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Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread

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Time to make everything pumpkin spice!

Friends.  We are in it.  The Fall season is the best season in my opinion.  My love for scarves, light (emphasis on the word "light") layers, and pumpkin spice lattes knows no bounds.  In fact, you can add the words "pumpkin spice" to almost anything and I'll be a marketer's dream and purchase it.

Recently I decided to make use of some overripe bananas and make banana bread.  The slight chill in the air put me in the mood to make a fall-inspired bread so of course the only option was to make it a pumpkin spice flavor.  Really, there was no other option.

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Arnold Palmer Popsicles

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Remember that time I was obsessed with popsicles?  Yeah, that's a thing that's happening once again.  It's hot out so let's cool down with something refreshing that involves tea and lemonade: two things which are essential to summer.

This time, I'm going to shock you by not adding any alcohol to the mix, so these are kid-friendly.  BUT, if you feel the supreme urge to layer in some spirits, who am I to stop you?  In fact, I'd like you to send me one or three.  Thankyouverymuch!

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Coffee Ice Cream Bread

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Have you guys heard of this thing called a 2-ingredient ice cream bread?  This was a completely new-to-me recipe that my coworker in London introduced me to.  Basically my coworkers and I talk a lot about food.  This is the foundation of our friendship.  And we talk a lot about work too, but that is not what this blog post is about.

I was immediately intrigued by the idea and set about making this bread.  I detest vanilla ice cream unless it has mix-ins or is covered in chocolate/caramel/booze/etc.  So, being the caffeine freak that I am, I snatched up some coffee ice cream while I was stocking up on movie theater popcorn in Trader Joe's.  That popcorn is my new "thing".  A TJ's cashier once wondered aloud why I needed 4 large bags of popcorn.  I told him this was my weekly supply.  Let's cool it on the judgement.  But once again, that's not what this blog post is about!

My mind is still processing how this recipe works, but at a basic level, all the required ingredients for baking a bread-type food item are present so why shouldn't this work out?  I am convinced the hardest part of making this bread is waiting for the ice cream to melt.  It's torture!  I actually left the ice cream out for a few hours the evening before I made this, and then just popped it in the refrigerator until I needed it the next morning.  I also spotted a recommendation to add mix-ins to the bread.  As mentioned, I love a good mix-in, so I couldn't resist tossing in some milk and white chocolate chips as well.

How did it taste?  OK, to be honest, it's not going to be the best bread you've ever made, mostly because we're not using fresh ingredients.  Ice cream from the grocery store can only be so "fresh".  But was it edible?  Yes.  Was it tasty?  Yes.  I think it's worth giving it a shot.  I'm not sure I'd make it again myself because I know I can make a tastier bread from scratch.  But if you are looking for a flavorful shortcut, then this is a good bet!

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Moscow Mule Popsicles

 

I made something else for you that's boozy!  You're shocked.  I can see it on your face.

I've been seriously jealous of all those other food bloggers posting popsicle recipes on the interwebs for the past two months.  Not to be outdone, I quickly purchased my own set of popsicle molds so that I could be just like everyone else!  Hehe...but in all honesty, since Mother Nature has decided that "Yes! We will have a summer after all!", I have been all over ice cream and store-bought popsicles like whoa.  And now I've given myself the means to MAKE my own sweet treats!.  Someone stop me.  Or not.

As a random side note, I decided to go with plastic handles for my pop molds since I absolutely hate eating popsicles on wooden sticks.  Obviously, my dislike isn't so great that it stops me from purchasing store-bought popsicles.  I'm not THAT crazy yet!  If you have the same dislike, you may want to pick yourself up a mold with plastic sticks, like I did.

I had heard of Moscow Mules before but I had never had one.  I have a sometimes love/sometimes hate relationship with ginger beer.  But lucky me, I am in a loving mood right about now.  So when I spied this recipe on Shutterbean's blog the other day, I just knew these had to be my "gateway" popsicles into the world of homemade popsicles.  It took no time to make these and after they were completely frozen, I had a taste test.  Yes, I am now on the Moscow Mule bandwagon.  More please, and thank you.

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Sweet & Salty Edamame

 

Happy 4th of July!

Today, I have nothing for you that is red, white, or blue.  Ummmm, sorreeey about that!  Life and work are kinda crazy so you get some edamame from me right now.  I would totally bring this to a BBQ because it's easy to make and it's tasty and it's unique.  Anyone else with me?

I first had sweet edamame at a work lunch with colleagues a few weeks ago and since then I've been thinking about this nonstop.  I finally recreated it this week and proceeded to stand over the bowl of edamame and eat every single one within 5 minutes.  Am I ashamed?  That would be a nope.

This is a short and sweet post today, just like this recipe.  (Hahaha...I crack myself up. #dork)

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Cinnamon & Sugar Almonds

Cinnamon & Sugar Almonds

 

"I need deez."

That's what I said to myself when I saw this recipe.  Actually, I said that when I saw quite a few recipes on Dena's site, Oh! You Cook!  I was quite fortunate to be assigned Dena's food blog for this month's Secret Recipe Club because she pretty much makes everything that I want to eat. And because I'm definitely going to need that Chocolate Tart in a Macaroon Crust (for Easter, for the kids...that I didn't celebrate with), and that Lazy Lasagna (that I may be a little too lazy to make sometimes, but I have really really good intentions), and that Baked Lemon Herb Fish (I really need to make a fish dish soon because one cannot live on chocolate alone, although I seem to be testing that theory.)

