Friday Five: Featuring Pumpkin Puff and Cheesy Spinach Soup

by Sara on January 6, 2012

How’s that for a mouthful of a title? 😉

Since I haven’t written since last year, I think it’s obligatory to begin this post by saying, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope 2012 kicked off positively for you!

My New Years Eve celebrations were pretty mellow—no heels or skimpy sequined dresses this year, thank goodness!—but that didn’t stop me from bringing out the bling.

And by bling, I mean a cheesy headband and sparkly cupcakes.

My friend, Laura, threw a finger food party at her apartment, so in addition to the cupcakes, I also brought along roasted shrimp cocktail.

Not everyone can live off of frosting and cake alone, after all.

I know I’ve said this before, but Ina’s recipes really are ridiculously delicious….and simple.  When I finished plating this, I declared (in my best pretentious Ina voice), “How easy is that?

But don’t get me wrong; I’m no Ina Garten! Later in the evening I dunked one of her perfect shrimp in cupcake frosting. She’d be ashamed. 😉

Anyways, let’s forget that ever happened. Time to move onward!

I was originally going to post about my new fitness and nutrition resolutions today, but I woke up feeling too frisky to discuss such things…

Cali is my alarm clock of choice

…so instead of a semi-serious post,  let’s roll with some Friday Five fun.

Oh, and FYI: that resolutions post (yes, one of thoooose) will be popping up either Sunday or Monday.  I’ve made some big changes to my fitness routine, and I’m taking on a new nutrition plan. However rest assured that  you won’t be reading about how I’m giving up frozen yogurt or mashed potatoes. Such statements would be blasphemous on this blog. 😉


1. Long John Pajamas.

What better way to ring in the new year than with a new pair of PJ’s? And did you know that pajamas were the trendiest Christmas gift this year? If your friends and family didn’t catch wind, don’t be jealous; grab a pair for yourself so that you too can sleep in style. 😉

2. Pumpkin Puff.

“Souffle”  or “pudding”might be more appropriate words to describe this ugly treat!

Pumpkin Puff topped with sugar free syrup

It may not be photogenic, but it sure is delicious and nutritious.

**Pumpkin Puff**

1/4 cup pumpkin

1/4 cup Egg Beaters

1 packet Nu Naturals (or sweetener of choice)

several dashes of cinnamon

Toppings: peanut butter, Greek yogurt, syrup, chocolate chips, etc.

1. Combine pumpkin, Egg Beaters, stevia and cinnamon in a bowl; stir until well combined.

2. Pour into a mug, pyrex dish or ramekin that has been coated with cooking spray. Microwave 1-2 minutes.

Top with whatever you want! I love drizzling mine with sugar free syrup. :)

Servings: 1 Calories: 51; Protein: 7 grams; Carbs: 9 grams; Fiber: 3 grams

**I often double or triple the recipe for a more filling snack. Just keep the ratio of pumpkin to Egg Beaters equal and it will work! (Example: 1/2 cup Egg Beaters, 1/2 cup pumpkin)

**Your puff will deflate slightly after it comes out of the microwave.

3. New Flavor: Luna Honey Peanut Pretzel

Need I say more?

The only thing that could make this bar better is more of it!

Honey Peanut Pretzel (not yet on the Luna Bar website)  is giving White Chocolate Macadamia Nut a run for it’s money!

4. Michael Jackson tunes.

I was treated to Michael Jackson: Cirque du Soleil Immortal Tour Tuesday night, and subsequently I’ve been beating it to the King of Pop all week. How can you not be a dancing machine when you’re listening to these jams? (<—click for YouTube preview)

The show was INCREDIBLE–by far the best I’ve ever seen. Immortal World Tour is now traveling around the country, so if it’s coming to your area, I highly recommend you GO. It’s a moving production that left me crying, laughing, screaming and dancing all within a two-hour period. :-)

5. Cheesy Spinach Soup

You guys. This soup is amazing.

And it’s SO easy. I made a batch for dinner a few nights ago, and I’ve remade it several times since then. The soup comes together in less than 10 minutes and packs two servings of veggies plus a serious calcium punch.

But the most important part is that it’s as creamy and velvety as the full-fat version. :-)

*Cheesy Spinach Soup*

serves 2

5 oz. evaporated fat free milk

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

5-6 oz. fresh spinach (about one bag)

2 oz. 2% sharp cheddar cheese

1 oz. fat free cheddar cheese

1/8 t. ground black pepper (more if you like a bit of a kick)

1/2 t. onion powder

4 t. all purpose flour (or gluten free flour of choice)

1. In a small saucepan, combine the broth, spinach, onion powder and pepper. Bring to a boil.

2. Combine flour and milk until smooth; gradually add to soup. Return to a boil.

3. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted.

Servings: 2; Calories: 165; Protein: 13.5 grams; Carbs: 10.5 grams; Fat: 6.5 grams; Fiber: 2 grams



Thanks to all of you who entered the Chobani giveaway! The lucky winner is….Ashley!

Congrats, girl!!! Please email me your address, and I’ll have Chobani ship you your yogurt!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I’ll leave you with a little inspiration:

“My suggestion as you think, make decisions, and discern how God would have you live, is to ask yourself, “Is this the most loving way to do life? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk? I encourage you to consider and actually live as though each person you come into contact with is Christ.

Crazy Love by Francis Chan


Sleepwear–what’s your favorite: Nightgown? Flannels? Long johns? Boxers/t-shirt? Sexy/silky? Undies only? Other?

When I was little I always wore nightgowns or Hanna Anderson long johns. Now I usually go for boxers/t-shirts or flannels. This is the first time I’ve slept in a pair of long johns since I was 10!








