I woke up on Saturday morning with no plans and a major sweet tooth.  So I did what any normal 33 week pregnant woman would do, I baked donuts.  And then I ate them with a huge mug of hot chocolate.  Needless to say I satisfied my sweet tooth for the day.

I found this donut recipe last week after I purchased a Wilton mini donut pan from Macys.  The pan was too cute to resist and it was on sale for only $7.50.
Making donuts is pretty easy, the only challenging part is piping the batter into the pan, which you just have to have a bit of patience for.  Some donuts had a better shape than others, but all of them tasted amazing.  I’m so glad I found a can of pumpkin puree in my pantry, leftover from the holidays. 

Mmmmmm….sugar.
Baked mini pumpkin donuts with cinnamon and sugar (donut recipe adapted from Taste and Tell blog)

Donuts

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon/sugar topping

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a doughnut pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together the brown sugar, butter and pumpkin. Add in the eggs, mix well, then mix in the milk and vanilla. Stir in the reserved dry ingredients.

Place the mix in a large zip-top bag. Cut off the corner and pipe into the doughnut pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 6-7 minutes. Remove pan from oven, let rest for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the cinnamon/sugar topping, melt the buttter in a bowl and combine sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.  Dip each donut into the butter and then immediately into the cinnamon/sugar mixture. 

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Did you all have a wonderful New Years Eve? Mine was great. Erik and I met a few friends for dinner then went to a couple parties.

When I woke up on New Years Day all I could think of is chocolate. I wanted to eat chocolate for breakfast. So instead of tearing into the Christmas cookies I have in the freezer, I got online and found this chocolate muffin recipe. It’s chocolate, but still appropriate (kind of) to eat for breakfast.

These muffins were awesome, very chocolatey. They not only have cocoa power but also chocolate chips. The peanut butter swirl is a nice addition. It was hard for me to only eat one. But I did. I swear.

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Yesterday Erik and I had friends Deanna and Nick over for brunch.  I thought it would be the perfect time to test some Sierra Mist cocktails/mocktails.  Sierra Mist is partnering with food/party bloggers in December to promote cocktail/mocktail recipes that are perfect for holiday entertaining (or anytime really).

To be honest, Sierra Mist never really came to mind when I was thinking of mocktails during this pregnancy.  And after a while, I have become really tired of ginger ale and cranberry juice.  Now I have a couple delicious go-to recipes for mocktails, which is great because I still have about three months to go before the baby is here.  And because of this post, I realized I actually really like Sierra Mist.  It’s caffeine free, (I’m avoiding caffeine for the most part this pregnancy), is made with real sugar, no artificial ingredients and has 100% natural flavoring.

Pictured above is a cocktail and mocktail called Frost Bite. More on the drinks below.
I made an easy, delicious raspberry coffee cake for brunch.  Also on the menu; french toast muffins (from Whole Foods), bacon, scrambled cheesy eggs, fresh fruit and roasted potatoes. 

Fresh berries, yum.
You would think one sweet item is enough for brunch right?  Wrong…I want as many sweets as often as I can get my hands on them!
Medium-sized mason jars with cinnamon sticks make an easy, seasonal-appropriate centerpiece.  And it smells amazing.
This cocktail and mocktail is called Meet Me At The Mist-letoe.
I LOVED the mocktails.  They are perfect brunch drinks; bubbly, fruity and delicious (but not too sweet).  And best of all, they are so pretty.  I felt like I was having a champagne cocktail and not missing out on anything.   

My favorite of the two was the Meet Me At The Mist-letoe.  I think it was the most festive of the two and just looks like the holidays. 

Erik, Nick and Deanna tried the other two cocktails.  Meet Me At The Mist-letoe was their favorite as well.  I think the Frost Bite cocktail may have been a bit much for a brunch cocktail but would be great for a cocktail party or later in the evening drink. 

Don’t miss the great recipes below (note a couple modifications I made) and check out Sierra Mist on Facebook and “like” their page!

Which Sierra Mist Natural cocktail/mocktail would you like to try? And if you’re pregnant like me, or just not a big drinker….you must try these mocktail recipes, they are awesome!  Stay tuned for a great giveaway from Sierra Mist next week as well as my own personal cocktail/mocktail creations that I’ll be sharing!

