Monthly Archives: September 2010

Pumpkin Madness!

It’s fall….fall means pumpkin.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with pumpkin…all things pumpkin, anything pumpkin! I was the one kid at family gatherings that would dig into the pumpkin pie. 

It’s no wonder fall is my FAVORITE season.  I would love pumpkin year-round, but, as my Mom pointed out recently, I probably wouldn’t love it as much if it was available ALL the time. 

Right now, if you enter our house you will smell pumpkin (Pumpkin Wallflower from Bath and Body works

glorious!

You will likely taste pumpkin (in the form of pumpkin smoothies, oats, cookies, cupcakes and SOON, lasagna…): 

Hellllllo Libby's!

worth another post!

and you will likely drink some pumpkin… coffee!: 

best.coffee.ever

Source 

A couple Fridays ago, I hit up Cost Plus World Market after work (so what if i like to spend friday’s at Cost Plus…stop judging me!)  They have an ENTIRE pumpkin section, with ciders (SO bomb!!!), cookies, candles, etc.  I was however immediately drawn to the PUMPKIN COFFEE! If you know me at all, you know two obsessions of mine: coffee and pumpkin.  Give me pumpkin coffee, and I’m a happy girl! 

I still had an abundance of my regular Target “Breakfast Blend” coffee  to use up (also tasty!) so I held off on opening the coveted pumpkin coffee…that is…until this morning. HOLY TOLEDO, you don’t even need to add creamer! This coffee has such a nice pumpkin/spicy kick already, you’re good to go as is! I did, however, add a splash of this: 

i told you...O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D.

Needless to say, my morning is off to a GREAT start! 

OH yes…as promised…ThePumpkin Spice Cupcake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting recipe: 

I spotted this recipe when Courtney from “Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life” guest posted on Carrots’N’Cake a few weeks back.  As soon as I saw it, I *knew* i must make these for work!  I just have to say, Courtney KNOWS her cupcakes!!! These were PHENOMENAL and got great reviews at home, and at work! 

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Ingredients: 

1 box spice cake mix 

1 15oz. can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) 

3/4 cup egg substitute 

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce 

1/3 cup water 

1/2 tsp cinnamon 

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Paper-line or grease 24 muffin cups. 

Blend cake mix, pumpkin, egg substitute, applesauce, water, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, about 3/4 full. 

Bake for 18-23 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. After 10 minutes, remove from pans, place on wire racks, and cool completely. 

Prepare frosting according to directions and spread evenly on cupcakes. 

Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (i eliminated the honey, but only because I was lacking that ingredient) 

-1/2 cup butter, softened 

-4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese 

-1 tsp. cinnamon 

-1 tbsp. honey 

2-4 cups powdered sugar 

1-2 tbsp. milk 

  1. Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the honey and cinnamon, and gradually add the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  3. Add the milk and more powdered sugar (if needed) until you get your desired consistency.

Make these cupcakes NOW, and then let me know how much you/your loved ones/your coworkers loved them… 

Now…I’ll leave you with this little gem.  I was on my way to the gym Saturday morning, and contemplated skipping my class in order to go to THIS (i kid, kinda): 

Pirate Festival! Looks pretty legit...

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend, hopefully FILLED with all things Pumpkin! =0) 

What is your favorite fall flavor/scent!? 

Janna

p.s. I ran four PAIN FREE miles this weekend, a HUGE win given my recent ankle issues/running break! two 1/10mi walk breaks and i finished in a little over 38min. Score!

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Happy fall, y’all

In celebration of the first day of autumn, I made Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting.

Words can not describe…They taste as amazing as my crappy little iPhone can make them look, times a thousand.

Full recap of my September, and the recipe to come shortly….but for now, my September in pics:

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Random…and Epic

Epic… I’ve been seeing this word around the blog world for quite sometime now, and have recently been hearing more and more people using it in real life conversations, as well. You can imagine my amusement when I was grocery shopping last week, and stumbled upon this store brand container of Greek yogurt.

EPIC

I imagine that the marketing team assigned to this product did A LOT of blog research before coming up with their slogan. Did I buy any? Sadly, I passed it up… I just couldn’t get past that slogan… as I told my co-worker, I picture young guys, tie-dye clad, stirring the vats of yogurt and saying phrases like “dduuuuuuude, this yogurt is gonna be EPIC!”. Just couldn’t do it…

Since I’ve been a major slacker on blogging, I”m going to use this post to share all the “epic and random” life of janna *stuff*…for the past week.

I had last friday off, as a day to catch up on life, use up birthday gift certificates, and relax…. It’s pretty epic when the biggest decision of your day is what color to have your toes painted! =0)

big decisions my friends, big decisions...

