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November 2013

Thanksgiving Menu


    I have had several request for our Thanksgiving menu, so here you go. Sadly I do not have recipes because I just make it up ;-) Like the new stuffing we are going to try this year: GF bread stuffing with caramelized cabbage and onions. I will add some bacon, fresh chestnuts and sage. Also I have already changed the greens to a salad with pomegranates, persimmons and brie with a pomegranate glaze vinaigrette. I will let you know how it was! If you have any question about anything, just write me and I will help the best I can. So what are you making for this Thanksgiving?

Thankful Cups


    Every Thanksgiving I make a small token for each person as a reminder the year. In the past I have made:


acorn cross

copper pine cone

paper feather

book apple


    This year I made Thankfulness cups. I bough 99 cent IKEA mugs and an oil sharpie pen. On one side of all the cups it says Thankfulness, the other side has a quote unique to the person. Auberne`-Cuppa, my mother-cup runneth over, my sis-start your day, Chloe-shimmy for, hubby a mug full and me-Hem Your Blessings, You draw on the mug, set them on a cookie sheet and put the cups in a cold oven. Then turn on oven to 350, let the cups sit for 1 hour. Then turn off the oven and then let the cups sit in the oven another 1/2 hour. That is it and a perfect Thanksgiving keepsake!

Decorating Your Pie


    I do not know you but even though I make pies year around, Thanksgiving is all about pies to me. Christmas is more about decadent mousses or frozen treats, Easter is about fruit and Thanksgiving is pies! I will admit I am a bit lazy about my pies. I throw the crust in the pan and do a quick crimped edge. Which is fine for everyday but I think I need to bling up my pies a bit for the holidays. If you feel the same way, here is some fun ideas for the top of your pie!



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second image

Cranberry Walnut Cake, GF or Not




    I often post on FB what I am cooking or doing. It is a quick, easy way to connect with everyone and I am hoping what I am doing will inspire someone. Well the other night I mention what I had made for dinner, a roasted pumpkin, garlic, kale quiche w/ smoked mozzarella. It was amazing, also I baked a GF cranberry walnut cake. I got several request for the cake recipe. Honestly this is an overnight breakfast cake I have been making for years because it is healthy and not to sweet. As you can see, it makes a fine cake for dinner too. You can make it with regular flour or GF flours, really anything, except one flour and that is coconut flour. Since coconut flour absorbs ½ it weight, you would have to change the recipe completely (which could be done but not today). I am constantly changing the flavors by using different fruits (dried, fresh or frozen), spices, chocolate, nuts, etc. This version is a cranberry walnut and I was not thinking of this when I made it, but it would be a good breakfast cake on thanksgiving morning!


Cranberry Walnut Cake
Makes one 8" round cake (but a shallow cake)

Dry ingredients

1 ½ cup gluten free flour blend or regular flour or whole wheat pastry

1 cup almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

Wet ingredients
½ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
2 egg
1 cup milk (or more. Some GF flour can soak up liquid a bit. You want a thick batter you can almost pour, so add some more milk or water if needed)
⅟ᴣ cup melted coconut oil or melted butter or mild favor olive oil
⅟₈ tsp vanilla paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup toasted walnuts, I actually soak and then dry my walnuts in a dehydrator. Then I use them as is and do not toast.
½ cup or so coconut sugar


Pre-heat oven 350 ◦F

Sift all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk wet ingredients together in a small bowl. Add wet to dry and mix batter together. Grease a round 8” pan (you can do a square brownie pan too). Pour in batter. You may need to spread it out a bit. Sprinkle cranberries over the cake, then the walnuts. Lastly generously sprinkle sugar over the cranberries/walnuts. Remember the cake is not very sweet and the cranberries are pretty sour, so this topping of sugar is how you sweeten those cranberries. I just grabbed a couple of fistful of coconut sugar out of the bag, dusted it over the whole cake until it got a good sprinkling.

Bake 25-35 minutes until the cake is cook in the center. It is a little hard to tell with all the toppings. Look for the center to have risen like the sides. Let cool 10 minutes or moreand then enjoy.


 You can put this together the night before and bake it off for a breakfast cake. Just mix the cake together, cover the pan and put it in the fridge. In the morning when the oven has pre-heated, bake uncovered. You can use frozen fruit the night before. If you see water from the fruit the next morning, do not worry, you cake will bake fine.

Molasses Pecan Pie w/ Pumpkin

Pecan pumpie

    Pecan pie is a family favorite but I wanted to take it in a different direction. With Thanksgiving coming up I thought something with a pumpkin and gingerbread flavors would be interesting. So this is my take on pecan pie, slightly pumpkin, very molasses tasting, almost gingerbread like in flavor. Please know this is not a pumpkin pie with molasses and pecans, it is pecan pie, soft and slightly runny with pumpkin and molasses. Two very different pies!  I think this pie will become a family must every Thanksgiving in our house!

Molasses Pecan Pie w/ Pumpkin

3/4 cup pumpkin, cooked and pureed
1/3 cup molasses, I use black strap molasses but you can use a milder flavored one.
3 TBL butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 TBL dark rum or apple cider
1 tsp salt
1tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1 1/2-2 cups pecan halves, lightly toasted
one uncooked pie crust, you can use a gluten free crust of you like

Pre-heat oven 350◦F
In a large bowl add all ingredients except the pecans and crust. Whisk all together and pour into uncooked crust. Then set toasted pecans on top in a pretty pattern, or just tossed them in ;-)
Bake 35-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Pull out pie and let cool at least thirty minutes. The pie is delicious served with a dollop of homemade whipped cream!


1. This pie is not very sweet and has a strong molasses flavor. If that does not appeal to you, you can use 1/4 cup molasses and 1/4 cup maple. The small increase in liquid will not affect the filling.

2. Using fresh cooked pumpkin taste so much better than canned pumpkin. It is easy to cook and puree a pumpkin. I keep small amounts of cooked pumpkin in my freezer, ready to use. You can read about how to cook you pumpkin here.

3. Please toast your pecans before making your pie. It makes all the difference in the world, as I learned with my first pie, when I did not toast the pecans, thinking they would just toast as the pie baked. They did NOT!

4. Feel free to play with spices you love but I will tell you I found too many spices over shadowed the pie. Also fresh, ground nutmeg adds so much flavor than the dried stuff.


Candles and Feathers

Fether candl

    Well my computer is fixed (sort of, do not ask :-O ). I wanted to share this simple vignette I did because it is that, simple. Just some candles (the kind that are battery operated. There are times when I really appreciate those battery operated candles!!) and two black feathers off an old hat. I did feel like there was a bit too much space, so I added one of my necklaces. I love to look at pictures of lush tablescapes, filled to the brim with goodness and creativity but it can leave one feeling ... well lacking. I am finding I have less and less time to create dramatic tablescapes in my home. Sometimes I just want quick, easy and simple. It does not take a lot to make ones home look beautiful xox

PS. The pretty tray is from Ikea, $9.99. It is huge too, what a deal! Got to love Ikea!