My Halloween Costume+New Recipe Finds

Wow, this past week was A LOT. No tests, but tons of lectures and time spent in class/lab! Thankfully, this weekend was a chance to catch my breath and gear up for another long week! I’m going to do a day in the life post this coming week, if you’re curious! For today, I’ll give your daily (weekly?) dose of animal adorableness, share my Halloween costume, and catch you up on what I’ve been baking and eating!

Cuteness, feat. my the kittens my friend is babysitting, my sister’s new kitten, and of course Rina (who sadly has not been feeling too well lately, but seems better today thankfully!)

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The great thing about vet school is you are always surrounded by adorable animals.

As for my costume, I did something new and different this year! I’ve been a baseball player a majority of the last 10 years, so it was time to switch it up. I was a Tasmanian Devil! Are me and Yindi twins?

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We had a vet school Halloween party this weekend, so that was my chance to get dressed up!

Since this is a fitness blog or something, in terms of workouts, this past week was more running than normal, Crossfit, and weights on my own. Plus a soccer game! I’m getting stronger with weights, which is awesome. I’ve been pushing myself more on cleans at Crossfit, and I’m seeing and feeling it pay off!

Unfortunately, I’m having pain around the bone on my ankle when I run. I traced it back to starting right after a run where I both wiped out and then rolled my ankle, so I’m not sure what is going on with that, but it’s still bothering me a month later, so I’m going to take the whole next week off of running and see if I can work it out! The stinky part is I feel like I’m getting into much better running shape with soccer!

Ok. Food? Food.

As you may recall, I got tons of apples last week, so that’s quite a theme here! Plus zucchini. Always zucchini. This week it was $0.69 a pound and they were HUGE. I actually think after I finish this batch I’m going to take a break and branch out to other foods.

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Baking

I made a mini-apple breakfast bake for the week. I based it off of another recipe I’ve made before, but kind of winged it. I mixed up 2 eggs, half a cup of milk, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Then, I tore up 3 pieces of GF bread and put that in the bottom of a loaf pan. I poured my egg mixture over it, and then placed 2 slices apples on top. Finally, I topped it with about 2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar.

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I put everything in a pan the night before, and then in the morning, I put it in at 400 degrees while I went for a run. When I got back, it was ready! It baked for about 30 minutes.

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My next project was Blueberry Zucchini Bread. The funny thing is, when I got my school laptop, when I opened Safari when I first got it, one of the “favorites” bookmarks was a recipe for blueberry zucchini bread that I swear I’d never seen before. Well, it looked pretty good, so I finally had to make it happen! I made a few adjustments: I used 1/3 of a cup of both the sugars (2/3 total) and reduced the oil to 1/3. And my zucchini was a little bit larger than what it called for. It came out great!

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Finally, tonight I made a super simple oat flour banana bread. After eying this recipe on Instagram, I made it happen. Healthy 5 Ingredient Flourless Banana Bread. This recipe would have been super easy if my blender was a single person blender (aka tiny) so that was interesting. I added 2/3c of chocolate chips, and then topped it with an additional banana for style points.

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I really love the texture of oat flour based breads, and this was delicious!

Breakfast

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This is the only one I have a picture of. I got unsweetened apple butter last weekend and it’s AMAZING. This is cottage cheese with apple butter and sunbutter.

Lunch 

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Subway salad. I learned that the carved turkey is seasonal, and it’s back! I get my salads with carved turkey, provolone, and oil and vinegar, salt and pepper as the dressing.

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This may be my last peach salad! I also LOVE the Trader Joe’s cranberry chèvre, especially in salads. I used some grilled chicken from the freezer this week.

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Same thing, but with Bosc pear.

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Chicken, fig, and goat cheese salad. Lately I have been packing rice cakes with my salads at lunch, but they really don’t keep my full. I recently transitioned back to crackers and it makes a noticeable difference!

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Yesterday I went to Panera to study, and I had a bowl of the butternut squash soup. It tastes like fall! We’ll forget the fact that it was 85 degrees outside. I brought some rice cakes to eat with it, and had an apple on the side.

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Today’s lunch! I wanted something light before my soccer game so I made a variation on the weird salad I do, and it was really good! Lettuce, American cheese, guacamole, a drizzle of ketchup, and an egg. No shame.

Dinner

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My favorite Trader Joe’s Salad! It kale kale, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and chicken.

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This was a weird combination of flavors, but I was STARVING and didn’t want to take the time to bake tofu. I had zucchini noodle with butternut squash pasta sauce, and teriyaki tofu on the side.

