Happy Monday, happy Monday! I got to work from home today, so when I woke up this morning, I had time to do a little baking - then at lunch I got to do a little walking! I wish I got to do that every day. My life would rock! lol. I just have to spend so much time commuting every day, that it is hard to squeeze in the healthy part sometimes!
Ok - so I wasn't planning on baking today, but Fitness and Spice, one of my favorite blogs, posted this pumpkin recipe for Pumpkin and Spice Pumpkin Bars - and I had all the ingredients, so when I saw the post in my email inbox, I decided to whip up a batch! For me, a recipe has to look easy and normal, or I won't even read through it. This looked very doable, so I tried it out. Oh, and I am absolutely obsessed with the taste of pumpkin. It is sooo good. :P I had high hopes for this one!
My substitutions = I didn't have cloves, so I used a little shaker I have of "Pumpkin Pie Spice", which I think has cloves in it anyways, along with cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. I even commented on her blog that I thought 1.5 cups of protein powder was a mistake and that she meant 1.5 scoops - but I had some vanilla Designer Whey protein in the pantry, so I threw it in! I threw in probably 1/4 cup more pumpkin too, just in case. My recipe turned out a little moist - this may be why! Also, instead of using Splenda (which I love, but don't have any right now - I do have Stevia in the Raw, but only packets and I didn't want to waste them all) -- so I used Organic Agave Nectar, which I think I got at Henry's or Trader Joe's. This probably contributed to the moistness too. Oh, and I burned my hand on the oven too. I am a terrible klutz, so this happens very often! Boo! Owell..
As you can see, mine came out looking not-so-pretty and not so much like I could cut it into bars, but more like a cake! I had to keep testing it to see if the inside was dry yet - hence the fork and knife holes. Next time I will bake longer, or substitute dry sweetener for the Agave Nectar -if I want firmer bars. This works too though! It really did smell fabulous when it was baking. I took it out & let it sit like so this morning... (keep reading to find out how it tasted)!
On my lunch break, I decided to go for a walk (since with this wonderful time change, when I get off work on most days, it will be dark!). I have been wanting a fitness GPS gadget - but found out that my phone pretty much rocks! I turned on Pandora on my phone (Samsung Epic 4G), then turned on the GPS satellite, and opened up this app called Cardio Trainer that I downloaded. I had only manually entered workouts in it before, but found out that you can push "Start Workout" and it tracks everything for you. My town doesn't have a big "walking path", so I like to have a mission in mind when going for a walk (RiteAid for Advil, Grocery Store for Tortillas, etc..) - and I needed to go to the bank - so that was it! I looked on Google Maps and it was about 2 miles away, so 4 miles round trip = bueno! The weather is so nice today, it rained last night, and it is sunny and cool here. Check out what my phone did when I was finished! Cool, huh!? I love it and can't wait to use it again! And the English guy's voice kept telling me how far I had gone, my pace, and my time! It was great. So, go from ipod, phone and GPS on a walk - to just a phone? That is great!! Just gotta make sure it is charged!
So, before heading back to my laptop and my work - I grabbed my reward for getting my exercise done. I sliced off some chunks of that pumpkin heaven in my kitchen, put a couple of spray butter squirts on it, a sprinkle of Stevia - and oh wow.. seriously..HEAVEN! I didn't even heat it up, I ate it cold - it tastes like pumpkin pie. Now, the hard part.. I want more!!! And, I think I will need to bake some more very soon!! Pumpkin Fabulousness!!