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Posts from the ‘restaurants’ Category

Spiced Pumpkin Cream Cheese

There is a chain bagel shop that Tristan and I used to frequent back when I lived in Asheville, that has been selling pumpkin cream cheese come fall for years. I introduced Tristan to it years ago – long  before I started making everything from scratch. Now mine is superior… Mwahahaha!

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Better than Bruegger’s Spiced Pumpkin Cream Cheese!


8 oz.  block cream cheese (I like to use the 1/3 less fat style)

3 TBSP. brown sugar

1/2 c. canned  pumpkin

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1.5 tsp. cinnamon (or more to taste)

1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or more to taste)

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Mix all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

I generally start with a spoon, and then whip out my hand-mixer (could use stand-mixer as well – but for me it isn’t worth dirtying those components!).

Keeps in the refrigerator for 10 days.

The best part of my cream cheese (besides the taste, of course!)…? No funny ingredients! No thickeners, no added colors, no preservatives, and certainly no corn syrup!

Take a look at Bruegger’s ingredients…


No thanks.

But this… this I can do.


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Enjoy it on toast, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, bagels, or my personal favorite… pumpkin muffins! (even better when topped with my pumpkin butter!)

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Pumpkin muffin and pumpkin butter recipes to follow… 



WIAW–Nothing Fancy

Despite the fact that I did my “big” shopping last weekend (meaning $100+ at both EarthFare AND Trader Joe’s each; along with a basic HT run for $45), it hasn’t been showing in my food this week. Wha? Who knows. Call it busyness, laziness, and the desire to eat “comfort food”. Also, I seem to have forgotten how to buy vegetables at the grocery store, as opposed to the Farmers Market. The FM is a leeetle slow these days, being in that limbo space between summer and fall. I believe in buying seasonally (within reason), and am a bit stuck right now. So, don’t be appalled at the dire lack of green veggies here…

I. Am. Aware. Smile

This WIAW features a distinct lack of green veggies, and a low-key birthday celebration… enjoy!

 The past two mornings I’ve eaten this…

yogurt smoosh

In the mix:

Total 2% Plain Greek Yogurt

TBSP HoneyCrunch Peanut Butter (homemade)

TBSP Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (gift from Gram)

2 Mini Banana Oat Bran Muffins (homemade – recipe coming this afternoon!)

Sprinkle of chia seeds

As much as I love my yogurt smooshes, this is an unusual combo for me. I’m usually all about the fresh fruit and crunchy granola on top of my yogurt… but this is a nice compromise, before moving into my staple hot oats of autumn.

I’m still on the iced coffee, but foresee switching back to my beloved lattes and French press soon. Well… as soon as it ceases being 80-something degrees here every. damn. day!

coffee yogurt

Lunch has also been on repeat this week…

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In the mix:

2 Lundberg Brown Rice Cakes

1/2 c. Refried beans

1 oz goat cheese

Cholula, salt, pepper


leftover homemade sweet potato “fries”, with a big dollop of organic ketchup on top, served cold. (Yes, I like my leftover sweet potato fries cold. Always).

Where is the green!?!!?!?

Afternoon snack of a LOCAL apple (hooray for apple season!)


Yesterday happened to be my Mom’s birthday. As my Dad was out-of-town on business, and Tristan was hanging with the guys, I took her out for a “nothing fancy” girls birthday dinner out.


Our first stop was Dish  for a local OMB beer and veggie plates for both of us.

(I don’t have any pics from here, as it was exceptionally dark at our table).

I had the Three Vegetable Plate with…

Smoky Lima Beans, Mashed Red-skinned Potatoes, Collards (GREEN!!!), a deliciously fluffy biscuit and half a deviled-egg.

For dessert and coffee, we trekked over to Amelie’s

car brownie

Salted Caramel Brownie, anyone?

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Bella was there to greet us, when I dropped my Mom back off at her house. Cute puppy pics, just because!


I didn’t get home until after 11pm, which is insanely late for me on a weeknight. (Oooh, wild-child!). Needless to say, I’m knackered today. ZzZzZzZzZzZz.



Last night Tristan and I had a “date night” at Cowfish Sushi & Burger Bar . Yes, Sushi and burgers. Burgushi, to be exact!



They have a really fun eclectic menu, as well as interesting cocktails and spiked milkshakes! I ordered the Thai Breeze cocktail…

menu shot

and Tristan had a Kirin Ichiban beer. We split the Crab Rangoon Dip for an appetizer… yum! Hot, gooey, and creamy with crispy wonton chips and sweet chili sauce. Not exactly healthy, but what the hell. For dinner I was craving sushi, and Tristan was feeling a burger (as always!). He chose the Cowfish Original, with Boursin cheese and avocado, and declared it he best burger he’d had in a long time. I didn’t have a bite, so I will just have to take his word on that. The sweet potato fries were dee-licious though. I must get those when I go back. For my entrée, I chose the…

Mad Mango-Cado Roll — Shrimp tempura and kani roll coated with tempura flakes, topped with slices of fresh mango and avocado. Drizzled with our signature sweet sauce.

… made with brown rice. One thing I loved about the sushi here, is that they will make it with brown rice (for $1 extra). It is difficult to find a good sushi restaurant that is willing to offer that option, in my experience.

My gigantic roll was beautiful; however, I don’t have a photo of it, because I fail at being a food blogger. (wah, waahh).

Tristan tried a Classic Chocolate shake for dessert, while I had a cup of Masala Chai hot tea to wind up our meal.

We had reservations for 7:45pm, although I’m not entirely sure they were necessary. We had heard that it can get slammed, so better safe than sorry I figured! Although we enjoyed the food and atmosphere immensely, our server was just “okay”.  She wasn’t very friendly and didn’t seem to have a lot of personality. Or perhaps she was just having an “off” night, who knows.  We were jealous of the table next to us, who had a server that was just full of life, and seemed to enjoy explaining the Cowfish concept and menu to them. Next time I want him as our server. Oh, and I want to sit on the outdoor patio!

It took us a while to jump on the Cowfish bandwagon, but now that we have, we are definitely fans. I foresee another trip there soon, for another fabulous date night!