When Life Gives You Snow in October…

Make a pumpkin and bake your dinner!



Last night, we had a winter storm watch [3-5 inches] in Virginia in October. It started raining around 6PM, which turned into cold, slippery rain, which turned into what now sounds like a pretty heavy storm outside [it’s 6:30AM]. It didn’t snow, but I still think the weather warranted a warm, homestyle dinner: baked pumpkin cakes. [UPDATE 8:45AM – after a drive to the law school we discovered it actually did snow – there’s cars with snow on them and some snow left on the ground. UGH]

cake batter.

prep counter.

This is another savory pumpkin dish – and no, I’m surprisingly not sick of pumpkin yet. It has the consistency of a crab cake [crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside], the comforting flavor of pumpkin, and the spiciness of cilantro and sriracha. The best of all worlds.

It took a while to prepare because of a strange phenomenon that happens to me a lot: after a workout [particularly longer ones], I lose feeling in my fingers. They actually turn white and I can’t feel a thing [I even cut myself and didn’t notice]. It usually lasts until I shower and hold my hands under scalding water. Needless to say, it took forever to put these cakes together without full use of my hands. Does this happen to anyone else after a workout?

baked...with a renegade egg white

Side dishes included kale, brussels, and sangria. I’m not quite ready to divulge our secret family recipe for sangria [I promise it’s legit…it won a sangria-making contest at my law firm this past summer…booya], but I don’t have to today because this one is a Shaun original: fruit soaked in star anise and brandy, topped with red wine and some hilarious napkins Aunt Bev sent us this week [thank you!].


This was almost like licorice wine. Props to Shaun for the mixology.




I’m definitely going to make this one again, hopefully when I can actually feel my hands. This morning’s pumpkin oatmeal finished off the last of the pumpkin in the can [after pancakes, stew, pizzas, savory cakes, and burger toppings] so we’ll have to move on to another ingredient for a while. What should it be? Too bad the farmer’s market is clearly rained [snowed?] out today…

Spicy Pumpkin Cakes with Black Bean Salsa (Vegan, Vegetarian)

Inspired by these pumpkin & chickpea fritters at Healthy, Happy Life.

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 2-3


  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup blend of: rolled oats, chia seeds and nutritional yeast (in the ratio you prefer – I did 1/8 cup oats, 1/16 chia and 1/16 yeast, ish)
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 5 shots liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp sriracha (or other hot sauce)
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped fine
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg white (maybe optional, see below)
  • Bread crumbs of your choice
  • Garnish: Newman’s Own Black Bean & Corn Salsa


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Using a potato masher, mash the pumpkin and garbanzo beans until well-blended. Mix in the rest of the ingredients (not the egg and bread crumbs) with a wooden spoon. Season with salt & pepper, add more sriracha or cilantro if needed.

3. Place the egg white in a bowl and spread the bread crumbs on a plate. Roll the pumpkin mixture into 8 balls, dip in the egg and flatten in the bread crumbs. Place the patties on a baking pan.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cakes look crisp (just keep an eye on them, I took mine out a tad too early).

5. Top with Newman’s Own Black Bean & Corn Salsa, and serve hot.

Notes: Some of the patties were already so moist that I didn’t need to dip them in egg whites before I flattened them on the bread crumbs. Just use your best judgment.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Recipes


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/


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3 Comments on “When Life Gives You Snow in October…”

  1. October 29, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Hello, I’m glad you didn’t get snow…I just did a post about our snow. We are now going to get another 6 to 12 inches. Your lovely pumpkin recipe does indeed sound perfect for this weather.

    • October 29, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      Oh no! I heard this storm was supposed to be bad in New England, but that’s just TOO much for October! I hope you’ve got a fire going and are ready for a weekend in…

  2. B Licon
    October 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Since I’m not a doctor and I’m not allowed to diagnose–lawyers have the same quandry as medical personnel– but I am a nurse who knows “Her Stuff” ( ha ha ) –you have the classic symptoms of Raynaurd”s Syndrome. Google “living with Raynaurd’s” Not fatal more of a nuisance cause one of major treatment is change of livestyle. Major cause is cold, stress, smoking and coffee. Has to do with constricted arteries. When you read the info, you’re going to be saying to yourself, That’s me ” ! Glad you’re enjoying the napkins. Happy Halloween and loving your blog.

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