The Brellis House


Category Archives: Fall

Happy 4th Anniversary To Us!

Posted on September 18th, 2014 by Susanna

The fourth anniversary materials are either flowers and/or fruit. We chose flowers.


Dan cut out a 4 from some cardboard, I gathered flowers from our yard and we attached them to the cardboard with hot glue. There was a moment when it was cheesy and very hippy-like, but I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out. There are black-eyed susans, white wood aster, goldenrod, rose hips, and purple coneflower, among others. #mostlynatives



If you can’t get enough of our silly cheesyness, check out our Year 1 and Year 2 and Year 3 photos!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted on October 13th, 2013 by Dan

I get most excited for the first pumpkins to mark the fall harvest. I bought two sugar pumpkins last week and used it all up in a week. Since we did such a great job canning tomatoes, I was hoping to do a lot of pumpkin preserving for the winter. However, I was disappointed in finding out that you can’t safely can pumpkin puree, though you can do pumpkin chunks, which I plan on trying.

The Brellis House :: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Since I immediately pureed my pumpkin, I had to find ways to use it all up (which wasn’t so hard). I made double batches of our pumpkin granola, delicious pumpkin cake (recipe to come), pumpkin red lentil curry, and these tasty cookies.

The cookies are soft and chewy with a hint of pumpkin and spice, though they probably could have taken more of each. The brown butter idea is from some similar recipes I found that used it to add flavor. Since Earth Balance doesn’t have as much lactic sugar as dairy butter, I added some Amaretto to add some toffee notes.

Makes 24 cookies.


  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread
  • 1/4 tsp Amaretto (optional)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Vegg powder + 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups AP white flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cups chocolate chips


  1. Brown the butter in a small sauce pan on medium-low heat and melt, stirring in the Amaretto. Let bubble for a few minutes (no more than 5) until a slight, but noticeable color change (light brown) and a nutty odor occurs.
  2. Add the now browned butter to a large bowl (or one of your stand mixer) and beat with the sugars. Add the Vegg powder and water and combine. Then add in the pumpkin puree, spices, vanilla and salt and beat until combined. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Sift in the flours, cornstarch and baking soda and fold with a rubber spatula, then fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop tablespoon sized balls on a baking sheet (parchment or silpat) and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are browning (the tops will still seem soft, but they’ll firm up out of the oven).

Happy Third Anniversary To Us!

Posted on September 29th, 2013 by Susanna

It’s that time of year again…our awkward yearly anniversary photo. This year we were too busy to even remember our anniversary and we didn’t get around to taking our photo until 11 days later.  Oh well, we’ll make it up next year!

The options for Year 3 materials were leather or glass. I think you can probably guess why we picked glass…

third anniversary

We didn’t quite have the focus right on this one, but it’s goofy so I wanted to share it anyway…

third yearIn case this isn’t enough silliness for you, you can check out our Year 1 and Year 2 photos!


Ithaca Trip

Posted on December 16th, 2012 by Susanna

I’ve been meaning to share photos from our trip to Ithaca and the Finger Lakes area. We had such a fantastic time- the leaves were gorgeous! We had fantastic weather, we stayed busy with hikes, eating delicious food, tasting some great wines, and biking around town and the lakes.SusannaSeneca LakeDangrapesred newtFinger Lakes National Forestcabincabin window boxescabin saunacabin doorfiregorgesgorgeswaterfallburning bush and danwild grapesSeneca Lakecabinouthousecabincabin insidecabin kitchencabin porchSeneca winesFarm SanctuaryFarm SanctuaryFarm SanctuaryIthaca Fallscamping in rainTaughannock FallsTaughannock FallsIthaca Farmers Market.

Thanksgiving Menu

Posted on November 16th, 2012 by Dan

I enjoy Thanksgiving like I enjoy other holidays- a chance to cook for a lot of people. This year my parents will be away, so Susanna and I can devote our entire weekend to her family, which is always nice since we don’t have to spend half the day driving around.

Somehow, I’m getting organized and providing a menu to our readers before the actual holiday. So here’s my menu as it stands. I’ll be keeping it vegan on my end (and as gluten-free as possible). Using a lot of French inspired dishes and recipes from others as well as some I’ve made up.


  1. Salad of Shaved Fennel, Oranges, and Candied Pecans (GF)
  2. Spiced Balsamic-Beet Compote on baguette slices (GF option)


  1. Truffled Mashed Potatoes (GF)
  2. Raw Kale Salad with Cranberries & Almonds (GF)
  3. Lightly Steamed Green Beans with Garlic and Slivered Almonds (GF)


  1. Tofurkey (store bought, I know, but so delicious)
  2. Butternut Squash, Cranberry, Root Vegetable & White Kidney Bean Stuffing (filling from Harvest Pies) (GF)


  1. Pumpkin Pie (GF pie crust, recipe to come)
  2. Vegan Galette des Rois
  3. Chocolate-Covered Cranberries (GF, recipe to come)
  4. Macarons (GF)


  1. Cranberry Soda (GF)
  2. Ginger Beer (GF)
  3. Sipp Mack 2010 Gewürztraminer
  4. Red Burgundy/Pinot Noir

This turkey from the Ithaca Farm Sanctuary, and others, thank you for choosing vegan on thanksgiving.

