Thursday, September 1, 2011

The BEST pumpkin bread!! (And it's vegan)

Okay, so my husband and I recently met some sweet new neighbors, and we invited them over for dinner.  They told me that they were vegan, so I had to really be conscious of what was in the things I was cooking to eat!  I really got stumped when I got to dessert.  I didn't want to be too boring and serve sliced strawberries or canned peaches or something equally lame, so I was excited when I found a recipe for vegan pumpkin bread.

I consider myself a conisseur of pumpkin breads and this one (even being vegan and all) was EASILY the tastiest ever!  Here's the recipe, which I found on allrecipes.com


1 c. chopped walnuts  (I only used 1/2 cup, and wished I had bought more!)
3.5 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. packed dark brown sugar
2/3 c. white sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 c. pumpkin puree (I used Libby's canned pumpkin and it turned out delish - it came out to maybe 1.5 cans)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2/3 c. coconut milk (NOT coconut water!)
2/3 c. flaked coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 8"x4" loaf pans.  (I used Pam for baking instead of greasing and flouring and I could only find 9"x5" loaf pans - both worked great)

2.  Toast walnuts if you want for 5-10 minutes in the oven (I didn't do this part)

3.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

4.  Add pumpkin puree, oil, applesauce and coconut milk to the dry ingredients.  Mix til all the flour is absorbed. 

5.  Fold in the flaked coconut and walnuts.

6.  Divide the batter evenly between your prepared pans and put into the oven.

7.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven (or until a knife in the middle comes out clean - you know the drill).

8.  NOW HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!!!!!!!  After the loaves are baked and the knife comes out clean, remove the loaves from the oven and cover them TIGHTLY with aluminum foil.  Let the loaves steam for 10 minutes!  After 10 min., remove the foil and turn the loaves out onto a cooling rack.  Tent them loosely with the foil now, and let them cool.

9.  EAT!!!  (And don't tell people they're vegan.  Seriously.  It really scares people for some unknown reason.  They are delicious!!!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Blog Challenge: Day 8

Today's topic is: Someplace I've visited.

Well, I like to travel a LOT.  Like, I'd sell everything I own and become a hippie gypsy if Ryan would 1) allow it and 2) come with me.  I don't want to go alone!

Here's where I've been by continent:

Cape Town, South Africa
Hermanus, SA


Saigon, Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam
Vung Tau, Vietnam
Tokyo, Japan


Amsterdam, Netherlands
London, England
Paris, France (got engaged here - awww)
Nice, France
Milan, Italy
Lake Como, Italy
Rome, Italy
Pompeii, Italy
Florence, Italy
Venice, Italy
Bologna, Italy
Lucerne, Switzerland
Wengen, Switzerland (LOVED)
Bern, Switzerland

North America:
Oklahoma City, OK (hahaha!)
San Diego
Honolulu, HI (where we were married - awww)
Kauai, HI
San Francisco
Chicago - lovely in summer
And pretty much everywhere else in OK, AL and MS)
Cancun, Mexico
Acapulco, Mexico
Cozumel, Mexico
Tikal, Guatemala
Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Nassau, Bahamas
Freeport, Bahamas

South America

Next up:  Miami in 2 weeks

Costa Rica - August 2012

Brazil - 2014

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rough day

SO...I cannot get out of my funk!  Two things happened recently which made me funkier (???)  Not like funky funky, but like pissy funky.  Ha!

1.  People who have babies due in January 2012 (when our baby was due) are now announcing "It's a Girl!" and "It's a Boy!".  I kind of want to announce  "Baby T due 1/24/12.  J/K!  It died!!"  GAG.

2.  I learned that it most likely wasn't some one-off chromosomal thing that caused the last miscarriage.  It was because I have a luteal phase defect.  Apparently my corpus luteum sucks.    Looks like I get to take progesterone forever.  GAG.

If you read this, so sorry for the negativity.  Tomorrow will be a better day!  (Repeat.  Repeat.)  In other news, I look really cute today.  I bought a new Joie top at the new Saks Off 5th when the new outlet mall opened in OKC.  YAY!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blog Challenge: Day 7

Today's post is favorite movies.  I have a few.

They are:

The Little Princess - starring Miss Shirley Temple.  I just adored this movie growing up, and probably watched it 50 times.  It's about this little girl, Sara Crewe, whose dad goes off to war and leaves her at boarding school.  Obvs, the headmistress is evil and makes Sara a servant.  Well, Sara knows her dad will be coming back for her, and so she checks the infirmary regularly to try to find him.  No big deal for a 6 year old.  But it's precious - and I love it.  Here's the trailer from 1939!  


