Cookie Butter Banana Bread

Two old, mushy brown bananas sat on my counter for a week. Sometimes when they get old, I give them to the dog as a treat or mush them up in my yogurt. But, on a cold Sunday, I put them to proper use by putting them in a banana bread with cookie butter. Yes, cookie butter. It’s basically Biscoff like cookies ground into the consistency of peanut butter and it is glorious. Truth be told, I always buy bananas because there is always banana bread. There are so many recipes I have yet to try. I’m working on it though!


My Mom and Dad went to Minnesota and that lucky duck (Mom) popped into a Trader Joe’s. She was sweet enough and brought me back a jar. I am rationing rationed it as needed and it was definitely needed in this bread. If you don’t have cookie butter, no fear – just sub in peanut butter or maybe even Nutella.


Recipe adapted, via Crazy For Crust, this is in no means healthy, but it is tasty


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Cookie Butter
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 old bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 tablespoons buttermilk or sour milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray your loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together sugar, oil, cookie butter and yogurt. Mash first with a fork and then use a wire whisk to incorporate together.
  3. Add the eggs, sour milk, salt and baking soda and whisk again.
  4. Add in the flour and whisk just until combined. Do not over mix!
  5. Pour into loaf pan. Bake approximately 50-60 minutes. Check center with a toothpick. If it starts to brown to quickly on top, cover loosely with foil during baking.


To serve, I suggest slathering it with more cookie butter. This bread would also make excellent French toast!


Sometimes it seems like the easiest things to make can be the most satisfying.


If you have family over for the Thanksgiving weekend I suggest this for breakfast with some fruit and just to have for snacking. Enjoy your holiday and time with your family this week. I am blessed beyond my understanding and am so grateful this year for my family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving week! Enjoy!

Posted in Baking, Breakfast, Dessert | Leave a comment

Finding your fitness path

Recently I went on a spending spree. Well, for me. I am pretty notoriously TIGHT when it comes to spending money on clothes. I generally always shop clearance and RARELY pay full price for clothes. I use store credit cards, sales, coupons, whatever. It’s kind of silly because I have no problem spending money on experiences (travel, sports, events), food or beer. But $30 for a shirt? Never!

I have worn about 8 different sizes in women’s clothes throughout my weight transformation. I got rid of all the biggest clothes. Due to this mini spending spree (which in all actuality, is probably just a normal shopping trip for most women – and yes, I did get sales) I went through my clothes to get rid of some of the clothes that are a few sizes too big for me. I don’t need any reason to go back to those sizes – so let’s trash them. It is kind of hard for me though? I have a pair of jeans in particular I remember being so proud of fitting into and wearing them to an event with my girlfriend. They were such an accomplishment for me at the time and I felt so damn good in them. It’s crazy how emotional clothes can be. I also came across a few t-shirts I forgot about (I’m sure I’m not the only one that has a few favorite t’s they wear over and over?), including this T25 t-shirt I got after I completed the Beachbody T25 program.


OK – start rant.

There are many people out there who use Beachbody and love it and on the flip, there are so many who bash it. I honestly don’t think I’d still be maintaining my weight without doing the Beachbody programs I did. So here is where I profess my love of the programs and try to justify to others why you need to do what is best for you. You don’t have to listen to others who say it is trash, the shakes are junk, overpriced, whatever. I can agree on a few things: I do NOT think you need the shakes to succeed with weight loss or to become healthy. I also do not like pushy sales type people shoving the products down your throat or clogging up your Facebook page. Finally, I also really don’t agree with the term Beachbody coach. Anyone can become a coach just by signing up. There is fine print explaining this in the programs but for a person new to fitness, it might be confusing.

Here is what I like about the programs. I am specifically talking about Shaun T and the programs of his I have done: T25, Insanity and Insanity Max30.

  • Comfort. You can exercise in the comfort of your own home. As a formerly obese person, I found it difficult to go to the gym. Most people are open and welcoming, but that doesn’t mean I felt I belonged there. You feel flabby, out of shape and tire faster than everyone. You don’t know what you are doing. You don’t fit into the cute spandex outfits and are wearing a t-shirt 2 sizes too large to hide your body. I’ve been there. I get it. Doing this at home eases all those fears. If you listen to Shaun T and follow his cues, he does provide terrific instruction, form, etc.


