Posts Tagged ‘Pumpkin’

After Thanksgiving, I made myself a goal not to grocery shop until I go home for Christmas.

Yes, that would be 4 weeks without grocery shopping.

Keep in mind that besides breakfast (which I eat at home everyday), I only eat about 2-5 meals at home a week (2-4 dinners, and anywhere from 2-4 lunches). 



  • Breakfast – home
  • Lunch – possibly & usually at nannying (depending on how late I nanny)
  • Dinner – at the hospital


  • Breakfast – home
  • Lunch & Dinner – both or either possibly at nannying depending.

Sat & Sun:

  • Small breakfast (snack) – home
  • Large breakfast – hospital
  • Lunch – at the hospital
  • Afternoon snack (because let’s face it, I get hungry between an 11:00 lunch and dinner) – at home
  • Dinner – at home or at nannying


Honestly, I try and eat at nannying if I can.  Often times, they have nothing for lunch, so I’ll eat at home.  But if I have a night-time job, I’ll usually wait and eat dinner over there. 

So, since I already have a stock-up of such foods in my pantry/freezer:

  • Cereal
  • Pancake mix
  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • A few bars
  • Soup
  • Chili
  • Sweet potato
  • Ground turkey
  • Frozen veggies
  • Chicken sausages
  • Condiments – 1 jar jam, dressings, syrup, 1 jar peanut butter, etc.

I knew I could do it.  I’m allowing myself to shop for

  • almond milk (I get it at Food4Less for a crazy good deal.  I also dislike cow’s milk, and I get almond milk for the same price as soymilk is)
  • eggs
  • coffee grounds (if I run out of my current stash)
  • occasional yogurt as needed (especially since I enjoy yogurt as breakfast, afternoon, and nighttime snacks)

If I run out of food – cereal it is!  But seriously, I don’t think I will.  It took me 3 days to eat leftovers I had from when my boss took me out to Thai food.  And if you know me, I was thinking about those leftovers for days.  I just never had the opportunity to eat them.

Cashew chicken + brown rice = my first going out to Thai experience.  YUM.


This was after a breakfast of delicious overnight oats.  Which I hadn’t had for quite some time.


I made a mix of peanut flour + almond milk to drizzle pour over the top.  It made it soupy and amazing.


In other news, I spent last night with this mumbo-jumbo.  But I think I’m almost done with this graduate application, due next Wednesday!!



Now, in regards to the grocery challenge, I did make an exception for these:


(Source) I was too lazy to take pictures of them myself, and figured they all looked the same.  Seriously.

When I was grocery shopping for my boss yesterday, I noticed they were all out of pumpkin butter at my usual Trader Joe’s.  I panicked.  Last year, they sold this pumpkin butter until summer!!  I hightailed it over to another Trader Joe’s before my other job, and snagged the last 2 pumpkin butters on the shelf. 

Sure, I’m not grocery shopping for now, but I probably won’t even break into these pumpkin butters until after Christmas anyways.

So that counts.  Right?


Signing off,


(I had a little too much fun at work last night, and ate about 2j958735389t57 million of these little cookie gems.  Come to think of it, I think I spelled this out, got distracted, grabbed the ‘R’, and never ate the rest.  The parents were probably wondering what I was up to spelling out words with their cookies.)


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Shake it

My breakfast was bomb.

Yes bomb.


I knew I wanted to use my near-empty pumpkin butter jar for something.

Yay for yogurt messes!  Rather than cereal, I found some old old Heart Thrive bars in the freezer.  Yummy.


So pretty.  Reminds me of sand art.


Lunch was pumpkiny as well.  Surprised?  No?  Really?  Why not? Winking smile

Pumpkin pancakes.  Topped with peanut-butter-pumpkin-maple-syrup (peanut flour + syrup + a scoop of pumpkin butter).  And pumpkin cream cheese.

Oh Lord.  Even I’m pumpkind out by that description.


Ugly.  But soooooo good.


And for dinner….

