Baking: Pumpkin Cookies

Yesterday I talked about having a fun baking date with one of my girl friends and the first thing we made was some chocolate sugar cookies. After some discussions, we decided to make Pumpkin Cookies. This recipe is also from Martha Stewart’s Cookies.

Pumpkin Cookies

Makes 6 dozens

Pumpkin Cookies


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large egg
1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

 1. Preheat the oven to 375F.  Whisk together, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a bowl.

2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.   Mix in eggs.  Reduce speed to low.  Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes.  Add flour mixture; mix until combined.

3. Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip.  Pipe 1 1/2 inch rounds onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.  Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops spring back, about 12 minutes.  Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes.  Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.


  • Ground nutmeg instead of freshly grated
  • Almond milk instead of evaporated milk
  • All of step 3 was replaced with scooping up with the ice cream scoop and making small cookies.
  • We put it in the oven for 12 minutes and ended up putting them in for another 5 minutes or so. It seemed to be better cooked that way.

These pumpkin cookies are pretty delicious.  This is only half the recipe because it should go with a brown-butter icing but we didn’t make that. If you do want that recipe, just email or comment below and I’ll send it to you. The consistency of these tasted a little like pumpkin bread/scone hybrid.  The texture was fluffy and soft.  It wasn’t too sugary and yet filled with the seasonal spices.  Its pretty good.

The only thing to note for this one is that we didn’t realize that it made 6 dozens so it took us by surprise a little.  Its a reminder that we should always read much more carefully how much a batter serves and not just what ingredients on hand.  Both are equally important.  Still, it was a ton of fun 🙂

Are you a fan of pumpkin-flavored desserts? What do you like to make with pumpkin puree?

Breakfast: French Toast

How about that? I finally got around to make some French Toast after talking about it for… *thinking* a few months, maybe a year.  Point is: being back on track with Zumba classes and working out has put me in a fantastic mood and I’m motivated to get a ton of stuff done, except when it comes to writing.  I guess I’m not into sitting down.  Last Sunday morning, I was all pumped up and happy and whipped together the batter for the French Toast and my husband, who is much better at stovetop cooking that I am, took over and cooked it up! Teamwork is awesome! 😉

French Toast

French Toast

Recipe via Pinterest:

You will find the ingredients and how to make it there! 🙂

There were some little changes:

  • Milk replaced by almond milk
  • Flour replaced by Coconut flour
  • Batter made 7 slices of bread (POM brand) instead of 8

I have no idea why it took me so long to put together French Toast.  Honestly, it was so simple to do.  The hardest part was thinking of how to replace the flour, mostly because I don’t have all-purpose flour since I haven’t baked since I tried to go gluten-free. The brand I currently have is really disgusting and I can’t imagine using it for this but luckily, I did have coconut flour and man, it was so great.  It wasn’t enough for the taste or the smell to be an issue.

I haven’t eaten French Toast due to dietary issues since I was a little girl and this was so good! My husband says he burnt it but I thought it was great.  He also isn’t a fan of cinnamon spiced sort of bread-like desserts so I think he wasn’t quite as much of a fan as I was.  I didn’t even think the cinnamon was too overbearing.  It added a nice delicately spiced taste to it.  I topped it with some powdered sugar and maple syrup and that was so good. I’m addicted.  I already want to make a second batch and explore the world of French Toast to see what variations there are.

Do you like French Toast?

Week 10: Staying Hydrated!

I have this issue.  Part of it has to do with weekdays when I`m at work and the washrooms being on the 4th floor.  Its drinking water.  I can`t really take so many bathroom breaks so I lower my water consumption.  From morning till evening on the weekdays, I probably get about 3 cups of water in.  Most of the times, its even less.  When I get home, I get maybe another 2-3 cups.  Working out has made me drink more but its never at par with 8 glasses of waters.  So this week`s goal is to keep liquids flowing into my body.  Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages not included, of course!


Hydration: 6.5-7 cups of tea, water, juice, protein shake with vanilla almond milk!

Not a bad start for a new goal, right? If I can even keep this up for the rest of the week to get into the habit of it. I’ll be pretty happy about it.  Today, my boyfriend decided to join me for a part of my workout.  Mondays are always the crazy long workout day, so I chose to do the Workout Mashup (that I love so very much). I also figured out how to do the Jump Lunge Mountain Climbers properly 🙂 Plus, I realized my endurance to do burpees are higher!


Hydration: 6 cups of tea, water, apple juice, mango juice and protein shake with almond milk 🙂

Due to the playoff game, the workout eventually had to start in middle of the 3rd period.  I chose to work out my glutes and my abs! I did two rounds of glutes exercise with Tone it Up’s Spankin’ Booty Workout.

I wanted to die at the end of the 2nd round.  It doesn’t look particularly hard but when you add everything together, its so painful.  Whats really good is that it has a very smooth movement from standing exercises to kneeling then onto the back.  I followed this through with the Slender Abs Workout.  I did one round of this and it was already too much for me.  The worst are doing Cinch Ups.  Apparently my body doesn’t not move like that.


Hydration: 5 cups of assorted drinks like tea, water, milk with protein powder, juices.

Day OFF! Date night with my boyfriend to see Ironman 3! (Check out my review HERE if you missed it!) This month’s movies are going to be very time sensitive in order to catch everything we want to see 🙂


Hydration : 5 cups of water, tea and almond milk

Playoffs night yet again! I ended up losing most of my hope halfway through so I wandered off to do chores and then went to do this Love Your Arms Workout! I did the full 3 rounds.  It wasn’t particularly hard but by the 2nd round those Swaying Angels started getting a bit tougher and by the 3rd round, even the Bow and Arrow was feeling hard to complete.

