Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

So this weekend was the actual first weekend of fall.  In honor of that occasion, I decided to create a fall breakfast dish.  I bring you, Pumpkin Bread Pudding/Strata.  I can't really tell the difference between the two, so I ended up googling it.  Apparently my recipe would be more of a bread pudding than a strata since the egg to milk ratio was about equal.  Consider yourself educated.  :)  Anyway, this recipe really hit the spot for me in terms of fall flavors and something kind of original to eat for breakfast.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Serves 4

Prep time  15 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes

8 slices of your choice of bread (I used Great Harvest Cinnamon Chip and whole grain)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/2 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
1 egg
1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans (chopped or whole), optional
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons cream cheese (I used honey nut)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a small to medium casserole dish with the butter.  Cut bread into cubes.

2.  Wisk pumpkin, egg, and milk.  Add spices and maple syrup and wisk.

3.  Place half the bread cubes into the casserole dish and add half the puree/egg/milk mixture and half the pecans and stir til coated.  Add the other half of the bread, wet mixture, and pecans and mix. 

4.  Cut cream cheese into small cubes and dot top and/or stir into the mixture.

5.  Place in oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes til set but still slightly creamy.  Spoon onto plate and enjoy!



Fall, pumpkiny goodness....


Enjoy!

PS- you may have noticed I tried to do a better job of recipe writing after my Healthy Living Summit session on better recipe writing.  Hopefully this one is a little clearer than past ones.  Feel free to ask questions in the comment section if you  have any!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Dig Your Blog

Hey guys!  Well, it's been an ok week.  I actually took a sick day on Tuesday because I'm still experiencing some of that dizziness/vertigo/crappy feeling from time to time and that day it was worse, plus I had a headache, so I decided to stay home, sleep, and take it easy.  Other than that, my week has been relatively normal- working, eating, walking the pup...  Oh and watching fall shows!

I was nominated by Joanna, a fellow pilot's wife blogger, for this blog award the other day!  Thanks Joanna!



I'm supposed to name three random facts about myself and pass it on to 5 other bloggers.

Ok, here we go.

1.  I dyed my hair red once.  By myself.  From a box.  Yeah...  it was not good.  Kinda like a carrot. 
Exibit A:

Oh, and PS I was in desperate need of bronzer or something- hello paleness!!

Luckily I was working night shift and soon found out how to get a lot of the color out- you mix developer from a box of hair color with a strong shampoo like Prell and it takes a lot of the color out.  I then waited a little while and highlighted it so that it was kind of strawberry blond.  Just in time for my friend's wedding.





2.  Clyde and I usually spoon while sleeping.  Either I hold him, like this:



Or he "holds" me.  If my back is facing him, he tries to spoon me.  Pretty funny for a 10 lb dog!

3.  Greg and I have lived in 5 houses together, three that he (now we) owned, and two rentals.


This was one of our houses in Virginia.

If you are hungry for more, you can look at this list I made a while back ;)

Ok, I nominate:

Liz at Run, Bake, Race
Erin at The Grass Skirt
Kate at Hot Potato
Jen at Peanut Butter Runner
Danielle at Long May You Run

If anyone else wants to participate consider yourself nominated, or you can leave me a random fact about yourself in my comments! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adventures On Our Way Home

Our time at the cabin went by quickly and Sunday morning we actually had to get up kind of early, because check out was at 10am!  Luckily we had gone to bed fairly early Saturday night, so it wasn't a big struggle.

We had another oatmeal breakfast, this time water, oatmeal, applesauce, agave, and peanut butter.  It was in major need of cinnamon, which I didn't bring!


A couple more shots of the incredible views.





We got ready, packed up, and were on the road by 10am.

We headed east on I-40 and eventually got hungry for lunch.  It was looking like it was going to be a fast food lunch when I spotted a sign for The Bean Trees Cafe, and we agreed to go check it out.  It was right off the highway next to the river and a white water rafting place. 



