Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter & Feta

As I begin to write this post (which appears on the heels of homemade nutella, said nutella crammed inside doughnut muffins, the delicious love child of ravioli and perogies, and absurdly sticky cinnamon buns), I feel compelled to emit a little bit of maniacal laughter. This is because of a chat I had with a far-away friend the other week, who said to me in the midst of our conversation: “Oh, do you know what C said to me the other day? He asked if you were fat!” As I thought about this later, browsing through my previous posts, I had to giggle a little. If you only had this blog as a guide to my diet, you’d have to assume that I subsist primarily on pasta, ice cream, and soda/booze. Which isn’t exactly UNtrue, I just tend to filter out the boring healthy stuff. Not that healthy food is inherently boring, but my versions kind of are. Beet breakfast wraps. Quinoa with soy sauce and peas. Do you really want to see these things? Maybe you do. But there’s no time! Because right now, I have pumpkin freakin’ gnocchi, all pan-fried up in some butter and covered with herbs and cheese. And it’s stupid good. Your pants will forgive you. Mwahahahaha.

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple-Chai Buttermilk Glaze

Are there too many words in this post title? Maybe. But if you had to pick one to leave out, which would it be? You can’t choose, right? Me neither.

Now, as the name suggests, these things are freaking delicious. But if I had to describe this particular batch as something besides that, the first phrase that comes to mind would be “hot mess.” See, I have this problem where I tend to disregard things like directions and pan sizes if they don’t jive with what I currently have at my fingertips, especially when I really want to make something. “Oh, this recipe calls for a 9 x 9 pan, but I have an 8 x 8. Ehh, it’ll be fine!” As you might be able to tell from the picture above, there were a few…casualties. Poor little rolls. Otherwise destined for sticky greatness. Stuffed between their slightly larger brothers, who then eclipsed them in the oven. Poor, sunken, gooey things.

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Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins, Filled with Nutella

Yup. I warned you these were coming! As if pumpkin doughnut muffins weren’t tasty enough on their own, I needed to fill them with nutella. Sometimes cramming as much delicious as possible into one treat just seems like the right thing to do.

This decision, quite frankly, was for my own good. Apparently I have this problem with nutella where, uh, I can’t stop eating it. I don’t even want to tell you how much had disappeared by the end of this photo shoot. “Oh look, there’s some excess nutella on this plate, might as well clean it up with my fingers.” “And oh no, now this knife is covered in it too. I certainly wouldn’t want to waste it by washing it down the sink!” “Oh and of course I will eat this bread covered in nutella.” That went on for 20 minutes. I spent the next half an hour cursing my lack of will power and the serious serious stomach ache it had caused, while slowly sinking out of my chair, onto the floor. At that moment, I never wanted to see nutella again. I even managed to climb back up into my chair to put out a call to local facebook friends to please PLEASE take some off my hands. But the nausea soon subsided, and the nutella cravings returned.

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Pumpkin & Sage Ravioli

I finally did it. I put pumpkin in something that isn’t a cookie. Or a muffin. Or a cinnamon roll. It’s taken over a year, but can you blame me? With so many other dinner-friendly varieties of squash out there, the adorable little pumpkin begs to be lovingly cradled from the store all the way to the kitchen, then turned into delectable treats. (I refuse to believe that I’m the only person who carefully searches the pumpkin pile until I’m sure I’ve found the cutest one, then proudly parades it around the store.)

This was my second attempt at a savory pumpkin dish. The first, sadly, was not a success. I made pumpkin gnudi that were more like boiled pumpkin paste blobs than pasta. (As I started to make the dough, it quickly became apparent to me that my pumpkin purée was too watery. I attempted to compensate by adding more egg, cheese, and flour, but it did not do the trick.) Luckily, I did not give up on pumpkin for dinner! And these ravioli were far better. I have since seen a few pumpkin gnocchi/gnudi dishes kicking around the gawkerverse, so I will definitely be giving that one a try again. (I will not be outdone!) ;)

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Chai-Iced Pumpkin Cookies

I’d like to take a moment to talk to you about a serious addiction I had many, many years ago. Absurd amounts of money went towards supporting my habit. I would indulge at least once—and sometimes twice—a day. I’d sneak away during lunch breaks to get a fix. I even tried to drag my friends and co-workers into my world of obsession.

My addiction: Starbucks Pumpkin Chai Lattes. I know everyone is all about the pumpkin espresso lattes as soon as fall hits, but I’m telling you, pumpkin chai lattes are where it’s at. Imagine drinking a warm cup of extra-spicy pumpkin panna cotta—it’s that good. I’m going to stop myself right here before I go full throttle on the latte love, because this post is about cookies, not lattes!

Point is, I’ve become quite the coffee and tea snob since I moved to Vermont a few years ago. I turn my nose up at coffee that isn’t roasted locally. I want nothing to do with chai that comes from a box. I know, I know—groan if you must, but it’s an unavoidable side effect of having a barista brother who also roasts coffee at a local shop, and a boyfriend who manages the café at another. (I even feel the need to put the acute accent on the “e” in “café”—it’s that bad.) If it’s any consolation, I still load my coffee up with cream and sugar, so there’s hope that I may not become completely insufferable!

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