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Spiral Apple Bread

I got a Fitbit for my birthday. 

This is an important detail in this story and soon you’ll find out why.

In other news, I’m 7 years late, but I finally made it to the Pinterest party. And I’m completely addicted.

I will certainly be making a veggie tray into the shape of an owl for Halloween and maybe some bread shaped like a giant cornucopia for Thanksgiving.

But the most beautiful recipe I’ve ever seen? The most mouth-watering temptation to cross my screen?

Spiral Apple Bread with caramel apple glaze.

I wanted this. I wanted it bad. But we had gone to PF Chang’s for lunch and by dinner I was still full.

Blurry photos of cucumber strawberry lemonade, vegetarian lettuce wraps, garlic noodles and ma pao tofu. You can see why I was full.

But back to the Fitbit.

I’m definitely an all or nothing kind of lady. So I’m either 100% healthy, running for miles and drinking carrot juice or…I’m watching football and eating Spiral Apple Bread.

And since I knew that my Fitbit would inspire me to clean up my diet and move a little more, the decision seemed obvious. I had very little gluttonous time left. My gluttonous time was actually quite valuable. The answer was clear.

Make Spiral Apple Bread now.


And so I did.

Dough is rolled out and cut into strips.

The strips are wound together in a coil.

Thin slices of Granny Smith Apple are tucked inside.

Fresh out of the oven, drizzle melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.


The best part is the caramel glaze.
This glaze is what October dreams are made of.

We ate the whole thing. Yes we did. It. Was. Heavenly. Make this one of your fall bucket list items. 

Also on the list? Get yourself a Fitbit. I’m told it inspires you to drink carrot juice. I haven’t yet had that experience.

Almond poppyseed muffins

I have a habit of making us accidentally busy.

Matty B will back me up on this. And it’s truly not on purpose. Thus the word, accidentally

Most Sunday nights (after a busy weekend), I’ll say something like, “Next weekend we’ve got nothing going on and I’m going to keep it that way.”

Everyone involved (Matty B) knows that this is a lie.

Because there’s J Man’s jogathon and I promised to run with him.

And my cousin needs someone to practice manicures on and why not have a lunch date/play date at the same time?

What about those people that we always say we’re going to hang out with, but we never do? They invited us for dinner. We should go.

Did I forget to tell you that I’m assisting with Sabbath School tomorrow? Yeah, we can’t skip.

We’re out of maple syrup and applesauce and that pasta we like. We need a trip to Costco. 

While we’re there, we might as well stop by the mall because I have some Gymboree bucks that are going to expire.

And goodbye weekend…

So I did what anyone should do on an accidentally busy weekend.

I made muffins. I typically make scones on the weekend, but I didn’t want to get the cuisinart dirty. 

 I added my own glaze of powdered sugar, almond extract and almond milk.


And for just a short moment, we sat at the table eating muffins and drinking coffee. One of my favorite things to do.

I’m not mad about being busy. Especially since I get to share in moments like this:


Miss Rae and her baby cousin, Quinn.

The free manicure was pretty nice too! Thanks, Jenn!



I think breakfast is the key.

People say that it’s the most important meal of the day and I totally agree. Why? In my world, breakfast can make or break my day.

If I eat a breakfast of yogurt and fruit, or oatmeal, or a smoothie, I do a much better job of making healthy meal choices the rest of the day. If I eat a breakfast of biscuits and gravy…well…all rational decisions are out the window.



I went to breakfast in the cafeteria with some coworkers. The yellow stuff in the left corner is tofu. This fact does not make the biscuits and gravy more virtuous.



I wasn’t hungry at lunch and decided just to skip and work straight through. But around 1:30 I had to just get out of my office, so I headed over to the bakery for a Diet Coke. When I walked in, Unk C said, “I just pulled this batch of bagels out of the oven.” I couldn’t resist and I ate a bagel for lunch. And a Diet Coke. 


Most Wednesdays find us at spaghetti night. There was also a salad in addition to this plate of carbs and that was the only vegetable product that I ate today.

For shame.

And because the day felt wasted as it was, cookies from a bag. From a bag!

I’ve sunk to a new low. And I blame it all on the biscuits and gravy.

Tomorrow is another day.

National Coffee Day and Pumpkin Spice Latte Waffles

Things I’m bad at:

1. Blowing up balloons. I seriously can’t do this. Even if I stretch them out, I can’t inflate a balloon to save my life.

