Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes

There is nothing I don’t love about fall. Pumpkin everything. Last week we enjoyed a pumpkin walnut cranberry loaf. This week it’s brown butter pumpkin cupcakes. How did I know these would be such a slam dunk with my husband, you ask? Well I didn’t–but when I handed him a beater,  and then he followed me back to the kitchen to clean the bowl, and then turn my icing bag inside out to clean.. well I knew we had a winner. The recipe for these Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes, originally Fine Cooking’s Layer Cake, can be found here.

Besides baking we had a great time in Chattanooga this weekend. Any excuse for a roadtrip to see the leaves changing color across Tennessee. It really is the most beautiful time of year here. We did a little hiking, took in the downtown food scene, fell in love with the art district, reminded me of Seattle–and on the way back I saw my first cotton field! I thought the cotton was really cool. Grant.. not so impressed, but he still pulled over so I could photograph it (and pull some off to pay with).

I hope you had a great weekend. Anything fun, exciting, or delicious to report?? Do tell!

 

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Chilled Cucumber & Avocado Soup

The bounty of summer leaves me with too many combinations to try and too little time. This recipe is a must-try though for anyone who apprizes fresh summer produce the way that I do. No other time of year is avocado so luscious–and you may be surprised to learn what a nutritional powerhouse this meal is!

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Squash Ribbon Salad


With summer squash in its prime, and temperatures too hot for turning on the oven, this simple salad makes for a light dinner or side dish. I first saw a version of this in a Martha Stewart magazine. It was so pretty with the light, ribbon-like squash, that I knew I had to try it–but I forgot. So today I was running at the gym (avoiding the heat) when I came across a similar recipe in Bon Appetit. This time I knew I had to try it. And Grant approved.
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Salmon Pesto


There is nothing genius about this so-called recipe. It’s fish. And it’s pesto. I must say though, the combination is Earth shattering–which is why I felt compelled to share it with you…
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Alcohol & Your Waistline

It’s summertime. A season when some of us lean toward less gym time and more happy hours. Not a good recipe for staying in shape though. Did you know that alcohol itself has calories? I know it seems like a silly question, but it never occurred to me until college (nutrition 101, not the freshman 15). Yes, we know about sugary cocktails and carb-heavy beers, but I’m talking about the common denominator in all adult beverages: alcohol. It has calories– 7 per gram to be exact. So the next time you’re looking for a low-cal drink, start with the the source. I found a good article here that breaks down the calories in liquor depending on the proof. The higher the proof the higher the calories.

Read on for more alcohol FYI and tips for maintaining your figure while being a summer socialite!
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Quinoa Summer Salad

Yet another irresistible summer salad. It happens to be my favorite–light, creamy and summery when tossed with fresh fruit. Grant would say it needs more punch, but that’s because he is a put-cumin-in-everything kind of guy. (I’ll share his favorite grain salad next week)! This is simple and earthy, and that’s what I love about it.

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Blueberry Peach Galette

Baking was a great way to end the weekend. Friday, Grant and I enjoyed a day of pontooning. So. Much. Fun. A floating patio with an upper sun deck–especially good for cannon balling into the lake. Saturday we had a few friends over to break in our new place, and yesterday we recharged. I have been dying to do something with peaches. Something indulgent. And since tonight we meet with our small group, I decided baking a peach treat and sharing would definitely cut down on calories. Pie doesn’t last long in this house.
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