Mini Pumpkin Pies

Oh, hey there blog friends. I’m back and functional again after my three-week caffeine bender. It turned out all of those songs I recorded sounded like a better version of Bjork, but the record companies weren’t interested for some reason. Anyway, I backed off my caffeine intake to “moderate” and am here blogging for you again. And it’s just in time for one of the great November holidays, Thanksgiving. If my recollection of history is correct, Thanksgiving was founded by desperate bloggers, fleeing the UK in search of a land where they could freely take photographs of food to post on Instagram.

In the spirit of this holiday, which probably hails back to the early days of the world wide web, I’m bringing you a wonderful recipe for a very traditional dish, the pumpkin pie. I’m presenting it in a miniature version today, as this was a test recipe for a pie that I will be bringing to an IRL Thanksgiving on whatever day that’s supposed to happen. Specifically, I tested this recipe because I made this mistake of mentioning to my kinsfolk that I was thinking of doing a dairy free pumpkin pie this year. Now, my kin have tolerated and supported my vegetarianism, and even a stint as a vegan, this final assault to a beloved dessert was too much for them. So I decided I needed to actually test the recipe to avoid any potential shunning on the most holy of blog holidays. The wonderful news is that unlike some of the other recipes I have brought you, this one turned out well. I used sweetened condensed coconut milk which did not have any notable coconut flavor. I was planning on going with a full vegan pie, but then forgot to adjust the recipe when I was baking, so this has eggs in it.

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This actually looks fairly gross, but that’s what you get for using sweetened condensed milk.

Filling (makes 12 mini pies or one 9 inch pie):

1 can sweetened condensed coconut milk

1 can pumpkin puree

2 eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

Crust (makes two 9 inch round crusts or a dozen 3 inch mini crusts):

2 cups flour

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup cold water

1 tsp salt

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A good way to approximate your age: ask whether you still use a recipe clipped from the newspaper in aught seven. I thought I was in my 30s, but it turns out I’m in my 70s.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix flour and salt, then add in olive oil and water. Mix together with a pastry mixer or fork and bring together into a ball.
  3. Roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Use about 10x more flour than you think you’ll need because this dough is super sticky and falls apart easily. Actually, you should probably just roll it out between sheets of parchment, but that’s not a thing I ever remember to do.
  4. Oil your muffin pan
  5. Using a 3 inch cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds and mush into a muffin pan.
  6. Whisk condensed coconut milk, pumpkin, eggs, and spices.
  7. Pour into the muffin tins, leaving a little room at the top. I found that each muffin cup would hold a little less than a ½ cup filling.
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes, but pay attention to it because I don’t use timers so that’s a really rough suggestion. The pie is done when it is mostly firm. I usually check by gently touching the top of one of the pies, if the filling is still wet and loose it needs more time. When it’s done it will just jiggle a little.
  9. Serve with dairy or nondairy whipped cream. I can’t tell you whether or not you should tell your family you fed them non-dairy pie. I don’t plan to tell mine until they’ve already finished the pie and I have a clear exit path, just in case.
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This was my ugly pie. Apparently you’re supposed to let them cool before you try to shove one in your face.

The over-stylized photo at the top of the post shows the darker side of vegetarianism. Look what I’ve done to your father, baby pumpkins.

Serafina

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Serafina’s guide to healthy snacking

Sometimes life gets chaotic and there isn’t time for homemade cookies, cookie dough, or the many other healthful snack ideas  that we have on this site. Sometimes you realize that your masters thesis is due in like two weeks, other times something more relevant to you might happen. Either way, I’m here to guide you through the wonderful snacks that will hopefully save you so your dreams aren’t ruined and you don’t have to cry in the shower until there’s no more hot water every night for the rest of your life.

A wonderful place to start is with healthy beverages to optimize your energy. I rely on coffee most of the time, but in extreme cases, it’s fine to put whatever the fuck is in these drinks in your body. Maybe they’ll help. At least that’s what I’m counting on.

