October 18, 2017

I entered my first pumpkin dessert contest and it was a blast!

This past Saturday, I made two dozen pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with a dark chocolate drizzle and set out to have people judge them and hopefully like them! In South Jersey, Salem County, there is apparently a pumpkin festival each year that they hold and it's their 14th annual pumpkin dessert contest as well! I have always wanted to enter a food contest because I just find them to be so cool.  I used to be mesmerized by the Pillsbury bake off they would televise on The Food Network; talk about intense!  There were probably ten different desserts baked by many a talented people who simply love to bake and some that looked so delicious, I wanted to sample some myself!

From pumpkin cheesecake, to classic pumpkin pie and pumpkin whoopie cookies and pumpkin pudding, there was really cool options and it was overall such a fun time.  I was even able to make a network connection with a food editor from New York, who travels all over the country to do cook offs and contests just like this one.  I got her email and forwarded my resume to her so we shall see!  I felt like I was in the right place at the right time.

 Back to my entries for a second.  You were allowed to submit two desserts, so my other choice was a no-bake pumpkin pie bar.  It's a really tasty recipe but because it's no bake, I think it's a harder recipe to actually make into "bars."  You keep them refrigerated but the consistency of the pudding and pumpkin puree mix literally didn't gel well.  It's not a normal hard, baked-like brownie type bar; if that makes sense.  The weather that day was also quite muggy .  I was able to cut them as best I could into nine bars but they were melty and slimy.  When we handed them out to the public for sampling, it basically resembled pudding texture.  Oh well.  The taste is there- it's a great recipe in my opinion!  I'll link it here at the end. I ended up getting 3rd place, which was fine but I did feel my cookies were unique and would have gotten a little more recognition.  Usually, chocolate and pumpkin flavors don't always go together.  The whoopie pie cookies took 1st place.  I still received a nice gift basket of some nice swag and had a great time!

I think I would definitely try this contest next year, with two very different recipes!  Next up:  find a chili cook off.  I make a killer chili recipe- in my humble opinion!

No- Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

September 11, 2017

I know everyone gets this question a lot and I'm assuming most of the time, on this exact day.  I know it's a sad question but we can handle it.  Where were you when  9/11 happened?  It's just one of those tragic events where it's so profound, we remember most of the details.  I'll give you a very short version of what I did that day.  I was in college, but did not have a class that day.  I had a dentist appointment that day.  It was just a regular cleaning.  I remember talking to my mom who was at work because she called me.  This was right before I had to leave for my appointment and then the first place hit the World Trade Center.

I got to the dentist, and by that time, the second plane had hit.  It was pretty subdued there as you could imagine and I was getting a cleaning while just staring at the television.  Crazy.  The rest of my day was just watching alllll the coverage, crying, waiting until my parents got home and just cried along with them.  

Life is so precious.  Be grateful for what you already have.

Okay. I'm done. See, I told you it would be short.  I'd love to know where you were and what you did that awful day.


 Breakfast was two cups of coffee because I just didn't feel hungry.  My daughter also had her first day of pre-k so I was just consumed by that.

Late-breakfast: by 10:30am I was pretty hungry so I had a boring piece of peanut butter toast and a pumpkin spice Greek yogurt.  It hit the spot.  Lots of water.

Lunch- 1:30-wasn't too hungry but felt like I needed something so I opted for a green smoothie!  Spinach, almond milk, half frozen banana,  about five ice cubes, cinnamon and a scoop of chocolate protein powder.  It was SO yummy! I also always have a smoothie if I'm hungry but have no flippin' clue what I want to eat. It's a great and easy way to get some greens in!

Dinner, 5pm- pretty hungry!  I was painting with Claire when I decided to eat two leftover tacos. And around 6pm, my husband made shells and cheese!  I had a small bowl of that.  YUM.

9pm-no dessert. exhausted. g'night!

Weekend 9/9 & 9/10

Well, I came down with what seemed like allergies the first half of Saturday,  but they were more cold-like symptoms toward end of the day. I felt slightly better by Sunday but was pretty much out of commission.  Today is Monday and I feel 90% better.  So food wise the entire weekend was boring, though I still had an appetite. Being out of a routine sucks, but I believe when we get sick, it's simply nature's annoying way of telling you to rest up, and I did just that.


