12.30.2011

Split Pea Soup.

So - Let me tell you a little story about a girl who was traumatize by vegetables as a child. Her parents “forced” her to eat at least 5 bites of each veggie that was on her plate at dinner. If she didn't eat all five bites  - NO DESSERT! Awful right?! Then she grows up, moves across the country and can’t get enough of her veggies. So, I guess she wasn't all that tramuatize. 
(Thanks Mom and Dad for making me eat my veggies) :)

Seriously though, I didn’t really eat vegetables until college and didn't try peas again until last year because of said experiences (I remember crying at the dinner table one time because I hated them so much). I still don’t eat them on a regular basis, although, I wouldn’t be opposed to it. Split Pea Soup is one way that helped me re-introduced them into my life. 
This soup is thick, warm, and well...good.

My favorite way to eat it is with a little smoke gouda, croutons, a pinch of curry powder and dash of worcestershire sauce. Tonight, I had two bowls, one with curry and one without. Good stuff.


Also, I think this with be really great if you make it without the ham for a vegetarian version. Like this one from 101 Cookbooks.

P.S I know this soup is ugly. Really ugly. But it's good. Trust me.

12.24.2011

Chocolate Bacon Cookies!


I hope Santa likes these cookies because I sure did. I mean, how can you go wrong when you bake bacon with brown sugar and add it to chocolate cookie dough and bake again with sugar and bacon on top? Seriously. I mean, seriously. They are a perfect combination of salty and sweet. I tried to make them a few different ways, it was decided this one was the best (decided by the husband and I at least). The orginal recipe inspiration roots from a Chocolate Vegan Cookie Recipe by Joy the Baker. Sorry, this version, obviously, is in no way vegan.

Chocolate Bacon Cookies (adapted from Joy The Baker)
What You Need:
12 oz of Thick Cut Bacon
2 Tbsps Brown Sugar
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I used Ghirardelli)
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1/4 Cup Canola Oil
1/2 Cup of Dark Chocolate Chips or Chunks
1 ½ Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
A bit of Sugar and Salt for topping

To Cook The Bacon.
Layer a baking sheet with heavy duty foil.
Line up bacon and sprinkle with the brown sugar, you can add as much or as little as you want. I found that 2 tablespoons did the trick.
Bake on the middle rack on 350*F for 20 minutes. Ovens vary, for mine, 20 minutes was perfect, but watch it carefully around 16 to see how crispy it is looking. You want it crispy, but NOT BURNT!
Once its done, place it on a cutting board to cool (it will stick to paper towels, so beware).
After it has cooled, chopped it all up and set aside. (You'll be mixing about 3/4ths of the bacon into the mix and saving the rest to top the cookies)
 Onto the Cookies.
  • Get out 2 medium size bowls.
  • In one bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa , baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the second bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla.
  • The pour all the wet stuff into the dry stuff – BEFORE mixing it all together, add the 3/4ths of your chopped up bacon and chocolate chunks THEN mix is all together.
  • So you may find this mix to be pretty thick and maybe dry, don't fret, it will be. Just keep mixing it until all of the dry stuff is combined.
  • When it's all mixed, toss it in the fridge while you prep your baking sheets and the oven heats.


Turn the oven on for 350* again. Line two baking sheets with parchment papers. Once the oven is all heated up, take the dough out of the fridge and using a spoon, scoop out about a tablespoons worth of dough and mold into a ball with your hands. 
Then, using the heel of your palm, flatten the dough (they don't rise so the size you flatten it to will be the size is cooks). Sprinkle bacon, a little sugar and a very little bit of kosher salt and bake for 8-10 minutes. 
Cook on a rack for a few minutes before you burn your tongue.

A there you have it. Chocolate Bacon Cookies. 

Enjoy!