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I bought the Focus Aid one thinking it was just a re-branded over-the-counter Adderall. I was wrong.

After your heart is racing and your stomach is queasy from energy drinks, it’s a good idea to get some wholesome food in your body. Shit, maybe we should have started with food, but you know what, it’s too late now. These foods don’t go together, but they are the only things in my refrigerator right now aside from energy drinks and almond milk.

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Oh carrots, I look forward to throwing you in the compost in a month when I am trying to figure out what smells bad in the fridge.

Healthy snacks can make a monumental difference in your energy levels and mood throughout the day. For example, before I ate this cookie, I seriously considered pouring tea all over my laptop because the lecture I was watching was mildly irritating. Since finishing the cookie and remembering I have an old broken laptop I keep around for displacing my violent inclinations toward technology, I’m feeling much more regulated.

ABC cookie

Another healthful snack that will hopefully stave off your aggressive and destructive tendencies for a few blissful moments is the fruit snack. Fruit snacks are perfection. It’s like someone noticed that it was ridiculous that fruit had all that fiber and shit in it, and was like, “Don’t worry guys, I’ve got this.” I accidentally bought fruit snacks that have vitamin C in them. It’s ok, they still tasted fine.

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I ate these vegan fruit snacks on the patio while telling my chickens they weren’t allowed to have any. It’s not that fruit snacks are unhealthy for chickens, I’m just selfish.

Just remember, your achievements are only limited by the amount of sugar you can eat in a sitting.

XOXO,

Serafina

 

The Creative Process (BTS Eggplant Magic)

Before I get into my totally non-bullshit post today, I would like to dispute Serafina’s lies from her last post.  I’m an expert at being self-righteous, so listen to me.  I didn’t read whatever book she was talking about, and I never will because I don’t even read this blog, but I can say with total confidence that you don’t need to grow your own shit to feel better than everyone.

 

It’s called Farmer’s Markets + Instagram.

 

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Thank god for stock photos so I don’t have to leave my house.

 

I’ve sung Instagram’s praises before, but really, I can even make myself jealous on that platform with my own past posts.  Sometimes, I even think my life is amazing.

 

Just take some pictures at the market and brag on IG that at least YOU support local businesses.

 

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You can later then put spices in a spoon messily and pretend you’re going to bake, like I do. THE BEST PART OF BAKING IS THE MESS RIGHT?

 

Don’t have a Farmer’s Market?  Snap a pic at your local grocery store/gas station.  It’s all about angles, bitch.

 

This might be a good time to start my planned post.  It was totally planned! It’s not because I take a lot of food pictures but don’t actually write down recipes! *laughs nervously*

 

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My research into how to repurpose my gaming food into healthy family meals.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about food blogger pictures, and how they basically all look the same.  Brightly lit, sharp focus, appetizing colors, etc.  But you know, Serafina and I are ACTUAL artists and believe art should be organic, like what your food should be (eyes judgingly).  We let our food speak to us.

 

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For instance, these muffins said, “lay us here among the mismatched placemats and make sure you get the flowers in the shot.”

 

Sometimes, at least for me, my food is being an asshole and won’t talk.

 

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I’ve taken a lot of photography classes in my life and I don’t fucking know how to make dal look even remotely appetizing in a picture.

 

I recently discovered Foodie, an app that makes my (totally not shitty looking food) talk.

 

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Also, overnight oats.  Look gross, taste only a little gross.

 

Maybe if I spent time staging the food, bringing out my lighting kit, and using my real camera to take pictures, I would have better results.  But since that’s never going to happen, I modify my pictures with filters.

 

OMG I HAVE GMO PICTURES.