A few weeks ago, I was sent some Shake ‘n Bake to try out.  Shake ‘n Bake makes it easy to coat your chicken with delicious crispy flavor. 

The box comes with a plastic baggy and seasoning to shake shake shake!


After baking in the oven, and served on some adorable football plates (perfect for football parties!):


I also had some laughing cow and masala dip on the side.  IMG_1769-1

And black beans.



Actually quite tasty!  And not too spicy either, especially for buffalo chicken seasoning! Winking smile

I ended up with crispy chicken tenders for dinner in an easy 20 minutes (5 minutes prep, 15 minutes cooking!).  And it was delicious.  This was definitely a delicious low-fat alternative to buffalo wings.  I do wish, however that the ingredient list wasn’t quite so long.  But you can’t be too picky about those things all the time!


Want to try out Shake ‘n Bake for yourself? (Please note that this was sent to me for free, and Shake ‘n Bake is supplying the products for this review and giveaway).

The winner will receive:

  • A sample of NEW Shake ‘N Bake Crispy Buffalo
  • Football-themed serving plates
  • A tip sheet that includes tips on how to host the perfect football party
  • A $50 American Express gift card to outfit the rest of your party


I’m not a big football fan, but this would be perfect for any sports game watching.  I served it during baseball World Series time Winking smile

To enter:

  • Leave a comment telling me your favorite sport to watch
  • Spread the word and link back to the giveaway

With the holiday coming up, I’ll give you some extra time and will pick a winner on Friday November 26. 

Ready…set…get shakin!!!

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Word to the Wise

This post contains important information you should keep in mind on a daily basis.   Things that work well, and that don’t work well.  Very important stuff, you know.

Such as the fact that cupcakes taste wonderful mixed into yogurt messes the next morning.  Just scrape off the huge mound of frosting, eat that (if desired), and mix the crumbled (sweet potato) muffin cupcake into said yogurt.


Another tip?  Don’t splurge on Fage yogurt on sale if you’ve been living off of plain yogurt, and wish to continue to do so.  O. M. G. I want my Greek yogurt back please.


Word to the wise – don’t microwave veggie corn dogs (or regular corn dogs for that matter).  So much better baked in the oven.


Also, hummus doesn’t taste bad with a corn dog.  But ketchup and mustard taste better.


I was just in a hurry.  And hungry.


If you ever want a little giggle, I suggest trying this:


However you need a baby to do so.  And I don’t suggest finding a random one off the streets.

A tip we all know and I’m sure have failed upon – don’t over cinnamon your dishes.



When given the opportunity to sleep in and have the morning off, make sure you have a good and delicious breakfast.


  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 3/4 cup almond milk + 1/2 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • Cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice
  • Pumpkin ~1/2-3/4 cup worth
  • Maple syrup


  • Pumpkin butter
  • Pumpkin cream cheese (all out *sniff sniff*)
  • Plain yogurt (which I ate around – I actually wasn’t feeling it)

This made a huge bowl with only 1/4 cup oats!  The wheat bran and pumpkin really bulks it up (tip #….8?  9?).


Be sure to try out multiple pumpkin butters for a legit pumpkin season experience.  This one is good and very pumpkin tasty.  Sweet (not too sweet), but not too “spicy.”  I like it a lot.


I’ll admit, one of the things that attracted me to this is the fact that it says only 15 calories per Tbsp.  Which is quite a bit less than other brands.  I’m not going to let calories from keeping me from buying pumpkin butter, but I was impressed that this brand seemed to not use as much sugar.

Until I looked at the carbohydrate and grams of sugar per serving. 

1 g. carbohydrates = 4 calories

10 g. carbohydrates = 40 calories

40 calories > 15 calories.

15 calories?  Pshhhh.  Don’t think so!!  I don’t really care though – 30% Vitamin A per serving? Yeehaww.  Although that might be false as well! Winking smile


So, I suggest really looking at the label (if you care about that stuff).  But it’s still delicious.  And why on earth would they put serving sizes in ounces and grams?  Who really measures or estimates servings in ounces?  Sorry – but tablespoons work better in my book!

