, but her dish was deceptively bland for supposedly including creamy coconut milk, garlic, ginger, chili, and cilantro.

My choice was the Cilantro Peanut Stir FryStir-fried broccoli, red & yellow peppers, mushrooms, mung sprouts, carrots and green onions with a spicy cilantro-peanut-ginger-lime sauce, over organic brown rice, with roasted peanuts.

There were many different dishes on the menu that sounded tasty, but I think we both went with what we assumed were “safe bets.” I’ve done this at other veggie restaurants in the past, with both failure and success. My dish wasn’t awful, but I honestly felt I could have created the same stir fry myself at home with a little more flavor. The ginger was the most abundant flavor in my dish, and I am feeling much better now, maybe because of it.

Before saying our goodbye’s, Danielle gave me a few of Angela’s Glo Bars (store site here). I’ve been wanting to try these for quite a while now, so it was such a wonderful gift.

I’ve enjoyed both flavors in the last two days and am pretty sure that it was the caffeine in the Empower bar that kept me going during my run today.

After a somewhat bland meal on Wednesday night, I craved a meal with Indian flavors the night after.

Cauliflower is V’s vegetable of choice, and sweet potatoes are mine, which meant that this was a meal that was sure to please both of us. Flipping through the October issue of Vegetarian Times, I found a recipe for Indian stuffed Flat Breads that were filled with coriander spiced onion and jalapeno peppers. I probably shouldn’t have healthified them with spelt flour, but I was out of all-purpose and hoped spelt would suffice. Although tasty, they were rather heavy and not as satisfying as a pillowy piece of Naan (need to make these ASAP).

We dipped them in roasted red pepper hummus,  but both agreed a curry would have been the best accompaniment. Too bad I already had kale chips and roasted veggies in the oven. I just wasn’t in the mood to slave over the stove creating a warm curry. However, I was very happy with the result of the vegetables we did end up with.

Indian Spiced Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes


1 large cauliflower, chopped

1 large sweet potato, chopped

2 shallots (or 1/2 onion), minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T oil (I used grapeseed)

1 t ginger

1 t cumin

1 t coriander

1/2 t turmeric

1/2 t cayenne

1/2 t garam masala

1 t salt

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat large baking sheet with cooking spray or parchment paper.

-In a large mixing bowl, mix chopped vegetables with oil. Then add spices and mix well.

-Pour onto baking sheet and roast 30-35 minutes, until vegetables are turning brown, but are still firm.

Of course, there have been oats in my life these past few days.

Yesterday’s were steel-cut oats that I made my usual way with almond milk, half a banana, and chia seeds. Before taking them off the stove top, I mixed in some roasted maple cinnamon almond butter and then topped them with and half and end of season peach, strawberries, and oats from my apple crumble topping. I must have been missing summer fruit.

Last night I made Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats again with a mix of rolled and quick oats.

My batch differed in quantities than before, so here it is:

  • 1/4 cup organic quick oats
  • 2 T rolled oats
  • 2 T coconut milk yogurt (leftovers from cake recipe)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t molasses
  • 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 t chia seeds
  • 1 t ground flax seeds
  • pinch of salt

In the morning I mixed in half a sliced banana, T of raisins, and a small spoonful of both pumpkin butter and raw almond butter. What a lovely way to start the day this was.

Then I had the grand plan of making homemade granola bars. I don’t want to place blame, but all was well until V insisted I add Spirulina. Word of advice: if something smells remarkably seaweedy, don’t add it to a somewhat sweet recipe.

This all looks like it has potential right?

Not so much.

This black-green-brown granola bar was something I couldn’t even eat. Just one Tablespoon of this amazing source of B vitamins ruined my granola bars. I could tell post mixing, when I was left with a bowl of black covered oats. The cocoa powder, brown rice syrup, and peanut butter couldn’t mask the flavor. I think V is in denial about it because he refuses to claim to taste it. Lets just say I have wrapped them up very well in parchment paper and a glass tupperware so that I can keep my distance. Maybe he will be stubborn enough and make his way through them, but I doubt it.

To make up for a few kitchen flops, I have some yummy meal ideas for the weekend and potential life changes on the horizon that I would love to discuss on the blog if all goes well. In the meantime, lets discuss brownies since I haven’t made them in a long time.

-Do you have a favorite brownie recipe? Do you stick with a classic or add in some interesting ingredients like pumpkin, black beans, applesauce?

-Have you tried making brownies with a different flour than all-purpose?

-Oh, and favorite granola bar recipe out there? I know you have some to share… chocolate chips, cherries, walnuts, peanut butter…all good places to start.

happy friday! have a lovely weekend!

pumpkins and apples, oh my.