{Erica}

12.23.2011

Peanut Butter Pecan Biscotti


For some reason, I've been craving two things - French Pressed Coffee and something to dip in French Pressed Coffee! So I pulled out the ol' french press this passed weekend and made a yummy batch of coffee. It was great to sit on the couch Sunday morning and drink the heck of it. But I didn't have the dipper to go with it!
Problem Solved. Peanut Butter Biscotti.
New Problem. It was all eaten by the time I could make it with another batch French Pressed Coffee! Whatevs - I'll just have to make more.

Here are the goods
(from Joy The Baker, another amazing and inspiring blog I love to follow)
  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Soft
  • 1/3 Cup Natural Peanut Butter (Whole Foods fresh ground honey roasted = amazing biscotti)
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk (save the whites!)
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • Egg Wash (used leftover egg white from yolk above and add about a tablespoon of milk and stir)
  • Sugar For The Finishing Goodness

(P.S.In Joy the Baker's photos - she has French Pressed Coffee too!!)

Here's What Ya Do
  • Preheat to 325* with the racks in the middle of the oven.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  • In another medium size bowl, (mixer with paddle attachment) or use a good hand mixer and beat together butter, peanut butter and sugar.  Beat until its all mixed or there it is slightly fluffy in texture.  (3-4 minutes). When mixes, stop the mixer and add egg and egg yolk.  Beat on medium speed until well blended, about 2 minutes.  
  • Add the dry ingredients, and beat on low speed until just incorporated.  
  • Stop mixing and add pecans with a spatula  
  • The dough may be kinda dry, but that's OK.
  • Divide the batter between the two baking sheets and shape dough into two logs.
  • Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Place baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes are up, switch baking racks and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. 
  •  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking pans until cool enough to handle, but still soft.  Use a serrated knife to slice biscotti about 1-inch thick.  
  • Place cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for another 10 minutes or so.  
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

I didn't get to have them with the French Press- but I had them with regular coffee and that was yummy!
Enjoy!
{Erica}

12.17.2011

Best Gift EVER!

I apologize for not blogging lately. The husband gave me a Birthday/Christmas gift that I have been very, very busy with. A Kitchen Aid!! Yay! I've longed for one of these beauties for some time now and now that I have been cooking and baking so much, it is the perfect time to have one in the house. My friend named her's the Tangerine Dream and now I feel compelled to give mine a name too. I feel it will make her feel more at home in my kitchen.


Isn't she lovely?!



I've made a lot of bread and scones with it this week, but I also made pita! (along with hummus and feta dip - recipes to be shared soon enough). I wasn't able to take photos of this process, but I was very impressed with myself. It was like real pita, I swear.


This morning I was really able to show my "skills" off because I invited some of my favorite runner friends up to my side of town for a run and breakfast. I made delightful french toast with my homemade bread and it was a hit!  I made a batch with the "traditional" bread and a batch with a loaf that I tossed fresh cranberries and pecans to the bread dough. Like I said, delightful!




Here is a photo on the Cranberry Pecan Bread.

12.07.2011

Early Christmas

Dan and I roadtripped 12 hours (16ish for me) down to Pensacola for Thanksgiving. While there, my family went ahead and celebrated Christmas since we won't be together in December. The food and the company were fabulous.

Last night I put to use for the first time my new Kitchen Aid Mixer. I almost peed my pants when I opened it! For awhile now I've been wanting one and would get bummed out anytime I came across a recipe I wanted to make that required the use of a dough hook or some other kind of fancy method of stirring. All that was put to an end!

For my first time using the mixer I decided to keep it easy and made a batch of chocolate chip cookies to take with me to my book club tonight. I used a recipe from the Indianapolis Star that my Grandma had cut out and sent to me awhile ago. It's definitely a keeper! And I watched in amazement as my beautiful dough came together. (I really did stare at it in awe!)

I can't wait to put my new mixer up to a harder challenge sometime soon!

