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Applesauce Cupcakes with Maple Brown Sugar Cloud Frosting

It's my birthday! And I made you cake.....

These applesauce cupcakes are simple to whip up, require only one bowl and are the perfect fall cake. For the frosting I adapted my friend Melissa's White Cloud Icing. The White Cloud Icing is made out of eggs whites, sugar and corn syrup. On a whim yesterday I wanted to see what would happen if I switched out the corn syrup for maple and the granulated sugar for brown sugar. I have to admit I was really skeptical and did not think it would work.

It worked just as easy as the White Cloud! It's prefect, pipes wonderfully, light, fluffy, has a glossy outer coat, doesn't melt, and tastes fantastic. It's ruined all other frosting for me. I  am not sure I can make buttercream anymore... this stuff is the shit.


Haddock Tacos with Sriracha Yogurt Sauce.

 Haddock Tacos: Creamy Lime and Cilantro Coleslaw topped with a Cornmeal Crusted, Pan Fried Haddock with a Sriracha Greek Yogurt Sauce. Served in warm corn tortillas.

I love tacos. Freaking LOVE them. I want to tell you all about my love for them, and how great this haddock was.... but I have a rant I need to get off my chest.

I can be a bit of a food snob from time to time. I think I have mentioned that before... I like so many people have a soft spot for some junk in my life. We all need a Cheeto at times. It's OK. It will not kill us if we consume that type of food in moderation.

What I tend to not fully understand is how people can live off that stuff. If I stop for something at a fast food joint for lunch on a super busy day. I feel sick. It depletes my energy, I feel bloated and tired...  not to mention I have gotten quite sick from some bad Taco Bell.  The food is just bad news.

I try really hard not to be judgmental towards others and their choices. But when I see someone with a cart full of Hungry Mans and Diet Coke in front of me at the grocery store and her daughter who looked to be about 8 years old asks if she can buy some watermelon and her mom says no.... I can't help it. I start to wonder what the heck is wrong with this mother?! Buy the kid some freaking fruit... better yet, stop what you are doing put back the junk and get some whole grains, perhaps some salad fixings. A child does not need a microwaved Salisbury steak with instant mashed potatoes and a brownie.

I know shopping healthy can sometimes cost more money. But there is a happy medium don't you think? There has got to be ways of shop healthier on a tight food budget. I've actually looked at the prices of some of those TV dinners, you are looking at $3.00 a person for a meal that most likely does not leave you feeling satisfied. I know for a fact I can make something  to feed a family of 4-5 with only $10. I've done it. I am not saying that everyone should buy a cart full of organic unprocessed foods. I know that gets costly. But a weeks worth of Hungry Mans and soda?! Come on.

I am not that talented. I am no culinary superstar or fancy pastry chef. I make everyday food that anyone can make at home. If I can cook a decent meal for myself and my kids, so can anyone else.

Want to know a super easy healthy meal that you can make yourself? Fish Tacos!

When I went Maine a few weeks ago with the Cabot Fit Team, Cabot put us bloggers up at the Higgins Beach Inn in Scarborough. It was your traditional seacoast bed and breakfast. Very New England.... but the food! Oh my god, I ate pretty well there. They had some fish tacos made with Haddock that I am now kind of obsessed with. They are the type of tacos dreams are made out of.

Needless to say... I am on fish taco kick. Here is my latest and greatest version. The haddock I coated in a flour/cornmeal mixture, pan fried in olive oil. Placed it in a warmed corn tortilla with some fresh vegetables, a creamy lime coleslaw and a Greek yogurt sriracha sauce to give it some heat.


Honey Roasted Figs with Fromage Blanc and Bacon

Fresh figs, glazed with a bit of honey, broiled to perfection topped with fromage blanc and bacon crumbles. 