Posted in FOOD, SHOPPING, VEGAN by clairedille on October 10, 2010

Heading to the Detroit Farmer’s Market always worries me. I am used to local, seasonal markets and the inner city market tends to be full of vendors selling “Idaho Potatoes” and berries still in their plastic grocery store packages. It really takes some investigating to find the actual local organic produce, and honestly, it is scarce. I feel better heading to Whole Foods, knowing that I will come home with a full bounty of organic fruit and vegetables. The smaller suburban markets (and maybe Ann Arbor, I have yet to go) are the ones with more local farm vendors, but I still try to give the Detroit Market a chance every once in a while.

I don’t think it is bell pepper season anymore…but pumpkins and squash, yes please.

Our loot was butternut squash, brussel sprouts, beets, and some of these little guys:

V is a California boy with a Texan family history. He picked up some Aloe to make our little garden complete.

Before venturing into pie or galette making, I decided to make an upside down apple cake. As I am not much of a fluffy cake lover, I went with a more dense cake with grapeseed oil and walnuts. V raved about it and I woke up to about 2/3 of it missing this morning. The recipe was from a favorite site, La Tartine Gourmande (check out her stunning photography as well). I made the following changes:  three flax eggs instead of eggs, grapeseed oil instead of olive, whole wheat pastry flour instead of gluten-free flours, and coconut milk yogurt instead of dairy yogurt. I tasted some this morning and loved the crispy crust-like edges and soft walnut studded interior.

Pumpkin Pie pancakes were made again.

There is also some cookie cravings going on in this loft. I usually make small batches of cookies and forget that I no longer live alone and should probably make more for two stomachs. First, I must make a trek for some vanilla after finishing it off this morning…

Other things:

-Do you find that you seem to go through vanilla, cinnamon, or other baking ingredients much quicker than the average person?

-Are you a fluffy cake person? Do you prefer other desserts?

have I mentioned my stripe obsession?

Posted in FASHION, FOOD, SHOPPING, VEGAN by clairedille on October 9, 2010

So, I don’t know if you’ve realized, but I have a minor admiration for all things striped. These are about half of my striped tops and tunics.

It is hard for me to stay away from striped scarves, tea towels, sheets, etc.

Here are a few striped looks I fancy.

sources: mrnewton.net, turnedout.tv, hanneli.com

Some striped finds:

This long sleeve drapey striped shirt from topshop.

This t shirt dress by RVCA with big bold stripes.

This cropped sweater with lovely dark grey wide stripes.

This LNA striped collared shirtdress (with leggings or tights for the cooler months).

West Elm’s striped sheet set (alright, ours aren’t so different).

A gray and white striped tray for treats.

In honor of my love for stripes, here are my morning oats on stripes.

Just another bowl of pumpkin Scottish oats with chia seeds, banana, pumpkin butter, and raw almond butter. It was so satisfying before a day of farmer’s marketing and baking.

Other things:

-Do you have any aesthetically pleasing obsessions?

apples & doughnuts.

Posted in FAMILY, FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on October 8, 2010

During high school cross-country season, I always looked forward to the one run we made to the cider mill. We would drive a few cars over to leave parked in the parking lot so that our stomachs wouldn’t be filled  with apples, cider, and apple cider doughnuts on a run home. The run there was about four and a half miles, but the best part was that instead of running with the few other top runners, I could have a more relaxing run with the entire team following. The warm bag of cider doughnuts I would bring home for my family were so tasty and reminded me of the small cake-y doughnuts my mom chose once a summer when we would go to Humphrey’s on Martha’s Vineyard. I was always a doughnut hole girl myself as a child. We only went 1-2 times a summer and never throughout the year, so it wasn’t until high school that I realized that I might also enjoy the more cake-y variety of doughnut. I was more than willing to take V for his first cider mill trip to the Franklin Cider Mill today (okay, I may have begged him).

Of course I made sure to get in some fuel for the trip and switched up my usual warm oats for Angela’s Pumpkin Pie Vegan Overnight Oats. I mixed in half a banana and topped it with some crumbled banana bread and melted roasted maple cinnamon almond butter. Considering the temps were up today, the colder breakfast was fitting and I was delighted with every spoonful.

But there were apples, cider, and doughnuts to get to…

The empire apples have a frosted look I am enchanted by. Other great news is that all the apples are organic.

And I was told they were perfect for baking. I’ve been very anti- fruit dessert my whole life. This was probably because my father was entirely pro- fruit dessert and I needed another reason to rebel against his food and make things difficult like that. After seeing Ashley’s post about pie and Nicole’s Galette, I’ve been inspired to change that. Seeing that apples are a fruit I eat almost daily on their own, I can’t imagine I wouldn’t be smitten with an apple dessert.

