Monthly Archives

November 2010


Weekend Road Warriors

November 30, 2010

Another weekend, another road trip. What a crazy Thanksgiving weekend it was! Joey and I traveled home to NW Iowa for Thanksgiving, then over to Chicago with my mom and Joey’s parents to watch his brother play for Bethel University in the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs. And on Sunday it was time to head back home.

Bethel won. We had a wonderfully exhausting time. And I got to spend a lot of time with family and loved ones. There really is so much to be thankful for.


Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

November 28, 2010

After this past weekend, are you in need of something to lighten you up?

Would you rather just be eating pumpkin pie?

Yeah, I’m with you on that one. I don’t care how many times I’ve had it, I love pumpkin pie and I wish it stuck around longer than just two months.

What keeps my cravings at bay these days? Pumpkin Pie Smoothies.

If you follow any health blogs, you’ve probably seen a recipe or two similar to this sometime in the last couple of months, for good reason.

Though it may sound a little strange, it tastes totally delicious and is completely healthy and safe for every day consumption. One of these smoothies has less than 300 calories per serving, over 1,000 mg of potassium, 388% vitamin A, 40% vitamin B6, and over 25% vitamin C. Of course, this depends on the type of protein powder you use, but it’s a nutrient powerhouse no matter what type of protein you choose.

Give it a try. You won’t be sorry.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
(Printable Recipe)

*1 medium banana
*1/2 cup milk
*1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
*2 tsp. Stevia, Splenda, or honey
*1/2 cup canned pumpkin
*5-7 ice cubes
*1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

*Place all the above ingredients in a blender and blend or process until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Happy Cooking


Eggnog Sweet Rolls

November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving. Okay, so I’m a few hours ahead of the game, but I wanted to give you this recipe for Eggnog Sweet Rolls, in case you haven’t been bombarded with enough recipes to last you a lifetime.

If you’re in need of a breakfast on, say, Friday morning before hitting the Black Friday sales, this would be the recipe. I don’t care what anyone else says, Black Friday is always a good idea. My mom and I have gone many times over the years, and although we never really have a goal in mind, being part of the craziness is kind of fun.

Or, you could just sit with one of these rolls, curled up by the fire and watch Oprah while thinking about how blessed you are and how much you have to be thankful for: family and friends, a home and a job, delicious food and health. So many blessings to count.

What are you all thankful for?

Have a great one, all!

Eggnog Sweet Rolls
(Printable Recipe)

*1 3/4 cups 2% milk
*1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
*1/2 cup sugar
*2 pkts. active dry yeast 
*3/4 tsp. baking soda
*5 cups all-purpose flour
*2 Tbsp. butter, melted
*1/3 cup sugar
*Ground Cinnamon

Eggnog Icicng 
*4 oz. cream cheese, softened
*1 cup powdered sugar
*2 to 3 Tbsp. eggnog

*In a large pot, combine the milk, oil and 1/2 cup sugar. Heat over medium heat until the mixture is very warm but not hot (about 110°F). Remove from heat. Sprinkle the yeast atop the milk mixture at let it sit for 1 minute. Stir to combine.
*Stir in four cups of the flour with a spoon or rubber spatula until wet and dry ingredients are well-combined. Sprinkle the baking soda atop the dough along with the remaining 1 cup of flour. Knead in by hand until the dough is soft, smooth and stretchable.
*Transfer dough to a clean, lightly-oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and let sit for an hour, or until doubled in size.
*Preheat oven to 350°F. 
*Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and press by hand into a rectangle (about 15×6-inches).
*Bush dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup sugar and sprinkle generously with ground cinnamon. Roll the dough into a log lengthwise, pinching the seam together to hold it closed. Cut into 2-inch pieces.
*Lightly-grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Place the 2-inch pieces in the cake pans, about an inch apart. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden puffed up. Cool slightly on wire rack.
*Meanwhile, prepare icing. In a bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and eggnog until smooth. Spoon over warm rolls and consume immediately. :)

Happy Baking!



Back From the Beach

November 22, 2010

This past weekend I took a much needed (and very much enjoyed) long weekend. And how did I spend it? At the beach, of course! I don’t get to spend nearly as much time with my dad (or any of my family, for that matter!) as I would like to, so when I realized there were a few extra vacation days in my reserve, I took full advantage of some father-daughter bonding time.

We spent three days at the beach, working out, walking the beach, eating amazing breakfasts at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, and going to another Gator game down in The Swamp. A food revelation was also had: melon, a sprinkle of sugar, and a squeeze of lime juice on top. Delish!

Oh, and did I mention how much sleep I got? Lots and lots of sleep.

But the best part of all was simply spending quality time with my dad: my hero, my friend, and pretty much the coolest guy on earth.

Back soon with a recipe once I get my apartment in order and a few loads of laundry done.

Happy Monday!


Holiday Fruit Pie

November 18, 2010

The emotional connection I have with this pie is a little bit ridiculous. Perhaps it’s borderline obsessive.

It was part of the November 2009 “Easy Holiday Baking” feature in Better Homes and Gardens – the first project I worked on while I was an intern at the magazine. And while I wasn’t the creator of the recipe, I did see it through from conceptualization to testing to photography and finally, I wrote the copy to accompany this amazing dessert.

Last December, Joey and I had plans to go on our first real date. And then a snowstorm hit and our plans to go somewhere were squashed. Instead, we ate a dinner I made at home, and for dessert I made this pie. I like to think it was what sealed the deal on our relationship.

I’m pretty sure this pie has magic powers. It’s made with both fresh and dried cranberries, and some golden raisins thrown in for good measure. It pops in your mouth with bright, tangy flavor
that’s just tart enough to keep it interesting. And because it’s tangy and tart, it doesn’t leave you with that sickeningly sweet feeling. Meaning you can eat two slices. Or three.

Holiday Fruit Pie
Straight from Better Homes and Gardens magazine | November, 2009 
(Printable Recipe)

*1 Recipe Butter Pastry, recipe below
*1 (12-oz.) bag  fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries
*2 to 3 tsp.  finely shredded orange peel
*1 cup  orange juice
*1/2 cup  golden raisins
*1/2 cup  dried cranberries
*1 cup  sugar
*1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
*1 egg, lightly beaten
*2 to 3 tsp.  sugar

* Prepare Butter Pastry.
*In saucepan combine cranberries, orange peel, orange juice, raisins, and dried cranberries; bring to boiling over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, 3 minutes. In bowl combine sugar and flour; add to saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On floured surface, roll one dough portion to 12-inch circle. Wrap pastry around the rolling pin. Unroll into 9-inch pie plate. Pour in filling. Trim bottom pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge.
*On floured surface, roll remaining dough to 13-inch circle; cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Weave strips over fruit filling in lattice pattern. Press strips into bottom pastry rim. Seal and crimp edge, if desired. Brush with egg and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.
*Cover edge with foil. Bake 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 20 minutes more or until top is nicely browned and filling is bubbly. Let stand at least 1 hour. Makes 8 servings.

*Butter Pastry: In a large mixing bowl combine 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Using fork, cut in 1/3 cup chilled shortening and 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces until crumbly. Using fork, stir in 8 to 9 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough just starts for form. Knead 2 or 3 times in bowl. Divide in half. Form halves into 2 discs. Wrap with plastic wrap; chill at least 30 minutes.

Happy Baking!


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