Frost Bite (Cocktail)

Ingredients:

• 3 oz. Sierra Mist Natural
• 1 oz. Blue Curacao
• 1 oz. Coconut Vodka
• Fresh mint
• 1 oz. Pineapple juice
• Fresh blueberries (optional)

Directions:

1. In a shaker filled with ice, mix coconut vodka and pineapple juice
2. Add blue curacao, fresh mint and blueberries (optional)
3. Shake all ingredients well and strain into a large glass filled with ice
4. Top with Sierra Mist Natural
5. Garnish with fresh blueberries for a holiday twist (optional)

Modifications, I am not a huge fan of coconut so I used regular vodka.  I also used only a splash of blue curacoa, instead of 1 oz.

Frost Bite (Mocktail)

Ingredients:

• 3 oz. Sierra Mist Natural
• 2 oz. of White grape juice
• Fresh blueberries
• Fresh mint
• 1 oz. Pineapple juice

Directions:

1. In a shaker filled with ice, mix fresh lime juice and pineapple juice
2. Add white grape juice, mint and blueberries
3. Shake all ingredients well and strain into a large glass filled with ice
4. Top with Sierra Mist Natural
5. Garnish with fresh blueberries for a holiday twist (optional)

Meet Me At The Mist-letoe…Martini (Cocktail)

Ingredients:

• 2 oz. Sierra Mist Natural
• 1 ½ oz. Raspberry Vodka
• 3 Leaves fresh basil
• ½ oz. Fresh lime juice
• 1 oz. Blueberry juice

Directions:

1. In a glass, muddle two basil leaves and lime juice, then add to shaker
filled with ice
2. Add raspberry vodka and blueberry juice to the shaker; shake well and
strain into a martini glass
3. Top with Sierra Mist Natural
4. Garnish with a basil leaf for decoration (optional)

Modifications, instead of using raspberry vodka, I used regular.  I added 4 raspberries to the basil and lime juice and muddled them altogether for fresh raspberry juice/puree.  Yum.

Meet Me At The Mist-letoe…Martini (Mocktail)

Ingredients:

• 2 oz. Sierra Mist Natural
• 1 ½ oz. Raspberry juice
• 3 Leaves fresh basil
• ½ oz. Fresh lime juice
• 1 oz. Blueberry juice

Directions:

1. In a glass, muddle two basil leaves and lime juice, then add to a shaker
filled with ice
2. Add raspberry and blueberry juice to the shaker; shake well and strain
into a martini glass
3. Top with Sierra Mist Natural
4. Garnish with a basil leaf for decoration (optional)

Modifications, instead of using raspberry juice I added 4 raspberries to the basil and lime juice and muddled them altogether for fresh raspberry juice/puree. Yum.

Disclaimer: I have partnered with Sierra Mist for this sponsored post.  They provided me with recipes as well as compensation.  The photos and opinions are my own. 

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I had a relaxing weekend…no work (yay!) and lots of time spent in the kitchen. On Sunday we had friends over for breakfast and ate HUGE breakfast burritos and these banana oat muffins.  I can’t seem to eat a meal these days without incorporating something sweet at the end…so for breakfast (at the last minute) I decided I needed these sweet muffins.

I have a bunch of frozen, overly ripe bananas in my freezer so banana muffins/bread, etc are always an option.  I remembered the oatmeal streusel topping I made for apple tarts from about a month ago and added that to the top of the muffin.  That was a good choice, it just made the muffins sweeter with a bit of a crunch.

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I’m back home, yay! The meetings and presentation in Florida went well but I’m glad to be home to my hubby and kitty. I missed them!

I am back to work on Wednesday but I have Thursday and Friday off. I don’t have much planned for those two, glorious days off. Just hanging out at home, catching up on little things, relaxing.

Please head over to check out my guest post on From China Village blog. Emily was sweet to invite me to post while she is on a vacation. I whipped up a savory southwestern oatmeal and it was quite tasty.

I will be back to my regular posting schedule on Thursday and Friday!

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When you get to be a certain age…around your upper twenties/lower thirties things start to change a bit in your friend group. Bellies get bigger and babies start attending brunch dates. It means that mimosas don’t flow quite as freely as they used to, but the new brunch guests sure are cute.

Last Sunday, a group of my girlfriends and I got together to have brunch with new mom, Natasha.  Remember the gorgeous blessingway I posted about a few weeks ago?  Well little Mr. Jude showed his lovely face recently and we were meeting him for the first time.

Mama Natasha is relaxed and happy.  Baby Jude is precious.  Daddy Keith is a dream dad.  It was all so wonderful to see.

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