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!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

quinoa and unemployment

it's funny that such different topics ended up together as my title, one is a food (a complete protein at that) and well the other...i think everyone has a pretty good idea of what the other one means.

but that is where i am, unemployed, and with time on my hands it was finally time to get down and cook some quinoa. which is very very easy, it was just everything else with it that became time consuming (which is why i would only do this unemployed and yes, that means i am not quite so creative about eating nutritiously when i'm employed.

yesterday was my last day as a Volunteer Coordinator for AmeriCorps/Volunteer Maryland. the last 10 months were such an experience, learning about volunteerism, about my organization and about myself. i'm still driven to volunteer and i'm thinking about getting into community health once i get this dietetics degree under my belt. which brings me back to food (doesn't it always come back to food?)

this reminds me of 101cookbooks quinoa recipe. which looks divine. mine includes baked autumn squash (this is a real time consumer to peel the outside, chop and bake), black beans (how come i can't cook these suckers right?), toasted pine nuts (yum!), sauteed green pepper and of course, quinoa. delicious and nutritious. at least i have tons of leftover cooked ingredients so at least i can eat these for the next couple days without having to do any cooking. thank gosh for the small things. happy eating!