  • You can build your confidence. As with most exercises, if you can commit and follow through with a program, you will see improvements. You will feel better and you will feel stronger. I wish I would have kept some of the first workouts I ever did in my basement that I printed out. I was certain these were the hardest moves ever. I bet now, I could probably do them as a warm up. It’s amazing what our bodies can achieve. His programs require a few free weights if anything at all so you don’t need a huge investment. Sure, the DVD’s are kind of pricey but I followed many of them for at least 2-4 months and a gym membership would have been a higher cost.


  • Nutrition advice. The programs I used came with eating guides. I had lost quite a bit of weight by changing my eating habits and doing a few exercises. I need something to jump start my weight loss and get me going again. The guides provided great nutritional advice and meal ideas. He focuses on eating whole foods. And even if you don’t agree with the shakes – they are an excellent way to start incorporating fruit into your diet. This is coming from a person who didn’t even eat bananas and now I eat fruit on the daily. It astonished me how rude some people can be when they say – just eat healthy and move more. Well duh. But it isn’t that easy. So many people don’t have a clue what “healthy” is or even what proper portion size is. A plate full of pasta isn’t healthy but pasta with veggies and protein can be a great meal. It isn’t about starving yourself but about fueling yourself. I have been doing this for over 3 years and I am learning more and more. It isn’t reasonable to go from eating out every meal to eating only whole foods, low fat, etc. It is a process. There is no one cure all/fix all.


  • Support. The positive thing about a Beachbody coach is the online support they give. You get a feeling of a team. That said, again, this is a sticky area. You don’t want to get wrapped up in someone pushing you too far, too fast, too much, trying to sell you unnecessary products, etc. I think if you have a friend or someone you can trust to be your coach, this would be best. Better yet? You could always buy the programs used and not have to have a “coach” but you would miss out on the group encouragement. 


  • Modifications. The programs show modifications for the most part. Starting out you aren’t going to be able to do all the moves. I still modify. If you can do the moves – go for it!


  • Stepping stone. The biggest benefit to me from doing Shaun T workouts is it has been a stepping stone. I started following him on social media, listened to some of his podcasts and read up on his life story. He is inspirational to me. Through completing his programs and seeing progress, I have been able to have more confidence in running, cycling, swimming and even now with lifting weights. I haven’t done a program of his in a few months but I keep the DVD’s on my shelf and I think I’ll go back to them. Fitness and health are a tricky combo of being active and eating properly. Without what I have learned from Shaun T, I might have fallen back into being overweight, I don’t know? This opened doors to me doing more research on health and fitness options.

What I would like to express is to not let anyone tell you Beachbody is bullshit. Or Bodypump is a waste. Or running is too hard on your joints. Or you don’t really need to workout that much. Only YOU know what is best for you. That is why you see people successful at running, at biking, at pilates, at yoga, at whatever. If you find a passion and can stay committed to a fitness program go with it. Do what works for you.

This isn’t a commercial for Beachbody. I don’t sell it. I do recommend it if you are interested in it though. It has led me to explore more on foods I fuel with and things I am capable of doing. No doubt that being fit and healthy is a lifestyle. I imagine my workout routine will be totally different a year from now that it is today. I am constantly exploring and learning more about myself. I don’t have a plan to stop that. So you should feel free to do what makes you feel good no matter what others say. Find your path.

End rant.


I love to workout, I love beer, I eat fried food, I drink pop sometimes, I love to bake and eat cookie dough, I love vegetables, lean protein and dairy. I actually really like protein powder. I know many people that look down on all of these things I just listed. But guess what? I am happy. I am healthy according to my blood work panels. I feel great. It’s a balancing act and sometimes I like fried food too much and I snowball into feeling like crap from eating crap food. I’m working on a healthy lifestyle and am constantly learning and changing. I encourage you to do the same. If you are feeling down and unhappy, you know who can change that? You. Only you. I KNOW IT IS HARD. OMG, do I know. But it can be done. Find what works for you and print out a crap load of positive quotes and live your life out loud – not from the sidelines. If I can do this, I know anyone can. I felt I was destined to be overweight, lethargic and feel shitty about myself every day. It’s not true. Believe in you – you are worth it.

