Tag Archives: fall

Drunken Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies


Are you drunk enough on pumpkin yet? Yeah, I didn’t think so. At least, your answer should have been no. I am here to change that.

Yes kitten! I made this batch of cookies just for you!

This is the second batch of cookies I have baked with a stout beer in the mix. It gives the batter an interesting fluffy texture and makes the cookies poof up in the end. You can smell a hint of it when you bite into these, especially with the added in fleur de sel to enhance the chocolate notes. Think of a pillowy pumpkin raisin cookie but with chocolate chunks, pumpkin seeds, and salt chunks instead.

I had to do quite a bit of tweaking with this batch, but it all worked out in the end (as it usually does). I had to be conservative on the liquid, and add in a bit of whole wheat flour to soak up the excess moisture. Additionally, I would recommend sticking the bowl of batter in the fridge for about a half hour to make it easier to scoop up the batter and form the shape you want. I obviously didn’t do that, but feel free to do whatever you please. I’ve become way less OCD as of late.

Eat these with a glass of pumpkin beer! You’ll get drunk off of drunken pumpkin goodness for sure!

Drunken Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes 30 cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin flavored syrup (optional)
  • 1 cup stout (ie. Guinness, Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal)
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chunks
  • fleur de sel, for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 325° with rack in the oven’s center. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars on medium speed until thoroughly blended.
  4. Add eggs, vanilla and pumpkin syrup, and beat on low speed until combined. Add dry mixture until combined, then add stout in small amounts. Mix in seeds and chocolate chunks.
  5. Spoon onto cookie sheet. Sprinkle a few chunks of fleur de sel on top of the cookies and bake about 14 minutes or until golden brown.


The Side Yard: Portland, OR


This last Sunday morning I had the great pleasure of being able to photograph and take part in (aka. devour) the beautifully crafted autumnal brunch dishes of Stacey Givens, owner of the Side Yard farm. Stacey began her organic urban farm in 2009, and ever since has been a supplier for local restaurants (Ned Ludd, Veritable Quandary), and regularly holds brunch supper clubs featuring her homegrown seasonal produce. In addition, she provides cooking classes and workshops on occasion. See previous and upcoming events here!

It was a beautiful fall rainy day and we were protected by a white sheet tent in the side yard (yep) of her farm, accompanied by warm and bubbly beverages and lovely company. I met some really wonderful people. I was spoiled with fantastic food. Everything was awesome. A great time was had by all.

The three course meal was absolutely spectacular. I was in foodie photography heaven.Let me lay it out for you.

1. Sweets

Pumpkin hot cakes. Pomegranate. Poached pear. Bacon fat cream cheese. Spice maple syrup.

2. Fall Hash

Hard cider braised pork. Yukons. Celeriac. Collard greens. Horseradish mustard seed creme. Farm fried egg.

3. Farm Benedict

House made crumpet. Charred brussels. Chanterelles. Braised escarole. Hollandaise. Poached farm egg.

*Not to forget the mimosas and the best coffee I’ve ever had by Ristretto Roasters (and I never drink caffeine)!

You guys, it was to die for. I’m telling you. I had such a blast taking these pictures! If you live in PDX, you must go. Please support her awesomeness and all of the awesomeness she does.

Here’s a sneak peak of the upcoming brunch next weekend!

fall crepes.
mike’s figs. chevre. local walnuts & honey

farm hash.
sweet potatoes. braised short ribs. roasted quince. shrooms. sorrel. jus

breaky sando.
buttermilk cheddar biscuit. dad’s fried chicken. farm egg. green tomato jam. spicy greens

 And it looks like I’ll be the “official” farm photographer! Will take pictures for food!

Photo Walks: In The ‘Hood


I live in such a gorgeous place, especially this time of year in the fall. My neighborhoods’ streets are full of trees transforming their colors and losing their leaves. I decided this past week that I will make more of a point to get out of my apartment in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings more often to go on little photo walks in this area. There are many reasons why this will be great: #1, I will become better acquainted with my neighborhood and what’s in my surroundings, #2, I’ll get many great new photo ops, and #3, it’s a little exercise and a reason to get out and get some fresh air.

