Random Recipe: Pumpkin Honey Beer Bread

First time ever. I completely missed posting a blog yesterday. Blame it on pregnancy brain. Alas. I do have a great recipe to share with you today. You can see I am continuing my pumpkin theme. I cannot get enough, and since pumpkin eventually gives away to peppermint and egg nog, well, you have to take advantage while fall is upon us. Can you believe that Costco already has their peppermint pretzels? It is not even Halloween yet and we can already purchase favorite treats for Christmas. Will we soon be able to purchase Christmas treats in July?

This recipe is a must try. It is, dare I said it? (Moist!) Yummy, and the perfect treat. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. We actually had it for dinner last night with tomato soup. It is worth trying this fall.

Pumpkin Honey Beer Bread

2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup beer (at room temperature)
1/4 cup honey
4 large eggs
1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons table salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Shortening (to grease pan)


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin, and beat at low speed just until blended.

2. Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, and beat at low speed just until blended. Divide batter between 2 greased (with unsalted butter) and floured 9 x 5 loaf pans.

3. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool bread in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool until you’re ready to devour it!

Random Recipe: Baked Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken

I have been feeling blah about food lately, and needed some inspiration. Chris made this last night, and it hit the spot and was just what I needed. I only had to control myself a bit and not overstuff myself — which is hard to do when something is so yummy! Now I will tell you, there is a word I pretty much hate using: moist. However, baking this chicken with these specific ingredients meant that when you cut into the chicken it was the absolute definition of moist. The ingredient list looks long, but it is not hard at all (just ask Chris!)

Baked Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken [Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addition]


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks


  1. Whisk cornstarch and water together in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and black pepper. Simmer over low heat (whisking occasionally). Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside so it will thicken.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Place chicken and pineapple chunks in any oven safe dish or pan. Pour sauce over chicken and pineapple ensure all sides of the chicken is covered.
  4. Bake (uncovered) for 30 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.

We served it over brown rice and then added some steamed broccoli. Yum!

Random recipe: Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mini Blender Muffins

Oh man, these were good. So easy, and really nothing to call the dessert police on. There is no flour or sugar (just a tiny bit of honey). It can all be made in your blender. Since they are mini muffins you can have one, wait a bit and have a few more and not feel guilty at all. You can taste the chocolate, peanut butter, and banana. Yum!

A few notes: since we have a Vita-Mix, we blended a bit too long, and the chocolate chips were no longer in solid form, thus the look of a brownie mixture and the darker color than if the chocolate chips remained solid. Oh, and to change it up a bit we added toffee chips to the mix. Why not?

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mini Blender Muffins (Original version from Averie Cooks)

Prep time: A few mins
Cook time: 8-9 mins
Yield: 15-18 muffins

1 banana
1 egg
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 dash of salt
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I also added some heath bar bits)

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Prepare mini muffin pan(s) with cooking spray or canola oil. Flour the insides or make sure they’re greased very well if you don’t want to use flour.

3. Add all ingredients except chocolate chips into a blender and blend until creamy.

4. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

5. Use a tablespoon and distribute batter evenly to muffin pan(s).

6. Bake for 8-9 mins. Let them cool in the pans for about 10 mins before removing.

One Month of No Poo

It is like training for a race, some days you think I cannot go out and train today, I am too tired, or I just do not have the energy. That is how I have felt as I continue to embark on my “no poo” journey. Recently I wrote a blog about my interest in going “no poo.” Yes, I am comparing not washing my hair with chemical shampoos, otherwise called “no poo,” with training for a race. I am a few days away from my 5th week of no poo. I really cannot believe that I have stuck with it this long. Well partly I can because I am usually not a quitter, but this has been tougher than I thought it would be. I have tried a few different concoctions to see what works best for my hair. So far this is the best routine:

Day 1: Wash with a mixture of honey and baking soda, work throughout hair, mostly at the scalp and not really on the ends. Rinse with water, then spritz apple cider vinegar + water mixture on as a conditioner, work through ends of hair, and rinse out. Usually I start out with straightening my hair on Day 1.

Day 2: No wash. Just refresh with a quick few moments with the hot iron. Second option: pull back into a pony tail.

Day 3: No wash. Usually pull into a pony tail, sometimes I will curl bottom half of hair, and pull back into pony tail.

Day 4: No wash. Definitely pull into pony tail. Sprinkle cornstarch at scalp and massage into hair if matted or looks wet/greasy. Cornstarch works wonders.

Day 5: Same as Day 4 or start over at Day 1.

Other concoctions I have tried: An aloe + coconut milk wash. Did not work too well. My hair was incredibly greasy. I had to wash immediately with baking soda. However, my hair was incredibly soft for the next few days. Might try again, knowing I will need to wash with baking soda afterwards. During my first week, I started out with a baking soda + water paste, and now have moved into using baking soda + honey, and I love how it makes my hair smell. Over the weekend I ordered some Rhassoul clay that can be used to wash hair but also used on skin. Using egg yolks is also on the list to try.

A boar bristle brush is also an important component of going no poo. Using it helps to bring the oils from your scalp down through to the ends of your hair. I have long hair, so it is a lot of work to brush. I even found out over the weekend that Mason Pearson is the coveted brush, a company that makes boar bristle brushes going back to 1885, selling today for $110-$325. Not sure I’m willing to drop that much for a hair brush though.

There are a lot of details to master, how to travel, how to wash with eggs, but not have cooked egg in your hair, the list goes on. I am learning a lot and I am sure Chris feels like the shower is starting to look like our refrigerator. I will keep you posted on my adventure.

Simple Pleasures

Recently I was making more homemade English Muffins, which takes a tablespoon of honey. I had poured the amount into the bowl and decided I wanted the taste of honey, so when I was done I licked the tablespoon. It started my mind wandering with a domino effect from one thought to the next. The first thing I thought was I have not had honey in a while, and it is such a simple pleasure. I started (mind you I did not have much sleep that weekend) to think about how honey is made, and the simplicity of the bees, flowers, and pollination, and that the reward is such a simple sweet pleasure.

The next thought that trickled into my brainwaves was how often we disregard simple pleasures, or maybe we just take them for granted. How often do we pile our plates with a plethora of flavors, overwhelm our senses, and forget that sometimes the simplest dish has the greatest impact. A fresh tomato, avocado, or strawberry just by itself, no extra sugar or sauce needed.

Oh, how honey has made me get nostalgic.

It seems that in the summer months when the days are longer and fresh fruit and vegetables are abundant that sampling local fresh goodies is easy. As the days get shorter and darker, it is often easier to stay inside, work more, and go the efficient route. We tend to stick to soups and stews, and heartier meals, yet that does not mean that we have to miss out on simple pleasures. Like pumpkin, squash, and other fall inspired pleasures that hit the spot.

What simple pleasures in fall do you crave?