And I can tell you – it felt really good to fit into all those clothes that I ordered online!

Posted in Exercise, Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | Leave a comment


No recipe today. I thought I’d do a more fun post on my day-to-life. I’ve seen other bloggers do this and it’s fun to see what people enjoy so here’s what I’ve been up to lately.


ReadingThe Storyteller, Jodi Picoult. I have been trying to read a little bit more often. My Mom lent me a few books and this one caught my eye because one of the main characters is a baker. But this book! It is giving me dreams, more like nightmares. The grandmother recounts her time in Germany in WWII and it is so graphic the way she recounts her young life. I can’t believe the conditions people were subjected to and I really enjoyed this book. The ending was a little disappointing to me, but the story was great.


Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, begins stopping by the bakery, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Despite their differences, they see in each other the hidden scars that others can’t.

Everything changes on the day that Josef confesses a long-buried and shame­ful secret and asks Sage for an extraordinary favor. If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well. With the integrity of the closest friend she’s ever had clouded, Sage begins to question the assumptions and expectations she’s made about her life and her family. In this searingly honest novel, Jodi Picoult gracefully explores the lengths to which we will go in order to keep the past from dictating the future.

Eating – all the protein and squash in the world. I’ve been trying to clean up my eating now that we are past Halloween and into the holidays. This time of year has so much great food! But, I have a trip to Mexico this winter and want to look and feel good so I’ve been trying to eat high protein, high carb and lower fat. We’ll see how it goes. This will be my 3rd week. The exception to this is on Sunday when I usually eat whatever I want. Like this homemade pizza I made for us with spicy sausage, peppers, onions and loads of garlic. It was on a whole wheat crust so that counts for healthy food. Right?!


Feeling – pain in the foot. I took a week off of activity and my foot didn’t get better at all. I caved and made an appointment with a doctor next week. I hope he has some solutions for me to improve my foot or at least give me a diagnosis. It’s annoying. I thought it would get better after I stopped running or kept stretching or gave it time. Well, it’s been bothering me since July so it’s definitely time to get help.

Guilty pleasure – sleeping. OK, sleeping is so important to me, for my mental and physical health. This summer, I worked early hours and was up early working out. I was pretty crabby and hungry most of the time to be honest. Since backing off of working out, I have been enjoying restful, solid sleep and not having to get up at 4:30 a.m. OR go to bed at 8 p.m. (Except that one Monday. Dang time change!)

Fitness – back to the gym life. I probably equally enjoy working out inside and outside. Outside is glorious but obviously, not ideal in the dark winter months. So back to the gym I am – lifting weights three times a week (fish out of water but the gym is usually empty so that helps with my awkwardness) and enjoying group fitness class. It’s nice to workout with others. At home, my husband hooked me up with a pretty sweet set up. I put my bike on a trainer and bought a Spinervals DVD which is about a one hour workout. The garage is insulated and heated (probably about 50 degrees) so I can workout in there all winter and still log some miles on my bike. He even has a little heater in there I can use but I work up a sweat on my own with the DVD! My goal is to ride at least one time a week.


Walking – I have a walking buddy and we take our dogs on a two mile walk a few times a week. Of course the pups love it and it’s nice to visit. Plus, I’m fairly certain if I didn’t have her I would probably skip some of those evening walks. How can I say no to this sweet face?


Watching – I watch TV more in the winter. Don’t we all? My weekly staples are Law & Order: SVU, Nashville and Grey’s Anatomy. I watch The Voice when it is on and if I am home. I also love Dateline if I can catch it. If I’m at home around the house I usually always have on Food Network or country music videos.

Cooking – freezer meals. I eat a lot of the same things over and over for ease. I don’t want to subject my husband to that so I have been making a lot of freezer meals that we can easily thaw for lunches or suppers. It is a lot of work, but so worth it. I need to quit cooking so much – our freezer is full. A great problem to have. I’ve made and froze taco soup, hamburger soup, chicken/broccoli/rice casserole, spaghetti squash taco bake, cheeseburger casserole and sloppy joes. I have a chicken so I’ll still cook up some chicken soup soon. I love soups in winter – so warm, filling and healthy.


