The Three Ingredient Pumpkin Cake You NEED To Try This Fall!

 

Three Ingredient Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

IT’S HERE, IT’S HERE, IT’S FINALLY HERE!

What am I talking about?  Pumpkin season, duh. Now, some people may argue with me about this, but I seriously feel that pumpkin flavored everything is appropriate once the calendar reads September. And to be quite honest, I wouldn’t be mad about a world where the flavors of fall infiltrate every season.But of course there are pumpkin-haters.

Three Ingredient Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

They aren’t welcome here.

I was searching for some pumpkin recipes online so naturally I went straight to Pinterest. The Pinterest boards have been booming with pumpkin recipes lately and I’ve seen this one about a billion times, so of course I had to try it.

Three Ingredient Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Two ingredient pumpkin cake–have you heard about it? It’s so super simple. But me being me, I had to tweak it…just a little. So I added mini chocolate chips, and it took this recipe to a whole new level.

Three Ingredient Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

One box of cake, one can of pumpkin, and chocolate chips–the three ingredient pumpkin cake! I used plain yellow cake mix, but you can use whatever you think will work best. Chocolate pumpkin sounds amazing, as does spiced pumpkin (I mean come on…a match made in heaven). The best part of this recipe is how moist the cake comes out. I’m not the biggest fan of cake or even cupcakes normally (too dry for me), but the pumpkin puree makes this cake almost fudgy. It’s a must try for the pumpkin season!

Three Ingredient Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

 

I topped this three ingredient pumpkin cake with a lightened up cream cheese glaze that I made in about 90 seconds. I drizzled the cake with glaze, cut it into 10 slices, and stored it in the fridge (it will last about 5 days when stored properly). This cake is so decadent and is perfect after dinner…or breakfast. Yeah, that might have happened…more than once.

xo

 

Three Ingredient Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Glaze
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For the cake
  1. 1 box yellow cake mix
  2. 1 15oz. can pureed pumpkin
  3. 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)
For the glaze
  1. 2 tablespoon light cream cheese
  2. 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
  3. 2 tablespoon powdered sugar
For the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees.
  2. Mix dry cake mix and canned pumpkin until combined. Add chocolate chips and stir.
  3. Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake for 30-45 minutes (or until a knife comes out clean).
  4. Cool.
For the glaze
  1. Mix softened cream cheese, almond milk, and sugar in a bowl until a thick "paste" forms.
  2. Drizzle mixture over cooled cake and cut into 10 slices.
Adapted from Many pins on Pinterest
Adapted from Many pins on Pinterest
Lavender & Cream http://www.lavenderandcream.com/

 

72 Hours in Portland, Maine

72 Hours in Portland, Maine

I was fortunate enough to be able to travel over the Labor Day Weekend. Francisco and I decided a few months back that Maine was going to be our destination, and in true procrastinator fashion, we didn’t actually end up planning anything until the day before.

Luckily, we have a few friends who had visited before and we took their awesome suggestions. Portland is a foodie town, and we knew we would be eating a tonnnn (and we did, of course) so we were beyond excited to spend some time there!

It’s about a 7 hour drive from Philly to Portland. To break up the drive, we decided to stop in Boston, MA and Portsmouth, NH. After about 5 hours in the Kia were totally ready to explore Boston. And although we only had about two hours to do so, I’m pretty sure we killed it.

72 Hours in Portland, Maine

Just kidding. I want to go back and actually visit. But what little time we spent there was awesome! We ate a lobster roll from Neptune Oyster (waited an hour for a table, were seated in a teeny tiny crowded corner…completely worth it). Hands down, top five favorite meals of all time. It seemed like the roll was stuffed with an entire mutant lobster and then dipped in butter. It was a religious experience.

Portsmouth, NH is only an hour away from Boston, so it’s a great place to stop before getting to Portland. I would describe this town as a smaller Portland. Al fresco dining at great little restaurants, independent clothing stores selling Pashmina scarves and smudging sage, a local brewery. Portsmouth is quaint and lovely.

