Wednesday, October 13, 2010

No Joke

Dear friends, junior year of high school is no. joke. To those of you that have already survived it and moved onto bigger and better things, does it get any easier? :-/

But I will be serious now: how do you all handle a heavy work load and lots of stress?

I will be the first to admit that I can work myself a bit too hard. Sure, I have 2 AP classes, 1 honors class, and 2 others that might as well be one of the two, but losing sleep every night just to try to achieve perfection is just not healthy. Silly, Mandiee, perfection is unattainable! In the end I just want to know I tried my hardest and enjoyed it (or at least tried). That is all that really matters, right?

As all things, though, I think these challenging periods come in a wave. I am definitely looking forward to this Wednesday when things should start to look up. In the meantime, though, I have been in need of a little comfort food.

But where do I turn? If you guessed winter squash, you would be correct. While my school work wave should be washed back to sea soon, the squash tide is still going strong. And what is more comforting than some warm pumpkin cornbread with almond milk and coconut butter?

Don't tell me that doesn't look good.

I love the little hint of pumpkin against the soft cornbread. If you are looking for a dense bread, this definitely is not it. However, its crumbly and moist nature make it the perfect delicate delight. I think it is wonderful as shown above, but I cannot help thinking it would be absolutely perfect crumbled into this chili for a Thanksgiving treat. (Speaking of which, I may or may not be making that chili tonight...)

Vegan Pumpkin Cornbread
Makes eight pieces (and can easily be cut in half for smaller servings)


  • 1 flax egg (1 TBS ground flax seed + 3 TBS water)
  • 3 cups almond milk (divided)
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 TBS maple syrup (=1.5tsp) 
  • 2 cups cornmeal (medium grind preferred)
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin


1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray or melt desired amount of coconut oil for greasing.

2. Heat water and add to flax seed. Mix with a fork and let sit until it becomes gelatinous.

3. Combine the "flax egg," 2 cups almond milk, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and maple syrup in a mixing bowl.

4. Carefully stir in the cornmeal.

5. Add the pureed pumpkin and remaining almond milk, starting with 1/2 cup and thinning as necessary. 

6. Pour batter into the greased baking pan and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden (I like to use a toothpick to test for doneness, especially because this cornbread is very moist.)

7. Remove from oven and wait until it is cool to take the cornbread out of the pan. It is delicate (and delicious, as is evident from that little nibble)!

Enjoy with a dollup of pumpkin.. 

...and a kiss of coconut butter.

*Wednesday's Note: I had standardized testing today so if all goes well, I will probably be back tomorrow with another post. I specifically want to show you my go-to meal of busy week and the product that made it all the easier. Stay tuned! 

Have a lovely day! 


P.S. I would love to give a little shout-out to my grandmother. She has been the absolute sweetest in helping me with my crazy week. Through thick and thin, I know I can count on her for a hug and a smile. Grandmothers always know how to make things better. I love you, Nan!

Is there anyone you would like to thank for all the do for you just simply by being themselves? 


  1. mmmmmm that cornbread looks dleiicous!!! I wish i could tell you life gets a lot easier after junior year in high school, but alas that is not the case. good luck pullin through!!

  2. Hmm... I think college gets harder lol. But AP courses really helped prepare me in time-management and study habits. Just be careful not to burn yourself out. It took me awhile to accept that I wasn't always going to get a perfect A, but it's really not THAT important in the grand scheme of things if you think about... I doubt you will be 70 and look back on your life, thinking, "Damn, I should've gotten a 90 instead of an 85." ;) That always helps put things into perspective for me.

  3. College is harder but it's nice because it's not like you are in class for 7 hours straight!! Andd this cornbread recipe looks fabulous. Saving it!!

  4. All my high school years were actually pretty easy but.. I was kind of a slacker. Definitely no AP or honor classes for me! :P

    That cornbread recipe looks great! I've never made cornbread before but a couple weeks ago I randomly bought cornmeal so this will be the perfect opportunity for me to test it out.

    Someone that I'd like to thank for being themselves? My dog. She's always herself on matter what and I love her to death. People could learn so much from animals if we took the time to just listen and observe.

  5. Honestly, I didn't realize or let school get to me until college...I was more go with the flow in high school and when college hit, I was so surprised by the amount of work. I was also a full time nanny and cross country runner so the stress was intenese! I think it is important to create time for yourself to relax alone or with a friend. I would simply add a movie or lunch date mid-week or on the week to realize it is ok to have time to re-evaluate a lil.

    The pumpkin cornbread sounds amazing!