Brought to You by Orange

First of all, I apologize (again) for all the blog craziness that started yesterday.  As I mentioned in the previous dummy-post, I finally decided to move all of my content over to a private hosting account – that I’ve owned for a while now.

Unfortunately, none of the parties involved make it easy for you.  And as (I like to think) I’m  pretty good with tech & web stuff, there was no way I was going to pay over 100 dollars to get someone else to do the transfer for me.  It took a while, but I’m pretty sure everything is up and running by now – necessary plugins and all.  Nothing got lost, and everything is backed up.

On another note, I had hardly any work to do this weekend since I just finished the bulk of my midterms.  So I had a little bit of time to de-stress, which was quite nice.

Halloweekend, in pictures! [note numerous occurrences of the color orange…]

Starting the morning with green juice! and snow…

IMG 2786

It seems that now is the season for orange! Now starting with a now-to-me fruit: persimmons.  I’m not sure if I had ever tried a persimmon before, but they are easily a new favorite of mine.  I even tried both of the common varieties.  First up, the fuyu. Sliced up in a big bowl of oat groats.

IMG 2790

Next up, the hachiya.  Be careful if you buy these. They cannot be eaten when the are still hard – the astringency will dry out your mouth and make you feel sick, not fun.

IMG 2802

Instead, you have to wait until they are mushy, what would normally be considered over-ripe.  Then you can eat the flesh, but it’s impossible to cut up or bite into.  It comes out something like this:

IMG 2804

There were slices of failed (but tasty) kabocha pie.

IMG 2805

Snacks for solo adventure part 2! (click to see part one, the high line)

IMG 2806

Delicious flavor – I wish they made seasonal flavors all year round!

Dressed up and ready for this un-seasonally cold October.

IMG 2811

Destination…

IMG 2817

I walked around, and admired all the delicious food and pretty things.  I didn’t go to buy or eat anything, I just needed an excuse to get out of the room after the crazy snowstorm.

There was orange aplenty!

IMG 2845

And, I got a hot chocolate on the way out, to help with the cold weather.

IMG 2854

And, what would a free weekend be without some baking?

IMG 2865

Chocolate cupcakes, slightly modified from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, spiced buttercream from OhSheGlows.com.

And instead of buying halloween candy (avoiding crazy addicting processed sugars), I had a few bites of nature’s candy! And maybe a cupcake. Or two.

IMG 2869

Dates = natures candy. Natural sugar for the win.

How was your halloweekend? Was it full of orange?

For self-hosted bloggers – any advice/suggestions for a smooth-running site?

Last Minute, Cookies and Fun

I’ve mentioned this before, but I love firsts! Which there were a lot of this week(end), and it was quite fun. I’m fully settled in my dorm, and loving it.  Since there are only two days (where did the time go??) before classes start, I have tried to fit in as many adventures as I could manage.

Christening the new oven with…. Donuts!

IMG 1865

rich and maple-y

IMG 1867

hey, they're glazed!

I used a combo of recipes for these, but I don’t think I like them enough to post.  Next time I’ll get it.

Amazing yogurt bowl combo, with puffed cereal! and figs!

IMG 1868

sigi's, chia gel, fresh figs, puffed cereal, cinnamon, and a drizzle of maple syrup

And, thanks to a last-minute invitation, guess where I finally went – for the first time…

IMG 1898

It was incredibly hot and muggy, but turned out to be an awesome day.

IMG 1876

we rode this guy, on one of the interior swinging cars. so disorienting.

IMG 1884

wave swinger! also really disorienting.

IMG 1892

rode the cyclone, twice. felt like I was going to die, twice. picture taken from the wave swinger.

After I got home from the park, I even had time to make some cookies to bring over to my relatives’ place that night! [recipe at the bottom]

IMG 1903

have I piqued your interest yet?

I followed the trend, and cracked open this season’s first can of pumpkin.  It’s just too good to wait!

IMG 1905

pumpkin oats, oat bran, chia, with spoonfuls of almond butter and sigi's, with cinnamon and a little maple syrup

Went to the best self-serve froyo place I know of…

IMG 1906

sorry for the lack of froyo photos. I was preoccupied with eating it.

And I made millet (!) for the first time.

IMG 1910

so light and fluffy

I followed Ashley’s directions for perfectly cooked millet, and it really was perfect.

IMG 1911

with roasted summer squash, tempeh and mustard sauce

Delicious dinner.  The dressing was an oil-free mustard ‘vinaigrette’:

  • 1T whole grain mustard
  • 1T seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 stevia drops
  • splash of Bragg’s (or soy sauce, or other salt)

No way I forgot about the sweet stuff!!  This recipe was not at all planned – I made it completely on a whim.  And it turned out really good!  I’m not sure how accurate the baking time is, because I used a not-super-reliable dorm oven.  But these are rich. And chocolatey. Just Delicious.

Oatmeal Chocolate Super-Cookies (vegan)

makes about 10-12 cookies, 2″ diameter

  • 1/4 c spelt (or any) flour – GF works too
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • 2-4 T sucanat or other dark granulated sugar(depending on how much sweetness you like)
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 flax/chia egg (1T ground seed + 3T water, soaked for 10ish mins)
  • 1/2 c almond butter
  • 3T liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract (I’m using alcohol free, so may need adjustment)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c non-dairy milk
  • optional add-ins, about 1/3 cup: cacao nibs, chopped nuts, seeds

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, making sure there are no clumps.  In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients except the milk.

Add the wet to the dry, and add in the milk a bit at a time until you have a light, sticky dough.  Now add in your mix-ins – I used cacao nibs for that extra rich chocolate-y flavor.

Grease a cookie sheet, and spoon the dough in 1-2T clumps onto the greased sheet.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes at 350, depending on your oven.   Transfer to a cooling rack, let cool for about 10-15 minutes.  Or just eat them piping hot, right off the cookie sheet.

IMG 1901

the dough goes from this...

IMG 1902

... to this 🙂

As of now, I plan to spend my labor day relaxing before I have to switch to full-on school mode.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie? Are you a fan of home-baked, cafe-baked or store bought?