After all this searching, I finally decided on the Cinnamon and Sugar Almonds.  I hadn't "candied" anything in a while and I have been trying to eat healthier recently because ALL OF THE SUGAR AND CARBS HAVE BEEN VISITING ME!  So anyhow, instead of making anything with chocolate or pasta (sadly), I decided that these almonds would be my gateway back into the Land of the Healthy.  There's a little bit of sugar and a little bit of spice and a lot of healthy protein.  So let's do this!

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Apple Muffins

Apple Muffins

 

January, you are testing me.

I know you are, you heathen.  I've been working like mad and anxiously waiting to make use of my vacation days, which seem to be moving further and further away from me on a daily basis.  Ugh.  I'm still trying to fit in all the workouts, all the hanging out with friends, and all the sitting on the couch and catching up with my DVR.  It's not really working out for me, in case you were wondering.  What would also help me is if I hadn't had to re-write this post 3 times.  No, but really, 3 times!  I'm rising above this.  Rising. Above.

But guess what, all those complaints are not what this post is actually about.  This post is about my love of breakfast and how I only want to eat breakfast items all day long.  At least until tomorrow.  Then I'll want to eat all the Panera broccoli and cheddar soup all day long because that stuff is like crack.

Today though, I'm working on my breakfast game.  I'm hunkering down and bringing you these apple muffins.  Can you see how I'm making sure you have your daily servings of fruit?  You're welcome.  Just don't think about the sugar that goes into this.  Treat yo'self!  Now, I ended up making these muffins with 2 cups of sugar because I like 'em sweet, but if you want more of a muffin-muffin (as opposed to just a "muffin"? What am I even saying?) then you can use 1 1/2 cups sugar.  This is a judgement-free zone!

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Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies

Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies
Let's just smush everything that we love together and put it into another thing.  It's going to be epic, I swear.  By "epic", I mean, we're about to throw down with some potato chip chocolate chip cookies.  Don't think about it.  Just know that you need these in your life.

Here's something you may or may not know about me: I'm a snacker.  Yes, I have a problem, but I'm admitting it so is it really that much of a problem?...Don't answer that.

In case you missed it, I'll say it again:  I'm a snacker.  No bag of chips is safe in my apartment.  Unless maybe it's a bag (box!) of Cheez-Its.  I can live without those orange fake cheesy grease bombs.  But seriously, my current obsession is Tostitos Hint of Lime.  I remember describing those to a former boss as "tortilla chips sprinkled with crack".  I still stand by that statement.  I didn't think that tortilla chips covered in fake crack powder would be the best choice to include in a chocolate chip cookie though, so I caved and purchased regular potato chips for this deed.  Since the recipe didn't require the entire bag of chips, I naturally ate the rest for breakfast the next morning.  This is why I don't invite chips into my apartment.  I can't stop myself!

Just so you know, next time I may live on the edge and try this with Salt & Vinegar chips!  I live my life on the edge.

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Salted Nutella Banana Sandwich


It's been quiet around here for too long!!!  At least I feel that it's been a long time.  I've been working some crazy hours on my new work projects (like 12+ hours days!).  Couple that with a little all-day-long fitness certification exam that I took today, but have spent time studying for over the past few weeks.  Obviously something had to give, and unfortunately it ended up being this little space.  But now I'm back! At least for today, because I signed up for some other events in November that will also require a fair bit of my time.  I will never learn!

Let's get back to today.  I'm tired.  I'm tired from being stuck in a group fitness room in NYC from 9am-5:30pm.  I'm also tired from having to take the bus back home since there was a fire on the PATH tunnels between New York and New Jersey.  That's awesome.  [Sarcasm.]  No, I don't want to go home and relax when I've been working out and learning and taking tests for the past 8 hours.

Now that I'm finally home after braving a ridiculously long line at the Port Authority Terminal, I think I deserve a quick treat.  That treat is this: a salted Nutella banana sandwich.  Never underestimate the power of Nutella to swoop in and save the day.  Also, there's banana involved, which automatically makes this healthy.  Truth.

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Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt


All the pumpkin things are out now!!!

I will continue to use excessive exclamation points because I'm that excited.  It's been hard for me to get into the seasonal swing of things this year since I swear we just finished with winter in June.  Really, winter?  Did you have to stick around so long?

But ever since I had my first PSL (that's a Starbucks "Pumpkin Spice Latte" for the uninitiated) last week, I've been officially converted.  Bring on the Fall weather.  I'm ready now.  Let's do this.  I would tell you that I have pulled out my boots, leggings and scarves, but if you know me, you know that I wear all those things year-round.  But HEY, now that cooler weather is here, I no longer look like a slightly crazy person walking around outside.

I also decided to spice up my breakfast this weekend.  I had some pureed pumpkin in my refrigerator, as you do, and so I decided to conjure up a creative breakfast that would make this season proud.  Enter brown sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice!  Thank you for being here.  Let's party!

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