Friday Favorites

I’ve recently come across some super crazy and fun products…and figured I’d share some with you! Enjoy!

1. The Selfie Toaster. Ever wanted to put your face on your morning toast?! Whelp…it’s now possible!

They have some other impressions that you can get on your toast, and I am loving the little coffee cup :-) This just makes me laugh. Maybe I would get a picture of Oreo on my toast??

2. Running Drawing: A friend of mine showed me this tumbler account and I couldn’t stop laughing. This girl uses her Nike+ to map her runs and draws while she runs.

It made me want to draw something on my runs, but I spent wayyy too much time trying to figure out what the streets around my house could be. The best I came up with was a weird looking whale-fish.

3. The Spiralizer- I recently went shopping with my mom and I mentioned how I really wanted to try this handy tool because Brent and I LOVE spaghetti squash, but how many times a week can you have spaghetti squash?? The spiralizer allows you to turn any veggie into pasta. How awesome is that??!

Source

I have used it a few times and can’t seem to get enough of it. I made a butternut squash noodle for some chicken teriyaki this week that was just amazing.

4. Travelling: In the past few weekends I have been all over the place and I am just loving being busy and traveling around. I visited Nashville for the first time and it just may be my new favorite city. There is live country music playing everywhere and the vibe is just so relaxed and fun.

Nashville

5. 26 SnapChats from your Dog…Yes…Hilarious.

What is making your Friday?

The Pumpkin Spice Latte

The day that the Pumpkin Spice Latte becomes available at Starbucks should probably be a holiday because it definitely feels like one. However, spending 5 bucks on a coffee can start to be a little draining on the pocket. So, I really wanted to try my hand at making one myself. I figured it had to be healthier than getting the few pumps of pumpkin flavored sugar. And CHEAPER.

It actually came out pretty well!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Sugar 2 1/2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Puree
1 Tablespoon Vanilla 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
2 1/2 Cups Almond Milk 1 Cup Espresso

 

Directions:

1. In a small sauce pan, heat up the sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until well mixed. Add in the almond milk and espresso.

2. After the mix is warm, pour into 2 mugs and ENJOY! Top with some whipped cream or steamed milk.

I don’t like my pumpkin spice lattes very sweet at all but I do like it when it has a bit of spice to it. If you like it a little sweeter, reduce the nutmeg and ginger to 1/4 teaspoon each and up the sugar a bit. Another substitute is pumpkin spice for the ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. This recipe can definitely be changed to fit your latte likings :-)

This definitely plays up the natural flavor of the pumpkin, which I love. It doesn’t taste as manufactured as the Starbucks version.

I hope you give it a try and enjoy it!

 

What is your favorite Starbucks drink?

The Not Too Sweet Pumpkin Bread

Happy Friday!

This chilly fall morning started with Brent and I jumping up and running to Cumberland Farms for our FREE COFFEE FRIDAY! Normally I run in to grab some water, gatorade, energy bars or every once in a while some ice cream. If I want coffee, it’s Dunkies or Starbucks for this girl. But who can deny a free coffee?? So, head to Cumberland Farms this morning for your free coffee :-)

Anyways, this past weekend Brent and I headed to Nashville to hang out with some friends and just see the city. It just may be my favorite city I have ever been to. We had a SUPER early flight back to Boston and we were back home by 2. Which gave us just enough time to prepare for some people coming over for the Patriots game. While Brent headed to the game with them, I decided to make some pumpkin bread and sweet potato biscuits for breakfast the next morning. It was an easy way to have something for everyone to eat without making much of a fuss.

Fall Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

1 Can Pumpkin Puree 2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Canola Oil 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar 2 1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Water 3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder 1.2 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer, whisk the pumpkin puree, canola oil, light brown sugar, water, eggs, and vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.

3. Add the dry mix to the wet and stir until well blended. Pour the batter into a greased bread pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Pumpkin Bread Steps

The bread is definitely not sweet and has a strong natural pumpkin flavor, which I love. It allows the pumpkin puree to take over the bread, as opposed to sweetness and spices. It was delicious.

I also made, or attempted to make, sweet potato biscuits. I had gotten this cute mix in a mason jar from a wedding that Brent and I were in a little while ago. I think my definition of a large sweet potato was VERY different than their idea of large. Because my biscuits turned out to be more like a moist cake texture. I don’t think I have ever made anything quite like this before.

IMG_3688

It was definitely delicious and I can see how the biscuit version of this would be irresistible.

