Pumpkin Almond Biscotti & A Season of Thanks Week 3


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A few years ago, my mom discovered a biscotti recipe hidden in an Italian cookbook that had been on our shelf for years. Part cookie, part biscuit, part bread, these little treats are a sweet indulgence with a cup of coffee in on a busy weekday morning, or a fancy addition to a more extravagant weekend brunch. With the right ingredients added in, they have even been the star of a Christmas cookie tray. And when my mom got my Nonna’s approval on her biscotti–well, let’s just say that’s something special.

An early riser, my mom loves to “whip up” a batch of these, and fill the house with the warm, homemade smell before anyone else has stirred from bed. I love to stumble down the stairs and wonder what twist she’s put on the classic this time. Are they cranberry? Did she drizzle them with chocolate?

But pumpkin? We’d never tried pumpkin before! When I told her my plans to bake up a batch inspired by this recipe from the blog “Eat Me!” she was pretty intrigued. I’ll be happy to report back to her that we have a new recipe to wow Nonna with on the Thanksgiving dessert table.

Pumpkin Biscotti CollageAlthough this weekend was quiet and lovely, it had been a pretty rough week. I’m digging deep, but I’ve thought of ten more things I am thankful for:

1. Weekends! They make the perfect bookend to even the longest work weeks. A day to recover from the past week and a day to prepare for the future one ahead.

2. Taste Testers! Got the approval from the roommates on the pumpkin biscotti, and I can’t wait to bring the rest into work tomorrow and see how my co-workers like them with their morning coffee!

3. Music! Okay, so I sort of mentioned this one the past two weeks as well. But I really *love* music! Today I’m feeling nostagic for my past life and listening to Nat King Cole and Etta James. In my mind, there is nothing more romantic than a day spent in the kitchen with some old music playing in the background.

4. Sidewalks! Having always run on rural roads or in the woods, I never really had an appreciation for sidewalks. Now that I’ve moved, and especially since the days are getting shorter, I find they play a very key role in ensuring that I am not on the road with the cars during that twilight hour. For that, I am thankful.

5. Fall! The sun and temperature yesterday may have been sign of a lingering summer (it was nearly 80 degrees), but the breeze and the colors clearly belonged to autumn. Today, we had some classic Connecticut fall weather and it rained all day. Still beautiful – check out this breath-taking tree I stopped to admire on my run this morning:

Fall Tree6. Left overs! Heating up some soup I made yesterday right now, and I couldn’t be more happy about it.

7. Libraries! Although I am a self-admitted book-hoarder, I do love the library. Books, magazines, movies and music all living together under one roof! In my library at home, there is a copy of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight that I borrow again and again, because the edition is so beautiful. This week, I came home with a slew of books on starting your own restaurant. (Step one: save money by borrowing your reading material! Just kiddinggg).

8. Sad days! Yup, you read that right. If it wasn’t for the days that get me down, I wouldn’t appreciate the days that pick my head up.

9. DVR! Because I am a spoiled brat of my generation and I want to watch my shows on my own time!

10. Faith! I don’t usually talk much about my religion and prefer to keep to myself about it. I try to attend mass each Sunday and use the time breathe and think about the bigger picture and what I can do to be a better person. But today’s Gospel, about when the Apostles asked Jesus for more faith so that they could better serve him, really struck a chord. While they the Apostles clearly had honorable intentions, Jesus reminded them that the faith they have is enough, and that it can do wonderful things. I’m thankful for the faith I have in God, in myself, in my friends, and in my family. Although I want a clear path with more guarantees and more assurance, in the end, I know everything will be okay: I have faith.

BONUS! 11. I’m posting this before 8 pm! What? Looks like someone will have time to read some of those library books before bed tonight!