Monday, December 27, 2010

christmas and the end of holiday food (i hope)

the sisters and i were wishing that the holidays were split up more so the gluttony of food would be spread out throughout the year. but at least we're almost to the end of the holiday season. soon it'll be people packed into the gym in january and nothing to look forward to but summer. hope everyone had a wonderful christmas. ny got a nice blizzard so s2 got stuck here, hope everyone traveled safe and sound.
 xmas meal: scalloped potatoes (from the everything cookbook: not the most attractive thing when it's made, but very easy and yummy), french bread (from king arthur flour, also very easy to make and no knead!), mushrooms stuffed with brie, delish!), pepper crusted salmon with lemon and garlic, olive and rosemary bread (not sure where this is from, s4 made it), rum cake (self-explanatory deliciousness), buche de noel
the pioneer women cooks' rum cake is so so good. the pecans chopped on top and baked into the cake were delicious once the rum/butter/sugar glaze soaked into them. it was a bit difficult to stab the cake where the pecans were so next time pouring more of the syrup before the cake is flipped out of the bundt pan. it was also hilarious watching s2 pour an additional shot of rum onto her cake slice!
the mocha buche de noel is a bit more time consuming than the rum cake, but light and airy with a nice chocolate glaze that hardens when it dries. the added instant coffee really adds to the flavor.

Friday, December 24, 2010

happy xmas eve!

the cake bite thing is in full swing. had some crazy busy days since it was the holidays and i'm so glad s4 was here to help me out. don't forget to check out the new designs and orders. running your own business is definitely something that is different and interesting everyday- a lot of work but hopefully once i get all the kinks worked out it'll be smooth sailing.
the holidays = baked goods. which is not so good for my waistline but oh so fun to make! rice krispy treats are just so easy and pretty much anything can be added- chocolate chips, holiday stripes, sprinkles, etc. we also topped some shortbread cookies with white chocolate and then striped and added little green swirls. happy holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

christmas music has been playing in my car non-stop probably since thanksgiving and there was actual snowfall so christmas is definitely less than a week away! not that any present buying has occurred but that's a work in progress. my sweet shop blog is coming along and i finished my first order (check it out).

walking through old ellicott city the windows for the shops are decked out in full holiday happiness!
 it's amazing how the pink and purple ended up looking so festive!
i almost thought about trying to hanging ornaments with ribbon against the white wall that runs along our stairs but wasn't sure if it would hang right...

and of course, holidays = holiday baking!

Double chocolate coconut peanut butter cookies (now that's a delicious mouthful!)
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 can condensed milk
about 1/2 cup coconut*
about 1 cup peanut butter (we used smooth, but crunchy works too)
about 1 1/2 - 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and then roll into however large cookies you would like and bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size) until the bottoms are browning (which is a bit more difficult with cookies that are already brown, but they do have a different color!). these cookies sink and harden a bit once they cool so don't worry too much if they are very soft when they first come out of the oven, just make sure the bottoms are brown.

the coconuts give it a nice crunch, i'm sure lots of different add-ins would be great. some holiday colored chips would also probably be adorable. these are about the easiest and tastiest cookies ever

Sunday, December 12, 2010

popeye's chocolate lava cake

my parents came home yesterday from golfing and as usual picked up some fried chicken from popeyes. this time around they were given a package of this chocolate lava cake to try out. according to restaurant news this lava cake was tested out in september to give you the "feeling that you did something."
i'm a big fan of popeyes' biscuits and maybe they should have stuck to that. i don't know if it was because it's a chocolate cake or because of the black plastic container it was sold in but when i opened it i thought i was looking at a worm hole. i couldn't tell what i was looking at. plus, the ingredient list (pretty much everything but the title and the boxed nutrition facts on the left picture) was a bit frightening. the ingredients to make a cake normally were in bold to make you notice them more i suppose, but then all the preservatives and such were in regular font in between. the cake container serves 4 and each serving is 320 calories (170 from fat, 8 g sat fat, 22 g of sugar). so i heated it up and gave it a try. i don't know about you but when i think lava cake i think a cake that when you dig into it, oozing chocolate goodness wells out from inside. this was more of a chocolate cake with oozing icing on top (when heated). the cake seemed standard box cake texture and taste, the icing/lava was a bit odd. there was some sort of aftertaste that i didn't enjoy (probably from the preservatives). i put the leftovers in the fridge for anyone else to try and this morning when i looked at it there were white flecks of something dotting the cake. ew. the packaging says use within 5 days of purchase, so who knows what's going on with the food. i think if i was craving dessert i would buy those break and bake cookies (has anyone tried those sweet moments desserts in the refrigerator aisle?) and put in the extra couple minutes instead of getting this cake.
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

