Pumpkin Pie Bread

There are three easy ways to help you determine that fall has arrived. 1. When the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back at Starbucks. 2. When there is pumpkin everything lining the shelves at stores. 3. When the leaves turn to beautiful shades of oranges, yellows, and reds. With that being said, pumpkin is everything, and it is really only social acceptable to have pumpkin during October and November, so pumpkin lovers like myself have to soak it all in while we can. I was at the store, and naturally, I was drawn to a box mix for pumpkin bread, and I thought to myself, “I can totally make this myself, forget the box mix.” Thus, the thought process began, and by simply modifying my Banana Bread recipe, I came up with homemade Pumpkin Pie Bread. Next time I make this, I will have to drive across town and take a loaf to my cousin Hannah so she has something yummy to snack on in her dorm room. (Hannah loves pumpkin pie so much, she basically requires her own pie every Thanksgiving. Her rule is that there can never be too much pumpkin pie.)

Anyways, enough of my jibber-jabber, here is the recipe. It is to die for. Enjoy!

1 cup sugar
0.25 cup butter, softened
0.25 cup skim milk
0.25 cup vanilla yogurt (or fat-free sour cream)
2 large egg whites
1 can (15oz) pumpkin purée
2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1.25 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cloves
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350˚ and spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. In your mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Add in milk, yogurt, egg whites, pumpkin purée. In a separate bowl combine your dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix well.

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Pour into prepared loaf pan.

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Bake about 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

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Pork Tacos

Every time I go out to eat at a Mexican restaurant, I make sure my order includes carnitas. I am not sure what it is about carnitas, but I cant help myself. I have made slow cooker carnitas before, and my friends absolutely love them. But I always took the shortcut way and cooked them in packaged taco sauce, so making my own sauce on this recipe was a first. The best part about this recipe is that is is extremely modifiable. You can easily exchange the ancho-pasilla chiles for green chiles if you prefer that flavor (in which case you should omit the cinnamon). Plus, the left overs are almost even better than when the pork is warm out of the slow cooker.

Ingredients:

4 ancho-pasilla chiles
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
3 chipotles in adobo sauce
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
3 T olive oil
2 T honey
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 t dried oregano
3.75 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into chunks
salt and pepper
warm tortillas

Place the chiles in a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of water then microwave 2-3 minutes until they become pliable. Stem and seed the chiles. Place the chiles and garlic in a food processor. Add the chipotles, onion, 2 T of olive oil, honey, 1 T salt, and the oregano and blend until smooth. Place a large skillet with 1 T olive oil on the stove over high heat and add the chile sauce. Fry for about 8 minutes until it becomes really thick. Then add chicken broth and reduce.

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Meanwhile, season the pork with salt and pepper, then place in slow cooker. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.

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Pour in the sauce. Cook on high about 5 hours. Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Shred the pork.

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I made my pork tacos with avocado, fresh mango, cheese, and salsa ranch coleslaw (pack of coleslaw mix and salsa ranch dressing mixed together).

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They were absolutely delicious.

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This recipe does make a lot of food, so left overs were used in pork enchiladas a couple days later in the week. Also delicious.

Healthy Fish and Chips

**DISCLAIMER** there is no pictures for this post right now (my memory card was full from a busy weekend cross country races out of town), but there will be pictures up the next time i make this for dinner**

 

When I was stressed studying for midterms and finals, I had two go to places for dinner in Davis. The first was my favorite Thai restaurant, Sophia’s, and the second place was The Dumpling House. And, as strange as it sounds, I would order the fish and chips from TDH. In my defense, it used to be called London Fish and Chips, but new ownership changed the name, thankfully the recipe stayed the same. However, every time I ate it, I could not help but to feel guilty from consuming fried food. I have tried doing different batters to coat the fish and bake it in my oven, but it just was not the same. Finally, I stumbled upon this recipe, and while as strange as it sounds, it is absolutely DELICIOUS! It calls for Rice Krispies. That’s right, cereal on your fish. Don’t freak out, just try this recipe and you will fall in love.

1.5 pounds white fish (like Cod)
3 egg whites
3 cups rIce Krispies
Olive Oil cooking spray
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Begin by preheating your oven to 450˚ and position the rack to the lower third of the oven. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet and coat the rack with cooking spray. Gently crush the cereal in a bowl with your fingers. Add salt and pepper to taste. In another bowl, white the egg whites and a pinch of salt until frothy. Dip the fish in egg whites then roll in the cereal. Place the fish pieces on the rack. Mist the fish with cooking spray. Bake until crisp, about 12 minutes.

