Turkey Trottin’ and Roasted Sweet Potato Salsa

Hi friends! How are you all doing?! I spent my whole vacation on cloud 9 –  I spent 2 straight days with my family, enjoyed the latter half  of my break in Atlanta with Derek’s family.

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving that began with the Turkey Trot 5K that I mentioned earlier in the week. After waking up in the 6 o’clock hour and enjoying a pre-race cup of coffee, my dad, Derek and I ventured out into the 37 degree Florida weather for our Turkey Trot in Fishhawk, a neighborhood near our home.

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We went back and forth on whether or not we should keep our jackets on while we ran. That’s how I know it’s really cold – when Derek and my dad run in long sleeves. In the end, we all decided to be wimps and run with the layers. The run never seemed to warm me up so I’m sure glad I kept my jacket on.

We ran with my dad for about 1.5 miles , and then all met up at the finish line. I didn’t pay much attention to my Garmin, and instead just enjoyed running with Derek and my dad beside me. We are all usually focused on trying to do well in our age group, so this was a nice change to run together.

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We ran mile 1 in 8:48, mile 2 in 8:07 and the last 1.1 mile in 7:54.

It was such a fun race and the turnout was great –  I’d guess about 2,000+ came out! I love seeing races grow from year to year!

After our run, we made our traditional Starbucks stop, and I realized it was my first Starbucks red cup of the holiday season. I’m pretty sure this is pitiful, since this means I haven’t had Starbucks in about a month. What was I thinking???!!!

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We rounded out the morning by decorating the Christmas tree, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, preparing my contribution for Thanksgiving dinner, and attempting to take a successful Christmas card photo.

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My family always celebrates Thanksgiving at my Aunt Suzanne and Tio Frankie’s home, and since they have the Thanksgiving meal perfected, I was asked to bring just an appetizer. I knew I wanted it to be something in the spirit of Thanksgiving, but couldn’t think of a dish for the life of me. That’s where Martha Stewart and Real Simple came into play. I found this recipe on their list of easy Thanksgiving appetizers, and it was definitely a hit at the get together (as much of a hit as an appetizer can be – we all know what we were really there for!)

Roasted Sweet Potato Salsa

1.5 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small

1 large red onion, diced

1 ½ tbsp. olive oil

2 tomatoes, diced

2 avocados, diced

3 tbsp chopped cilantro

Lime juice from 1 lime

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 . Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray, and roast diced sweet and onions tossed in olive oil for 20-25 minutes, or until sweet potato is lightly browned. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely.

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Once roasted veggies have cooled, add in tomatoes, avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve with pita chips or toasted baguette.

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I hope you all had as lovely as a Thanksgiving break as I did, and I hope your week is just as great!

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Pumpkin Roll + Hotel Gym Heaven

Exercise while traveling is always a little tough, but I’ve utilized the wonderful gym at my hotel for a few treadmill and weight sessions. Some of my favorite places to find new, fun workouts are from other fitness bloggers that I follow. This morning I took a treadmill workout from PBFingers website, and it definitely got my heart rate up and left me lookin’ like a sweaty mess.

The treadmill run I followed went like this

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If you’re in need of inspiration for cardio, strength, or circuit workouts, I highly recommend PBFingers blog for that!

This lovely spread awaited me after I finished my run and weights workout…

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If you can’t tell, the stuff at the end of the table is a tray of cool cloths with cucumber slices. Am I in heaven?

While I have really enjoyed this week, I’m so excited to go back home and spend the weekend with friends and family.

Now for the good stuff…

A couple of weeks ago I saw a picture of a delicious and impressive looking dessert in a magazine, and mentioned to Derek’s mom how mouth-watering and pretty the dish looked, thinking this recipe was probably way out of my league, ability wise. You can imagine how excited I was when she told me she used to make pumpkin rolls every year, and would be glad to bake one with me one day soon. Since we’ve all been busy the past couple of weeks, we jumped at the opportunity of having a day without many plans on Saturday, and she invited me over to create this delectable treat!

Pumpkin Roll

For the Roll:

Beat 3 eggs on high for 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup of sugar gradually

Stir in 2/3 cups of canned pumpkin, and 1 tsp lemon juice.

Add to the mixture:

¾ cup flour

1 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt

Pour pumpkin batter into a 13×20 pan that has been heavily greased and floured. Top with ½ cup of chopped pecans, and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

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Prepare a kitchen towel with powdered sugar. Turn the baked sheet of pumpkin upside down onto towel and roll up and cool approximately 15 minutes in the fridge.

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For the Filling: Beat 1 cup powdered sugar, 6 oz. cream cheese, 4 tbsp. butter and ½ tsp. vanilla until smooth and creamy.

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Remove roll from’ fridge. Unroll onto flat surgace, and spread on filling. Re-roll and return to fridge to cool. Prior to serving, remove and slice!

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Not only was this dessert seasonal and mouth-wateringly delicious, I think it presents itself as a pretty impressive looking treat as well.

Happy Friday and happy fall, y’all!

Candy Corn, Fall’s Official Cue

First and foremost. this happened. Candy corn at my favorite froyo shop.

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Yogurtology was not on the agenda for after dinner last night, but as soon as our friend Ben mentioned there were coffee and pumpkin spice flavors, we literally dropped what we were doing and just walked out the door. Such a good decision. And while I thought there were no toppings  that could make these flavors better, I was quickly proven wrong, as I found candy corn at the topping bar. Happy Fall to us!

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s talk about breakfast. In proper fall fashion, I had a bowl of apple walnut cinnamon oats for breakfast that were DEEELISH. They came together a bit like this.

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 of a red apple, diced

1/4 cup walnuts

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 packet of stevia sweetener

1 cup water

Pour all ingredients into a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Viola!

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I topped my oats with some chia seeds for a little extra boost! The rest of my day was spent packing and reading. I’m almost done with Michael Lewis’,  The Big Short. You may be familiar with Michael Lewis’ name, as he is the author behind The Blind Side and Moneyball, both wonderful books turned into wonderful movies. The Big Short is a little less mainstream than his other bestsellers, as it is geared to those who are either in the financial sector, or just enjoy reading about short selling insurance on subprime mortgages. Riveting, right? Well the nerd in me is really enjoying it, and I hope to finish it in time today to pick up another book before my trip tomorrow.

I did manage to get a quick workout in, and it went a little like this:

Boredom Buster

I wanted a quick and diverse workout that included running, and my half marathon training schedule called for cross training. Weights sometimes bore me, so I switched it up by hopping on and off of the treadmill to complete a few circuits. The time flew by!

And I think I’ve mentioned how glad I am that I joined my new gym, right? Upon joining, they gave me a gift card for a free massage, and I took full advantage of that yesterday. It was a relaxation massage that ended with the massage therapist spending 10+ minutes on my feet. It was paradise.

And finally, for dinner, we headed over to Derek’s parents’ home for his mom’s delicious fish tacos. photo (38)

The picture is not nearly as colorful as the pico de gallo really was. Gosh do I love this meal!

Today I am tying up some loose ends before I head out of town for the rest of September. I’ll be posting as regularly as possible while I’m away, and hope to surprise you guys with a couple of guest posts. 🙂

Happy Tuesday, friends!