Craving – parties and drinks. I’m ready for holiday parties, gatherings, wine and beers. December should be a fun month! In November I still have a country music concert with girlfriends and of course, Thanksgiving. Tis the season!


And now I want to watch Elf and decorate my Christmas tree. #toosoon

Posted in Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | 2 Comments

Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp

Fall screams of apples and pumpkin flavors. I personally love a crisp, sweet apple but baked into a pie or crisp isn’t actually my preferred dessert. My husband though loves apple crisps. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to bake it up for him for a switch from our (admittedly boring) breakfasts of yogurt and fruit. When I saw I could get 3 lbs. of honeycrisp apples at the downtown farmers market in Fargo, the deal was sealed.


Along with fall, we now have short days with little daylight for photos once I get home from work so please excuse the dark pictures. But – this recipe is a winner whether you eat it in the dark or light.


Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp, recipe from Smitten Kitchen

  • 3 pounds apples, or mix of apples, you like to bake with, peeled, cored and cut into medium chunks (I used honeycrisp)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) salted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 ounces sliced almonds
  • 1/2 shredded coconut (I used sweetened)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix apple chunks with lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a 9×13-inch baking dish until apples are evenly coated. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the honey. Stir in the flour, oats, almonds and coconut until clumps form. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture and bake in the oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are softened and bubbly. My granola started browning about 15 minutes in, so I covered the dish with some foil for the rest of the baking time except for the last 5 minutes so it browned up nicely. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate. The bake will set up as it cools.


Just mix in your pan – no need to dirty a bowl.


Before and after.


So while this recipe specifically states you should eat this for breakfast, I think you could probably also serve it warmed with a scoop of ice cream for a totally satisfactory dessert.

On the other hand, there isn’t a terribly high amount of sugar in this if you eat a small piece with your breakfast yogurt, you should not feel guilty.

So how did he like his new breakfast? He was a fan. Enjoy!

Posted in Baking, Breakfast, Dessert | Leave a comment

Fargo 10k Adventures, 2015

If you missed my super long race recap, please check it out. After a morning of racing – we set out on adventuring. I was so cold after finishing the race and being in sweaty clothes. BUT, I wasn’t too cold for the downtown Farmer’s Market. Mom and I popped in really quick and got a few good buys including purple cauliflower pictured below and honeycrisp apples from Michigan.



Beautiful produce. Makes my mouth water.

After showering and getting ready, my sister, brother-in-law and I hit the road. Our first stop? The Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau. Yes, that is correct, people who are living and have lived in Fargo went to the FMCVB. But you should go there too, even if you live in F-M-WF. They have a fun little store (also online) where you can buy a variety of Fargo items including clothing, jewelry and knitted can cozies. Many are marked with the “North of Normal” trademark Fargo has been using. They seem to be high quality and would make great gifts which is another reason we were there. We grabbed a bag of complimentary popcorn, checked out their literature and were off to the next stop.

Just a few blocks away is Shotgun Sally’s located across from West Acres. They feature dining, drinks and entertainment. We were there for a quick drink to kill some time before our next scheduled visit. The server was very gracious in giving us a couple tap samples and suggesting beers for us. We enjoyed a bowl of popcorn here as well.

Side note: My sister and I would really like to start a beer and popcorn pub crawl – our two favorite things!


Myself with Celeste.

The highlight of the day was meeting my online friend in real life. I’m not sure how we connected online but I follow her on social media and on her blog, Confessions of a Former Fat Girl Blog. Her real life name is Celeste and I was meeting with her and her husband Al at Kilstone Brewing in North Fargo. We share a love of beer and fitness so I knew we’d have a few things to talk about. Kilstone Brewing was a “first” for both of us. It is tucked into an industrial area and a bit to find. You’ll be happy when you get there to try a fun sampler of beer in these mini Ball like jars.


As I suspected, Celeste and I got along great. I also chatted briefly with her kind husband and his sister. I think we could have probably visited for hours! So much to talk about it. But, after a flight and a pint, we were headed off to our next destination. Celeste, I am SO HAPPY I got to visit with you and Al. I know we will be in touch and hopefully can enjoy a few more pints together in the future. You are an absolute gem!


