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Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes

There is nothing I don’t love about fall. Pumpkin everything. Last week we enjoyed a pumpkin walnut cranberry loaf. This week it’s brown butter pumpkin cupcakes. How did I know these would be such a slam dunk with my husband, you ask? Well I didn’t–but when I handed him a beater,  and then he followed me back to the kitchen to clean the bowl, and then turn my icing bag inside out to clean.. well I knew we had a winner. The recipe for these Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes, originally Fine Cooking’s Layer Cake, can be found here.

Besides baking we had a great time in Chattanooga this weekend. Any excuse for a roadtrip to see the leaves changing color across Tennessee. It really is the most beautiful time of year here. We did a little hiking, took in the downtown food scene, fell in love with the art district, reminded me of Seattle–and on the way back I saw my first cotton field! I thought the cotton was really cool. Grant.. not so impressed, but he still pulled over so I could photograph it (and pull some off to pay with).

I hope you had a great weekend. Anything fun, exciting, or delicious to report?? Do tell!

 

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Fit To Indulge on Facebook

Hi Friends!! In order to share more great recipes and nutrition news I created a Facebook page. There are simply way too many topics to cover and recipes to share all on my own. Here you will find links to hot topics in nutrition and delicious foods I find on the web. Please like my page to keep up with FTI happenings. Thanks for following!!

Sincerely,

Carissa

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Married At Last

After a year long engagement, and countless hours obsessing over wedding blogs, I am finally married to my best friend. No more falling asleep with Bride magazine, or shopping Etsy until 1am (well at least not for wedding-related items)! It has been 18 days of amazingness, and I have to say that as much fun as we had planning the wedding, we are so ready to  move on to the next thing… err.. I mean enjoy the moment. So without further adieu, allow me to share a few highlights from our very special day.
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A Night to Myself

A night to myself… in the kitchen of course. I find that my new life in Nashville leaves little time for solitaire cooking. And as much as I love my soon-to-be husband, nothing inspires my inner-blogger like a little me time. I left my office tonight practically skipping to the grocery store to stock up on supplies for dinner. Over lunch I had been scrolling through my Facebook news feed and came across a recipe I’d been waiting for.. Polenta with Pepperonata. If you’re like me you subscribe to all kinds of foodie Facebook pages for regular culinary inspiration. I am never without a new recipe to try. This came from Herbivoracious Click the link for recipe. Its a rich sauce made of caramelized onions and roasted red bell peppers over a bowl of savory polenta (aka grits). I added grilled chicken for a well-balanced meal.

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We’re In Nashville

Wow!! Has it really been six weeks since I’ve blogged?!? We are finally settling in to Nashville—and couldn’t be happier. After driving 2,427 miles –with lots of Starbucks and Subway stops, plus one night at a Nebraska steakhouse where fried gizzards and rocky mountain oysters are perfectly normal entrees–we finally arrived, and have been exploring our new home ever since.

Over the weekend we had our first night out. We met friends for dinner at Puckett’s Grocery. I had my first ever shrimp and grits. The verdict–spicy, creamy, and sooo delicious. I felt very southern. 🙂 Grant had a steak with a side of bacon wrapped green beans. I’ve found that bacon can pretty much be added to any dish and be transformed into southern cuisine. It’s magic.

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Peach Caprese Salad


Sweet, juicy peaches are in abundance right now and I’m trying to figure out how to hit my quota of one-a-day, because they’re just that good. With caprese salads being equally as irresistible in the summer months–creamy mozzarella, fresh-from-the-garden basil, generously drizzled with balsamic and olive oil–how can I not indulge? Hence the ingenious combo of Peach Caprese Salad. Yes. Please. And thank you!

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Lamb Chops with Olive & Pomegranate Tapenade

Delicious! Enough said. I’ve been wanting to make some version of this tapenade ever since seeing it used in an episode of Worst Cook in America. I discovered the show over the holidays and was instantly hooked. It’s totally amusing and surprisingly educational, eeeeeven for the novis homecook. In this particular episode I remember the contendants separating lamb chops from a full rack, having to slice each one exactly the same so that they would cook evenly. What pressure. I decided to skip this part. Instead, I used my fancy-shmancy new chef vocab and asked my Whole Foods butcher to split a rack (which always has 8 ribs) into double ribs with frenched ends. It worked like a charm. He didn’t  even look at me cross-eyed, and I felt super cool placing my order. 🙂

So this tapenade, it calls for pomegranate seeds, and I know better than to search for a pom in March, so when I found  frozen pomegranate seeds at Trader Joe’s I was uber-excited and suddenly reminded of this recipe. The added perk was no dealing with citrus splatter. Yippy!! Unfortunately, when I thawed the pom seeds they looked and tasted thawed. This called for improvisation. Before I had a chance to consider my options the boy had his shoes, keys and was out the door to find me a pomegranate (I think my heart just skipped a beat). But with no luck, he returned with Pom, 100% pomegranate juice. Brilliant. Even better than pomegranate seeds.. straight up pom syrup! Recipe as follows. Please, do enjoy.

Lamb with Olive & Pomegranate Tapenade
1 cup Greek olives
3/4 cup walnuts
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2/3 cup pomegranate juice
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 T extra virgin olive oil
dash of salt

1 rack of lamb
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper

Start t with a rough chop  of the olives. Add the walnuts (first chopped and dry toasted over medium heat for 4 minutes). Add garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, and olive oil. In a skillet, heat the pomegranate juice and allow it to reduce to half the liquid, pour over tapenade.

Rub chops with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let them rest at room temp for an hour before cooking. Then, in a hot cast iron skillet brown on each side for 3 minutes. Move to the oven and cook for 5 minutes at 375 (for medium rare). Plate and enjoy.

This was a fun Sunday afternoon lunch. And although I forewent pasta (my first love) I did not abandon my love for Mediterranean cuisine. This has the Med written all over it.. lamb, olives, nuts, citrus.. delish! Also fun, was shooting with my new Nikon D3100. Love. It. One of my favorite ways to spend a lazy evening is ogling food photography. Now I can work on making my own photos ogle-worthy! *one can hope*  I do adore photos by Jessica at How Sweet It Is and Olga and Mango and Tomato among other food blogs. Well, have a fabulous, fabulous day, and tell me, what are you cooking up this weekend?

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