Charleston & Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

My sister, Emily,  lives in Charleston now! While we were there for the Charleston Marathon back in January we drank mimosas, ate giant cinnamon rolls the size of my head from Wild Flour Pastry , and ate dinner at this delicious and highly-hip Vietnamese restaurant called Xia Bao Biscuit . Also, the Butcher & Bee might have been my favorite lunch spot so far this year. Please do yourself a huge favor and check these places out the next time you are in Charleston! Obviously I was more concerned with taking pictures of food than people while in Charleston, hence the dearth of actual photos from the race or photos of my sister, who is actually quite beautiful.

cinnamon roll

cinnamon roll pictured on a normal-sized dinner plate

I thought you should know my goal for 2015 is to blog more, as well as  post my eats on Instagram more often. I have been missing this space lately. This is a lofty goal because I am at heart a slow-it-down, turn- off -technology type of person on the evenings and weekends due to  sitting at a desk all day at work.  The best way for me personally to manage stress levels and happiness is UNLPUG,  watch the fish tank for a while,  or sit outside and take in nature and relax .  Speaking of fish tanks, this is the newest 90 gallon addition that Larsen setup this weekend. We will add some big fish in a few weeks.

aquarium

 

But back to the  food! This is a  recipe I shared at a recipe-swapping/Thirty-One party recently . I call these pumpkin dinner rolls. I pair them with salty country ham or sausage, but you can eat them plain,with butter, honey or jam too for any Holiday occasion or just for a Sunday morning brunch.

pumpkin rolls

Let’s clear several bread-making myths out of the way right now.

Bread making does not have to be scary, difficult or time-consuming. All you need to do is make sure your yeast is alive and working properly and utilize a mixer with a dough hook.  The dough hook has been the only reason I started making bread because , honestly, you don’t want to see me in the kitchen with just flour and a ball of dough . It’s scary…-little poofs of flour end up in the weirdest places in my house. Sometimes I even leave flour hand prints on my butt and go to the grocery store like that…

So, for me the dough hook is  a magical and essential piece of equipment because it takes out the whole kneading-by-hand process.

I hope you enjoy these rolls and just so you know, I consider these a treat, not a daily part of healthy diet.

I am obviously an advocate for eating as much whole, unprocessed food as possible about 90% of the time . White flour and sugar are definitely treats in my book.

As I mentioned before, my new year’s resolution is to post more here as well as post healthy daily eats over on my instagram page: LYDIA2BLUEEGGS

 

Toodles!
Lydia

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Prep time 3 hours
Cook time 22 minutes
Total time 3 hours, 22 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Appetizer, Bread, Side Dish
Misc Freezable, Serve Hot
Buttery pumpkin rolls for your next dinner party!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 16oz canned pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cups brown or turbinado sugar
  • 1 packet fast-rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 5.5 cups bread flour

Note

You can  test your yeast by sprinkling a bit into warm water (approx 110 degrees). Leave it for about 10 minutes and come back. If the yeast has not bloomed, you know the yeast is either bad or your water is too hot or cold. If it has bloomed and expanded, you should be good to go to proceed with your recipe.

Remember, hot liquid will kill yeast, so do test the temperature of your liquid if you can. Around 110 degrees is perfect. If you have no thermometer, the liquid should just be warm to the touch on your wrist, not hot.

Directions

Step 1
Combine warm milk(warmed to temp advised on yeast packet of 110 degrees), yeast, pumpkin, flour, 1 egg, sugar and salt in bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached. Quickly mix all ingredients just to combine with a wooden spoon.
Step 2
Knead the mixture with the dough hook on medium speed for at least 5-7 minutes. Keep in mind this will be a somewhat sticky dough. It will still look stickier than normal bread roll dough.
Step 3
Turn out mixture to a clean, greased metal bowl . Cover with plastic wrap tightly, and store in a warm place for 1.5 hours.
Step 4
The dough should be at least double in size at this point as pictured. Grease two metal pie pans. Punch the dough down and roll 15 balls with your hands, placing each ball of dough touching or nearly touching side by side in the pans. Cover for 1.5 more hours.They should rise and all be smashed together.
Step 5
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake your rolls about 22 minutes. Drizzle with the 4 tablespoons of melted butter a few minutes after baking.
Step 6
Serve sliced with country ham or sausage for sandwiches.

