Happy 2013

First run of 2013

First run of 2013

Happy New Year! Hope you made it through the holidays. I always kind of look forward to the new year. Lower key than the end-of-year craziness, more time to run, fewer sweets to tempt me. It’s a time to focus on making oneself better and look forward to the year ahead.

What does this year have in store for you? What are your goals for 2013?

I am going to refocus on running. After a strong first half of 2012  running (Race for the Cure, my first 10k, my first 15k) I let myself slide. I am going to try and find more runs this year to keep me on track. I already have two 5ks scheduled for this month! (They are both fund-raisers, so if you would like to donate, please contact me.)

I don’t have any hard goals (but I’m up for suggestions or runs if someone is looking for a buddy), but as I start my second full year of running, I would like to increase the miles I ran overall last year. I figured I did roughly 375 miles this year, sharply decreasing my running in the second half. If I were to keep it up, I could surpass 500 miles this year (about 10 a week, very doable, even in the hot summer months).

Friday links

Full of holiday and year-end stories today. What will you be eating during the holidays in the next week or so?

The year in food

Healthy holiday snacks  and holiday foods to avoid and eat instead

Or a little less healthy, the New York Times curated a holiday dessert pinboard.

And looking ahead:  South Florida Beer Week is coming!

And again, if you follow me or know me, you know I love comedian Aziz Ansari AND food travel. He loves food and loves eating and talking about it. I know I just posted a video of him eating a few weeks ago, but this is in New Orleans. New Orleans, people!

Happy holidays!

Friday links

Very cool idea: 25 regional recipes for Thanksgiving. Broken down by region and side dish.

Five great vegetarian main-dish options for Thanksgiving.

Craving pumpkin flavors? (YES!) The marketing is working.

The science of cooking: Tips from America’s Test Kitchen. I love this PBS show, radio show and magazine.

Simple secrets to enjoy a lifetime of running. Sweet read.

And who can so no to a taco cannon? Nobody!

Have a great weekend!

Start with canned pumpkin puree

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Pumpkin muffin and pumpkin spice energy bites

Since the weather finally turned cooler in South Florida and today is Halloween, I decided to open a can of pumpkin puree and make something.

With one can of pumpkin puree I got two different quick and easy snacks, so I was pleased.

I made pumpkin muffins with common ingredients found in the pantry. I’ve made these and love them, though they call for a lot of sugar, so they aren’t the healthiest, I’m sure. It’s like a pumpkin pie muffin, with little time and effort. To cut down on sweetness, I didn’t add the cinnamon-sugar topping and it wasn’t lacking those flavors.

The other snack is pumpkin spice energy bites. Since I’m getting back into a more scheduled running routine, I knew the moisture and flavor of pumpkin would be perfect for energy bites. And one bite and I know why they are called pumpkin spice. Wow, they are full of the warm spices in the bites.

Do you have a quick and easy pumpkin recipe?