For dinner last night I made the simplest, yet enjoyable recipe for Lemon Garlic Spaghetti. I'm not sure why I can't ever think of these things myself, but I'll be making this more often since most of the items I keep on hand. I made a few adjustments such as using rotini instead of spaghetti and I used sliced almonds instead of pine nuts. Can't wait to eat my leftovers for lunch today.

-Abbie

P.S. - I'm completely addicted to pinterest. It's happened.

11.30.2011

Thanks November!

A one year wedding anniversary, parents coming to visit Cali for the first time, a best coming to visit as well, Thanksgiving with two turkeys, midnight Black Friday shopping, a Birthday, Irish Coffees and a bar full of people singing "Happy Birthday," walking up a few large hills and driving down a crazy one, the best fish and chips in the city, too much dessert for my own good, being a tourist and loving it, and bliss. What a crazy few weeks this has been!
The photos tell a better story...
Chris setting up the turkey fryer tarp thing.

Prep time. Yes, Chris is wearing gloves. 
He watches too much Alton Brown sometimes.
Chris's fried turkey - 
Yay he didn't blow up the house!
(Mine was roasted (just in case the frying didn't work out)
 and equally delish.)
Dessert #1 Cheesecake
(sorry no pics of #2, chocolate cream pie AKA crack pie 
as described by Catie)
The Fam visiting the bridge.
Starting the birthday off with Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe.
Just about 2 minutes later, the whole bar started singing
Happy Birthday to me. It was awesome - I blushed.

If you visit San Francisco - find this place. 

My Birthday Cake (dessert #3) (store bought and yummy) 

On the Alcatraz Tour and Chris in some solitary cell. Creepers. 


Now to start a December Adventure!


{Erica}

11.20.2011

Baking Bonanza.

I was a baking fool last weekend.


Tip #1: Wear socks while baking - it helps clean up all the flour that may accidentally get dumped on the floor.


Let me take a step back - a few weeks ago, my dear friend Morgan came to San Francisco for a food blogging conference. After about 10 minutes catching up, I stopped and said something like "wait, you have a blog too??" I was so excited because she is an amazing baker and I couldn't wait to try and make some of her stuff. The first was bread! So simple she said, and it was true. Check out my end result, it looks like real bread at least. I carved it up with the electric knife and we had perfect sandwich bread. Also, it's super good with the cranberry persimmon chutney I made the week before. I recommend trying it! You may not want to buy bread again. 


My next venture was her simple scones. Aren't they fun looking?! One batch was fresh strawberries and the next I added a bit of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter and dark chocolate chips. Both were great. A keeper my friends. 




Happy Baking!


{Erica}

11.08.2011

The Persimmon - Heard of It??

A new fruit! That's right my friends...at least its a new fruit to me. I'm talking about persimmons. I saw them at the farmer's market at work this week and just walked on by. Then my co-worker was cutting one up at lunch and asked if I wanted to try...I was hesitant, because it looks funny and I've never heard of them before, but she was very persistent and hey, why not? She was kind of enough to educate me on this beautiful yellow-orange-tomato-apple like fruit that can very sweet when ripe. I ended liking them and decided to go back downstairs and buy a few. They were only $1 a pound, so it wasn't a huge loss if I didn't have anything to do with them.

As I was settling in on my Friday night doing the usual (blogs and pinterest and pajamas). I came across this recipe for cranberry persimmon sauce from Deliciously Organic (found on pinterest) and I got really excited!

So with the extra hour we got on Sunday for daylight savings time I decided to give it a try in the ol' crock pot and it was really good! Just in time for Thanksgiving too!

Cranberry Persimmon Chutney
Here's What Ya Need
1 Bag of Fresh Cranberries
4 Persimmons, Skinned and cut into 1/2 chunks
5 Whole Cloves
½ Cup Honey
¼ Cup Red Wine (I used boxed Malbec, that's right, I said boxed and I'm not ashamed.)
½ Teaspoon Cinnamon or Allspice

Here'a How Ya Do It
Through it all in the crock pot, stir and set it on high until everything is mushy, 2-3 hours. Try to pick out those 5 whole cloves - they won't be tasty if you bit into them. Then transfer to a jar or pyrex to cool and serve. Store in the fridge. I put mine on oatmeal the next morning and on frozen yogurt that night :)





Enjoy!