 

 

 

Rustic Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

I logged into WordPress yesterday after several people have asked why I am not blogging anymore. ( It seems I do have more than 1 blog reader after all, whew!)

How do I answer that question? I have actually written a few drafts here and there  but never published because…well..

Our 8 year old computer has slowed down to a snails’s pace-sooooo slooooow. Uploading photos? HA that’ll take a day and half. Plus we have zero lights in our computer/family room due to recent painting and renovating.  I find myself bumbling about in the dark with a headlamp trying to see the damn keyboard, which is just comical and inefficient. The new light is sitting in a box upstairs, waiting for someone to hang it. Hmmm.

Somehow the Holiday’s snuck up and I realized, I HAVEN”T WRITTEN A BLOG POST IN 6 MONTHS! I MUST CHANGE THAT!

Now I  love Christmas time: the baking, the parties, the decor,  and  the joy of  spending time with friends and family. AND THE FOOD!

Yet I find myself more and more disenchanted by the consumerism. This year I avoided it completely by shopping locally at a couple of artisan fairs and during our travels in February in Germany and by  making homemade gifts. What a difference it has made in our stress levels! We have been able to enjoy the season so much more without feeling like we are supposed to go out and buy stuff for people who have stuff already just to show we care…That is not what Christmas is supposed to be about in my opinion.

So back to the food!  I love celebrating, but to balance that out we stock our fridge with a plethora of fruits and vegetables, but also prep a healthy snack or treat for the week to avoid those terrible-for-you prepackaged cookies and cakes that taste great but make you feel like crap.

Enter, this rustic chocolate tart. It’s  the perfect treat for you to enjoy with a mug of hot tea without feeling like crappola the next morning. While it is dairy-free, has no refined sugar, and no flour, its actually uses  a pretty neat technique I recently discovered, soaking cashews.

When you soak them for several hours,  cashews can be blended into a beautiful creamy base for all types of things.

Head down to the bulk bin section of your grocery store and stock up on hazelnuts and cashews. Use the best quality dark chocolate you can find and have fun with it!  If you are short on time or don’t feel like making a crust at all, the filling of this tart makes a  scrumptious fudge which you could gift to friends or take to  party.

Tis the season to be merry! Let’s try  not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping/spending money/scrooginess and just enjoy time with friends and family over a good ole’ tart, ok?

 

 

Ta-ta!

In love and light,

Lydia

Rustic Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Serves 10
Prep time 4 hours
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 4 hours, 15 minutes
Allergy Tree Nuts
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Freezable, Serve Cold
You will have no idea this nutty chocolate tart is healthy for you!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Crust

  • 3/4 cups hazelnuts
  • 11/2 cups oats
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Note

Make just the filling and freeze in an 8 X8 in pan for fudge instead of a tart.

Directions

Step 1
Blend a 1/2 cup of oats in the food processor until they become a fine flour.Remove and set aside. Blend the hazelnuts unitl they become sand-like in texture.Add in other crust ingredients, including oat flour, and pulse until dough can be pressed together.
Step 2
Press the dough into a pie plate or tart pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes to set it.
Step 3
Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours in a bowl of water, completely covered.
Step 4
Drain the cashews and rinse. Melt the cholcolate in a double boiler over the stove.
Step 5
Combine cashews, chocolate, coocnut oil, espresso powder, salt and vanilla in food processor and let it blend for several minutes. It can take a while to get smooth. Keep turning off and wiping down the sides with a spatula. If blender needs more liquid you can a dd a couple of teaspoons of almond milk.
Step 6
Pour the filling into the cooled crust, sprinkle with sea salt, and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. Slice frozen and eat frozen for best results. Store int eh freezer wrapped in freezer paper.

 

 

Sweet Sweet Summertime

I have to say I am thrilled to see my blog is still in existence. I had serious doubts.

I know I dropped off the face of the Earth for 5 months a while . I am not going to apologize anymore because sh* happens. You  forgive me, right?

Why don’t I start when I left off, sometime in March before I started studying for another dreadful exam and had no life for 3 months?