 

-Mary Ellen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self Righteous Veggie Scramble

Have any of you ever read Omnivore’s Dilemma? If not, you can still read this spoiler because it’s not like it will make a difference. Basically, Michael Pollan spends all this time and energy making a dinner for which he can take full moral responsibility. Grew the veggies, gathered yeast, harvested wheat, the whole goddamn thing. Well, I’m here to say, BITCH, I DO THAT SHIT EVERY MOTHERFUCKING DAY!

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Sorry, I got a little heated there. Pollan and I have a long-standing frenemy relationship, much like mine and Mary Ellen’s, the only difference is that he doesn’t totally know about it. Frenemy relationships sometimes go better when the other person doesn’t know about it because it really decreases the risk of a clap back. Anyhoo, I’ve been working my ass off to grow food and humanely raise chickens, so I can feel morally superior, and it’s about time for me to rub it in everyone’s faces.

Now before anyone gets on my back about the ingredients I used that I didn’t grow (olive oil, salt, and pepper), I have a preemptive retort: I’ve already googled how to grow peppercorns and olive trees. I’m working on it. Sort of. I’m not working on it in the sense that it will happen ever, but I’m working on it in the sense that I thought about it for a minute, which was good enough for me.

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If you want to eat a meal for which you can take full moral responsibility, you’ll need to start growing some veggies, and if you’re not a vegan/want eggs, you’ll need to get some chickens. I also thought about getting a cow or a goat to make butter for this meal, but there are city ordinances against cows and goats, and my boyfriend nixed my idea of indoor goats when I brought up that workaround. Aside from a cow or goat for butter, the only other recommendation I have for this meal is to get a wheat field and make some bread. This would only be worthwhile if you have butter. Otherwise, this is a lovely scramble with ethically produced eggs, zucchini that only suffered minor verbal abuse, and very well cared for tomatoes.

Ingredients

2 eggs, beaten

About ½ a zucchini, halved and sliced relatively thin

A handful of cherry tomatoes, lovingly halved

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Fresh basil or other herbs (optional)

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PSA: Dangers of placing food on the floor to photograph outweigh benefits

Instructions

Cook zucchini in a pan with a little olive oil for about 4-5 minutes until it is close to being done. Add cherry tomatoes and cook for another minute. Add eggs and stir frequently until the eggs are cooked. Garnish with beautiful basil which is still somehow alive in September. Maybe you grew it in part shade or something.

Eat on your patio while your chickens roam. It’s ok to eat eggs in front of the chickens because they also eat their eggs, so they were the ones to make it weird first.

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Food is only somewhat safer on the patio, chickens may still attempt to eat the eggs even though they prefer their eggs freshly laid and uncooked

Zucchini is more flavorful after verbal abuse

-Serafina

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my “Fuck, I need to make a dessert and shave my legs and I don’t really have time for either” cookie recipe. It works well when your significant other comes home and reminds you that you have plans to go to a dinner party/game night and he told everyone we were bringing dessert.

I made these cookies in about 20 minutes and also shaved my legs in the kitchen sink while they were baking. It was an impressive display of my domestic and feminine abilities. Then I went on to win at Secret Hitler because, not to brag, but I’m pretty great at being Hitler. I know how that sounds, but sometimes you have to put aside your values because winning a board game is more important.

These are my go-to vegan cookie, but for time’s sake I used real butter which doesn’t fuck up the consistency of the cookie when you melt it.

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I actually had an excuse not to clean the kitchen before shooting these photos with my phone

This recipe was adapted from one of my first vegan cookbooks, How it All Vegan. I bought the book thinking the authors were lesbians and was very disappointed when they talked about male significant others.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup softened butter (if you want these cookies to actually be vegan, you obviously need vegan butter)

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

3 tbsp water

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt (less if butter is salted)

1 cup chocolate chips

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Two types of chocolate chips sounded fancy to me at first, but it just made it seem like I didn’t have enough of any one kind, which might have also been true

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In a small bowl, combine sweetener, margarine, oil, water and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt
  4. Add butter mixture and chocolate chips to the flour mixture and mix well.
  5. Scoop balls of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are browned

Makes 12-15 cookies

Eat enough cookies that you no longer want to murder your significant other for failing to give you adequate warning to prepare a dessert.

