Honey Roasted Cocoa Chili Pecans

Sweet and spicy roasted nuts

Hello fellow fall-lovers, and welcome to the best time of year. A long, tomato and cocktail-filled summer is now behind us, and we can greet autumn with a warm scarf, warmly spiced sweets, a hot cup of coffee, and a comforting bowl of carrot ginger soup.

In an wonderfully cliché manner, I wandered around Berkeley neighborhoods with my man yesterday – hot coffee in hand and crunchable golden leaves galore – and I became giddy with the feeling that fall has finally arrived as I planned our evening menu of pumpkin leek soup with mustard croutons and roasted pumpkin seeds. The only things missing were a plaid flannel and boots. We may have also purchased decorative gourds and a pumpkin ale, and I may have required a cozy blanket while we enjoyed them out on the balcony. No shame – I want all the autumnal clichés! To round them out, we’re also having a pumpkin carving party soon.

Spiced Nuts Recipe

Another thing that I always associate with cooler weather is spiced nuts. My mom makes …keep reading!

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Cherry Cocoa Truffles

Cocoa Date Truffles

Let’s impress your friends and family this Christmas season! I think it’s really nice this time of year to bring homemade treats to a friend and have them sittin’ pretty in a bowl in your office or at home. I magically just happen to have a fantastic recipe for just such an occasion ;)

Vegan truffles

This time of year is tricky to please everyone you know – especially now that it seems every other person you know is gluten-free or vegan, and of course there’s the “watching-my-holiday-waistline” ones who shy away from my decadent desserts…come on! Why not?! It’s CHRISTMAS! (Don’ worry, those recipes are still to come, like these perfect Christmas cookies :) But… …Don’t stop now! Keep reading.

Redemption Soup…Best Served Hot

Redemption Soup

Confession: I once made a soup in France that was so truly truly terrible that I had to throw it out. I was on a very tight budget and had gotten into the habbit of purchasing cheap canned vegetables. This was also at the time that I was first introduced to the glory that is an immersion blender…SOUPS GALORE!!! I made many soups using canned tomatoes, lentils, corn – you name it – and decided to give spinach a try. TERRIBLE IDEA.

Actually, WORST IDEA EVER. Canned spinach is simply abysmal. The soup was beyond salvage. I tried to spice it up; I added cream; I tried everything. I forced myself to eat two meals of it before I had to dump the whole pot. For shame. Afterwards, my roommates, Julia and Gaby, said, “I mean, I wasn’t going to say anything because you’re such a good cook, but that was just awful.” So…

Don’t stop reading! There’s more…