Challenge yourself….

I get a ton of email from women who want to know how I can be accepting of my body because they want to get to that point (I mean a ton…about 30 a week easily). And sadly I suck at articulating how to get to that point (because I’m not sure how I got there myself). So in early spring my friend sent me a link to a blog post about being embarrassed about being naked in front of your husband. She also told me you would love this woman she believes what you believe when it comes to weight loss and body acceptance.

So I read the story and it struck a chord. Big time. Confession time: When I was in my 20’s I was in a bad place about my body. I couldn’t possibly believe that anyone would want to see me naked. So much so that I actually *warning TMI* spent a whole relationship with a guy (only a few months) never getting fully naked but doing things that you do when fully naked. In fact I dated him in the Fall/Winter and purposely ran the a/c when he was over so that I could say I was freezing cold and wanted to keep my clothing on. To say I’ve come a long way from that point is to put it mildly. Let’s just say I don’t turn the a/c on anymore. ;)

I feel in love with the stories that Sarah Jenks (the one who wrote the article) were telling. And as timing would have it she was starting her Live More Weigh Less program. We all know that I wasn’t really caring about the weigh less part but the other aspects sounded interesting. After hmmming and hawing I decided to see what it was about for you the reader. Was this something that could help the women that keep emailing me feel better about themselves? And you know me I wasn’t about to go and say Hey go do this without knowing if it was crap or not. It’s not. I will actually talk about the program next month but this is about the fact that she is having a 28 Day Challenge starting September 3rd.

I don’t know the total details of it but knowing Sarah each day will be a different way for you to do something special for yourself. She is all about putting fun back into your life. She put fun back into mine. She got me away from the computer and out doing things. Anyway I signed up for the challenge. I got my real life female friends (sorry guys this is female only program) to sign up with me and I am hoping that you the reader who struggles with loving who you are will sign up with me as well….it’s Free! And if you hate it you can just unsubscribe from the emails. So many of us feel guilty about doing things for ourselves, we seemed programed to only want to do things for others, Sarah helps you see why you need to dedicate a little TLC for yourself too.

So if you are interested please go HERE to sign up (I hope you will!). *not compensated for having you sign up for the challenge just really love Sarah and her program.

One thing you can do to be nice to you is to make yourself Brioche…and then turn that into Pumpkin Brioche Whisky Caramel Monkey Bread…because you will be one happy ass camper when you do. You will also probably eat the whole loaf pan of it.

So make the Monkey Bread and sign up for the challenge with me…I dare you to do something for yourself!

Pumpkin Brioche Whisky Caramel Monkey Bread


  • 1/2 recipe Pumpkin Brioche
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TBSP Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 3 TBSP Whisky
  • Pumpkin Brioche:
  • For the Sponge:
  • ¼ cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • For the Dough:
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened


  1. For the Sponge:
  2. Combine the milk and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment ans whisk until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the pumpkin puree, sugar, and flour, forming a thick batter. Cover with plastic film and let rest in a warm environment until bubbles form, 30-40 minutes.
  3. For the Dough:
  4. Add the flour and salt to the sponge, then add the eggs. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, or until the eggs are absorbed. Increase speed to medium and knead the dough for 5 minutes. The dough will begin to slap around. Hold on to the mixer when necessary.
  5. On medium-low speed, add the butter, 2 TBSP at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.(Recipe did not say to, but I switched to the dough hook at this point). Knead until the dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes. Scrape out the dough, wash and dry the bowl, and coat it lightly with oil.
  6. Place dough in the oiled bowl and turn it so that the top is coated with oil. Cover with plastic film and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  7. After the dough has doubled in volume, press down to deflate, folding one half into the other. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. This is the second rise.
  8. Pumpkin Brioche from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard
  9. Remove brioche dough (that has chilled overnight) from the fridge. Divide evenly into 20 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and allow to proof on the bench for 1-2 hours in a warm place, covered loosely with plastic wrap.
  10. Make the caramel:
  11. Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  12. Whisk the mixture as the butter melts completely.
  13. Continue whisking until the sugar has melted and the caramel is homogenous. Remove from heat and add whisky.
  14. Grease a loaf pan with butter and pour about 1/3 of the caramel into the bottom.
  15. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  16. Once the dough has proofed (the pieces should feel light, like soft, fragile pillows filled with air), combine sugar, spice, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl.
  17. Gently toss the balls of dough, a few at a time, in the sugar mixture. Place 10 of them gently into the bottom of the prepared pan, taking care not to squeeze them too close together.
  18. Sprinkle about 1/2 of the sugar mixture over the tops, then pour 1/3 of the caramel over them. Repeat to form a second layer of dough balls and top with any remaining sugar mixture and caramel.
  19. Place the pan on the center rack of the preheated oven on a sheet tray to catch any overflowing caramel. Bake for approximately 50 minutes, until the top crust is nicely browned, and a thermometer inserted in the center reads 210 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, and invert only a plate to serve. This bread is at its best if consumed shortly after baking, and may need to be placed in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes if it has cooled too much, to loosen the caramel.
  20. Adapted slightly from Serious Eats

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  1. Great post and a great challenge as well! Totally want to dive into that bread.

  2. This sounds great. I’m trying to find a world of balance between feeling good and healthy, and enjoying food and cooking…my true passions. This sounds like a great start to finding real world solutions. Thanks!

  3. Wow, this recipe sounds amazing!!! I will add to my list of to try some day!! I really loved your post, keep up the good work.

  4. That monkey bread looks divine – you had me at whiskey!

    I, too, can relate to the poor body image of the 20s to gradually coming to a better acceptance now that I’m about to leave my 30s. I don’t think I could really explain how I got here other than learning that life goes on regardless of how good I look in a bikini. I joined the challenge because it sounds like fun and I think it’s important to always remember to love yourself – regardless of where we fall on the body image spectrum.