I have to say I am loving living in Southern New Hampshire these days. Being from the Lakes Region I lived in a pretty rural area up until our recent move down here. The best part is the shopping! I have stores walking distance from my house. Starbucks is only a mile away (Where we lived before didn't have one), a ton of great restaurants to explore and so many fun places to bring the kids.

 A place I had never been to before but was anxious to visit when we moved down here was Fresh Market. We don't have a TJ's or a Whole Foods in my city so to me Fresh Market is the bees knees. I seriously spend way too much money in there every time I visit. This week it was on figs, I can not tell you how many figs I have eaten recently.

Figs are great used in a variety of desserts, paired with a little savory perhaps. But nothing beats honey glazed broiled figs. They are so simple yet so incredible.

Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery has me hooked on their fromage blanc, it's the European answer to yogurt. It is unsweetened and the perfect topping to any sweet fruit.

Figs also pair so well with salty pork. What better topping to make my favorite snack even better... than bacon!


No Knead Apple Pie Bagels

Chewy on the outside soft on the inside. These bagels are the perfect way to start your day. Filled with apple pie spice, chunks of granny smiths and topped with a brown sugar streusel. 

 It has been cooling off here in New Hampshire, and  some of the local orchards have started apple picking. The cooler days make me crave fall flavors. I wanted to make some pumpkin recipes this week, but figured I could not skip ahead quite yet. I need to stop and enjoy apple season!

Is there truly anything better than dessert for breakfast? Dessert twists on traditional breakfast foods kind of make my day. It is the best way to start the morning.

Bagels are one of those things I hated the idea of making because it's a couple extra steps in my bread making process. The water bath scared me away. So silly... a 60 second bath in boiling water. Really it only adds a few minutes into the process! Once you start making your own bagels at home you will never go back to buying store bought.


Things I Love This Week

1) Stitch Fix yeah... I know enough with the Stitch Fix. I just really really hate shopping. It has kind of saved me this summer. Check out last weeks box. 

2) Swiffer dry sweeper thingys. I sweep the floor with a regular broom every day then I go over it with the swiffer sweeper... look what my broom misses. FYI that is only  12 hours of dog/cat hair on my cream colored tiles. Gross.

3) Newsroom!!!! Best show ever. I discovered season 1 on OnDemand a few weeks ago and my husband and I obsessively watched it until we were caught up. Though I have to admit season 2 is a tad slow so far. 

4) Broiled Figs. Brushed with just a bit of honey broil for a few seconds or so. YUM. Perfect simple snack/dessert. 

5) This Hard Cider I picked up while visiting Portland. I need to find it locally..... 

6) Pumpkin candles. Yep... I SO bought a pumpkin spice candle yesterday!

7) NAP TIME! Not for me but for Mads, she is hell on wheels and I need her to sleep more so I don't lose my mind.

8) Fresh cherry tomatoes on the grill... they need nothing but a pinch of salt. So yummy!

9) Fish Tacos. I had the most amazing tacos while in Maine and now that is all I think about. Recipe for these... coming soon!

10) 70 degree days. August came in with cooler temps and I am SO loving it! 

Want to see more of the things I am loving? Come follow me on Instagram and Pinterest and take a look!


Apple Cheddar Galette with Greek Yogurt Crust and My Weekend with the Cabot Fit Team

A tender flaky pastry crust made with Greek Yogurt, filled with thinly sliced tart apples, sprinkled with sugar and Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese.

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram you know I just returned home from a 4 day, 3 night trip to Maine. I was  chosen to be a part of the Cabot Fit Team and run in the Beach to Beacon 10k in Cape Elizabeth.

In the weeks leading up to the trip, I started to get a tad nervous. With the crazy summer we have had I did not get the amount of training in that I wanted to prepare for the race. The other bloggers participating are amazing athletes. I didn't want to be that girl who couldn't keep up. Though I have lost some weight, and am in relatively good shape... I am not much of a runner. Thank goodness for our Cabot Fit group, the ladies helped keep me moving this summer and didn't let me give up on myself or running.