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These were two leftover cookies at the end of the night. I ate them both when we got home.

Just to be super clear, it’s only okay to be Hitler when you’re playing board games. We may flirt with being terrible people around here sometimes, but there are some lines we won’t cross, like actually being Hitler. If I think of any other lines we won’t cross, I’ll be sure to let you know.

-Serafina

 

Serafina’s flawless skin care regimen

As per usual, I bring you this blog post while procrastinating on a paper that’s due at midnight tonight (protip: it doesn’t count as procrastination if you never start the paper).

Something’s been bugging me lately, and it’s about Mary Ellen. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be coming here to talk shit. But I am, so you can all just deal with it. My problem is that she knows so much about being a girl. So much. She’s always posting things like weird creepy face masks, and I don’t understand it at all. What do the face masks do? Why does she look so scary? How did she trick her husband Annie into also wearing a face mask? Do they put face masks on her baby and dogs? This is just a list of the first few questions I have. Instead of seeking answers to any of my questions, I’m going to assume I’m an expert*** and walk you all through my own “minimalist” skin care regimen.

Step one: Shower every couple of days. More frequently if your armpits smell. But, we’re not focusing on armpit skin care, we’re focusing on face skin care which I think I implied above but didn’t really make it clear until now.

Step two: Once in the shower, ensure that you have some water on your skin. This will be important later

Step three: Wash everything with Dr. Bronner’s. I mean, everything. Face, armpits, hair, butt, feet. You know, everything. Shit, I said I was going to just stick with face skin care and then I went and told you all the other stuff. Oh, well. Now you know the rest of my skin care.

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Also, Dr. Bronner’s provides good reading material if you forgot to bring your phone in the bathroom to take a poop

Step four: if you live in a very dry climate, put some lotion on your skin. I’ve never seen Silence of the Lambs, but I hear that movie comes out in favor of moisturizing.

That’s it! Feel free to ditch all your other skin care stuff, because I don’t know what it is for.

All one!

Serafina

 

***Legal disclaimer: the above advice is not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose any ailments. Serafina Bearafina’s expertise in skin care is merely self proclaimed and she does not actually understand how any skin care products work. She’s not really sure if you should even use soap, TBH. The above advice neither guarantees nor implies that the condition of your skin will improve. Serafina isn’t sure what good skin is, but she probably doesn’t have it. Serafina recently had an infected ingrown hair, and after refusing to seek medical attention, she asked someone to explain exfoliation to her, only to promptly ignore all advice that was given to her.

Letting the pros do it

Hello, Eggpiers.  I apologize for my absence last week.  I honestly have no excuses.  No Drake cult, nothing.  I was just clueless as to what to post about.  I’m still a little clueless.  I have a lot of things I’m doing and things coming up, but most of them involve my budding hip hop/EDM/jazz career, so I just feel like it doesn’t really fit here.

 

I’ve maybe added too many things to my plate.  Not as many as Serafina, since she lives on a farm or whatever.  Also, even though this blog is TOTALLY SERIOUS AND HONEST ABOUT EVERYTHING AND NOT A SATIRICAL THING EVER ABOUT IT, I’ve become bothered at the lack of organization with recipe pages (as in absolutely none), so that might change.

 

But for today, I wanted to try something new.  Something fun.  And something that can help me out for when I feel lazy.

 

I’m going to share a couple of the recipes I’m currently trying and give you a run down with how they went for me.  I didn’t take any pictures this time, though.  Sorry.  I came up with this idea this morning.  You’ll forgive me, right?  I’ll be making these things again soon so maybe I’ll update with pictures, but probably not. (Also I’m not good at MS Paint)

 

Heavenly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal (Oh She Glows)

Both recipes are going to be vegan breakfasts.  I’ve been eating a lot of vegan foods lately, though I’m most definitely not a vegan.  I’ve just been cutting down on meat, and having to greatly limit to the point of almost eliminate dairy from my diet.  It makes my skin… lets just say it’s gross.