  5. Monkey bread is so delicious I didn’t think it could get better…until now. And monkey bread is breakfast food, right? Right?? ;)

    Honestly, it’s not self-consciousness that makes me doubt anyone would want to see me naked. I don’t even want to see me naked. I look a lot more normal with clothes on! :) I’m going to look into the Live More Weigh Less challenge, though. I don’t need the weigh less, but living more and learning to love myself more are both something I’ll learn whatever I can about. Thanks for sharing it, Peabody. And thanks for not being afraid of TMI on a public blog!

  6. You kick so much ass Peabody. Thanks for the challenge suggestion and the kick ass recipe. xoxox

  7. Love the post, drooling over the monkey bread, joined the challenge.

  8. I’ve been following your Love Your Body posts on Pinterest and the blog and the Live More Weigh Less campaign sounds like a great idea! I’ve never particularly had very good body image, though not totally hating on myself, I could always improve. On a second note, that bread looks so awesome, I think even my pumpkin-hating husband would eat it.

  9. @rachel- it does not have a strong pumpkin flavor at all…it just makes for the BEST brioche. So soft.

  10. stephanie says:

    Great post!

  11. I’ve been reading your love your body posts and I wish I could be like that. I think that I accept who I am but my friends say that my acceptance is really negative, and I suppose it is. I’m trying to approach eating from a different angle. I’ve been afraid of food for so long that I binge/starve and probably end up eating more than I would naturally. So, I’m cooking again.

    Your pumpkin brioche looks wonderful and made into monkey bread? Oh my. Anything with pumpkin is good.

  12. @Zazzy- such a hard cycle that we get into. And I hear you about eating more than if you just ate normal. You trigger something in your brain.

    It’s like the study of Fun Sized candy bars. They found that a woman wont eat a regular sized Snickers…but will eat on average 5 Fun Sized Snickers…which equals ALMOST 2 FULL Snickers.

  13. My youngest daughter has had such struggles with body image yet I’ve always thought her so beautiful; guess that’s the way moms are. AT 5’10” tall, she still felt FAT when she weighed 175 pounds. Look at a height and weight chart; she was anything but, however, hearing 110 and 120 as somehow ideal weights always made an impression. She finally quit eating her sorrows and started to simply walk her dog every day. Which turned to running once a week. Winter came and she thought a gym membership would be a good idea. Fast forward 3 years? She is in great shape and it wasn’t about sacrifice, it was learning more about her own body and her body metabolism and how movement was the key. How much does she weigh now? I think about 155. Which still is not 110 but now I think she has started to realize that at her height those cited weights will never be ideal for her body.

    Sadly she was diagnosed with breast cancer this past March. Far too young, yes, but amazing how she has handled it and everyone, including her doctors credit her overall good health with how she has fought this monster. She just finished chemo and yes, her gorgeous long hair is gone but so is the cancer…this fight for her life has put so much into perspective for Lauren and she more clearly sees what really matters. 110 is no longer one of those things and for that I am so grateful.

  14. Sounds awesome! Just a thought for the whiskey part of the recipe… Maple Crown Royal. I picked up a bottle for my dad as a gift only to discover that he had already tried it and didn’t like it as a drinking item, so I turned it into walnut chocolate chip cookies and they are phenomenal. I bet it would add a nice twist to the already autumny feel of the dish and one of the mini bottles would be more than enough!

  15. The challenge sounds interesting, so I think I will definitely be checking it out :) Also because of you and your pins and just the way you talk about self-love on your blog I feel as if I love my body a tinsy bit more each day. So I thank you for that :)

    I can’t wait t try this pumpkin bread thing! It looks so delicious! I just hope I will have time to work with yeast while still in school for the fall. Maybe during my fall break I will attempt it!

  16. I realize this post is a year old..but found you searching for recipes. Thanks love the monkey bread and your post. I am a new follower:). Yikes though !! The Live More Weigh Less thing however made me look cross eyed and hit a raw nerve. I took the “challenge” last year and I have to say it was quite silly, however, i suppose it was “fun”. I really didn’t need anyone to tell me to buy myself flowers or go out with my girl friends. Maybe some people do, so it’s a good thing. I “get ” the concept but really ?? If you want to lose weight buying yourself flowers , drinking wine, wearing red lipstick ( I look like a vampire in red ) just wont cut it. It takes hard work, sacrifice, determination, proper nutrition information to lose weight. I noticed that Sarah changed her tune since putting on weight. I guess that the “be happy” ,”be rich” , “hire lots of help” part isn’t working for her either . It doesn’t matter to me how much she weighs. If she happy than she is happy and that’s what her program is about , isn’t it? I do resent that she charges $1500 for her program to tell me to “have a life” . What the hell is the $1500 for that i cannot find in a magazine ?

  17. I think this looks yummy! Do you have a recipe for the pumpkin brioche it requires?

  18. @Cinny the recipe for the brioche is in the recipe, if you read through the whole thing you can see it.


  1. […] Peabody, another recipe blogger that I really enjoy, but don’t really cook from her recipes, sometimes writes about loving your body. Yeah, that’s something I’ve always wanted. I think it’s possible, you know, if you’re not me. Or maybe I could learn to love my body if I was, you know, different. It’s wonderful that some people can do that. Love their body, even if they aren’t perfect. And Peabody is pretty straight about not being perfect. But she’s way more perfect than me. […]

  2. […] Pumpkin Brioche Whiskey Caramel Monkey Bread via Culinary Concoctions by Peabody: […]

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