What’s especially great is that Halloween is just around the corner! The craftsman houses around here are absolutely stunning, and it’ll give me an even better excuse to take pictures of them when there are cute pumpkins and ghoulish decor and spiderwebs on their front porches. If I’m too old to trick or treat, at least I can take pictures!

More coming soon!

Soft Chocolate Stout Cookies


If you’re anything like me, you too probably have hundreds (or maybe even thousands!) Pinterest recipes pinned onto your boards. My baking board has 224 pins on it at the moment, and the general food(ie) category… 484.

Someday I will make all of these recipes, yes? (psst, here are my boards if you’re interested–let’s be pinning friends!)

I know you’re just as highly ambitious as I am.

That being said, fall is here. And it’s time to get down to business. This is my absolute favorite time of year to cook and bake, so I have a feeling I’ll be chipping away at a majority of those recipes in these upcoming months.

Here’s one that I found over the weekend when I was in the mood for chocolate, and perhaps the easiness and simplicity of baking a batch of cookies. Chocolate cookies with stout in them. Y-U-M.

I had all of the ingredients on hand (also a huge plus when I’m trying to decide on what to make) so I went ahead and did it, and absolutely do not regret it. Between my boyfriend and I, we’ve eaten over half the batch in two days.

The stout adds a spectacular new dimension of flavor, almost something you would never expect. I’ve done chocolate stout cupcakes before, but typically those recipes only call for about 1/4 cup of beer or so, nearly undetectable in the floury texture of the cake. But not in this. 3/4 of a cup, baby, chock full of chocolatey stout goodness.

Definitely a keeper, I’d say. Next time I can’t wait to try it out with a pumpkin stout and add a bit of spice to the mix!

Soft Chocolate Stout Cookies

Adapted from Butter Me Up, Brooklyn

Makes 18-24 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal stout, ie. Samuel Smith’s (my absolute FAVORITE! plus you’ll have some leftover for drinking, too ;))
  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powders, salt, baking soda, baking powder and chocolate chips. In a larger bowl, beat the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy. Add the molasses, vanilla and egg and beat well. Alternate the flour and the beer with the egg mixture until combined.
  2. Chill the dough for about 30 minutes, or until it has firmed up enough to scoop out cookies, and meanwhile toward the end of chilling time, preheat the oven to 350° F. Scoop on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes or until the top springs back lightly when touched. Cool completely and devour.

Pumpkin Chocolate Milkshake


You might be able to get an idea by now that pumpkin time is my favorite time. I will do anything to get my hands on anything related to the notion of pumpkin. To get an idea, this was me one year ago raiding Target:

Pumpkin eggos, almonds, cookie mixes, cream cheese, yogurt, puree… you name it, I found it. Definitely a pumpkin extravaganza made in heaven.

So basically, what I’m saying is don’t get too surprised if all I talk about is pumpkin around here for the next few months (and until the end of time). I will pumpkin your face out.

This milkshake is exactly what your heart desires. Vanilla bean, pumpkin spice, that earthy, comforting squash flavor, and a bit of chocolate. And whipped cream. Hello!

Pumpkin Chocolate Milkshake

Makes 1 shake for you and you only! but of course make them for your friends, too 😉

  • 3/4 cup vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • pre-made chocolate syrup (such as Hershey’s)
  • whipped cream, optional
  • cacao nibs, optional
  1. In a decently sized tall glass, drizzle some of the chocolate syrup around the glass to make a random, “spiderwebbed” look.
  2. Blend together the ice cream, pumpkin puree, milk, and spice until smooth.
  3. Pour into glass. Top with whipped cream and nibs! I hope you enjoy!

Owl Pumpkin Cakes


What happens when you combine owls and pumpkins? A massive explosion of love and goodness happens.

At least in my eyes…

More like these mini owl pumpkin cakes. But really, a massive explosion of love and goodness, too.

