Is It? Is It Here? FALL!

I clearly remember the first time I found that I liked Fall. It was my freshman year of college. School didn’t start until the end of September, so for the first time in my life I could see Autumn coming. I wasn’t dreading the beginning of school. I enjoyed the weather getting cooler and the leaves changing. Plus, after school began I felt pretty collegiate walking around campus under the canopy of colorful foliage. Now, holy cow, people are going crazy over fall. Were people always crazy about fall, but because we didn’t have Pinterest we didn’t know? I like pumpkin, but get a grip! Pumpkin doesn’t have to be in everything! So, I’m gonna share some pumpkin recipes. Just kidding, no really I am. Only my favorite one though. I found I don’t care for savory pumpkin. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin chili, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin pasties? I found a whole page of savory pumpkin recipes from the Huffington Post, go ahead knock yourself out. This recipe is from Grandma Velma. She wasn’t really my grandma. My dad called her Aunt Velma, but she wasn’t his aunt either. Grandma Velma was vaguely related to us. Her family and my grandparents came out to Oregon from Arkansas about the same time. She was a character. She sewed quilts and watched soap operas all day. I have five quilts in my closet she made, plus an afghan and we were barely related! Just imagine how many quilts her actual grandchildren have! She was a great, old-fashioned, Southern gramma. And a great cook.

Pumpkin Cake Roll-From Grandma Velma

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 oz vegan cream cheese (like Tofutti)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter (like earth balance)

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease and flour a jelly roll pan and line with wax or parchment paper.

Beat eggs on high for 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar. Stir in pumpkin and lemon juice. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients, fold into pumpkin mixture. pour batter into prepared pan. Top with nuts.

Bake for 15 minutes. Lay out a tea towel and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

When the cake is done carefully turn it out onto the sugar covered tea towel. remove the paper from the back of the cake. Roll the cake in the towel and let it cool.

Beat all the filling ingredients together until smooth.

Slowly and carefully unroll the cake. Smooth the filling over entire cake and roll again (with out the towel).

Chill and slice to serve.







Dairy-Free Potato Casserole

My husband bought a turkey fryer.  We have had three turkeys since Thanksgiving.  We have another turkey in our fridge ready to fry.  I didn’t want more turkey for Christmas so we had ham.  I have made mashed potatoes to go with ham, but unless my aunt is around to make ham gravy I’d rather have hash-brown casserole.  I remember this casserole from my dairy days.  So creamy and cheesy and greasy and yummy.  Turns out it is pretty easy to make dairy-free and it is still really yummy!  Even my husband loved it.



I did not measure ingredients while I was making my white sauce, I never do.  I put some margarine or other fat in a sauce pan, stir in flour until I have a thick roux, then I add milk or broth until I have the thickness I want.  Season to taste.   Here is a recipe that has real measurements and maybe it is even kitchen tested.  Only thing is it isn’t dairy-free, so substitutions are needed.  I don’t know if cow milk makes sauces thicker because this recipe seems to have not enough flour and too much liquid.  Guess I’ll try it and see if it works.

A Dairy-Free Thanksgiving

I am an adult with a dairy allergy.  The doctors told my mom that I would grow out of my allergy by the time I was two, then four or six.  When I was ten we had Christmas at my grandma’s house.  She set out See’s Candies and I ate several.  My mother chided me and we waited for me to be horribly sick, but it didn’t happen.  For the next few years I ate ice cream in obscene amounts, cheesecake at every opportunity and entire pizzas.  When I was in high school I started to notice that if I ate dairy when I had a cold, I would feel worse.  Then in college if I had dairy when I felt well I would start to get cold symptoms.  At the age of 20 the party was over.  I was hoping that it was a ten-year cycle, but I’ve been 29 for several years now and cheesecake is still just a memory.  The good thing is that I really learned to cook on my own dairy-free.  I know several adults who have developed allergies in adulthood or they are learning cook for kids with allergies and it is so difficult to relearn how to shop, and how to cook.  I wish there was more I could do to help.  Holidays are always hard with those of us with allergies.  My mom always packed food for me when I was a kid and I think that is the best option for little ones.  I usually eat before parties.  This girl cannot live on fruit salad alone!  But if I eat before we go, there is almost always something I can nibble on so I look like I’m eating.  I don’t want to put more pressure on a holiday hostess! (STS)

I am going to post several recipes that I use every holiday season.  The first and most important recipe is Mashed Potatoes!  What else from the Idaho Housewife!  I have never actually measured my ingredients for mashed potatoes so I hope this recipe works out.

For Holiday Feast size use 5 lbs of potatoes, 1 1/2 sticks of margarine and enough coconut milk and/or chicken broth to make them the consistency that your family prefers.  Season with salt and a dash of pepper.


It is Still FALL, Right?


Warm, spicy chai and a pumpkin muffin with maple cream cheese.  I love Fall!  I love the leaves and the rainy weather.  I LOVE Thanksgiving!  A holiday to give thanks to God for all that He has done for us.  And we celebrate with a feast! Fantastic!  What is happening to Thanksgiving?  People in my neighborhood have been putting up Christmas lights for the last couple of weeks.  Down came the spiders and Jack-o-lanterns and up went the lights and the blow-up Santa.  What about Thanksgiving?  What about Fall?  I would guess that Americans don’t really like Thanksgiving.  We like food, but not if we have to make it.  And being grateful for anything is a foreign concept.  I am an American, I am entitled to everything, I don’t have to thank anyone, I don’t have to work for anything…(I wasn’t planning on a rant about the problems with this country, just Christmas lights in November.)  Do you know why we celebrate Thanksgiving?  Because our pious forefathers celebrated Christmas as a religious holiday.  No trees or lights or presents and definitely no drinking and feasting.  That is what Thanksgiving is for.  I love Christmas, but I don’t want to celebrate it for 2 months!  What is special about that?  So, I will celebrate Fall and Thanksgiving!  We will have turkey, potatoes, cranberries, white wine, apple cider, and chai and pumpkin everything!  Hooray for Fall!

Chai “Recipe”

Heat almond milk and 1 tablespoon of honey, add Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea bag.  Steep for at least 2 minutes.  Take a deep breath and enjoy!