Pumpkin Scruffins

I love scones. Especially freshly baked ones. This weekend I whipped up a batch of cranberry yogurt scones for my co-worker, who just got back from maternity leave.

I was craving some for myself, but since I had already made these last week, I started searching for a suitable replacement. I eyed my Costco-size can of Libby’s pumpkin, and determined it needed to be incorporated. Unfortunately, none of the pumpkin scone recipes were striking my fancy. Fortunately, I really enjoy playing with recipes and making them my own.

What resulted from my adaptions wasn’t quite a scone, and wasn’t quite a muffin. Therefore I dub these: Pumpkin Scruffins. They are scrump-diddily-umptious! Even my pumpkin-hatin’ hubs loved them. And I may, or may not, have eaten two of these on Easter.

Pumpkin Scruffins

Adapted from this recipe
Serves: 8
Nutritionals: Cal: 231, Carb: 34g, Fat: 9g, Pro: 4g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 14g

Ingredients

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white granulated cane sugar

6 TBS cold butter

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp vanilla bean paste (can sub 1 tsp vanilla or the insides of one vanilla bean)

6 oz Stoneyfield Organics 0% French Vanilla yogurt

1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

Directions

Preheat oven to 425.

Sift together: whole wheat flour, white flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & pumpkin pie spice.

Add cold butter and mix until incorporated, (do not be afraid to use your hands).

Add vanilla bean paste, yogurt, raisins and canned pumpkin.

Form into a ball and flatten on a greased cookie sheet, roughly 1/2 inch thick.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Cut with a knife (or a pizza cutter – this worked great!) and transfer to cooling rack.

Who says pumpkin is just for fall? Pumpkin is my favorite flavor year round! Enjoy 🙂

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Hey, you’re that one teacher…

Yes I am.

Or The Librarian.

Or Mrs. Spinach and Skittles.

But that one teacher works too…

That’s what I heard as I exited the public library tonight. Always fun to run into students outside of work…but funny when they can’t remember my name.

I swung by the library to drop off this,

which I couldn’t renew because it had a request in the queue. Boo 😦

I picked up this,

and I am really excited to read it. I first heard of on Cinderella Ate My Daughter on HTP, and then I read an excerpt/listened to an interview with the author on NPR. The excerpt immediately sent me to my hold queue at the public library and I only had to wait a week. I went back and forth about buying it on my kindle, but I guess I just can’t keep myself out of a library, no matter the form. There is just something about free* books I can’t resist.

*free anything, really.

My Tuesday was pretty normal, although I still am hitting snooze more times than necessary. I cannot seem to break this habit. I think the culprit is that I go to bed too late, which is often a result of blog reading eating dinner too late. So I’m re-thinking my mini-goals, and first on the list really should have been:

go to bed on time

On time meaning lights out, (no book light/reading), and in bed by 10 p.m. This mini-goal starts tonight! Once I can master this for 3 weeks, (as it takes 21 days to form a habit), I will attempt the no snooze challenge again.

Until this bed-on-time thing becomes a reality my workouts are going to suffer. This morning I only managed 35 minutes of cardio. And it wasn’t jogging, as I had planned. When arriving on the cardio floor of the Y I was greeted by a wall of sweaty gym goers. Apparently they skipped the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon on January 1, and chose to start two months late instead. Not a single treadmill was open. Grrr.

Upon arriving to work I was greeted with a soy chai from my co-worker, making my bi-weekly* meeting much more fun.

*Not to be confused with bi-polar, oh sorry, I mean bi-winning.


(source)

My soy chai did not induce food poisoning this time, woot! And I paired my spicy treat with a pumpkin quinoa muffin.

Match made in heaven.

For lunch I finished off the last of my turkey Italian sausage orzo soup…

recipe to follow. Yes I use plastic wear at work, but I wash and reuse them. I’m fairly positive I’ve had this red plastic spoon since I was student teaching…a year ago.

I was full, but not the least bit satisfied. This soup is fantastic the night of, and even better the day after. But 5 days later…eh? Not so much. I remembered I had a kiwi in my mini-fridge. Score!

Just what I needed.

Later on I hosted kids in the library until 5, and snacked on some mint tea and cobani.

Upon arriving home I was blasted by the fabulous smell of white bean chicken chili. I loooove this easy-peasy recipe. And love it even more when I plug it into my meal plan word doc and Libb makes it for me.

This is seriously the easiest recipe I’ve ever made, and it is delicious. Pull out your crockpot, scratch tomorrow’s dinner plans, and make this. Now.

I’m off to catch up on 90210 with Libb. Then a few minutes with my new book and off to bed early.

What book are you currently reading?

 

 

(s)no(w) way, snow day!?!

