Pinteresting Things, The Apple Cider Edition

Pinteresting Apple Cider Recipes

I love the transition into fall for a few reasons. The warm days with a cool breeze that turn into cozy nights. The transition into sweet potatoes, squash, and denser meals.

But my most favorite reason of all, is the abundance of apple cider. I could seriously subside on apple cider alone.

With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to play around with a few new recipes. And these 4 looked scrum-diddly-umptious!

  1. Apple Cider Sangria via How Sweet It Is
    I’m not a big drinker these days (Aw, hell. Who am I kidding. I haven’t been a big drinker in years.), but this apple cider sangria sounds Ah. May. Zing. I seriously want to run to the liquor store right now so I can whip up a batch.
  2. Slow Cooker Apple Cider via No. 2 Pencil
    It is quite possible that I’m the only person on the planet that does not own or swear by a slow-cooker. I know. It’s crazy. This recipe makes me want to go out and buy one (almost). Instead, I’m deciding how long it would take to just make it on the stove.

  3. Homemade Apple Cider via Free People
    I’ve always been curious how apple cider was made. There is an apple orchard in the area that gives tours of their cider press, but we’ve always shown up too late in the year (or too early, I suppose) to see it in action. So when I came across this recipe, I was happy to finally know how to do it. And then decided I was incredibly grateful to be able to get a gallon from the store whenever I wanted it.
  4. Apple Cider Waffles via Add A Pinch
    Holy crap do these waffles sound amazing. I’m also convinced that they would make amazing pancakes—mostly because we also don’t have a waffle iron. Apparently I need to upgrade my kitchen gadgetry so I can make all of these delicious recipes.

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Recipe: Sweet Potato Pakoras

Sweet Potato Pakoras | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nightshade-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free

With the transition into fall, I’ve been craving heavier, denser foods and these sweet potato pakoras fit the bill quite nicely.

Did I mention that these bad boys are easy to whip up and satisfy whatever craving you have?

Yep. They totally do.

Sweet Potato Pakoras | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nightshade-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free

I also found that they got me eating things I haven’t eaten in a while. Namely kale, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Not only did I eat those things in this recipe, I found myself eating them in other recipes.

Pakoras are like a gateway drug to healthy foods and expanding palates.

Sweet Potato Pakoras | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nightshade-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free

Crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside. What more could you ask for.

And, considering that the insides are filled with good-for-you vegetables, they are only half bad.

Don’t worry, they are 100% delicious.

Sweet Potato Pakoras | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nightshade-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-FreeSweet Potato Pakoras | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nightshade-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free

A few things to note about this recipe:

First, it is SUPER flexible.

Feel free to throw in whatever veggies are left in the fridge. It’s a great recipe to have at the end of the week so you can use it all up.

I’ve used baby kale, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, sweet potatoes, and carrot shreds. And each time they have turned out smashingly.

Sweet Potato Pakoras | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nightshade-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-FreeSecond, consider the spices listed in the recipe as suggestions more than hard and fast rules.

If you aren’t into cumin, switch it up with some garlic, salt and pepper.

Want to add a little kick? Throw in a bit of cayenne pepper.

Easy peasy.

Sweet Potato Pakoras | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nightshade-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-FreeThird, you want your batter to be THICK.

The first time I made these bad boys, I let the batter sit for around 30 minutes to thicken up and congeal. It got a teeny bit too thick, so I just added a bit of water (1 tbs at a time) and it was perfect.

The second time I made these bad boys, I got impatient and only let it sit for like 5 minutes.

Big mistake. The batter was too thin and didn’t hold together when frying in the pan.

If your batter starts to do this, add in a bit more chickpea flour until it becomes like a thick paste.

Sweet Potato Pakoras | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nightshade-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free

Oh, and I was way to excited about the pakoras to get a picture of the final batch.