{Erica}

11.03.2011

Squashing My Noodle

Through my quest to love all veggies, I have struggled with the squash category a bit. They are hard to cut, take a long time to cook and sometimes they smell funny. Yet, I still try to love them all. I have been reading about using spaghetti squash as a noodle substitute for several years now and kept thinking to my self “there is NO WAY that could be a good sub for a glorious pasta.” But I gave in this week and I decided to give it a try. Most of the recipes I came across were Italian in nature, but I wasn’t in the mood for that – I wanted something salty and spicy and here I what I came up with.

Asian “Noodle” Peanut Salad
Serves 3-4

What Ya Need
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Sauce (like a red rooster sauce)
1-2 Medium Red Peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Teaspoons Ginger Root
1 Clove of Garlic – diced
2/3 Cup Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
2-3lbs of Spaghetti Squash

How to Make It
Cook the squash in the microwave (easiest way, but you can also roast it). Pierce the squash a few times with a sharp knife and place in the microwave on high for 8-10 minutes turning every 3-4.

While the squash is cooking, heat a sauce pan on medium heat, heat garlic and ginger for about 2 minutes, then add peppers, cook another 2-3 minutes, then add broth, soy sauce, hot sauce, and peanut butter. Heat through and cook until sauce is smooth.

When the squash is done, cut open lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and discard. Then scrap the squash and what will come out will look noodle like. Add squash to peanut sauce and peppers and you are done!

Add some roasted peanuts and scallions to the top too for a little crunch.



Photos from steamykitchen.com

{Erica}

10.31.2011

Spinach Lasagna Soup

More Soup, num num num…

Why am I so obsessed with soups lately? Oh yeah, I know why. They are awesome! My third soup for this upcoming fall/winter season is a Spinach Lasagna Soup that I first saw in Pinterest. I didn’t pin it at the time so I found a few other blogs that had variations and I came up with this lovely masterpiece.

Spinach Lasagna Soup
Makes 6-8 cups  
1.5 cups per serving.

Ingredients
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound Italian turkey sausage (you can use ground turkey, ground beef, or reg. Italian sausage as a substitute.)
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (for some spice)
15 ounces canned diced tomatoes
15 ounces canned tomato sauce
3 ounces bow tie pasta (or broken up lasagna noodles)
large handful or 2 of fresh spinach.  
Salt & pepper to taste
How to
Spray a large pot with cooking spray. Add onions and sausage (if you can only find sausage in the casing, just break the casing open and break up the meat in the pot) until fully cooked and browned. Add the garlic, spices, tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth and bring to a boil. Drop in the pasta and let cook until al dente (depends on what the packaging says). Stir in the spinach and let cook through for just a minute or two. Serve and savor!

Add a little parmesan or mozzarella cheese on top too if you like.

Again, I froze half of it for later.

{Erica}

10.19.2011

5 in 5!

That is 5 half marathons in 5 years totaling 65.5 miles of races I’ve run since I started actually running back in 2008. Not astronomically impressive...but I'm proud :). I just finished my 5th on Sunday – The Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco. It was a great race with tons (22,500) of people. What a journey it has been to get to where I am doing with my running. Check out my running blog I did with Team in Training this season at . I was able to raise $1961.74 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society while training for an awesome race. (THANK AGAIN FOR ALL THE DONATIONS AND SUPPORT!!)

Here are some photos from my TNT season.  

My awesome TNT teammates!


