#FallisUponUs

I for one am glad that the weather is starting to get a bit chilly.

Not enjoying going outside in the cold when I have to wake up for work at 5:00am, but when you have a delicious pumpkin spice latte, it makes every thing so much better.This week I went with one of my friends to visit Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, MA.I don’t know many people that would just want to walk to the woods and chat, but I am glad I have her. It was simply beautiful.We ended out walk at the lake. It reminded me of Vermont. Oh how I do miss Vermont dearly.We then headed for some retail therapy and I snagged this awesome shirt. The sleeves remind me of fall & leaves for some reason. Just love it.Lately, I’ve more been into caramel instead of the pumpkin obsession. It’s a very fall-y flavor to me, amongst things like maple. Question: Have you been a pumpkin fiend this fall? What do you do to relax? I hope y’all have a great rest of your week/weekend. Remeber, take the time to relax, it is VERY important for the mind, body and soul :)

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The Pumpkin Fiend

Happy Sunday!

Today I get to work a bit later which is nice. I am just here relaxing working on some things before classes start tomorrow. I am pretty nervous, but I am super excited to get the semester started.I’ve still been starting my day with protein pancakes. I have to post the recipe because it’s different from all my other ones. Soon, my friends, soon.Yesterday I went to my first real hot yoga class. It was 95 degrees. I was impressed by the fact that my body doesn’t sweat like most people. But it was intense and I am feeling it in my thighs and shoulders today!This week I have found a ton of pumpkin goodies. I am so glad fall is upon us. Can’t wait to start wearing my boats and jackets and sip on things like a pumpkin spice latte. This one is from Seven Eleven and it was really good. A bit too sugary, so I diluted it with some decaf.Also, Godiva has their pumpkin spice truffles!Lastly, Olive Garden. I ate this before but oh man, I had to have it again when I went to dinner with a friend. I talked him into trying it and he loved it! Seriously it’s probably one of the top three pumpkin goodies of the season.Question: Are you a pumpkin fiend too? What’s your favorite pumpkin goodies? Another one of mines is maple pumpkin butter. Holy cow, it’s literally foodgasmic ;)

WIAW #32: Little Bits Of Vermont

Many of my posts have been pretty random the past couple of weeks. Today is no different. For this What I Ate Wednesday, I am going to show you some of my eats for the past week including some from another Vermont day trip. If you don’t know what WIAW is, please check it out at Peas and Crayons!wiaw what i ate wednesday button happy healthy holidaysBreakfast: I have been doing a lot of the microwavable pancakes with Applegate Farm’s breakfast sausage but this morning I finally had something different. A banana sliced into Vermont pumpkin granola and soymilk. Sometimes cereal and milk just does the trick.IMG_20121219_080712Snack: I’ve been doing a lot of yogurt or Greek yogurt for a snack. Even Mr. Hercules loves the Greek. The pomegranate and passion fruit Chobani have been on my top list.IMG_20121203_224856Lunch: Lunches have consisted of a lot of omelets. On this particular day I had a black beans, spinach and sausage omelet with a side of red roasted potatoes. This dish was actually from a local Vermont surf themed restaurant called The Spot. Check it out if your ever in Burlington.IMG_20121218_105153Snack: I have had a lot of chocolate. Trust me, I mean a lot. Vermont chocolates, Lindor Truffles, and even Brazilian truffles. These are really good, but they do have wheat because it’s wrapped in a chocolate wafer. I just eat the chocolate and the truffle portion though.IMG_20121219_095022Dinner: One of my absolute favorite restaurants in American Flatbread in Burlington. All the ingredients are local, fresh and delicious. I always get the cheese and herb flatbread (and now they offer a gluten-free crust!). Here are my left overs because it was just so good, I dug in asap!IMG_20121219_094430Make a stop here without any hesitance if you are ever in the V-T. It’s an awesome place with a cozy atmosphere. Not to mention it has a cool fireplace in the waiting area.Photo0425Question: What’s your favorite restaurant? Do you have a guilty please? You and I both know that anything chocolate is mines. No questions asked!

Pumpkin’d Gnocchi

One word for this recipe? WOW. This recipe is quite simple but tastes really good. It kind of reminds me of sweet potato french fries and who wouldn’t want something that tastes like that?