We brought home a package of bees and embarked on a beekeeping adventure with the bee boxes I had bought Larsen for Christmas.   Their population has exploded so much that we have added a 4th box to their hive, which will be slowly filled with honey over the next several months. I have noticed folks are quite curious about them.  Most commonly, people ask how we will actually extract the honey. That, my friends, is done with what is called an extractor, which we will be purchasing shortly. Basically,  after you uncap the wax off of the frame filled with delicious honey (which is covered in wax to keep the honey in), the extractor will spin  the frame to remove the honey. You then filter the honey and jar it. You can actually use every part of the hive in some way, including wax, propolos, honey and royal jelly. Pretty neat!

bees

The garden has been in full swing since April , but sadly the tomatoes have not fared well again due to the rain and bugs and disease. Many of them have black bottoms. I am so disappointed in our tomatoes this year. However as you can see from the photo below, the marigolds, jade green beans , yellow squash and carrots have done amazingly well!

veggies summer 2014

 

On the cooking front,  grilling out fish and veggies has been our summer meal of choice . I thought I would share a recipe I developed with grass fed beef and fresh herbs and cucumbers from the garden. See below for the recipe! It is super fast, fresh, healthy and the perfect meal to cap off a dreadfully hot day because no oven is required.

I am happily back to running, coaching and working out hard, incorporating light weight training at home and power yoga into my week too. It’s great to be back with the crew! Rock N’ Roll Marathon is right around the corner in November, then I will be training for the Charleston Marathon (if I can be convinced to run another full marathon, cough cough), then Cooper River Bridge Run. We have a lot of travel planned for the first half of next year, so  I just hope I can fit everything I want to do in. But travel is another post in itself!

For cross-training, here are 2 of my favorite online workouts so far for the experienced yogini or exerciser, both intermediate/advanced levels. (Please do not try these workouts if you are not familiar with proper weight training form or yoga.) These will kick your butt. Be forewarned. But nothing in life is worth having if you didn’t sweat a little for it, right?

YOGA:

ALI KAMENOVA INTERVAL POWER YOGA-40 MIN

WEIGHT TRAINING(need 5 or 10  pound dumbells):

GYM RA ADVANCED DUMBELL/CARDIO WORKOUT

We are officially boaters now, which was completely unplanned thanks to my wonderful grandfather.  I cannot wait to take friends out on  the boat,  fish, and explore the rivers. We had to drive all the way to Louisiana to get the boat from Pa and celebrate his 87 th birthday with the family for a short but sweet long weekend in Cajun-country.  Much to my  vegetarian friends’ dismay(sorry I am really not sorry) I ate a huge fried oyster po’boy, Zapp’s potato chips, cracklins(which is double fried pork fat dusted with a delicious seasoning), boudin, homemade crawfish etoufee, duck, turtle soup, and coconut pie in  matter of 48 hours. Then we drove home for 16 hours listening to a book on tape . I didn’t want to look at meat for 2 days after that.  Totally Worth It.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pa fishing

Pa and all the ladies in the family!

Pa and all the ladies in the family!

Life is good. Summertime is sweet.

And I missed you guys!

With Love,

Lydia

Mediterranean Burgers with Cucumber Salad

Serves 6-8
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Milk
Meal type Main Dish, Salad
Occasion Barbecue
This summertime deconstructed burger is a perfectly refreshing meal topped with a light cucumber salad.

Ingredients

  • 2lb grass fed beef
  • 1/2 cup grated onion and juices
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 cucumbers (peeled and cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • .5 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • 6-8 wedges Naan bread or pita bread
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons pepper

Note

You can buy Naan bread at Whole Foods or make your own! Grass fed beef can be found at your local farmer's markets and specialty grocers.

Directions

Step 1
Combine the grass fed beef, grated onion, cumin and coriander in a large bowl. Add 1 t salt and 3/4 teaspoon of pepper.
Step 2
Shape beef into patties and grill over medium-high heat until just cooked through and juices run clear. Remember that grass fed beef cooks significantly faster than store-bought beef. Cover with foil and set aside once they are cooked.
Step 3
Combine the yogurt, mayo, olive oil, fresh herbs and cucbmbers in a medium bowl and chill for 20-30 minute.
Step 4
Serve the burgers on top of warm Naan bread topped with a huge helping of cucumber salad.

