Category Archives: DIY

Overnight Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana (and Chocolate)

You guys are the best!  All day today, I felt like we were all standing around in the kitchen together, chatting about how to pull off a last-minute Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s easy, you reminded me.  Stuff a winter squash, roast some veggies, make a soup or a good salad, put out cheese or olives. Easy is perfect.  And just as perfect were the reminders that it’s not the food that makes a holiday special; it’s the excuse to gather as a family and enjoy each others’ company.

And…that’s good.  Because we arrived to find our rental-with-kitchen unsavory, and decamped to a hotel suite with only a mini-bar fridge instead.  So no kitchen, no Thanksgiving cooking.  We’re going to have our Thanksgiving dinner this weekend instead, back in Seattle.  Which I already have planned now, days in advance—I’m so uncharacteristically organized!  But seriously, thank you–I am so lucky to have met so many wonderful cooks and epicures and readers and writers in this little place called the internet (interwebs?) and I’m thankful to know you all.In celebration of life with a mini-fridge, and especially for those of you on the road this weekend, I’m sharing my favorite hotel-room breakfast today.  Continue reading

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Pumpkin Pancakes (Vegan)

Sweet potato in my pie, pumpkin in my pancakes?  That’s right, green vegetables are giving way to orange, as evidenced by the piles of winter squash on my counters.  Luckily, orange is a very popular vegetable color around here.  Especially when the vegetables come in the form of pancakes.  Or pie. Continue reading

Tiny Pies

Apologies for the sugar rush this week, but ’tis the season.

There’s a sweet little pie shop in my neighborhood that boasts a bakery case full of the cutest little pies you’ll ever see.  Pies in jars, lollipop pies, handheld pies.  Little deep-dish pies piled impossibly high with whipped cream or meringue.  Itty-bitty mini muffin bite-sized pies.  And, of course, the classic larger size.

I love them all, but my special favorite is the Cutie Pie, made in a standard-size muffin tin.  It’s substantial enough, but you can get away with eating one all by yourself.  In fact, I recommend that you do so.  Make them for your holiday table, sure, but be sure to set aside a few moments and at least one tiny pie to enjoy alone as well.

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Rustic Apple Pie with Walnut Streusel Topping

I always make at least one apple pie a year, on Thanksgiving, with the last of the apples from our trees that are tucked away in the fridge.  I always use this recipe.Today, Election Day here in the U.S., seemed to call for an extra apple pie.  There’s the Americana kitch of apple pie, of course, and there’s the fact that a pie is always welcome at a potluck.  But making a pie is also meditative, soothing, distracting.  By the time I arrived at our usual Election Day party with three little girls and a warm pie in my hands, I was calm and confident and I had stopped obsessively refreshing polling data on my phone.  This was our fourth Presidential election in a row with the same savvy, snarky, deeply caring group of friends, and I rather think that we all deserved an apple pie tonight.  So do you. Continue reading

Banana Bread with Bittersweet Chocolate, Whole Wheat, and Olive Oil

I’m not going to disappoint anyone by telling you that banana bread is really cake, right?  And this banana “bread” is no exception.  It has a couple of healthful flourishes, yes–whole wheat flour replaces some of the white flour, and olive oil and yogurt stand in for butter–but it remains a sweet, dense, chocolatey cake.

And to be honest, I like whole grains in sweet baked goods at least as much for their hearty flavor as for any health benefit they confer (I mean, we’re still talking about cake here).  These whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, this rye flour zucchini bread (also a cake, of course)—the whole grains add a layer of flavor and texture that leave more refined baked goods tasting rather insipid in comparison. Continue reading

Roasted Squash and Tahini Dip or Spread

We are far away from the hurricane that’s raging tonight, but our thoughts have been on the storm all day.   Our East Coast family and friends are drenched but well, and the storm gave us the gift of my sister- and brother-in-law stranded with us for an extra day after their flight home was cancelled.  I hope that you and yours have fared as well.  (I’ve been seeing the photos of flooding and fires and hospital evacuations, though, so on top of just hoping that everyone is well I also made a donation to the American Red Cross.)

I’m thankful to be warm and dry tonight, and to have my big family gathered around the table for dinner.  It’s getting to be the season for cozy holiday meals, and, as always, I aim to equip you with a bountiful table of vegetarian and vegan options. Continue reading

Creamy White Bean Dip or Spread

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s a good time to have a few secretly-healthier foods in mind to sneak onto the table alongside the traditional fare.  This white bean puree works equally well as a spread for crostini or as a dip for crackers and veggies, and its creamy texture belies the fact that it’s just a fancy (and still vegan) alternative to hummus. Continue reading