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More zoodles with butternut squash pasta sauce, and a scrambled egg on the side.

Check out how many zoodles this one zucchini made!

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Zoodles with smokey seasoning, Trader Joe’s Harvest salsa, Mexican cheese blend, and avocado. Scrambled egg+1 egg white on the side.IMG_0054

Zoodles stir fried with garlic and soy sauce, and then topped with teriyaki tofu.

Dessert

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This was a masterpiece. Baked apple (microwaved…I’m impatient) with cinnamon, vanilla ice cream, and caramel sauce.IMG_0040

And apples with caramel sauce. YUM.

Breakfast|Lunch|Dinner|Etc|Feat. Tofu

What a creative title, right?

I wanted to finally catch up on all the food I’ve been having, especially as it’s getting more and more fall themed! We’ll divide it into meals, and dive right in!

Breakfast:

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Zucchini pumpkin bread with leftover grilled peaches.

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The current fall favorite: cottage cheese with pumpkin butter and sunbutter, with various fruit.

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Also, can we just take a minute to appreciate the fact that I can still get good peaches at the end of October? I love CA sometimes.

Lunch:

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Peach, goat cheese, grilled chicken salad.

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Starting to move away from summer and into fall! Cranberry chèvre, Bosc pear, and deli turkey (the only meat I had on hand).

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Mr. Pickles sandwiches that we got as part of a lunch talk. I had the insides of a veggie and a turkey.

Dinner:

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Typical zucchini noodles: topped with tomato basil marinara and mozzarella.

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My new favorite way to eat zucchini noodles (above and below): sauté them up and then stir in Trader Joe’s Fall Harvest salad, grilled chicken, and cheese. Must be served with avocado

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Trader Joe’s Harvest salad with brussels sprouts, sweet potato, dried cranberry, sunflower seeds, and turkey. I actually used my own champagne vinaigrette instead of the dressing it came with.

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This week, I cooked tofu for the first time! I got firm tofu, and for this meal, sautéed it with GF teriyaki sauce. I served it with snap peas and zucchini sautéed with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.

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This stuff is amazing. I could literally eat it with a spoon.

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I made zucchini noodles (shockingly) and served the sauce with them, plus mozzarella. On the side, I made baked tofu that turned out surprisingly amazing. Most recipes said with baked tofu that you should use extra firm, but I liked it with regular firm because it’s soft still on the inside. I patted the excess water off the tofu, and then “breaded” it in nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, spray some cooking spray, and them baked them in the oven at 400!

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Another meal of my usual and weird creation. Turkey, American cheese, guacamole, ketchup. Plus toast with butter on the side.

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Same meal as above, but minus the cheese. It seemed a little overpowering with the sauce.IMG_0019

One of my last tamale Wednesdays! The evening farmer’s market is closing for the season very soon! (I can still get them at the Saturday market). Chicken tamale with a salad made with Bolthouse Farms Cilantro Ranch.

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And lastly, sushi out with friends. I got a really delicious beet salad with miso dressing (above), and a California roll (below).

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Etc

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Pre-workout Cheerios (before 7am Crossfit).

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I mentioned a few posts ago that I found a paper that showed pomegranate juice can alleviate food allergies or sensitivities because the polyphenols in the pomegranate juice bind to cashew proteins. (Note: DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME) Since I have a mild cashew sensitivity, I thought I would try it out! Also, it should be noted that in the article, cashew+pomegranate was not consumed, and not in this form. It was more theoretical. This Luna bar has cashews as one of the last ingredients, and I’ve had it before with either no reaction or a mild reaction. The verdict? I don’t know. I can’t tell if it worked, if I wouldn’t have reacted to it anyway, or if my skin imperfections are normal background or caused by the nuts. TBD.

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Trying out a new brewery. Saison is my jam right now.

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GF bake sale cookie! Butterscotch pretzel. SO good.

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I’ve been going through my freezer stash lately. This is chocolate peppermint bark bread, and it’s still amazing.

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Peet’s pumpkin latte as study fuel. Their pumpkin latte is a lot different from Starbucks. More pumpkiny, less spicy.

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Nighttime snack of a rice cake with pumpkin cream cheese.

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Here’s an interesting snack: persimmon bread from the freezer! Yes, it’s been there a while but it’s still tasty!IMG_0029

Post-exam Hefeweizen.

That’s all for now. Check back later for more uses of zucchini/tofu/apples (because I have lots of all of those!)