They had outdoor seating, so we were both immediately sold if it meant we could bring Clyde.  Greg checked inside and they said Clyde was welcome!  It's all about the dog you know.



The outside deck on the water was nice.  It was perfect day for an outdoor lunch.



I liked the place, it was kind of funky and eclectic.



You gotta love a hoola hooping walker...



Cheers!




I ordered a veggie burger with avocado and mozzarella, and a side of sweet potato chips.




This place was cool and definitely beat Micky D's!

Back on the road we actually decided to take a pretty big detour home.  We headed to Altapass Orchard.  You may remember that we went there last fall after camping.



It was actually pretty far out of our way, but with Greg's schedule, who knows when we'll be able to go this fall, so going while we had the chance seemed like a good idea.  Also, we know Altapass is dog friendly, so that was key!



We each got a 1/2 peck bag to fill and proceeded into the orchard.




Kind of in love with this picture...


Clyde is like a rabbit in the orchard, he bounces around, it's hilarious. 





Check it out, VIDEO!


video

We did pretty well, cramming lots of apples into our bags.



Mmmm, fresh apples.



We also got some fudge before leaving.



Then we headed back to Charlotte after our long adventure.  It was another fun day.




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Day In The Smokies

Since we got to our cabin so late on Friday night and it was dark, I waited til morning to take pictures.  I didn't know just how awesome this cabin's view was til I woke up and saw this...



We had an awesome porch with rocking chairs on which to enjoy the spectacular view too.





Awesome right?

We stayed the Above and Beyond cabin at the Legacy Mountain Resort.

The cabin had tons of ammenities, including a full kitchen, so I actually brought a bunch of food for us including oatmeal.  The first morning we had oats, made with water, banana, peanut butter, agave, and a little crushed dark chocolate granola bar on top.



We then sat outside on the deck with mugs of cocoa and took in the view for a while longer.



Pardon my bed head...
Look how cute the boys were!



Here's a little tour of the inside of the cabin:

Dining area:


Kitchen:



Living room fire place.



Pool room, which actually went unused.


Bed Room.


Outside view of the cabin:



My husband found this place and did a great job.  I asked for a cabin with great views, that was definitely like a log cabin but nice and modern.  This fit the bill for sure!

We finally got going and left the cabin around noon on Saturday, and headed out to explore.  Our plan was to pick up some sandwiches and head to a hiking area.

I got this cool shot of our resort as we were leaving.  Don't the cabins look like bird houses?



We ended up driving through downtown Gatlinburg, so we got to see what was there.



It was very touristy, as I was warned it would be.



It reminded me a lot of a beach boardwalk.  Lots of "Old Time Photo" shops, candy stores, restuarants, and gift shops.

We accidently missed the turn for the area where we'd planned to hike, but it was fine, because it we took a nice scenic detour.  We found a lookout to eat our lunch with more amazing views of the mountains.



We enjoyed our Subway subs.


I had a six inch Italian BMT.



Clyde got some samples.



We walked Clyde around a little.




Then we hit the road again.



After a short while back on the road, some cars in front of us were stopped.  Can you see why?



Yup, there was a BEAR hanging out on the side of the road!


Greg and I drove right up along side it.  The bear seemed unphased by all the attention.  Pretty awesome!

We finally found the area where we had originally planned to hike, which was the Gatlinburg Trail off the Sugarland Visitor Center.  This is one of the few dog friendly trails in the Smokies, so we chose it so we could bring Clyde.





The trail is about 2 miles from the visitor center to Gatlinburg.  We had seen online that a lot of people complained about it being kind of a crappy trail, but it was pretty flat and still scenic, and Clyde seemed to like it.








After our hike we headed back to the cabin for dinner.  I brought vegetarian chili from home.  Perfect cabin dinner :)



Clyde amused us by looking out the window from time to time.



Chili was followed by wine in the rockers.



Pretty much a perfect day!




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