sugar overload

oy vey. felt like baking today and since i'm loving toasted coconut, chocolate and nuts so much i decided to try out the recipe on the eagles' sweetened condensed milk can. i didn't have enough graham cracker so i cut more than half the butter (also in an attempt to make it "healthier" :) and also cut back on some of the chocolate chips. i toasted the coconut beforehand and had chopped almonds, walnuts, and pecans. really the easiest recipe in the world to make, but boy is it a cavity maker on the first bite!
this is their chocolate chunk magic cookie bars. it's very simple but looking at their other recipes i think i'd rather add in peanut butter or salty nuts or something to balance the sweetness. i'm glad my coconut was unsweetened because that would have really sent me into a diabetic shock. so i will be enjoying some fiddling.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

getting back on track...again

there's something about the holidays that just means letting go a bit. which is not a bad thing, as long as you can keep focused on the long term. fell off the healthy eating a bit w/ all the thanksgiving leftovers (which are still hanging around staring at me...) but i think i finally got it figured out today. i can't decide if it was from the handfuls of semisweet chocolate chips i was eating from the baking bag or the celery and pb bonanza (if you know me at all, you know pb is my crack). but i got on the treadmill (it's finally too cold to run outside) and somehow cranked out 80 minutes on the thing without noticing and then whipped up a veggie and salmon dish with pesto. can i just say i love the wild alaska salmon burgers from BJ's? i just bake it up and then cut it up and toss into whatever i want (see pizza from before). so here's to eating healthy and having those not so healthy days that are just as important to being happy:)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

cooking is so much more fun with family




finally had our thanksgiving feast on saturday! it was a bonafide feast with everything made from scratch-
top to bottom, left to right: turkey, garlic mashed red potatoes with mashed cauliflower, roasted cauliflower with paprika, cornbread stuffing (the recipe for the cornbread in the 2nd row is also from the nytimes recipe), roasted brussels sprouts, cranberry walnut sauce, krispy kale chips with lemon yogurt dip (the brussels sprouts also tasted delicious dipped in the yogurt), cornbread (so so so good), "three sisters" stew (very homey and warm), apple pie (prepared the same way as the ones before but this time with all all-purpose flour, i prefer half wheat flour), and coconut sweet potato pie

we also made vegetarian mushroom gravy for the first time (ate gravy with my mashed potatoes for the first time in years!) and it was very simple and tasty.

we taste tested the sweet potato pies and s3 went for the coconut sweet potato and mom, s2, s4, and i went for the other sweet potato pie (the one from my last entry). the coconut sweet potato pie is much creamier and smoother while the other one has an almost chunkier and heartier texture. we also toasted the coconut before putting it into the graham cracker crust which really adds to it (everything tastes better toasted!)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

food coma yet?

happy last few hours of thanksgiving! our family is celebrating on saturday when s2 comes home so today was a pseudo-trail run for the real thing:) which means lots and lots of baking! s4 came home on tuesday morning and we pretty much baked non-stop on wednesday except to eat and give the oven a break!
 first up is a sunflower seed bread from joy the baker. it's delicious. the only thing we would change is increasing to 3/4 cup of the sunflower seeds going into the bread and only 1/4 cup for sprinkling.

 this is a pumpkin pie ice cream cake from eating well. we decided to make it not so healthy and add chopped pecans into the crust (gingersnap cookies, eummmm) and use breyer's vanilla bean (half a gallon!). the pumpkin mixed into ice cream with cinnamon and nutmeg is unbelievably tasty, but i wish it were a bit warmer to enjoy the coolness of it. the pie tastes best after it has enough time to chill or else you start getting a little icy crystaly (any suggestions on storing an ice cream cake/pie?)

we have another coconut sweet potato pie but we're saving that until saturday so we made another version of sweet potato pie to do a little taste testing. this one comes from a recipe i used last year but we subbed in a graham cracker and toasted coconut crust. the pie mix is sweet potato, condensed milk, sugar, butter and spices. i'll try to find the link for the recipe!

