Monthly Archive: November 2011

Somehow…

Posted by Lauren

Somehow I had never tried pumpkin oatmeal…

That changed yesterday. After adding a little sweetener, these oats quickly disappeared!!

Somehow I skipped working out on Saturday (and today!), but I made up for it with a hilly 12-mile run in the back roads of Almaden and Los Gatos on Sunday.

Running up a giant hill surrounded by mansion homes ain’t so bad. What goes up must come down, right?

Somehow my mom turned leftover ham into the bestsoupever on Sunday (totally devoured after my run).

I believe every meal should include at least two cornbread muffins. MMMM!

Somehow I was still craving soup tonight.

Sweet corn, garlic, and cayenne pepper transform boring Progresso cans into zesty bowls of soup!

Somehow my roommate and I polished off another pumpkin pie between Sunday night and Monday night. Um. Yeah.

Somehow that work computer dominated my entire night... and now it’s past 2 am. Raise your hand if you have a blog and don’t go to bed by 9:45 pm like all the other 5 am Body Pump bloggers.

Somehow I thought my calendar was empty this week, but it’s totally not:

  • Cirque du Soleil’s Totem Tuesday night in the city with girls from work
  • Hair appointment with Joanie! (The last time…) on Wednesday + a shoe doctor visit because of achilles pain
  • Last (?) Kickball game of the season on Thursday… let’s hope the Lubricated Tacos pull out a “W” this week!
  • Step sister’s school play Friday night + house sitting for my aunt!

Question: Have you seen a Cirque show?

The last one I saw was Ovo. Kyle took me as a surprise Christmas present. He fooled me into thinking we were going ice skating… I was a total sucker and believed him. I was a bit shocked when, over dinner, I opened up a gift bag with tickets to that night’s show! The performers are amazing – each number took my breath away. Totally excited for the Totem show in … um … 18 hours!

K, I need sleep. Sweet dreams :)

-Lauren

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Posted by Nicole

So.  About that cake that Lauren and I decided to make at 11:30 PM on Saturday night.  It. Was. So. Good.

We don’t really have a “recipe” for it, but maybe we can inspire some amazing recipe queen to develop a real one?  Anyways, here’s what we do have.

Hopefully you’re not too sick of pumpkin… It’s still November!

Cake

  • 1 package Sweet Potato Biscuit Mix from Crate & Barrel
  • 3/4 c Almond Milk
  • 1/4 c Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 c Canned Pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 5 drops NuNaturals Pure Liquid Clear Stevia

NuNaturals sent us a giant package of goodies about three months ago.  I’ve been using the Pure Liquid Vanilla Stevia in every single one of my oatmeal bowls since September.  I love their products so much more than other sweeteners.  My days of Sweet ‘N Low and other mystery sweetener packets are long gone.  Me and stevia are likethis.

Anyhow, back to the cake.  Lauren had the bright idea to add a granola topping before baking.

Granola Topping

  • 1/2 c Oats
  • 1/4 c Canned Pumpkin
  • 1 packet NuNaturals Stevia

With our fingers, we mixed the oats, pumpkin, and stevia into little clumps.  After spraying the bundt cake pan with Baking Pam, we covered the bottom with the granola clumps.  Then we poured in the cake batter.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350° F.  Wait patiently.

The cake flipped out smoothly and then we let it sit for about 15 minutes.  Ok, that’s a lie.  We were eager to try it and were too lazy to wait for it to cool before putting the frosting on.

What would cake be without frosting?

Pumpkin Frosting

  • 6 oz. Mascarpone Cheese
  • 1/4 c Canned Pumpkin
  • 3/4 c Powdered Sugar
  • 2 t Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/8 t salt

This pumpkin frosting, adapted from Sunset magazine, is absolutely amazing.  Can be eaten on cake or by spoon.  It’s that good.

Slice and serve.  Cover with more icing if you are feeling adventurous.

See how long it lasts.

But, really.

Look at it.

This bundt cake was a nice switch up from cupcakes and it definitely hit the late night sweets craving.  It was just a little uncooked in the middle and luckily wasn’t dry at all.  My tip: always microwave cake/pie/cupcakes for about 10-15 seconds.  Like I said with the vegan zucchini bread, if you add a bit of milk before microwaving, you can create instant bread pudding.  Highly suggested.

And now I’m back at school.  I doubt the dining halls can compete with these past few days of amazing food.  Two more weeks till I’m home!  I’m coming for you, oven.

Thirty Thanksgiving Things

Posted by Lauren

Odds and ends time.

Katie, Kyle and I left “Black Out Wednesday” at Los Gatos Bar & Grill to go to Katie Blooms in Campbell. Katie Blooms trivia night with friends > schmoozing with high school alumni at LGBG. Plus, some of the girls at LGBG confused Los Gatos with Las Vegas…. inappropriate outfits for shurrrrre.

