Brisk me away

Thursday, September 29, 2011

pumpkin muffins!

i LOVE pumpkin in the fall.  these are my favorite pumpkin muffins to bake.  i can't remember where i found this recipe first, but i know that i've had it for the last couple of falls.  anytime i have to bring a treat to share in the fall, this recipe is my go-to.  it's so easy and fool-proof!  you just can't go wrong with that!  so here it is. 
3 ingredients people.  that's it!  easy peasy.
1 box spice cake mix
1 can of pumpkin (not the big one, just the standard size)
1 bag of cinnamon chips (these are like chocolate chips except they are made of cinnamon.  if you haven't had these before, go buy a bag now.  they are SO good.  Hershey is the only brand i can ever find and i actually have to make a special trip to a different grocery store than i usually shop at to find them.  wal-mart doesn't carry

Preheat oven to 325.  i use muffin liners so that i don't have to grease my muffin tin.  fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way full.  bake for about 25 mins. 

i've always wanted to try a cream cheese frosting on these (another weakness of mine...i could eat it by the spoonful!) but they are pretty sweet with the cinnamon chips so i think a frosting would be too much.  bestie made them a couple of weeks ago and she frosted them and omitted the cinnamon chips.  she said that they were just as good.  i just really love the chips in them, so i can't bring myself to leave them out in order to try frosting.  this time i just dusted them with powdered sugar which did nothing special for the taste but made them look oh so pretty!  i took them to a potluck at work this week.  this is a good thing because i can't help but eat these by the twos when they are sitting on my kitchen counter... 
enjoy!  happy fall y'all!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

what a great weekend it has been!  ashley came to visit!  after several long days at work, some best friend time this weekend was the perfect way to end the week.  she came in friday night after work and we met up with kristin and amber for dinner at hammontrees.  hammontrees is a local fayetteville favorite for fancy grilled cheese.  i just don't think you can go wrong when your speciality is cheese.  this is unfortunate since i'm lactose  life's hard when you're a lactard.  oh well.  i eat here in spite and love every bite in the moment.  haha
saturday morning we swung by ricks (another local favorite) to pick up some coffee and yummy pastries before heading out to a couple of flea markets we'd been wanting to check out.  i have such a thing for flea markets these days!  the hunt of finding little treasures in these places is so fun!  this week's find was maybe my favorite of all time so far.   
these are the same glasses that i remember drinking from at my grandma's house growing up.  i think my mom actually had these too.  they are glass jelly jars.  as soon as i saw them, i knew i wanted them.  i love the sentiment of using something on a daily basis that i remember having as a child.  i'm not actually sure that they don't still sell jelly in jars like these.  since i'm not much of a jelly eater though, it was a better deal on my end to just buy them here.  just over $2 for 5.  i'll take it.  i love how thick the glass is.  when i carried them up to the counter, the owner of the shop called them country crystal.  i love it. 
we ended the day watching the arkansas-alabama game with amber and caleb.  the game was disappointing but the company made the afternoon well worth it.  thankful for a weekend full of great friends! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

another week has come and gone and the highlight was definitely a trip to kansas city this weekend.  robyn had a vacation day that she needed to use before next week.  when she asked if i wanted to take a long weekend and go somewhere it didn't take much any tempting for me to say yes!  thank you three 12 hour shifts a week to accommodate this kind of spontaneity.  after weighing our options of places to go, kansas city fit the bill of being an easy drive and having plenty of cool things to check out.  an added bonus was the fact that we would drive right past my parents house on the way to drop the pup off for the night.  shout out to my mom (who i know reads this even if no one else does) for being the best dog sitter ev.  troop thinks you're great.  :)
the goal of the trip was simply to enjoy the time and not be tied to a schedule.  this worked out perfectly.  we knew that we did not want to feel like we needed a vacation from "vacation" and we didn't want to be stressed while we were there.  we also made a pact that we didn't want to eat food that we could get in fayetteville.  loving local things even when we're not the locals...perf. 
faves of the weekend... (ps i didn't take a single pic this weekend...whoops! thank you google images for saving this post from being boring and pictureless. 
friday lunch.  this little gem was found by urbanspoon on my phone.  how did we ever do trips without the iphone?  pandolfi's deli is a family owned hole in the wall place that only serves lunch M-F.  now you know a place is going to be good if they can afford such limited business hours.  we both ordered the sassano which was turkey, prosciutto and pepper jack on a homemade roll with balsamic vinegar.  yum-o.  we ate every bite.  as an added bonus, while we were eating the grandfather of the owner (who's father was the originally mr. pandolfi when he came over from italy) came over to chat with us.  much get much more local than that people.
so a  friend from high school recommended this place in the power and light district.  i'm still a little confused if the store is called the garment or the garment district but either way it did not disappoint.  they had TONS of clothes that were so cute and unique.  seriously, so many great things.  there was lots to love here but a cute cute purse for the winter is all i left with.  and it was a STEAL.  i do love a good deal. 
i do love a farmers' market no matter the location.  kansas city was a great one downtown.  it was a little chilly saturday morning which made it perfect to pull out the scarves and jackets and wonder around with coffee in hand...actually i think both of us may have had hot tea...either way...perfect.  had i not been traveling, i could have come away with LOTS of tasty produce, but i was a little nervous to leave it in the car all day.  i did get some honey oatmeal bread from an amish stand.  delish.  the amish sure do know how to bake bread!  i do wish that i could bake like that...for now i'll just stick to buying it from them i guess.
all i have to say about this is yum-o.  so just before heading home on saturday, we made the last minute decision to find something sweet for the drive home.  the upper crust bakery happened to be just down the street from the place where we had lunch.  it was this little place in the back of the oddest kitchen store i've ever been in.  seriously, this place had every kind of kitchen gadget, both cheap and high end, on floor to ceiling shelves.  so much fun to browse!  even better because we had yummy cookies in hand while we browsed!  and they were still warm...i'm just not sure it can get any better.  i had a banana cookie with burnt sugar frosting.  i'm not sure that i am normally a banana dessert kind of girl.  if it's dessert, it needs chocolate.  i mean you really can't go wrong with this right?!  this cookie made me never want to eat banana bread again without good.
and that is all.  we are all home (me, robyn and trooper that is) and it's back to work tomorrow.  woo. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