 a glimpse of the oven- the sweet potatoes baking on top, sunflower seed bread and an apple crumble. we made another version of apple pie in a bundt pan that turned out really well. we took the other half of the KAF pie crust i made for pop tarts and covered chopped up apples mixed with cinnamon sugar in a bundt pan and it was just like apple pie...topped with ice cream. so so good. did i mention we ran twice today? haha.

there was real food today! pizza on naan! the left one was naan topped with pesto, onions, tomatoes and mozzarella. the back pizza has onions, tomatoes, salmon chunks (from frozen salmon burgers from bj's, which are really really good) and pepper jack cheese.

i think we baked something else but it's slipped from my mind. we're still making at least one more pie tomorrow (apple pie in a square dish!) and then starting the preparations for eating on saturday! anyone going black friday shopping to burn off some more calories?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

sweets by s5

finally getting around to figuring out this cakebites/sweets bakery. so introducing s5
this is a prototype 1 pound box that holds 8 large cake bites. i'm still working on the logo and such, but i'm so excited to finally get around to this. i'll have several flavors. for more information- sweetsbys5@gmail.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

apple pop tarts

man, today was a productive day! so after my swim, i had class, then i went grocery shopping to pick up bananas (i just can't live without bananas! unfortunately all the bananas were completely green, bleh) then came home and went on a baking frenzy. i guess thanksgiving is so close, but not close enough to warrant baking the pies already. so i baked everything except a pie! this included a spice cake mix (to try out spice cake bites), peanut butter blossoms (love love love these, and so simple- box of yellow cake, can of condensed milk, 1 egg, 1 cup pb, and wha-la, press in a hershey kiss after they come of the oven if you want some super cute chewy cookies), and attempt two at pie crust to make- homemade pop tarts!

the crust recipe comes from KAF from the baking demo little guide book and i cooked up three different apples (the parents went to catoctin on sunday and came back with bushels and bushels, yay for apple desserts!) with some fresh squeezed lemon, cinnamon and nutmeg. i finagled with joy the baker's pumpkin pie pop tart recipe.
my crust came out terribly (i used 1.5 cups all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat) b/c i don't think i added enough water (which worries me for thanksgiving since i had those now frozen crusts at the same consistency...i will just have to keep trying). but it actually turned out pretty well that my crust was falling into pieces b/c i used all the little pieces to make these mini apple rolls that were a perfect bite size piece. not the prettiest things around but man are these oh so delicious. 

i topped off some just-out-of-the oven pop tarts with vanilla ice cream and served it as dessert to the parents, success!

oh, and my run was wonderful. i had to eat something after class so then i was waiting for it to digest and then i get distracted by baking but i made it out for the beautiful sunny weather (and got a farmer's tan and vitamin D along the way). i did take my mp3 player but i've decided music makes me really happy and i was almost smiling my entire run. which was amazing. and i went out of my way to pass the blow up turkey (i'll try to get a picture!) which cracks me up. and breathe:)

finding my endorphins

i can't say definitively that my swim this morning was due to reading a book or from having a break day yesterday, but can i just say i had the best swim this morning and i found my endorphins again!

let me start with the book. i just finished reading born to run by christopher mcdougall which is his quest to find out why his body was giving out on him when he ran. it took him to the tarahumara indians in mexico, ultrarunners (and by ultra, i mean running 100s of miles per session) and ultrarunners around the world. the thing that really stuck out to me was that the tarahumara enjoy running, they don't look like they're about to pass out on a hill or anything. in fact, their real name is raramuri (the running people or something to that extent). running started out as something to get out and clear my head but it slowly became a chore and the after run high, those wonderful chemically charged endorphins, went bye-bye. after finishing the book late last night i wanted to immediately go out and run, but i didn't think a run outside at 10 pm would be the safest or smartest thing to start out in my own quest for that running fun.

which brings me to this morning. i woke up excited to swim hoping that the ideas of running would translate into swimming (even though a lot of the theories in the book were about how humans were evolved to run) but i figured as long as i could get my head into it i would hopefully get the same results. and wha-la, i only stopped swimming because i had to take a shower to get to class, but i felt that endorphin high again and i was smiling in the shower and just thinking "i wish i had my sneakers so i could go out for a run now" so on my next run i'm going to go without my mp3 player and i'm going to try to be light on my feet and just enjoy the motions of getting from point a to who knows where

so, how do you feel when you run?

