Last night was so much fun! Since my dad was going out with one of his friends, my mom and I decided to have a girls’ night.
We went to the Providence Place Mall and shopped around for a little bit. She tried on a few dresses in Talbots and I had a coupon for a free pair of panties at Victoria’s Secret. We had dinner at Panera (my mom’s favorite). She got a bowl of black bean soup with a baguette on the side, and I got the “You Pick Two” with half of the Thai Chicken Salad (minus wontons) and half of a grilled cheese with tomato. It was yummy!
(Silly picture of me enjoying my meal.)
If you haven’t tried the new Thai Chicken Salad yet, I highly recommend it. It’s spicy, though! You might be able to ask for it without the spices though, I’m not sure. It came with this yummy peanut dressing and there was edamame and cheese (Feta, I think) that really made the whole dish work. I loved the grilled cheese and tomato, too. It wasn’t anything special, but it definitely hit the spot.
After Panera, we went to the cinema and saw Jeff Who Lives at Home. It was so good! And we love Jason Segel. Who doesn’t? I don’t want to give anything away, so I won’t tell you too much. But basically, it’s about this man Jeff whose family members are each going through their own personal tough times. As it flashes back and forth between each of their personal dilemmas, Jeff, the middle-aged man who still lives in his mom’s basement, manages to bring the whole family back together with his different and innocent way of looking at the world. I thought it was so motivational and it was the absolute perfect balance between hilarity and seriousness.
Every weekend, I make a bunch of food that will last me for the rest of the week. I made egg salad for lunches, and eat the leftovers of whatever random meals I’ve cooked lately for dinner. Lately, I’ve also been cooking up batches of this amazing Pumpkin Gingerbread. I love that it’s so moist and delicious, but (for a baked good) it’s actually not too unhealthy. Plus, it’s got pumpkin in it. It tastes awesome and there’s vegetables? It’s a win-win.
Usually I’ll eat a piece on the side with lunch as a little treat, or as part of my breakfast. Or as a dessert! It’s a very versatile baked good.
Pumpkin Gingerbread (adapted from Brownie Bites’ recipe)
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Grease two 8×4 loaf pans (you could also use a large glass baking dish to make a large loaf – but make sure to adjust baking time accordingly).
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs. Beat until smooth. Add the water and beat until well-blended. Stir in pumpkin, ginger, allspice cinnamon, and clove.
- In another bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all ingredients are mixed.
- Pour into pans, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (it might need a little bit more or less time – just make sure to check it).
A tip for this recipe: Make sure to thoroughly sift your dry ingredients. For some reason, when I make this recipe without sifting, the finished product has little lumps of flour throughout it.