  • Anonymous

    I had that same headband, and then I forgot to bring it out with me. Duhhhh. Love the pjs!!

    • Sara Stewart

      Well we have 12 more months of 2012, so there’s still time to wear it!

  • katie

    HI LOVE!!!

    Loving the sweet and pimp long john pj’s! Kind of jealous I dont have a pair : )

    I now am REALLY hoping to find that luna bar, it looks amazing! Im glad you liked it!

    The pumpkin fluff thing would be even better with PB on top too!

    Love you and I am excited to see you in 2012! Hope its soon!


    • Sara Stewart

      The pumpkin puff is SO good with PB! But then again, anything is good with PB. :-)

      Can. Not. Wait. to see you either!! Xoxo

  • Chobani

    Congratulations on winning the giveaway, Ashley! And an even bigger thanks to you, Sara, for hosting. Happy 2012 to you both :)

    Lindsay, Chobani

    • Sara Stewart

      Thank YOU, Lindsay! We love Chobani!

  • Kathryn @ Flopoodle

    Ooooh that Luna bar flavor sounds lovely! Must seek it out…

    On the PJ’s front, I’m all about warmth. I love anything fleecy or flannely or otherwise toasty :)

    Happy Friday!!!

    • Sara Stewart

      I agree: the most important factor in the winter is warmth!

  • julieee

    haha LOVE your pumpkin puff! such a perfect and simple snack. and your pjs are hilarious but i’m really wanting a pair. i totally agree. ina garten recipes are a serious no fail and are alwwwwwwwwwways a hit. she’s usually my go-to foodnetwork recipe person!

    • Sara Stewart

      Get a pair and we can be twins! Then we can go on double dates via and scare the men away when we tell them that we wear glittery striped long johns. 😉

  • Natalie

    I LOVE those pajamas! I seriously might buy a pair for myself! Thanks for the link. :-)

    Your pumpkin puff sounds awesome…and so easy! And broccoli-cheese soup is my have, so I’m sure I’d love spinach-cheese! Two great recipes!

    Glad you had fun at Cirque du Soleil! I saw “O” a year ago and loved it.

    • Sara Stewart

      I’ve heard “O” is incredible! That’s next on my list. :)

  • Kate

    I was looking for a soup recipe to make tonight and I think I’ve found it! Thank you, Sara!

    In the winter I always sleep in flannels. They’re super warm and comfy. I always wore nightgowns when I was young too!

    Have a great weekend!

    • Sara Stewart

      Yay! I hope you enjoyed the soup!

  • Caitlin

    Congrats on the Chobani, Ashley! I keep entering these Chobani giveaways with no luck haha I am determined to win!

    I love my Long Janes. My sister and I got matching ones in Christmas ’10. Mine are red, pink, and white striped. I like how yours are glittery!

    Your NYE headband and cupcakes are super cute :) did you really dip shrimp in frosting?! How was that??

    • Sara Stewart

      Keep on trying, Caitlin! Or enter Chobani’s contest! I think they’re running one on their website!

      Yes, I DID dunk a shrimp in frosting! It was surprisingly delicious! But I think I’d love frosting on anything!

  • Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    I haven’t eaten breakfast yet and now I’m starving! That soup looks delicious! It’s usually pretty hot in Australia year-round, so I usually wear boxer shorts and a tank top. Sexy, huh? 😉 I’m looking forward to read about your fitness and nutrition changes!!

    • Sara Stewart

      Boxer shorts and a tank top is my go-to sleepwear in the summer too…At least it’s sexier than a onesie! haha

  • Elaina Houser

    I love the book “Crazy Love”!! Did you read it? Let me know what you think!

    • Sara Stewart

      No, I actually haven’t read the entire thing; just excerpts! But I’ve loved what I’ve read and would like to dive into the entire book. Do you own it?

  • Katie

    Those longjohns are so awesome! I don’t sleep in the sexy stuff (depending on your preference, heh) but usually go for a tee shirt or flannel pants if it’s cold.

    • Sara Stewart

      I never sleep in sexy PJs either! My future boyfriend/husband is going to be terribly disappointed! ;-p

  • Sally

    You and Cali are so cute together (not to mention that resemblance we joke about!). LOVED that soup! Everyone should try it. My vote is for short stretchy nightgowns. :)

    • Sara Stewart

      Haha, yep, you still confuse us! 😉

  • lindsay cotter

    i’m so glad you woke up frisky, cause it made me laugh today! cheers to pumpkin puff and that shrimp recipe, yum!

    • Sara Stewart

      Waking up frisky makes me laugh too! Cheers! xo

  • Allison

    This whole post makes me happy 😀 Cupcakes, shrimps, cute PJ’s, and a new Luna bar?! I gotta get my hands onto one of those… Tried the latest Cliff Mojo bar and loved it!

    • Sara Stewart

      Ooh! What was the flavor? :)

  • Rach

    You are so cute! And I totally dig the pjs!

  • Shannon (Healthiful Balance)

    Those cupcakes and that pumpkin puff look so delicious! :) And that new Luna bar flavor sounds awesome!

    Congrats to the giveaway winner! :)

  • alyssa-fashionfitnessfoodie

    I am going to the cirque show as well! I cannot wait.

    That new Luna bar literally makes me DROOL! Where did you find these?? I need one NOW!

  • Pingback: My New Fitness and Nutrition Plan()

  • Linds

    Anyone experience neg. Side affects with Stevia!? I have never liked it and found the one time I did use it I experienced stomach upset and a bitter after taste. This pumpkin fluff looks deliccious!!!

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