Friday, November 12, 2010

KAF and persimmons

i went to a KAF baking demo today on pie crusts and tart shells. i've never been to one of their free traveling demos and i'm really glad i did! i've never been a fan of making pie crusts but she made it look so easy that as soon as i got home i followed their recipe and stuck the dough in the freezer, so now i'm set for thanksgiving (well, at least for the apple pie...i have to go get more butter for the pumpkin, sweet potato and whatever other pie concoctions i think of before then:) then, b/c i was feeling so pumped up with baking i decided to try baking with persimmons (they were on sale and we have pounds and pounds of fuyu persimmons!).
i didn't know this, but every september in indiana they have a persimmon festival and one of the desserts the state is known for is their persimmon pudding. now, this is clearly not persimmon pudding, but i went off the persimmonpudding website and found a persimmon cake recipe that looked like fun. mostly b/c it didn't really seem to have specific guidelines on cooking or amounts so i took some liberties with the recipe. it's getting gobbled up by the parents. it's moist and dense and the addition of walnuts makes it even tastier. i added nutmeg and cinnamon but i'm not sure how much or how little makes a difference to the flavor (fuyu persimmons don't have the strongest of flavors to begin with so i didn't want to overpower them). next time i think i will try making persimmon pie/pudding or a bread! and btw, persimmons are a good source of vitamin C and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A and manganese. see recipe at the bottom on this entry.
this is a little something i made this week that i've finally gotten around to posting. this is another variety on my veggie chili. this time i added carrots and zucchini and i used an Amy's spicy chili seasoning packet and marinated the crumbled tofu in it for a bit before simmering and chowing down. don't forget to have this with some rice or bread to get a complete protein for those non-meat adding cookers!

Persimmon Cake (makes 16 small (but rich!) squares in an 8 x 8 pan)
2 cups persimmon pulp (about 6 fuyu persimmons)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
it said "butter the size of a walnut" and i used up all my butter to make pie crusts so i took a medium spoonful of shortening....i think it gave the top a nice crunchy texture (like brownie)
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (maybe next time toast these)

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease and flour an 8 x 8 pan. This was a kind of dump and mix method, but I tried to mix all the dry ingredients together first and then add the wet (the nice things about one bowl cooking). Drop mixture into pan (the mixture is very thick) and bake for about 50 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean).

Monday, November 8, 2010

don't take a drug test:)

celebrated s2's birthday this weekend and got to try out a new recipe! this one comes directly from smittenkitchen with no changes. and it's delicioussss. i've never had poppyseeds before but anything with lemon and this much butter can't go wrong:)
the cake has a dense eggy buttery flavor which reminds me of some of the cakes/breads in korea. i wish the lemon flavor had come through a bit more, but really, it tastes wonderful and looks so pretty. it's perfect for those that don't like too sweet of a cake but still want a cake.
all the little seeds are taking over!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

dietary fiber kind of day

another food/picture dump. i'm doing really well this week in terms of updating. maybe it's b/c i'm doing so well in finally preparing meals. this has become my go to lunch pretty much everyday this week. i can pretty much top the salad with whatever i'm in the mood for. this one has the mixed spring lettuce, tuna, chickpeas, yellow and red peppers, slice carrots and of course topped with salsa (not pictured, but i'm loving the safeway select hot southwest salsa)
going a bit out of order, i made a pumpkin chickpea curry for breakfast before going on a run. i wasn't sure how it would turn out but i figured it wouldn't hurt to try.
chickpeas/garbanzo beans are a good source source of protein, dietary fiber, manganese, and copper. it's also low in saturated fat. go chickpeas!

Pumpkin Chickpea curry (serves about 1) this is all very estimated
1/4- 1/2 cup diced onion
olive oil
some water
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tsp curry powder (or however you like)
3/4 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup rice

Saute the onions in a small pot with the olive oil until they are nice and limp. Add some water (I think in total I added about 1/2 cup?) to make sure it kind of has a watery mix. Add the curry powder then canned pumpkin. Add the chickpeas and simmer on low for 5-10 minutes (you want to get the curry powder and pumpkin flavor into the chickpeas). Once it's all simmered, add the rice and mix it all up. Eat!

pumpkin is highly nutritious- it's a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A (beta carotene!), vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese.