If you see the word maple next to the word scone, then I suggest purchasing.


But I do advise not eating the whole thing.  I snacked on half while researching internships.

If you forget to take a picture of your lunch, the can doesn’t do it justice.  Although I didn’t really like it anyways.


If you really aren’t hungry or feeling well, listen to your body!  Don’t try and force down almonds just because you feel your lunch needs more “substance.”


And next time remember not to purchase said almonds if you’re not prepared to go through half the container in a week.



Remember to get the “Turkey with gravy and dressing” next time they offer it again at work (most likely in 3 weeks).  Because it was delicious. 

And next time remember to take a picture before devouring.


Peanut flour mixed with water is divine (divine?  really?) for dipping apple slices into.  And if you have no peanut flour then go buy some.  At TJ’s.  And if you don’t live close to a TJ’s, then drive as far as it takes to get it.  That needs to be my Tip#1.  Because it really is the most important.


Tip: add salt and a bit of maple syrup to the mix.  You’ll thank me.


Another tip: next time honeycrisp apples are .99 cents/lb at the grocery store, buy more.  Much much more.


Another suggestion?  Stop blogging and blog-reading and get to work on internship researching so you’re not as stressed out.  It might help.

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Guess what I have been enjoying lately?

Pumpkin smoothies!!


In giant mugs no less.


With swirls of chocolate syrup.


When I first started making these back in my sophomore year of college, I’d have one every night (no joke).  Often times twice a day.  Such a simple recipe:

  • 1 cup milk of choice (or part milk, part water)
  • Huge scoops of pumpkin
  • Cinnamon and/or pie spice
  • Maple syrup or sweetener
  • Ice

Blend and enjoy!!  Best topped with whipped cream.

And now…

A Flashback Friday post??  Well…sure, why not Winking smile

I know I’ve already done a Halloween costume flashback last year (in fact – it was my first Flashback Friday post!), but….I thought I’d do it again to remind you Winking smile

I only have pictures of the past 5 years on this computer.  But I can tell you what I’ve been!

Junior year (of high school) – Mary Kate Olsen (my friend was Ashley)

Senior year – “Taylor the Sailor”.  Yes – I pinned a sign that said that to my shirt

Freshman year (of college) – a polar bear.



Sophomore year – a fairy when I visited my friend in Santa Barbara.



Night#2 at a party back at school, I was an Indian:


And an Eskimo on actual Halloween night (it was on a Tuesday that year).


And for you’re enjoyment, some pre-party getting ready dancing Winking smile



Junior year – Minnie Mouse!  And sporting my marathon necklace Smile


I found my twin!!


Senior year – Indiana Jones (on the far right)


This was my first Halloween bars experience – it was crowded!!


Then I was Santa the next night.  It was actually November 1st, yet still “Haloween Weekend.”  We assumed people would be dressed up again.  We thought wrong.  It was slightly awkward….oh well!


Last year, my house braved it, and had our own party!  We had a blast decorating…


Making the jungle juice….


Getting ready together…We seriously had no idea what we were getting into. 


I was a gangster/mobster, by the way.


But it was lots of fun!!


The next night, I was a pumpkin when we went to the bars. 



What was your best/favorite/most creative Halloween costume you’ve ever been?

I seriously come up with costume ideas a year in advance.  I always have too many ideas and then know what I want to be next year.  Or as I’m shopping throughout the year, I see something and think “that would be great for a costume!”  That’s exactly how my Fairy (saw the dress at Walmart and thought Fairy!), Indian (saw the dress at Target and thought “Indian!”), and Minnie costumes (saw the shirt at Target and thought “Minnie!”) came to be.

In 5th grade, I was a picnic blanket.  I literally had a blanket over me with plastic food, plates, and even ants glued on.  I’ll find a picture and show you, I swear.  I loved being “Taylor the Sailor” – got a few laughs on that one.  I also loved being Indiana Jones because I love Indiana.  And that whip got a few comments Winking smile lol.

