Mini Pumpkin Seizure

G’morning! Today is the first week day of DLS time. I thought I woke up late this morning because the sunlight was already peering through the window at 6:00 a.m!

Glad you all enjoyed the pictures from the breast cancer benefit for my friend’s mom! It was such a good time:)


Although yesterday started out slow moving, once back home, I was struck by an overwhelming urge to cook and bake in the kitchen!

Usually I do some weekly meal prep on Mondays – but today my day is FILLED – so I took advantage of the free hours yesterday, and made some dinners for the week.

First up was Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan’s Polenta Casserole!


A mixture of beans and tomatoes:



topped with polenta and cheese!



I can’t wait to try this out – it’s going to be tonight’s dinner 🙂 I have to spend a lot of time working at the gym today, and then have a late volleyball game across town, so popping this in the oven for a few minutes to warm up will be uber convenient.

Next up – Easiest lentil veggie burgers!




I love making my own veggie burgers, but really dislike all the pre-cooking. That’s where these burgers come into play.

There were seriously like 4 steps:

– Boil half a bag of lentils and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

– pour in food processor, along with 2 garlic cloves, 1 chopped green bell pepper, salt, pepper, 1/4 c. tomato paste, and a little EVOO.

– While processing, add in a little more EVOO, and then pour in 1/2 . ww bread crumbs

– Form patties with wet hands, place patties on a greased baking sheet, and cook for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.

Voila! Simple as pie. A store bought pie, not a homemade apple pie. Which actually isn’t too bad to make either 😉

Only then did I look in the fridge and saw that I had a tupperware container of some pumpkin that probably needed to be used. I wouldn’t want it to go to waste….;)

All of the sudden, I think I had a mini pumpkin seizure, and I was pouring ingredients in the stand mixer and making Mama Pea’s Pumpkin Bars.



So I went with it, and continued on.



Guys. These bars are the moistest (ew, dirty word!) and densest bars ever! Absolutely delicious.

And the frosting. Ohhh the frosting.



Oh. the. frosting.

And although I did perform a minor rookie mistake of turning on a mixer full of powdered sugar without the guard on…






They were worth it.




I die! And go to pumpkin bar heaven.


I’m off to do a little strength training and take a spin class! I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Fridays class! 🙂 haha I do have an upcoming 5k to run this Sunday, so perhaps tomorrow will be a running day.

Hope you have an incredible Monday!!

Did anyone else freak out and think you overslept this morning when you saw it was already light outside?


It’s a Cheese Quake!!

Hi guys! Happppy Friday 😀 I just got back from training a supah early morning client, and am ready to tackle a full day of errands and work!

Starting with getting this lil’ lady to the groomers.


Furry monkey! On a (very random) side note, my dad and husband think she looks like Jeff Bridges (Big Lebowski) when she’s in need of a hair cut.

image No? Dude 😉


I’m thankful to say that yesterday around noon my left wrist/arm finally felt normal again. My cousin Scott’s a doctor, and my aunt called him to see what was up for me (Thanks Aunt Bobbie 🙂 Turns out the cold + my run + not wearing sleeves + Raynauds disease is a horrible combination for me. Plus, my Garmin was hitting nerves that weren’t getting much blood – and that didn’t help.


Now that that’s settled, I’ll know what not to do next time:)

The rest of the day went by fairly smoothly. The only two clients I had yesterday both had to cancel due to a trip and a cold – so that meant I had the whole night to play!

How did I play? I played in the kitchen!



After taking Niko and the husband (heh) for a long walk, I got busy in the kitch. More specifically, I got busy cookin’ dinner and dessert!

Dinner, while nothing fancy, was nothing short of fantastic:



Almond butter encrusted sweet potato fries, cheesy roasted broccoli, + veggie baked beans.



The fries turned out beautifully crispy and delicious.


As did the brock 🙂 A little cheese tasted fabulous on it. Plus it made it OK for the husband to eat 😉

But it didn’t stop there…


I mean, I already had the oven on…


Every once in a while, I’ll look back on the blog at a post from exactly one year ago. I did that yesterday, and of course, October 14th, 2009 just had to be  the day I ate pumpkin cheesecake at Olive Garden.



Throughout the work day yesterday, the pumpkin cheesecake was on my mind. In my meetings, I was adding up ingredients instead of dollars. And at that point I knew I just had to make it on my own. Since I’ve never made cheesecake on my own before, I figured I’d better start with someone else’s version



And yes, it required one “stick a buttah.” But that’s not bad for a whole cake, is it?

I’m thinking I’d like to try veganizing this pie, but that’s for another place and time. Or at least another time. It’ll probably still take place right here in my kitchen 😉

The pie turned out wonderfully, albeit a bit lopsided!