We hopped in our car and headed east to Moorhead, MN, Just across the river we found Junkyard Brewing Company. We were lucky that it just so happened to be a beautiful day so while my sister ordered, I snagged us a few spots outside on a picnic table. They had a fantastic variety of beer including a Key Lime Gose my sister tried, a peanut butter bandit I had (yum) and a Free Candy Belgian beer my brother-in-law tried with a hefty 10+% abv. I loved the vibe at this brewery. I could return time and again. Also, it must be noted they had the best popcorn we tried all day. I think the secret was the Lawry’s seasoned salt they used.


The only drawback here is I went to go get my awesome insulated growler my honey bought for me but they refused to fill it. Per their guidelines, they only fill their growlers that have been (insert technical beer jargon) filled with their beer with added pressure so it lasts longer. While I certainly understand they want to maintain the integrity of their beer, I didn’t want to purchase their growler (I have plenty of my own) for beer I would be drinking that night or taking home to drink. This is the first such brewery I have been to where they had these standards. I wish they offered both options. Nonetheless, a great experience.


After this, we decided some alcohol was in order. Enough beer. Ha! We went over to Proof Distillers (414 4th Ave N), a new distillery in Fargo that makes craft spirits including potato based vodka, gin and (soon) whiskey. This is a bright, clean, clear room and they have a solid looking menu.


Part of the room where we had our tour.

We did not eat but we tried a few gin and vodka drinks and got a brief tour which was quite fascinating. I feel like Fargo has really gotten some neat places to visit and have fun at in the five years I have been gone.


With a buffalo I met in Fargo. They look very different in the city verse out here in the sticks. Fancy!

Next, we met up with my parents and my aunt and her boyfriend at Sidestreet Bar down by the Fargo Civic Center where our day started! We had a few drinks and chatted and realized that besides popcorn, we hadn’t had anything since some toast and chocolate milk that morning. We were starving. Hangry, if you will – angry hunger.


After some tense discussion, we headed over to Rhombus Guys – always a solid bet for pizza and beer. And the nice bonus is you can get a smaller pizza so you can order your own to have to yourself, or I suppose to share. I scored a Rhombus beer while we waited so I got to drink 3 new-to-me brewery beers this day. (Rhombus brews in Grand Forks.) The pizza was just as fabulous as I remember. I got the Amalfi Coast pizza with olive oil, arugula, tomato, basil, prosciutto, kalamata olives, goat cheese and fresh mozzarella. My folks got the Cuban, my brother in law one with shrimp (!) and I can’t remember what my sister ordered. Delicious!


After that full day of events, we were more than ready to go home and relax. We had big plans of watching Saturday Night Live but we all fell asleep. Ha! Thanks for a great weekend Jodi & B. Thank you also Jodi for my Fargo necklace. I love it!!

Posted in Entertainment, Exercise, Fargo, Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | 2 Comments

Fargo Mini Marathon 10k, 2015

Saturday, October 17 was the Fargo Mini Marathon events – a half marathon, 10k run/walk, 5k run/walk and the Red River Double which is a challenge of competing in any one of the above races and then doing a 5k afterwards. You would receive another medal for this challenge. For all distances the start and stop was in the Fargo Civic Center (Centennial Hall) and the courses wind along the Red River with some nice views of the changing leaves and fall season.


I had signed up to do the 10k a few months back when I was feeling really strong and healthy with my running – before my foot troubles. I knew there’d be some other friends at the race doing a variety of miles. I had been encouraging my mom to sign up for a race. I really thought she’d like the camaraderie and of course, the final medal. She is goal oriented, so I was happy she finally decided to do the 5K walk. Mom and I have done a few 5k walks together in Hazen and Beulah but nothing serious – just all fun. Mom was working on training for this 5k and gunning for a goal time. Unfortunately, just a week prior she had pulled a muscle and was kind of concerned on how her time would go.


We left on Friday for the four hour drive to Fargo and headed straight to the Civic Center to get our race packets. The expo was extremely small (two booths) and packet pick up was a breeze.