Monday, October 25, 2010

fall into pumpkin

although my neighborhood looks like fall has already come and gone, once you leave my street the trees are still in full autumn colors. the reds, oranges and yellows are gorgeous, and they make me think of- pumpkin and all sorts of pumpkiny goodness that can be baked and eaten:D
 this recipe comes from simply recipes. i tweaked a couple things- i ran out of granulated sugar, so ended up using about 1/2 cup of granulated and 1/4 cup of brown sugar (you'll see in a bit why i used less sugar). then i substituted unsweetened applesauce for the oil (and since the applesauce is sweet less sugar needed). plus, i'm still lacking allspice in my pantry so i dashed a bit more cinnamon and nutmeg.
the bread is super moist. and pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg is about the best combination ever. is it pumpkin pie time yet?
i couldn't help but take a picture of the fruit, probably the last strawberries i'll see/eat until next summer, but honeycrisp (they're juicy and kind of tart) apples will keep me company while it's cold.

Friday, October 22, 2010

vegerific

somehow reading more about nutrition for my class makes me feel like i'm still not getting enough vegetables in my life (although as a vegetarian it is very easy to just sustain yourself on carbs). so here's some food ideas of the week (minus the carbs b/c i'm going through a bit of a detox after birthday celebrations). these are really small servings b/c i'm basically eating every two hours. which is really fun and good for people like me who like to graze:)
red pepper stuffed with tuna, diced onion, black beans and of course spiced with oregano (i love this stuff). it would be great with some quinoa or wild rice and an egg probably would have held it together better. you can blanch the pepper for a couple minutes first, then stuff and then bake for about 10-15 min (or longer for beef or chicken ingredients).
stir-fried peppers and onions, scrambled eggs spice w/ oregano! i had some other veggies but they weren't quite as pretty.

oh, and i finally watched some videos on youtube for swimming technique. tried them out this morning and man am i sore. hopefully, once i can swim more than the 8 or 10 laps with the correct technique i can improve my mile time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

s3's birthday

it's technically not s3's birthday until tomorrow but we celebrated a bit early. i forgot my camera for dinner but we went to zaytinya's (in d.c.) for dinner. the food is very good and the pita bread they have out for noshing is even more dangerous:D we can't celebrate a birthday without cake! made chocolate matcha bundt cake for her birthday.
the swirls came out really pretty as i filled the bundt pan (note to self, the bundt pan needs serious greasing and cocoa powdering)

the cake is delicious and bakerella is right, it tastes so much better warm. i just wish i had a kitchenaid to get the mix nice and mixed because i felt mine was still a little lumpy with hand mixing. plus, i think bakerella's texture looks much more fluffy and mine def came out dense. dense but tasty!

i love fall and probably because it means i can bake to my hearts content AND heat the house. these are a brownie mix with some canned pumpkin tossed in. i attempted to make spider webbing designs on the top but forgot that the pumpkin would sink into the brownie and that the brownie would rise and make the spider webs look funny. but as usual, they were eaten

Thursday, October 7, 2010

is it too early to eat?

since M and D get up before the crack of dawn and stop eating by 3 or 4 pm i suppose it's okay to eat something like this at 7 am:) it's super easy and delicious! i got this recipe from Eating Well and based on what i had in the pantry it became more of a "mexican" lasagna. and even with all the changes it tastes good!

Mexican Lasagna (serves about 5-6, or one and a half M's)

1/2 Tblsp oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
about 9 oz of black beans, drained
1/2 tsp cumin
about 9 oz salsa of your choice
3-4 small whole wheat tortilla wraps, quartered
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a 9 x 9 pan. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until brown (about 5 minutes). Add the zucchini, black beans and cumin and cook for about 3 more minutes. Make a layer of tortilla wraps on the bottom of the 9 x 9 baking pan. Top with the vegetables, then a layer of salsa and then cheese. Repeat. Bake covered for 15 minutes. Bake uncovered for about 7 minutes or until the edges bubble and the cheese is melted.


and with all the tortilla wraps left over nothing like baking them w/ some olive oil and sea salt to make a stacy's pita chip kind of goodness.and to round out a productive cooking/baking day made a loaf of banana bread! running out of my breakfast granola bars (finally) so i went back to banana bread. i made a few changes again.