And although after baking, it was supposed to chill for a good four hours, after two, I just couldn’t help myself 😉







It’s a cheese quake! Run for your forks!



The money shot:


ohhh yeaaah 🙂


And she’s off!

Got any weekend plans? I have to work quite a bit at the gym, but I’m also planning on running with a friend, and seeing my BFF Jessica, who I haven’t seen since her wedding! 😀

Have a fantastic Friday, everyone!!

Keeping (Seasonal) Tabs on Baking

Hi everyone! I just finished baking up a storm in the kitchen!

I was looking for pumpkin cookie recipes, and came across this pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe on the Food Network, and knew it was the one 🙂

I followed the instructions exactly – no adaptations here!

From the wet ingredients:




To the dry ingredients:




To the sweet, sweet lovechild they produced:








And Niko got the leftover pumpkin (loves it!)IMG_9625






After!    IMG_9634  IMG_9641  

The cookies taste amazing, but the dough was some of the best I tried…or so I’ve heard. I didn’t lick the bowl when I was finished or anything 😉

Seasonal Tab



But I didn’t just post to tell you about the amazing cookies that I’m going to take to the winery tonight. I posted to tell you about my new tab! If you look at the top of the page, you’ll notice a new tab, labeled “Seasonal.”

While one batch of cookies was baking and the next was waiting to be cooked, I was searching YOUR blogs. Searching them for fall-inspired recipes! This morning, when I asked if anyone saw any good pumpkin recipes this week, it occurred to me how useful it’d be to have a repository for seasonal recipes from everyone’s blogs.

So, each week as I read and look for fall-inspired recipes, I’ll book mark each one, and at the end of the week, I’ll put it in the “Seasonal” tab. This way, we’ll all have a repository for all things pumpkin. and apple. and squash!

However, I need your help! If you either create your own or you see a recipe that should be in the Seasonal tab, email me the link, and I’ll include it with the rest:)

Then, as the seasons change, I’ll archive recipes from last season, and create new ones!

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a kitchen to clean. Have a fantastic Friday night, everyone!!

Plans for this weekend?

Fill In The _______

Hi friends……happy FRIDAY! 😀

What a week! I think I deserve a




Last night after working the third day at the BIC & training clients, I did just that. It was the last (pumpkin) beer in the fridge (thankfully) I can’t wait to pick our and try out another this weekend!

For dinner last night, all I wanted was a bunch of:




I hadn’t had hardly any veggies all day (besides what was mixed in my black bean burger for lunch) and the craving was something:




(fierce, for you slow ones who haven’t had your




yet) 😉

The veggie craving was squashed after roasting and was eaten along side some almond butter encrusted sweet potato (yam?) fries!





I’m so thankful today’s Friday. I only have one client today, so I have alllll day to get to my





But first, it’s time for some



because it’s actually a little chilly outside this morning!

However, then it’s time to go run some errands, including – and most importantly




Clarabelle, like her mother, gets dramatic when hungry






Have a lovely Friday everyone!


Today, my Friday is __<RELIEVING>____ ( now you fill in the blank!!!!)

Surprise! Libby’s Pumpkin Festival 10K Race

Good morning! Today my alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. and it wasn’t a mistake. Today I ran the Morton Pumpkin Festival 10k!



This event is sponsored by Libby’s. Yes, THE Libby’s! And no, the goody bag didn’t come with cans of pumpkin or pumpkin flavored donuts OR pumpkin ice cream:





In fact, I signed up so late that I didn’t even get a shirt! But I got so much more…

Around 6:30, I headed into town to meet my dad in Morton, where the race was held. We had about a half hour so we chatted for a bit, and then I chatted up the crowd, spotting a few people I knew.



Promptly at 7:30, the gun went off, and so did we. Kind of. After the first 30 seconds of walking/shuffling, dodging to the sidewalk to get ahead.

My goal was to start off with a conservative pace and run each mile faster than the other. My goal was to finish with a pace of under a 9 minute mile.


Mile one was a breeze, as I struggled not to unleash my inner competitive beast. I kept an easy 9:00 pace as I watched those around me zoom by. Aint no thang. My two I sped it up to an 8:45 pace. I was in the zone, passing a few people who had already lost wind. Around mile 3, I kicked it up to 8:30, passing more and more runners who sped by on mile one. There were two water breaks during the course, and I took just a quick sip at each one. I didn’t stop running, though, so more water got on my chin and shirt, than in my mouth. It’s fine.

After mile three I knew it was time to kick it in to high gear. Up until mile 3.5 it was purely physical. After that I had to tap into the mental aspect of running to help me out. The gorgeous weather helped, I’m sure. Mile four I started to hurt, but I knew it was nearing the end. And at mile 5, I really dug deep and gave it my all until I passed the 6 mile marker, and started sprinting. It got to a point where I didn’t know whose legs they were because they felt like they were going so fast!




