MoFo 2013: A Compendium of Recipes I Didn’t Make (Yet)

This is, as they say, it. Today is the last day of September and the final day of MoFo 2013. I think it’s been a good run. I’m pleased that I shared more original recipes than usual, but a little disappointed that I was harried for the last week (after returning from RI) and didn’t post any new ones during that time. C’est la vie, I guess. My trip was worth it!

When I was preparing for this MoFo, I started Pinning potential recipes like crazy. But there are only so many days in the month (and only so many baked goods I can stomach), so many of those recipes went unmade. But I thought I’d share some of the ones I haven’t yet made, because there are just so many great options for working with seasonal fruit. Enjoy!

Recipes featuring apples

Recipes featuring blackberries

Recipes featuring blueberries

Recipes featuring pumpkin (…yeah, there are a lot…)

Although some of the above recipes were posted during this MoFo, many of them have been available for a few years. So I thought I’d also share some non-seasonal-fruit recipes from this MoFo that made me drool. My fellow bloggers cooked up some amazing concoctions this past month!

Whew! I think that’s enough links for now. :)

To wrap up, here’s a photo of a recipe I created last August in preparation for MoFo. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out the way I’d wanted, so I never posted it. But I’m thinking I’ll perfect it soon and share it then. I still have lots of other ideas I never implemented, so look out for more seasonal (and slightly unseasonal) fruit recipes in the months to come!


How was YOUR vegan month of food? What recipes inspired you?


Lazy Sunday IV

Oh no! I just realized that something went wrong with last Sunday’s auto-publishing, and my third Lazy Sunday post never went up! Quelle horreur! I’ve posted it now, so take a gander if you feel so inclined. (There’s a photo of a cat!)

On this particular Lazy Sunday, I am sitting at our kitchen island drinking coffee mixed with that pumpkin coconut caramel sauce I blogged about last week. My breakfast was half a grapefruit and half of the pumpkin creme doughnut we picked up yesterday. I’ll probably eat the rest of the grapefruit before embarking on my plans for the day, which are as follows:

  1. Finish drafting an email of recommendations for things to do in Ireland for a friend who will be there for two weeks in October. (Lucky lady!)
  2. Check out some thrift stores because my business casual wardrobe needs some autumnal augmentation.
  3. Read! I’m behind on my Goodreads book goal for the year and need to catch up. :) (On that note, add me on Goodreads!)

Aaanyway. Time to answer some prompts for my final (!) MoFo installment of Lazy Sunday!

A food/ingredient you didn’t used to like but now you do; how did the transition happen?

I used to hate sweet potatoes. I know! It was that whole savory/sweet issue. I actually only started liking them in college—I blogged about the transition (complete with a craptastic photo taken on my dorm room bed) at my old blog. Basically, I think my tastebuds just grew up. :)

What’s your killer dish when you’re cooking for non-vegans?

Usually it’s a dessert of some kind. I’ve made (and blogged about) the raspberry chocolate chip blondie bars from VWaV a few times, and they’re always a crowd-pleaser. The stuffed mushrooms we served at our harvest party were a HUGE hit—I can’t wait to make them again.


What’s your newest foodie discovery and how did you discover it?

This is only a partially new discovery, but: Dave’s Coffee Syrup. Now, if you’re not from New England, you probably aren’t familiar with coffee syrup. It’s exactly what it sounds like, though—the coffee version of chocolate syrup. It’s a HUGE deal in Rhode Island; I grew up drinking coffee milk (milk + coffee syrup… heh), even though I was never its biggest fan (I preferred chocolate milk). The mass-produced brands (which are made in RI!) are typically heavy on the sugar and light on the caffeine.

Recently, though, a new coffee syrup started taking the coffee-milk world by storm. It’s free of corn syrup, and cold-brewed coffee is the second ingredient. My dad raved about it, so when we visited Dave’s Coffee last weekend (which I blogged about here—it’s where I had a fantastic soy latte), I picked up a jar of the mocha coffee syrup (it also comes in regular coffee, decaf, and vanilla). How could I resist when it has such killer packaging? I’m a sucker for quality design and branding.