DAY .5 (We got there around 10, so it doesn’t count as a full day): When we finally got to our Maine cottage rental in Portland late Thursday night, we were starving and exhausted. We drove over to Slab–an awesome pizza place with local brews, live bands, and a lively crowd. The pizza was fluffy, the beer was tasty, and the band kept everyone on their feet. This place is happenin’.

72 Hours in Portland, Maine

DAY 1: We got up on Friday morning with a plan. First stop was Scratch Baking Co. Scratch is located in South Portland (very close to where we stayed) and the locals go crazy for this place! We got there at 10:30 hoping to snag a bagel before they sold out, but we were too late. Le sigh. I kicked myself for sleeping in and vowed to wake up earlier tomorrow.

Although we didn’t get a bagel, I was fortunate enough to grab one of these sea salt snackers (and a cookie, naturally). Cisk got a turkey sammie on fresh baked nine grain bread and we both made sure to get coffee. We took our goodies to Willard beach–located just down the street–and we sat and ate and watched the kids play in the small waves.

72 Hours in Portland, Maine

Later that day we made our way to downtown Portland. Going off a tip that our Air B&B host, Mercedes, gave us, we bought two tickets to Peaks Island.

This was by far my favorite part of the trip. Peaks is located just off the coast of Portland. Its own little island community, you need to take a ferry to get there. The ferry itself is even a trip–you can actually drive your car right onto the ferry and take it to and from the island. Cisk and I opted to rent bikes to explore the island once we got there. For $5/hour, there is not better way to see this place. The views are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. We biked around the perimeter of the island, and I collected wildflowers in my basket whenever we stopped. The flowers were growing everywhere and it was just gorgeous.

72 Hours in Portland, Maine 72 Hours in Portland, Maine 72 Hours in Portland, Maine 72 Hours in Portland, Maine

During our little self-guided tour, we came upon a large area of rocks. A few people were stopped and walking around, gazing in amazement, so we waked over. Someone (or many someones) had built hundreds of tiny sculptures..no, they weren’t quite sculptures…formations? Well, anyway, they were built out of these rocks and they were incredible.

72 Hours in Portland, Maine 72 Hours in Portland, Maine

After a seafood dinner we visited Novare Res, an awesome beer garden with an absolutely ginormous selection of brews. Really cool place.

DAY 2: The next day we got our bagel (woohoo!) and took some really cool brewery tours. There are a ton of breweries and distilleries around Portland (I’m talking dozens of them). For the most part, they’re all totally free. Score!

We ate dinner at a restaurant called Fore Street. Go there, admire the open kitchen, and order the lobster. I didn’t even know lobster could be that tender.

72 Hours in Portland, Maine

DAY 3: Our last day, Sunday, was spent perusing the town. We meandered down the cobblestone streets with no real plan. Exploring the shops, admiring the views, and not wanting to go home. We stopped at Standard Baking Co (sorry, Scratch!). I ate a blueberry hand-pie that I still dream about.

We ate much more than I could possibly write about here. We enjoyed so much, indulged so much, saw so much, and we still want to come back again for more.

Although it’s not usually what people think of when they talk about Portland, South Portland really stole my heart. I already miss the sea salted air and cozy beach bungalows. Downtown was awesome, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something so peaceful about the beach-townieness of South Portland. I definitely recommend staying there if you get the chance (Portland is just a 5 minute drive over the bridge). You can find a good amount of Maine cottage rentals and Maine Beach rentals on Air B&B

72 Hours in Portland, Maine

Has anyone else been to Portland? Visit if you can!

xo

 

My Awesome International Foodie Penpals Experience!

My Foodie Penpals Experience!

This post is way overdue, and I really owe Elizabeth over at The Young Retiree an apology for that. But better late than never, I always say (because I’m pretty much always late…with everything)!

I’ve participated in the foodie penpals program hosted by The Lean Green Bean in the past and absolutely LOVED it, so I was super excited to get back into it and start swapping fun food finds with other people. When I was matched with Elizabeth this month, I had no idea that she had just recently moved to Japan because her husband is stationed at the Navy base there (say whaaaaat?!). Naturally, I was stoked to exchange goodies with her–I meannnn, treats from Japan. Need I say more?