Banana Bread (Adapted from The Everything Cookbook)

Yield: 1 large loaf

1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup instant oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
a little less than 2/3 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
2 Tblsp maple syrup
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray and flour a large loaf pan. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl mix together the applesauce and maple syrup, add in eggs one at a time. Add the mashed banana. Add the flour mixture in thirds, alternately with the yogurt. Blend quickly and pour into pan. Bake about 45 minutes or until the center tests done.

i couldn't taste the maple syrup unfortunately, so i'm thinking next time of soaking the oats in the yogurt and maple syrup to really suck up the flavor. but probably the healthiest bread you could make that still tastes delicious. now i just need to get some pumpkin butter to mix with peanut butter and spread on top!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

brrrr...time for lentil soup and other fixings

it's chilly enough here that i'm wearing all my winter clothes inside the house. and that just means it's time for warm and toasty fill-up-my-tummy goodness. i recently signed up for newsletters from active.com and this recipe is compliments of their site. it's a quick and easy recipe, really good source of protein and makes your tummy all warm and cozy. i did have to put an extra dash of salt and pepper into my bowl though. speaking of quick and easy. i'm trying to eat an actual meal after class instead of just running into the kitchen and haphazardly looking for food that can get into my mouth as soon as possible. b/c that leads to the peanut butter jar and then i just feel a bit sick afterward. this takes a bit to cook. toss in whatever chopped veggies strike your fancy (i have potato, zucchini, and broccoli) and then toss in pesto (i have a frozen jar of bj's pesto) and wrap in foil and stick in the oven for about 40 minutes (until all your veggies are baked, the potatoes do take a while, fyi). and now onto a bit of a food dump. never got a chance to upload pictures from our labor day cooking b/c my laptop is a bit unhappy. but it was delicious! eggs italiano and stuffed french toast. the bread was stuffed with a strawberry and cream cheese mix. the eggs italiano was a saute of tomatoes, zucchini and onion on top of a whole wheat english muffin and topped off with a poached egg (which is really fun to do!). smittenkitchen has a great picture how-to on poaching eggs. oh, and i just noticed how huge the cheese looks on top of the egg. this is what happens when you don't have a cheese grater...but it still tastes good:)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

oops moment and macadamia flour

this past sunday s3 and i ran the bachman valley half marathon which is hosted by the WRRC. it's almost an hour drive to get there so i put on some flip flops so i wouldn't be wearing my sneakers on the drive up. as i stood in line to pick up my race number i realized that i hadn't put my sneakers in the car! thankfully, s2 wasn't running and she had on an old pair of her running shoes and we're the same size. so wha-la, i had socks in my bag and a pair of holey sneakers to run the race (too bad my lovely new inserts i had bought during training were now sitting in my sneakers at home). despite forgetting my shoes, rain right at the beginning of the race, it was a lovely course and well organized and i got a new PR (2:01:46)! Almost under 2 hours, the last couple miles a huge blister was forming on the bottom of my foot and i was just trying to push myself to get under 2 hours. next time. but i highly recommend the race!

had a bit of experimentation with macadamia flour from ecuador. i wish i had a picture but unfortunately my own computer is on the fritz so i'm pictureless. tried baking shortbread cookies and substituted half the white flour with macadamia flour. i wish i had nicer butter (or maybe it was the combination of the butter and the natural butteriness of the macadamia) and the texture was a bit too crumbly for my liking. i think the macadamia flour would be great for a good buttery crust.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

breakfast (or dinner) of champions

along with the granola bars i decided to make some banana bread (what else would you use leftover sour cream for??) to also have as handy dandy breakfast on the go. the recipe is similar to what i've made before except this time i used sour cream and greek yogurt (in place of the butter). of course it was about 3/4 whole wheat flour and the rest white flour and it tastes really good. especially with some pumpkin butter spread on top. eum eum.
reading my nutrition book for my online class i feel more and more like i'm eating unhealthy. which i'm really not compared to how i used to eat or how most americans probably end up eating due to time and budget. so i finally cracked and made huevos rancheros b/c i've been talking about them forever and it's a complete protein and has veggies (sort of). plus it's really easy to make. i cooked the black beans earlier in the day (you can just get the canned version and just rinse the sodium from it) and a can of salsa (this is safeway's southwest salsa medium), eggs, and a tortilla wrap. there's something about having the runny yolk mix w/ the salsa and beans that is just sooooo tasty. i'm drooling just thinking about it again.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

granola bars

forgot to take a picture but this granola is delicious and about as easy as pie (maybe about as delicious as pie, if it were pumpkin pie maybe a close second:) i sort of used a recipe from smittenkitchen but had to change up a lot of the proportions and ingredients due to what i didn't have in the kitchen. also, since i was working with a 10 x 13 pan i tried to increase the ingredients to fill the pan (didn't quite fill out the pan...)