I had left over pumpkin (which I froze) from after making the pumpkin muffins. I wanted to make a savory dish using the pumpkin and because I love gnocchi so much, why not make a sauce for it?

This recipe is a quick, easy and you can literally whip it up in under ten minutes. I will definitely be adding this to my rotation when I need to eat asap. Enjoy!IMG_20121127_121530Gnocchi with Pumpkin Sauce Ingredients:

  • One Package of Shelf Stable or Frozen Gnocchi (Regular, Wheat or GF)
  • 1/3 Cup of Canned Pumpkin
  • 2 tsps of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsps of Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
  • 2 Tbsps of Milk (I used Unsweetened Soy)
  • 1 tsp of Italian Seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 tsp of Parsley Flakes
  • 1/4 tsp of Garlic Powder (Or use fresh)
  • Dash of Salt & Pepper

Prepare gnocchi according to package directions, set aside. Place a small pot on the stove top over a low flame. Add all ingredients into the pot and stir until ingredients are well blended and warm. Feel free to try out your favorite spices with the sauce as well.

If you want the sauce thicker, add more parmesan cheese or a bit of flour (wheat, rice, etc.). For a thinner sauce, add more milk. Take the pumpkin sauce and pour into gnocchi and stir until gnocchi is covered with sauce. Top with a little bit of pepper and extra parsley flakes. IMG_20121127_121537Question: Have you every had a savory dish with pumpkin? I’ve tried pumpkin soup before, but didn’t really care for it. Maybe I should give it another shot?

WIAW #29: Eats From Thanksgiving!

Finally my eats from Thanksgiving day. I know you all have been waiting to see what I ate on this day filled with delicious food and family fun. I hope everyone enjoyed theirs as much as I did!

If you are new to the What I Ate Wednesday party, please check out all the details at Peas and Crayons. It’s pretty awesome and you get to find new blogs and eats!Breakfast: In Thanksgiving spirit, I cut up a cinnamon pumpkin muffin and ate it with two maple sausages. Of course some more maple syrup was drizzled on top. Snack: I had a pear to satisfy my sweet tooth.Lunch: Allan and I went out to watch the Abraham Lincoln movie and we ate lunch at a diner (since nothing else was really opened). I had a bun-less burger with romaine lettuce and sea salt n’ pepper kettle cooked chips. It was just enough to satisfy me.Snack: I wouldn’t call it a snack, but I had a few of these vanilla Lindt truffles Allan bought me while watching the movie (which was pretty good). Rich and creamy white chocolate goodness.When I got back home, I had a few sips of this while the dinner table was getting prepped. It was really good and didn’t quite taste like alcohol. That’s bad.Dinner: TURKEY! Oh and of course my mom’s Spanish rice, green beans, broccoli and plantains. Dessert? I had three a piece of this Wholesome Chow gluten-free vanilla cake topped with vanilla protein “frosting” using vanilla protein powder. (Warning: Mix has corn, but didn’t bother my tummy). It tastes like a regular moist and delicious cake. I am so going to try other products from this brand.My family ate cupcakes that I made for them. These were all that was left from like 18 cupcakes. I like to have fun with their sweets and make them laugh.Question: How were your Thanksgiving eats? Did you stay on “plan” or let yourself splurge a little? All in moderation is my motto. Except for sweets… maybe.

Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins w/ “Frosting”

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

I made it home from Massachusetts in six hours yesterday. Normally the drip only takes me three hours. I was out of gas, food, water and my phone was dead. But I made it and I am thankful that I am here and get to spend time with my family.

Today I have for you a delicious recipe that you can use at any time of time. Or maybe that’s just me. You can have it for breakfast (make four giants ones), you can have one for snack, or you can have it for dessert. And yes, it’s pumpkin!

I have been craving something made with pumpkin ever since my mom bought me a can of pumpkin. It’s just I didn’t know what exactly to make. Plus I wanted to use up some soymilk I had before I headed to New York for Thanksgiving weekend.

I wanted something sweet the other day but didn’t have much in the pantry. Browsing through numerous recipes, Katie at Chocolate Covered Katie did a post on 35 healthy pumpkin recipes. Perfect timing, right?

