Friday Free-For-All – 10/13/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

I am officially on the #pumpkineverything bandwagon. Usually, I just stick to tried and true items like the PSL, but I’m branching out this year. So far, the clear winner is the Pumpkin Spice Rx Bar (so delicious!), and the loser is Burt’s Bees Pumpkin Spice lip balm. It smells more like chai and has a terrible aftertaste. I still want to try the pumpkin spice Cheerios too.

I’m having a sleepover tonight! My friend Stacy and I are going to see the show that our friend Abbie directed, and then we’re having a grown-up sleepover at a hotel. Whee! I’m excited to see my friends and have an all-night ladies night. This week at work has been pretty rough and I need to unwind a bit.

We’re going to see my folks this weekend. Once again, it’s been longer than I’d like to admit since we’ve headed down to see them. Unfortunately, mom has to work on Sunday, and we aren’t arriving until midday Saturday, so it’s a somewhat abbreviated visit. Still, it’s the first weekend we’ve had/will have free for a bit, so it was now or never. I’m looking forward to just relaxing and spending time with the fam.

Workout motivation is super low right now. I worked out once last week, and twice this week. I bring my gym bag with me to work every day, and when the time comes to go to class or go for a run, I just put my poor, neglected gym bag back in the car and go home. Blame it on what you will–the time of year, post-race blues, my insatiable desire to watch Netflix and knit–it’s a thing, and I’m not worried about it. Motivation ebbs and flows, and after finally hitting my half marathon PR goal, I don’t have anything driving me.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Fall Bucket List 2015–Wrap Up

So yeah, I made a bucket list. And then kinda forgot about it. And then Lisa reminded me. Thanks, Lisa!

The good news is, I actually accomplished some of the things on this list. The bad news is that, as usual, I did not complete the list. Oh well. C’est la vie. So how did I do? Well, let’s look back at what was actually on that list:

Fall Bucket List

  • Apple picking–CHECK
  • Make apple butter–CHECK
  • Watch Hocus Pocus in my PJs–CHECK
  • Have a Starbucks PSL–CHECK
  • Come up with a good Halloween costume–SURPRISING CHECK

I guess 5 out of 8 is actually a pretty good percentage. But I really need to just get over myself and make a pie, already. I’m weirdly afraid of making pie crust. Like it’s some impossible, difficult thing. Eh, I’ll get there eventually.

Have you made a pie crust? Am I being silly?

Fall 2015 Bucket List

I usually make a seasonal bucket list, but I don’t think I’ve ever posted it to my blog before. After my dear friend Lisa posted hers last week, I decided to share mine as well, in the hopes that I might actually cross off one or two things this year!

Fall is my favorite season, and there are so many activities I enjoy that it can be hard to fit them all in, especially when I get busy with other things like work and theater activities. But this year, I’m DETERMINED to at least come close to completing my list. And so, without further ado, I give you my Fall 2015 Bucket List:

Fall Bucket List

Do you make seasonal bucket lists? If so, what’s the number one thing on your fall list?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Please Note:  This post is an excerpt from a post on my old blog, Rachel Robin’s Nest.  I posted a picture of these cookies on Instagram yesterday for the #SweatPinkAutumn challenge and the response was huge, so I figured I should share the recipe.  Enjoy!


This recipe is tried and true.  It was given to me by my dear friend, Jaska, and it was developed by her grandmother.  The joke in her family is: “You  know it’s a Grammy recipe when it’s got 4 cups of flour in it!”  And yes, this recipe has 4 cups of flour in it.  But the resulting cookies are so flavorful, and so fluffy, you won’t even care that they are probably pretty bad for you.

I did however, make a tweak to this already amazing recipe.  I decided to swap the oil for some homemade applesauce–WINNER!!.  It really gave the cookies additional depth and moisture, and there are actually tiny pieces of cinnamon-y apple in them.  SO. GOOD.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

from Jaska

Ingredients:

  • 2 c pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c oil ( or unsweetened applesauce!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2 tsp milk
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 c flour
  • 2 c chocolate chips
  • 1 c chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, eggs, oil (or applesauce), sugar, soda, milk, and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Mix in the flour a bit at a time, stirring until just combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
  5. Scoop onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.  The edges will be just turning a golden brown.

I have to say, I’m really proud of myself, because this recipe is supposed to yield 4 dozen cookies.  Usually, I end up with less than three dozen, because I am physically incapable of making small scoops of cookie dough.  My cookies always turn out to be ridiculously large.  Jaska and her mom, Sabrina, always used to tease me about my XXL cookies.  HOWEVER, this time, I used a measured cookie scoop.  And I ended up with 4 1/2 dozen cookies.  Hooray!

See how nice and small and even they are?

I love making these cookies because Jaska, Sabrina and I used to get together each winter and bake them together.  It was always after Christmas, because we were always so busy during the holidays, but without fail, after New Year’s I’d get a phone call, and we’d set aside a date. I’d arrive first thing in the morning and we’d bake as many cookies as we possibly could-pumpkin, Grammy’s molasses cookies…whatever we had time for.  And when we were all done baking, we’d feast on cookies with organic milk, or strong coffee sweetened with molasses.

Making these cookies always brings me back to Sabrina’s warm, bright kitchen, and gives me the warm fuzzies all over.  I hope you love them as much as I do!

What’s your favorite pumpkin or fall-inspired recipe?