Hello, how do you do today? It is Sunday evening and after being so full from dinner plus a Thanksgiving meal at church, I am left content, sleepy, and chatty all at the same time. I'm in a funk. But it's a good funk! :D So thank you for reading and always listening to my rants y'all! Here I go...!
I posted a super quick update the other day before Greg and I went to see the kids at the MAD Club.
In lieu of something uber healthy, I thought that letting the kids indulge with sweets and fun activities would make a great Thanksgiving celebration.
When I was trying to come up with a fun activity for the 5th graders, I was first debating on making this adorable project! By the way, this amazing girl's blog is quickly becoming my favorite spot to get DIY ideas.
Nevertheless, after much indecision, Greg and I decided to go with somewhat-healthier-cupcakes that have some unhealthy, but delicious cream cheese frosting! :D It was a win for everyone in the end. Or at least, I felt less guilty by the end of the day, because the cupcake's nutritional profile was better than the norm.
And yes, you will become the popular one in your class if you share these cupcakes with everyone. :P
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients for Cupcakes:
- 1 1/4 C organic pastry flour (or other light flour)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 C brown sugar
- 4 packets of Stevia
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C pumpkin puree
- 1/3 C softened coconut oil (or other of your choice)
- 1/2 C almond milk
Ingredients for Frosting:
- 4-oz. cream cheese, or half a block (or Tofutti for Vegan)
- 2 TBSP butter (or Earth Balance)
- ~3 C powdered sugar
- 1 TBSP almond milk
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grab a medium-large bowl and mix all of the dry "cupcake" ingredients.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, and pumpkin until well incorporated. Then, add the softened coconut oil and gently whisk the liquids.
- To the wet ingredients, add the dry ingredients in 2 increments. First add the dry, then gently fold it in with a wooden spatula. Again, add the dry to the wet, and gently fold it in so that there aren't too many clumps.
- In a lined cupcake pan, add the batter to about 3/4 of the way up. Pop it in the oven and bake for approximately 26 minutes. Let it cool for at least an hour.
- While that's baking, you can make the frosting. In a food processor or stand mixer (or handheld beater), add first the cream cheese and butter. Mix it for a few seconds or until the pieces are broken up.
- Then, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and milk little by little. Stop the machine and scrape the sides. Continue to mix until the frosting becomes fluffy and creamy. If it needs to be fluffier, add more sugar. If it needs to be more velvety, add more milk.
- Get a ziploc bag cut at the corner and spoon the frosting inside. From the outside-in, begin to squeeze the frosting out in a circular motion. For decorations, anything goes! :)
- Makes exactly 12 servings.
Why not add some cute little pumpkins while we're at it?!
For decoration, anything goes. Therefore, we had the kids tap into their creativity by frosting and decorating the cakes themselves.
Greg and I taught a brief lesson about the true historical significance of Thanksgiving. It is so amazing that this special day began due to a colony of believers who simply wanted to thank God!
To me, it's a great reminder that I shouldn't choose when or how to thank Him, but that I should inevitably want to do it every moment in everyday--no matter what's going on in my life. Whether it be for food, shelter, salvation in Christ, family, or education, He desires and deserves our gratitude from the smallest to the greatest things.
I mean, even the fact that I am breathing and typing up this post is because of His Grace! My body, my life, my spirit...they are all so fragile; however, the mere fact that I am given another day to love Him and love someone in return is truly a miracle. It may sound cliche, but God is so good. :D
After the lesson, the kids were excited to become little pastry chefs. Surprisingly, the boys had as much fun as the girls, if not more! They were so nice and quiet here that they looked like angels!
Of course, it wasn't long before they started to get rowdy and high on sugar. This is seriously such a fun project for 5th graders!
Yesterday I went to my friend Chalise's birthday party, which started later in the evening.
Happy birthday, darling Chalise!
Per Chalise's request, about 20-something of us met up to celebrate at an Asian Karaoke, hah!
It was such a cool location because not only was it extremely spacious, but it had a pool table at the back.
Honestly speaking, I have always been terrified of pool! I once mentioned that I am extremely competitive when it comes to sports and activities. I will be the first one to admit that if I know that I don't excel on a certain game, then I won't play it. :P I know, it's quite shameful actually! But the girls taught me how to play pool and now I am kind of addicted. *ahem*
At the Gym
After having gotten my very first gym membership, I've been truly enjoying my workouts.
Although I miss working out at home, I am loving all of the advantages I get at the gym. I feel like my cardiovascular system is stronger than before, while my muscles are getting a good pump. Here is an example of what I've been doing.
Cardio on Stepmill (Pyramid style):
- Level 8 for 1:00-- Turn sides 360 degrees. Every 30 sec. I turn one direction. The other direction.
- Level 9 for 1:00-- "
- Level 10 for 1:00-- "
- Level 11 for 1:00-- "
- Level 12 for 1:00-- "
- Then back down to 11, 10, 9, 8...
Total of 20 minutes.
I also still focus on some plyo metrics as well as weight training.
Thanksgiving Link Up!
From tonight evening (Sunday the 20th), you can send me your blog post URL+a picture, regarding:
a.) Your Thanksgiving plans roundup/meal menu/cooking tips
b.) How you maintain your health and fitness through the holidays
c.) Any volunteer/service work you did for Thanksgiving
d.) The things that you are grateful for
e.) All of the above!
I thought that this might be a fun way to connect to each other a little more. Also, I would love to hear about your experiences this season and hopefully glean some tips from you all. ;)
If you want to participate, then just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will put your links up on my blog. This event will run until Friday, 10 pm (Pacific ST).
Have a wonderful start to your Thanksgiving week and I can't wait for your updates!
PS: Sorry for the long post!!