This weekend I’m working on some fall inspired coffees that you can make at home. I love making “fancy” coffees on the weekend and have some ideas on pumpkin spice coffees.

What do you make when you have several people over for breakfast??

The bread was definitely a win. It made breakfast super easy, especially when we all got up at 5AM for work!

Motivate Me Running Playlist

Over the past month, I have really started to struggle with staying motivated to run those 9, 10, 11, and 12 milers. I simply lost the motivation to do it. One of the ways that I kept myself going was changing up the music playlist. I found that sitting down and putting together a new playlist got me excited to hit the road and try it out.

All of the songs are upbeat, motivating and some had me singing along while running. True Life, I ran singing Breaking Dishes several times.

Motivate Me Playlist

 

Get You Home- Shwayze

S&M- Rihanna

Barracuda- Heart

Headstrong- Trapt

Breaking Dishes- Rihanna

Feel This Moment- Pit Bull

Timber- Kesha

Call On Me- Eric Prydz

Come On Feel The Noize- Quiet Riot

Teenagers- My Chemical Romance

Bleed it Out- Linkin Park

Up, Up, & Away- Kid Cudi

Blow- Kesha

Eye of the Tiger- Great White

Vegas Girl- Conor Maynard

Come With Me Now- Kongos

Hold it Against Me- Britney Spears

All Day- Cody Simpson

My Songs Know What You In The Dark- Fall Out Boy

How Far We’ve Come- Matchbox Twenty

These songs are definitely all over the place but I couldn’t help myself when certain songs came over my ear buds. How can you ignore the contagious beat of Come With Me Now, or the I’m going to kill this run feeling of Barracuda and Eye of the Tiger?? It’s just not possible.

What is your motivating running song?? What beat can’t you ignore??

Delicious Rum Raisin Cupcakes

This past week was my parent’s Anniversary and I wanted to make something different for them. My father’s favorite ice cream flavor is Rum Raisin, and flowers just seem to be a staple for anniversaries. So, naturally I combined the two to come up with a Rum Raisin Cupcake Bouquet! Naturally!

I did use Bobby Flay’s Recipe for this and it is a phenomenal recipe. This will be making an appearance at Thanksgiving for sure!

 

Rum Raisin Cupcakes

 

Ingredients

Buttercream Icing:

1 1/2 Cups Golden Rum 8 Ounces Butter, Softened
1 Tablespoon Sugar 4 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Cup Golden Raisins 8-9 Cups Confectioners Sugar
2 Teaspoons Rum Extract

Cupcakes:

2 1/2 Cups Cake Flour 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1 1/4 Teaspoons Baking Powder 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda 1 1/4 Sticks Butter, Melted
1/2 Teaspoon Salt 1 Cup Buttermilk, Room Temp
1 3/4 Cup Sugar 3 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Rum Extract 6 Egg Yolks, Room Temp
3 Egg Whites, Room Temp

Directions:

Buttercream

1. Bring rum and cane sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiled, remove it from the heat and add in the raisins. Set aside for 4 hours or more. I started the cupcakes at this point. 

2. Strain the raisins and finely chop them. Set the raisins aside for the cupcakes. Bring the strained rum to a boil in a small saucepan and reduce it to a 1/4 cup. Remove it from the heat and let it cool completely before you add it to the buttercream. 

3. Combine the butter and cream cheese in a mixer at medium speed with a whisk attachment until it is light and fluffy. Add 3 cups of confectioners sugar and continues whipping. Then add in 3 more cups of the powdered sugar. Add the cooled, reduced rum mixture and rum extract. Continue adding the powdered sugar until you achieve the texture and flavor you desire. The thicker, the easier to pipe and mold. 

Cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1 1/2 cups cane sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg together. You can use a sifter to make the mix even lighter. In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter (cooled slightly), buttermilk, oil, vanilla, rum extract, and yolks in a medium sized bowl. 

2. In the mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs until they they are light and fluffy. Add in 1/4 cup of cane sugar and beat again until stiff peaks form. Set the egg whites aside. 

3. In a separate mixer bowl (or clean out the egg white bowl), add the flour mixture. Gradually add in the butter mix, while stirring at medium-low speed. 

4. Using a spatula, fold in the egg white mix. You will notice a drastic change in texture. Then fold in the cooled raisins. Spoon them into cupcake tins with liners. Fill the cupcakes 3/4 full and bake for about 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

5. Frost with the butter cream!

Rum Raisin Cupcake Steps

 

They came out fantastic! There are definitely a few steps to make these, but it’s worth it!

 

What is the craziest flavor of cupcake you have made?