1. Trivia nights prove just how little I know. Most stolen book from libraries: Guinness World Book of Records. Next word in the sequence? O T T F F S S E _?

2. Veggie burger split down the middle? Yes, please. Carbs for the Turkey Trot!

3. Extra pickles, too.

The day after Thanksgiving, also known as “Black Friday”:

4. Banana bread, spice bread, banana, coffee = breakfast

5. Bridesmaid dress shopping (Part III) with MEGAN!!!! + bridal party (Part I and Part II)

6. Strapless? One-strap? Peach color…. I know what we chose but you can wait until September 2012! ;)

7. Kyle and I went to the movie theater on Friday.

8. Mr. Clooney and Miss Secret Life of the American Teenager: great father-daughter chemistry.

9. We saw The Descendants… Anybody else catch this movie in theaters this week?

10. I really enjoyed the movie! I thought Shailene Woodley did an amazing job, too. I was crying out of one eye non-stop.

11. After the movie, it was dinner time! Spicy Stir Fry mix with brussels sprouts + a little garlic olive oil…

12. Cooked the sprouts on the stove top and then popped them in the oven for a little bit

13. Meanwhile, Kyle whipped up some appetizers

14. French bread, herbed goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, and some spices(?)

15. We opened Almanac Beer Co’s Summer 2010 Vintage Blackberry Ale

16. Oh, and we went to BevMo to visit SARAH!!!!!

17. Back to the beer…. OH MY FRICKING GOODNESS. This was the best beer I have ever tasted. The folks behind Almanac Beer use a slow, natural brewing process that involves aged oak red wine barrels. More info on their inventive bottling methods HERE. I need to get my hands on their latest release: Autumn 2011 Farmhouse Ale

18. Later that night, Sarah came over (after her BevMo shift) and joined Nicole, Kyle, and myself for some M&M’s, Triscuits, and BOGGLE! Nicole is so good at Boggle. Sarah definitely gave her a run for her money!

19. Saturday, around noon, Kyle and I rolled out of bed and on to my tandem bike. We rode around the nearby lake…

20. He looks like he is having fun, right? :)

21. I chose a Burrito Bowl with “chicken” (?)

22. Kyle ordered a burrito with “chicken”

23. We dined at Rhinoz Mad Tacos – a mexi-asian grill place that came highly recommended by Megan (the bride-to-be). Kyle and I were a bit disenchanted with the greasy chicken. They have a great concept, they just need to work on their social media and marketing. If they can get more people in the door, they can get their food circulating faster.

24. – 26. It’s Christmas time in our house.

27. After a quick mother-daughters shopping trip, we came home so Nicole could cheer on her Trojans. They won 94 to ZERO or something ridiculous like that.

28. Nicole made some type of veggie omelette…

29. While I ate rice + veggies with spicy salsa and red pepper hummus…

30. Don’t be fooled by the veggies. There were M&M’s, sweet n’ sour candies (from Kerry), and we, uh, baked a sweet potato, pumpkin bundt cake. Nicole’s got more info on that…

Share a story with us!!!!

  • Trivia challenges
  • Bridesmaid dresses
  • The Descendants and/or Secret Life of the American Teenager
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Boggle
  • Tandem bicycles
  • Christmas decorations
  • Football
  • _______ < < Other

-Lauren

What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers

Posted by Nicole

As much as I love trying new things, I have to admit… I’m a creature of habit.  When I go out to breakfast, I always order veggie omelettes.  When I go to get frozen yogurt, I’ll stick to the flavors I know are good and refuse to try flavors like Taro.

Because of this, I think I would have a difficult time being a “true food blogger.”  Lucky for me, other members of the family are much more creative.  Lauren loves to try new foods, such as bone marrow and dessert empanadas.  Another person who loves trying new things and making interesting food creations is my mom.

Thanksgiving morning is the best for two reasons:

  1. You wake up to leftovers and
  2. You just have to microwave them, and eat!

My “morning after” plate looked a lot like my “night before” plate, just in smaller portions… kind of.

My mom’s, on the other hand, was much more “food blog” worthy.  See for yourself.

Step 1: Get two tortillas, pile on some cilantro and salsa, and chop an avocado.

Step 2: Microwave some leftover turkey and stuffing.  Pile on the cheese and melt to perfection.

Step 3: Assemble the tacos!

Step 4: Add some cranberry sauce.

Step 5: Dig in.

Whoever said we learn important life lessons from our mothers was right.  Lesson learned, Mom.  I’ll try new things and get creative.

And Lauren, that means next time I’ll ditch the omelette and order some pancakes.

Maybe.

Q4U: Did you get creative with leftovers or just microwave and have Thanksgiving part 2?