Pumpkin Cinnamon Scones

Despite autumn being characterized by the shedding of old leaves after summer has come to a close, I find it to be refreshing, exhilarating, and representative of some of my favorite recipes.

As once-lush trees become deserted of their frond, and the warm summer air peels away to a reveal fall's crisp chill, evening drinks get warmer, desserts get spicier, and home gets cozier.

Hot cocoa, piping tea, and warm cider.
Sweet pumpkin and crisp apples.
The cozy aroma of cinnamon drifting from the oven and filling our home.
Being wrapped in oversized blankets by the fireplace as the temperatures and leaves fall outside.

Just as buttered rum and thick blankets by a fire warm the body, the gathering of family and friends does the same for the soul.

With our kitchen happily hosting guests and our oven producing endless fall-inspired feasts, this time of year brings much inspiration and fervor.

These pumpkin scones graced a mid-morning brunch with some cordial company. Their crumb is tender. Their flavor warm with aromatic cinnamon, cozy nutmeg, and spicy ginger. Gluten free, vegan, and sweetened with coconut sugar, their warm flavor is perfectly sweet and deliciously welcomed by gathering family and friends.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Scones
makes 8 scones

-1 3/4 cups gluten free flour (see below note for what I used)
-1/4 cup coconut sugar
-2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon guar gum
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-dash ground ginger
-1/2 cup dairy-free butter, chilled
-1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
-1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. ground flax + 3 Tbsp. water)
-3-4 Tablespoons coconut milk
-1 Tablespoon vanilla

optional turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line baking sheet with parchment paper or non stick baking liner.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, guar gum, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in medium mixing bowl. 
3. Cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs no larger than the size of peas. Create a well in the center of the bowl. 
4. Add in pumpkin, flax egg, coconut milk, and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients together then fold dry and wet mixtures together just until combined.
5. Turn out onto prepared baking sheet. Pat into a circle 3/4" thick. Score into 8 wedges and let sit on sheet for 10-15 minutes to rest.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until edges are golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out with fine crumbs. Let cool 10 minutes, cut and serve.

adapted from this recipe by Leigh Olson
*gluten free flour: 1/2 cup millet flour + 1/2 cup white rice flour + 1/2 cup brown rice flour + 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
optional substitutions...
-coconut sugar: sugar, brown sugar
-guar gum: xanthan gum
-dairy-free butter: coconut oil
-coconut milk: other dairy free milk

Mangia! Mangia!

Chocolate Chip Cashew Cookies

Every so often, I step back to take a look at where I am, what I’m doing, who is in my life, and how much there is to be so very thankful for.
Recently, I had the pleasure of catching up with an old friend while visiting the city for a conference. We talked for hours, catching up on life, congratulating each other on celebration-worthy life events, and being happy for each other because we have found ourselves at good places in life.

There may be days or times in life that can seem so difficult, that challenge us, or take a toll on our motivation, and those times help us grow, and they bring greater contrast to the brilliance of life’s good times.
Getting to catch up with my good friend was such a delightful experience; she has a genuine kindness, a sincere thoughtfulness, a warm understanding, a heart of gold, and a contagious happiness. Over strawberry basil margaritas and guacamole, we talked of life, love, good friends, and faded friendships that helped reveal who we choose to surround ourselves with and who we hold tight to.
A refreshing reminder, the time spent catching up with her sweet spirit left me so very happy for where she is in life, and thankful for where I am in life and all of the heartening individuals and experiences I am graced with.

Recently, a fellow enjoyer of good food and delicious recipes reached out to me with the opportunity to share a recipe with her community of food lovers and traveling enthusiasts over at Vegan Miam. I was thrilled to accept and decided to share a recipe that is quick and easy, travel friendly, and completely scrumptious.

These flourless, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, oil free, grain free cookies are made with just six ingredients (recipe here). Their cashew base presents a creamy texture, and using coconut sugar gives them a note of caramel. Some of the tastiest cookies I have ever whipped up and easily one of the simplest. If you’re in the market for a recipe with these qualifications and of this caliber, look no further.
I enjoy making delicious food, I enjoy eating it more, and even more than that, I enjoy sharing it with others-I truly believe that good things are meant to be shared, when others get to experience it, it increases its goodness exponentially.

Mangia! Mangia!

Garden Fresh Tomato Cornmeal Cobbler

While visiting with my grandparents, we shared a few homemade dishes created around fresh produce from my grandmother's overgrown jungle of a vegetable garden.

Along with a garden fresh tomato salad, we enjoyed this cornmeal cobbler-topped fresh cherry tomato and onion dish. Made with garbanzo bean flour and cornmeal, the cobbler topping was gluten-free and made for a rustic topping to the harvested produce and herbs we gathered from their garden.

Life has a way of moving along as we make our way through each day, so the moments we get to share with those we hold close to our hears are full of listening, sharing, and cherishing warm company. The stories of my grandfather's hand in ending the Korean War, and my grandparents' time living abroad in centuries-old towns in Europe, left me wide-eyed and eager to live my days on more than just one page of the book of my life.

We enjoyed good food and shared life stories on their secluded patio shadowed by umbrellas and trees and surrounded by a diverse forest that is their backyard.

Garden Fresh Tomato Cornmeal Cobbler
serves 4

biscuit topping
-3/4 cup cornmeal
-3/4 cup chickpea flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1 Tablespoon fresh or dried herbs (basil/oregano/thyme/rosemary)
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
-2 Tablespoons dairy free butter
-1 flax egg (1 Tablespoon ground flax + 3 Tablespoons water)
-1/2 cup buttermilk (1 teaspoon vinegar + 1/2 cup dairy free milk)

tomato filling
-2 pints cherry tomatoes or 4 large tomatoes
-2 garlic cloves
-1/2 red onion
-2 Tablespoons olive oil
-several sprigs fresh herbs (basil/oregano/thyme/rosemary)

1. Preheat oven to 425F and drizzle olive oil into oven-safe skillet.
2. Begin preparing biscuits: Prepare flax egg and buttermilk, set aside. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, herbs, garlic and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add in flax egg and buttermilk, mix just to combine.
3. Halve cherry tomatoes or cube large tomatoes, dice cloves, chop onion. Toss all ingredients with olive oil and fresh herbs. Heat oil at medium high heat in skillet on stovetop, once hot, add in tomato mixture and heat on stovetop for 5 minutes. 
4. Turn off stovetop and drop biscuit mixture evenly over top of tomato mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until biscuits are golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving. 

adapted from Mark Bittman's recipe from How to Cook Everything Fast 
optional substitutions:
-chickpea flour: preferred flour or flours
-buttermilk: 1/2 cup dairy free milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar or lemon juice

Mangia! Mangia!