November 1! The best month of the whole year is here! Rejoice in the month of Thanksgiving, the month of elections, and the month of fall finally gracing California (we hope!) I am so happy that November is here and that we’re ready to start planning Thanksgiving in earnest and think about food for the next 24 days. Here’s to baking pies and mashing potatoes and roasting birds. Here’s to cool days and cold nights and cider on the stove and cinnamon wafting the halls and democracy doin’ its thing. Enjoy this month, lovelies!

 


Happy Halloween, folks! In honor of the day, I wanted to repost these babies that Corelyn and I made awhile back in honor of her trip to Harry Potter World in Orlando! I also wanted to give you a round up of great recipes to make today to keep you going when you’re handing out candy.

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First off, Cauldron Cakes: we started with a peanut butter cup cookie recipe like this one. Essentially, you make a cookie in a mini-muffin tin and pop a peanut butter cup in right as you pull them out of the oven, so it creates a slightly sunken cauldron-like shape.  Let them cool before the next step and consider freezing them for a few minutes to avoid crumbly cookie pieces. Also, if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can use a piece of licorice (we went for chocolate flavored licorice) to form a cauldron handle, but only about half of our handles stayed in once the cookies cooled.

To make little cauldron “feet” we dipped the bottom of these cookies in melted chocolate and set them on chocolate covered pomegranate seeds. Why chocolate covered pomegranate seeds? We were out of chocolate chips. If you plan to make these, definitely use the chocolate chips. They’re much more reliable and uniformly sized. Afterward we let them freeze overnight to set the chocolate.

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Then came the final flourish — filling the cauldron cakes with “magic potion.” I made three colors of icing glaze and filed in the indentations of each cookie to cover up the peanut butter cup. To make it a little more fun, I mixed my icing together with a toothpick to give it a marbled effect, then topped with a few sprinkles!

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Looking for other holiday fare? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. How about some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies? They’re perfect to eat while you’re handing out candy. They’re basically the usual cookie recipe with some pumpkin for good measure, because it is Halloween after all.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies | Garlic, My Soul

Speaking of pumpkin, if you have extra canned pumpkin, you should definitely make this Mason Jar Pumpkin Jar. It’s great for breakfast, a snack, and it’s great to eat while sitting on a lawn chair on your porch giving Reese’s and chocolate bars to tiny monsters, princesses, and astronauts.

Garlic My Soul | Mason Jar Pumpkin Bread

If you’re trying to keep warm after opening your front door over and over again, I suggest this Swiss Chard & Barley Soup. It’s chocked full of veggies and barley and a perfect zest of lemon that adds a little something-something. Plus, it keeps on the stove if you happen to have friends and family arriving or manning the doors at different times, so y’all can eat in the round.

Swiss Chard & Barley Soup | Garlic, My Soul

Now that you’ve got soup, pumpkin-y treats, and cauldron cakes, you’ve got everything you need for a Halloween that’s balanced between healthy (you’re welcome) and of course, sweet for the holiday. So put out some decorations, heat up some cider & brandy, and answer that doorbell!


Basil Parmesan Scones | Garlic, My Soul

Remember that Pumpkin Lentil Soup I made recently? I figured when I made it I needed to have something to dip in the soup, because let’s be real, soup’s better with a cracker or piece of bread. Enter these Basil Parmesan Scones. I adapted the recipe to use the flour that I had on hand, and let me tell you these were perfect with the soup!

Basil Parmesan Scones | Garlic, My Soul

I have always loved a good baked good, and I remember for years being afraid to make anything for fear of being bad at baking. I can make a mean cookie, and a cake, but breads and scones alluded me. Then I went to a class with KAF, and I learned to not be afraid of doughs anymore. (And, I learned about a tool to mix flour for me so I didn’t have to touch it as much, because guys, flour gives the creeps.)

Now scones have become a regular thing, and I’ve been more and more tempted to try my hand at savory baking, rather than focusing only on sweets. It allows me to use my mixer more while at the same time not making me feel as badly for what comes out of the oven. I mean, I am still going to spread butter on my rolls, but at least there’s not also sugar in them, right? At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. (Psst – if you want to try your hand at bread, I suggest this recipe.)

The recipe for these scones is below and I suggest you try it, then mix up your cheese and your herb – rosemary anyone?!

Type: Baking, Breads
Author: Jennie
Oven Temperature: 450°
Difficulty: Challenging

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

Summary

Adapted from King Arthur Flour.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounce white wheat flour
  • 4.5 ounce all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon freshly basil, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoon cold butter, diced
  • 2 large eggs, 1 separated
  • 1/2 cup milk

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450. In a large bowl, mix your flours, baking powder, Parmesan cheese, salt and basil.