V asked why I didn’t clean them and honestly, I like the way they look with this matte-like finish.

The other two we picked up were Jonathan (the two on the left) and Honeycrisp (two on the right). I wanted some Jonathan for baking as well, but V made sure to squeeze in a few Honeycrisp for snacking after an employee let him sample one. Little did he know that I already had a few at home in the fridge from a recent farmer’s market trip.

The Franklin Cider Mill Apple Cider is made with Honeycrisp apples and I found it pretty sweet. I prefer my fruit juice mixed with some veggies, but I am sure it will go wonderful with some sparkling water.

But more about the doughnuts. Due to the fact that I am now vegan, I decided to opt out on eating one and got a few for my family and V. Instead, I have some work cut out for me:

Smitten Kitchen’s Apple Cider Doughnuts (not vegan, but beautiful!)

A Dash of Compassion’s Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts (okay, I need a muffin pan, but these sound easy enough)

Herbivore Dinasour’s Apple Cider Doughnuts (using a cookie cutter is right up my alley)

The Gluttonous Vegan’s Apple Cider Doughnuts with Cinnamon Sugar (fried, but I’m sure they are worth it)

Vegetarian’s Times Mini Apple Cider Doughnuts (cause you gotta’ throw in the Veg. Times for good measure and the mini doughnut pan is too much fun)

So there you have it, instead of writing about running as I planned for today, I mostly spoke of apples and doughnuts. Hope you didn’t mind. Now I have some dinner to attend to.

Other things:

-What is your favorite variety of apple? Apple dessert?

-What are your thoughts on doughnuts? Do you like yeast or cake doughnuts more? I’ve never had a dunkin /commercial brand, but I am pretty sure I’m not missing out on much.

Hope you have a splendid weekend!

all about it.

Posted in FOOD, MAGAZINES, VEGAN by clairedille on October 6, 2010

I would love to say that I am completely phased by the abundance of pumpkin all over the blog world, but really, it is quite the opposite. Today I headed over to Trader Joe’s just to pick up some in fear I may run out in the near future. In the last few days I have had pumpkin oats, pumpkin pie smoothies, and yes, even baked with it. I am glad to know that I am not the only one who eats pumpkin a few times in a day. Enter, pumpkin chocolate chip scones.

Since the cookies I made vanished pretty quickly and I had at least half a bag of vegan chocolate chips left, I wanted to add them to the mix. Although I have never really been a scone person, my british father tends to be a fan so I thought I would give them another go.

The recipe I used is a mixture of Allie’s and Tina’s. Instead of writing a recipe remarkably similar to the two wonderful ones I just mentioned, I will tell you some of the changes I may have made. Like Allie, I used 2 cups of flour (a mixture of spelt and whole wheat pastry) and 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree. Like Tina, I used 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 Tablespoons of earth balance butter. The rest was rather typical for a scone recipe: baking powder, baking soda, salt, and some milk.

What would I change?

More butter and sweetener. Honestly, they were great when eaten warm with some earth balance or almond butter on top, but I should have upped the fat when baking like Allie since Tina’s recipe had 1/2 cup less flour. They were definitely enjoyed though and I won’t give up on scones yet. I just feel as though I may be more of a muffin/quickbread person.

Other things:

-The Marie Claire article really has taken over the “healthy living” blogs and I don’t really have much to chime in on because I think all sides of the topic have been spoken about quite thoroughly. However, I do feel compassion for the bloggers who were interviewed and then unfairly quoted out of context. The truth is within their blog posts and their readership should never diminish, but only grow. Did you feel like it needed to be written or was it just cruel and unfair of the author to not let these great women know what the article was truly about?

I am not an every meal blogger or even every day or week blogger. I know that there are times where I may lose readership because life gets in the way, but I choose to continue blogging because of the great community. There are so many kind comments and other blogs that inspire me every day. I hope it continues to thrive (although overwhelming at times) and be a place for women (and men) to feel a sense of community. Some may say blogging is obsessive, but we all have them. I love food. I love fashion. I love running. I love traveling. These are things I let myself be obsessed with…because, quite frankly, why not?

-On a lighter note, do you like scones? Have any recipes (favorite combinations) you want to share?

autumnal mornings.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on September 26, 2010

Although I have been raving about all the fall produce making its way into farmer’s markets & grocery stores, I must admit the sadness that also comes when I can no longer find some of my favorite summer goods at the market. Of course it is partly my fault that I am holding onto my dear peaches, berries, and sungold tomatoes for fear of finishing them. You see, I didn’t manage to arrive at the farmer’s market on saturday until 15 minutes prior to closing. Fortunately, some stalls weren’t completely closed up and I still made it out with kale, cucumbers, zucchini, and raspberries. After circling a few times, I realized I missed the peaches and apples I was most eager to come home with.

