Jet Lag & Autumn Leaves

Jet Lag on Get Sconed!

Touching base after the grand hiatus, from deep in Portland’s Autumn….I don’t remember much about our first morning back, after a dear friend dropped us off back home. We unpacked a little, hugged our gigantic cats, and after briefly debating passing out or if either of us had the energy to walk down the street to New Seasons, I hobbled into the kitchen, sliced garlic in what felt like slow motion, grabbed some dried chili peppers, and put on some water to boil for the capellini I spotted above the fridge in the pasta jar. Continue reading

Autumn Inevitability: Homemade Pumpkin Coconut Coffee Creamer

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Day 22: The DIY coffeeshop fun continues with homemade pumpkin coconut creamer and cinnamon breath. Continue reading

Pumpkin! Whiffies, Lattes, Donuts, Pie & Beer

Fall’s the best.

I remain broken-hearted that I was too busy to stop by the Portland Nursery for the Apple Tasting for the first time in years and years, so I’ve been consoling myself with autumn’s other BFF: pumpkin. I don’t take a knife to its face anymore, but I will scoop out the insides to get my pie and latte on.

And everything else appropriate.

Pumpkin Soy Lattes with cinnamon and nutmeg, Rain or Shine Coffee House

Pumpkin-filled, cinnamon crunch donut, Acme Donuts

I’ve given this SE Powell donut shop a hard time in the past, but things have improved with this pumpkin pudding-filled, lemony glazed donut.  I say this lovingly, but honestly, the standards for vegan yeasted donuts aren’t that high as it is! And as someone who spent a few years in Boston, they charmed me with their new (to me, at least) slogan.

With the recent release of Terry and Isa’s latest cookbook, no one’s going to object my insistence that it’s the year of the pie, right?

Butternut Pumpkin Coconut Cream with a Bittersweet Chocolate Swirl


It’s a store-bought crust, but cut me a break – it was my third pie of the weekend, and the first two crusts were homemade. I couldn’t stop. Pies for all!

Speaking of, seasonal Whiffies remain one of my favorite things about the cart scene.

Pumpkin Creme filled Whiffies

It’s precious and deliciously fried. Like I could resist an inside shot.

The Whiffies’ Menu. Yeah, you see that asterisk.

The only thing better would be pumpkin chocolate chip. I’ll give it some time.

The following slice is from take 1 on a Heartichoke development. Next up, adding the ricotta-factor, a currant swirl and candied carrots.

Spiced Pumpkin Millet Teasecake with a Poppy Walnut Crust

In additional autumnal latte developments, two more spiced pumpkin creations from around town, one surprisingly more lovely than the other:

Pumpkin Spice Soy Latte, Peet’s Coffee and Tea

Pumpkin Spice Latte, Common Grounds Coffee House

It’s like the rest of Portland knew just how I was feeling.

Portland Farmers Market, PSU Park Blocks

In conclusion, I have tried three pumpkin beers so far this season. The first up was the Kennebunkport Pumpkin Ale carried by Trader Joe’s. The verdict? Light, but weak.

Next up, Silver Moon Twisted Gourd Pumpkin Ale, from Bend.  Getting closer.

Silver Moon Twisted Gourd Pumpkin Ale; kale in the sink


Lastly, we have our winner of the season, and my heart and tastebuds, thus far…

Southern Tier’s Imperial Pumking Ale, New York

My friend Janessa shared a bottle of this rich pumpkin ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company with me a couple of weeks ago, and this is the reason I have been judging all others so harshly. It was so good I assumed it came from the Northwest!

It costs a pretty penny, around $8-9 for a 22 ounce, but hey – my neighbors, the Beermongers, had it on tap while I was there over the weekend. Now you know what to do next time you’re waiting for a table at Portobello.

The Great Pumpkin Syrup Sunday

Oh, Fall

I picked up a sugar pie pumpkin from the coop yesterday with two goals. Today, I’ll open up about the first: Pumpkin Syrup.

I’m one to seek out a vegan-friendly pumpkin latte or two, or milkshake, during my favorite season, and one to wonder, “Where aren’t there more classy pumpkin cocktails?”

Pumpkin, seasonal spices and brandy (or bourbon, or just  insert your mocktail design here) just make sense.  With this in mind, and eye-rolling over the multiple recipes for pumpkin syrups and sauces online that simply involved pureeing canned pumpkin with maple syrup and heating it, the following happened in my kitchen…

Pumpkin Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cold water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin*
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick (you’ll be removing this after cooking)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Combine everything, except for the maple, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook for 30 minutes. Gently stir, occasionally.
  3. Stir in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
  4. Carefully remove the cinnamon stick. Even more carefully, transfer to a blender, and puree until smooth. Be sure to let it cool, somewhat, or let the blender breathe so you don’t have an autumn explosion on your hands.
  5. Transfer to a bottle or jar, and refrigerate in between use.

Use this sauce to sweeten your tea, incorporate into cocktails, bribe your friends for favors in the 10th and 11th months of the year, and smuggle into local coffeeshops.

Notes, etc: I purposely made this syrup light. Again, I didn’t want a heavy pumpkin puree or a syrup I needed to constantly shake.  Nor, did I want a heavily spiced syrup. If you want something thicker, use more pumpkin. Like it spicy? Add more spices, and consider adding freshly grated ginger.

*I didn’t want to use raw or soft pumpkin, so I roasted it for 20 minutes at 400F, and let cool before use. I can’t break down all the scientific sense as to why this made more sense to me, it just did.

Success!

Pumpkin Tempeh Chili with Roasted Smoky Seeds & Pumpkin Apple Brandy Sipper