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I’m Still Obsessed

Holler ya’ll, I finally have a new recipe for you!  Sunday evening, I was really in the mood to bake, but not it the mood to go to the store and buy any ingredients.  So I pulled out the cookbooks, and got to searching for something I could make with what I had on hand.  I had the staples, sugar, flour, spices, eggs, and canned pumpkin from my days of hoarding in the fall.  Shockingly missing from my pantry was chocolate, or anything that would make a delicious cookie.  Who else would come to the rescue but Betty Crocker herself, and these delicious Pumpkin Spice Bars.

4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup raisins, if desired (negativo)
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired ( I did not desire)
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 15x10x1-inch pan with cooking spray.  Then I got out my beautiful Kitchen Aid mixer and gave it a hug, because I missed it.
  2. Mixed together eggs, granulated sugar, oil and pumpkin on a low-speed in the mixer. Gradually added the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Spread in pan.
  3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and bars spring back when touched lightly in center. Cool completely, about 2 hours.
  4. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla with electric mixer on low-speed until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, on low speed until smooth and spreadable (don’t used granulated, it will not be smooth). Spreading frosting over bars. For bars, cut into 7 rows by 7 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.
Just a note, if you don’t have powdered sugar, regular granulated sugar will not work as a substitute.  Well I mean it will, if you like grainy icing.  Although it hasn’t stopped me or the roommates from eating them, icing and all.  They are delicious, the actual bar is moist like a cake, and the pumpkin flavor really shines through.  Love them.
As I said yesterday, it was National Margarita Day, and Dani and I had every intention of celebrating.  First I hit the gym for a tempo run.  Four miles, 2 at an 8:50 pace.  Nothing special, wasn’t too difficult and I felt good after.  I hurried home to the bottle of Jose and settled on the couch with a marg and dinner just in time for Glee to start. It happened to be Alcohol Awareness week, so the songs were all geared around boozing and partying.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Anyway, I had one Marg on the Rocks, and it was delicious and made me want to be sitting on a beach somewhere.  Not in the house with snow on the ground outside.
I stopped after one, despite how much I wanted a second, because well it’s Tuesday and tequila and I can get ugly together.  Maybe we will reunite again over the weekend.  Alright, well that’s way too much rambling for today.  So happy Wednesday!

An Eventful Weekend

Wow, I can’t believe it is Sunday night already!  I’ve had a pretty productive and fun weekend here though.  Friday night my roommate Adrienne and I decided to head into DC for dinner and drinks.

 

Ready for a night out!

 

We met one of her other friends at The Front Page, which is conveniently located right across from the Dupont metro stop.  I was going back and forth between the Penne alla Vodka and the Pasta Primavera, but ultimately decided I felt like some veggies so the Pasta Primavera it was.

After dinner the three of us moved on to Adams Morgan where we spent the rest of the night between two bars after meeting up with the rest of our group.  The first bar included one dollar jello shots, and then we finished up across the street dancing until 2:30 am.  A late night for me for sure, but well worth it since it was so much fun.  Needless to say, Adrienne and I were both a little slow to get the day started on Saturday and probably only got out of bed when we did because the chimney sweep was coming at 10.  As immature as it might be, when I opened the door for them and they said, “Hi, I’m so and so and I’m here to sweep your chimney.”  I started laughing and had to walk away/pretend cough.  Luckily Adrienne followed up behind me to let them in.

After the chimney was cleaned of the various things that were clogging it (we chose not to know the specifics) and they left, it was off to the mall to finish Christmas shopping.  I am happy to report that I crossed everyone off my list, despite the hangover and hot flashes.  Now I just need to wrap everything.  After shopping and a quick lunch at Baja Fresh, it was back into DC to retrieve Adrienne’s credit card from the bar she thought she left it at.  Unfortunately when we got there they said they didn’t have it, but at least I got some nice shots of the city while driving around.