Well, for me anyway. I got my number, a little hot/cold packet and my 10k Under Armour short sleeve race shirt. The cost of the race was almost worth it just for this nice shirt. I went to meet up with my Mom and sadly, they didn’t have her shirt. Apparently a bunch of shirts never showed up? (We never really did get an explanation why they weren’t there?)  We were instructed to return later or check tomorrow morning. Bummer for her first race!!

We decided to eat downtown to kill some time before going back to check again. We ate at the Smiling Moose Deli. We wanted something fresh, healthy and quick. This definitely fit the ticket. It ordered the Mile-Hi Thai whole wheat wrap for $6.99 and a soda. The wrap had grilled chicken breast, cabbage mix, carrots, roasted red peppers, cilantro, and a spicy Thai peanut sauce. Our group had ordered a variety of sandwiches and soups and we were all very satisfied.


Back to the Civic Center and still no shirts. They were seemingly hopeful they would arrive in time for tomorrow’s race. I don’t really think they ever expected them? I just wish they would have been honest instead of us chasing around after it?

We went to my sister’s house to unload our stuff and chat. Thanks so much Jodi and B for letting us crash. We went to bed at a decent time but I had a bit of trouble sleeping for whatever reason. I fell asleep easily but work up for a few hours that night. Oh well – I still felt fine. I went to brush my teeth and look at this little sneak – my sister’s cat, Isadora. Ha!


Saturday morning I had a sandwich thin with peanut butter and a banana and we headed to the Civic Center. Sadly, still no t-shirts so Mom left her info on a piece of paper and hopefully they will mail them out when they finally arrive (as of Nov. 1 still nothing). We got to the Civic at about 7:30 and met up with my Aunt who was in town for the NDSU football game. It was pretty cool to have her there cheering along with my Dad and sister. My race started at 8:30 and Mom’s at 9.


Mom (Kate), Aunt Cindy and I. Thanks to my sister, Jodi, for taking most of these photos.

We listened for race announcements and lining up was easy. We enjoyed the music entertainment both before and after the races. The lines ups were pretty crowded but for the most part people were polite and it went OK. I luckily saw these two lovely ladies from my hometown, Sawyer. The pic is a little blurry but Keshia (middle) was doing her first half and Des was doing her first 10k. This was my first 10k so we were all newbies. They both did great and it was fun to see them.


It was nice for me to be warm inside before going out to run. Unfortunately, this was NOT nice for my friend Celeste – check her recap out here. (I’ll be doing another post about meeting Celeste. I am sorry she had a tough day but she’ll bounce back no doubt – her and her husband have a lot of running history and races together.)


The day started out quite chilly – probably about 30 degrees – but it was bright and clear and barely a breeze of wind. As soon as you exit the overhead doors you take a sharp right towards the river and walking paths. Pretty much the whole race was on cement walking paths. The course was marked great and there were a few areas where we met other runners head to head so you had to pay attention. This wasn’t a problem for me except in one area the runners didn’t get over for my group headed in the opposite direction and I had to stop and get off the sidewalk. I thought that was pretty rude. If you wanted to pass, you could do so on the grass instead of stopping other runners. I wore my favorite running hat and had to tug it down a few times the sun was shining so bright in our eyes – no complaints about that though!


I wasn’t familiar with the course (when I lived in Fargo I did not run) and that has its positive and negative points. One thing I loved is we got to run in both North Dakota and Minnesota. I’m sure that is not a huge deal for locals, but pretty cool for people who travel to the event. We crossed a wooden bridge to travel between the states and it honestly gave me a little bit of a nauseous feeling for just a minute on the way back. Everyone says Fargo is flat, but I disagree. There were a lot of rolling little hills on this course. Nothing major of course, but as I am used to running the flat path in Hazen I could note a difference.


I still consider myself a new runner, this is only my second solo running race and I know I have a lot to learn. As I usually do, I went out fast. I was happy with the first 5 miles but mile 6 was tough and I walked through that last aid station to just get my breath. When a gal I had been running with the whole race passed me, I picked it up again. The finish was fun running inside and a guy kind of came out of nowhere running fast so I tried to keep up with him to finish fast.