S had never heard of coffee milk and was intrigued by my purchase. He tried it the other day, made with almond milk, and fell in love. And for good reason—this is quality syrup, much better than the sugary crap produced by the other brands. It has a price tag to match, but I think it’s worth it. I can’t wait to try it in other applications; the tag on the bottle suggests using it in a dirty espresso martini, drizzling it over ice cream, and many more mouth-watering ideas. And when I run out, I don’t have to wait till I’m back in RI to restock—you can order online. ;) (Bonus: Look at that great bottle it comes in! I can’t wait to use that for a homemade extract or liqueur.)

What are your answers to any of these questions? Have you had coffee milk? How should I use my coffee syrup? What are you doing this Sunday?

DC Vegfest, or, Everybody Loves Vegan Treats

Happy Saturday! We just returned home from DC VegFest, and it was loads of fun. We’d intended to arrive early to procure a swag bag, buttt… we overslept! Last night I was all, “Pshh, I never sleep past 8:00 on the weekends! It’ll be fiiine! We’ll have ample time to get there!”

And then I woke up this morning, checked the clock, and saw that it was 9:30. Holy moly! I’d heard that the swag bags went pretty fast last year (as in well before the opening time of 11:00), so we quickly gave up hope of making it in time to snag one (it’s a ten-minute drive to the metro station and then nearly an hour-long metro trip to Yard Park). When we arrived around 11:15, though, there was still a long line, meaning that there were still bags available. It was moving quickly, so we waited, enjoying the antics of all the dogs people had brought along for the day.

Overhead view of a very long line of people!

When we were about 15 or so people from the front, a VegFest volunteer informed us that they’d run out of bags. Nooooo! We were so close! Demoralized, we entered the festival, which was already packed.

We hadn’t eaten before leaving, so we made a beeline for food. There were quite a few food trucks, and we opted for the one with the shortest line. We each got a tofu banh mi sandwich from the Bonmi food truck. They were fine and filling, but nothing spectacular.

Our bellies full, we spent some time wandering the festival, checking out the stalls and snagging free samples of various “meats,” nut-based cheeses, and beverages. I was delighted to see a tent with TONS of delicious desserts from Vegan Treats, but appalled that the line was already snaking halfway down the festival grounds! Apparently, everyone loves VT as much as I do.

Me in front of the Vegan Treats tent with lots of vegan doughnuts in the background!

A smile of genuine delight.

We met up with a coworker and her husband, watched a speaker, and did some more snacking and sampling. We particularly enjoyed the Viana meats we tried; they were really flavorful. We also liked Gouter‘s raw “pumpkin spice latte” tonics made with almond milk, spices, and cold-brew coffee. Yummy!

Since the line wasn’t getting any shorter, we decided to bite the bullet and wait in line for Vegan Treats. I could NOT pass up the chance to stock up on vegan doughnuts, after all! S graciously held our place while the three of us walked around and watched part of another speaker’s presentation.

I nearly panicked when we reached the front of the line—there were so many options! We’d scoped it out before and decided on a pumpkin whoopee pie and a pumpkin creme doughnut, and then we added a pumpkin cheesecake on a stick and a speculoos (!) cheesecake on a stick! At the last minute, I asked for one of the chocolate doughnuts I fell in love with at Loving Hut so many, um, weeks ago.

Top-down view of my hand holding a half-eaten whoopee pie.We were pretty full from our snacks and lunch, so we didn’t make much of a dent in our purchases. S and I ate about half the whoopee pie and called it quits. At that point, we were all a bit tired and VegFested out, so we peaced out and headed home.

All in all, VegFest was a great event. I think they could’ve realized earlier that they’d run out of bags soon and let those of us in line know so we didn’t stand there for no reason, but that was really the only hiccup. And the fact that it was so crowded only speaks to the growing draw of the veg movement, so I can’t even complain about that. There was a great selection of exhibitors, free samples, and items to purchase. Next year, I’ll suck it up, set my alarm, and get there early!

Have you attended any vegan or vegetarian festivals?

