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Hey friends, I hope you're all well on this fine Halloween Sunday.
Halloween is probably one of the things that bums me out the most about living in Sweden, as they just don't get it here. Trick or treating has kinda sorta come to some of the suburbs here, or maybe an apartment building will put up a sign and organize it on a specific day - though not necessarily the 31st, just whatever day is close to Halloween and is deemed to be most convenient for all.
My kids have never experienced trick or treating beyond knocking on our own front door, and it honestly breaks my heart how exciting they think that is. I dream of taking them back to Canada for a proper Halloween one year, but clearly it hasn't been an option the past couple of years. One day...
We still made the best of it with some pumpkin carving, Halloween cookie making, and we have plans to take the kids to an amusement park on Halloween day for some spooky rides, which should be fun.
Speaking of pumpkin carving, this is my annual reminder to you that yes, you can cook your Halloween pumpkins. And yes, you can still cook them if they're already carved, depending on the condition they're in. Check out my post on How to Cook a Jack 'o' Lantern to get all the details.
The Halloween sugar cookies we made are this Best Sugar Cookie Recipe from In Katrina's Kitchen, which, frankly, is the best sugar cookie recipe I have ever made. It works every time and you don't have to chill the dough which is a major win for me.
I gave each of the kids a disc of dough to roll out and cut up and did many deep breathing exercises while they rolled the dough haphazardly and made a huge freaking mess and picked their noses while cutting out cookies.
I was telling a colleague (who does not have kids) about how when I bake with the kids I pre-measure everything because they screw it all up, and he was like, "But baking is so precise! Shouldn't you just put them in front of the stove and let them sauté something?"
Hahaha oh geeze.
I went for a run before work the other morning and we had these crazy pink skies AND a rainbow on the other side. It was so pretty I kept stopping to snap pics!
Clearly I'm not running very fast or very hard these days if I'm stopping to take photos, but it feels good to be out there again. My calf appreciated two weeks of rest and foam rolling, and I'm gingerly back at it, hoping to avoid yet another injury.
After that run I biked into the office where I had a completely bonkers day that had me in battle mode for most of the day, followed by dinner at a friend's place. Biking home from dinner I suddenly felt so tired I was nauseous so climbed directly into bed and then essentially spent the next two days lying down.
We got a notice that there was a stomach bug going around preschool, so I'm not sure if I had a super mild version of it that just lead to me feeling tired and out of it, or if it was something else. But man, I really got knocked off my feet for a few days.
There's lots of "normal" viruses going around here lately, including colds, RSV, and some stomach bugs. In Swedish they call the stomach flu vinterkräksjuka which translates directly to "winter puking sickness."
I was talking to my boss about how I seem to pick up everything the kids bring home while the other parents at work seem to be largely immune. He suggested I go to the doctor and get some testing done for any immune deficiencies, but what we eventually landed on is the fact that I didn't grow up in Sweden and therefore don't have immunity to the strains of common childhood viruses that go around here.
To help boost my immune system I've started taking a high dose of Vitamin D, which also reminds me that I'm long overdue to update my Vitamin D post. I'll try to get on that soon! But you know, life, kids, work, etc.
ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK
This is really for two weeks since I didn't post last Sunday, but here goes.
First up we have this Instant Pot Vegan Chili recipe which is a Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili with Quinoa, and you can absolutely make it on the stovetop as well, but you know, keywords. There's a fun video in this post showing you exactly how I make it, so be sure to check it out!
Next up we have these easy and delicious Pumpkin Overnight Oats. They're made with real pumpkin purée, are totally vegan, and are sweetened only with dates. Be sure to check out this easy make-ahead breakfast recipe!
And last but not least, this Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie. This is an ooooooooold recipe from the archives that got a well-deserved face lift. And a printable recipe card. And a post that isn't just a story about it being dark out.
WHAT’S TRENDING ON HNL
1. How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Purée. T'is the season!
2. 10-Minute Vegetable Ramen Noodles. I pretty much lived on ramen this week.
3. Cinnamon Roasted Apples. Still going strong!
4. Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos. I'd kill for a stash of these in my freezer right now!
5. Homemade Pumpkin Seed Butter. So easy and so good!
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Kim left the following comment and 5-star review of my Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe:
My batter was wet and oily and I thought I had made a mistake and left some flour out as I doubled the batch but they turned out perfect! Very delicious 🎃
This is a great comment! It is indeed an oily-looking batter so don't worry if you stir it up and think you've made a mistake. They cook up perfectly and are totally delicious!
THIS WEEK’S MENU
Is it really November already this week? What in the actual heck?!
HERE’S WHAT’S ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:
Monday: I'm making up a big batch of my Vegetarian Baked Ziti and hoping my kids will eat it!
Tuesday: My office book club is meeting to discuss The Vanishing Half, so it'll be wine and nibbles for dinner.
Wednesday: Big salad!
Friday: Snaaaaaack dinner.
Saturday: I don't know, man. I'm solo parenting for a week next week and I'm already tired. Might do Sheet Pan Halloumi Tacos. Might phone it in and do takeout.
Sunday: Pizza night! Making a big batch of my Spelt Pizza Dough for the freezer.
What's good around the web
1. Even nutritionists don't recommend handing out "healthy" Halloween candy. Here's why.
2. Burn baby, burn. The new science of metabolism.
3. David Chang Discusses Edible Bugs, Robot-Made Pizza, and the Future of Food.