I looked through all of them looking to see which I could possibly do. I spotted her single serving pumpkin chocolate-chip muffin. I didn’t want chocolate in the muffin (nor did I have any), so I altered it a bit and made it for six instead of one. Best part? You can microwave it! Oh and not to mention vegan.

I even made a cinnamon pumpkin cashew “frosting.” Oh yes. It tastes as good as it sounds and it’s super simple! hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. The muffin tastes best warm so if it gets cold, just heat it for 20 seconds in the microwave. Enjoy!Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of White Rice Flour (or you can try another flour, I personally haven’t tried others)
  • 1/3 Cup of Canned Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 Tbsp of Pure Maple Syrup (you can use agave or brown rice syrup too)
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk (I used unsweetened vanilla soy)
  • 1 Tbsp of Pure Cane Sugar (or you can try Stevia)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp of Brown Sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 tsp of Cinnamon (or you can use pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/8 tsp of Sea Salt
  • “Frosting” Ingredients: 2 Tbsp of Canned Pumpkin, 3 Tbsps of Cashew Butter (or your choice), 1 Tbsp of Pure Maple Syrup, 1/2 tsp of Cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice).

Mix all frosting ingredients well and set aside (or place in fridge if saving for later). Take all of the pumpkin muffin ingredients and mix well in a large bowl. Divide the muffin ingredients into six small ramekins or other microwave save container like small mugs.

Microwave one ramekin for two minutes and repeat until all muffin are cooked. If you want to bake the muffins, place into a preheated oven at 330 °F for about 12-15 minutes. Top a warm pumpkin muffin with about 2 tsps of “frosting” and sprinkle with cinnamon. Mmm!Question: So what’s your favorite pumpkin recipe? This one is definitely going down as mine!

WIAW #28: T’was The Night Before Gobble Day

Being that today is the day before Thanksgiving, I already had my eats prepared the day before because I am going to be heading to the NY after work today. It’s going to be a long one…

I can’t wait to go home, I need another mini break like when I went to Vermont. Any who, if you don’t know what WIAW is, please check it out via the awesome Jen at Peas and Crayons!Breakfast: I had a cinnamon pear “muffin top” using Sidehill Fam’s cinnamon pear jam as a sub for the nut butter. This is seriously super delicious and fall-y. I was pretty happy that I ate it three times this week. Today is the last batch, but I will definitely be making more.Snack: I had a cinnamon pumpkin muffin. Here is a little teaser. Oh my, it tastes so good and I can’t wait to share the recipe with you guys. Be on the look out for it tomorrow on Gobble Gobble day. It’s simple, microwaveable, gluten-free and vegan!Lunch & Snack: Grapes, Babybel White Cheddar, Mozzarella String Cheese & Almonds was for lunch. I’m not much in a food mood. I just want to snack, hence why I put this together. For a road snack later I have a chocolate chip granola bar that my mommy bought me. Thanks mom!Dinner: Grilled pork chops with green beans and mashed potatoes. Oh, mashed potatoes. I love when I make them because they taste so clean and home-y. Most ones that you buy prepared or eat at a restaurant are so gross and over flavored with butter. Not my cup of tea. Dessert? Oh, chocolate mousse! Just regular mousse this time, but I mixed in some chocolate chips once it was cooled. So good. I will be making more of the Greek yogurt one. Very soon.Question: What are you Thanksgiving plans? Are you going away, staying in and cooking, or something else? What ever your plans are, enjoy your holiday and remember all things in moderation :)

Pumpkin Butter Maple Sugar Cookies

There has been a ton of maple and pumpkin butter going on in this blog. I promise you, this is the last recipe. Unless I get my hands on cream cheese, them I am making a pumpkin butter cheesecake. Luckily, I already have a smiliar recipe; an apple butter cheesecakeYou’ve been spared.

I still was craving sugar cookies after having the pumpkin butter sugar cookie “crumb cake.” I found a super cool microwaveable recipe, but I felt that the serving was too much for one cookie in terms of calories and sugar. I ended up turning on the oven and baking the cookie mixture.