Bonus! I forgot to post this photo of the pumpkin cheesecake on a stick. The speculoos version is just off-screen… :)

Cheesecake on a stick! It's covered in small white chocolate , regular chocolate, and peanut butter (?) chips

Seasonal Fruit-based Drinks!

Readers, I am SPENT. I finished my three-day orientation bonanza today, then caught up on work for 45 minutes, then headed out to join my coworkers for post-orientation happy hour at Dogfish Head Alehouse. I’m not the biggest fan of prolonged social interaction with people I don’t know all that well (see: introvert + shy + socially anxious), but it was a good time. And guess what? My drink of choice totally fit my theme:

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale logo

I am such an unashamed sucker for pumpkin beer! They’re often not nearly pumpkin-y enough, but I like this one a lot. 

S and I also have some of this in our fridge:

Label of The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

This one’s from Flying Dog, and it’s a darker pumpkin ale than most I’ve tried. I dig it.

We’ve also got a few six-packs of this:

Six-pack of Woodchuck Fall cider.Go ahead, laugh all you want. This is the ultimate in seasonal cider! Skip Woodchuck’s pumpkin cider and go straight for this one if you’re in search of a light, sweet, spice-filled autumn beverage. Mmm. I’d grab one right now if I didn’t think it’d put me directly to sleep.

That’s all I’ve got for ya today. I need to rest up—we’re heading out bright and early(ish) tomorrow morning for DC VegFest! The first 1000 attendees receive a sweet bag o’ swag and I WANTS IT!

What’s your seasonal beverage of choice? 

Seasonal Fruits Gone Savory: Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Bake

This week has been an odd one, work-wise. I took Monday off (since I was in RI) and then went in a bit late on Tuesday after flying back from RI in the morning. Wednesday through Friday is my 90-day orientation, a three-day blast of info that new hires don’t receive until they’ve been at my organization for about three months. Truth be told, I already know most of what we’ve been covering, so my mind has been wandering a bit, particularly today. This afternoon, I started thinking about what I was going to make for dinner. A worthy use of my brainpower, I think!

I decided to use that lackluster pumpkin fauxsage in a pasta bake. Not just any pasta bake, though—a creamy pumpkin pasta bake! A few quick Google searches convinced me that I was on to something promising. The results did not disappoint.



My bake featured fusilli pasta, diced pumpkin fauxsage, and a well-drained can of diced tomatoes. I topped it all with a creamy sauce. I don’t have a very precise recipe, but here’s what I whizzed up in my blender:

  • Pumpkin puree
  • Non-dairy milk
  • Yellow miso
  • Nutritional yeast
  • A glug or two of olive oil
  • A few small splashes of tamari and Bragg’s
  • Spices (herbed garlic salt, paprika, and black pepper)

I tossed my cooked pasta, tomatoes, and fauxsage with the sauce and baked it all, uncovered, for about 15 minutes at 350˚. It was a no-fuss, fairly easy, and very delicious dinner that prompted S to “remind” me that he always loves pasta bakes. Noted.

What’s your favorite type of pasta bake?

P.S. Yes, this is the second day in a row I’ve used an Instagram photo. I got a bit behind in my posts after my vacation this weekend, meaning that the past two nights I’ve needed to cook something, photograph it, and blog about it in the same night. It’s getting a little late in the month for good natural lighting, so Instagram it is!

Seasonal Fruits Gone Savory: Pumpkin Fauxsage

On the third day of MoFo, I blogged about my infused vodka fail.The one upside to the debacle, at least to my optimistic (ha) self, was that I thought I’d gotten my requisite MoFo fail out of the way early. Ah, hubris. As if I couldn’t mess up twice in a month!

Tonight, I messed up. I returned home from work with a headache and a bit of nausea. I didn’t particularly feel like cooking, but I needed something to blog about. So I decided it was time to use pumpkin in a savory application—fauxsage! I liked the idea of making an apple fauxsage and then a pumpkin fauxsage to compare the two. Once again, 500 Vegan Recipes offered a promising recipe.

Because I wasn’t feeling my best, I was not in the mood for particularly careful measuring of the spices. So when it came time to add a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg, I figured I’d just shake a few dashes into the bowl. I reached into my alphabetized spice drawer and grabbed a small jar from the location the nutmeg belonged. The nutmeg has one of those perforated tops that lets you shake out small amounts at a time, so I swiftly unscrewed the cap and upended the jar.