Friday evening, I met up with my lovely ladies, Aspen and Meredith (and BMF, but later in the evening, as work kept him late) for my very first Dave Matthews Band concert! Epic, to say the least. I’ve been a big fan for years, however, for some strange reason…never made it to one of their shows. I was in awe the entire concert, and just LOVED the way the band members feed off each other, and have such awesome stage presence! I love that they have so many different musical instruments, yet they all sound SO perfect together. Not many bands can pull off horns, not many at all…

Dave’s weird jibber-ish talking and awkward facial expressions were also pretty epic (albeit not nearly as awkward/uncomfortable/disturbing as John Meyers… you know what i’m talking about…)

Oh Dave!

Last sunday, after realizing I still had INSANE amounts of zucchini left, I got to work in the kitchen…and created some pretty epic “Zucchini Cookies” adapted from a Carrot Cake Cookie recipe that Miss “Carrots’N’Cake” posted awhile back.

They taste as good as they look!

Yum!

Yummy Zucchini Cookies!

Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots zucchini
  • 1/2 cup raisins craisens
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325*F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well until batter is blended evenly.
  3. Use a tablespoon to portion cookies on a greased baking sheet, approximately 1-2 inches apart.
  4. Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Remove cookies from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire rack.
  6. Eat and enjoy!

These were DELICIOUS, brother approved, and even better the next few days!

And now…a little “Janna’s Life is Ridiculous, Volume 48” story time for you all.

Yesterday, I was heading home from work just like normal (only an hour earlier because of the holiday weekend, hollla!) when my car (the same car i had just bragged to my co-worker earlier in the day that “runs so well” and that “i love”) decided to start making this awful high pitched whistle noise. Being very in tune with vehicles, and mechanical issues…I do what any normal person girl would do and safelypull to the side of the road, and turn the car off keep driving and turn my music up over the whistle. Granted, this may not have been the best decision, but I knew that a)i would have no clue what to do had i pulled over anyway and b) i was less than 15mi from home, and a brother that would possibly know what to do.

As I pull into the driveway, I’m greeted with the dogs barking their faces off, and the brother swiftly exiting the front door to see “what the heck that noise is!!!!”. My brother informs me that it sounds like the “blahblahblahblah” is leaking, that “blahblahblahcartalkblahblahblah” and that i should take it in ASAP.

I quickly contact the V-dub dealership, and try to get an appointment for Saturday (today). They inform me that they are booked solid, but that I could drop it off and they could TRY to get me in…but no guarantees. I figure I have nothing to lose, and I NEED a car….so I cancel my normal saturday plans, and pencil in a visit to the ‘ol V-dub dealership. Splendid. After talking to my mom, she advises that should I feel “unsafe” driving, that I call a tow truck, instead.

I therefore decide to take my car for a little spin that evening, to “test” it….and it won’t go. It is sputtering like an old sick donkey.

Lovely. My car dealership is about an hour from home…my mind starts doing the astronomical calculations of what this little trip could potentially cost me, and I immediately break down in tears. I man up and put on my adult pants….and…..call my mom for advice. She says that I should try AAA, and see if they can tow me.

“Are you in a safe place?”, in a soothing southern accent are the words i’m greeted with as I call AAA. “Yes”, I answer with a smile now in my tone. “What can I help you with this evening”. I then go on to tell my sob story, and explain I will need a tow truck in the morning to get me to my appointment. “I’m sorry ma’am, but you will have to call back in the morning…we only do immediate assistance”, “oh, ok!” I answer. I then ask if it will be a problem to take me much further than a normal tow…again “I’m sorry ma’am, but your coverage only covers 5miles of towing, anything after that is $11 a mile”.

Again the imaginary calculator in my head starts going to work but before i can push “equal” she chimes in; “I would suggest you upgrade your membership to the Premium membership, and that will cover up to 200miles”.

I thank her for her assistance, and immediately go online to see how much it is to upgrade.

Can i just say i LOVE AAA? They have always been more than amazing in every situation I’ve needed their assistance (keys locked in car, flat tires, battery, tow). After putting in my information, I’m informed that they do your upgrade at a “prorated” amount, and since my membership is up in November, anyway, my upgrade cost $12.66. amazing.

I get up bright and early, have coffee and get ready to make my tow truck call. Within 45 minutes (and exactly 1:15 minutes before my appointment which is 1hour away) the big AAA tuck rolls up. In a very quiet and not disturbing manner LOUD, disturbing, and likely to induce our house getting egged tonight manner, the car is loaded onto the truck.

Now, as you know if you read the blog, I snap photos of….everything.

while i had my morning coffee, tow truck driver had his morning....cigarette? to each their own, i guess?

