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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

{Banana Pumpkin Muffins}

Oh. My. Goodness!

Halloween is this Friday and November is right around the corner.  Seriously where has the time gone?  I feel like Christmas will be here before we know it!  Now,  don’t get me wrong I love that time is flying (because I want my wedding to be here) but at the same time I don’t want to just wish time away!  I guess I cannot have it both ways can I?

I whipped these Banana Pumpkin Muffins up the other night to get me in the Fall spirit!  Hard to remember we are nearing the end of October when we are experiencing abnormally warm weather for Minnesota (60-70 degrees)!  Seriously, it is so crazy!  Ok, anyways, I these muffins are a spin on classic banana bread (good old comfort food) with a seasonal twist!  They are just delicious!  

I highly recommend that you make these muffins as soon as possible.  Then grab a cup of tea, a cozy blanket and your favorite Halloween movie (Hocus Pocus, anyone?) and enjoy!  

Banana Pumpkin Muffins 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Makes 12 Muffins 

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar 
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour 
1 1/2 Cup Oats (Quick Cooking) 
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder and Baking Soda 
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon and Pumpkin Pie Spice 

Wet Ingredients:
1 Egg 
2 Ripe Bananas Mashed
1/2 Cup Almond Milk or Milk of Choice 
1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Pumpkin 
1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla 

1- Preheat oven to 350 and grease muffin pan. 
2- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, excluding the pecans.  Mix until well combined and set aside. 
3- In a separate smaller bowl combine all wet ingredients.  Mix until ingredients are well combined.
4- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until smooth and well combined.  Stir in pecans.  
5- Grab greased muffin pan and fill 12 muffin cups.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 min or until golden brown.  Allow muffins to cook in muffin pan until cool. 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

{Crock Pot Salsa Chicken}

This salsa chicken is one of the most popular recipes on the blog!  

And you know what... I just made them a whole lot easier!  I turned this shining star of a recipe into one that can be made in your crock pot!  How about that!  My crock pot becomes my best friend around this time of year!  Something about chilly weather and shorter days that just make gravitate towards easy meal prep!  There is nothing better then coming home after a long day and not having to think about what I have to cook.  I encourage you to make these tacos tonight... I bet you have the majority of the ingredients in your house right now! 

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 4 

1 - oz can Green Chilies 
2 Cups of your Favorite Salsa 
2 Chicken Breasts 
3/4 Cup Water 
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder, Garlic Powder and Cumin 
1 - 15 Oz Can Black Beans Drained 

For serving: 
Corn/Whole Wheat Tortillas 
Corn Chips - if you prefer over Tortillas
Your fave taco toppings; lettuce, onions, tomatoes, greek yogurt... etc.

1- Combine green chilies through spices in a slow cooker.  Mix well and ensure the chicken is fully covered in liquid.  Cook on low for 8 hours. 
2- Once chicken is fully cooked through shred into bite size pieces.  Stir in can of black beans and serve! 

I love serving this slower cooker salsa chicken over rice or scooping it up with corn chips!  This salsa chicken also makes an excellent taco salad filler! 

Check out these other great chicken crock pot recipes from around the web! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

{Race Recap - TC 10 Mile 2014}

This recap is a little late (about a week late) but still… better late than never! 

2 Sundays ago (October 5th)  I ran my 2nd Twin Cities 10 mile race (my 4th 10 mile race total)!  And I still feel that to this day the TC 10 mile is one of my favorite races.  I love the TC 10 mile course, the spectators and just the overall joy I get while running that race (well any race for that matter)!    I couldn’t have asked for better weather either!  The sun was shining, there was the perfect amount of chill in the air and zero wind!  Perfect running weather! 

I will admit that before this last race I was feeling a little blah about running.  I was running more out of routine then for the enjoyment of running!  I found myself even dreading going for a run – something that very rarely happens to me!  Anyways, long story short I approached this years TC 10 Mile with an open mind.  I hadn’t trained my hardest and was determined to listen to my body during the run and to simply run for enjoyment.  I didn’t look at my overall time once during the entire run, I watched my mile pace and tuned into how my body felt.  That scenario must have paid off because I shaved 8 seconds off my mile time and came in a minute faster than I had the previous year in the exact same race!  I was calm during the entire race and took the whole experience in!   This year’s TC 10 miler helped rejuvenate my love for running, funny how the adrenaline of a crowed and flying across a finish line can remind you of why you love something!  Crazy how that works!

I also have to give huge props to my cheering section!  I don’t think I could or would be as successful in running without my cheering section!  My mom, sister and Derek all braved the chill with me Sunday morning just to cheer me on!  Thanks guys, I love you!

2014 TC 10 Mile Stats: 
Overall Time (Chip) - 1:15:35
Mile Time - 7:40 Min/Mile 
Place - 73 out of 1017 (Female Age 22-29)

Monday, October 13, 2014

{Classic Turkey Chili}


Chilly mornings and chilly evenings mean it is officially chili weather here in Minnesota!  And I. Love. It!   The crisp fall weather has me craving warm comfort food, and chili is one of those comfort foods to me!   

