The 5 Best Gluten-Free Things I Ate in October: Pumpkin Edition

November 15, 2016

PaleOMG pumpkin latte gluten-free doughnut

Without all the Halloween candy floating around to binge on (and thank goodness for that!), I like to keep October eating focused on seasonal greatness: Pumpkins! Ever since moving to Germany and discovering that pumpkin-flavored food must come from a real vegetable and not a can (#expatproblems), I can't roast, mash and freeze the stuff fast enough. Pumpkin waffles and pumpkin soup quickly lead to expanding my pumpkin repertoire to pumpkin pizza and pumpkin risotto - both of which are regular dinner staples for us. Yes, we ate both last month, again, but I wanted to share some new things I don't rave about every week on my Instagram.

cannelle et vanille gluten-free pumpkin brown butter cake with spiced bourbon whipped cream

1. Pumpkin Brown Butter Cakes from Cannelle et Vanille

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned these before, but somehow, I hadn't made them again since the first time a year ago. Sure, I've been lazy, not wanting to make another batch of brown sugar (more #expatproblems)... but I've since realized recipes that require separate wet and dry ingredient mixing means sugar goes in with the dry, molasses goes in with the wet and voilĂ ! Long story short, I've found a shortcut that means I'll be making these babies even more. Oh yeah, and my husband declared them the best gluten-free thing I've baked in the two years since my since celiac diagnosis. So there's that.

Thai-style pumpkin soup

2. Thai Pumpkin Soup

This is one those recipes I found when I first 'discovered' cooking from scratch about six years ago, and it still holds up. It's easy, pretty quick (once you have the pumpkin mash on hand) and is a lighter, refreshing take on an ingredient that so often can feel heavy and dense after a season of eating it. Just don't forget those toasted pumpkin seeds on top!

PaleOMG pumpkin latte gluten-free doughnuts

3. Pumpkin Latte Doughnuts from PaleOMG

I saw this pumpkin-focused month very quickly getting away from me with too many baked goods packed with sugar, so I wanted to put something sweet in the mix that was not-so-bad-for-you-sweet. Of course I turned to PaleOMG, as Juli's recipes consistently make me feel I'm eating legit food, and not something that's attempting to be fill-in-the-blank-here but fail miserably because they're paleo. Anyway, this recipe was just what I was looking for, satisfying my sweet tooth without the gut bomb/sugar high I get with my usual doughnut recipe (adapted with gf flour, of course). Still very paleo in texture - I'm a bit of a baking traditionalist, what can I say - the flavors of coffee and pumpkin were killer. Now if only I can figure out how she got hers looking so good...

half baked harvest's brown butter pumpkin fettuccini alfredo with fried cheese and gluten-free pasta

4. Brown Butter Pumpkin Fettuccini Alfredo with Fried Cheese from Half Baked Harvest

Ever since Tieghan posted this recipe, I've had it bookmarked, eagerly awaiting when we'd make it. Once I found some fancy gluten-free fettuccini (harder than it would seem, considering our proximity to Italy), I knew the time had come. I can't tell you the last time I had fettuccini alfredo, let alone one with pumpkin, sage and fried cheese. Now I remember why. Man, was that decadent. But so, so good.

gluten-free pumpkin spice pancakes

5. Pumpkin Spice Pancakes (recipe coming soon!)

Wanting to try something other than my go-to pumpkin pancake recipe, I decided to whip up pancakes a little more simple and seasonal feeling. After a couple of tries, I think I landed on just the right combination of ingredients, which I will share just as soon as I am able to take a decent pancake photo. Okay, that could be never, but better ones at least. I swear pancakes are the most delicious of the least-photogenic foods out there. Stay tuned...

The Best of Black Backpacks

November 8, 2016

the black backpack

Can I tell you how much I love that backpacks seem to have staged a major comeback? Especially in Berlin, with all the mobile workers living the urban life, there is no substitute for the backpack. I even have a special one for lugging my roller derby gear across town to our practice hall, but sometimes, you just want a versitle basic that will fit your day-to-day lifestyle. You know, laptop or camera, a book, snacks, sunglasses/umbrella for weather that changes from one hour to the next. Those things that keep you working or exploring, all while keeping it comfortably on both your shoulders.

Thankfully, we're beyond those mini backpacks of the '90s (what did we even carry in those anyway??) and it is now acceptable to carry our daily lives around without being mistaken for a university student. What I love are all the options beyond the industry leaders, like CRU's leather bags, handmade in Portugal, or brands like Nukak and AEP who use recycled materials for their bags, made in Barcelona and Cologne, respectively. Berlin-based Ucon Acrobatics' Declan bag, also 100% recycled, is so versatile, it converts from a backpack to a handbag to a shoulder bag. Don't even get me started on Liebeskind's snake-embossed leather version (#christmaslist).

So whether it's for work or wanderlust, stylish or functional, sleek leather or recycled truck tires, this round-up has a bit of it all.

(clockwise from top left)