Easy Granola bars
2 1/2 cups of oats
1 1/2 cups walnuts
about 1/4 - 1/2 cup honey (i just used the rest in my jar)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1.5 cups raisins

I followed smittenkitchen's procedure, adding in the egg because i didn't think i had enough honey to get the granola to make bars. this stuff is tasty, it'd be great broken up into yogurt also. i chopped the granola up into bars and froze them so i could grab one before class.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

baking with friends and 20 miles on the NCRT

finally got together with some VM friends yesterday and got to baking. these are the black&white cookie's from The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett. the cookies are delicious, not too sweet and a wonderful butteriness to them (it helps that it has a stick and some butter AND shortening) the icing, at least the way we made it came out sort of interesting. the chocolate side made the cookie taste like a berger cookie (no complaints there) but the plain vanilla side was a bit odd. will have to look into adding more water so it pools on the cookie instead of having to be spread. but really, these are delicious cookies. i also love baking time consuming recipes with friends b/c everything gets split up and you get to spend some time together. now, since i have a huge bottle of corn syrup left, any takers on making more with me:)
today, after eating one too many b&w's i made my way to the Northern Central Railroad Trail which runs north through MD and into PA (i think eventually ending in York, PA). the first 10 miles are flat and lovely and the weather was perfect. the woman at monkton told me there was a lovely waterfall at mile 12 but by the time i reached mile 10 i knew my feet wouldn't like an extra four miles tacked onto a 20 mile walk. i wish i had my bike b/c i would have loved to go further up. there's some great history along the way and at mile 8 is the monkton station? and there's a sandwich and snowball place and real bathrooms. there's not a single trashcan though, which i found a bit odd

Friday, August 20, 2010

running pains

i've been MIA for a bit. trying to fix my laptop so the endless and random "e's" that go across my screen would stop so i did a bit of spring cleaning (which was desperately needed) and so far only one instance of "e's" dancing across my screen. i'll keep my fingers crossed.

not much in the baking front, trying to keep from baking without other people to enjoy it with me (or at least eat the stuff that's made). instead, focusing on training for the bachman half marathon in sept. i was doing really well, was even at 10 miles, but then the pool is closed for maintenance and i was running everyday so of course my body decides to die out on me. so the whole week has been a bit of limping as i try my best to destroy my body because i have nothing better to do but run. maybe it really is time to give my legs a break...

Friday, August 6, 2010

solo exploration

finally went on a road trip today. took the historic national road/md 144 west and just drove until i would see something interesting. starting from howard county i drove through carroll, frederick and part of washington county. the historic national road was the first federally funded road that connected the east to the west (opened in 1807). 170 miles of it run through maryland (it ends in vandalia, illinois). if you decide to travel the sections that i did, keep your eyes peeled for the "scenic byway" signs because this route is not a straight shot on one road. it involved a lot of turns and quick lane changes (sorry!). and yes, this was a solo trip so that means i took some of these pictures while driving...i know i know, bad me. oh, and the sign for "wings and more" was more hilarious b/c the little drive-in building it was set up had "banana splits" as the more. such a random combination of american and chinese.
part of the reason i didn't make it as far west as i had hoped was a detour in downtown frederick, which is a happening place, but there was definitely also a lot of vacant shops (probably from the recession). the weather was much less muggy today so it was nice to walk around the city. founded in 1745 by english and german settlers, frederick definitely looked more german than old ellicott city. i used the walking tour to look at the old buildings and along carroll creek park. i saw the top of the spire for this church and took a shot from below (the one on the left) and when i was driving out of the top floor of the parking deck (3 hrs free if you get your ticket validated by the tourist center!) i saw the top of the church again (much nicer view). unfortunately, with only the 15 minutes to get your car out of the garage (half of which i spent trying to find my car) i could only pause and take a quick shot)
this is the community bridge mural along carroll creek park. the bridge is actually concrete painted to look like stone. crazy isn't it?and this is a shot i took from below one of the bridges crossing carroll creek.

oh, i didn't get a good shot, but did you know there's a funkstown, md!