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Hey there, Pumpkin!

Posted Sep 22 2008 11:05am

Today turned out to be much more of a wake up call than I thought it would be, as I began to get serious about the job search and tweaking my resume to look good based on the employer. What started as a simple question from Bobby about places I’ve contacted turned into a gigantic search, brainstorm and NERVOUSNESS on my part! Eek - I haven’t even had an interview yet and I’m already anxious!

Just breathe…



Now would be one of those times that I regret the fact that I’ve never done yoga;) Better fix that ASAP! Any tips on what type of yoga is best for stress relief?


I started out my morning with the usual mug of Coffee Cocoa. It fit the bill yet again!

But the main event this morning was completely inspired by yesterday’s post from Miss VeggieGirl. I used her recipe to make Pumpkin - Banana - Almond Butteroatmeal! Many of us knew this already, but this girl is a GENIUS in the kitchen :) I have never tried pumpkin in my oats before today. I was turned off by the fear of it having a bland taste - but she completely proved me wrong!!

I used almost the exact same ingredients as she did with minor substitutions based on what I had available to me at my house:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 sliced large banana
  • 2 tbsp. Barney Butter


I also tried the method of stirring the almond butter directly into the oats instead of putting it on a spoon. I added a little extra to the top just in case I couldn’t taste it, but the flavor was definitely present throughout. These oats had a delicious variety of ingredients, with the banana slices providing the extra sweetness factor I needed to get over my fear of the bland pumpkin. Again - genius!!!


That breakfast really “pump”ed me up (groan!) and motivated me to bake something new. I thought about trying another round of ‘Pump’ It Up Muffins, but didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand, so I had to improvise.

I ended up deciding that coconut needed to be involved somehow.

Ingredients (makes 12 mini muffins):

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax
  • 1 tbsp. Smart Balance margarine
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. shredded sweetened coconut
  • Water (if needed)



Preheat the oven to 350*

Combine the first eight ingredients in a bowl. If the mixture is too dry, add a little water to give it a more liquid consistency. I probably added about 2 tbsp. of water to help it along.

Portion out the muffin mix evenly into twelve muffin cups greased with cooking spray. Add three chocolate chips to the center of each muffin and sprinkle each cup with shredded coconut.

Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes, or until the muffins are firm and a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from muffin pan and place on a cooling rack.

Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information (per muffin):

  • 66 calories
  • 1g fat
  • 12g carbohydrates
  • 1g fiber
  • 1g protein


I had my family test out the mini muffins, and they really enjoyed them! Of course, I also had to try one out for myself…

These are such a great fall treat, and from past experience with pumpkin muffins, they taste their best when heated up in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and then topped with nut butter!


I was feeling really tired later in the morning - so much so that I feel asleep! By the time I woke up, it was already 2:00 - oops :oops: I wasn’t hungry for a big lunch after sleeping half of my day away, so I snacked on various things throughout the afternoon. First, there was a plate of sliced deli turkey and ham. I spread a Laughing Cowcheese wedge among the slices and rolled them into “wraps” - yum!

And a little while later, as I began the painful exciting process of searching for the next step in the rest of my life (insert dramatic music here), I had 1/2 cup of lowfat cottage cheese topped with 1/2 tbsp. Barney Butter. A familiar combination, no? I told you I was a creature of habit!


Look! It’s the star of the show!

I was so excited when Papa Bender brought this home! I’d never seen swiss chard before - it’s so PRETTY! I love the vibrant colors!

The swiss chard was boiled down to next-to-nothingness and topped with feta. It’s very much like spinach, in my opinion. “ V. good,” as HangryPants would say.

On the side, I had a small piece of swordfish topped with Smart Balancemargarine, garlic, paprika and crushed red pepper.

PLUS some pieces of rotisserie chicken. It’s so convenient that grocery stores have these ready to pick up and serve immediately. They’re always perfectly cooked.

I ended up bringing out the barbecue sauce. It was calling to me from the fridge ;) Here is everything all together - one big happy family for my mouth!

But there were a couple of other goodies that absolutely must be mentioned. My dad also brought home some more corn on the cob - yay!

And finally, the most AMAZINGchardonnay - it’s called Rombauer Vineyards, and I kid you not - it was the best wine I have ever tasted. Period. It had so many delicious flavors. I had a second glass after this one!

My goal this year at school is to go to a wine tasting. I know some of you are wine fans and some are not. For those of you that are - what are some of your favorites? It can be red, white, etc. - and cheap but good wine is even better! Papa and Mama Bender call themselves cheap wine connoisseurs!

Well, that about wraps it up in my neck of the woods!

Have a happy Hump Day:mrgreen:

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