Owls and pumpkins are meant to be together. Especially at this time of year. And they happen to be two of my favorite things that exist on this planet.

When I found this owl mold “muffin” tin at Cost Plus last week, I was ecstatic. I had no idea what in the world I would do with it, but I knew it would be something good. Chocolates? Cakes? Muffins? Jello? The possibilities are endless.

It’s hard to beat hand-held bite-sized pumpkin bread loaves shaped into a little owl, though…

Perfect for a Halloween party, crafting party, owl-themed birthday party, or any reason at all!

Owl Pumpkin Cakes

Adapted from BHG Pumpkin Bread, Fall Baking 2012 Issue

Makes 24 mini loaves

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 7-8 oz. (about half a 15 oz. can) pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray cooking spray on the owl pan; set aside. In an extra-large bowl combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs; beat well. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and salt. Alternately add flour mixture and the water to the sugar mixture, beating on low speed just until combined. Beat in pumpkin.
  3. Drop batter evenly into pans, about 2/3 full (will puff up a lot!). Bake 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. You will only be able to make 12 the first time, and then make the remaining after the first batch is done (that is, of course, if you only buy one pan).
  4. Flip pan over onto wire racks and let cool. Store in an air-tight container!

Lovely Things, Lately


Can you believe today is the last day of summer? I’m a little bit in disbelief. But I am oh so happy it is feeling like fall out there! The last 2 days have finally gotten down into the low 60s and it has been grey and overcast out. THIS is the kind of Portland weather I have been waiting for! I feel like a new woman. It was 90 plus degrees last weekend, and every window in my apartment was open. For the first time in 3 months since I’ve been living here, I was so cold I finally had to shut my windows yesterday. It has been so nice and cozy in my apartment with a pumpkin candle burning, snuggling with the kitty, roasting delicious winter squash in the oven, looking up lots of yummy fall recipes to make… I love the feel of fall in the air.

In other news, and it’s a bit of late news to my blog (better late than never, right?), but I am now officially a licensed dental hygienist in the state of Oregon! I finally got the news last Friday. That little piece of paper… the things I did to get that. It’s wild when I begin to think about it. All of the hurdles jumped over, road blocks, the moments (many, many moments) when I questioned my success and my abilities… it all turned out. I’m still in shock. So. Much. Stress. Like I’ve said many times, and will continue to say the rest of my life, that was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. But it’ll pay off. Right? Kylie RDH here I come!

That night we celebrated with dinner from Bollywood and drinks at the Bye & Bye.

Getting ready for job hunting.

Lovely dahlias from last Saturday’s farmers market at PSU. I’m so sad the season is almost over!

Capi saying good morning to all of the other window kitties.

I recently discovered my new favorite loose tea ever. Whole Foods carries Ayurvedic tea blends specified to balance each dosha and I recently picked up a few ounces of “Pitta”. Sure enough, there are the cooling herbs in there like mint and dried whole roses, and I’m not sure what else, but it’s amazingly delicious! I’m addicted!

Also, I finally found Shock Top’s seasonal pumpkin wheat ale! STOKED! I think I still prefer TJ’s seasonal one a bit better but it’s still nice, crisp and light. Speaking of which, where is that stuff? It should be out any day now…

I’ve been (finally) crafting together my collection of magazine recipes into a binder! I’m organizing them by magazine, ie. Martha, Bon Appetit, Sunset, Rachael Ray. Turns out I have more Rachael Ray then anything else! Weird.

We went here last weekend. I tried the “Yolko Ono”, a breakfast sandwich with pesto, parmesan, a home made sausage patty with an egg. And after we ate, I couldn’t get the Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love” out of my head for the rest of the day.

New yellow tights make me so happy!

This designer. They opened a retail space for him in Portland recently and it’s absolutely gorgeous!

This came in the mail yesterday! There’s a whole section on peanut butter AND pumpkin recipes. My life is complete.

I hope you all have a wonderful last weekend of summer ahead! We’re heading out to the pumpkin patches and corn maize that’s supposedly shaped into the Portlandia logo! Portland, you’re so crazy I love you.