Tag Archives: pumpkin

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Brownies


Oh man, it’s a total shame I haven’t posted this recipe sooner. This is totally the equivalent to a “#latergram” on Instagram type status. I made this back toward the beginning of the year for a dinner party and was too busy to post the recipe. So here we are, and it’s in perfect time to add to this wonderful pumpkin season!

Can’t decide if you’re in the mood for something chocolatey or with pumpkin? Brownies? Pumpkin? Why not have both?! This is absolutely luscious. Think of a pumpkin pie with a brownie crust/base. It’s literally thee perfect combination. My friends definitely seemed to think so. (And no one knows it’s vegan! Shhh…)

I think this would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving feast!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Brownies

Makes 8 brownies

Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

For the brownie layer:

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the pumpkin layer:

  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinches of nutmeg and allspice

For decoration: a handful of chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 in. springform pan (or use a 9 in. square pan lined with parchment paper).

To make the brownie layer:

  1. Melt the chocolate.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sugar, oil and vanilla. Sift in flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine, then mix in the melted chocolate.

To make the pumpkin layer:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, stir until thoroughly combined.

To assemble:

  1. Use a spatula to spread the brownie layer mixture into prepared baking pan, taking care to bring the batter to the edges of the pan. Pour the pumpkin layer over it, leaving a little room at the edges if you can.
  2. Bake for 30 minutes, until pumpkin layer looks fairly firm (slight jiggling is ok), and has cracked at the edges a bit.
  3. Let the brownies cool for 20 minutes, then transfer the pan to the fridge to set for at least an hour and a half. Once set, decorate with chocolate chips, slice into wedges, and serve!



DIY Candle Label Coverup


Have you ever purchased a big honkin’ delicious smelling candle but weren’t really thrilled on setting it down on the middle of your coffee table for esthetic reasons? Then this is for you. I have come to save you.

I purchased a half-off pumpkin candle at Rite Aid last week ($5!) but didn’t want to advertise their store and stare at the sticker label. Sure, it could look just as good with clear glass, but I wanted to spiffy it up. Enter in mod podge and images you love!

I dug through my closet to find a few pieces of inspiration and thought some of the roll of faux wood grain contact paper would do the trick just right. So I cut it out to match the width and height of the candle, and modge podged on some images! It was so easy! I dare you to try it.

I am very happy with the results, and she is beautifully sitting in the middle of my coffee table as we speak (or rather, as I type). Yep!

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Cake


Sometimes I can be an indecisive gal. Trying to figure out where to go for dinner, deciding what to order on a menu, deciding what to drink, deciding what to bake… I just now realized that these are all food related.

I think I love food too much.

After looking at Pinterest and foodie magazines for hours upon hours, sometimes the pressure to make up my mind what to make becomes crippling. And then I won’t make anything at all. Sound familiar?

So when it comes to fall baking and trying to decide between a pumpkin cake and an apple pie, it’s so hard to choose. Why not have the best of both worlds at once? It’s like a buy one, get one free deal. Two in one. Double duty. You get the picture.

Imagine a pumpkin coffee cake but with sauteed apples on top. Delicious, yes? Pretty much exactly what this is. I was really happy with how it turned out, and it was relatively easy. However, I feel like something was missing. It was a little dry (maybe because of the whole wheat flour? such a conundrum, the white vs. whole wheat situation), and needed a bit more flavor, spice, and moisture. I think the recommended baking time was a bit too long (1 hour), and I took it out after 50 minutes. I would check it after 40-45 if I ever make it again. I must say, it is quite delicious with a scoop of lavender (or vanilla bean!) ice cream, or a nice cold glass of milk. It’s a perfect fall dessert or breakfast snack!

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Cake

Serves 6-8

Adapted from The Vintage Mixer


Sauteed apples:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3-4 large Granny Smith apples peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Streusel topping and cake (made together then divided):

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Butter and flour (or spray) an 8-in Springform Pan and preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Saute the apples in the butter on medium heat, just until they start to soften. Remove from heat and add the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer combine the flour, brown sugar and salt. Add the 1/2 cup butter and blend well. Measure out 2/3 cup of the mixture into a separate bowl to make the streusel. Add the 3 tablespoons sugar, pumpkin spices and cinnamon to this separate bowl, blend and set aside. Add the baking soda, pumpkin, pumpkin Greek yogurt and eggs to the flour mixture left remaining in your mixer. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Layer the cake batter, then the sauteed apples and finally sprinkle the streusel over the top.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour (although, like I said. I’d do it for no more than 50 mins or so. Keep your eye on it). Allow to cool in the pan and then remove the springform. Serve with ice cream or milk!

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!

Keep Calm and Decorate On


Went a little fall decorating crazy at Trader Joe’s yesterday. They have my favorite seasonal pumpkin peppers! Have you seen these before? They’re the best. They are long stems with mini pumpkin looking peppers hanging off the sides. I purchase a bundle every year!

So stoked to bust out the candles again. I love candle-lit dinners at home, getting cozy away from the rain. And they always smell so amazing! I love rosemary-sage, pumpkin, and coconut ones the best.

Pumpkin smoothies all the time!

We tried this Nosedive merlot last night (only about $8 at TJs!) and really liked it! Not bad for a cheapie. 

Post-dinner cuddle love.

Yep. All these books.

These little orange ceramic pumpkin-like pots with succulents in them are also for sale at TJs! I love the bright pop of orange color, plus the fact that I can’t easily kill these kinds of plants. Although I probably will anyhow.

Slow baked lemon-thyme salmon. Delicious.

This is my all-time favorite salad recipe. Roasted butternut squash in spinach with green beans in a tangy garlic mustard vinaigrette. I also love adding some dried cranberries and some form of nut (candied pecans, rosemary almonds, or pistachios!). It’s a perfect Thanksgiving side dish, also!

How cute is this candied apple? Picked this up at Fred Meyer the other night. I couldn’t resist. It looks way cuter than it tastes though. The green apple was wayyyy too sour. But maybe I’ll make my own sometime soon?

Also, good news! Got the test results back for the kitty and things came back negative, so it doesn’t look like he has the fatal FIP disease. Not 100%, but really giving us hope right now and his spirits are on the mend. We’re just going to take things day by day. I can’t tell you what a relief this is. This past week I’ve pretty much cried at least once at some point each day, worried sick about his fate, not being able to imagine life going on without him. It’s terrible to see the ones you love suffer, especially when they’re so innocent and helpless in every possible way. His fever went away, and he’s eating more again. Purring like never before and being the best cuddle bug ever. This kitten has stolen my heart to the millionth degree.

I love you, Capi.