After that and the game pretty much ended, when my boyfriend also didn’t want to see how the game would ends, we went off for a 30 minutes “after dinner” walk.  Dinner had passed for a good 2 hours before we actually go out but we probably walked for longer than 30 minutes so I guess its not too bad 🙂 It felt good! The air was a tad heavy because it didn’t rain when it was forecasted to but at least it had a nice breeze.


Hydration: 5 cups of tea, water, almond milk Perfect Fit smoothie, juice

Tone it Up has scheduled in these workouts below!

2 rounds Sunseeker Workout

2 rounds Surfer’s Paradise Workout

I deliberately avoided this exercise on Tuesday because I LOATHE the Pacific Paradise…and I never understand the point of using surfboards as your platform because I don’t have one here.  I have a very normal floor. Plus, I don’t live down south so I don’t know how to surf either. However, I decided to give it a go finally.  Actually it was pretty fun once I figured out how to do it.  The most fun and slightly challenging had to be the Kiwi Kicks 🙂  It feels  like a long time that I pushed through and completed the same exercise as Tone it Up puts out.  I even followed their advice and had a Perfect Fit Protein Smoothie made with almond milk and peanut butter.  It was SUPER delicious!


Hydration: 5 cups of water, juice, almond milk

Somehow the day became more hectic than I expected and I ended up getting in less hydration than my normal weekend day.  I also had to celebrate Mother’s Day and get flowers and bake and all that so no workout today.  Postponed to Sunday 🙂 Plus, my muscles were still in some crazy pain from Fridays workouts so it’ll be good!


Hydration: 6 cups of tea, water, juice, almond milk with Perfect Fit

My boyfriend decided to join me for a cardio/body weights workout together. Since he was being so nice, I gave him a few choices to choose from and he picked this one…

…which he soon regretted by the time we hit the squat jumps.  Squats-Squat jumps-lunges juiced us out real good.  By the time I had to do the burpees, every single one felt like my legs were burning and it took every ounce of energy to jump.  However, I did keep it up and did 2 full rounds.  I was going to give up on the 3rd but I ended up doing it but had to cut out the alternating lunges because my knees would probably not take it well and did 10 burpees and 15 pushups.  Everything else I did in full to end the 3rd round.  I know that I’m out of shape for some of these when I did this in 32 minutes.  I will try to aim for completing this in 25 minutes eventually!

Week 10 means that the weekly workout roundups are worthy of their own tab on the top along with their own category, which means that if you ever are interested in trying out any of the workouts, you can find them there easier 🙂 This week was tough and although hydrating myself didn’t hit the 8 glasses of water any of the days, the effort I put in showed and I felt better just from aiming to keep that up.  It’ll be a constant focus! Its important to my health to really drink more fluids a day.  Before we move on, my two fave workouts for this week that I’d recommend is No Nonsense Circuit and the Tuesday combo with Spankin’ Booty and Slender Abs Workout! They are both challenging and efficient.  I’d give honorable mention to doing Friday’s Surfer’s Paradise because there were some workouts that really great to do.

NOW, ONTO NEXT WEEK! I might end up doing only 3-4 workouts though…with my friend’s wedding coming up on Sunday and Friday being her bachelorette party, its going to be tough to get in a lot more than that.  However, I will try very hard! After all, I do need to fit into that dress and take some beautiful pictures to show everyone! 🙂

Spiced Carrot Cake

I’m FINALLY back with some baking! I think I’ll start making Wednesday my baking day…let’s see how that schedule holds up. I’m planning to get back to cooking on the weekends and some continuation of the A Bite of China Project! Just need to find some time to head out to the Chinese groceries soon 🙂

So I had a few recipes I was looking for and I ended up looking up Martha Stewart’s Easter dessert slides and this  Spiced Carrot Cake came up.  The other choice would’ve been Oatmeal Shortbread, but I’ve been doing  A LOT of shortbread in the last few baking posts that I wanted to switch it up a bit.  So here it is!

Spiced Carrot Cake

The recipe is right here:

There were some minor modifications made. For one, I don’t own a round pan so its square.  Thats just aesthetics, of course.  I’m sure it won’t make much difference to the taste.  Right now, my house is filling up with baked goods smell again and this smells delicious 🙂

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

Okay, focus back to the changes I made.


– I used the 1 teaspoon cinnamon instead of 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

– Since I’m lactose intolerant, I don’t have any yogurt, so I replaced it with almond milk.  I was going to use water but then I felt that almond milk may probably provide a thicker complex to it, making it resemble the consistency of yogurt more.  It didn’t seem to make much of a difference.  Of course, my second option could have been soy milk as well.

-I omitted the glaze or confectioners`sugar since it was already sweet enough and we have balanced lifestyle to work on 😉

This one is a winner in terms of carrot cake.  It smells amazing, it looks awesome, the texture is fantastic.  The only thing I would change when I bake it again (and I know I will) its probably less sugar.

What difference in taste will happen with using cinnamon over cardamom? I have never used cardamom so I don’t own any.  Definitely down to try it if it is enhances the taste or gives it a little something special.

I want to continue with some Easter baking..what do you suggest? Cupcakes? Spring Sugar Cookies? Shortbread?