  2. Add the cold butter, working in until you have coarse crumbs.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk and milk. Stir into the dry ingredients to form a dough.

  4. Flour a surface, then turn dough onto the surface and mold into a rectangle.

  5. Cut into triangles (about eight pieces) and place on parchment-paper lined cookie sheet.

  6. Whisk your remaining egg white until foamy, then brush onto each scone. Baked for 10 minutes until golden, then remove from oven and serve warm with soup!

Pumpkin Lentil Soup | Garlic, My Soul

Although the weather is turning today, for almost a week there we had actual fall temperatures – and it even rained! For like, more than five minutes. I have been saying it all season, but I love fall the most. The early nights are a bummer, but with it comes so many delicious foods and feasts! I love Halloween, especially now that we have a house to offer trick-or-treaters something, and you guys know how I feel about Thanksgiving. So this weather (that will hopefully be back next week?) is getting me in the spirit of the season! I’ve been making more soups as a result, and because we’re all obsessed with pumpkin this time of year, I couldn’t think of a better pairing than lentils. Hence, this soup.

I have always loved lentils, and I love lentil soup especially. I used split red lentils for this one because that’s what I found at TJ’s, but you can use whatever lentils you’ve got – just make sure to cook them until they’re tender. I also used carrots, an onion, and a green pepper because that’s what I had for veggies; I’d imagine this would be great with a hearty green, too.

Pumpkin Lentil Soup | Garlic, My Soul

Pumpkin Lentil Soup | Garlic, My Soul

Beware – this soup is a tinge spicy, but it’s good for all those colds cropping up this time of year. It’s perfect for lunch with a savory scone (we’ll get to those tomorrow) and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and some of those pepitas from Trader Joe’s that are pumpkin spiced. Because you can never have enough, can you? You can cut down the curry for a less spicy experience, and try a smidge of turmeric if you’d like. I like to recommend turmeric for all things, since it’s so good for you. Also feel free to grate some fresh ginger onto your soup – yum. Recipe below – enjoy!

Type: Main Course, Soups
Author: Jennie
Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 5-6 carrots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ounce olive oil
  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • 4 cup chicken stock
  • 15 ounce canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • s/p

Directions

  1. Dice your onion and pepper, chop your carrots, and mince your garlic.

  2. In a deep stock pot, heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Then, add lentils and cook about 1 minute. Lower heat to medium low.

  3. Add your onion, pepper, carrots, and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.

  4. Add chicken stock, canned pumpkin, and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cook about 15-20 minutes until lentils are tender. Serve hot with savory scones or biscuits.

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I have a love affair with making my own granola. I just can’t imagine a better breakfast than granola and some milk or yogurt. I make it a little different every time, and I always find better and more interesting combos. This time, I found some awesome (and cheap!) dates from TJ’s and I knew I had to add them to my latest mix.

There’s something about homemade granola on a weekday morning that feels like self-care. Call me crazy, but I always thank my past self for taking the time to make something delicious for rushed mornings. I’ve been feeling rushed and nuts for a few weeks (guys, we now have two kittens and a puppy and I have to literally sit on the floor and watch them eat breakfast so they’ll play nice) so getting up and seeing granola on the counter calms my heart and mind.

You can make this with whatever nut you like, and whatever seed you like, and some dried sweetness. Make it exactly like I make it, or change out everything – it’s all in the ratios. Balance oats with sweet, nutty, earthy…you get it, right?

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Pepitas are my jam right now because a) it’s fall so pumpkin everything and b) they’re so damn easy to add to all things for a boost of protein and fiber! Add them to your soup, your breads, your cookies, your granola, have a handful for a snack, throw them in your stir fry. They are good in all the ways.

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The recipe is below, and I suggest you double it if you’ve got more than one granola-eater in the house, otherwise this’ll disappear quite quickly. It’s so easy to make more of there’s no reason not to! Store room temp in a jar (or three, as is the case in our house.)

Type: Baking, Breakfast
Author: Jennie
Oven Temperature: 250°
Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250. Chop pecans. Mix together with pepitas, oats, pumpkin spice, salt, maple syrup, and coconut oil.

  2. Cook for about an hour, tossing every 15 minutes or so.

  3. When toasty and browned, remove from oven and added cranberries, dates, and coconut. Serve warm or room temperature with milk or yogurt!