october is seriously my favorite

I absolutely love October. Love it. I love everything about it. The leaves are almost always completely changed and beautiful, the air is crisp, apples are in abundance, pumpkins, Halloween, scary movies!!! My list could go on and on and on.

This year is quite different however. I’m no longer in apple country… it’s no longer 50 degrees out and rainy/windy/just plain ol’ cold. The leaves haven’t QUITE changed yet.. it was 80 when I carved my pumpkin!! Life has certainly changed.

Wanna see our pumpkins? Okay!

This is Matt’s (my fiance) pumpkin.. he chose the bat clawing the pumpkin. So cute =)

This is mine! It’s a cute little kitty with a pumpkin and some spoooooky bats. Adorable.

These are all 3 that we did… the third one we worked on together and although it was the easiest one, it ended up looking the crappiest.

They always look so much better when they’re lit up!

So obviously, if you carve pumpkins, you should always always always roast the seeds. And of course we did. We decided on plain ol’ salted and cinnamon & sugar. The cinnamon sugar ones could have used double the amount, but they’re still delicious.

We all had quite the debate though… Half the family was saying you aren’t supposed to eat the harder shell on the outside and the other half was saying you could, and should. I had never really heard of anyone cracking the shells open like sunflower seeds until I met this family.. I always eat the seeds whole. The only time I actually eat the inside part by itself is when I buy them specifically (also known as pepitas!). What do ya’ll do? Do you shell them like sunflower seeds? Do you suck on them and spit them out? Or do you devour the whole delicious thing?

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a busy week/weekend

Alright, so I’m finding that October is like the busiest month ever and that starting a blog this month may have been harder than I imagined. October is full of birthdays, and apples and soooo many crisp leaves and delicious breezes that I find it harder and harder to sit down at my computer stationary for even a minute or two to post. BUT, I’m going to try my best!

On Thursday, I attempted to make the Scalloped Potato Pie recipe from Hearty Vegan Meals and let. me. tell. you.

OH MY GOSH. If it wasn’t for my numerous mistakes on thinking this was a dish I could whip up in seconds and have on my plate in minutes, I would have ingested this so much earlier. It’s got a long cook time, and it requires sort of a lot of prep but dammmmn was it delicious!

Here’s the recipe:

Scalloped Potato Pie via Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites pg 122

Ingredients:

1 sheet frozen vegan puff pastry

22 ounces (or about 3 large) russet potatoes, thinly sliced

2 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 cup caramelized onions

for the Bechamel:

1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk

4 ounces nondairy cream cheese

2 large cloves garlic

1 medium size shallot

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp fine sea salt

1/4 tsp ground pepper, plus extra for each layer

1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions:

Thaw pastry 40 minutes prior to rolling out.

To make bechamel: combine all ingredients to a saucepan and cook on low heat until the cream cheese is melted. Then using an immersion blender, blend.

Pre-heat oven to 375 and lightly coat a 9inch round baking pan with oil.

Roll out pastry to 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Place in prepared pan and lightly prick with a fork. Fold overhanging dough into a neat little crimp (or you know, just do whatever with it because I’m certainly not concerned with the looks, I just want to stuff my face).

Evenly arrange potatoes in a neat little layer and season with pepper. Sprinkle half the onions on top and spread half the bechamel sauce onto potatoes. Repeat this process once more using the rest of the potatoes.

Bake for 45 minutes, until brown and bubbly, let cool and then devour like the mad fiend that you are and praise yourself for making something so gosh darn delicious.

Let me say… I pretty much have every cook book that Celine Steen has put out, helped put out, has her name on it etc etc and I have never ever once been disappointed by a recipe. This dish was way worth the messy kitchen, the hassle of getting out not only my food processor but also my immersion blender and it was deeeeeeelicious!

I served it with a nice big salad with my favorite salad dressing from Newmans Own.

So the next day (Friday) I just made a quicky dinner (had too many errands to run) and then made a delicious apple pocket dessert type thing with my left over cream cheese and puff pastry that is strangely enough, still in my oven waiting to be devoured.

Annnnd, now I have to get back to real life and continue to clean house and decorate for my lovely room mates birthday/halloween party and clean up after 5 cats. Enjoy!