so fall is here and i'm kind of really likng it.  don't get me wrong, i love the summertime, but after months of 100 degree days, the cool mornings and mild heat in the afternoons is a welcome change.  i love love fall in NWA.  the leaves change to the most beautiful shades of red and orange, the state goes HOGWILD for razorback football and fun festivals like the apple festival, bikes blues and bbq and the war eagle craft fair take place.  loving all things local these days.  NWA is a great place to live all the time, but i especially love it in the fall. 

highlighs from this week include...
so i've been a shane & shane fan for a while now.  they came to town last week and after receiving a text from a friend who had an extra ticket, i made the last minute decision to head over after work.  now having somewhere to be after working for 12 hours isn't my favorite thing, but i was so glad i went to this.  they played a bunch of songs from their new album, "the one you need." the cover song on this album is just the sweetest thing.  both of them had baby girls in the last year and they wrote this for them.  it's all about how they want to be able to be everything for their daughters, but as humans, they will fail at this.  it goes on to say that they have learned in their own lives that Jesus is the One who will never fail them and that He is the one they need.  such a sweet hope for their children.  since i had to leave early to make my 9:30 bedtime (so cool on a friday night, i know) for work the next day, i didn't get to buy this CD that night.  i'm anxiously awaiting its arrival on itunes.
lunch date with some of my favorite kiddos.  chik-fil-a outside on a sunny afternoon with these 2 cuties...doesn't get better
i have been on such an iced coffee kick all summer.  i'm definitely a coffee drinker, but when it's 100 degrees outside, a hot drink rarely sounds good to me.  the pioneer woman posted a recipe for iced coffee a couple months ago, and i've been nuts over it ever since i tried it.  i'm a little lazy to follow all of her instructions for straining and such so i usually just make a big pot of strong coffee, let it cool completely, and then put it in the fridge to drink off of for the week.  the key here is keeping it covered so that it doesn't get that stale, day-old coffee taste.  i usually add just a splash of soy milk and a few ice cubes along with the normal amount of flavored creamer that i use.  so so good.  my favorite thing about days off are slow mornings with coffee.  drinking this from a mason jar makes it even better i think :)
so in the spirit of loving all things local, the farmers market on saturday mornings is one of my favorite fayetteville things.  there are fresh produce stands, live music on the street corners, local vendors selling coffee, baked goods and other homemade goodies and lots and lots of people watching  :)  the pace is slow and the atmosphere is chill.  i can't really think of a place i would rather be on a saturday morning.  today i picked these up.  after trimming the ends a bit, i decided to put them in water in a mason jar (shocker right?  are you seeing a theme?  LOVE mason jars) 
that's all for now.  looking forward to a lazy afternoon and some razorback football with friends tonight.  woo pig.  go hogs go.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

it's that time again, time for another blog post!  i know all 3 of you that read this are pretty pumped right now!  y'all should know that my last post took my entirely too long to put together.  why you ask?  because blogger is smarter than me.  boo.  my goal this time around is for this post to take me less than an entire hour to write.  i'm hoping this is not too lofty of a goal... :/
this week in my life...
i've worked a little, played a little, lazed a little, read a little, baked a little and everything in between.

what i made...
banana bread!  a lady at work made some earlier this week and it was sooo yummy!  i knew that it should be a baking project for this week since I had some yucky brown bananas sitting on my counter.  since i've never actually made banana bread before, i went to my trusty allrecipes app on my phone to find a recipe that looked good.  i used this one HERE . it called for sour cream instead of oil which i thought was interesting.  this bread turned out so moist and delish, just like the reviews said it would.  i added the cinnamon and ground cloves, as one of the reviews suggested, and i wasn't sorry i did.  i also substituted walnuts for pecans because pecans are what i already had.   it should be noted that i had to go out and buy a loaf pan in order to make this...that's what happens when you live with roommates for the last 5 years and they one by one get married and move out...they take their loaf pans with them haha!  i am excited to have a loaf pan of my own now!  it's the little things people...
 what i'm loving... :

little dog got a haircut!  for those of you that don't know (which is probably no one since only 3 of my friends even know about this blog) this is Trooper.  he is always one of my favorite things in life, but this is especially the case after he comes back from the groomer so fresh and clean. 

Pinterest.  i was trying to explain how wonderful this is to one of my co-workers the other day and she just wasn't buying it.  so sad for her.  pinterest is this digital pinboard where you can "pin" ideas you love.  you create boards in different categories and then pin away!  there are so many wonderful ideas that i've found on this!  will i make every idea i pinned on here?  no way!  but it's a nice go-to place when i get a hankering for a project.  plus i really love looking at all of the pretty pictures :)  

alrighty, i think that's all for now...mostly because it's almost my bedtime. don't all the cool kids go to bed at 9:30?? i know, the answer is no.  boo.  oh well. it's really the only way i can convince myself to head straight to the coffee pot when my alarm goes off at 5am.  being an adult is super.