Before I dive into Thanksgiving recipes here, I had to share this pumpkin pecan muffin recipe with you. In prior years this recipe may have been with fresh roasted pumpkins that I would have happily scooped out and used during the season, then froze plenty more for the rest of the year; not so this year with life going full speed ahead with IEP’s, health insurance appeals, new treatments on our journey, and me trying to get my adrenals back in shape (they fell way low right under my stressed-out nose) but all THAT wasn’t going to sway me from making these delectable muffins or Thanksgiving (got so much in store for you this year!).
I know, I know, I’m really late to the party, but I’ve come with some super quick and easy dessert that are a chocolate-lovers dream and allergen-free, so nobody is left out! More on the whimsy side rather than the ‘hey it’s Halloween and I’m going all out!’ kind of dessert, but the rich, creamy chocolate will have you forget my lackluster efforts with some white chocolate bark for good measure and to keep this yin-yang in our chocolate universe. This is chocolate heaven, my friends – Halloween or otherwise.
Much of October has been about recipe-testing breads, cookies, and other carbs, furthering our journey with a grain-free (Paleo) diet in hopes to further improve Michael and Ely’s (my twin boys’) gut health as mentioned in my last post. This new venture of baking is challenging, to say the least – it’s a good thing I’m stubborn and armed with a good playlist ready to get my mixer in motion (cue the wonder woman music right about now).
The past few weeks have been pretty much about recipe testing without the use of grains, now that we are giving a grain-free diet a try, in addition to gluten, dairy, soy and some other foods free. It’s like starting all over again, reminding me of all the recipe testing in hopes to replace all the pantry staples we have clung on to, eight years ago.
With the cooler weather we were having a couple of weeks ago, and all sorts of squashes making their way onto the stands, I thought a braised chicken dish would seem fitting since fall has arrived. I served it over cauliflower rice, with a side of roasted carrots tossed in rosemary, and a new bread recipe (good enough for sauce-dipping) that was a hit (will share soon). It was a delicious Friday night dinner for the suddenly chilly weather we were having and one I will be making again soon. And the spiced applesauce bundt cake, that I am still thinking about. Surprisingly, dinner wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be, with an inch of room for dessert (there’s always room for dessert).
With the wide array of apples at the market now I couldn’t wait to make this recipe again.
Last year I made this recipe as baked doughnuts for Chanukah (twice in one week for obvious reasons), and a similar recipe to this one for the back-to-school apple pie cupcake. Fall is my favorite season for baking. I’m a sucker for the aroma of apples and spices lingering in the air, that and pumpkin spice, and gingerbread and … never mind … I just love this season. Time to get this warm and cozy baking season started — fall season has arrived!
And just like that, summer came and went, and we jumped into back-to-school mode. Michael and Ely were excited to go to their ‘big’ middle school. My teenage sophomore was somewhat excited but now especially thrilled joining the yearbook committee and being elected president of the tech club (he’s a pretty tech savvy dude and definitely didn’t get that from his mother). We eased into the routine nicely until Michael’s school nurse called to tell me he has rashes all over his body… exactly at the point I was about to add the flour blend to my pumpkin spice muffin batter (so good and coming to the blog SOON) as one does when one is itching for pumpkin spice. Panic!
Coming from a heritage stemming from the southern part of Russia, the cultural traditions set on my family’s table have always been similar to the foods of the Middle East – especially Israeli and Persian food. Halvah was one of them; my favorite Middle Eastern confection. My late grandmother would keep plenty of halvah, individually wrapped Russian chocolates, sesame seed candies, and sweet meringues in a big crystal bowl ready for the picking. That and hot mint tea was the final part of most family meal gatherings.
Zucchini usually makes its’ way into my pasta meals, fritters, or simply grilled throughout the year being that it’s so readily available, but when peak season arrives (July-August), when it’s most tender and sweeter than ever I can’t think of anything better than zucchini bread. Nothing better.