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Pumpkin Butter

I love pumpkin and wanted to find a new way to enjoy it. I searched and found this healthy, easy recipe for Pumpkin Butter on a blog called Skinnytaste.com

I made several batches of this and shared it with friends and family. I just put in mason jars. These are some of the ways we like to enjoy this yummy treat:

Dip for pretzels
Spread on raisin toast or plain toast
Stirred in vanilla yogurt
Dip for apples and bananas

I hope you give this recipe a try!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Cooking

Cooking

Color

Beautiful Deep Color

Carla Hall’s Pop-up

My husband knows what a big fan I am of Carla Hall, so as a surprise he bought tickets for us to attend the Pop-up restaurant experience to promote the opening of her new restaurant in NYC. It was held at a restaurant called, “Root & Bone” located at 200 East 3rd Street in New York. For the event the restaurant’s chefs and Carla Hall’s chefs combined their menus and gave diners a sampling of their favorites. It was an interesting mix of, what I would call “Old-southern style food, meets modern southern food.” Carla’s menu was more old-fashioned southern food, including corn bread served with sorghum and hot fried chicken.

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By the way, I love sorghum! Who would have thought such a “northern” girl could enjoy such a southern favorite. To me sorghum is like a really deep flavored honey, yummy!

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My favorite item on the menu was the ice cream sandwiches! They were tiny, homemade chocolate cookies filled with ice cream. They were tiny bites and the cookie was just the right softness for an ice cream sandwich- perfection! My husband favorite was the banana pudding – a traditional banana pudding served in a tiny mason jar. What a great idea! Both of us really enjoyed the deviled eggs also, such a delicious surprise to someone who isn’t a huge fan of deviled eggs. Some of the eggs were topped with bacon!! Need I say more…. the other ones were made with pickled eggs.

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Each course was paired with a southern cocktail. It was an interesting twist on wine/food pairing that I’m used to. Each cocktail was so different and complimented the food delightfully.

The icing on the cake of the evening was meeting Carla. She’s as warm and friendly as she is on TV, she even autographed her new cookbook for me.

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Eggs Benedict His Way

My husband is taking an on-line course to learn to make the “mother” sauces. Well, when he got up to the lesson on how to make Hollandaise Sauce, I was an eager and very willing taste-tester! Eggs Benedict is one of our favorite breakfast meals – and it’s all about the sauce!

His version of this classic dish starts with a lightly toasted egg, everything bagel cut into thirds (to create a thinner bagel), then two thick-cut pieces of bacon, baked in the over until crispy, next comes the perfectly poached egg, lastly comes the velvety Hollandaise Sauce and finished with freshly cracked pepper.

Perfection!

First 5K

I had an incredible experience this weekend that I’d like to share with you. I attended a 5k/Half Marathon Event sponsored by The Biggest Loser. I never thought I would ever be able to walk a 5k, let alone at my fastest time ever! Let me back up a little and tell you about my fascination with the show. I’ve been a devoted fan since The Biggest Loser first aired. I’ve never missed an episode, recording it if I had other plans (kinda sad). The motivation, the support, and the ideas that come from the show just inspire me.

Three of us

JJ, Me, Pam

5k Run/walk

Me and Dan

I, like most Americans, have been on and off diets since I was a teenager. Trying everything from Southbeach (this is a very healthy diet so I still use some of the tools and recipes from the plan) to Richard Simmons, I’ve tried so many plans and have had mild success, only to gain back what I had lost. Last year at this time I knew I had to make a lasting change. I was starting to see a decline in my health and felt I was way too young for that to happen. Plus, there’s so much I want to still experience in my life. I wasn’t sure at the time how this time around was going to be different, but I just couldn’t give up. I joined Weight Watchers because I knew I needed the support of weekly meetings, but I felt that wasn’t enough for long-term success. That’s when I decided I had to set workout goals (30-day challenges). So far I’ve done The Live-Big 30-day Challenge (that was really hard), the Leslie Sansone 30-day Challenge, and my latest is “training” for the 5K. It really help me push myself to workout a little harder, knowing I had to walk the race. I not only finished the race without stopping, but I walked the fastest time I’ve ever walked! It felt so good to make it to the finish line, so good that I wept!

Finishline

Finishline

It helped to have my incredibly supportive husband walking with me. And we met so many nice, supportive people at the race, including former contestants, that I have the motivation to continue working out and setting a new goal to work towards. My next challenge will be to complete another round of the Live Big 30-day Challenge. I want to do that one again, because the first time I had a really hard time completing it and had to make several modifications. I am also going to sign up for another 5K in October and hope to run/walk it instead of just walking it. Wish me luck!

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