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Pumpkin Rehab

Wussup bloggie friends? 

I never understood the huge hype on those commercials.

Someone made an appearance this morning.


Overnight oats!  Pumpkin ones of course.

I love cream cheese on overnight oats. 


This meal was either super filling, or I just wasn’t plain hungry this morning.  As I didn’t get hungry for 4 hours.  That’s crazy and unheard of for me.

I ran a few errands for work, and picked up a few goodies at TJ Maxx along the way.  Including these Pumpkin Spice almond cookies.  I had 4 while driving between errands.




I also had a few bites (which probably equaled out to a whole slice) of cherry pie (cobbler?) they had at work.




So you wanna see me goodies, do ya?

(I accidentally typed ‘me’, meant to type ‘my.’ But ‘me goodies’ makes me sound like a legit pirate so I’m cool with that).


I’m wondering what went through the cashier’s mind when I purchased all pumpkin delights.  (And yes – those would be pumpkin spice jelly bellies).

Not all pumpkin – I did find that beauty of a deal:



I keep running out of time to make a good lunch.  I really need to cook up big and tasty recipes to grab and go during the week.  Unfortunately today, this is what I was stuck with:


No, not a cardboard box. I actually did eat the meal inside the box (surprise!).  Actually, I picked out all the chicken (I’m kinda grossed out by frozen meal processed chicken), and cooked up a chicken sausage link which I added to the mix. 

Even though my chicken sausage was probably just as processed.


Dinner was probably the best salad I’ve made so far at the salad bar.



+ a side of parmesan crusted potatoes.  Fried chunks of yummy potatoes.


You know what else I found today?  Pumpkin cream cheese at Trader Joe’s. 



I stopped.  I stared.  I did a little dance. 

I pondered.  I thought.  I just bought 2 containers of cream cheese this weekend at Einsteins.

I bought it.  I had to.  Besides, now I can taste test!

Here we have Trader Joe’s on the left, Einstein’s on the right.


(I took pictures of my apples dipped in them, but they turned out awful quality, so I won’t torture you with them.  And yes, I had apples dipped in cream cheese.  I told you – I love cream cheese.  Especially when it’s artificially dyed orange and flavored pumpkin).

I’ll compare the 2 in another post, but know this: it’s awesome.  So good.  Buy it!  Along with peanut flour.  Seriously.  Trader Joe’s?  I’m proud of you.


In other news, anyone know of a rehab program designed for pumpkin addicts?

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Meant to be

I love pumpkin.  I really truly very much do.

I know blog-world has some sort of obsession with canned pumpkin.  But I’ve actually been enjoying canned pumpkin long before I discovered blogs.

For 4 years now I’ve been making pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin smoothies, and pumpkin yogurt. Year-round.  Who says pumpkin is only for October-December??



Dear pumpkin yogurt.  I love you with all my heart.


I need to make a pumpkin smoothie soon.

At work I snacked on multiple snacks, including corn bread.  Yum.


Corn bread, you rock.


Thursday and Fridays are my evenings off from the hospital, so I decided to do my long run Thursday late afternoon.

You know oats are my staple pre-long run fuel.  Breakfast….or 2:00 pm lunch.  It works.


OIAJ?  Even better.

Nuttzo – you were an expensive, once in a lifetime splurge.  Yummy and unique.  But not good for my wallet.


If you find it on sale, or are able to splurge, I do recommend it.  It had a very flaxseed taste.  And there were literally huge chunks of nuts throughout.  Quite delicious.

I added some chocolate hazelnut butter and a few of those chocolate filled cookie things from Trader Joe’s.


This was my last long run before my race next weekend.

Distance: 9.5 miles
Time: 1:28:16
Avg Pace: 9:17

I’m not going to lie when I say this run wasn’t hard.  It got me kind of worried.  I’ll have to do 4 more miles?  But I know every run is different.  I’ve had an excellent 12 miler, a tough 11 miler, and some speedy 5 milers.

I know I’ll survive my half next weekend.  And hard or not – it’ll be worth it Open-mouthed smile

It was also my first run sporting not one, but 2 knee braces.


