butterface

nobody likes a butterface…unless it’s a pumpkin butterface! i was starvin marvin about an hour ago and decided to take a little looksy in my fridge. allllll the way to the back, i noticed that i had an open (and almost full) can of pumpkin puree! hmm what to do? i vaguely remembered my papa mentioning apple butter a while back and it hit me – pumpkin butter, it is! after a little perusing online, i found the perfect healthy & uber simple recipe from danica’s daily.

pumpkin buttahh (borrowed from danica)

ingredients:

1 15-oz can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup agave syrup or honey (i used honey)

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (i used sugar free pancake syrup)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4Β  tsp pumpkin pie spice

Pinch of salt

directions:

step 1: combine the pumpkin, honey, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat, mixing until well combined. stirring constantly, cook for ~ 15 minutes (or until thickened).

step 2: stir in the spices and salt, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

step 3: remove the pan from heat, and transfer your pumpkin butter to a small bowl or jar. Let cool completely before covering and refrigerating. pumpkin butter will keep for about 2 weeks in a covered air tight container in the refrigerator.

andddd, done! it was SO easy and oh so delicious (i took a spoonful amid *cooling*- i couldn’t resist!). i can just imagine the possibilities…pumpkin butter with waffles, protein pancakes, biscuits, greek yogurt, oh my. ahh so excited! can’t wait for ya’ll to try it.

xo,

p.s. any other fun pumpkin butttah ideas?!

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love: ikea

i’m backkkk! and officially in love, yet again. this time, however, my love affair is with ikea! i know i must be living under a rock, but i just visited ikea for the first time yesterday. and, let me just say that it was absolutely fabulous. the south florida location opened fairly recently and i’ve been itching to go for months to see what the hype is all about. now i fully understand why people are so entranced by it! i used to think, “what’s so special about a…gasp…home furnishings store?” however, upon walking into ikea, i was greeted with a map and a meatballsolddd!

ikea is absolutely incredible and literally has every home item you can imagine. i seriously turned to the mama within 3.2 seconds of perusing the 1st floor and announced that, “ikea is dangerous”! i could easily spend hours (& millions of dollars) here. not good. not good at all! luckily, i kept myself under control and only bought: a make-your-own desk, a floor lamp, and new silverware! not too shabby.

and, of course, no ikea adventure would be complete without having lunch! the mama and i decided to share the swedish meatball meal with veggies, a slice of apple cake, and an iced coffee. it was DELICIOUS! so so good. the mama and i each had 5 meatballs (brought 5 home for the schnitz), and made sure to buy huuge chocolate bars ($1!) for the daddy and the brother.

all in all, my ikea experience was absolutely glorious. can’t wait to go back!

*on a side note, the fabulous danica is having a giveaway – a $60 shopping spree to spend at any of the 200+ CSN stores – how cool is that?! ahh love her! make sure to check it out!

xo,

p.s. what are your favorite stores? i could literally go to target (and ikea!) EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

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d is for disney

happy monday, everyone! i hope ya’ll had a fabulous weekend. sorry for the lack of posting, but i was whisked away on an impromptu adventure to disney world and just returned! it was absolutely marvelous, as always, and filled with healthy fun foods! we stayed at the cutest little hotel, the disney beach club, and it literally felt as if we were in snow white’s cupboard! it was very kitschy and oh-so-disney-like. here’s joey in the kitchen:

the view from our room:

the two of us on our balcony, pre-dinnaa:

dinner at wolfgang puck’s restaurant at downtown disney:

we split sushi & bbq chicken pizza:

post-din snacky! chocolate covered marshmallows = too yummo for words:

then off to cirque du soleil!

luckily, we had fab seats! this was our last photo before the usher screamed at us asked joey to put the camera awaaaay.

cirque du soleil was fantastic! we both loved it. post-show, we took a stroll along the boardwalk and made sure to walk by ghirardelli. as we were walking by, a waiter turned toward us, said “would you like a free hot fudge sundae? they made 1 extra by mistake.” umm, YES PLEASE! it was sheer perfection:

thennn, bed time! the next day started off with a fruit & yogurt parfait and wataa. so fresh and delish:

disney time! the weather was gorgeous and it was a beastly lovely 85 degree day:

mr. puppet got a little frisky in china:

andd, chubby checker was at epcot for the day! so fun and random:

pit stop at the international coca cola taste-tester station:

and then dinna time! we were absolutely starved and decided to eat at morocco. i had the falafel pita with sides of couscous and lentil salad (joey had the chicken & lamb platter). the couscous was sweet, and the lentil salad was very green-pepperish in a good way. it was absolutely DELISH! in fact, my $8 disney din was MUCH more delish than wolfgang puck’s. just sayin πŸ™‚

hello kitty doll at japan. go gators!

anddd back to the real world πŸ™‚ disney was absolutely magical, but i’m definitely happy to be home. hope ya’ll had a fabulous weekend as well! can’t wait to hear all about it.

xo,

p.s. what are your favorite theme park foods? i’m CONVINCED that i heard the freshly made ice cream sandwiches call my name!

