Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadians out there! My long weekend was filled with food (and lots of it!), playing with the dogs and a nice, long drive around Elgin, NB with the hubby. We started out yesterday bright and early sharing breakfast at a local restaurant with my family and finished it with turkey dinner with JD’s family. I think my belly was full from first thing in the morning until my head hit the pillow last night. In between all the eating, we managed to sneak a Sunday drive out in the countryside around Elgin, NB. Sunday drives have been a sort of tradition with JD and I- we usually start by stopping at a local cafe for a big mug of coffee and spend hours driving around listening to the radio and enjoying each others company. It is nice to take a break from our busy life to just be with each other and is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. And it always amazes me how many picturesque places there are so close by.
Pollet River, New Brunswick
And the best scenery of all is in our own backseat
The weekend was so busy I barely squeezed in any time in the kitchen. But I did manage to find time to make these gems- pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. A gluten-free girl has to be prepared for family dinners and show up with her own dessert. I will admit it- the pumpkin pie covered in whipped cream and apple pies covered in ice cream did make me resent my gluten free status for a minute- but these cookies satisfied my sweet tooth and kept my belly happy. And my gluten-loving husband gave them his approval as well- so I encourage everyone to give them a try. The original recipe comes from the one and only Bethenny (yup! THAT Bethenny…and she used banana instead of pumpkin which I think would also be delicious but pumpkin seemed more appropriate for the season.)
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
- 1&1/2 cups oat flour (I use Cream Hill estates- it’s GF!)
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375. Whisk all the dry ingredients together in one bowl and all the wet ingredients in another then blend together. Fold in the chocolate chips. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out small balls of batter onto the cookie sheet. Flatten with your hand (these cookies do not spread out much during baking) and bake for 12 minutes (until crisp and slightly browned around the edges.) These go well with a big mug of coffee or tea.
Today is one of those days where I am reminded of everything I have to be thankful for. Somewhere during the last 4 year struggle to get pregnant I seem to have fave forgotten to appreciate what I have instead of long for what I don’t. I used to be a very happy, very positive person and somehow with every negative pregnancy test and every failed fertility treatment I lost that. But over the past 2 days two beautiful beings (one human, one canine) passed away and their passing reminded me how short life really is and how important it is to let the people you care about know how important they are.
A 90 year old friend of the family passed away yesterday and even though she had lived a good, long life and had been sick for awhile her death still got me thinking as to how short life really is. Then this morning my sister had to make the terrible decision to put her beloved dog to sleep. She also was old, had cancer and we all knew the time was coming but I was shocked and devastated to hear the news. They were both absolutely beautiful beings who brought nothing but love and kindness with them wherever they went. So I have decided to learn from this experience and find my old, positive self again. I will not let infertility define me anymore.
So here is a start at some of the things I am thankful for (and the whole list is a big one- I am a very lucky girl!)
- My hubby. He is loving, understanding and can make me laugh even when it’s the last thing in the world I feel like doing.
- My doggies. Their lives are so short and they give me such unconditional love. Seeing them is the highlight of my day every day.
- My job. I love being a pharmacist and feel excited to go to work every morning. And I get paid well to do it- with the economy the way that it is today this is something to be extra thankful for.
- My old home. It might need A LOT of work, it might seem like a money pit at times, but it is OUR money pit and we love our old home. It has such character and really feels like “home”. And the hubby and I actually like working on it together- another bonus.
- Gingerbread muffins. I know this post has been quite serious so far so I have to end it up something extra special. And these muffins are IT. The recipe is another Pinterest find from “Back to the Cutting Board” and I tweaked it just a little to make if gluten and dairy free. It is the perfect Fall treat. Proof? I baked a dozen on the weekend and they are already gone.
Gluten & Dairy Free Gingerbread Muffins
- 2&1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1&1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup molasses (I used 1/4 cup molasses & 1/4 cup coconut nectar)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 and spritz a muffin pan with olive oil (or I highly recommend using cupcake liners if making this GF as the batter is very sticky.) Mix all the dry ingredients together with a whisk then add all the wet ingredients and mix well. Pour into muffin tins about 3/4 full and bake for 20-22 minutes. If not using liners, let the muffins cool before trying to take them out of the muffin tin or else they will crumble. Also- Emily from Back to the Cutting Board advised that the muffins taste best the next day- after the flavors have sat & mingled for awhile. At first I did not believe her-how could muffins not be best piping hot straight from the oven? But it’s true. They taste great straight from the oven but they taste AMAZING the next day. Enjoy!