I’ve been experiencing an increase in knee pain the past week, and I can’t tell you if it’s my orthotics, shoes, lack of strength training, etc.  But to be safe, I ordered a second knee brace for my other knee.  Knee braces aren’t a cure-all.  But it’s better to be safe than sorry on this one.

I didn’t take 1 picture of the rest of my night.  But let me put into words what a long run does to me:

6:30 – arrive home from my run.  Head straight for my TV to turn on dish and figure it all out.  Hello – the Giants were in the playoffs.

7:15 – After failing to make my TV work, remember I need to foam roll.  Shite!  Get to it.

7:30 – Finally make dinner since it’s been an hour and I’m starving. Eat sweet potato gnocchi with pumpkin pasta sauce, feta cheese, and a side of veggies and potato mixture.

7:45 – Stuffed.  For sure won’t eat the rest of the night.

8:30 – Hungry.  Pop a large bowl of popcorn.  Season generously with garlic salt.

9:30 – Hungry.  Make myself a mug of hot chocolate.

10:15 – Hungry.  Have a small bowl of pumpkin ice cream.  And by small bowl, I mean 2 servings.  Since 1 serving is enough for a mouse.

Long runs obviously spark my appetite.

And this morning I continued the pumpkin trend with pumpkin peanut butter pancakes!  And pumpkin spice coffee.  3 cheers for the return of pumpkin coffee!!


I followed Jenny’s pancake recipe.  Although I added a bit more milk to the mixture.

Topped off with peanut butter maple syrup and a generous amount of strawberry jam.  Pumpkin PB&J pancakes if you will?


To make the syrup I mixed 2 heaping scoops of peanut flour with maple syrup.  It was delicious.  And that’s why my syrup looks oddly chunky.  No worries.

Confession: It’s 12:26 pm and I’m still in my pajamas.  I spent the morning watching Couples Retreat on TV.  And I don’t feel guilty whatsoever.  This is my first morning 100% completely off in over a month.  And it’s glorious.

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No Ordinary Day

I just finished watching No Ordinary Family on Hulu. Pretty good! But thank goodness we are finally getting TV tomorrow 🙂

Anyways, this morning wasn’t too hot. I won’t even go into detail about last night, but lets just say the alcohol consumed made this morning’s 7:30 am wake-up rather rough.

I definitely wasn’t ready to eat until noon.

IMG 1450

This was so damn good.

And I snacked on some PB crackers.

IMG 1451-1

After babysitting, I got the genius idea to go to Einstein’s and pick up some pumpkin cream cheese!! I was giddy with excitement.

Unfortunately my Einstein’s is way behind the times. There was no pumpkin anything in sight. But they did have these bagel poppers I’ve been dying to try.

IMG 1452

I had about 4 or 5.

IMG 1453-1

Meh. Nothing to write home about. Kinda bland. They need more poppin’ flavor.

Seriously. I was truly 100% craving this. So sue me.

IMG 1454-1

I spent the rest of the evening in my bed watching online tv before throwing together an extremely random dinner.

Zucchini which I topped with hummus.

IMG 1421-1

The last of my pumpkin bread pudding with some vanilla ice cream. (I know I already had froyo today, but vanilla ice cream is mandatory with this stuff. It’s like having meatloaf without ketchup smothered on top. Unacceptable).

IMG 1455-1

Yes – I ate out of the plastic container, while standing in the kitchen waiting for my zucchini to cook. Class.

IMG 1456-1

And a roasted butternut squash.

IMG 1457-1

I’ll be orange in no time.

I really hope my stomach doesn’t hate me later. I love you tummy!! Do you hear me? No rumbles tonight, k?

We’re headed to a friends for a movie. I really hope it’s better than Wolfman, which we watched last time. Don’t torture yourself.

Cookies and/or ice cream may be involved. But I may try to resist since my eats haven’t been the healthiest as of late.

Oh who am I kidding.

Happy Friday!!  Doing anything exciting tonight?

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