Lightly Steamed Green Beans with Garlic and Slivered Almonds


  • 1 lb fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • oil for frying and dressing


  1. Stem the beans over 1 inch of boiling water for 5 minutes (cook to al dente, do not over cook!)
  2. Plunge beans into ice water to retard cooking.
  3. In a sauce pan, saute the almonds in about 1 tbl of olive oil until fragrant (these burn quickly). Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute.
  4. Toss with the beans, salt, pepper and additional olive oil to taste.
  5. Toss with an optional vinaigrette of 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tspwhite-wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and 2 tsp lemon juice.

Pumpkin Granola

Posted on October 28th, 2012 by Dan

We’ve been taking full advantage of pumpkins this year. We have been frequently making this granola and it’s been our breakfast almost every day for a few weeks. The recipe is adapted from Recipe Boy’s pumpkin granola. It’s great in milk or yogurt.


3 cups old fashioned (rolled) oats
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup pure (unsweetened) pumpkin puree
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup roasted pecans


1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or use a nonstick baking sheet.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats through salt). Mix the wet ingredients (syrup through vanilla) in a smaller bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then stir in the cranberries, pepitas, and pecans.

3. Spread the mixture out onto your baking sheet. Bake until golden- stirring halfway through baking- 20 minutes, then stir, then bake another 20 minutes. If it’s not quite golden and crisp, bake 5 to 10 minutes more. It will get crisper as it cools. Let it cool and mix in chocolate chips, and then store it in a covered container to nibble on for a couple of weeks.

pumpkin granola

Suess clearly approves!suess and pumpkin granola


Happy Second Anniversary to Us!

Posted on September 23rd, 2012 by Susanna

2nd anniversary2 pillow

Keeping with the tradition we started last year of making a number out of the traditional gift material and taking a photo with it, this year I made a pillow with a quilted two. I used fabrics from Dan’s old gingham and striped boxers and flannel pajamas. We had a bit of a flannel theme this year, which wasn’t totally planned.


Pumpkin Butter

Posted on December 23rd, 2011 by Dan

Pumpkin butter on toast

I had no idea that pumpkin butter, or any fruit butters for that matter, were so easy to make. It’s basically boiled down fruit puree with some spices. I decided to use up some of my frozen pumpkin puree from my Cheese Pumpkin to make pumpkin butter. Also, we saw a recipe for buttered rum that called for pumpkin butter too ;-).


  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup apple cider (apple juice can work here too)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, plus an extra 1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbls maple syrup
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 allspice berries, grated
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used less a little less, it will depend on how sweet you like your spread)
  1. Combine pumpkin puree and the apple cider in a  sauce pan over medium heat
  2. Add in cinnamon stick, cloves, vanilla, maple syrup, other spices, and sugar (adjusting for taste) and whisk until combined
  3. Bring to a bubble, whisking frequently, then reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened (about 1 hour), whisking occasionally
  4. Let cool, remove cinnamon stick and cloves, and serve on pancakes, ice cream, toast, or buttered rum…
Pumpkin butter on ice cream

Weekend excursions

Posted on December 3rd, 2011 by Susanna

Last weekend’s gorgeous, warm weather pulled us out from our (not quite) winter hibernation and we went for a walk at the beautiful Hampton Mansion in Dulaney Valley. The mansion’s exterior was under construction and the gardens were obviously all done for the year but the property was still very enjoyable.

The small houses and barns down the hill really make me want to own an old, old house.

Maybe our next house.

Stop the Pipeline!

Posted on November 12th, 2011 by Susanna

Last weekend we went to the Keystone Pipeline Protest in DC. It was a blast! We circled the white house with multiple rows of people and then marched all over the streets of DC.  And apparently we were heard- earlier this week Obama announced that the decision would be delayed until 2013 so they could look at environmental impacts.

Pipeline protest
Pipeline protest

Pipeline Protest

Dan got to hold the giant blowup pipeline for a while, which made him pretty  happy. And we saw these crazy hoolahoop girls, my gosh they were amazing.




While in DC we also got to make a quick trip to the National Arboretum, which was gorgeous in all it’s fall glory.

Mums at Arboretum

Climbing fig at ArboretumRosemary



Yes, I know I need to brush my hair. 🙂