Kitchen Adventures: Fall Treats

I’ve been focusing a lot recently on wellness at work and my own mindfulness practice. I’ll post something about both of those soon. As part of this focus, I’ve actively been trying to do more things that matter to me or that I just enjoy. One of the things that brings me the most joy is food – whether making it, eating it, thinking or talking about it. So I spent some time today in the kitchen trying out/creating some new recipes: Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew (from Smitten Kitchen) and Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing (from my kitchen). The stew took a little time (mostly in prep time to chop all the veggies – totally worth it, this stuff is GOOD); the cake was easy (as pie? Much easier than pie, actually.).

For the cake: I used a boxed gingerbread cake mix and made according to directions on the box, adding a cup of pumpkin puree to the batter. For the cinnamon cream cheese icing, I combined an 8 oz package of cream cheese (softened), 1/4 c butter, 1  1/2  t. vanilla extract, 1 tbsp. milk, ground cinnamon to taste (I’d guess about 2 teaspoons), and confectioner’s sugar until it got to my preferred taste/consistency (again guessing about 2 1/2 c.). The icing was almost the consistency of a cinnamon roll icing, which I thought was fine for the gingerbread cake, as I find it to be more crumbly than moist. You can use more butter and confectioner’s sugar and omit the milk to make a thicker frosting (like this one) – I just don’t like frosting that is too sweet.

Perfect treats for this lovely autumn day!