My splits:

  • 7.39 – mile 1 WAY TOO fast for me, ha! I was just excited
  • 8.19 – mile 2, still quick
  • 8.28 – mile 3, more like it
  • 8.31 – mile 4, solid
  • 8.42 – mile 5, a bit slow
  • 8.59 – mile 6 – ugh, shoot me!! Way too slow, walking break
  • 2.51 – last 0.33 miles according to my Garmin


Luckily, I saw my sister and aunt cheering me on and even my dad up in the stands so that was special. There was plenty of post-race snacks such as milk and chocolate milk, candy corn with salted peanuts and warm soup. Although I couldn’t stomach soup, I gulped a chocolate milk and took my dad some candy corn/nut mix to say hello and get some water. After a few pics, we went back to the finish line in time to catch our friend Alayna coming across the finish line looking great.


Myself and Alayna.


This one man band was awesome. He got the crowd pumped up – great for the race. I also have to note I really loved the medals. They were made of wood and shaped like a leaf. I only wish they had the year printed on them. But still, very cool.

When the clock was around 40 minutes I made sure to watch out for my Mom in her bright yellow NDSU sweatshirt. Sure enough, right around the 44-45 minute mark we saw her coming in. She looked great and we were yelling at her but I’m not sure if she saw us or not. Finally, we met up with her, took some pictures and got her some chocolate milk.


I told her she was either right above or below 45 minutes according to the clock. We stuck around a while to watch more people finish but I was starting to get very cold. The announcer said they were posting times but we couldn’t find where. By this point we were all ready to leave and my lips were turning blue so we went back to my sister’s house. I took a long, hot shower and it was amazing. She surprised us with these super awesome mini cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes. They were amazing!


By the time I got out of the shower my folks had already left to go do some NDSU football tailgating. I jumped onto my phone to see her finish time was posted at 44:24 – crushing her goal of finishing in 50 minutes. I texted her right away and I knew she was happy. I was also super happy for her. I decided to check my time as well and was happy to see I finished 3rd in my age group?!! What? I definitely didn’t think I’d do that considering my bum foot but that was a nice surprise. 53:36 was my official time. This was slower than I ran in the Bismarck Marathon relay and I am happy to be taking a break in hopes to heal my foot and maybe come back stronger next year. I excitedly texted my husband, Mom and girlfriend to share my amazement.


At this point, my sister, brother-in-law and I loaded up for a full day of adventuring. I’ll be back with another post on everything we did, saw, ate and drank.



Posted in Exercise, Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | 3 Comments

Pumpkin Cookie Bars

When we celebrate our birthday at work, we bring treats for everyone else. In other places I have worked, you might expect to get a treat on your birthday instead. Actually, this works out great because then people know it is your birthday and you get some extra attention. Since my birth month is October, I thought it’d be fun to bring in a pumpkin treat. There are about 30 people in my work group so I need a recipe that makes quite a bit.


After a quick Google search, thank you for Google, I found these frosted pumpkin sugar cookie bars. Instead of a soft, cakey, bar – these are more dense like a cookie, just something different enough to be interesting. These bake in a jelly roll pan so I had plenty to share.


Frosted Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe via Six Sisters Stuff


  • 1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 5-6 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon


  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, clear if you have it
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • Additional pumpkin pie spice for garnish


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Mix in vanilla and pumpkin. In a separate bowl whisk together flour (start with 5 cups and add more if you feel that your dough is too runny), baking soda pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased, 15x10x1″ jelly roll pan. The dough will be heavy and sticky. I used an offset spatula to spread it.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes, or until bars are a light golden brown (or a toothpick comes out clean when stuck in the middle). Cool completely before frosting.

For frosting, cream butter and cream cheese together, then add vanilla, milk and powdered sugar. If you want the frosting to be thicker, add more powdered sugar. If you want it to be thinner, add more milk. Spread frosting on top of cooled bars. Garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Cut into bars and serve.


It is a good thing this made a lot of bars. There was only one left and I brought it home for my husband. I have an ongoing joke (with myself) that no one at work will take the last of a bar or casserole because then they just might have to (oh, the horror) wash a pan. I’m sure most work places are like that? I’m glad these were a hit and wouldn’t hesitate to make them again.


Regardless of who has to wash the pan – enjoy!

Posted in Baking, Dessert | Leave a comment