{What I ate this past week and Glazed Chai Spice Pumpkin Cookies}

Happenings this past weekend

  • Stocked up on groceries for the week and prepped them for easy weeknight dinners (recipes to come)
  • Ran a solo 20km training run outside of the city while catching up on my fave food podcasts on my ipod (rockin my new Lulu padded running socks – best socks ever.)
  • Attended a private shopping party at lululemon followed by a two hours of cardio classes at my local gym (one with a live DJ spinning tunes – SO fun!)
  • Date night at Borgo Trattoria (I’ve been going here once a week for the past month..love this place..don’t miss the orecchiette pasta with smoked bacon and broccolini)
  • Impulse bought a food processor ten minutes before the mall closed JUST so I could make Shutterbean’s apricot coconut energy bars...yes..I did that.
A quick stop at the nearest health food store for a few ingredients and I was ready to roll…

I’ve been looking for a snack to hold me over between the gym after work and dinner for me to nosh on the long bus ride home that isn’t overly processed or store-bought. These energy bars taste amazing and are jam-packed full of the good stuff for a nice balance of healthy fats, protein and carbs:

  • coconut oil and shredded coconut
  • apricots
  • cashews
  • rolled oats
  • agave nectar
  • hemp seeds
  • grated ginger
  • pumpkin seeds (I added a handful of these to the original recipe and reduced the shredded coconut by 1/4 cup)
When they are set, I cut them into bars and pop them into my gym bag for the perfect portable snack pre or post workout to tame those hunger pangs.

I’ve been bringing home-made salads to work…like this pretty one that kind of looks like a flower on my plate

  • spinach
  • oven roasted sweet potato
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • zucchini ribbons
  • spicy hummus
  • maple balsamic vinaigrette
Tip: Place your ingredients upside down in order, so when you flip it onto your plate it’s all right side up.

I indulged in this orange almond lavender mini cake with white chocolate (from Brulee Bakery).

I finally made a recipe that has been on my “to make” list since last year. Momofuku’s Crack Pies (in mini form following a recipe I found here). Thank goodness I brought all of these to work because I could have easily inhaled the whole batch. Addictive indeed..

I also made tartlet sized ones for me to stash in my freezer for when the craving hits…

They’re a bit more work since you have to make and bake the oatmeal cookie crust before you even assemble the pie. But I’m glad I made them. They aren’t very good warm out of the oven. They’re meant to be eaten chilled and tasted best two days after they had been in the fridge. A salty sweet and crunchy cookie crust filled with a gooey caramelish butter filling..What’s NOT to like? They are quite rich, so the bite sized pies are the perfect portion.

I also baked these.. Soft chai spiced pumpkin dome cookies glazed with a vanilla bean confiture de lait I picked up at Bite Groceteria (a luscious French caramel milk jam – similar to dulce de leche, except you boil whole milk and sugar rather than condensed milk). Want to make your own milk jam, here’s a recipe

I reduced the sugar in the cookies and the sweet glaze balances it out by adding just the right amount of sweetness. So nice with a cup of caramel apple spice tea or a spiced almond steamer. 

Glazed Chai Spice Pumpkin Cookies (adapted from Allrecipes)

  • 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup of butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup of sugar (original called for 1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup of pumpkin purée
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • batch of confiture de lait (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350°. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until creamy, then mix in dry ingredients until well-combined.

If you batter seems a bit soft, stick it in the fridge for about half an hour (I had to do this). When ready, drop tablespoons of batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake cookies for 15–20 minutes, or until they begin to have just a hint of golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool complete before glazing.

Pour the milk jam over the tops of the cookies on a cooling rack with a piece of parchment underneath to catch any excess. Let them sit for half an hour to dry before storing them in an airtight container. They also store well in the freezer, just defrost at room temperature.

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