 

Washington Monument
Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial

 

After a late Friday and a Saturday full of errands, Adrienne and I were more than happy to declare Saturday night low-key.  On the way home from DC, we picked up a few bottles of wine, a spinach and artichoke dip appetizer and finally made our way home.  First thing on the agenda was to make use of our newly cleaned fireplace.

 

Fire!

 

We put away our wine purchases, relaxed on the couches, poured ourselves a glass, and settled in for a night of movie watching.  On the list?  The Santa Clause and It’s a Wonderful Life.  The spinach dip served as a great late night snack, and it was a great way to spend a Saturday night after a crazy Friday.

 

Wine and Fire

somewhat stocked wine rack

 

Today was just as productive and exciting, but I’ll save all that to tell you about tomorrow ;).  We’ve currently got the fire-place roaring again and I’m about to start making us dinner.  Have a great Sunday night everyone!

NYC Part 2 and a Celeb Spotting

Happy 1st day of summer everyone!  I guess that means that these 90 degree temps and 80% humidity are appropriate now?  My sister and I made it home from NYC yesterday just in time to sit on the couch and watch True Blood.  Traveling is exhausting.  Anyway, back to recapping my NYC weekend, did you miss part 1?

NYC Weekend So Far

Saturday morning after a breakfast of bagels, we set out on an adventure of the city.  My sister hasn’t really seen much of NYC so we wanted to show her around.  Of course the many parks and dog runs were a high priority.

Union Square Park

And of course a stop in the Union Square Lululemon shop was a necessity, the bf got a little nervous when he saw me talking to a sales lady.  I escaped without spending my whole savings account though.

We went into Crumbs and just stared at all the cupcakes, they all look so amazing.

Washington Square Park

I was about ready to jump in this fountain, it was so hot!  Both my sis and I ended up with sunburnt shoulders, woops.  And of course we stopped for some self-serve froyo, because no trip to NYC is complete without it.

After and exhausting afternoon of sightseeing, we all needed a nap.  The three of us passed out for a little while, and woke up to start getting ready for dinner.  My one request of the weekend (besides froyo obviously) was to go to my favorite Mexican place, Hop Devil Grill.  They have the best sangria, and I’m obsessed.  It’s located on St. Marks between 1st Ave and Ave A.

After stuffing ourselves to the brim, we moved on to Horseshoe Bar on the corner of 7th Ave and Ave B where we spent the remainder of the night playing games like Photo Hunt, Lawn Darts, and Big Buck Hunter.  My sister was amazed at my bison killing skills.  She was pretty excited about spending the majority of the evening in Alphabet City because she is as obsessed with RENT as I am.  Her and I thought it would be completely appropriate to burst into song and dance in the middle of the street, but the boys disagreed so we refrained.  Our night ended with a few Natty Lights and Man vs. Food episodes at home, all in all a success.

Sunday I managed to sleep in until 10:30, which is amazing because lately I’m always wide awake at 8:30.  After lounging around for a bit, the bf, sis, and I went out for a little run.  I wore my new Lululemon shorts with a back pocket, so I was finally able to bring my camera to take some pics of the path we always run along.

Luckily there was a great breeze coming off the water yesterday that kept us a lot cooler than if we had been running through the city.  Yesterday was so hot and humid!

Group runs are so much more fun than running solo, I loved having the bf and sis with me.  After a run through the Stuyvesant Town sprinklers and a round of cold showers for each of us, we again set out to explore more of the city.  This time we ended up in Soho, where I had my first celeb spotting!  There I was walking down the street and a very skinny lady was walking towards me.  My first thought was “wow she is very thin”, then “she kind of looks like Rachel Zoe”, finally “OMG that is Rachel Zoe!”.  Rachel Zoe and her husband walked right by me on the sidewalk!  I used to watch her show, The Rachel Zoe Project, on Bravo all the time, so I was pretty excited.  And yes, she is that skinny in real life.

All in all, it was a very fun and eventful weekend, and I am exhausted today.  Luckily I only have to get through 10 days of work before I’m off on my week-long OBX vacation.  I hope everyone had a great weekend, try to have a great Monday as well!