The results? A delicious, soft pumpkin butter sugar cookie. I know my decor is becoming reptative, but if I had pecans, that would have been my topping of choice. Go make these now and enjoy :)

Pumpkin Butter Sugar Cookies (Inspired by this recipe)

Ingredients (Makes Three Sugar Cookies)

  • 1 Tbsp of Pumpkin Butter
  • 1 Tbsp of Light Butter (Melted)
  • 1 tsp Pure Maple Syrup
  • 3 Tbsps of All Purpose Baking Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF)
  • 1 Tbsps Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsps Pure Cane Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • Dash of Salt

Preheat over to 325F. Mix all ingredients into a bowl. Form dough into three balls and place onto a cookie sheet with a non-stick cooking spray. Feel free to top with nuts, maple drizzle or more cinnamon.

Place cookies into over and cook for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10-20 minutes. Then eat!Calories (Per Cookie): 85  Fat: 2g  Fiber: 3g  Protein: 3g  Sugars: 9g

WIAW #24: Almost Cool >.<

What the heck does the title mean? Well if it was next Wednesday it would have been What I Ate Wednesday #24 on the 24th of October in my 24th year. But I guess we can settle for WIAW #24 in my 24th year.

This WIAW comes from my day off on Friday. I whipped up some yummy things and this has been one of my second favorite days of the month. My first? From last WIAW and if you don’t know what WIAW is, check it out over at Peas and Crayons.Breakfast: Maple-Crunch “Muffin Top” + Banana. I combined the maple nut butter and cinnamon crunch “muffin top.” Minus the nut butter. Minus the cinnamon. It was so good.Snack #1: Cheddar cheese stick, almonds and pumpkin butter granola. This has to be my favorite snack, ever. Cheddar and pumpkin flavor blend nicely for some odd reason.Lunch: I have been craving a burger for the longest. Maybe because my iron has been super low? This lunch was perfect because it had iron from beef and broccoli plus broccoli has more Vitamin C when steamed (so i’ve heard). I also had Rudi’s sandwich bread to make it a “real” burger experience.Snack #2: Small Gala Apple & Pear :)Dinner: Cheddar Cheese Wrap w/ Black Beans. I haven’t had a cheddar wrap with black beans in such a long time. This is acctually the first time I eat a lot of cheddar in quite some time. I’ve been mozerella-in’ it for too long. This was just yummy, quick and simple!Dessert? One of these pumpkin butter sugar cookie “crumb cake” balls (top two cookies are a recipe coming tomorrow!). Simply divine.Herc thought it was his day off too. Go Figure!Question: Are you in pumpkin mode like I am? If so, what are your favorite pumpkin things?

Pumpkin Butter Granola

I really wanted some pumpkin granola but I didn’t have any canned pumpkin. However, I did get this baby from Trader Joe’s the other day. I wanted some type of “butter” without breaking my budget.This was perfect because it was only $2.29! Since I had it, I thought “why not make some granola using it?

And that is exactly what I did. Enjoy :)

Pumpkin Butter Granola (inspired by this recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cup of Rolled Oats
  • 3 Tbsps of Pumpkin Butter
  • 1/4 Cup of Almonds (Crushed or Sliced)
  • 2 Tbsps of Milk (I used Soy)
  • 2 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup (Sugar Free Works Too!)
  • 1/2 tsp of Cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Combine oats, almonds and cinnamon into a bowl. Places aside. Then combine pumpkin butter, maple syrup and milk into a small bowl and mix together.

Pour pumpkin butter mixture onto dry ingredients. Blend together until dry ingredients are well coated. If the granola mixture is too dry, add a bit more milk.

Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and evenly spread granola mixture. Sprinkle more cinnamon, if desired. Place into oven and cook for about 25-35 minutes. Stir granola mixture every 10 to 15 minutes to insure no burning occurs.

Once granola is golden brown, remove from oven and cool for about 15 minutes. Once cooled, store in an airtight container for about two weeks. Makes 4-5 (1/3 Cup) Servings.Oh and please feel free to add other kinds of nuts to your granola. You can also add some cranberries or any other dried fruit, however, only add the dried fruit to the granola mixture during the last 10 minutes of cooking. I think I’ll try some of that next time. Yum!