I’m sure you can imagine what happened next.

My “nutmeg” was actually dried lemongrass, and my dried lemongrass does not have a perforated lid. A couple tablespoons of the fragrant herb spilled out and tumbled into my dry ingredients, crowning the mound of wheat gluten and nutritional yeast and various spices with a pale green dust.


Shockingly, I didn’t become enraged and start cursing aloud. I just chuckled to myself and started skimming the lemongrass off the top with a spoon. I guess I did an okay job (or our lemongrass is super old and taste-faded) because the fauxsage had no discernible citrus tang.


Like I did with the apple fauxsage, I served this pumpkin fauxsage with potatoes and sauerkraut again. Instead of boiling the taters, I did a lazy girl’s Hasselback potato and roasted the small sliced spuds with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika in a tinfoil packet. They were quite yummy! I wish I could say the same for the fauxsage, but alas—we both found it very bland and in need of a much stronger umami note. (The fact that I used water instead of vegetable broth probably contributed to that lack of savory flavor, but I did try to make up for it by using some seasoned garlic salt in the recipe… I should’ve added some soy sauce!) With a big ol’ forkful of sauerkraut, though, it was just fine.

Have you had any silly spice mishaps?

Rhode Island Recap

Hello! I returned from Rhode Island bright and early this morning… early enough to head into work just an hour and a half later than usual. Yay for not needing to take an extra vacation day; boo for getting up so early! But my visit home was lovely in nearly every way, and I have to admit that I appreciated the brief break from posting, since I’d prescheduled the last three posts.

Last night, though, my mom asked about my post for today. When I told her that I would just post about my weekend and the food I ate, we had this exchange:

MOM: Are you sure? You could make something for us tonight.
KELLY: No, Mom! I don’t want to cook on my last night!
MOM: You don’t want to make something for breakfast tomorrow? Some of your oats?
KELLY: No! My flight’s at 7:00 in the morning!
MOM: Okay, fine… I just wanted someone to cook for me!

Ha! Sorry, Mom!

Anyway, some of my eats this weekend just happened to include some seasonal food… mostly of the dessert variety. ;) Other than a bunch of regular ol’ apples and blueberry muffins my mama made (and I forgot to photograph), here’s what I had.

First, delicious desserts from Wildflour Bakery! A friend and I spent Sunday morning at another friend’s gorgeous apartment (it’s in a converted mill with exposed brick, high ceilings, and huuuge windows… drool!), and friend #2’s girlfriend came home in the early afternoon with a whole box of treats from Wildflour! She’s lactose-intolerant and is apparently quite the Wildflour connoisseur. Because friend #1 is also allergic to nuts, we had a nut-free, vegan feast of scones (chocolate chip, ginger, and blueberry-lemon) and pumpkin whoopee pies. Everything was scrumptious, as always!

Top-down view of a bakery box filled with scones.


(A disclaimer, though: I also went to Wildflour with my family right after I arrived Saturday morning. I had a tasty piece of strawberry strudel bread and an almond milk latte, which were both fine, but I noticed that they offer dairy milk in their coffees—despite the fact that they call themselves a vegan bakery. Not cool.)

That night, we celebrated my dad’s birthday at The Grange, a new veg restaurant in Providence that happens to be owned by the same folks as Wildflour (and Garden Grille). The place has an upscale hipster vibe (all the waiters seemed to wear plaid flannel shirts…) that seemed to work, but the menu is a bit perplexing: it’s all vegetarian, but nowhere does it indicate what’s vegan. When I asked the waitress for guidance, she told me their policy: They can do everything vegan *except* cheese. Okay! I ordered an oyster mushroom po’boy that blew my mind. It was a thick, soft, chewy pretzel sub roll filled with oyster mushrooms fried in a crunchy, panko-esque batter and topped with a remoulade and gently pickled cucumbers. On the side was a small helping of perfectly crunchy, slightly pickled cabbage slaw. Oh, it was so good, and just the right amount of food for me! My nectarine sour (the cocktail special of the night) was a refreshing accompaniment.