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sous chef schnitzi

allow me to introduce you all to my sous chef, the fabulous & adorable schnitzi!

she is just as frilly as her sister (moiii), and absolutely loves to be in the kitchen. some of her favorite foods include peanut butter, brisket, and dog food roasted cauliflower. her latest adventure in the kitchen was helping out her only favorite sister while making peanut butter blondies, inspired by the lovely tina over at carrots n cake!

peanut butter blondies

ingredients:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup peanuts and chocolate or carob chips (mixed)

directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325*F. Spray 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until smooth.
3. Spread batter evenly in prepared baking pan and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes until bars are cooked all the way through.
4. Let bars cool completely in pan before cutting.

ahhh i loveee peanut buttaaa:

peanut buttttaa = gone 😦

LOVEE that it’s a one-bowl recipe:

andd, voila! peanut butter blondies:

the verdict? we all (me, momsy, popsicle, and the schnitzi) thought they were pretty delish! dense, moist, healthy – and full of peanut buttery delight. i guess the picture says it all, huh? great recipe, tina!

hope you’re all having a fabulous day!

xo,

p.s. do you have any fun sous chefs?!

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wowzaa

my first week of blogging is almost officially coming to an end! i absolutely love everything about the blogging world thus far and cannot wait to see what my foodie future holds. first and foremost, i really have to work on reminding myself to photograph everything i eat. i *usually* remember to bring my camera along on my adventures, but tend to scream out loud think to myself dohh!’ after i’ve scarfed down half my meal and realized that i have yet to take a picture 😦 no bueno. did that happen to ya’ll in the beginning, too? i just hope it becomes second nature soon enough!

i’m babysitting for the night (gotta make that moneyyy) and packed along a delish & healthy meal. sorry for the amazing super-low-quality camera pictures!

a super duper ginormous salad (the picture is deceiving – the tupperware is as large as my head a mixing bow!l):

– 3 cups spring mix/romaine lettuce mixture
– 4 ounces of salmon
– 1/4 cup grated carrots
– 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
– 1/4 cup dried cranberries
– 2 tbs kraft reduced fat asian toasted sesame dressing

anddd, a muy delicioso caramel apple pop for ‘dessert’…that is, until i raid the stash of rugelach when i get home!

it’s time to walk the dog mentally prepare for the fabulosity of the real housewives of new york episode tonight at 10 on bravo. such a guilty pleasure. team bethenny all the wayyy. ta-ta for now, my loves!

xo,

p.s. any good stories from your first week of blogging?

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get me to the greek

greek yogurt, that is! i officially jumped onto the greek-yogurt-bandwagon about a year ago and don’t evahh plan on getting off. gone are the days of icky artificially sweetened yogurts (boston cream pie flavored? really?) that boast a low calorie count but leave behind a not-so-pleasant chemical aftertaste. let it be known that i completely and utterly adore greek yogurt. it’s non-fat, ridiculously high in protein, rich, tangy, delicious, and super healthy. anddd it’s 100% natural – no added sweeteners, preservatives, or chemicals. the only ingredients are milk & live cultures. just absolutely amazeballs!

being the nerd i am, i felt the need to google ‘greek yogurt’ to see just how they manage to make it so darn thick & delish: apparently, the straining process removes the majority of the whey, concentrating the milk solids and thus creating the thick dreaminess known as greek yogurt. those greeks are just too smart – they managed to produce tina fey, my big fat greek wedding, andd fabulous yogurt. i love you, greece!

*as a side note, i performed a science experiment in my apartment last year in the attempts to make my own greek yogurt. let’s just say it was an epic fail.

0% is definitely the way to go in terms of nutrition (my faves are fage & chobani), but you absolutely must add mix-ins to fully feel the love. it’s totally satisfying and especially great with chopped walnuts and a drizzle dollop of honey in the morning. adding fruit and/or jam is delish as well, and i even tend to throw in a handful of granola when i’m feeling adventurous. on a whim last week, i decided to be a rebel and add 1 tsp of peanut butter & a sprinkle of sugar to my fage – let’s just say it was epic fail #2. such a bummer!

the possibilities are absolutely endless! some foodie trends are definitely worth all the hype. i’m telling you, my friends – once you go greek, there’s no going backkk!

xo,

p.s. how do you feel about greek yogurt? are you as obsessed as i am?!

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love: starbucks

here is my first official *love* post, highlighting my current likes, loves, and all-out-obsessions. today, my friends, let’s focus on a topic that i’m currently having an all-out-love affair with…starbucks!

now, despite what you’re assuming (yes, i’m talking to YOU there in the black shirt), i’m not one of those frilly starbucks “i’ll have a venti nonfat, half-caf, 140 degree white chocolate mocha with extra whip and a slight drizzle of chocolate, kthanks” kind of girls.

i am, however, a starbucks-card-carrying kind of girl and i suggest you become one too! did you know that registered starbucks cards have free rewards?! i.e. free soy milk, free shots of flavor syrups, free internet usage, and most importantly…free brewed coffee refills! it’s pretty amazing. my newest activity is to order a tall coffee (usually an iced coffee with sugar-free caramel & soy – it tastes like a skinny version of the elusive caramel frappaccino. scoree!), get a solid 2ish hours of facebook stalking studying done (free internet holllller), grab a free refill, and then return to the real world. pretty fabulous deal if i say so myself. some of my all-time-favorite drinks are:

– iced coffee with sugar-free caramel & soy
– skinny cinnamon dolce latte (tastes likes buttery cinnamon heaven)
– nonfat iced chai latte
– caramel light frappaccino, hold the whip *pictured below*

ohh starbucks, how i love thee. i’ll see you tomorrow – 9ish work? kgreattt!

xo,

p.s. what are YOUR favorite starbucks drinks? i’m always on the hunt for a new one!

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