Another favorite movie is Chips the War Dog.  This one's a Disney movie from 1990 about a German Shepherd that is loaned by a family to the military.  He fought in WWII alongside his handler and actually received a bunch of military awards, including a Purple Heart and a Silver Star.  However, the army took them back, because apparently they can't give awards to non-humans.  Boo.  He was a hero!  I couldn't find a clip on YouTube - I guess you'll just have to get the DVD!

And my final fave movie: Sliding Doors.  This one had Gwyneth Paltrow as a lady and it follows her parallel universe lives - one in which she makes a train and one in which she misses the train.  It's kinda cheesy, but I like it.  It's super interesting and delightful!  Here's the trailer!


Pinterest train of thought

So I was on pinterest (like I am 22 hours of the day) and someone posted a recipe for banana bread.  It sounded yum - you can find that post on my pinterest account here.  I'm trying it asap!  But then I decided to go check out the website that the pin came from.  It's called Shabbottshabits.com.  The author of the blog is trying to really change her lifestyle.  I like to watch shows like the Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition and watch people change their lives through eating healthily and exercising.  However, I watch these shows while sitting on my couch and eating Doritos and then I drink a Dr. Pepper and go to bed.  I have very grand ideas about getting up early and working out (which I did for a year or two) to lose weight.  These people on the weight loss shows have these "breakthrough moments" where all of their new healthy habits stick with them and miraculously they "get it" and can drop the weight.  So I'm still waiting for this magical moment to occur for me - haha!  But anyhoo, back to the point of the story.  This gal, Ms. Shabbott, has decided to make changes in her lifestyle month by month, using a 13-month plan.  The plan is this:

Devote 28 days to each habit - the first 21 days form the habit and the last 7 make it stick.  So goes the theory.  Here are the habits:

Habit 1: Drink More Water - 64 oz. or more per day.

Habit 2: Move it or Lose it: 45 minutes of cardio 5 times per week - also make small changes: take stairs whenever possible, get up from my desk and move around, and extend Kiki's walks by 5-10 minutes each day.  

Habit 3: Breakfast of Champions:  Have a healthy and balanced breakfast each and every day.  Experiment to find tasty and healthy breakfasts - we can't have Eggs Benedict every day, I don't guess.

Habit 4: Sleep Like a Baby: OH!  I should be good at this one.  Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.  No caffeine before bed.

Habit 5: Say Yes to Fruits and Veggies: Get the recommended servings of fruits and veg each day, AND try F&V that I don't normally eat.  Yes, I'm talking to you, bok choy.  So for me, that's 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of veggies per day.

Habit 6: No Wait for Weights: Lift weights 5 days per week.  

Habit 7: Empty out Empty Calories: Bye-bye candy, gum, sweet tea (SOB), and DP.  Thank God they make caffeine-free Diet DP, so I'm all good.  Alcohol=2 drinks max per week.  Baked goods and sweets only occasionally.

Habit 8:  Take your Vitamins!  And by that, she means daily.

Habit 9:  No Artificial Sweeteners - see ya Splenda, Equal and Pink Stuff.

Habit 10: Core Challenge:  Do core exercises daily - hello - I DID learn this routine at bootcamp.  I can do this again!

Habit 11:  Portion Control:  Don't eat so much!!

Habit 12:  Meditation Sensation: 15 minutes of quiet time/yoga/stretching each day.

Habit 13: Peace-Out Processed Foods: No pre-packaged foods.  That includes Oreos and Weight Watchers Smart Ones.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blog Challenge: Day 6

Okay, back on track now.  Today's post is a photo that makes me happy.

Aaah - 4 years ago tomorrow, my lovely husband and I were married in Hawaii.  This pic reminds me of how fun it was.  Our friends and family gathered in Honolulu for the big day - it was perfection.   :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I now interrupt the regularly scheduled blog posting...

to tell you that I'm annoyed with babies.  And facebook.  And people posting cutesy baby crap on facebook.  I swear to god, every time I log onto fb, someone else is pregnant.  Or showing pics from their baby showers.  Or their nurseries.  And then comes the five minute spiral into my personal pity party, complete with screeching violins.  I hate trying so hard to have a baby.  I hate that other people don't have to try.  I hate teenagers who get pregnant and go on idiotic reality shows about what horrible parents they are.  I hate that some people are lucky enough to have children, only to treat them like crap.  AND I hate what this hatred is doing to me.  I am mean.  I am hateful.  My bestie told me she was pregnant the other day and instead of responding that I was so excited (which I am - duh), I told her I was going to steal her baby.  WTF?  Who says that?!?!  Sigh.