The peaches from the week before are on their last leg, but I’ve been decreasing the quantity in each serving of steel or scottish oats each morning to keep savoring the summer flavor.

One day I made delicious coconut milk steel-cut oats with chia seeds, cinnamon and vanilla topped with peaches and naturally nutty cinnamon vanilla sunflower butter. It has been a few months since I last ate the sweet, frosting-like nut butter, and I was reminded how wonderful it was.

Today, I woke up with ideas of raspberry and peach flecked scottish oats. These were cooked in the usual way, with unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. The raw almond butter, one of my favorites, made it extra tasty.

Although our blueberries are now gone, I can’t forget my summer combo of choice, peach and blueberry topped oats. The only meal I often had time to prepare for work was this combination. Again, raw almond butter made an appearance on the cinnamon-vanilla-chia-almond milk steel-cut oats.

Although I had oats for breakfast hours before, I wanted to make V some pumpkin pancakes to celebrate the end of the movie he has been working on every week night since July.

When finding the trader joe’s pumpkin yesterday, I knew it was going to be a pancake day today. Isn’t that what sunday’s are for (and it just happens to be national pancake day) ?

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

1 cup spelt flour

1 t baking powder

2 T sucanat (or other sweetener)

1 t chia seeds (or flax)

1/2 t pumpkin pie spice

1 cup nut milk (I used a mix of almond and light coconut milk)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 banana, sliced (optional)

-Heat a large pan over medium heat.

-Mix flour, baking powder, sweetener, chia seeds, and spices.

-Add milk to well mixed dry ingredients.

-Stir in pumpkin and add optional nuts and banana slices.

-Coat pan with cooking spray and pour 1/4 cup sized pancakes onto the warm surface. Cook 2-3 minutes each side.

-Serve warm topped with earth balance and maple syrup.

V ate the majority but I was able to steal one away for myself that I topped with some earth balance and real maple syrup. These were some of the best pancakes I’ve ever tasted. Although cooked through, they were still soft in the middle from the pumpkin and the crunchy walnut flavor melded wonderfully.

I hope you enjoyed some of my recent breakfasts. The next post will be dedicated to the more savory dishes I’ve been eating.

Now, it is time to head out for an early dinner at my favorite nearby pub with local produce. Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend.

Other things:

I can’t wait to make this delicious sounding pizza hummus. Do you have a preferred spin on classic hummus flavors?

There is still close to 6 months until my next birthday, but I think I just found my next birthday cake recipe. Peanut butter and chocolate, yes please. What is your cake of choice? Instead of typical fluffy cake, I always opt for a more mousse like dessert with chocolate.

What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin? I think pancakes might just be mine. Yes, the muffins were truly great, but pancakes really do it for me.

so long summer

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on September 22, 2010

This blogging hiatus was never meant to last quite this long but instead of going on about the working days of my summer, instead I want to celebrate the new season. Autumn has always been my season of choice. The cross-country seasons of my life took over most of my Fall in high school and college, and I spent hours each week crunching the leaves as I ran miles on pavement, grass, woodchips, etc. Since my 16 hour day shooting days have come to an end (at least for the time being), I was surprised to realize summer had passed me by yet again. Previous summers have been like this, working in the extreme heat with no time to enjoy the sunshine by the beach. Yes, I am envious of my family and friends who got to do so, but now I am excited for a little life break right as autumn begins.

The perfect start to the season.

Pumpkin baked goods really do it for me. I am sure they do it for you too.

Instead of searching for a recipe I hadn’t previously tried, I stuck with a PPK recipe for cinnamon raisin quick bread I once made into muffins before. The only switches I made to the tasty recipe was swapping the applesauce with organic canned pumpkin and the apple juice with hot water. The hot water plumps up the raisins before mixing them into the thick bread batter. They turned out wonderfully.

Today I realized that the end of summer also means the end of peach season. I can’t tell you how much this saddens me. Peaches have made my painfully early mornings a little more enjoyable each day.

Yesterday I made scottish oats with almond milk, banana, cinnamon, and vanilla that I then topped with almond butter, peaches, and figs.

Todays oats were steel-cut cooked with almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and banana topped with peaches, blueberries, and almond butter. I have four more farmer’s market peaches I picked up on the way to my last filming day on Saturday. I might cry when I finish the last one.

What fruit or vegetable are you sad to see diminishing with the end of the summer season?

What fruit or vegetable are you most excited about for fall?

I promise I won’t be gone so long this time.

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