Thinking just don’t puke, just don’t puke.


Thinking, holy sh!t, I passed my goal time … by a LOT!

Total time: 52:45

Average pace: 8:27

Mile 1: 9:07

Mile 2: 8:41

Mile 3: 8:30

Mile 4: 8:25

Mile 5: 8:25

Mile 6: 8:00

Mile 6-6.25: 6:27




I declared it my best race yet! (Wellll…tied with the half marathon.)

Thanks to my dad for playing photographer and showing up to support me! 😀




Have a fantastic day, everyone! I’m using today as a work day because the rest of the weekend, play time is on the agenda!

Recipe Inspiration

Hey there!

Sounds like we have a LOT of pumpkin enthusiasm ‘round here! Although there were just a couple of ya who said pumpkin’s not your thang, seems like the majority of you are on the lookout for Libby’s.

I typically use pumpkin in breakfasts and desserts as documented in yesterday’s post. Well, I did indeed use up the rest of the can for yesterday morning’s breakfast as well:




Let’s just call this (GREEN) pumpkin pie in a bowl, shall we?

This had ice, a frozen chopped nanner, water/almond milk, protein powder (vanilla,) chia seeds, ~ 1/3 c. pumpkin, ~ tbsp pumpkin pie spice, and one extra large handful of organic spinach.




I wanted a little chew action with breakfast, so I made it a la bowl w/ half the pumpkin bread + half the homemade granola bar I’d already put in my lunch bag:D SO SO good.

This year I think I’ll try and use pumpkin more in other meals too, like dinner.

Lately I’ve been look to Food and Wine for recipe inspiration. I’ve never claimed to be a master recipe…maker, so this usually means I just do what the recipe tells me to do. Inspiring;)  Luckily, Food and Wine knows what they’re talking about!

The other day before heading to the gym to work for a few hours, I made this mushroom and goat cheese pasta:



I actually wasn’t so sure about this dish until I stirred in the goat cheese at the very end. It went from sub par to WOW in a matter of seconds:D



The only thing I changed for this recipe was the type of pasta. But that’s just because while I was grocery shopping my mind told me spiral pasta=ziti. It does not, in fact. Since Shane thinks he doesn’t like goat cheese, I used extra parm for him, and he told me it was something he’d order in a restaurant!! [that’s a huge compliment coming from him.]


This Curried Chickpea and Eggplant dish was a delectable dinner!




I basically followed the recipe exactly, and I’m glad I did – what a winner! A blend of spinach, eggplant, and chickpeas, this meal was fresh, healthy, AND delicious:


On the side I used up this little cutie I found at the market:



A buttercup squash! Anything that’s called a buttercup is good in my book. This was no exception! Sweeter than an acorn squash, it almost made for a dessert!




Almost 😉


There we go!


Where do you look for recipe inspiration? Do you have a favorite cooking website? Cookbook? Blog?

Have a wonderful Wednesday! Let’s make it over the hump!!

Leaning Tower of Libby’s

Hey there 🙂 Glad you guys all loved the empowering Nike ad. I think we can all agree that there needs to be more ads like this!!

Lookie lookie what I fouuuuunnndd


The leaning tower of Libby’s

IMG_9347 IMG_9351

Hooray! I haven’t been able to find any Libby’s pumpkin this year until this weekend. This surprised me because I only live 25 minutes away from Libby’s Farm! In fact, I ran in a 10k last year that was sponsored by Libby’s 😀

Hey….what’s that doing there?!


I also had the first pumpkin beer of the season:)



(yes, I was worrying about it o’ – FALL – ing when I took this pic 😉 )

This was REALLY good! Could have been a tad more pumpkin-y, but yummy nonetheless:)

Naturally, I wanted to dig into the canned pumpkin ASAP. It got its debut in breakfast form.


I made a usual batch of oats, but the star was this topping:


1/4 c. pumpkin + 1/4 c. plain Oikos Greek yogurt + 5 drops of vanilla stevia



However, there was a dilemma. I still had half a can of pumpkin to use up (shhh I know I keeps in the fridge for a few days.)

Solution? Matt’s Vegan Pumpkin Bread!




This (VEGAN) is amazing!!! I followed Matt’s recipe except for I didn’t have any applesauce – so I subbed it for 1/2 c. more of pumpkin. It worked wonderfully.


It made two loaves, one of which I planned to give away, but now I’m not so sure 😉

Nevertheless, we still have a situation on our hands, as this recipe called for the rest of the can of pumpkin and then some.


I know what today’s breakfast will be 😉


Have you had a taste of fall yet this year? I was trying to hold out until the end of September, but I couldn’t resist!

Have a terrific Tuesday, all!! 😀