My district NEVER takes snow days. Ok, that isn’t really true. Since I’ve lived in Spokane, (9 years), there have been 3 winters where snow days were taken. Rumor has it they are the only 3 in the past 20 years, and during that time there hasn’t been a single 2-hour delay. I don’t know if there is any truth to this, but it does make sense. We are within city limits, which means major roads and bus routes should be plowed. Therefore there should be no reason we can’t make it into school.

Should.

This morning I rose at 5:04, ahem, with my alarm(!), and poured the freshly brewed joe into the carafe. I knew it was supposed to snow last night, so I quickly assessed the driveway and determined I was not going to attempt to shovel in the dark for a 30 minute date with the dreadmill. Back to bed I went, resetting my alarm for 6:00 a.m.

At 5:37 a.m. my phone started buzzing. No way is it 6 already, (check phone), some asshole is calling me at 5:37! Uggh! And back to bed I went. ZZZ’s did not come my way. 6 a.m. phone starts buzzing again, (check phone), weird, Kammi texted me, and I have a voicemail. (Check text from Kammi), Can you believe it, no school! (switch from text to phone log). Hmmm, better check my voicemail. (tap number) ring, ring….Hello? (oh crap, I am in call, not voicemail),

Oh, hi, ummm sorry.

Whose this?

Leila. Sorry.

Oh, hi, it’s (co-worker), I just left you a voicemail. School’s are closed today, you’re on my phone tree list. You need to call (another co-worker).

Oh, thanks. Sorry, I thought I was checking my voicemail. I’m still asleep.

Attempt to fall back asleep. Fail miserably. Get up, pour cuppa’ joe, settle in with my MACbook Pro on the couch watching KHQ. Hear that Spokane Federal Court is closed, alert the hubs. Bummer, although the court is closed his office is open.

He was not thrilled to be clearing off the 10 inches covering the Volvo.

The cat and dog, however, were very pleased to have company today.

I spent six hours transferring my blog from tumblr to wordpress…exhausting! Pumpkin Banana Bread + more coffee fueled me,

and before I knew it, it was 1 p.m.

Well hello boots, I thought we had broken up for the season.

Blizzard conditions turned into bright blue skys.

After shoveling away the better part of an hour I was determined to eat some leftover goodies. Mmmm bean burritos by daylight, so much prettier!

My afternoon + evening was spent catching up on blogs, watching Oscar nominated movies and cheering on my Zags. If you didn’t see it (shame!), the Zags won!!

(source)

I decided to spread a little blog love for my NEDAwareness post today. I recently started following Laury at The Fitness Dish, and Nicole at Yuppie Yogini. This week, both of these ladies had fabulous posts to support NEDAwareness week.

Laury, a personal trainer, pointed out the myths vs. reality of eating disorders. The biggest misconception is that someone must be severely underweight to have an eating disorder. Not true! Clickity-click to read more.

Nicole, a therapist, brought up the fine line between dieting and disordered behaviors surrounding food, which often lead to full-blown eating disorders. It is a sad fact that our society has turned food into something we agonize over, make deals with and compromise happiness for. Yes, eating disorders are a real issue, and as Nicole points out, they are a big enough problem to warrant an AWARENESS WEEK! Clickity-click to read more!

If you’re a skeptic about eating disorders, and how dangerous they really are, I highly recommend reading both of these posts. And even if you aren’t a skeptic, I hope you will take the time to educate yourself regarding this issue. Remember, it is just as harmful not to do/say anything, as it is to do/say something negative regarding body-image. Treat yourself, and others, with respect. We all deserve it.

Positive words

Today was the first day back to school after a four-day weekend(!!). To kick off National Eating Disorder Awareness Week at school I posted a positive words wall. It was Mirrorless Monday meets Operation Beautiful.

*I wanted to play Bruno Mars Just the way you are on repeat in the hallway during passing periods, but I neglected to purchase “D” batteries for my CD player.

I don’t know if you had the same experience as me in middle school…but it surely wasn’t the best three years of my life. I remember being gawky, nerdy, wearing high-water denim with vests and a perm. While perms were all the rage in ‘94, I didn’t quite know how to style it, and always felt a tad out of place. I remember wondering is anyone going to like me? Why am I the only one not allowed to shave my legs? When will I actually need a bra? Ugggh, my nose is so big in comparison to the rest of my face!

I certainly could have used a little self-love. So why not give my students the chance to give themselves some self-love?

I posted these signs near the positive word wall:

Each passing period, during lunch and after school I stood in the hallway with a bucket of markers, encouraging the students (and teachers!) to write uplifting notes to one another, (or themselves). The response was overwhelming! I had to put a second blank positive word wall up during 4th period 🙂

Here are some of my favorites…

This one is my absolute favorite!

How can you not love that? Adorkable? Adorable!!

The rest of my day was so bland in comparison.