Now, since I feel I am a seasoned half marathoner, I’ve decided to take the plunge for the full. I figured, I am half way there right now, why not keep going. Some of my Team in Training team mates are going to continue to train as well so at least I don’t have to do it alone. I am looking forward to accomplishing a new goal, but not looking forward to the ice baths and broken toe nails.

The California International Marathon is on December 4, 2011 in Sacramento, California and this weekend I have a 14 miler scheduled so here goes nothing!!

{Erica}

10.10.2011

The E-Reader Dilemma.

If you know me, you know I love a good book and a good library where I can get free books. I was recently reading Pat Conway's "Price of Tides" and was complaining to Chris that my arms kept getting tired after holding the dang thing up in bed because it was an 800 page hard back book. After I finished the book, and gained 5 pounds a muscles in my arms, I went to the library like I usually do to get another good read. I ended up leaving the library with a Nook....and that night I feel in LOVE! First of all, I thought it was crazy that the library was lending out e-readers, but the great thing is that with the Nook you can still rent library books electronically. So I tried it for 3 weeks and ended up buying a Kindle this weekend. I drank the e-reader Kool-Aid. It is pretty amazing though. It is so light, easily fits in my purse, and now you can get Kindle books from the library too, so I am happy all around. 

Don't judge me fellow nerds until you've tried it. 



{Erica}

10.04.2011

Soup's On!

The next few days has rain and cooler weather in the forecast. I haven't seen rain since moving to the Bay Area, but everyone tells me it will chill me to the bone! So, I got prepared on Sunday. I made two batches of soup to help keep me warm and cozy (I will have blankets too Abbie). 


The first one was a Minestrone soup (inspired by Martha Stewart) and the second was a Ginger Spiced Apple and Butternut Squash soup (inspired by Weight Watchers). Both turned out rather well, but since Chris refused to even try them tonight (I'm not a bad cook, he just hates veggies), I decided to freeze about 1/2 of my batches for the next 6 months of rain and cooler weather that will be around here.


Quick tip, if you want to freeze soup, but don't have much room in your freezer, put them in a ziplock freezer bag and lay flat in the freezer, they will freeze flat that way and then you can store it standing or stacked. 

Do you have a favorite soup recipe? If so, feel free to share with me. This is just the beginning of soup season!


Minestrone Soup
Serves 6
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks of celery diced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or ¼ teaspoon dried
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can (28 ounces diced tomatoes)
1 large potato, peeled and diced (optional)
3-4 cups of kale, chopped
1 can (15 ounces) cannelloni or garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
½ lb green beans trimmed and cut
 1 clove of garlic
3 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water


In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and spices. Cook until softened about 5-8 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add beans and kale, veggie broth and water and bring to a boil. Stir in green beans and reduce to a simmer and cook until veggies are tender (20 minutes). Serve sprinkled with a bit of parmesan cheese and enjoy!














Apple-Butternut Squash Soup
serves 10, about 1 cup per serving
1 ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
2 medium leeks, white part only
3 large apples, chopped
3 lbs butternut squash, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
Salt and pepper

Add grated ginger, leeks and apple juice in a large pot; cover and simmer until leeks are tender, about 10 minutes. Add apples, squash and 1 cup broth; cover and simmer until very tender, about 1 hour. Purée soup in pot using a hand-held immersion blender or use a blender in small batches (I used my handy magic bullet) and return to pot. Add the rest of the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper; simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes. Stir in half and half and serve.




Enjoy!

{Erica}

10.02.2011

Blankets

This has turned out to be the weekend of blankets. It's feeling a lot like fall here in Baltimore so I broke out my favorite fuzzy blanket for my bed. I love sleeping when it's cold outside and snuggling down under the covers. It still might be a little too warm for my fuzzy blanket since I've woken up the past few nights sweating!

Yesterday was a fabulous Saturday of laying on the couch and watching college football. Even more so since FSU wasn't playing and the stress level wasn't there. My friend Gilly and I made pigs in a blanket and brownies and it was wonderful. Harper was a cannibal and ate a little wiener in a blanket too haha!

