Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Give Thanks

This week I have seen so many Christmas light crews going in and out of my neighborhood and everywhere. Like so many other people, I love this time of the year. Truly! Christmas carols start popping up in my head, I start present shopping along with so many other fun things. However, is Thanksgiving slowly being forgotten about? Besides the shopping centers that put up their Christmas stuff in early October, on a run around the neighborhood the other night I counted numerous houses that already had their Christmas lights turned on, garland around the doors and staircases and Christmas trees up! Did I miss something? Thanksgiving for me is a time to be with family and celebrate the fact that we have all that we have been blessed with and celebrate those blessings with one another. It is the beginning of a month of gratefulness and selflessness. Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm old school with my firm belief in nothing goes up till after Thanksgiving. Anyway, rant done!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

I'm afraid to jinx it but I'll say it anyway, it's finally starting to feel like fall here in Texas! The leaves are starting to turn their beautiful fall colors and slowly starting to fall off the trees. It's not cold enough to turn on the heat but it's definitely cool enough to turn on the fire and get nice and warm in the evenings. I can't believe it's already November; I wish time would slow down just a little bit so that I could enjoy the seasons a little bit more (mainly fall). Like many of you bakers, I love pumpkin during this season but it's been a little hard for me to get into this year because its been so warm. There is one pumpkin thing I always jump on early and that's my pumpkin spice coffee creamer. The second I see it out in stores I make a purchase. Later this week I'm going to attempt to make my own but we'll see what happens. Anyway, one of my favorite fall deserts to make are these pumpkin spice cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting. They are seriously amazing! I've had the recipe for a few years now and for the life of me I can't figure out where I found it but I just had to share the amazing-ness of this yummy treat!

What You'll Need:
1 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground all spice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 c. sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
What to Do:
1. In a large bowl, whisk, pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla.
2. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices one at a time, whisking between each addition until completely combine.
3. Stir in nuts.
4. Fill cupcake cups 3/4 full and bake at 350 (f) degrees for 22- 24 minutes.
For the Icing:
1/2 c. butter , at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 c powdered confectioners sugar
1tbsp heavy cream, whipping cream or milk (whatever you have on hand)
What to Do:
1. In a mixer, beat butter till creamy.
2. Add cream cheese to butter and beat until combined.
3. Add vanilla extract. Beat.
4. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time on medium speed until the icing begins to get fluffy.
5. Add heavy cream, whipping cream, or milk. Beat till combined.
6. Use immediately or put in refrigerator till ready to use.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fitness Friday #2

Happy Belated Halloween! I hope everyone had fun last night with the little trick-or-treaters. I personally can't say Halloween is over till tonight for me. We have one last Halloween party to attend and I'm sure it's going to be fabulous! At about 8 p.m. last night, after it had been awhile since our last trick-or-treater, my husband and I took our dog out on a walk around the neighborhood to see if anyone was still out going house to house. They were, just not on our street. I started look at the pillow cases and buckets full of candy and noticing how full they were. A little girl told me she had been going since 5:30 that evening. Yikes! I'm sure I was proud of my accomplishment of a bucket load of candy at the age but all I kept thinking about was how tempting it would be to have all of that candy around for even a small period of time.

On occasion when I don't feel like doing a full work out or even leaving the house, I pull up an awesome free website I found for yoga called yogadownload . After seeing all that candy and thinking about all the sugar in the kids bags I felt as though i needed to do a little something before I went to bed. This website has several free yoga workout videos you can follow as well as some that you pay for. During my busy season for work this was a great resource for me to calm down after a long day and bring my blood pressure and sanity levels back down to normal. While I really like this website and it says beginner on several videos, if you've never done yoga before I'd suggest going to a couple of classes and learning the basics so that you can listen to the video to follow along instead of watching the video.

I hope you all have a fabulous first day of November!


Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions are my own and not solicited from the above reviewed.