I decided to see how long it would take me to run 3 miles…38 minutes. Have I mentioned I am suuuuuper slow? But, I was impressed with myself for not giving up. However, I did NOT realize a news crew was behind me, filming my derriere, for the majority of my dreadmill experience. Erica was kind enough to inform me around the 30  minute mark. No wonder everyone cleared out of my little cardio corner.

After my run I dove into my pumpkin quinoa muffin.

I’m really glad I added the chia seeds – perfect crunch factor.

Lunch was a kiwi + Olive Garden leftovers.

I was at work until 6, and many snacks filled my afternoon.

Babybel + pink lady

Chobani + decaf chai tea

And then it was dinner, prepped by Libb. Bean burritos w/onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream and tapatio.

Rikka decided she needed to take control of my ear warmers.

And I decided I needed to take control of these cookies.

What would you go back and tell yourself in middle school?

For me it would be, don’t worry, life gets much better!

All about ME Monday

Today’s activity for NEDAwareness week was “Mirrorless Monday.” This activity is geared toward high school students, where the teachers/counselors cover the mirrors in the restrooms/locker rooms and encourage students to look beyond the mirror and write encouraging words to one another.

Considering the fact that it is President’s day, and therefore schools are closed, doing this wasn’t a possibility. I attempted to have my own mirrorless Monday, but nearly burnt myself with my curling iron and decided it wasn’t for me.

Instead, I decided today would be all about ME! And, really, all days should be about me…but for some reason they aren’t. And I don’t mean this in the world should revolve around me way. I do mean, I really need to attend to MY needs and wants a tad more.

So what does a day of me involve? Intuitive eating, without calorie counting. Ya know, eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. Novel concept, I know. Yet for some reason my brain always reverts back to calculator mode.

nanner + pb + coffee = perfect pre-gym fuel

Elliptical date with my friend Kyndra for an hour chick chit chat. Followed by a belated birthday lunch celebration for my mother-in-law, Gayle, at The Olive Garden. I was too wrapped up in conversation to pull out my camera, but I think you can imagine what shrimp primavera looks like.

Oh wait, it’s on their website. It looked an awful lot like this.

(source)

Gayle tipped me off to Mel’s Nursery, and insisted the hubs take me there after lunch. I’ve driven by Mel’s for, oh 9 years, and never once stopped in. I assumed they were purely plants.

And while they do have their fair share…

they have so much more!

I think the hubs secretly wants this penguin cocktail shaker.

And I openly want a stash of these gift bags.

Filled with goodies, of course. See that bottle of red, Michele, on the right? I picked that up on an annual wine tasting weekend with my internet book club friends this fall. We had it with Christmas dinner and it was amaze-balls. So happy I can find it in Spokane! If you ever see anything by Nicholas Cole Cellars pick up a bottle, you will be very pleased.

Ooo, and a quick peek at their website revealed that all of their wines are at employee pricing right now – 50% off!

Back to Mel’s goodies…

I walked out with 3 caramels, (2 butter caramel and 1 cashew sea salt caramel – very excited about these), and some fabu perfume.

I think the pumpkin cookbook inspired me, because upon arriving home I was excited to attack little miss Libby and her orangey goodness.

I whipped up some non-oatmeal breakfasts for the work week. And they are breakfasts for ME because the boys hate pumpkin. My pumpkin needs came first today.

 Pumpkin-Quinoa muffins.

I used pecans instead of walnuts, added 2 TBS chia seeds, and threw a few pepitas on top for funsies.

I also used Halloween muffin liners…because they had pumpkins on them. When I go pumpkin I go big.

Then I whipped up some Pumpkin Banana Bread.

I only had two nanners, so I doubled the pumpkin. No nuts in my version either. I’ve made this both ways and prefer the non-nutty version.

I declared dinner to be my favorite easy meal: appetizer platter.

I roasted some chickpeas with cumin, sea salt, key lime juice, black pepper and olive oil.

I think I ate at least a serving while getting the rest of the goodies ready.

Rosemary olive oil bread brushed with garlic and olive oil, then broiled.

With Cabernet Sauvignon salami, buffalo mozz, colby jack, basil and tomato slices.

And in a little bit I’ll be dipping into either the caramels or these chewy chocolate chip cookies the hubs made me.

Hello lover(s).

So what can you take from this day of ME?

I require coffee, an endorphin rush and tasty treats to function properly with a smile on my face.This is done most effectively when I mute the calorie calculator in my head. I challenge you to do one of the following activities tomorrow:

  • Don’t count calories (if you are a counter).
  • Eat intuitively (if you live your life by a calorie clock).
  • Eat something “off limits” (if you have rules about what you eat).
  • Cook something/buy something decadent, and enjoy every bite.

Love yourself today, tomorrow, forever.