Pumpkin Challenge 2015: Days 6 – 25

I have obviously become busy and thus neglectful of my Pumpkin Challenge blogging.


Day 6: Vegan chocolate-chip pumpkin cookies (courtesy of Food.com)

Day 7: Vegan pumpkin-pie brownies (courtesy of Chocolate-Covered Katie)

Day 8: Iced soy pumpkin spice latte (courtesy of Starbucks)

Day 9: Veggie hot pot (there is pumpkin hidden in the back)

Day 10: Grandma’s homemade pumpkin and seed treats

Day 11: Vegan pumpkin pie (courtesy of Chocolate-Covered Katie)

Day 12: Friendsgiving pumpkin pie at UB’s

Day 13: Pumpkin-Ovaltine cocoa

Day 14: Attempted vegan pumpkin fudge (courtesy of Chocolate-Covered Katie and my tiny food processor)

Day 15: Pumpkin croquette (courtesy of Sun Sushi)

Day 16: Pumpkin spice waffles (courtesy of Nature’s Path)

Day 17: Almond-milk pumpkin spice latte (courtesy of Blenz)

Day 18: Pumpkin pie smoothie or “the best smoothie I’ve ever had” (courtesy of the Juice Truck)

Day 19: Vegan pumpkin oat bars (courtesy of Chocolate-Covered Katie)

Day 20: Vegan pumpkin Yonanas ice cream

Day 21: Pumpkin spice muffin (courtesy of Tim Horton’s)

Day 22: Pumpkin spice doughnut (courtesy of Cartems)

Day 23: Failed batch of pumpkin cinnamon rolls (courtesy of Chocolate-Covered Katie and my poor track record with using yeast)

Day 24: Pumpkin risotto (courtesy of Chocolate-Covered Katie)

Day 25: Pumpkin risotto take 2 (courtesy of Chocolate-Covered Katie)


Pumpkin Challenge Days 1 – 5

Day 1: Pumpkin Banana Bread

This delicious and vegan recipe was pulled from Hidden Fruits and Veggies! It turned out great, and I chalk that up to an excellent recipe… But how could it turn out any other way when it is full of chocolate chips?

Day 2: Pumpkin Chai Latte

A favourite staying-in go-to of mine for the pumpkin challenge! Made with Tassimo chai concentrate, warm almond milk, and large heaping spoonfuls of pumpkin puree with cinnamon on top. I chose to top this mug with coconut-milk whipped cream (if you have not tried it before, vegan/dairy-free or not, YOU SIMPLY MUST).

Day 3: Pumpkin Pizza

This pumpkin pizza was made for our house-warming pizza party last week! It was inspired by this recipe from Taste.com, but shares few similarities, as I was using pumpkin puree. According to those that ate it, it was a success! I replaced pizza sauce with pumpkin puree and topped it with cauliflower, spinach, caramelized onions, and rosemary. I believe that the original recipe would definitely be worth going back to and making according to the instructions!

Day 4: Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins

My sources tell me that these cute muffins were light and delicious, and their easily approachable size make them super snacks. The recipe comes from Southern In Law, and is one I would turn to for light desserts or party treats in the future!

Day 5: Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Day 5 was a day of rushing around and realizing: Oh no! I don’t have a pumpkin thing yet! From that, you get: Pumpkin puree turned pasta sauce. I quickly heated the puree in a pan and mixed it with a few spices, including curry powder, and threw it on some pasta with asparagus before heading to work – admittedly not my greatest creation, but it did taste good despite its hasted creation!

Being Cognizant: Scheduling

A series about the ways I work towards being cognizant through decisions that make me more mentally engaged with various facets of my day-to-day life.

Cognizance (noun): Awareness, realization, notice, knowledge, perception.


My memory for dates and significant events is strong – I even remember the minor details and events that would probably be best to forget. However, when it comes to remembering to bring something to a friend or not forgetting to attend a spontaneously-planned meeting, my memory has a tendency to fall short.

Cue: Calendars, to-do lists, reminders.

I am not sure if my love for scheduling has resulted from my affinity for organization and efficiency, but I do know that seeing a week of scheduled events, meetings, and study times really helps me focus myself and prioritize what needs to be done more effectively.

While I do not advocate for scheduling every minute of each day to accomplish what needs to be done, I do advocate for the use of visual cues of goals and tasks in order to make one accountable to oneself in accomplishing those items. Visual cues may come in the form of:

Calendars (digital or physical)

I have begun using Google Calendar in tandem with my computer and phone iCalendar to track my daily schedules. During the weekdays I find them particularly useful because, as a student with a part-time job and extracurriculars, I have a lot of unstructured time. I need to use that time for studying and self-directed projects for my extracurriculars, and I may neglect it those items if I do not structure them into my calendar and make myself accountable.

One of my personal pleasures is writing physical schedules in my agenda – I enjoy pen-to-paper writing and like to cross-reference schedules this way and generally write specifics about school assignments in there as well.

To-Do Lists
Have you ever heard of the idea that if you write down your goal and put it somewhere that you will look at it every day, you will be more likely to accomplish it? I like to think of my to-do lists as miniature versions of this, in that by writing down the tasks I want to accomplish that day, I will see them and feel more accountable to myself to finish them. My favourite part of physical to-do lists is, without a doubt, crossing items off or putting a check mark next to them upon their completion! It is worth trying a to-do list out for that reason alone. 
The device I use for lists is my Boogie Board by Brookstone – a gift from New York I received last year and have used time and time again ever since. It is a digital notepad that you can clear with the push of a button once your list is done. When I am not using my Boogie Board, I am a huge fan of sticky notes being placed in locations that will catch me at a time when I am most able to accomplish my task. For example, writing “UPDATE YOUR BUDGET!” on a note and sticking it to my computer so that I see it when I next use my laptop.

Unfortunately, I have become all-too reliant on my phone for providing me with reminders about tasks and meetings and all of those little things that don’t DEMAND to be remembered. However, I do appreciate that I have such useful tools to lean on! The iPhone Reminders app is one of my more frequently-used tools, but I also set notifications on the events I create in my Google calendar to pop up on my computer and phone so that I don’t miss out. 
My rule with reminders is: Never say that an item is complete until you have ACTUALLY completed it. Sometimes my notification pops up and I think, “Right! I’ll do that in a few minutes,” only to forget to do it within a few minutes, thus leaving it entirely incomplete. To avoid doing this, I “snooze” reminders until I have 100% completed the task.