I was already friends with several of the bloggers, and had even met one in real life a few months ago. By the time I arrived in Maine, I felt like I already knew them all. So introductions were comfortable and it was like I was hanging out with old friends! Katie and Kristina are two of the most genuinely sweet people I have ever met. Robin and Carolyn are both so inspiring they love running so much and both lent me tons of advice before and after the race. Gina is 100% real, she is exactly what I expected her to be like after the past couple of years of reading her blog. I love that about her. Then there are Anne and Monica the two fitness bloggers in the group.... they both so freaking funny in real life, they had me laughing all weekend. At first when I saw the group of team members I was like... huh. This is a mish mash of people. But it worked, and we worked well together. Good job Cabot friends for picking some A+ bloggers!

Photo Credit: Knead to Cook  From Left to Right, Katie, Me, Gina, Carolyn, Kristina and Robin

The first day in Maine we all met at the Higgins Inn and drove up to Candace's house on Spring Cove. (Those of you who follow Cabot on social media know who Candace is.) We got to enjoy drinks and food  with Olympian Gold Medalist and race founder Joan Benoit Samuelson as well as other race organizers. It was quite an honor. I am pretty sure Joan or "Joanie" as everyone calls her may have broken a bone in my hand when she shook it. For a small lady I think she packs a punch!

Friday, we attended the Beach to Beacon 10k press conference with elite runners, Olympians, marathoners, race organizers. I felt pretty special. I was not up on the who is who in running. However some of the other ladies were excited to meet these famous athletes.  After the press conference we visited the Ridley Farm, which is one of 1200 Cabot farms in New England/New York. The family was so gracious and invited us all into their home. It was a gorgeous afternoon on one of the prettiest farms I've been too. We got to visit with three generations all living near by and working on the farm. They answered our questions about cows, milking and the daily grind of running a dairy farm.
From the top, Sara Wing from Cabot, Monica, Anne, Me, Carolyn, Robin, Katie, Gina, Kristina, Nick from Cabot, Becky from the Ridley Farm, on the bottom, Leah Ridley, Becky's kids and Mike.

Left: Gina taking a photo of the goats, Top Right: Anne and her new buddy, Bottom Right: Kristina and the goat.
Kristina on the top Right and that dork on the bottom would be me.
Dinner on Friday night was probably the highlight of my weekend. Candace invited us all back to her home and cooked for us! There was a huge selection of grilled meats, pasta, salads, and best of all a scrumptious Blueberry Peach Pie. It was a laid back evening and I ended the night with a nice walk around the ocean with Monica, Carolyn, Anne and Gina.
Photo Credit: Becky from the Ridley Farm. From the top, Monica, Gina, Mike, Leah, Becky, Robin, Katie, Me, Bottom, Anne, Carolyn Sara
Saturday: Race Day! I didn't sleep well that night... I had been coming down with a cold, I also had nerves about the race so I woke up at 4am! Way to to start a race right? Sleepless and sick. I came so so so close to backing out. I took it one minute at a time that morning. I got up before the sun, and took a drive to find iced coffee. Luckily about 6 miles away I found a Micky D's. Not my first choice... but I needed some iced coffee! Coffee in hand I went for a walk to warm my legs up... It was so peaceful, the only noise was the sound of the waves, I got to sit on the beach and watch some early rising surfers. Once I made it back to the Inn I was a tad more positive. I was going to run despite how yukky I felt.

The Cabot Fit Team is ready to kick some ass... minus me. I think Carolyn and Kristina are about to knock me out.
 Once I got there I started to get excited, 6,000 people lined up and waited for the start. I started in the back towards the 10min mile markers (I am quite a bit slower than my 7-8min mile friends) At about the one mile point, My team mates were all long long gone and I was dropping behind. I started looking around me and noticed I was in a crowd of people who were either older, out of shape or had knee injuries. I wanted to cry. I had such high hopes of being this speedy runner, getting wicked buff as I trained for this race... so for the first 1-3 miles I was yelling at myself (in my head of course) "Stop being such a flipping pansy, you can do better. KEEP GOING" I wanted to quit, I was coughing every 1/4 mile, my nose was running all over the place... it was just nasty. Then I saw this little old Asian women, clapping on the sidelines saying "HAPPY, HAPPY,HAPPY...." with the biggest smile on her face. So I picked it back and started running. How amazing right? I was in this negative nasty mood, her clapping and cheering "happy happy happy" pushed me to move faster.