 

My husband loves this recipe.  I also love it because it’s not too sweet, although in the mornings I still would rather not have oatmeal.  Oh well.  This has carrots in it, so you can get veggies in for the sweet lovers.

 

Vegan Breakfast Burrito Recipe (Build Your Bite)

This recipe is amazing.  Like, I’m fucking serious.  I want to eat this forever.  But too many potatoes aren’t good for you, I heard, since they make you fat?  I think those are lies.  It does not taste vegan.  I’m pretty sure all the seasonings and oil and potatoes make that a reality.  I think I over scrambled the tofu, which was fine, because then the tofu mixture for me was like a creamy sauce.

 

What else have I been doing with my time?  Cooking for my dogs.  Because I needed more to do.  They make up for the lack of meat I’ve been eating and also I still get to boil whole chickens all the time.  Serafina, just let me know if that chicken is too much trouble.

 

Chickens are a marked species at my house.

 

-Mary Ellen

Q & A with Master Gardener: Serafina Berafina

Well, you guys asked for it, and we’re finally able to deliver. These are all questions you have sent in for Serafina, world-renowned gardening expert.

Q: What soil amendments do you use?

A: Well, normally I only use compost, but this year I used a little fertilizer as well. I know, I know, you’re thinking ‘what about the soil microbiome???’ Yeah, I read The Soil and Health too (no I didn’t, it was way too boring) In my defense, I only used a little bit of fertilizer and I used compost as well. Most importantly, I found a cruelty free fertilizer.

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Vegan fertilizer: for when your vegetables don’t taste self-righteous enough

Follow up question: Can’t you just make your own fertilizer by growing soybeans?

Follow up answer: Oh, shit, I didn’t realize you guys got the internet out in Iowa. Um… Yeah, you could probably do something like that. You should just ride your tractor down the road a bit and ask your neighbor though.

Q: That was kind mean. I almost don’t want to look you up on FarmersOnly anymore.

A: That wasn’t really a question, but feel free to look me up on FarmersOnly. I’m ToplessMotherOfChickens.

Q: Ugh, fine! How are you handling the stress of chicken motherhood?

A: OMG, reader, OMG. Amelia, my golden chicken, eats all of her own eggs. Every damn one of them. I’ve tried everything. We talked about why she is acting out and whether the other girls are picking on her. My boyfriend made roll-away nesting boxes. I looked into putting up privacy curtains in front of the nesting boxes so she doesn’t feel so anxious. Nothing is helping. I don’t know what to do. I’ve started drinking heavily to cope with the lack of eggs. Everyone I talk to recommends that we slaughter my baby chicken and eat her, like you would any human child that stopped laying eggs. It’s just all too much for me right now.

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Q: Wow, that got a little intense. Maybe we should get to something lighter? Um, what are you growing this year?

A: Great question. I’m a little behind in my planting what with all of the woman problems Mary Ellen told you about last week. So far I have tomatoes, jalapeño, spinach, radishes, lettuce, arugula, carrots, and snap peas. Corn, squash, beans, cucumbers will be planted later this week. Also some flowers or whatever.

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Q: Do you have any gardening bras that you can recommend?

A: No, my boob kept popping out of my bra the whole time I was planting today. It was exceedingly bothersome until I just took off my bra and top (but then I had to apply sunscreen).

Q: Who submitted all of these questions? Some of them seem suspiciously intimate…

A: How dare you imply that I wrote my own questions and answers, don’t make me come over to whatever area of the internet you’re from and make an in-person frowny face at you!

Well, internet friends, there you have it. All you wanted to know about Serafina’s gardening (and more!)

XOXO

Serafina