Friday Favorites

Happy Halloween friends!

I am not sure I will ever say “it was a slow week”. Not now at least. Perhaps when all four kids have gone off to college? Maybe then.

But hey, I had time to discover, love and share my favorites with you guys so let’s dive into Friday Favorites!

 

Favorite Meal

If you see this brand anywhere, currently at my Costco, buy it! It is so good for a quick meal when you don’t have time to cook (which seems to be happening more and more over here). I love it because it’s not a cuisine I normally cook at home so I feel like it’s a perfect splurge (I normally hate buying ready-made food unless it’s really good). All the dishes are really good. Serve with basmati rice and some veggies and you have a warm supper in no time.

Sukhi's

 

Favorite Snack

I heard these were good and when I went into Target starving the other week, I was forced to buy them. Verdict? I really like them! And the kids did too which kind of surprised me! I will definitely buy these at Costco next time. Snapea Crisps!

Snapeas

Favorite Jacket

So like I mentioned last week I have been crazy shopping online. The bad part is I have had to return about 75% of it due to sizing/fit issues. See? That’s why I am Stitch Fix lover all the way. The clothes come to me and I can return them easily in the self-addressed bag and the return shipping is free! And the bag always fits in the mailbox drive-through so I don’t have to walk into the post office to return it. Ok, so I might have made one last try at Ann Taylor with this jacket IF it were on sale.

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Favorite Links

Kale Persimmon Salad with Curry Chickpea Croutons from Healthy Nibbles and Bits -a perfect fall salad!

Chipotle Chili with Tempeh and Butternut Squash from Food Confidence – butternut squash is my favorite!

Homemade Spiced Apple Cider Donuts  from the Spicy RD – why oh why do I not own a donut pan??

Spicy Sweet Baked Chicken Wings  from Jeanette’s Healthy Living – I am sucker for chicken wings!

Black Pepper Shrimp from A Doctor in the House – this dish reminds me of PFChangs which I haven’t been to in probably 5 years. Yum!

 

Favorite Photo

We got our family photos done last month, thankfully it was a gorgeous evening. We do annual family pictures 1) because then I can use the group shot for our Christmas card 2) because who doesn’t want family pictures taken every year? I’ll have to wait to share the photo that is going on our Christmas card, but here is a one of me and the hubs.

 

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Ok, quick post for a quick week! Have a safe Halloween everyone!

 

Questions: what are you loving this week? Any favorites? What are you doing for Halloween?

 

 

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese

PumpkinCreamCheese-1-2+

I was at Target the other day….can we just pause for a moment and talk about how great Target is? No, we don’t even have to, it’s just known to all. I love that I can go and get toiletries, cute clothes and a few groceries if needed. It’s my happy place…as long as I am not with all 4 of my children, then it’s a madhouse because even they get so excited when they are there that they beg for everything.

On this particular trip I had to return some clothes and then afterwards I headed over to the grocery section to grab some milk. I passed Philadelphia brand pumpkin cream cheese and reached to put it in my cart because it sounded soooo good and I just had to have it…. But then I immediately paused (like usual) and said to myself “no. no, I can just make my own”. I always tell myself this. I am quite confident in my cooking skills apparently. Not that mixing regular cream cheese with pumpkin and other stuff is hard, I just always assume I can make whatever it is I can find in the store. I am not sure if this is a good trait or bad one.

Anyway, I left and forgot about it…..until I made pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and started to put away the leftover pumpkin and realized I need to do this. This will be so good to have on hand for toast, crackers, to use as a fruit dip, to eat with a spoon, etc.

And boy was it delicious. I say was, because I made it Sunday and it’s gone now. My son said “it’s soooooo much better than regular cream cheese”. In fact it kind of tastes like pumpkin cheesecake which is one of our favorites by far.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese | www.nutritiouseats.com

So the trick to getting it nice and fluffy is to wait until the cream cheese has softened before beating it.

I never think to take things out ahead of time so I have been known to turn on the oven and let the butter or cream cheese warm up a little (I have to set it by close to where the steam escapes to do this). Or if you are in a big hurry to make this, just pop your cream cheese in the microwave for a few seconds. If it hasn’t softened, you’ll get those little clumps and it won’t be as smooth and fluffy.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese | www.nutritiouseats.com

Anyway, mix in some spices, a little brown sugar, vanilla and the pumpkin and you are done. Less than 5 minutes and you have this amazing dip, spread, what ever you want to call it. It’s heavenly.

And I paired it with these fantastic, amazing, delicious hazelnut and cranberry Raincoast Crisps I got from the IFBC conference (which reminds me I still have a post to do about the food). These are too good with this pumpkin cream cheese. I can’t even handle it. Go find some, make this pumpkin cream cheese and be happy.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese | www.nutritiouseats.com

Pumpkin Cream Cheese

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Cinnamon sugar for topping (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and using an electric mixer beat until all ingredients are incorporated and cream cheese is light and fluffy.
  2. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before serving (optional).
  3. Store in an airtight container and enjoy on bagels, toast, crackers or as a fruit dip.
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 Questions: do you ever buy the flavored cream cheese? Have you made anything with pumpkin yet?

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