Three-quarter view of a rectangular white plate with a sandwich and cabbage slaw.

It seems like The Grange’s owners have finally perfected their restauranting with this newest establishment—everyone in our party loved their meals. My brother-in-law raved about his kimchi noodles (served with crispy tofu, pea greens, and pickled veggies); I might have to get them the next time I’m there.

Afterwards, we headed home for dessert. My auntie, who’s always been the #1 baker in our family, has finally ventured into vegan cooking and whipped up a huge tray of apple crisp and a whole batch of chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and toasted coconut. (There were also non-vegan brownies.) They were all phenomenal! I had a cupcake and a giant helping of apple crisp and was so full I felt almost sick afterwards. Oops. :) I hope my aunt’s baking success will convince her to explore more vegan baking at family gatherings in the future!

Three-quarter shot of a big metal pan of apple crisp with cupcakes in the background.

There’s a lot of un-pictured yumminess, too—those blueberry muffins I already mentioned… some delicious BBQ cabbage sandwiches my dad whipped up… yummy salad with tahini-lemon dressing… a packaged vegan coconut-oat bar and a fantastic soy latte at Dave’s Coffee… hmm. I eat well when I’m home! And I didn’t have to do any cooking this time! (Sorry, Mom!)

But even better than the food was all the time I spent with my family and friends. It was really one of the nicest trips home I’ve had in a while–no rushing around, and lots of time to make spur-of-the-moment plans. I had a relaxed tea with one of my best friends, that snack-and-chat time with the friends I already mentioned, a birthday party for my 16-year-old cousin, and lots of QT with my immediate family. I visited my grandma in her nursing home, went out to the birthday dinner with my other grandma and her boyfriend and my aunt and my immediate family… and yet I didn’t feel rushed or overly busy! And of course, I got to cuddle with my ridiculously quick-growing nephew. The kid’s practically an adult now—he has FOUR TEETH!

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for ya. Please excuse my indulgent ramblings. :)

How was YOUR weekend?

MoFo Monday: Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce

Happy MoFo Monday! I’m still in Rhode Island, but I prepared this post ahead of time so I could gush about yet another coMoFoer. Except… just like last week, I’m breaking my own rules for this sub-theme. Yes, a MoFo participant *did* blog about this recipe, but… it’s from a cookbook she was reviewing. Oh well. Rules are for breaking, right? (No way, says my rule-abiding inner child.)

Anyway, when I saw this post for Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce come up in my Feedly last weekend, I immediately knew I was going to blog about it. Ever since discovering the magic that happens when you combine coconut oil or milk with a sugar or syrup, I’ve been salivating over any coconut-based caramel recipe I encounter. So this one, with its addition of pumpkin, was a siren syrup I couldn’t resist.

Now, here’s the thing: this recipe comes from Kathy Hester’s new slow cooker book. And I… well, I don’t exactly have a slow cooker. We have S’s rice cooker, which has a slow cooker setting. And I’m just assuming it does the same thing as a “real” slow cooker. It certainly works just fine for chilis and the like!

So I made this caramel in the rice/slow cooker. It didn’t thicken up as much as the caramel in the photo, but I can’t exactly blame the rice cooker because I also only cooked it for a little over five hours… I had to go to bed, and I didn’t want it to reduce down completely overnight.

Other than tasting a little spoonful of this caramel, I’ve only used it in my coffee, with mixed results. Visually, coffee with this caramel is quite unappealing—the oils in the caramel create a nasty shiny ring around the coffee, tinged bright yellow from the pumpkin. It looks positively radioactive. But it adds a mellow, subtly sweet pumpkin flavor that’s definitely appealing.

So, my verdict? If you’ve got a slow cooker, go for it! I’m excited to try it on oatmeal (big surprise) and maybe pancakes.

How do you use your slow cooker? 

I apologize for the lack of photos—I just didn’t have time to snap a good one before heading to RI!

Lazy Sunday III

You know the drill by now—it’s Lazy Sunday, so I’ll rest up and answer some official MoFo blogging prompts. Easy.