 

 

 

 

Gemutlich

Gemutlich. It means “comfy” in German.

We woke up each morning for 2 weeks  in Bad Tolz Germany and made ourselves a huge  breakfast of local meats and cheeses, fresh quark, nutella, rolls and coffee with the CNN World News on as white noise. From the living room you could  see out onto the balcony, looking out to a  green pasture, picturesque  German cottages, the Isar River to our left and old German folks doing their morning exercise on the walking path next to the local gym.

Just a 10 minute brisk walk away was the Marktstrasse, bustling with locals picking up their daily bread and meats and cheeses and schoolchildren making their way to class each day.

I can see why my mother-in-law finds it hard to leave her hometown each time she visits. It is paradise.

Bad Tolz is centrally located right near Garmisch, as well as the Italian and Austrian borders, so we did not have to drive far to explore!

Highlights:

Germany: Local saunas and bads, the Zugspitze,  Lake Tegernsee, Neushwanstein Castle, Skiied the Braunig, 3 hockey games, hiked to the Kalvarienberg and along the River Isar, celebrated Fasching with the locals, cappuccinos and cake at Cafe Volkland

Austria: hiked in and around Seefield, and drove through Innsbruck

Switzerland: After driving through 7 hours of tunnels and high mountains and azure lakes, we made it to Lauterbrunnen at the base of the Jungfrau. We took the a cable car up to the tiny village, Gimmelwald, and stayed in Esther’s guesthouse  for 2 nights.  Both towns are completely car-less and 5000+ feet up on the mountainside and truly magical. I felt like I was in this little fairytale for 3 days.

So, just to let you get  feel for how spectacular this place is, let me describe how we got from point A to B , from Gimmelwald to Murren…by …SLED!

Here is a 4 minute video Larsen took with the camera attached to the front of his sled while sledding down to Gimmelwald. It was about 1.5 miles long and towards the end you will see the village. Enjoy!

 

The Epic Sled Ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

<3 V-Day Chocolate Without the Guilt<3

 chocolate dip

Do not deny that you, yes you, have at some point in your lifetime swiped your finger into that glorious little plastic container of chocolate icing from the grocery store when you were icing your kid’s cupcakes or maybe you just bought the icing to eat straight from a jar when you had a bad breakup.

It’s ok. It happens.

Big bowl of delicious icing. Finger. Yum.

I am not judging you.

However, I am here to tell you that the list of ingredients in a highly processed can of icing is scary. And ridiculous. And…carcinogenic.

So, let’s make some homemade chocolate icing with more wholesome, real foods ingredients, shall we? Definitely still a treat, but one that won’t make you feel like crap afterwards!

Perk #1: NO butter. Much less sugar than “canned” icing.  Healthy fats and antioxidants.

Perk #2:If you make this for your honey on Valentine’s Day, you can literally dip anything imaginable into it. I’ll leave that up to your imagination, ok? You can thank me later.

Perk #3. If you have no Valentine you can eat it alone, in your pajamas, watching Breaking Bad and dip in graham crackers to your heart’s content.

In case you are wondering what kind of fantastically romantic night I have in store tomorrow, let me tell you,  I have an exciting night ahead indeed: cleaning, dog washing, and packing to get all ready for our European travels the next morning. I promise a recap when I return in 2 weeks, as we will not be going as tourists, but rather, locals in the small Bavarian town of Bad-Tolz! Tolzers, as they call it over there. Larsen and I will also be staying on a small Swiss farm high in the mountains of Switzerland near a town called Murren. Anyone been there?

 

See you in a few weeks!

Auf wieder sehen!

Chocolate Dip(Icing)

Serves 12
Prep time 5 minutes
This no-guilt chocolate dip is the perfect Valentine's Day Treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 very ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey

Note

You could replace most of the sugar here with stevia to taste if  you want to avoid processed sugar completely!

Directions

Step 1
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Serve with graham crackers for dipping! Done.

Lately

 

There have been so many moments in the 4.5 month span since I last wrote on this blog when I wanted to just write, to come here and share a recipe I made or a restaurant I visited….but somehow those words never made it to this space.

