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Archive for June, 2012

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Another week…another weekly running recap!

Sunday: Rest
Monday: 30 minute run outside
Tuesday: 30 minute incline run (treadmill)
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 25 minute HIIT, 100 crunches, 25 push-ups
Friday: 30 minute incline run (treadmill)
Saturday: 10 mile run

Last week I told you I was breaking in new shoes- well, they were wonderful on the long run! I did get a couple blisters, but I really think those were due to my socks (it’s time for new ones!)- not the shoes! Hopefully I can buy a few more pairs before they change to a newer model (and you know they will!).

Have a great weekend!

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Photo Friday

Nick and I went to Mid-Ohio over the weekend to watch the Vintage Grand Prix. The weather was beautiful and the races were fun to watch!

Sunset from our local beach…

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June 29th is National Almond Buttercrunch Day!

A butter crunch (also known as a butter crisp) is a crunchy confection that you cook to at least 290 degrees F. This candy is similar to toffee (a crispy confection that contains a lot of butter and sugar), but it contains slightly less butter. (Source)

I am really liking this candy! It is lighter in texture than toffee- I think, due in part to adding baking soda to the candy. This would be a fun recipe to play around with, as far as the chocolate and nuts…white chocolate and macadamias?…dark chocolate and pistachios? I know I want to try it with milk chocolate and honey roasted peanuts!

Chocolate Almond Buttercrunch
Recipe from David Lebovitz

2 cups toasted almonds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
heavy pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkling of sea salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Lightly oil a baking sheet (or jelly roll pan- make sure it has sides), with vegetable oil. Note: I used 1 or 2 teaspoons of oil and a paper towel to distribute it. Sprinkle on 1/2 of the chopped nuts, spreading them out evenly. David’s recipe says to spread the nuts out making an 8 x 10 inch area. My area was bigger, so the candy ended up a little thinner (which was fine with me!).

In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine the water, butter, pinch of salt, sugar, and light brown sugar. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, until a candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda and vanilla (be careful, the baking soda will make the candy bubble up). Pour the candy mixture evenly over the chopped nuts. Let this rest for 1 minute, then sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Let rest for 2 or 3 minutes, in order for the chocolate to melt, then spread the chocolate evenly over the candy. Lightly sprinkle on the sea salt and the remaining almonds. Cool completely, then break into pieces. Enjoy!

Made with love, not calories!

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One last patriotic recipe!

Baker’s Royale was the first blog that I had ever seen a Zebra cake (here and here). I thought they were really interesting and I added it to my baking to-do list.

Well, with the 4th of July quickly approaching, I thought making a red, white, and blue zebra cake would be an eye-catching dessert! It is a little bit of work, layering the batter, but I was pleased with the results.

Photo courtesy of Nick

Red, White, and Blue Zebra Cake
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
Prep time: 40 minutes     Bake time: 40+ 60 minutes

2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups vanilla sugar
9 large eggs, separated
4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Red and Blue food gel coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 10-cup bundt pan* by greasing and flouring. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the egg yolks, one at a time, and incorporate well. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they become stiff peaks. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla bean paste. Set aside (there seems to be a pattern here!).

Going back to the butter/sugar mixture, stir in 1/3 of the milk mixture, followed by 1/3 of the flour mixture. Repeat this 2 more times (ending with the last of the flour mixture). Stir in 1/3 of the egg whites (this will help lighten the dough), then fold in the remaining egg whites. Note: don’t fold the egg whites in completely- there can still be some streaks, as you are going to be stirring the batter a little more once you add in the food coloring.

Put 2 cups of batter in a small bowl and add a few drops of red gel food coloring. Stir to combine. Repeat this step, however, using the blue gel food coloring in the 2nd bowl. Go back to the main batter bowl and make sure the egg whites are fully incorporated.

In order to make the zebra pattern, I used 3 ice cream scoops. 2 medium scoops (1 for red, 1 for blue) and a large scoop (for the main batter- white). Start with a scoop of red batter, followed by a scoop of white. A scoop of blue batter comes next, followed by another scoop of white. Now it’s back to red and we repeat this pattern. Note: the reason for doing red/white/blue/white, is to try to keep the blue and red batters from mixing and forming purple once it bakes! After every 4 scoops, gently shake the bundt pan in order to get the batter to spread out. Repeat this until you have used up all the batter, or until your bundt pan is 3/4 of the way full*. Bake in a preheated oven for 40-60 minutes, depending on how full your bundt pan is. Once a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, invert the cake onto a platter and let cool completely. Enjoy!

*Note: I did not want to over-fill my bundt pan, so I had left-over batter. I ended up using both a bundt pan and a loaf pan. Both ended up baking for 40 minutes for me. If you put all your batter in the bundt pan, your baking time will be longer than 40 minutes.

Bundt pan

Loaf pan

Photo courtesy of Nick

Made with love, not calories!

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Welcome back to Ice Cream Sunday!

I like Oreo ice cream. While it isn’t my absolute favorite, I would say it is in my top 5!