My Foodie Pen Pal Experience!My Foodie Pen Pal Experience!My Foodie Pen Pal Experience!My Foodie Pen Pal Experience!My Foodie Pen Pal Experience!

Elizabeth is so sweet and funny and her blog is awesome–definitely go and check it out! She sent me some amazing foods that are so cool that I almost don’t want to eat them (when am I going to get a chance to get green tea flavored Kit Kats again?!). She also sent me the most adorable “hotdog mustard” which I know Francisco will go crazy for. Green tea packets, honey (I always LOVE receiving honey from different places! I now have honey from Texas, Connecticut, Alaska, Maine, Philly, and Japan), hot sauce, candies, and cute little erasers that look like candy were also included (plus so much more!). I loved every single thing that Elizabeth sent me, and I can’t thank her enough!

My Foodie Pen Pal Experience!

 

This is a really fun little program for anyone who loves food, or anyone who just loves receiving awesome packages (and who doesn’t love that?)–and it isn’t just for bloggers, anyone can join. To sign up, jump over to The Lean Green Bean’s blog and check it out. And if you do sign up, cross your fingers to get matched with Elizabeth–you’d be lucky to get her!

 

Fig Toasts with Honey Drizzle

Lately, I’ve been eating figs. Lots and lots of figs.

Figs with oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast, figs infused into vodka (oh yeah, that’s comin’ at ya soon), and figs on toast drizzled with honey. I just can’t get enough–and lucky for me, figs are popping up everywhere right now.

Until recently, I was never sure how to pick out figs at the market. What should they look like? Smell like? Feel like? I had no idea. Then I got the scoop…from twitter no less. Yep, I was perusing #figs and came across an article on how to pick out the best ones. Gotta’ love social media.

Fig Toasts w/ Honey DrizzleFig Toasts w/ Honey Drizzle

So here it goes: Apparently you can’t tell a good fig from a bad one just by sight alone. You have to actually give the tiny fruits a squeeze to know if they’re ripe enough (figs don’t normally ripen after being picked, so your only hope for perfect figs is to feel them out–literally–at the grocery store). They should feel like a water balloon. If they’re too hard, they aren’t ripe and they won’t be very sweet. They should be soft, but not too soft. Also, if they look like they’re splitting or if there’s a bit of juice (or “sap”) leaking from the bottom, they’re perfect. The inside of a ripe fig is syrupy.

After you pick your perfect figs, pair them with bold, decadent flavors like the ones in this fig toast recipe. Every ingredient is bursting with big flavor and the combination is something that will impress your friends at a dinner party. Slight spice from the garlic mixed with tart balsamic and creamy Brie, topped with salty prosciutto and sweet honey all piled on crunchy, crusty bread…I could eat this for every meal, every day.

Fig Toasts w/ Honey DrizzleFig Toasts w/ Honey Drizzle

Fig Toasts with Honey Drizzle

Yield: about 10 toasts

Serving size: 2 toasts

Points Plus: 6

Ingredients

    • 1 whole wheat baguette
    • 10-15 figs, sliced into rounds the thickness of about two quarters
    • 2.5 teaspoons olive oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, slices in half
    • 5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2.5 ounces Brie (or any soft cheese)
    • 2.5 ounces of prosciutto, sliced into bite sized pieces
    • 5 teaspoons honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice baguette into one inch pieces (.5 ounces per slice) and brush with olive oil. Place in oven until golden brown.
  3. While toasts are browning, slice figs and prosciutto.
  4. While still warm, rub toasts with the halved garlic cloves.
  5. Brush toasts with balsamic, then spread cheese onto each toast (about a quarter ounce per toast).
  6. Top cheese with bite sized pieces of prosciutto (so you don’t pull it out from under the figs when taking a bite) and fig slices.
  7. Drizzle honey on toasts and serve.

xo

Wholesome Living

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