Vet Disaster Response/Apple Picking (Out)/Weights

It’s been a hot minute, hasn’t it? I want to catch up! I just finished my first block of vet school (essentially a class), and now I’m cuddling under a blanket with a sleepy kitty. I’m going to have another post up feature food as of late, but for now I wanted to discuss some of my life happenings lately.

In terms of the wildfires, thankfully they seem to be mostly contained at this point. The vet school has launched a pretty big response, so I’ve been taking several shifts a week to help care for some of the animals coming in. I also signed up to become certified in disaster response. This stuff is so important. I want to help, but you never know what to expect until these things happen, hence why I want to get trained specifically to respond.

In terms of workouts lately, I’ve mostly been running and doing Crossfit, and squeezing in a day of weights on my own every week to maintain basic strength. I’ve also been working on higher box jumps, which is fun! The boxes at the gym at padded, which is why I feel comfortable enough doing that. I’m maintaining my squat program, and also doing the same sequence with deadlifts. The disadvantage of the gym at school is it’s a quite small gym for like 25,000 people, so there’s usually a line for the squat racks, so I have to be smart about when I go, and still allow a minimum of 10 minutes of waiting. Boo. Here are my weight workouts from the last 2 weeks. I’m off-setting the squats and deadlifts by a week in terms of number/percentages (so my heaviest days will be different for squats vs. deadlifts).

Week 1:

Not on the squat program yet, but working on building volume. Day 1 of deadlifts.

4×3 back squats with 3s pause at the bottom

8 minutes of 2 backsquats every 30 seconds (155#)

12-12-10 deadlifts at 145-155-165

4 rounds of single leg rdls and 20 heel raises (to help with plantar fasciitis)

3×6 box jumps

 

Week 2:

Going an extra rep on the squats, and finishing the last week heavier than last time through the program.

Back squats: 11-11-9 at 135-145-155

Deadlifts 10-10-8 at 155-165-175

4×6 boy jumps (I worked up to maybe 28ish inches? It felt high!)

Half of an ab video

I think I bruised my tail bone a little bit a while ago (not really sure how), so I haven’t done much ab work lately, and I didn’t want to push it with that.

And now onto the fun stuff! I went to Apple Hill yesterday. It’s east of here, and it’s a little town that goes crazy with apples this time of year. There are a bunch of farms that sell apples and every imaginable apple product. We were hoping to pick apples, but apparently there weren’t too many places that let you do that, and they were already picked out for the season. Darn!

That didn’t mean I couldn’t get ALL THE APPLE PRODUCTS though. Plus, it was festive and so pretty up there!

Even better, my friend brought her adorable puppy!

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The first thing we did was get some apple goodies. I got an amazing caramel apple!

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There were a bunch of vendors selling various crafts and food products. I went home with some blackberry honey from that place, and some apple cinnamon BBQ sauce, apple salsa, and unsweetened apple butter from the next stop.

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Christmas trees growing nearby!

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I brought home a big bag of beautiful pink ladies!

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Necessary apple cider donut!

Overall, it was a fun day but not quite what we were hoping for! It was super crowded, so in the future I would go earlier in the year!

I’m excited to do EVERYTHING with these apples this week!

Weekend at Home + Vet Student Things

With all the fire starting this past week, I never got to recap my weekend at home. Before I get into that, I want to share a little bit about my weekend.

One of the most heartbreaking parts about the wildfires are all the animals that are lost/injured/killed when owners have little to no warning to evacuate. Some amazing people have been doing great work to evacuate, rescue, and save countless animals. Here at the vet school, we are starting to get patients. I finally got the chance to help out, and I jumped at the opportunity. I spent Saturday morning helping out with some burn victim kitties, and I’m on call Monday night in case we get lots of patients.

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The only bright spot in all this tragedy is seeing the community come together to help. The spots to help out with the fire victims at the vet schooled filled up SO fast. My classmates raised money to take donations into Sonoma Country. Many businesses and organizations are donating money and items to help the victims.

And through all the tragedy, we are starting to see traces of hope; dogs that stayed behind to protect the farm animals, and all emerged safe. People who returned to find their houses gone, but their pet, healthy, waiting for them. People doing incredible things to save lives.

That being said, the fires are still burning, so my thoughts go out to those affected.

I spent my Sunday morning volunteering at a pop-up clinic. It’s an amazing experience, because we get to work with clients in need and practice taking the lead on cases. This morning was my first opportunity to take the lead myself, without the aid of an older student! Things like this weekend make me so happy I’m going into this field.