How do you feel about leftovers?

Leftovers are fantastic. I haaate worrying about what I’ll pack for lunch the next day, and leftovers simplify that decision. I’m still not terribly adept at planning quantities now that I cook for two, though. In the past I could reliably anticipate how much I’d eat and plan to make extra, but when S and I are dining together, I find myself with leftovers a little less often than I’d like. You’d think I could’ve figured this out after two and a half years…!

Your top five vegan products (including clothing, cleaning supplies, make up, shoes, soap, whatever).

* My Matt & Nat purses. I have a large cream-colored bag with metallic studs on the front and a small, across-the-chest golden yellow bag with similar metallic studs on the front flap. I love them both! The big one is great for traveling; I can fit books, knitting, a camera, and all sorts of things in it. I used the yellow one pretty exclusively this summer; it’s lightweight and forces me to cut down on the stuff I carry with me. The only issue is that it’s not large enough for favorite item #2…

* My wallet from Herbivore! I’ve had this for three years and it’s still holding up beautifully. It’s also insanely cute.

Front view of a black faux-leather wallet with colorful embroidered fish.

* Manic Panic mascara. I have tried quite a few vegan mascaras and was disappointed with nearly all of them. Zuzu Luxe was my go-to for a while, but it took a lot of coats to make a difference. (Still 100x times better than the useless stuff I tried from All Natural Face.) I found Manic Panic recently, and I love it. It goes on perfectly and gives me the volume I want. It’s also pretty cheap, comparatively!

* Dr. Bronner’s peppermint liquid soap. I don’t use this all the time, but when I do, I love it. It’s S’s preferred body wash; he likes the tingly feel and scent. I love that it’s so multi-purpose!

* An adorable t-shirt my mom got me from the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. Okay, so it  says “vegetarian,” not “vegan.” Whatever. I just love the design on this t-shirt, and that’s saying something, because I’m not usually a slogan-y t-shirt type of person!

Post a picture of a cat!

Sure! I might be allergic to kitties, but I still appreciate them and their fickle, enigmatic ways.

Photo of a long-haired young woman bending down and petting a stripy cat, who's lying on his side.

This is one of my best friends with Toff, the sweet campus cat who used to roam around Carleton. He made himself at home everywhere, including our town house senior year. Everybody loved him, and when he passed away a few years ago, his story got picked up by local press and the AP.

What are your answers to any/all of these questions? What are you doing on this Sunday?

Apple Pie Overnight Oats

By the time this post goes live (thanks, pre-scheduling!), I will be in good ol’ Rhode Island! I found cheap plane tickets (thanks, Southwest!), and since this happens to be my dad’s birthday (thanks… grandparents?), I snatched them right up. I didn’t tell my dad I was coming, though, because who doesn’t love a birthday surprise?! (Me, that’s who. I don’t like surprises.)

Anyway, I’m excited to spend time with my family—even my brother is flying in from Seattle; by coincidence, he has a wedding to attend this weekend in RI. And I’ll get to see most of closest home-friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in ages. Basically, it’s going to be a wonderful long weekend.

But enough about me and my travel plans! Instead, let’s talk about me and my food. :P

Today I have yet another vegan overnight oats recipe to share with you, making this the third time I’ve blogged about something oatmeal-related this month. I hope you’re not tired of it yet! I make no promises that a fourth post won’t show up at some point. ;) For now, though, check out this yummy breakfast I devoured on Friday morning:


A big ol’ jar of vegan Apple Pie Overnight Oats! I chopped up half an apple and put it right in the oatmeal, and it really made this one special. It even *smelled* like an apple pie, redolent of cinnamon and deep brown sugar. Mmm. These oats sit a little lighter in your tummy than my pumpkin oats, but they’re no less satisfying.

Apple Pie Overnight Oats
Serves one

1/2 small apple, diced small
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c non-dairy milk
1 T brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
Dash salt
1/2 C rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats)

In a mason jar or other container with a tight lid, combine all ingredients except the oats. Shake vigorously until well-combined. Add the oats and shake again. Place in fridge and chill overnight.

Do you have any travel plans in the near future? How do you feel about surprises?

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