I am not alone in liking this flavor, as it is number 3 on a Top-Ten listing!

I kind of got carried away with the amount of crushed Oreo’s I added to the ice cream! I really don’t think this is a bad thing though!!! :) I think the hardest part of making ice cream is waiting for it to firm up! Though I will admit to eating a spoonful once it comes out of the ice cream machine…quality control, you know!!!

Oreo Ice Cream
Ice cream base adapted from Food Network
Prep time: 8 1/2 hours (30 minutes active, 8 hours inactive)

2 cups half and half
2 cup whipping cream
7 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
30 Oreo’s, crushed

In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together the heavy cream and half and half. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, until the mixture is a light yellow (about 3 minutes).

Once the cream mixture comes to a simmer, pour 1/3 into the egg yolk/sugar mixture and whisk quickly to combine. Repeat this step 2 more times, until all the cream has been incorporated into the sugar mixture. Pour this combined mixture back into the saucepan. Over medium-low heat, stirring slowly and continuously, let the mixture come up to 175 degrees (using a candy thermometer). Once the ice cream base has come up to temperature, remove from the heat and strain through a sieve into a heat-safe bowl. Let cool to room temperature, then stir in the vanilla extract, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

After 4 hours, process the ice cream according to your ice cream machine manufacturers instructions. Once the ice cream is ready, scoop (or pour- the ice cream should be a thick milkshake consistency) into a freezer-safe container stirring in the crushed Oreo’s. Cover and freeze for 4 hours. Serve and enjoy!

*Notes: I don’t fill my ice cream machine’s canister the whole way- I only like to fill it 1/2 to 3/4 of the way, so I did my ice cream in 2 batches (and only added half of the crushed Oreo’s to each batch).

Made with love, not calories!

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Another week…another weekly running recap!

Sunday: Rest
Monday: 30 minute run (outside)
Tuesday: 30 minute HIIT
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 30 minute run (treadmill)
Friday: 30 minute run (outside)
Saturday: 9 mile run (treadmill/outside)

I’m breaking in new shoes! I finally have had to move away from the Brooks Adrenaline 10 GTS shoes that I have been wearing for the last few years (multiple pairs!). I had bought a newer version and did not care for them (I have a calcium deposit on my left foot, from when I broke it. It makes a difference when buying shoes). Anyways, I went to Achilles Running Shop and was fitted for new shoes. The winner? Asics Gel 1160. All the miles this week, so far, have been with the Asics. The test will be on today’s run, so I will have a verdict in next weeks weekly recap! So far, so good!

If you live in the Northeast Ohio area and are in need of running shoes, I recommend Achilles. I have bought several pairs of shoes there, and the staff is very courteous and knowledgeable. I Really dislike buying shoes, and they make the process a little easier*!

Have a great weekend!

*This is entirely my opinion!

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June 22nd is National Eclair Day!

Whew! I didn’t think I was going to finish this post in time! It’s been a long week. I started a new job and it’s different hours then my previous one. It’s amazing how a 2 hour difference changes the course of the day! Oh well, I’m hoping to settle into a rhythm soon!

Anyhow…

Eclairs are a fun dessert! The dough is quick to make, you can fill them with pudding, ice cream, pastry cream, or even whipped cream! I filled mine with a chocolate chip cookie dough filling, and topped them with chocolate!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough filled Eclairs 
Eclair recipe adapted from Food Network
Filling adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook
Prep time: 45 minutes     Bake time: 25-30 minutes

Eclairs:
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Filling:
1/2 stick (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 7 oz. jar marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Glaze:
3/4 cup chocolate chips
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup

To make eclairs:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium-sized sauce pan, bring the water and butter to a boil, over medium heat. Turn the heat to low and add in the flour, stirring quickly with a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the dough comes together and you cook some of the moisture out of the dough (this will happen very quickly, so don’t go more than a couple of minutes).

Remove the pan from the heat and spoon the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, turn the mixer on medium speed and let it run for 3 minutes (this will help cool the dough just a little bit). While the mixer is still running, add the eggs in, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. After the last egg has been incorporated, turn off the mixer and get a pastry bag ready for the dough (a heavy-duty ziplock bag will work also). Fill the pastry bag with dough and pipe on lines, about 4 inches long, onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Note: you can make these bigger, or pipe mounds of dough which will give you cream puffs! If you have little peaks at the end of each line, dip your finger in water and lightly flatten the peak. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and they sound hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

To make the filling:
In a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together. Stir in the flour and salt until well incorporated. Add in the marshmallow creme and vanilla and stir well. Fold in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

To make the  glaze:
In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup. Microwave on high for 30 second intervals, stirring after each one, until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

To assemble the eclairs:
Using a sharp serated knife, cut the eclair down the side (without going thru the back- kind of like a hot dog bun!). Spoon, or pipe in the filling, close up the eclair and spread a tablespoon of the glaze on the top. Serve and enjoy!

Made with love,not calories!

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