Just Eat It: Pumpkin Coffee Cake

The other day, I used Sally’s Baking Addiction’s wonderfully delicious Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, and as per usual, they did not disappoint. Even my mom, who is a pumpkin hater, enjoyed one. The only problem with making something that calls for pumpkin puree is that if it doesn’t call for the entire can, and you’re dangerously close to grocery shopping day and therefore without foil to cover it, it gets gross after a couple days.

So after looking up pumpkin muffins and realizing I didn’t have cream cheese (again, dangerously close) and realizing I didn’t have a doughnut pan for pumpkin doughnuts or buttermilk for pumpkin doughnut muffins, I landed on a recipe I’ve used before and loved – Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake from Joyful Healthy Eats. Her photos and step-by-step directions make it easy to follow early in the morning and before coffee.

Photo Credit: Krista / Joyful Healthy Eats

Photo Credit: Krista / Joyful Healthy Eats

And if you happen to have all the ingredients like I did (well, I had almost all of them), it’s free to make. And even if you have to pick up a couple, you’re still paying less for just one slice at any bakery or coffee shop. Here are the ingredients:

  • 2½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • ¾ cup of canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¾ cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of finely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

You can click on the photo I posted above or here for the full recipe. The only change I made is that I didn’t have pecans and I was feeling adventurous, so I used the little remainder of walnuts I had and filled the rest of the cup with pumpkin granola. I was a little nervous about how the substitution would turn out, but I really like it!

One little square filled me up enough but didn’t make me feel too full and it had just enough spice to not overwhelm people who may not enjoy pumpkin as much as I/you do. This is actually the only pumpkin recipe I can get the majority of my family to eat, especially after the pumpkin explosion that happened last year.

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My rendition. Looks a little sloppier but tastes gooood!

What are you baking? Is it a recipe shared from your family, something you created or something you found in a cookbook/blog? Share in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!

Hey I finished a project!

Yard sales are good for the soul, and for the house. I should have one every month. My mom is having one next week and I cleared out so much stuff that I was hoarding to prepare for the sale. Because of that, I found a bunch of fabric that I love and can’t wait to work with, and a lot of my old concert and band tees that I wanted to make a quilt with long, long ago. That dream is a little dead now…but I have a few ideas for what I want to do with them.

I also finally finished my chalkboard project, and actually baked something. I got an oatmeal cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction and they turned out so wonderful and moist! I substituted the raisins for blueberries since I was out of raisins, and while her recipe says to bake for 10 minutes, I had to bake for 15 since my oven is a little funky.

10538681_1389727607938469_1318935655_nSo, here’s how I made the chalkboard:

IMG_2497First, I took a simple frame I got from the thrift store for $1. Then I painted it with some acrylic paint that had been left in my car for wayyy too long. So, naturally that exploded everywhere. Luckily, I happen to buy a lot of teal paint so I had some back-up and after A LOT of cleaning, I was able to resurrect my project.

IMG_2555Since the frame had an indented line on it already, I used a gold paint pent to do the line and left one side blank to add some fancy stuff to it. Unfortunately, the paint pen was too thick and not I couldn’t simply wipe it when I made a mistake. So, I painted over it and chose to do a yellow line. The yellow ended up not working since it was so light and I had to paint multiple coats, which made it look thick and chunky…not the look I was going for.

IMG_2561So, after I cleaned that up a little…I found a sort of salmon pink that I liked, and covered the yellow with that. I chose to do little diamonds on the side I left blank. They are by no means perfect, but they will do!

IMG_2652While that was drying, I used a few coats of chalk paint to paint the backboard. And ta-da! It’s a chalkboard!

Have a project you want to share? Post in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!

Gettin fit: Old clothes challenge

Do you have a rice cooker? I do. I attempted cooking rice several times before purchasing said rice cooker, and let’s just say it never worked out. On one occasion, I was so afraid to burn the rice that I barely cooked it…and my friend seriously had to ask what exactly I was attempting. Is it rice soup? Were you going for hard rice? The next time, I was a little more relaxed about cooking the rice, and it ended up burnt. Since rice is a staple in my house, I decided it was time to purchase a rice cooker. And since I’m also a fan of multi-purpose appliances, I was happy to find this article by Emily Ho for the Kitchn. (Side note, you should totally check out Emily Ho’s website. She’s awesome).