I once had to take a taxi by myself from the San Diego airport to a job interview…I quickly surveyed the cab for signs of “you won’t get murdered” and when my eyes grazed the Kashi bar in the center cup holder, my mind was immediately put at ease. I later told my co-worker “he had a Kashi Bar, he seemed legit”. She thinks i’m ridiculous. she may be right.

First things first, I surveyed the Tow-Truck….no Kashi bar in sight. He did have a baggie of candy, and immediately my mind went to “hey kids, want some candy”, but I quickly squelched those thoughts when we began our discussion of peanut butter…once again “he seems legit” went through my head. More on that later…

In preparation for this epic event, (ok, i was seriously nervous for this…SERIOUSLY) I posted a FB question to all of my friends for suggestions of “topics to discuss” with my tow truck driver…i kid you not. I am completely socially awkward, and knew that an hour ride, with a stranger, would likely throw me into sheer panic, if not prepared.

Fortunately (which quickly turned “unfortunately” when he began “i have to pee” (just like a 5 year old!) around 5min from our destination) Mr. Tow truck driverman was a talker. We discussed everything from bad drivers, to pets, to politics, to peanut butter (i kid you not…and no, i did not bring it up! haha). I know about his wife, kids, three dogs and recently deceased cat. We’re basically BFF.

We were around 3 miles in when Mr Tow truck driver noticed that the sun was glaring in my eyes, and I was obviously struggling to find my glasses in my purse. He quickly offers his extra pair of sunglasses to me, and I politely decline (I don’t take things from strangers….or do I?)… he then tries again, and the next thing i know I”M WEARING TOW TRUCK DRIVER SUNGLASSES! seriously? did i seriously take and wear a complete stranger’s (TOW TRUCK DRIVER STRANGER!!!) sunglasses!!????!?

IF you know me at all, you know i am a total germaphobe, and completely terrified of all things dirty (including tow trucks), yet there i was…not even 8:00am and wearing a strangers sunglasses. I blame my lack of sleep, lack of coffee kicking in, and my emotional state for the momentary lapse of judgment. I did, however, get this EPIC gem of a picture (where you can clearly see the glasses, AND up my nose).

well hello there nostrils.

You try taking a picture without your tow-truck driver knowing whats up…not as easy as it sounds, my friends.

Anyway, I made it safe and sound to my dealership, and within a speedy dreadful 5 hours of waiting, el coche was done and i was on the road again!

Wait, did you really think my day would end that smoothly? WHO do you think I am, anyway!?!

Rewind to 10:00 am. After jealously watching person after person go up to the mechanical coffee machine, and watching each one happily walk away with their hot chemical laden sweet sweet cup-a-joe, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I HAD to get some. I walk up to the machine, and stare blankly…so.many.buttons. I finally figure out the “mocha” option, and push “Start”. Moments later the machine stops and I stare, disappointed, at my 1/2 full cup. *hmph* I take the cup and pout the whole walk back to my seat.

Right as I’m sitting down, I hear a loud sputtering noise, and then dripping…not normal faucet dripping though, it was more like a sink’s spray faucet….I turn around and see that the machine was NOT in fact done making my coffee, and was now showering the waiting room with the remainder of my cup-a-joe.

I survey the area, notice that almost everyone is engaged in their reading material/iPhone/etc (except for the guy watching tv, who is snickering…i pretended it was a funny show, but lord knows the only show he was watching was the shit show” – starring Janna going on in the waiting room). Luckily they had dark flooring that my spill did not damage TOO bad, and after a quick wipe down, all was well….

Or so i thought. Right as I was packing up my stuff to go pay for my services, two of the services guys saunter up to the machine and start chit-chatting…i casually listened in: “yeah, it hasn’t worked since this morning, and it has this display message about the overflow drawer” “oh, lets just unplug it and see if it needs to be reset”….meanwhile, i’m sitting there in horror knowing *I* was the cause of the “error”. Epic. Instead of fessing up, i decided to do what i do best, and make a photo op of the situation.

the men, surveying the damage....

still working on it...

It’s no wonder ridiculous things happen to me. with the amount of “sneaky” photos i take, and sarcasm in my daily life, i should be thankful that wearing dirty gross sunglasses is the least of my problems, shouldnt I?

As I walked out to my car, I relayed the entire day to my brother over the phone, and ended with “why were these two days so ridiculous!?!?!” to which he replies “they weren’t, they were just typical Janna days!”. Touché, brother.

In other NOT so epic news, I’ve been sidelined from running for a bit due to some ankle pain I’ve been experiencing! =/ no bueno. I hope to be back SOON, though!

I hope you all have a Happy and Safe Labor Day Weekend!

Janna

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