Also this weekend: I played intramural soccer. I haven’t played soccer in 8 years, but I grew up playing it from the age of 5. WHEW. I consider myself a fairly fit person, but soccer running is a different kind of fitness. We ended up playing a shortened game, and I don’t think anyone was complaining about that!

ALSO this weekend, I tried out Davis’s newest brewery, Super Owl. I like it, but 3 Mile is still my favorite beer in this area!

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Back to my weekend home. I drove Chloe back Saturday morning after a final walk around the neighborhood.

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One of the first tasks was visiting the GF bakery for Saturday donuts! These are great because they’re baked, not fried.

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Maple donut, orange donut, chocolate donut, and apple cake and a cinnamon roll.

That afternoon, I snuggled with kitties and then met up with a friend at Stanford who just transferred there. It reminded me of how hard undergrad was. It’s somehow easy to forget that…

On my way home, I picked up dinner to celebrate my dad’s birthday, a bit late!

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I had salmon with a baked sweet potato and broccoli.

We also broke open the growler that we brought home from Kansas in January! That was a definite upside of vet school interviews! Even all these months later, it was delicious and fizzy. This was Reindeer Sweat, which was a holiday-themed stout. I believe it had notes of chocolate and cherry. This was one of the best stouts I’ve had in a while. Totally worth braving icy temperatures!

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My mom made a German Chocolate Birthday cake:

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My sister made Gelato and brought dulce de leche to put on top, so I had a bowl of that! Yum!

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Sunday morning, I ran 4 miles at one of my favorite places ever.

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I’ve mostly been running 3 miles over the past year, and it’s amazing how different it feels with that extra mile…overall it went well though!

For lunch, my dad grilled peaches and chicken (I took lots of leftover grilled chicken back to school with me…) and we made grilled chicken and peach salad.

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I also brought a zucchini with me and backed another loaf of zucchini pumpkin bread.

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People who let their bread cool, I understand you the least.

That afternoon, one of my friends from home (the one with the puppy!) came over for a little dog walk. They’re officially friends, which was such a good feeling after Chloe’s behavior the previous week. They were both pretty tired, so when they played, it was sort of in slow motion.

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Then, it was time for me to return to school. When I got back, I had a text from my sister waiting, saying she has just adopted a kitten! Um, excuse me, you couldn’t have done that a few hours earlier?? Look how cute she is though:

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Ok, I’m back to studying!

California <3 and Trying to Return to Real Life

The fires raging through California right now are absolutely breaking my heart. Thankfully I am in a safe area, but many others are not so fortunate. The smokey air here is the worst because I know that it means people’s homes and lives are burning. Napa feels like a home away from home for me; I have spent every Thanksgiving there for the last, probably 15+ years. The neighborhoods I see on the news burning are what I have run through every year for the past 10 years.

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^Some happy memories of Napa.

For now, I’m trying to go through my week as I can, but knowing what is going on a few counties over is hard.

On that note, I do want to recap my past week with Chloe, before all of this started.

Chloe and I spent the week walking and studying, thanks to a Friday test. She was clearly super helpful.

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We went to school (her FAVORITE thing ever apparently. She was super excited to walk in.) late in the evenings to study in the study rooms, and it was so nice to have a companion! I also re-listened to some lectures I was unclear on while walking her, which was super helpful.

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One morning, I took her to school to walk along the trail out back. On our way back to the vet school, she spotted some interesting things.

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Chloe sees her first alpaca!

Chloe and Rina got along quite well together this time as well.

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When everyone wants on my lap!

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I have a cat AND a dog on my lap!

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In terms of my food for the week, Sunday before Chloe came I made a big pot of garlic ginger chicken veggie soup (with zucchini of course), which made for quick lunches when I had to dart home and let Chloe out between classes.

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Mr. Pickles turkey and avocado on a GF wrap when my mom dropped my girl off:

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Lemon garlic zucchini noodles with mozzarella and chicken, and a friend.

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The same but with mushrooms:

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One of my favorite fall breakfasts: cottage cheese, apple, and sunbutter.

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Wednesday tamale with a side salad:

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I ordered GF cookies online, and the maple was my favorite!

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Zucchini traditionally: with marinara and mozzarella, plus a side of avo toast.

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Other fav fall breakfast: plain yogurt, pumpkin butter, sunbutter.

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And a new use of zucchini! Mexican-style. I seasoned my noodles with smokey seasoning blend, then stirred in Harvest Salsa (from Trader Joe’s), grilled chicken, and cheese.

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Finally, another fall combo: cottage cheese, pumpkin butter, sunbutter.

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