After a two-week long hiatus from A Smaller Bite, I am back and ready to share with you my new culinary adventures in College Park. It’s been a jam-packed few weeks of reuniting with old friends, getting settled into a new house, and yes, also realizing that I am once again back at school – meaning real classes, real homework, and real exams. It will probably be a little tricky getting back into the swing of things, but I am excited to have an amazing senior year.
And just in case all of this excitement wasn’t enough, I have some even more exciting news to share. Beginning tomorrow, I will be interning with holistic health counselor, eating psychology expert, and founder of Kale and Chocolate, Elise Museles. I’m beyond ecstatic for this opportunity because not only does she have a back-story very similar to my own, but she’s also passionate about helping people to live a healthier, happier, and balanced life. If you get a chance, check out her website so you can get a feel for what I will be working on!
Now back to food.
Initially, I was a bit concerned about the cooking situation at my new house, due to the less-than-favorable kitchen it contained. However, I am finally starting to get into a bit of a cooking routine and am impressed with my culinary progress. Despite almost burning the house down while cooking my quinoa, I’ve made some great strides at becoming domestic. I’ve blended a couple of green smoothies, prepared my favorite grainless-granola, and even learned how to use a grill (shocker) to cook my chicken breasts.
The only major failure I have faced so far is getting my roommates to enjoy my delicious concoctions. There have been a few curious bites or sips here and there, but so far, they have not been impressed with these dishes that I spent my entire summer eating. So since I have been striving for their approval and admiration of my chef-skills, I have been searching for a recipe that might please their picky palates.
Thankfully, my research paid off and today I mustered up the courage to try out a new recipe that I thought could be a winner. And because it’s been two weeks since my last post of the summer, I decided the appropriate next step was to move right into a fall-inspired recipe to celebrate the beginning of the fall semester.
Pumpkin Spice Dip with Honeycrisp Apples
- 1.5 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup chickpeas (canned, drained)
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Standard 4 oz cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Blend ingredients in food processor or blender
- Refrigerate for about an hour
- Serve with slices of honeycrisp apples, fresh from the College Park farmer’s market
- Convince roommates that it actually tastes really good
- A few minutes later, politely ask them not to eat the whole batch so that you have some left for tomorrow
*The chickpeas are used to give the dip a thicker consistency, so feel free to add more as desired*
(Shout-out to Lindsey, Shelby, and Elise for their crucial help in the presentation for this pic)
Finally – a recipe that’s roommate approved. The dip tastes exactly like pumpkin pie (my favorite fall recipe), minus the crust. It’s pretty addictive, too, so be warned. Serving it with apples tasted delicious to me, but my roommates also found that pairing it with the saltiness of a pretzel or pita chip was even more satisfying. So basically, although it’s super easy to make, it’s even easier to eat.
I am hoping to use this boost of confidence to inspire more exciting recipes that won’t just be eaten by me, but also my five new family members. However, for now, I am celebrating this success.