Sweet Potato Pakoras
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
  • ½ cup chickpea or besan flour
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 cup loosely packed baby kale (or spinach), chopped
  • ½ cup broccoli, cut into small florets
  • ½ cup cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • ½ medium onion, cut in half and sliced thin
  • cooking oil for frying
  1. Combine chickpea flour, oil, cumin, salt, and water in a blender and beat for 4-5 minutes to incorporate air (this will make the batter fluffier).
  2. Let batter rest ½ hour in a warm place.
  3. Meanwhile, peel sweet potato and cut into ¼ inch cubes.
  4. Place sweet potato cubes into a pan and cover with water. Boil until potatoes are just tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Add remaining mix-in's (baby kale or spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and onion) to the bowl.
  6. Pour batter into bowl of veggies and stir until evenly coated. This should look like a really thick paste. If your batter is too thin, add a little chickpea flour. Too thick, add a bit of water.
  7. Pour oil into a large (rimmed) skillet and heat over high heat. You want about ½ inch of oil in your pan so it covers about half of the pakora.
  8. Once you start to see bubbles forming at the bottom of the pan, your oil should be hot enough to add the batter.
  9. Add batter, 1 heaping spoonful at a time. Cook about 1-2 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Flip and cook on other side for another 1-2 minutes.
  10. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
  11. Repeat process until batter is gone.
  12. Serve hot with your favorite chutney, yogurt sauce, sriracha, or sweet chili sauce (our favorite).
Allergen Information:
Nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, corn free, soy free, and egg free.


Plein Air Mt. Lebanon + The #ArtofFood Contest

Plein Air Mt. Lebanon

Yinz. I’ve been asked by the Mt. Lebanon Partnership to help spread the word about an amazing event in my neighborhood: Plein Air Mt. Lebanon.

For those who aren’t familiar with the event, Plein Air Mt. Lebanon is a week-long celebration of the arts. This year it’s taking place from October 5th to the 12th and artists from across the country are coming to my ‘hood to paint outdoors, or en plein air, for the week.

The artists will debut their work and have it available for sale at an Artists’ Market, with the proceeds being made available to local arts programming through a mini-grant program.

A special few will have the opportunity to preview the work and have first crack at buying it before the gallery is open to the general public. The VIP Preview Party: The Tastes of Mt Lebanon (where this will happen) takes place on October 10th from 7-9PM. And because it’s a preview party AND tasting event, there will be a smattering of food and libations from local restaurants and bars.

As the daughter of an artist and a food blogger, this event just plain (or should I say plein) speaks to my heart.

So much so, that I’ve agreed to run a little contest for a pair of tickets (i.e.—TWO tickets) to the event ($250 value).

#ArtOfFood Contest for Plein Air Mt. Lebanon

 The Art of Food

Here’s how this is going to work.

  1. You take a photo* of your favorite food, meal, herb, drink, or food product**.
  2. You email me said photo with the subject line “Art of Food Submission” by October 6th at 11:59PM ET.
  3. I upload the submissions to a special #ArtOfFood album on my Facebook page where people can vote by LIKING their favorite image.
  4. Photo with the most likes by October 8th (AKA the winner) will receive 2 tickets to the VIP Preview Party and Tasting Event.

Easy as pie, right?

*Photos can be super fancy and crazy, it can play to the local heartstrings, or be as simple and minimal as you like.

There are NO RULES around what the photo is, just keep it classy please.


Recipe: Pear Vanilla Chia Pudding

Pear Vanilla Chia Pudding | Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nightshade Free

Three years ago I was obsessed smoothies.

Two years ago I was obsessed with refrigerator oats.

Last year… I was pregnant.

This year, I am officially obsessed with chia puddings.

Pear Vanilla Chia Pudding | Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nightshade Free

I mean, the concept of chia puddings is pretty awesome. Throw some chia seeds into a jar with some liquid, let it sit overnight, and then enjoy… It doesn’t get much easier than that.

And with an endless variety of flavor combinations, it really is a thing of beauty.

My first attempt at chia pudding happened a year or so ago. I think it was a basic chocolate chia pudding. It was aiiight, but I definitely preferred the chocolate avocado pudding variety. And that was the last time I tried it.

