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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!

Cupcake Wednesday

First of all, Pumpkin says hello and thank you for all the well wishes with her plethora of vet visits lately.

Nearly $500 later, I have good news from the vet.  The test results are in and her kidney function levels are a normal level.  The explanation?  A high in meat diet.  Interesting since all she eats is Purina Cat Chow Indoor Formula hard food.  She must be sneaking into my turkey lunch meat after I leave for work for the day.  Anyway, looks like she’ll be fine, unless I kill her for waking me up at 3 am every morning.  The other night I finally used my brain and started taking her collar off of her so when she runs around like a crack addict in the middle of the night she doesn’t jingle like Santa Clause.  So much nicer.

Yesterday after work I hit the gym for a speed session on the treadmill; 2×1 miles at 8:25 pace.  The speed felt good, as did my new shoes.  I think I may have accidentally ordered them in a narrow width, um but whatever, I didn’t seem to have any problems last night.  I’ll let you know if I lose a toe.  After the speed workout, I hopped on the elliptical for another two miles and called it a night.

Once home, I got right to setting up my replacement Blackberry.  It’s smaller and more light weight than my old one, and purple.  Those are the only things I like about it.  Mostly because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to download the freaking Backup Assistant onto it.  The tech guy at Verizon did it for my old one on Saturday and didn’t show me how, and the VZW website provides absolutely no help.  None.  I might have thrown my old Blackberry on the floor in a fit of rage.  Then I ate a chocolate fudge cupcake and felt better.  So yeah, I currently have three contacts in my phone.  If anyone can help me, I’d appreciate it, otherwise I will be storming the Verizon store later in a cranky fit.

Lastly, I may have been given the “ok” to start researching a vacation for the late fall (mostly because I’m a whiny beotch if I don’t get my way) so if anyone has a favorite place they’ve been too.  Throw em at me!  I’m trying to stay under $1000 per person, so keep that in mind!  Alright so since most of the country is buried under snow and ice today, stay safe and warm!  We’re heading into the 50s with lots of rain.  Boo.  Happy Wednesday.  Oh, and I’m about to eat a cupcake for breakfast.

Improvements

Well I’m back at work today, and the most difficult part of getting here was driving out of my neighborhood.  The fact that it never got plowed probably has something to do with that, but hey oh well.  I spent a lot of time last night confused and thinking it was Sunday, only to remember it was Thursday and only one day of work stood between me and the weekend.  So happy Friday!

The roommates, especially Adrienne, and I were starting to suffer from severe cabin fever yesterday, so after digging our cars out we went on a little shopping adventure.  We only had one thing on the list, and it only took two stops to find it.

Say hello to our new flat screen, 47 inch, LCD TV.  It was waaaay past time for an upgrade, since the previous TV had been around since our college days.  Plus we’re having a Super Bowl party, and we couldn’t very well expect people to watch the game in non HD.  So yeah, we splurged, and then spent the rest of the night admiring it.

Pumpkin’s vet appointment yesterday was frustrating.  Apparently someone didn’t go to the doctors with a full bladder, so they couldn’t get a sample.  They did however try to use an ultra sound machine to find her bladder, which she did NOT like at all.  I could hear her meowing from all the way downstairs in the waiting room.  They also left all the jelly they used on her belly, which I had to wipe off.  So now we have to go back tomorrow morning, and if she still doesn’t have a full enough bladder, I’ll have to leave her there for a few hours so they can get a sample.  Poor Pumpkin.

The weather this week really screwed up my training, and I’m hoping to get a run in today after work, unless some really fun plans come up instead.  I’m not too worried about it though, because I still have 9 weeks of training ahead of me, and it’s not like I’m starting from scratch here.  No real plans for the weekend yet, people have been hibernating in the cold weather.  Anyone else doing anything fun?