2. Lighting matches. Nor can I figure out cigarette lighters.

3. Giving up coffee. I keep promising myself that this will happen and the words are empty and meaningless.

Things I’m good at:

1. Baking with yeast.

Remember when nothing rose? Remember when I was afraid of anything that involved yeast? I’m a brand new lady and I have no clue what happened.

2. Fall.

Yes, you heard me right. I’m good at Fall. I’m good at sweaters and boots and leaves and apples and pumpkins and…

3. Drinking coffee.

Lucky for me, today was National Coffee Day. I heard the news from no less than 7 people. (Although I do work on a college campus and it seems that college students are more tuned into coffee than the average individual.)

I’d already had my daily cup with almond milk.

And then Dutch Bros. ran this amazing “buy a large, get 9 punches” deal and of course I had to participate. The picture doesn’t do this justice. This thing was giant! Halfway in, my hands were shaking, so I stopped.

My husband is a good man and on a recent trip to Portland, made a Trader Joe’s run.  
I’m addicted to this pumpkin pancake mix. It’s really delicious “as is” but coffee makes everything better.

I replaced the water in the recipe for coffee (decaf!) and left the eggs and butter as called for. Dinner!

Things I’m good at:

Creating delicious waffles.

Things I’m bad at:

Only eating one…

Five on Friday

1. You know you live in Washington state when the kids all choose either blue or green otter pops so that their tongues are Seahawks colors.

Friends are the best:) Also the best? Talking to another mom whose kids are of similar ages and finding out that I’m not, in fact, a lunatic.

2. I used to fancy Versatile Vegan to be somewhat of a healthy living blog. This is a farce. Exhibit A? The otter pops above. Exhibit B?

I’m being completely honest when I confess that my dinner last night was coffee from the patisserie and soy beef jerky. What a hypocrite.

3. My friend Renee mentioned that she had a bumper crop of basil and mint and asked if I wanted any.

These bags were GIANT and I’ve been making pesto like there’s no tomorrow. The mint has been more challenging. I’ve made mint ice cubes and mint simple syrup (I like this in fruit salad and iced tea) but what else do you do with mint?

4. It’s clear that my mug obsession has gotten out of hand.

We had some friends over for brunch and I started pulling out coffee cups. Starbucks is in business because of yours truly.

5. This one is for you, Sha Sha!

J Man pulled out all the stops for the Redskins game last night, not only wearing his jersey, but putting a mini Redskins helmet on Alvin the Chipmunk. It didn’t seem to help:( We tried!

On Stress

Prepare yourself for a rant.

I had a one night stopover in Spokane for work. On the way, I shunned hot tamales in favor of leftover cinnamon rolls (no high fructose corn syrup, I told myself. Real food, I told myself.) and listened to Mindy Kaling’s “Is everyone hanging out without me?”

I loved it. A great car listen and the part that struck me the most was this statement on stress:

“I do not think stress is a legitimate topic of conversation, in public anyway. No one ever wants to hear how stressed out anyone else is, because most of the time everyone is stressed out. Going on and on in detail about how stressed out I am isn’t conversation. It’ll never lead anywhere. No one is going to say, “Wow, Mindy, you really have it especially bad. I have heard some stories of stress, but this just takes the cake.”

I’ve got some stress. Today it involves my son who cries at every violin practice because he despises it, a major project at work that is 4890 times harder than I anticipated and the fact that updating to iOS 9 means that now I don’t know how to attach photos to my blog posts.

But I don’t take the cake on stress and neither do you so instead let’s start talking about the blessings we have, huh?

Rant over.

Thursday Thoughts, XXXV

1. Cooking is back in my life.

I made these 40 minute hamburger buns from Taste of Home. They were super easy and delicious, although they were sweeter than I’m accustomed to.

2. Breakfast for them:

Breakfast for me:

3. I’m absolutely obsessed with the dark chocolate powder from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

There was a scary moment last week when we ran out and I almost had a heart attack. We ordered 7 cans, just to be sure.

Also, go Broncos.

4. I made cookies for all the freshmen moving in this weekend.

I used the recipe on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse bag. They were ok. In my book, most chocolate chip cookies are worth eating, but these were just…fine.

5. In case you need this as much as I did:



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