In certain situations, I’m definitely a planner, but for the most part I do things miraculously well last minute. If you’re like me, you haven’t had a minute to think twice about what you’re making and/or bringing to Thanksgiving dinner. If you need some inspiration, ideas, recipes - I’ve included all my recipes that could be deemed appropriate for Thanksgiving dinner. Hope you all have a lovely holiday ;) XO
I was raised in California, and the closest it gets to cold, wintry weather is dropping below 75 degrees in December. It's not the most festive place in the world for the holiday months, but we had other ways of making it special. I always associate banana bread with the changing of seasons, as a seasonal (but not too wintry) way to celebrate Fall. We always had it in the house during this time & it's the most nourishing snack to have on hand (especially for busy days). This one is healthier than my family recipe, but you won't notice. It's the perfect breakfast for the colder months when you need something a little heartier.
Maple Banana Bread with Hempseeds (gluten-free, dairy-free)
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted & cooled
- 2 very ripe large bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons hempseeds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first nine ingredients until well mixed. In a separate bowl, add mashed banana, coconut oil, maple, vanilla, almond milk & large eggs. Beat mixture until well-combined, then mix wet ingredients into the dry. Using a spatula, mix ingredients until batter resembles heavy cream.
Grease a 8 or 9 inch loaf pan lined with parchment (for easy removal). Pour batter into loaf pan evenly, then sprinkle hempseeds evenly over top. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Tip: I highly suggest serving warm with a drizzle of warm coconut oil or maple syrup. Game changer!
I think it’s safe to say Summer is officially over. It’s just a little too cold at night for a t-shirt & naturally I’m craving anything spiced. These mini doughnuts are my first transitional treat into the flavors of Fall. Now that we can all use our ovens happily without resenting it, I think it's time to get baking. Most of my Summer was spent off-the-oven-grid, making simple salads and avoiding overheating my tiny apartment. I'm easing into it this time as I know we'll have many (MANY!) months of roasted vegetables, winter squash and soups. So, for now, something a little spiced for the changing of seasons.
Maple SPICED Doughnuts WITH MOLASSES GLAZE (gluten-free, dairy-free) makes 12 mini doughnuts
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil (liquified)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 large eggs
Maple Molasses Glaze:
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- A sprinkle of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first 8 ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl, mix together maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, ginger & coconut oil. Using a spatula, fold wet ingredients into the dry until well-combined.
Carefully add the batter to a large ziplock bag & snip a 1/2 inch hole in the corner. Use this to pipe the batter into a greased doughnut pan (I used this one). Fill each one until it’s flush with the top of the pan, but does not come above it (they will rise!). Bake for exactly 10 minutes & then cool for 5 minutes. Continue until all the batter is gone. It will make two batches of mini doughnuts.
To make the glaze: add confectioners sugar to a small mixing bowl & whisk until smooth without lumps. Then, add almond milk, molasses, maple, vanilla & cinnamon. Whisk until smooth & thick. If the glaze is too thin, add more sugar & if too thick, add more milk. Once desired consistency, dip each doughnut in and let the excess drip off. Continue until all doughnuts are glazed. Serve & eat immediately!
Summer is finally ending & it feels like I blinked and missed it. Although I'll never feel like I took full advantage of the sun, tomatoes & outdoors, I'm looking most forward to no longer sweating & letting my many mosquito bites finally heal. It's weird - for once I feel a little resistant to the seasons changing. I just can't believe how fast this year, and time in general, is passing me by. As much as I am the biggest lover of Autumn/Fall, especially in NYC, part of me wishes we could hold out a little longer.
In the meantime, I'm getting in the last bit of beloved watermelon with this perfect end-0f-Summer treat. It will soon be too cold for frozen treats (except ice cream which is always in season), and that's OK. Summer, like melon, will come again. Same time next year.
Hibiscus Watermelon Granita with Ginger & Lime (Serves 4-6)
- 2 heap tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers (tea)
- 1 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup coconut or tubinado sugar
- 4 1/2 cups of watermelon (or 3lb watermelon), cubed
- 4 limes, juiced
- 3 inch piece of ginger, minced
In a small mixing bowl, add hibiscus tea flowers & hot water. Let it steep for 5-7 minutes, then strain through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Add sugar and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes letting it reduce a bit.
Remove hibiscus mixture from heat & let it come to room temperature, or set the mixture in a bowl over an ice bath to cool it quickly.
In a blender, add cubed watermelon, lime juice, ginger & hibiscus mixture. Puree until smooth & well blended. Add to a loaf pan or 8x8 inch pyrex. Set in freezer for 3-4 hours, scraping with a fork every now and then to make sure it freezes evenly. Serve in small ramekins or coup glasses.
It's been a busy Summer in terms of cooking. I have not missed a weekend at the farmer's market & have been chasing heirloom tomatoes along with every single kind of seasonal fruit. I can say I've pretty much been subsisting on those two food groups exclusively.
For New Yorkers, it's a real luxury to have this much amazing food in season at one time. I try to explain to my family in California, but they just don't understand. "There's such a buzz in the air! Everyone is so happy about tomatoes!" We definitely couldn't handle this all year round, it's true.
Besides eating plums standing up in my kitchen, I've mostly been assembling random salads all Summer long. Since I was raised in Southern California, I have very little food heritage except maybe sprouts on sandwiches and mexican food all day/everyday. So for me, putting salsa verde on basically a panzanella, is not weird at all. I highly suggest it - it's my favorite end-of-Summer salad.
SUMMER CORN & HEIRLOOM SALAD WITH SPICY BREADCRUMBS, GOAT CHEESE & TOMATILLO SALSA VERDE (Gluten-free)
This salsa recipe will make a ton & I suggest you put it on anything and everything. Tacos, hippie bowls, eggs, etc. You'll thank me later!
Tomatillo Salsa Verde:
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 lb. tomatillos, de-husked
- 1 small sweet onion, halved
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1-2 limes
- 4 scallion stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 jalapeños, de-seeded optional
- 1 small bunch of cilantro leaves (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 teaspoon honey, optional.
- 5-6 slices gluten-free bread, cubed
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 ears of corn
- 6 oz. heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 4 radishes, shaved
- 1 small bunch of chives, chopped
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add garlic, tomatillos and onion to a sheet pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tomatillos are softened. Set aside to cool.
Once roasted vegetables have cooled a bit, add to a food processor with lime juice, scallions, jalapeño, cilantro & honey. Blend until smooth & well-combined. Set aside.
Use the same sheet pan (wipe down if messy) and toss bread cubes with olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt & pepper (to taste). Toast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and extra toasty (not at all soft).
While bread toasts, add husked corn to a large pot. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until corn becomes yellow and tender. Remove with tongs & add to a colander. Rinse with cold water & set aside to cool.
Once corn has cooled, slice kernels off the cob & add to a platter or serving bowl. Add sliced heirloom tomatoes, radish, chives & a few hunks of goat cheese. Season to taste. Grab a handful of toasted bread cubes & crumble them in your hands over the dish (and leave some cubed, for texture). Top with tomatillo salsa verde & serve immediately!