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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: Can’t resist getting as dirty as humanely possible. Not soon after this image was taken, mud was down her shirt, in her hair, and in her mouth (of course).

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.

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Sunset

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A magical evening at the beach; the tide was amazingly low, the sky, a breathtaking mixture of pinks and oranges, and I was accompanied by my favorite people.


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45/52

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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: She’s been enjoying every minute of our extended Indian Summer; running around in the park, getting muddy on the beach and learning to play tennis. If only it would last forever…

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.

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44/52

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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: She partied like a rockstar this past weekend; eating junk, skipping naps, staying up late and spending hours in the hot tub.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.

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Uses for Pumpkin

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We spent the energy carting our little ones to the pumpkin patch (no matter how far), picking the perfect pumpkin, carving it and then displaying it. But then what? Seems like such a waste to discard it after all that effort.

As you know from my previous post, I’m a big fan of pumpkin recipes, so I say use up that pumpkin. There are so many nutritious and delicious recipes that can be made with leftover pumpkins.

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The most obvious use of your pumpkin is roasting the seeds. Its so simple and highly nutritious.

Once you have opened the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and rinse under cold water (removing all pumpkin strings). Then place in a large pot, add water and salt and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for approx 10 minutes.

Next take your drained pumpkin seeds and toss in a bowl with seasoning of choice. I prefer mine spicy so I coat with olive oil and add cayenne, chili powder, salt and pepper.

Place seeds on a greased baking dish and place in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees. Bake for approx 10 minutes, or until puffed.

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Another great idea for using your pumpkins is making your own pumpkin puree. Now I don’t suggest doing so on pumpkins you carved or large Jack O’ Lanterns, but small sugar pie pumpkins are perfect for making puree.

The quickest way to make puree is by cutting open the pumpkin, cutting into chunks (discarding the stringy pieces), peeling and placing in a large pot with enough water to cover. You then bring to a boil and cook until pumpkin is tender.

Once the pumpkin has cooled, blend or mash until smooth. You can then use for any recipe calling for pumpkin puree. The puree can also be stored in the freezer for up to six months (but I’m sure you’ll find a use for it before then, think Thanksgiving…).

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Lastly, you can make pumpkin flour (once again I advise using the smaller sugar pie pumpkins). Just remove the seeds and strings again, slice the pumpkin into chunks and peel. Then set out to dry. Once fully dried (may take more than 24 hours), process the slices in a food processor until you have a flour-like texture. Store in an air-tight jar and use for any recipe that calls for flour (muffins, homemade pancakes and breads are all great with pumpkin flour).

If this all seems like to much hassle, then simply bury it in your garden. Pumpkins make great fertilizer. Happy Pumpkin Making!



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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: Another failed attempt at the pumpkin patch. This attempt started off all well and good, until she fell face first onto the dirt. On the bright side, I caught this image mid-fall.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.

 

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Pumpkin Patch

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Sadly it was difficult to get any good photos of Berlin, not only does she dart around at lightening speed, but within the last couple of weeks, she has suddenly grown fearful of all things “unfamiliar,” Halloween decor being one of them. I have never seen as scared as I did when we walked into the party store with all the Halloween paraphernalia, she nearly lost her mind in crippling fear. So needless to say, Halloween trick or treating is going to be interesting-if it happens at all.




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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: The best part of the pumpkin patch was throwing hay in her hair. Beyond that, Berlin found everything to be “scary.” We are going through an intense phase at the moment…

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.


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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: For the most part she hates when I take photos of her, but just sometimes she will comply, and this is the result.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.


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Vegan Pumpkin Banana Pancakes

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Fall is my favorite time of year for so many reasons; I love the weather (especially in San Francisco when we finally get some heat), I love the change of the seasonal colors, and I love that its my birthday season. But more importantly I love the  autumn vegetables that come with this time of year; squash, brussels sprouts, yam and pumpkins. I could sustain on these vegetables alone, especially pumpkin. There are so many mouth-watering and nutritious meals that can be made with pumpkin, everything from sweet to savory, the possibilities are endless. For children, preparing recipes with pumpkin is ideal, it gives the food an added sweetness (and we all know they love that!) and it provides them with a wealth of nutrients including, Vitamins A, C and E, while being rich in dietary fiber. How can you go wrong, really?

As you know from previous posts, I frequently make large batches of waffles and pancakes and freeze them for own-the-go breakfast meals and snacks. I make them so often, that I’m continually trying to mix up the recipes so Berlin doesn’t get bored, each time sneaking in various vegetables that she otherwise wouldn’t eat. For this pancake recipe I knew I wanted to add pumpkin (tis the season) and wanted it to be vegan, hence why it evolved into a pumpkin banana recipe. Bananas are a great alternative to eggs when baking, and most kids love bananas, so its a perfect choice. However if you are not vegan and don’t care for banana, then you can just use one egg instead.

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Vegan Pumpkin Banana Pancakes

3/4 whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons ground flax
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger & nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
3/4 cup organic pumpkin puree
1 ripe banana
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl (flours, baking powder, and spices).

Then blend wet ingredients in another bowl. Its best to mash the banana a bit, then blend with a hand blender for best results.

Next combine the wet and dry ingredients together, getting out all the lumps (feel free to add more milk if needed).

Next spoon batter onto a lightly greased, pre-heated pan, and cook for approx five minutes each. Then serve with toppings of choice.

I have found that the more banana in the batter, the longer it takes to cook through , so it may take longer than five minutes.

Remember these are perfect for freezing, so if you like to have a bunch on-hand I would suggest doubling the recipe. Enjoy.

 


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