I kicked ass Mile 4. Mile 5 I wanted to cry again, a couple hills nothing huge but just big enough to make me want to stop, right when I started to walk going up one of the last hills a complete stranger came up behind me and put her arms around me and said "Come, on you can do this!" It brought tears to my eyes I wanted to hug her and thank her for pushing me. I sprinted the rest of it with everything I had. I finished. My body wanted to die but on the inside I was so incredibly happy that I didn't quit.

Photo credit: Becky from the Ridley Farm
I know to some of you 6.2  miles doesn't sound that hard. Maybe you are a seasoned runner and do marathons without breaking a sweat, or maybe you have never run and don't really know what it takes to complete long distances. Let me tell you something, for someone like me... it's hard. For someone in their 50, 60, 70's it is hard, if you have an injury, or are over weight... it is HARD! I watched some of these people in the back running with me and I was in awe. A man probably 60 years old, about 70 lbs overweight,  a knee brace on.. and he was running. Others had their jaws dropped at the decorated athletes who can run a mile in under 5 minutes. I was most impressed by those who had challenges and still gave it their all... even if that meant 12 minute miles and some pain.

So if you are at home and reading this and are thinking to yourself... I'm not a runner. You are a runner. If you have two legs there is no reason you can't get up and run. I can tell you that even on my worst mornings where I don't want to roll out of bed, once I squeeze that run or other workout in no matter how long it is... I never regret it. I always feel fantastic afterwards, I might hate it while I'm chugging along but I sweat off those grumpy thoughts.

That day after the race we all took a few hours to relax or take a drive into Portland. Katie, Carolyn and I went shopping in the Old Port. It was a gorgeous afternoon and so much fun. Later that night we all met back up and headed to a big Lobster dinner with the elite runners. Everyone got their lobster intake for the weekend. I stuck with chicken!

Sunday morning, I had plans of waking up early and heading back to New Hampshire. I obviously was completely exhausted and slept for the first time in 3 nights, like a rock! I took my morning slow, enjoyed my coffee on the porch of the Inn. Then to my excitement, another blogger I chat with a lot through social media popped over for a visit! She lived down the road so came to have some coffee. Remember Alaina from one of my Coffee Talk blog posts? Those super awesome Snickerdoodle Biscoff Cookie Sandwiches?? Yeah that's her! Look how stinking cute she is... I looked like train wreck, little to no makeup and bad hair!

Once I arrived home, I took it easy the rest of the day. But first thing Monday morning I woke up to a blog post written by Gina... and she had made some Apple Cheddar Bars. All I could think about was apples and cheese. I played around in the kitchen a bit before I came up with this Apple Cheddar Galette with a Greek Yogurt Crust.


$500 Grill Lover Giveaway!

It is that time of year! What better way to kick off the football season with some tailgating gear? This week I teamed up with some friends to giveaway a Coleman NXT 200 grill (Worth $220) an OXO 4 piece grill set (worth $50)  and a $225 Amazon Gift Card so you can buy the rest of your tailgating accessories!  To enter the giveaway follow the directions on the rafflecopter widget below.

A huge thanks to everyone who participated, if you have never visited some of these blogs please do so!
Savory Simple, Cooking Classy, Foodie Crush, Cravings of a Lunatic, 52 Kitchen Adventures, Pineapple and Coconut, Taste Love & Nourish, Domestic FitsThe Beeroness

a Rafflecopter giveaway