Chili was always and still is one of my dads specialties.   My dad never follows a recipe he  just throws all his "chili" ingredients into a pot and voila, chili!  I follow a very similar philosophy when it comes to making chili, just like my dad I throw everything in a pot and let it simmer and stew!  Half the time I don't even measure my ingredients!  This classic turkey chili is my take on my dads chili.  I replaced the ground beef with lean ground turkey and amped up the veggies for a little extra bulk!  Rosemary and basil give the chili a nice depth and a punch of unexpected flavor!  Serve with your favorite crackers, crusty bread and chili toppings!  This chili is bound to warm you up!  

Classic Turkey Chili
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 8 

1 - 15 Oz Can Bush Pinto Chili Beans 
1 - 15 Oz Can Bush Kidney Chili Beans 
1 - 15 Oz Can Black Beans Rinsed and Drained 
1 - 15 Oz Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes - Undrained) 
1 Lb Lean Ground Turkey 
3 Cups Tomato Juice 
1/2 Medium Green Pepper Roughly Chopped 
1 Cup Roughly Chopped Red Onion 
3 Teaspoons Chili Powder 
3 Teaspoons Garlic Powder 
2 1/2 Teaspoon Rosemary 
1 Teaspoon Trader Joe's 21 Spice Seasoning (or Mrs. Dash)
1 Teaspoon Basil 

Toppings - Optional:
Shredded Cheddar Cheese 
Sour Cream 

1- In a large stock pot sprayed with cooking spray saute onions until translucent.  Add in green pepper and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.  
2- Add ground turkey to the stock pot and cook until meat until no longer pink. 
3- Stir in beans, spices, tomatoes and tomato juice.   Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Serve hot with bread, crackers, or on top of a baked potato!  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

{Coconut Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins}

Ok… I admit… the pumpkin obsession is in full force... and the obsessive pumpkin baking has begun!  

Another confession...I love that the Minnesota days are getting just a bit cooler!   The cool weather makes fall (pumpkin) baking that much better!  Fall is by farm my favorite season here in Minnesota!  

These Coconut Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins helped fuel my fall baking obsession and I have to admit I am pretty obsessed with them!   They have the perfect amount of sweetness with a hint of spice, and the addition of coconut and chocolate give these muffins a unique twist. Whip up a big batch and enjoy all week!  Happy Fall Baking!    

Coconut Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
12 Muffins 


Dry Ingredients:
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour 
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder 
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar 
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon 
1 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice 

Wet Ingredients:
1 - 15 Oz. Can Pumpkin (Not Pumpkin Pie Filing)  
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil - Melted 
1/4 Cup Almond Milk (or milk of choice) 
1 Teaspoon Vanilla 
1 Egg

1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips 
1/3 Cup Shredded Coconut 

 1- In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. 
2- In a medium bowl combine  your wet ingredients.   Mix well. 
3- Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients until well combined.  
4- Stir chocolate chips and shredded coconut into muffin batter.  
5-  Pour batter into 12 greased muffin cups.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 -30 minutes or until tops are slightly browned and a tooth pick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. 


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

{Chunky Pumpkin Vegetable Soup}

This time of year the entire food world goes absolutely pumpkin crazy!  Pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bars... I mean the list can go on and on!  And I am not complaining, because I am one of those pumpkin crazed fools.  Fall just doesn't seem like fall without a little pumpkin and spice!  

Last year I may have taken my pumpkin obsession a little to far... because Derek insisted that he wanted nothing to do with pumpkin this year (well unless it comes in the form of a pumpkin bar piled high with cream cheese frosting).   Party pooper!  

Anyways I'm putting a savory spin on this seasons shining star and using pumpkin in a hearty vegetable soup!  This soup is packed full of warm spices and vegetables!  A combo of kidney and black beans give this soup a good dose of protein as well!  Serve this soup with thick crusty bread and a side salad for a complete meal... oh and this soup is excellent the day after!  


Chunky Pumpkin Vegetable Soup 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 6-8

1/2 of a medium red onion - coarsely chopped 
1/2 of a medium green pepper - coarsely chopped 
2 small sweet potatoes skinned and chopped (small pieces)
1 - 15 Oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) 
3 Cups Chicken Broth 
1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (Or Milk of Choice) 
1 - 15 Oz can Fire Roasted Tomatoes 
1 - 15 Oz Can Black Beans drained and rinsed 
1 - 15 Oz. Can Kidney Beans drained and rinsed 
2 Teaspoons Garlic 
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon 
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg 
1 Teaspoon Cumin 
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder 
Salt and Pepper to Taste 

1- In a large stock pot coated with cooking spray saute onions until tender, add in your green pepper and sweet potatoes.  Sautee for 10 minutes. 
2- Add canned pumpkin through the spices to the pot and stir well.  
3- Bring to a rapid boil.  Once soup is boiling reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid.  Cook soup for 20-25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. 
4- Ladle into bowls and enjoy!