Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Oh, hi! Nice to see you again! So, um, I guess I haven’t posted much recently. I blinked and 11 months just disappeared! Isn’t it funny how that happens?

You know what else is funny? All of the plans I had for life after baby. One of my plans was to continue blogging regularly, maybe even more! After all, now I had a new way to relate to readers. I was going to blog all about the meals I was making, the homemade baby food my baby was going to love to eat, the DIY projects I was going to start, maybe I would even write about the cloth diapers I obsessed over my entire pregnancy, and the way I reorganized my life to fit both new mommy me and old me. Some of my favorite blogs are written by moms! They seem to be able to do it all!

But the truth is… I haven’t quite found the way to reorganize my life to seamlessly fit new mommy me and old me. It’s a work in progress.

The truth is, I make dinner, but not every night. Sometimes the recipes are new but a lot of the time they’re old standbys. And my baby didn’t like homemade baby food (or really any baby food, she preferred baby led weaning). And DIY projects? Ain’t nobody got time for that. And I love cloth diapers. I really, really do. But I went back to work in January and now only use them part time. And blogging? Yikes!

The truth is, I WANT to blog. I do. I just haven’t found that magical place where motivation meets time and energy.

But recently I got a little nudge. The cooking board I am on decided to bring back recipe swaps and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to see if I can manage to fit in a little old me. I’m happy to say that other than a minor hiccup (where I wrote an entire post and WordPress randomly decided to eat it), I managed!

My assigned blog was Dough See Dough, run by Jenni. To say that I spent a LOT of time scouring her pages for the perfect “back to blogging” recipe is an understatement. So many things caught my eye. These Chinese BBQ Pork Buns. This Turkey & Rice Taco Skillet. These Snickerdoodles… So what would I choose?

Clearly these delicious Iced Pumpkin Cookies won. After all, ’tis the season! And what better way to get back to blogging than with pumpkin?

I think these cookies were really a great choice. I made very few changes, only adding dairy (Jenni’s version was dairy free!) and substituting some white whole wheat flour for all purpose flour. Because doing that makes me feel like I’m making a healthy cookie (just humor me) that I can eat for breakfast (and I have). Hopefully you enjoy them just as much as I have!

 

Just because, here is my sweet, energetic, fun, wild, beautiful little TODDLER!! Rocking her pumpkin wear.

Cranberry Relish

The big week is here! My menu is finalized, most of the groceries have been bought, and I’ve even started my food prep! One thing I have discovered since hosting my first Thanksgiving 2 years ago is that things can quickly go from calm to chaotic. I don’t know if it’s just me, but by the time I’m ready to get dinner on the table, all kitchen organization has gone out the window. I’m trying to find the last remaining inches of counter space to carve the turkey, gravy is usually bubbling over on the stove, and all of my potholders have magically disappeared. So each year it becomes that much more important for me to have a) a time line and b) as much prepared ahead of time as possible, even if it means putting out-of-town visitors to work!

This weekend my mom and sister came to visit (since they are sadly not able to come on Thanksgiving day). We had a lot of fun hanging out and playing with the baby, but I still had turkey day prep on my mind. At one point we got on the conversation of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes and my sister said that her favorite was Cranberry Relish. I have never made it before so I didn’t know how far in advance it could be made, she told me the she usually likes it best after it has sat for a few days. So I decided to put her right to work! She whipped up this relish in no time at all. That beautiful cranberry red is reason enough for this to make it’s way to your Thanksgiving table, but it also tastes amazing. It’s a perfect combination of sweet and tart. And it’s crazy easy!

 

 

Rosemary and Olive Oil Mashed Sweet Potatoes

True story – I used to not like sweet potatoes. Well, I thought I didn’t like sweet potatoes. What I discovered in my twenties is that I didn’t like sweet sweet potatoes. You know, the ones that look more like dessert on the Thanksgiving table. Then we were invited to a friend’s house for dinner and they were serving sweet potatoes. Not wanting to be rude I took a few and much to my surprise - I loved them. Roasted chunks of sweet potato drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and rosemary. It was like a perfect marriage of flavors.

Nowadays I like all forms of sweet potatoes, even the sweet ones I didn’t like when I was younger, but I still have a special spot in my heart for the flavor combination that changed everything. So when I was brainstorming new ways to feature sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, I knew this would be a winner. I am super happy with the way these mashed sweet potatoes turned out. Soft and fluffy with the yummy flavors that I love. So, if you’re looking for a way to savory up your Thanksgiving sweet potatoes, look no further!

 

Classic Pumpkin Pie

2 years ago I posted a recipe for pumpkin pie that I had been making for several years and really liked. For unknown reasons, my pie last year was a huge flop. Well, that might be a bit of a dramatic overstatement, it still had a nice taste but there was a giant canyon right down the center of the pie and it seemed really thin to me. Chances are I just did something wrong when measuring or it was simply over-baked. Still, it got me thinking. Should I really only have one way to make a pumpkin pie? Surely not, is the answer.

So here’s a secret, I almost hate to give it away, you know those recipes on the back of bags/cans/boxes? Yeah, those ones that people tend to ignore because surely a simple back-of-the-box recipe can’t be as good as a fancy schmancy recipe from a blog or cookbook – except, maybe it can be! Maybe the people producing the foods inside the bag/box/can really know how to highlight it. Makes sense, right? It reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of Friends, the one where Monica really wants Phoebe’s Grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. Turns out that fancy schmancy recipe was created by “Nestle Tollhous-ah”. The same one from the bag of chocolate chips.

With that sentiment in mind I decided to go for it and try the recipe from the back of the can. Is this an earth shattering original recipe? Absolutely not. You don’t even need to visit my blog to find (though I did make one small change). But it does deserve to be highlighted. It produced an amazingly creamy pie filling that did not have a canyon crack going through the middle. A pumpkin pie that was a real man-pleaser. So there. Secret’s out. This is not my recipe, it belongs to Libby. I hope you don’t mind that I am sharing it here.

And I can’t resist sharing this picture of my sweet girl (who happily hung out in the Moby wrap while I prepared this pie!)