Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

My go-to breakfast is a smoothie! But strawberry and banana can get mighty boring. It can also get cold an shivery this time of year. Now don't ask me how a different flavour smoothie can be any less cold, but I swear it is - it's the cinnamon or something!

I whipped up this pumpkin pie smoothie the other day, dreaming of my one true Autumn love - Pumpkin Pie Blizzards from Dairy Queen. So bad for me, I know, which is why I haven't had one this year. Good on me, right? 
This smoothie uses The Pumpkin Butter recipe we made last week. If you haven't checked that out yet, I suggest you get on it. It sets you up for every pumpkin endeavour your little cooking heart can cook up! (I suppose you could use pure pumpkin puree as well, but you would need to sweeten it with something I imagine. If anyone gives it a go, I'd love to hear!)

Anyway, this smoothie tastes just like the Pumpkin Blizzard of my dreams, maybe even better because it's not bogged down with sugars and fat. It's sweet but not too sweet, creamy, and has all the right spices. Dessert for breakfast? Yes please.

Recipe & Instructions

  • 1 ripe Banana
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Butter, chilled (recipe here)
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 2-3 Ice Cubes
  • Dash of cinnamon
Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth and no lumps remain.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Good Morning Monday | 17

This week was pumpkin carving, fall rain, and wind storms. I think I've finally clued in that the plants need to come off my balcony before they decide to just fly off. 
I've done a lot of retail therapy over the past couple days, no idea why I felt the need to buy so much jewellery, and makeup (I think the cold weather may be bringing me down a tad) but that's alright! Look for some reviews and product focused posts over the next few week!
I've also been pumpkining up a storm (what else is new?) Cooking in the fall and winter seems right to me. There's nothing I love more than spending an hour in the kitchen, then cutting into a slice of freshly baked pie and eating it with a cup of tea while the grey clouds hold off on rain for juuuust a little bit longer.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Slow Cooker Sugar-Free Pumpkin Butter

We're all well aware it's Autumn by this point. We're in full swing of leaf crunching, scarf wearing weather. I don't have to state it anymore. That also means we're all fumbling to toss pumpkin onto everything we can get our hands and spoons on.
I've come to learn the easiest way to slather my food in pumpkin is via pumpkin spice syrup and Pumpkin Butter.
I made Pumpkin butter a few weeks back for the first time and I've been putting it on and in everything. Seriously.
Oatmeal (my favourite vessel to get this pumpkin butter to my mouth), toast, rice cakes, a spoon, smoothies, frozen treats,  pancakes, the list goes on.

I had never really heard about Pumpkin butter until this Fall, and of course I stumbled upon it via Pinterest, it just sounds like a Pinterest thing doesn't it?
 If you've never heard of it either, Pumpkin butter is a mix of Pureed pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, and something to sweeten it up to a treat level. Imagine Pumpkin pie filling, straight out of a jar, that you can put on anything your little autumnal heart desires.
All the Pumpkin Butters I came across online had an unruly amount of brown sugar in them, which I'm not in to at breakfast time - I made my Pumpkin Butter with the intention to use it in overnight oats. I managed to find one that used Liquid Stevia drops instead. Sweet! This was actually the first time I've ever cooked with Stevia before, I'm into it! Pricy, but a little goes a long way!

It's the apple cider in this rich butter that really helps sweeten the sugar-free deal, and it amps up the delicious warming spices too! Win-win! The butter has a fantastic, smooth consistency and versatility it it.  Like I said, my favourite way to eat this pumpkin butter is to plop a giant dollop into a bowl of hot oatmeal and stir it in with a nice handful of pecans, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. The most comforting seasonal breakfast, like a slice of warm pecan pie.

And here's my Adaptation:
Recipe & Instructions adapted from

  • 450 oz Pumpkin Puree (that's one big can & one small can)
  • 3/4 Cups of Apple Cider
  • 3 Tablespoons Molasses
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Allspice
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 15+ Liquid Stevia drops
Combine all ingredients except Stevia in a slow cooking and cook on Low for 8 hours.
Every few  hours give the mixture of good stir so it doesn't crust around the sides.
When mixture is cooked, let cool a bit.
Add stevia drops, stir, and adjust sweetness to taste.

This recipe can be frozen apparently. I've yet to pull my other half out of the freezer to see how it turns out, I'll let you know! Keeps well in the fridge for a week or so in a tupperware.
There are basically endless possibilities with this recipe. I bet stirred into vanilla ice cream would be a dream! Or a pumpkin spice milkshake! Why am I thinking of cold thing! I'm crazy.
What can you imagine up for this fall treat?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Good Morning Monday | 16

This week was a busy one, midterms are not my favourite pass time. Ugh.
But the weekend was about as perfect as fall can get. Pumpkin Picking!! Mitch and I went down to the pumpkin patch and found ourselves a few pumpkins to carve yesterday! Traditions are my favourite. And what a beautiful day too, you would have never guessed it was October! There were tons of pumpkins to choose from this year! And really Big ones too! I even picked up a Cinderella Pumpkin because it was just too perfect to leave behind, they look like they're from a fairy tale!
It was absolutely adorable and hilarious watching all the kids run around the field trying to find the best one too, followed by Dads in their gumboots!
Have you been Pumpkin Patching yet?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

First Impressions: Flower Beauty

This may be old news to some - but Flower Cosmetics, Drew Barrymore's exclusive to Walmart makeup line is now available in Canada! This was one of those products I'd been waiting so long for that I actually forgot about it! 

Flower Cosmetics launched in US Walmarts in January 2013, and as of this week, it is finally available in Canadian stores! I couldn't be more excited! But let me tell you why!
All of Flower Beauty is produced in the United States and is never tested on animals! They use luxury ingredients and packaging (beautiful packaging might I add) but have drug store prices. Because the Company doesn't have an advertising budget, they can afford to splurge on what's important. Drew speaks freely and passionately about the line  instead of investing in expensive campaigns and spokespeople. (read even more about all this, here)
Can you see why I'm excited yet!?

I went on a trek to both Walmarts in my city, and both only had a limited selection of lip and eye products out so far. There are also foundations, blushes, powders, concealers, highlighters, moisturizers, nail polishes, and mascaras.
Let me show you what I got!

I grabbed two neutral eyeshadows: a deep rose gold bronzy colour - "wild geranium", and a more more yellow-gold iridescent champagne - "good as mari-gold".
Both FLOWER colours are gorgeous, multi-tonal, and iridescent without glitter or heavy shimmer. The creme pots also include little stomper tools to keep the product compact. The single eyeshadow pots are creme shadows. They have a very rich, mouse-like texture. I applied them with my finger, (they would get gunked up in a brush, I think). I've tried them both alone, as well as an amazing bases for eye looks. 
Im not usually much of a fan of cream shadows, I tend to lean more towards something with a bit more "sturdyness" behind it. Like the Maybelline colour tattoos, or regular compact powder shadows. But we shall see how these two hold up over a few different looks. So far so good though!

The velvet lip chubby I chose is in the shade "Life's a peach". Its a gorgeous matte peach-coral. The pigmentation is great, and doesn't fall into creases on your lips. I exfoliated my lips first to keep anything from looking patchy, being a matte product and all.  It feels surprisingly moisturizing on the lips too!
The packaging for all the products is stunning: Rose gold FLOWER embellishments and accents, glass bottoms, and clean white. It feels study and well made but looks so delicate, girly and clean. I want to display these eyeshadows for goodness sakes!

I'm excited to try the face products as well, when they're available. Check back and see how they fare. We'll see how many of these products make it into my october faves! Have you tried any of the FLOWER beauty products? What were your thoughts? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

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