Image belongs to The Kitchn

Image belongs to The Kitchn

Turns out, you can make steel cut oats, polenta, beans and frittata in the rice cooker! You can click on the photo or on the link above to get directions for making all of this. While we are on the topic of making wonderful food, here’s an awesome recipe for steel cut oats! They’re super good for you, and perfect for the colder weather.

Image belongs to The Gracious Pantry

Image belongs to The Gracious Pantry

Clean Eating Pumpkin Oatmeal – If you have ever visited my blog before, you know how deep my obsession with pumpkin runs. I’m also slightly obsessed (ok, maybe a little bit more than slightly) obsessed with The Gracious Pantry. This looks like a wonderful recipe that I have yet to try. It’s something you could also make on a Sunday and finish throughout the week…which is the easiest and best way for me to eat breakfast.

 

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I WAS ABLE TO DO YOGA THIS MORNING! My baby girl has not been sleeping well lately, but she actually slept in her own crib all night long, and slept long enough for me to squeeze in a quick practice this morning! It felt so good and I feel so rejuvenated now. I can seriously take on the world. So, watch out, world.

I also got back into my routine with the Beginner Bodyweight Workout Plan from GB Personal Training. I’m doing Week 1 over again, since I got a little off path last week. I have decided to stick with low-impact workouts and yoga for my fitness needs. I’m more likely to stay on track and it’s kind of hard to carry and play with a baby when your legs feel like jelly and you can barely move. Sure, it’s a sign of a good workout, but it’s kind of pointless if I can’t do anything after.

Image belongs to Greatist

Image belongs to Greatist

Whatever exercise you choose, it does your body good. Check out this article from Greatist to find more unexpected benefits of exercise. Every time I read an article like that, I get more motivated and inspired to continue working out every day. Fitting into my old clothes ain’t too shabby, either 🙂

What are you reasons for getting and staying fit? Do you have a good recipe to workout to share? Post in the comments and share with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #getfit or #oldclotheschallenge. If you hate hashtags, make sure to tag me in the post so I can see and share! You can also find more fitness inspiration on my Pinterest!

Recipe Remix: Caramel Oatmeal Chewies

A couple weekends ago, I went to my very first estate sale. While there, I scored five cookbooks for $1.00. The deal was really 20 books for a $1 but since I wasn’t about to walk into my house with 20 books, I stuck with five. One of the books was a Betty Crocker Cookbook from the 70’s. Inside, there was a recipe printout for Caramel Oatmeal Chewies.

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I had never made this recipe before, and I wanted to give it a try. I decided to switch up the ingredients a little to come up with a “clean-er” version, and I wanted to share the recipe with you.

  • 1 3/4 c Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked) (I used oats from Trader Joe’s, but any will do)
  • 1 1/2 c Whole Wheat Flour (I didn’t have enough WW all-purpose flour, so I mixed in WW pastry flour)
  • 3/4 c + 2 tbl Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3/4 c Pumpkin
  • 1 c Chopped Walnuts (The recipe called for pecans, but I only had walnuts so I used those)
  • 1 c Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Unsweetened caramel topping  (It called for a cup, but I just drizzled a little

Heat oven to 350° F. Spray 13×9 in. baking pan (I ended up using a much smaller one) with olive oil or coconut oil spray (veggie oil spray also works, of course). Combine oats, flour and baking soda. Mix well. Stir in pumpkin and honey. Mix until all blended. Reserve one cup of mixture and spread the rest in the baking pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Cool 10 minutes.

Top with chocolate chips and walnuts. Mix the caramel and 1 tbl flour until smooth. Drizzle that on top and then spread the remaining mixture. Bake an additional 18-22 minutes (I baked mine for 20 minutes). Let cool until it sets. Cut the bars before they get too cold.

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So, there it is. My very first recipe remix! They turned out really super delicious! I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I plan to do many more recipe remixes in the future. I’m going to start with that Betty Crocker cookbook. I used The Gracious Pantry to figure out how much to use for my substitutions/conversions, so if you also want to find out how to substitute healthy ingredients, check her out! If there is a recipe you want me to remix, let me know in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter! You can check out my pictures of this deliciousness on Instagram and see more recipe remix inspiration on my Pinterest.

