I am alive. Don’t worry!
I know I’ve been on a hiatus for a month, but I promise I’m back! I have been doing a lot of cooking and baking, so there’s been no shortage of recipes. I’ve been keeping up with my orange goals and getting a healthy dose of beta-carotene every day. In fact, I even thought of an awesome title for a food blog, if I ever decide to change away from current “branding.” (I mean, lets face it- I sound like a furniture salesperson, not a food blogger.)
Get ready for this— Orange is the new SNACK! Just like the TV series, ahh such a great pun! (COPYRIGHTED…by me)
Bad jokes aside, here’s a little update on what I’ve been doing the past month, followed by another orange recipe for…
Vegan Pumpkin Raisin Walnut Bread.
A Month in the Life of Lampnsofa
- I started 2 new jobs! Okay, actually 3… but I can’t reveal what the third one will be until I actually start it, mid-November, because for me nothing ever actually seems real until it happens.
- My main job is working as a Marketing and Communications Director for Sauers Consulting and Our Town Magazine. I really love working on the magazine side of things. As Managing Editor I’ve been spending quite a bit of time revamping our website and creating a structured editorial plan. You can read it online monthly here!
- My other job is working as an assistant cook for Annette Marcus Catering. Annette is so talented, she’s been catering for more than 40 years! I love that I come in and put on an apron for work. I’ve gotten to use my creativity to put my own personal spin on some of Annette’s recipes.
- While catering, my clumsy self SLICED MY FINGER and I had to get 7 stitches! I’ll spare you the gross picture (which I took with my eyes closed because it made me feel nauseous), but basically I sliced a 3 cm section of my right index fingerprint. I am not one to handle blood, so when it happened all I saw was a piece of skin hanging off my finger. I ran my finger under water (bad idea) which felt like someone was burning my fingertip, and after seeing a trail of blood wash down the drain I grabbed some paper towels and booked it to the nearest chair. I always panic when I hurt myself. I thought I cut off my finger, but I was too scared and queasy to look. Luckily right at that moment Annette came home, at which point I needed to lay in a chair and recline because I was getting spotty vision. My back was now drenched with sweat and I was white as a sheet. Annette was brave enough to check my finger and she calmly said, “I think you should go to the Emergency walk-in.” At Wellstreet Urgent Care, I had to soak my finger in an alcohol solution for ten minutes before the doctor gave me two numbing shots to nerve block my whole finger. I walked out with a giant green finger immobilizer on my right index finger! Even though I’m left-handed I never realized how much I used my right hand. It made cooking for the next few days a much slower process. Now the finger is healed, although the skin is still red, and I could fool a forensics team because I have no fingerprint…do they ever “grow” back?
- When Halloween came around, I organized a costumed scavenger hunt at Highland Runners. Everyone “raced” around the Virginia-Highland neighborhood for an hour and collected raffle tickets at local businesses: Trader Joe’s, a frozen yogurt place, Mellow Mushroom, a local coffee shop, etc. Even though I organized the event, I was not lucky enough to win a raffle prize Still, we had a great turnout!
- I busted out my chicken costume for the Phidippides Halloween run hoping the homemade costume would help me win the contest. All contestants had to compete in a “dance-off”… have you ever seen a bunch of runners try to dance?? Its quite the site. I attempted to do “the worm” which helped me make it the top ten, but unfortunately the girl who dressed as “my own date” (part man-part woman) took the prize. It was a pretty creative costume though!
- My personal computer crashed on my third day of work. I have a Mac, I thought that didn’t happen! So that’s another excuse for not posting… I just got all my files restored this weekend. However, a handful of Documents are mysteriously gone forever. Any computer people, your expertise is needed!
- I visited my old Alma Mater- Florida State University for an EPIC win again Miami! I stayed with my old roommate Sarah, and our idea of “pre-gaming” the morning of the game was to make Apple Carrot Ginger Juice with her Breville juicer, then walk to Whole Foods. You can tell we’re really the crazy types.
- I went to my fair share of wine tastings in the past month (…okay 2) and found some new favorites. I have the Wine Secretary app for my Galaxy, so now I can keep track with a photo and description of the different wines. I should add that my idea of describing a wine is “sweet, not really dry.” I could be a sommelier. Sexual Chocolate is one of the most flavorful I’ve had, gotta love those blends!
- I spent three hours in Sam’s Club waiting for my tire to get repaired, because even though I have “free tires for life” (which comes in handy with how many curbs I run over) I wasn’t a member. I am now proud to say I became a member and will never have to worry about running out of paper products again. To reward myself I bought a 3 pound container of grapes and a 4 pound bag of fresh cranberries. Going crazy!
So its been an interesting month, full of disasters and triumphs! And now after you’ve seen that I wasn’t hoarding recipes for myself, here is my latest vegan bread recipe.
This recipe is adapted from Healthy Happy Blog... I just added a strudel topping and raisins!
Vegan Pumpkin Raisin Bread
1 cup oat flour (simply use rolled oats and blend them to a fine powder in a food processor)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 heaping Tbsp baking powder
spices: 3/4 tsp cinnamon + 1/4 tsp ginger+ 1/8 tsp nutmeg + 1/8 tsp allspice
1 cup almond milk (room temperature, or slightly warm)
3 tsp ground flax seeds (or substitute with chia seeds)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (organic)
3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp fresh orange zest
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped pecans, tossed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
* Wet Mix: You want to warm your liquid ingredients so they combine smoothly. If there is a chilled ingredient the coconut oil will solidify making the mixture clumpy. The easy solution is the warm up anything that is chilled, like the almond milk.
1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
2. Make your oat flour by grinding whole rolled oats in a food processor or blender until a fine powder texture is reached.
3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
4. Combine all wet ingredients in a bender and process for a few minutes on lowest setting. This will help activate the flax seeds as an “egg replacer.”
5. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until a thick, wet batter is formed.
6. Grease your loaf pan very well using coconut oil or coconut oil spray. Pour batter into pan.
7. Make strudel, but don’t add it right away. Add after you reduce heat (20 minutes).
7. Bake at 415 degrees for 20 minutes. Then reduce heat to 395 and bake for an additional 25 minutes. About 40-50 minutes total should be about right. You can check to see if you bread is done by using the toothpick test.
8. Cool for a good 30 minutes before removing from pan. You may be able to slice while the loaf is still warm, however slice carefully since the bread will be delicate. You will notice that the dense pumpkin texture will firm up as it cools and the oats continue to absorb the moisture of the cooling bread.