This morning several of us went to Paper Moon Diner and I had the breakfast version of pigs in a blanket...I'm thinking I might turn into one myself especially if I eat the leftovers from last night for lunch or dinner today! I'm thinking if that's what it comes too...I'm totally ok with it. I noticed on their menu they have sorbet iced tea. Lemon sorbet in iced tea...I'm entrigued, but it was too cold this morning to order that.

Harper got a haircut last weekend and so now he's constantly cold. Which kind of makes me happy because he's even more interested in snuggling then he usually is. I've even been nice and let him sleep in bed with me the past couple of nights. Also, he's back to burrowing under the blanket on my bed while I'm in the shower in the mornings. He's currently on my lap while I'm writing this halfway under the blanket that I have draped on my lap.

Ahh blankets...how I love you!

Harper with hair


Harper with no hair

 Now you see why he loves blankets as much as I do :)

-Abbie

9.28.2011

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto!

After I made my broccoli pesto, I've been intrigued by all the different types of pesto out there and have wanted to try making another one since then. Tonight I made a roasted red pepper pesto and it was rather amazing! I added it to my spinach pasta with mushrooms was craving more when the bowl was empty...

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Serves 8, 1/4 cup per serving
2 large red peppers
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
splash of lemon juice

Discard pepper tops, core and seeds. Char peppers on the grill or broiler. Under the broiler it takes up to about 20 minutes. Continuous rotate them while charring to ensure it cooks evenly. Once slightly cooled, rub the skin off the peppers with a paper towel. Add everything to a blender until smooth. Add a tablespoon of water if needed to made help with blending. 

Add to whatever you heart desires and ENJOY!




Erica

9.19.2011

Do You Know The Muffin Man?

I feel like I'm turning into the muffin man. I just made another batch of muffins. This time, much less healthy and oddly enough not as tasty, so I won't share the recipe with you. I just googled chocolate chip muffins and tried my luck on a food.com recipe. I was going to make cookies, but having the muffins last week to take to work with me as a kind of second breakfast was so nice and I couldn't justify taking cookies as a second breakfast! I even continued my muffin streak this weekend in Blacksburg by enjoying a delicious lemon-raspberry muffin from one of Dan and I's favorite coffee shops, Bollo's. Plus muffins just seem really fall-esque to me and with the nice little cold snap here I've been craving some heartier, warmer type meals...not that a muffin constitutes a meal! Tomorrow I'm going to make some porkchops and potato-apple mash...see I do make food other than muffins. I'll let you know how it turns out. Now I'm turning in for the night since I'm extra sleepy from my drive back to Baltimore last night and an extra early work day this morning.

-Abbie

9.12.2011

Lush Obsession

At least it is healthy hygiene obsession. 

Bath products my friends, wonderful, fresh handmade bath products. 

It all started when I met my dear, lovely, beautiful friend Jaye in Denver and she opened up a whole new world to me. These products are magical for self care and they make you smell oh so pretty. I was a little sad when I left Colorado, because they were opening up a new store in Denver and there was one in Boulder...I was right in the middle of the two! But this weekend, I just happened to be shopping at Ikea, when I was finished, I decided to walk around the outdoor mall area and BAM! I saw a Lush store. Ahhhh, sweet relief. Now, I don't have a ginormous bath tub anymore so I reframed from stocking up on bath bombs and bubble bars, but Lush has so much more. My favs...Buffy and Vanilla in the Mist were a must. Then I happened to be browsing the shower gels and came across Flying Fox. It was love at first sniff. I came home after work tonight and all I wanted to do was shower. 


And at least I will smell good after my Team in Training runs...10 miles this weekend!

Happiness in a bottle.  


And the box under the sink Chris may or may not know about...
he says he doesn't read this so we will find out!


Would it be weird to take multiple showers in one day?