Breakfast- I started out late because I slept in. I honestly don't recall, but I think it was oatmeal.

Lunch I remember because I spent the morning out with Claire doing errands, and by 12:30, my stomach was crying for food.  I felt famished.  I ate two slices of leftover pizza and had a few triscuit crackers.  I drank lots of water and tea throughout the day.

Dinner was some BBQ pork ribs, I had about four pieces and some spicy tortilla soup; in hopes of clearing my congestion up.  I think it worked slightly.

Dessert was just a shit ton of pretzels with a honey-cinnamon spread I found at a winery I went to a few weeks back. 


Another late breakfast because I slept in.  Oatmeal with almond butter, frozen dark cherries, cinnamon, chia seeds and almonds.  It hit the spot. And I actually had a cup of coffee.  Normally if I'm sick and have a sore throat, I never do coffee because it's not soothing.  Saturday I couldn't, but Sunday was better.

Lunch was just leftover spicy soup.  b-o-r-i-n-g.

Dinner was turkey and cheese baked tacos and they were awesome!  I was good about no dairy up until dinner but I was starving and they hit the spot!  You bet I added tons of hot sauce to my tacos!

Dessert was a mixture of trail mix stuff: kettle corn, honey roasted almonds, reeses pieces candies and LIFE cinnamon cereal.  It's truly the best sweet and salty blend I ever made in a Tupperware container.

September 8, 2017

9/8 Food Log

Nothing too exciting today, but just glad the weekend is here!

Workout- 4 miles + stretches and some abs.

Not too hungry this morning. 

7am- bite of banana and coffee with vanilla coconut milk creamer.

8:30- LIFE cinnamon cereal with skim milk

10am- a few handfuls of honey roasted almonds and water

12pm- a little hungry but didn't want anything big nor did I know what I wanted.  I had a couple carrot sticks with hummus and a slice of whole grain bread with pb./ water.

2pm- a few pieces of dark chocolate.  It hit the spot!

5pm- veggie pizza for me from Trader Joe's.  It's really good!  I had three slices and a few bites of my daughter's egg noodles with butter, corn and peas because she barely ate them. A small glass of white wine and water.

8pm- a few small scoops of vanilla bean coconut milk frozen dairy dessert ( so damn good)!  The brand is SO Delicious! with some LIFE cereal again as a topping and some chocolate syrup.  More water.  So yum!

9/7 Food Log

I don't know about you, but when I am having an off day, or am just extra tired and moody or it's simply a rest day for me because my body is sore AF, I don't eat as healthy.  I find that to be completely normal and it jut makes sense when you really ponder it.  Who wants spinach or a salad on an 'off' day?.  Not me. I am not saying this is an excuse to eat two sleeves of Oreo cookies or a pint of ice cream in one sitting.  But I have also done that, so no judging please.  We are human.  It happens.

Since yesterday was the day we had to get back to reality and pick up our dog and our daughter and unload the car of allll the shit that you have when you go away and the dog stuff and the kid stuff, it's daunting.  My body was also so sore so it made sense to make it a rest day, which I knew I was going to do anyway.  When the hubs and I left AC around 10:30am, we weren't starving but wanted a small bite.  I got my first pumpkin spice latte at Starbs and I had brown sugar oatmeal and he got a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.  That filled us for a while.  Once we picked every one up it was about 12:30.  It was a picture perfect clear day and 75 degrees, so we decided to take everyone to the park and get fresh air!

We left around 2pm and I decided on a whim to split a hoagie for dinner.  We stopped at a good spot that my hub's loves and an Italian hoagie ( with extra pickles on the side for me)  would be our dinner.  By 4pm I was really tired but also famished!  So we ate our first halves of the hoagie and MAN it hit the spot!  I'm usually not into hoagies but yesterday I was for sure!  I did drink a lot of water the rest of the night and about two hours later, we decided to finish our other halves because we were still hungry.  I didn't finish my half but ate most of it. We all were so tired, even Claire. She was asleep by 8pm and I know we were both out before 9pm.  It was a good day, just tiring.


Rest day.

10:30am- Breakfast was oatmeal and a pumpkin spice latte

3pm- a few chips and salsa

4pm- Italian hoagie with pickles/water

6pm- the other half of hoagie and more pickles/ water.

8pm- water/ my last coconut milk chocolate almond pop for something sweet.