All I Want For Christmas…

The holiday season is fast approaching and that can only mean one thing: super fun make up kits at beauty retailers like Ulta and Sephora. The other day I went to Ulta because I ran out of concealer. Needless to say, I got distracted by all the fun, new, perfectly paired beauty packs. When I saw this I absolutely fell in love with the compact which has 2 eye shadow colors and a blush. The light eyeshadow shade is a great “vanilla” matte while the dark has just a hint of sparkle, it is not as dark as it appears. It’s the perfect combination for a simple, sultry eye. I am obsessed with the blush. It is the perfect peachy color that will work with every outfit all winter long. A huge plus to this pack is a full-sized eyeshadow primer ($20 by itself), which is one of my absolute faves. I had never tried the Too Faced mascaras or eyeliner, and they are surely going to become a new staple in my makeup drawer. The eyeliner stayed all day and did not budge or flake at all. The mascara does wonders by giving lots of volume yet does not clump. Finally the lipstick. For those of you that know me personally, you know I am more of a chapstick girl, but after trying this lipstick I think my views have changed. It is a full-sized la creme lip creme ($21 by itself) in a shade called “believe” and I am obsessed. The lipstick is creamy without being greasy and the color stays for a long period of time. Plus, it comes with a super cute travel sized make up bag. All in all, it is a great deal for the price, and has essentials you will be using all winter long.

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Maple Butterscotch Scones

If I could some how incorporate butterscotch/caramel into every meal, I would. It is by far my biggest weakness. I can never buy caramel at the store because I will eat it straight from the container by itself. I just cannot help myself. These scones are no exception. The mix of the butterscotch chips and pure maple syrup satisfies my sweet tooth, but I do not feel completely guilty since there is oatmeal in the recipe. They are to die for!

Ingredients

1.5 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup 2% or skim milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 cup butterscotch chips
GLAZE
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 T maple syrup
1 t vanilla

Begin by baking the oats and walnuts at 375˚ for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely. In large bowl, mix together, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and oat mixture. Cut in butter until it looks like large crumbs. In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, cream, egg and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until moistened. Stir in the chips. Transfer the dough onto a greased baking dish and mold into a 7-8″ round circle.

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Cut into 8 wedges, but do not separate.

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Cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator over night. Bake at 400˚ for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. While baking, combine the glaze ingredients.

** Note –  the scones turn out large, so if you want smaller, more reasonable sized scones, shape into a 9×13″ rectangle and slice the dough accordingly. Still cook for about 25 minutes. **

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Drizzle glaze over the warm scones.

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Conceal Away those Dark Spots and Blemishes

Concealers. We all use them. Whether it is dark spots under the eyes, acne scars, birth marks, or just for highlighting, concealers are a staple in a make up bag. I know what you are thinking, there are so many different kinds that you don’t even know where to begin. For me personally, I lean towards the cream concealer over the liquid because I find them easier to work with.

bareMinerals Correcting Concealer – $20

A huge plus to this concealer is the fact that it is SPF 20 so it not only corrects dark circles and blemishes, it also protects your skin from the harmful rays of the sun at the same time. I used this all summer long when I was at the beach or lake and was usually the only make up I had on. It is perfect for those who are super active outdoors and want a little more protection from their makeup.

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Smashbox Camera Ready Full Coverage Concealer – $20

The stick formula is easy to apply on the go and fits nicely in a purse or clutch. This is what I take with me if I am going somewhere at night and fear I might need to reapply if my eyeliner smudges. It does have a little powder in the base, so you do not have to worry about reapplying powder after you touch up. I highly recommend for your on-the-go concealer. 

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Benefit Erase Paste – $26

I had heard mixed reviews about this product. You either love it or you hate it, and I absolutely love it. It is super creamy and thick without being heavy and cake like on your face. It works wonders on dark circles and imperfections all over the face. The scoop it comes with typically gives me more than I need, so I just dab a little on my finger and I am good to go. It might look like a teeny tiny pot, but a little really does go a long way.

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Benefit Stay Don’t Stray – $26

This is a concealer and primer all in one! This is super easy to apply and is perfect for days when you really do not have time to sit and blend everything in. The wand allows for easy application so you are all set to face the day in an instant. It works perfect if you do not feel like wearing make up, but still want to cover up those pesky dark circles under your eyes.

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