This week at the weekly treat

weekly treat

When I was pregnant, I went insane for Almond Joy and Mounds. It was crazy. I literally bought the Halloween bag of Almond Joy and kept them for myself. Luckily it was Halloween and I was super pregnant, so nobody dared question me. Then, when all the Halloween candy went on sale, I was in an Almond Joy/ Mounds wonderland.

When we went to the grocery store yesterday, I felt inclined to buy Mounds since I was starting my “bangin’ body challenge” today (more about that later), and I wanted to indulge one last time. While I was enjoying my moment of bliss, I was thinking of treats I could make with coconut. And here is what I found….

Image belongs to The Midnight Baker

Image belongs to The Midnight Baker

Coconut Banana Popsicles from The Midnight Baker

Image belongs to Sunflower Supper Club

Image belongs to Sunflower Supper Club

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream from Sunflower Supper Club

Image belongs to cooking ala mel

Image belongs to cooking ala mel

DIY Coconut Milk and Flour from cooking ala mel

Image belongs to The Daring Gourmet

Image belongs to The Daring Gourmet

Coconut Sunflower Seed Cookies from The Daring Gourmet

Image belongs to The Edible Earth

Image belongs to The Edible Earth

Coconut, Cranberry and Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies from The Edible Earth

This is a clean eating blog so all of her recipes are clean

I love finding all of these things you can make with one main ingredient. In one post, I got recipes for cookies and coconut milk, and more than that, I found a new clean eating blog. This is my favorite part of The Weekly Treat, not just finding new recipes, but finding new blogs and people.

If you love baking or are just getting into it, check out our Weekly Treat group for some recipe inspiration. Share your lemon and blueberry treats in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #lemonblueberry You can find more of my lemon blueberry inspiration on Pinterest!

New Year Challenge: getting healthy, seriously…

workout

Current weight: 163/ goal weight: 130

So it has been 3 weeks since I started Weight Watchers, and I have yet to lose a lb since the first week. I’ve had some time to think about it and here are my reasons (excuses):

– Cecilia doesn’t like when I work out, because I’m not paying attention to her. So I need exercises I can do with her.

– I’m all fine and dandy until I leave the house. Or until people come visit. Or until I want pizza. Then all bets are off.

– I have no will power when it comes to sweet treats.

So, here’s what I’ve decided. I’m going to start planning our dinners for the week. I’ve used my slow cooker twice now and it’s wonderful! I’m going to walk my daughter to get the goods so I can exercise and keep her occupied and happy.

I’ve looked into some exercises I can do with her, and here’s what I’ve found:

12 exercises with baby, from daily green

10 fun exercises to do with baby, from parenting.com

10 workouts for new moms, from babble.com

7 exercises with baby, from babyzone.com

The stroller workout, from fitpregnancy.com

And finally, for those of you who need to see it to believe it, there’s a you tube tutorial from momsintofitness

Now, back to the food.

SONY DSCSince I haven’t made a smoothie in a while, I thought I would get back into the groove with a smoothie I pinned a while ago but had yet to try it out. It’s called the autumn sunrise smoothie, from rawfoodrecipes.com. I added bananas and blueberries to it, and a little bit of ice. I think the smoothie was intended to be warm, but I wanted it cold. It was quite delightful but the amount of ice I added wasn’t enough so I would add more later. I also forgot to add the cinnamon, so that will also be on my to-do list. I digress. At 2 Weight Watchers points, this is definitely a must-have in my kitchen.

enchiladasToday, I made these amazing slow cooker chicken enchiladas from skinnyms.com. Usually, I’m a little nervous about cooking with reduced fat or fat free food, but this was surprisingly full of taste and super good. Sam brought home pizza today and for the first time in my entire life, I wasn’t interested. And it was from Tony’s in Lodi, which reigns in the superior level of pizzas. It was 6 points per enchilada, which is what a normal plain cheese quesadilla is. So, I’ll be making this more often.

Then, it happened. It finally happened. I found a treat that was low in points! When one stupid little carrot cupcake was 11 points, I was discouraged. But then, I found this…oatmeal banana chocolate cookies from the health advocate…and they are only 3 points each! SONY DSC

So, now that I’m armed with all this defense, the Wii Fit shouldn’t ask me what the reason was for my recent weight gain (jerk).