I was also told around the same time about the deliciousness of a coconut mango chia pudding. It intrigued me, but I wasn’t so keen on the mango—or the coconut for that matter—so just let it pass on by.

Pear Vanilla Chia Pudding | Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nightshade Free

Fast forward to now.

Boredom had officially set in with my regular breakfast routine. I was getting tired of the multi-grain toast and fruit combination, and didn’t have time to whip up a breakfast of eggs and potatoes (and eat it) on the regular.

I also happened to come across about eleventy billion recipes for chia pudding on Pinterest. Apparently someone in my feed was obsessed with them too.

I suppose that’s what happens when you follow the food allergy crowd.

Pear Vanilla Chia Pudding | Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nightshade Free

The blueberry chia pudding was my very first attempt. And while it was good, it wasn’t great. It was a bit watery with all the almond milk, and not the thick “pudding” consistency that I was hoping for.

But all of the recipes called for the same ratio of chia seeds to almond milk with a bit of fruit thrown in for laughs. So I decided to try it without the almond milk, and just stick with fruit puree.

THIS recipe is the result of that experiment. And I have to say, this one is exactly what I hoped it would be. It’s sweet, flavorful, and thick like pudding.

Pear Vanilla Chia Pudding | Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nightshade Free

I was thinking a dollop of cashew butter would make this even thicker and give it a little extra stick-to-your-ribs protein.

That may be my next experiment. Or maybe I’ll do a pumpkin cashew chia pudding. Or a chocolate and peanut butter chia pudding. Because chocolate and peanut butter are delicious.

What combinations would you do?

Pear Vanilla Chia Pudding | Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nightshade Free

Pear Vanilla Chia Pudding
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 2 pears
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbs chia seeds
  • ½ tsp maple syrup (optional)
  1. Peel and core pears and cut into chunks.
  2. Place pear chinks into a blender and puree; you should have about 1 cup when you're done.
  3. Combine puree and all remaining ingredients in a jar or container; shake to combine.
  4. Let soak a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.
  5. Transfer to a blender and pulse of high for 60-90 seconds or until smooth.
  6. Pour into a bowl, grab a spoon, and enjoy!
Allergen Information:
Dairy Free, Nightshade Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Soy Free, Corn Free, Egg Free.


Pinteresting Things, The Pumpkin Edition

Interesting pumpkin related things on pinterest

It’s getting colder outside, which means Pinterest has been inundated with pumpkin-themed recipes as of late. I’m certainly not complaining. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve added each and every single one of these to our menu for the week.

I mean, if you’re going to do it, you should really do it.

I am also testing out a few dairy-free desserts for Thanksgiving (shhh, don’t tell my SIL).

  1. Flourless Pumpkin Pie Muffins via Running with Spoons
    These muffins are reminiscent of my favorite flourless peanut butter chocolate chip muffins from Averie Cooks. It stands to reason that since those are so amazing, that these would be spectacular. I’m super excited to give them a try.
  2. Pumpkin Brownies via Real Food. Real Deals.
    Can I get a HELL YEAH for these bad boys. I mean, seriously. Brownies. With pumpkin. Brownies. and pumpkin. Together. I’m going to have to summon all the restraint I have to not eat the entire pan in one sitting. Which means I’ll likely eat them in two. Heh.
  3. Pumpkin Truffles via My Whole Food Life
    These are like the fall version of buckeyes (chocolate and peanut butter). I’m not sure what I’m more excited about, that these bad boys are dairy-free or that they look super easy to make. Either way, they will be made. And they will be devoured.
  4. Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding via Free People
    I’m apparently super enamored by chia puddings. And this one looks like a tasty fall treat. It looks creamy and filling. And without any processed anything, would make for a super healthy breakfast.
  5. Maple Pecan Pumpkin Granola via Fit Foodie Finds
    Maple pecan granola has long been a favorite of mine. It was the very first granola I tried my hand at. And one that I continue to come back to over and over again. When I stumbled upon this recipe, my mind was kind of blown. Who would have thought to add in pumpkin?! Clearly, someone did. And I can’t wait to try it out.

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