HI Your Fit Day Friends!
I Love Art! It’s no wonder since I grew up with an abundance of art and music in my home; from an opera singer mom to an impressionist painting dad, as well as my brothers, sister and myself playing our various instruments and doing our own crafty things. And during those years I was drawn to jewelry making, knitting, claymation, ceramics, cooking, tile making,photography, painting t-shirts, terrarium building and landscape gardening, to name just a few!
So of course I would classify myself as the creative type, possibly a diva!
But like most of us life got in the way, and it was hard to keep up with my crafting. And as I got older I found myself not doing much more than making Holiday cards and cookies! Then about 14 years ago, after a tragic event in our family, once again I had this sudden urgent creative itch, which ran deep.
At first this resulted in the medium of painting;. However, it didn’t take me long to realize I would never be Renoir or Van Gough. I can barley draw a line, let alone a circle. No, I was painting pots. You know, the red clay ones you buy at the garden store. I bought a few, went to the art store, stocked up on color and started painting away; which only resulted in a bunch of pots in my house that reminded me of my 5th grade art class. The passion was there but I needed more authenticity in its expression.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I should be building the pots I was going to paint, not buying them. I needed to get down and dirty in some clay; really make something… or attempt to anyway. So I found a ceramics studio in Oakland-near my apartment and conveniently right next door to my pool-signed up for a class, and fell in love with the art of building and molding things out of clay.
After a couple years of this, and a house full of eclectic pieces, I considered myself an artist and was energized by the thought of just going to class. I dreamed about pottery as much as I did about lifting weights!
But then, tragically, the studio closed down for renovation. Unfortunately I couldn’t find another suitable place to do my craft, since they were too expensive or too far a drive. And when the City of Oakland’s Studio One finally did open it’s doors again, in it’s swanky new building, the price for a session had nearly tripled. While my tax dollars had supported the building of a new art studio my budget was unable to support taking a class. So my art fell to the wayside.
Well, kind of. Fitness has allowed me to sculpt not only my own body but those of 100′s of others’. But with my recent two surgeries, one on my hip in October of 2011, and another on my shoulder in May 2012, it’s been hard training clients, do art, or even garden (and won’t be able to garden for several months). But that craving to create has never ceased. And it’s getting stronger.
Fast forward 12 years later
My passion for creativity has surfaced again and it’s like a tsunami! But now I have found a new art medium: the art of baking. And so here we are, at my fitness blog, drooling over pumpkins, pies and nutty crusts, and who knows what else that lies ahead!
What I really love about baking is that, just like working with clay, I can dream up anything; and using all my senses I can bring it to life. My hands now work again as they did with clay: I mold and shape the dough, I mix the ingredients into batter, and I fire, or now bake, what was once raw. And just as I did with my clay pieces, I hope my baked ‘piece’ turns out as intended. Sometimes it doesn’t because ovens, as with kilns, can be testy and temperamental, having their own intentions. And sometimes I end up with a flop! But who cares. I love the whimsy of both: art and baking.
So making my pumpkin pie tartlettes brought me back in time… to the old Studio One ceramics class. There you would find me one with the clay, transformed with intent, immersed in another world, throwing, plying and molding the mound with my hands; and bringing to life the various shapes and beings that I had no idea could come forth from the tips of my fingers. Just as it was with clay I now find myself in my closet kitchen-my culinary studio-hovered over my counter top doing the same.
Today I’m working with ground nuts, like I did with clay, and molding the delicate meal into a vessel that holds my leftover pumpkin pie batter, which is then baked into the mini, sweet, aromatic pumpkin pies. And let’s be honest, it’s a lot easier to lick your hands when they’re filled with ground nuts than it is if they’re yucked up with mud.
These spicy tartletes are 1/5th of the leftovers from my Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie. But you can make and use the entire batter which will yield about 26 mini pies.
- 1 Cup Leftover pumpkin pie batter from Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie or 1 cup or your own leftover pumpkin pie batter.. Or the entire batter if you want to make 26 tartlettes.
- 2 cups pumpkin, mashed ( I use real sugar pumpkins, not canned. If you use canned pumpkin use 1 15oz can but results will vary)
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cups Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
- 1 can (15 oz) coconut milk, canned, full fat
- 1 teaspoon liquid stevia – vanilla cream flavored
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract (Use 1 more tbsp if no Vanilla cream stevia)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
- ½ teaspoons nutmeg (adjust to taste)
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger (adjust to taste)
- ½ cup, whole almonds, raw
- ⅔ cup, ground hazelnuts, ground
- ⅓ cup Finely ground, blanched almonds
- 1 tablespoon walnut halves, roughly chopped (OPTIONAL, as these were all I had left so I used them!)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil metled
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoons fresh ground sea salt
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F
- Line 6 muffin tins with liners (you will have approx. 6 tbsp of crust batter left over, which you can make into shells for something else!)
- Combine all ingredients into food processor or blender. Pulse or grind til combined and meal sticks together in small beads. Make sure to stop before nuts have become butter.
- Using 3 Tbsp of nut batter per muffin liner gently mold into liner making sure entire cup is covered in nut batter. Make sides are thicker than bottom and batter goes to top rim of liner.
- Bake at 350 for approx 10 minutes
- Let cool 10 minutes before filling
- Make pie batter while waiting for crusts to bake (If not using leftovers, of course)
- Be careful not to eat the pie batter while waiting, it tastes that yummy!
- If using frozen leftover batter bring to room temperature and set aside and proceed to CRUST direction.
- If using your own batter results may vary as well as nutritional information. I highly suggest making my lovely Pie batter.
- In a blender or food processor add pumpkin, eggs, spices. Blend until combined. Slowly add coconut milk and continue blending until combined. Recipe makes 5 cups of batter. Approximately 1 cup of batter makes 6 tartlettes.
- Gently add Approx 3 Tbsp of pumpkin batter into each of the nut crust lined muffin tins.
- Bake for 18-25 minutes or until center of tartlettes are firm.
- Check at 20 minutes and pull out of oven before tops of tartlettes turn brown
- It’s smelling really good right now!
- Let cool 5 minutes
- Keeping the tartlettes in the liners, remove from tins and place in open Tupperware container.
- Place in refrigerator to set for an hour, and keep your hands off!
- Store loosely covered in fridge. Will keep for about a week, if they last that long uneaten!