Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! Pumpkin Cake



Well, the Frankenstorm has passed through and I feel very fortunate to say that after some scary building-shaking winds, we are all in one piece, the car was not flooded and we even still have power!  I spent the storm watching highlights of Doctor Who, starting with series 5, and just finished today (sob!) Nearby NYC is not in such good shape as we are across the river, and I haven't heard how severe the damage is in my hometown of Schoharie, NY, which was devastated by Irene last year.  I hope everyone who's been affected by the storm is staying safe and dry!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Healthy Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins with Cranberries and Pecans



I'm going to update this post with better pictures of the final product the next time I make these muffins (edit: updated!) because, I don't know if you've heard, but it's been a little cloudy on the East Coast lately!  I didn't want to wait to share this recipe though, because it's so good and this is the perfect time to enjoy it.  The number one reason I was so antsy waiting for cranberries to hit the shelves this year was so that I could make these hearty, delicious and not-too-bad-for-you muffins.  For the past couple years I've been baking them as a side with Thanksgiving dinner, as a quick breakfast or snack, and as a gift for friends- there's something so cozy and appealing about home-baked muffins that everyone loves!


Whole Wheat Ginger "Snaps"



Yesterday was my favorite day of the year - Renaissance Faire day!  I truly wish I could live at the Faire.  If it were close to me and didn't also run in the disgusting heat of the summer, I would definitely try to work there.  It is a magical place for hippy-geeks such as myself.  The smell of woodsmoke and incense and dry autumn leaves, Celtic music playing, delicious food roasting, big beautiful herbs growing all around the grounds, the costumes, the hand-made hippy-friendly goodies- it just doesn't get any better!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hot Artichoke Dip




This is another family recipe that I grew up feasting on whenever there was a party.  It is just as hard to walk away from now as it was when I was a kid!  What I love about this super-simple recipe is that unlike a lot of other artichoke dips, it doesn't disguise the flavor the main ingredient, but instead really enhances it and brings the artichoke to front and center.  I was extremely surprised to learn when my mom gave me the recipe for this dip that it includes a teaspoon of tabasco sauce.  Normally I don't like to be in the same room as an open bottle of the stuff, but it really does give this dip a certain something.

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread Pudding

At any given time, there is usually a plethora of home-baked breads going on in the Hippy Elf Chick kitchen.  That's why I kind of can't believe that I have only just made bread pudding for the first time this week.  Well, it definitely won't be the last time!



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blended Holidays: A Hippy Halloween

October is going way too fast!  In just a couple weeks it will be over, and Halloween will already be here.  Ever since I can remember, Halloween has been my favorite holiday.  It makes sense - it falls during my favorite time of year, and it involves frolicking outside, fantasy and whimsy, and lots of sugar.  Most importantly, Halloween was the day when playing pretend was about to Get Real and everybody was into it.

I was all about pretend-time as a kid.  I did not spend very much time being myself.  I was a cool animal, a magical pony, a Disney princess, a sailor senshi.  I wore my Halloween costumes all year round.  In retrospect, not a lot has changed.

I swear, this was not staged. I didn't notice it until 2 years after the later picture!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Intro to Hippy Elf Chick 3: It all depends on your DM

Tonight, the very short story of how I got hooked on D&D, featuring the amazing Jessica of The Five Wits, who just had a birthday!

Happy birthday Jess!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

I've been hunting for fresh cranberries in all the local grocery stores since September, and finally Whole Foods came through for me!  Fresh cranberries are my favorite addition to all kinds of baked goods because that tart, juicy bite goes so well with sweet and spicy fall flavors.  Today I used them to put a spin on the pumpkin bread recipe my mom makes every Thanksgiving, which comes from Braddock's Tavern.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happy Anniversary! Caramel Apple Spice Cocktail



 





 


If your eyes were not the color of the moon,
of a day full of clay, and work, and fire,
if even held-in you did not move in agile grace like the air,
if you were not an amber week,

not the yellow moment
when autumn climbs up through the vines;
if you were not that bread the fragrant moon
kneads, sprinkling its flour across the sky,

oh, my dearest, I could not love you so!
But when I hold you I hold everything that is -
sand, time, the tree of the rain,

everything is alive so that I can be alive:
without moving I can see it all:
in your life I see everything that lives. 

Pablo Neruda

Friday, October 5, 2012

Butterbeer

As we head further into October, (the best month of the year!), I'll be posting recipes and maybe a few crafts and party ideas I like to use for my 31st festivities.  Although it wasn't on part 1 of my fall list, one thing I like to bust out on Halloween is Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (or the Sorcerer's Stone for us Americans who apparently can't handle philosophers. Sorry, that still bugs me!)  And whilst your costumed guests are enjoying autumn snacks and squealing over how tiny and cute all the children were, you can serve up a tray of butterbeer.  So easy, so delicious.  You can whip this up in minutes, and if you have a sweet tooth, it will be hard to stop!




Monday, October 1, 2012

Delicious Dairy-packed Baked Mashed Potatoes

Sorry for the long absence!  It's been a week of cloudy days, very bad for taking food pictures.  Rest assured I have a lot of recipes queued up and a long illustrated post in the works - but the tablet and I are still working things out.  Slowly.


These easy mashed potatoes are a staple of my family's Thanksgiving.  Some years my mom makes them, some years I do.  But they're also the only mashed potato recipe I make all year long.  They're so good, you won't even need gravy (although a little butter on top is delicious!)