I suppose it’s a combination of starting a new job and becoming accustomed to studying 10-15 hours a week at home that left me with little time to myself, let alone my blog.

 

The truth is that I have done an awful lot of cooking, some studying,  nearly zero photography, but plenty of living the last few months.

I ran a marathon.

marathon 2

I went to Atlanta for a long weekend and had an incredible meal at Local Three Kitchen and Bar, spent time with family, and ate this at Highland Bakery :

 

Highland Bakery's French Toast

 

I baked this luxurious cake for Christmas Day and lazed around opening way too many presents with my Family feeling very blessed to be there with the man I love.

Gingerbread Cake with Pistachio Topping

 

gingerbread cake

 

We had no less than 4 oyster roasts in a month-long span. I’m not complaining!

 

Larsen cooking oysters

Roasting oysters to perfection and shucking them with friends around a table with a spotlight shining and a fire roaring.

 

Though I had little time for Holiday baking, I carved out a few hours to make homemade marshmallows and dark chocolate almond butter cups.

 

marshmallow creme

This recipe from Smitten Kitchen’s blog made me change my mind about marshmallows. I altered Deb’s recipe slightly with the addition of ground ginger and cinnamon to make it a gingerbread flavor.

 

I have been cooking like a mad woman from this cookbook, Jerusalem, and I MUST share this hummus recipe because it is quite honestly the silkiest, smoothest, most-authentic hummus I have ever made. It requires soaking chickpeas overnight.Other than that, it is a breeze and you will never quite like Sabra hummus again, but you also will never need to buy it again because homemade hummus is twice as cheap. (Scroll down for the recipe!)

jerusalem cookbook

 

Lastly, we have been planning our upcoming trip to Germany/Switzerland/Austria and I am so READY to get out of this country for a couple of weeks of exploration, R&R, skiing in the Alps and stuffing my face with as much schnitzel, smoked salmon, hearty bread, and beer my stomach can handle!

 

FROHES NEUES JAHR! (HAPPY NEW YEAR)

Lydia

 

Silky Smooth Hummus

Serves 8
Prep time 12 hours
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 12 hours, 30 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Pre-preparable
Region Moroccan
From book Jerusalem
This silky-smooth, authentic hummus will make you feel like you are dining in a cafe in Jerusalem.

Ingredients

  • 1.25 cups dried chickpeas
  • salt to taste
  • pepper
  • 6.5 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-2 roasted orange or red peppers (jarred is fine)

Note

You can get creative with this and add chopped fresh herbs on top, a drizzle of olive oil, or toasted pine nuts. You could also leave out the roasted pepper completely. The possibilities are endless!

Directions

Step 1
Soak the dried chickpeas in a bowl of water overnight.
Step 2
The next day, drain the chickpeas and simmer on the stove with baking soda for 30-40 minutes until tender, but not mushy. Try to scoop out and skim off as many skins and foam as you can from the surface.
Step 3
Once the chickpeas are cooked, drain them, and throw them into your food processor with the crushed garlic, roasted peppers, water, and tahini and whirl, whirl, whirl until you have a silky-smooth consistency. Add salt to taste and combine again.Serve immediately with warm pita bread. (you can refrigerate it, but let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating for the best consistency!)

 

 

 

My Ode to Summer’s End and Fall’s Beginning

Let me start off by saying that I wrote this blog post 3 weeks ago, you know, at the actual start of Fall.

But September and October are exceptionally  busy months in this house! We have 4 family birthdays and an anniversary in a 3 week span, and if you know me, you know I am going to be a cooking some good food for anyone’s birthday in my family. How about some homemade collards, macaroni and cheese, a7 layer multi-colored Fall cake, apple pie with caramel ice cream, grilled salmon and Fall stew on top of mountains of delicious German food my mother-in-law made? …In case you are wondering, yes, I am currently wearing my stretchy pants.

 

So, friends, just hop in your own personal time machine thingey and travel back in time about 3 weeks when you’re reading this. K?