{Erica}

Ahh...Relaxing Weekend, Will You Come Back?

This past weekend was fabulous in a very low key way. Spent some quality snuggle time with Harper and Mav, ran a painful 10 miles, took a trip to the farmer's market, watched the NOLES play football, and ended the weekend with some baking and a Sunday Night Baltimore Family Dinner.



Seminole flag waving proud at the Baltimore alumni bar
With some of my farmer's market peaches I decided to take a stab at this recipe from Marcus Samuelsson's blog. I used cupcake liners instead of the butter, and they did stick a bit, but they still turned out absolutely delicious!
Yummy!



Cinnamon Peach Muffins Recipe
Makes 9 muffins, Adapted from Food & Wine’s Best of the Best Cookbook Recipes
Ingredients:
Butter for tins
1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
1 large or 2 small peaches, ripe, but firm
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup oat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
3 ounces (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooked slightly
¾ cup whole milk
½ cup sour cream
1 egg
Method:
  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F. Rub muffin tins with a 1/3-cup capacity with butter.
  2. For the topping, halve the peach, remove the pit, and slice the halves into slices about ¼ inch thick. Add the butter, honey, and 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon to a medium-size skillet. Place the skillet over a medium flame to melt the mixture, stirring to combine. Cook until the syrup begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Add the peaches, toss the pan to coat them with the syrup, and set aside.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter. Using a spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently combine.
  4. Scoop the batter into 9 muffin cups, using a spoon or an ice cream scoop. The batter should be slightly mounded above the edge. Toss the pan of peaches to coat them with the pan juices. Lay one slice of peach over each of the muffins, tucking a second slice partway into the batter. Any extra peaches are delicious over yogurt or ice cream. Spoon the pan juices over the peaches.
  5. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. The muffins are ready to come out when they smell nutty, their bottoms are golden in color (twist a muffin out of the pan to check), and the edges of the peaches are caramelized. Take the tins out of the oven, twist each muffin out, and place it on its side in the cup to cool. This ensures that the muffin stays crusty instead of getting soggy. These muffins are best eaten the same day they are made. They can also be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or frozen and reheated.
The weekend finished off with a Sunday night family dinner with some of my friends from Baltimore. It made me miss my Tallahassee family a lot. And on that note, I'm off to drown my sorrows in a muffin!


-Abbie

9.10.2011

Asian Noodle Goodness

I've been looking for some hearty, healthy meals to eat before my long runs with Team in Training and came across this one in Bon Appetite's Easy Fresh Cookbook I got at the Benicia Library a few weeks ago. So I made this meal last night and ran 8 miles this morning and it felt great! It was like eating fuel for my body and I think it made a difference. And I had plenty of left overs for lunch today for a great recovery meal. I highly recommend it.

Asian Noodle Salad (serves 4)
Ingredients
  • 1 lb of Eggplant cut up into smallish pieces
  • 8 ounces fresh shitake mushrooms stemmed (I used dried and it turned out fine)
  • 2 bunches of green onions
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 6 ounces Soba Noodles (can be found in natural or Asian food section of your grocery store)
  • 8 oncues sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 7 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • Juice from 2-3 limes (about 3-4 tablespoons)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of fresh ginger
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated lime peel

Directions
Combine eggplant, mushrooms and green onions and add oil. Toss and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Either grill or saute over medium high heat turning often until tender, about 7-10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook noodles in a pot of boiling salted water for about 3 minutes or until tender but still has a bite. Add sugar snap peas to boiling water and cook about a minute longer. Drain well and transfer noodles to a large bowl with veggies. Whisk together hoisin sauce and all remaining ingredients and add to noodle mixture. Season with salt and pepper and you are done.

I made some beef for Chris because he always needs meat with a meal, but I ate mine without and it was perfect.


And look, evidence that I loved it...




Now time to watch some Seminole Football!! Go Noles!

Enjoy!

{Erica}

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