 

I am not sure how I feel about my first anniversary already passing or about summer being over…. I find it  actually unbelievable that I am married to this wonderful man I dated more than 7 years. We have to remind ourselves, pinch ourselves, rather, that we are married. This was such a joyous and huge year for us, this first year of marriage!

lyd_0616

 

The hubs and I savored every wedding memory together 2 weekends ago (ok …4 weeks now?)  on Amelia Island and let time stand still, even if only for a moment!I had never visited Amelia Island , and was thoroughly impressed with The Blue Heron Inn,  as well as David’s Restaurant. They went out of their way to make it a special day, and surprised us with a card signed by the staff as well as extra courses on the house in addition to our 3 course meal.  It was wonderful to enjoy a weekend with no distractions, great food, beautiful scenery,  no dishes to do, and no house to clean!

Oh, and how could I forget, we got to eat the best darn wedding cake I have ever had, complete with  a freezer-burned Dahlia on top!

wedding cake 1 year

On another note, is it really Fall? The season of pumpkins, pretty scarves, fall boots, crisp morning runs,  and dinner outside on the porch in the cool evening breeze? Who doesn’t love this season?

Fall may my favorite season, but I will still miss my flip flops, beach days, and fresh summer produce. I pulled out some frozen blueberries for one last summer hurrah, and the result was pretty tasty!

blueberry cobbler bars

 

Since this is my ode to the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall, I also must share some recently-made  Fall recipes from various and sundry blogs or magazines . Click the recipe for the link!

Recipes Tested this Month:

Spaghetti Squash Patties with Sriracha Saucethey fell completely apart, but they tasted great!

Smoked Salmon Potato Tartine-most delicious recipe I made this month

Pumpkin Nutella Brownies

Pork  Vegetable Fried RiceHealthy!!

Broccoli-Cheddar Quiche-Easy and perfect for company. 

Recipe for the blueberry cobbler bars is below! Happy eating.

With Love,

Lydia

 

Blueberry Cobbler Bars

Serves 16
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 25 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable
Savor the delicious blueberry with these no-fuss blueberry cobbler bars.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 sticks butter, cubed
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs (Filling)
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (Filling)
  • 1 cup sugar (Filling)
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (Filling)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (Filling)

Note

For easy cutting, freeze the cooked bars and cut when partially frozen.

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and pre-grease a 9 X 13 in baking dish.
Step 2
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cubed butter, and salt and cut with a pastry cutter or fork OR beat with a mixer. Mixture will be very crumbly.
Step 3
Take 1 C mixture and set aside. Then press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a baking dish to cover the bottom. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool.
Step 4
While crust is baking, whisk the eggs in a large bowl Add sugar, sour cream, flour and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
Step 5
Carefully fold in the blueberries(fresh or frozen).
Step 6
Pour blueberry mixture into crust and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of crumb mixture evenly over the top. Bake 1 hour or until the crumble topping is slightly browned. If serving warm, serve with vanilla ice cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer’s End Zucchini Corn Soup

It simply cannot be, summer nearly over. I am slightly sad, yet  slightly anxious for the fall foods to start appearing in the markets. I will surely miss soups like this: light, creamy, healthy, and fresh.

This is summer in a bowl.

I can’t remember a soup I have enjoyed so much. I can feel my body thanking me for all the superfoods every time I eat it.

Enjoy summer while you can.

This soup may take little while in the kitchen but it is plenty to eat on all week, hot or cold or room temperature.!

 

Zucchini-Corn Soup

Between the new job and raising a little kitten, it is meals like this I keep returning to, so I can cook less and enjoy time more.

Uni

Uni

 

 

Zucchini Corn Soup

Serves 10
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 25 minutes
Meal type Soup
Misc Pre-preparable
Region Thai
This creamy Thai Zucchini Corn Soup is light, healthy, and refreshing any time of year!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 ears fresh corn (kernels sliced off the cobs)
  • 1 quarter-sized piece of ginger (grated)
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice plus half a lime
  • 6 cups water
  • 10-12 basil leaves
  • 2 large scallions
  • 4 cobs of corn (kernels chopped off the cob)
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5lb zucchini
  • 3/4 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro

Directions

Step 1
In a large saucepan, combine 2 T of lime juice,a half a lime, water,and ginger. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 2
Toss in the basil, turn off the burner. and let it steep for 10 additional minutes. Menawhile toss the chopped scallions into a cold bowl of water and stir around to remove all dirt. Drain and set the scallion pieces aside.
Step 3
Strain the warm stock through a sieve and set aside the aromatics, keeping the liquid broth for the soup.
Step 4
In a wide soup pot melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the chopped scallions to the oil and cook until they are wilting, around 5 minutes. Add the chopped zucchini, 2/3 of the fresh corn kernels,1 tsp salt, and enough of the liquid stock to cover the vegetables.
Step 5
Bring the soup to a light boil and lower the temperature to a simmer. Let simmer 15 minutes.
Step 6
Let the soup come to room temperature(around 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to release steam). (This will preserve bright green color of cilantro one you add it in.) Add the cilantro leaves and puree the soup either using an immersion blender or your food processor. Stir in coconut milk and 2 Tablespoons lime juice. Serve warm with a few pieces of fresh corn kernels on top.

Theraband Mania Workout

get off the couchHere is another workout for you. You will need a medium-strength theraband and a large space, like your driveway or a park!

Tie the ends of the theraband together, so that it forms a loop. Step into the loop so it sits on your ankles.

with theraband around ankles:

90 Secs –stepping to the right- Side Squat Stepping 

90 Secs-Stepping to the Left-side Squat Stepping

90 Secs forward-Duck Walking 

90 Secs backward-Duck Walking 

Theraband around your thighs just above the knee for this one

90 Sec Leg Abductions in Bridge Position

NO theraband:

90 Secs Walking Lunges

Theraband Upper Body Exercises: Repeat 2 times through

60 secs Shoulder PressSit on the middle of the band. Grab each end and press it straight up to the sky.

60 Secs Pushups– no band

60 Secs Row– Sit upright with legs extended in front of you. Wrap band around your feet and pull band towards you, squeezing your shulder blades together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Workout Kickoff

get off the couch

I have been teaching bootcamps in the park anywhere from 2-4 times per week for the last year and last night I taught my last one(….tear). Now that is is over, I figured I would give back my going through all the workouts and posting some of them for my participants who still want to get in their workouts(I will be there in spirit!). Notice the very faint tab on top of my blog that says workouts now. I will be posting the links to all of them there so that you can book mark that page and pull it up to find the workouts easily!

I am not going to spend alot of time or effort  explaining the exercises, mainly because 5 million other sites have videos and explanations already. Look them up. They are basic exercises that you should become familiar with anyway!  So I have linked some of them with explanations, others not. Once I post a few workouts and you become familiar with the basics, I will not link the exercises anymore. Got it?

(Note: You can order an individual  theraband here. I recommend using  a medium-weight one.)

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Butt-Kicking Bootcamp Routine-Repeat this List TWICE for optimal results.

20 X  Lunge to  Plank Right Leg -Start in plank position. Bring one knee in toward the chest and plant your foot between your hands, stand up with you weight in your front foot to a lunge position. Reach down, hands to the ground on either side of your foot and step back into plank.

20 X Lunge to Plank Left Leg

30 X Squat with Sidekick

90 sec Reverse Plank-just hold position

20 X Granny Pushup-This is a regular pushup. …just 2 counts down , 2 counts up…nice and sloooow LIKE A GRANNY;-)

30 X Bridge Lift

20 X Sit Up with Leg Lift-Start on you back with knees up and  legs bent, heels walked in towards your glutes and feet on floor. Sit up, reach up to the sky and lift one leg, fully extending it and toe pointing away. See this link for what you should look like once you sit up. Modify by doing simple crunches if you cannot yet do a situp.

20 X Triangle Pushup

20 X  Prone Superman Lift

15 X Lateral Leg Lift in Side Plank Left

15 X Lateral Leg Lift in Side Plank Right

15 X Lateral Leg Circles  Left

15 X Lateral Leg Circles Right

20 X Supine Double Leg Lifts

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A note on modifications and form: These workouts are written to be challenging.

To get the most out of every exercise, your core should be sucked in(engaged!). Imagine you are posing for a picture and sucking your belly in the entire time you are working out. Shoulders are always relaxed away from the ears.

Modify pushups by doing them on your knees.

Modify any plank or side plank by working  on your knees and/or forearms.

Modify any core exercise by bending  your  knees instead of keeping legs extended, and reducing your range of motion.