Saturday, November 8, 2014

Oatmeal Cookie Apple Pie

This is my 500th blog post! Can you believe that?  I can't!  I love posting here and although and don't post as frequently as I used to, I still love documenting a little about my life and all the fun food I make!

Last night, I had a great time with some of my teacher buddies.  We ran a 5K and then hung out after for dinner and drinks.  It was so much fun!  Plus, I cam in first in the 5K for my age group!  That was pretty funny and exciting.  We also played Cards Against Humanity which is just hilarious.

In honor of my 500th post and Thanksgiving being right around the corner, I have a yummy recipe for Apple Pie with an Oatmeal Cookie Crust!  I found the recipe on How Sweet It Is and then adapted it a bit to fit what I wanted.  I hope that you enjoy this amazing recipe and (hopefully) another 500 posts to come.

Oatmeal Cookie Apple Pie

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2-3 tbsp ice water
6 large apples peeled and sliced thin (I used Granny Smith)
2 1/2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter

1. Make the crust: place flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor.  Let pulse and add in the butter until mixture starts to combine.  Add in the vinegar and then the water, 1 tbsp at a time, until the mixture forms into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill.
2. Make the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the apple cider, brown sugar, butter and vanilla.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 6-7 minutes or until mixture thickens.
3. In a large bowl, toss apple slices with the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Pour the cider mixture over the top and toss to combine.
4. Once dough has chilled, place on a lightly floured surface and roll out until you have a crust that is about 1/4 inch thick.  Place in a lightly greased pie pan.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
6.  Place apples in the prepared pie pan.
7.  Make the topping: In a large bowl, whisk the oats, flour, cinnamon and salt.  Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut in the butter until you have a streusel like topping.  Sprinkle the topping over the apples and press down to make sure that it stays in place.
8.  Bake pie for 45-50 minutes.

Enjoy :)

no bourbon- 1 cup apple cider

Sunday, October 26, 2014

One Pot Vegetarian Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

I had to post this because so many people were asking about the recipe! This "breakfast for dinner" dish was outstanding and one of the more attractive meals I have put together.

This week was the first week after the marathon where I sorta felt like I was all better again.  I started running again, I felt more positive about teaching, and I got back to cooking!  I was in a bit of a post-marathon funk for a while and it felt really good to be back to myself!

Bri and I didn't have any plans this weekend and it has been so nice just relaxing!  Last weekend, I went to a math conference and didn't really feel like I had any weekend time!  However, it was a really cool conference and I already started using a bunch of the ideas I learned from it in my own classroom.  For example, I taught this fun lesson about a Giant Gummy Bear!  The video is really cute and my students did a great job with the lesson.  Besides teaching and running, I made some amazing meals that I am really excited to share here!

One Pot Vegetarian Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet
(adapted from Cookie Monster Cooking)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes (I left the skins on)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup pepper jack cheese
4 eggs
2 green onions (optional)
1 avocado (optional)
siracha sauce (optional)

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add in sweet potatoes, paprika, cumin, salt, and cayenne and toss to combine.  Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Pour in the veggie broth, stir, and then cover again for about 10 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.  You may need to add more broth so that the potatoes don't stick.  Stir every 2-3 minutes to check.
2. Once potatoes are done, sprinkle the cheese over the tops.  Then, create 4 spaces and crack the eggs into them.  Cover and let the eggs cook for 5-6 minutes or until your eggs are done the way you like.
3.  To serve, cut up the green onion and sprinkle over the top.  Serve with avocado slices and a little siracha.

Enjoy :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes

So yesterday I ran a marathon.  I can't believe I get to say that now!  I completed the Bank of American Chicago Marathon.  My toes really hurt right now, but I am so excited and proud of myself.  My finishing time was 4 hours and 37 minutes and I ran the entire time at about a 10 minute mile pace.  I walked through water stations and stopped for the bathroom, but other than that, I ran the entire freaking thing.  It was so cool.  If you want, check out my thoughts on this whole thing here: My First Marathon.

And here are some of the highlights from yesterday!
Ready to start!

13 miles in!


One refreshing beer...that I had 4 sips of

My running buddy Jana and our metals! 
I was so nervous going into this weekend, that I baked cupcakes for no reason at all.  I just needed something to do.  However, now I am really happy that I did because these Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes are super delicious and a well-deserved treat after the 26.2 miles I ran yesterday.  Make these delicious cupcakes for a yummy fall treat!

Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes (I call them Chumpkin Cupcakes)
adapted from (The Kitchn)

Chai Syrup:
1 cup water
6 tbsp sugar
4 chai tea bags
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp canola oil
4 eggs
3 tbsp chai syrup
1 tsp vanilla
15 oz pumpkin puree (plain)
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp chai syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. To make the chai syrup:  Place water, sugar, spices, and tea bags in a medium saucepan.  Stir and bring to a rolling boil.  Lower heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until water is reduced and you have a syrup texture.  Remove tea bags and place syrup in a container.  Place in fridge until cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350 and place cupcake liners in your cupcake pan.  I made regular cupcakes and mini cupcakes.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, and cloves.  In a large bowl, place brown sugar, sugar, and canola oil.  Beat until well combined.  Beat in eggs, chai syrup, and vanilla.  Slowly add in the flour mixture until just combined.  Stir in the pumpkin puree until combined.
4. Fill cupcake wells about 2/3 full.  For regular cupcakes bake 20-23 and for mini cupcakes bake for 15-18 minutes.  An inserted toothpick should come out clean.  Let cool before frosting.
5. To make the frosting, beat butter until whipped and then beat in the powdered sugar, chai syrup and vanilla.  Beat until well combined and frost!

Enjoy :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

My First Marathon

I really can't believe that this day is here.  One year ago, I watched the Chicago Marathon and said, "I'm totally going to do this next year."  When it came time to sign up, six months ago, I still had that frame of mind.  I figured, while I'm young, I should try to do everything that inspires me.

Five years ago, if I told myself I would one day run a marathon, I would have laughed myself to tears.  I was totally not a runner.  I would go to the gym and stand on the elliptical just because everyone else was doing it and then I would get a snack right afterwards.  I wasn't exactly into working out :)  But then, I started jogging with my friend Caryn and this blog and everything changed.  Caryn provided me with the motivation and support to get out there and keep moving.  This blog, taught me to cook.  I know its about food and recipes, but truly it is about me making myself do something good and learn how to eat.  Both of these things helped me to realize that I was always much stronger and disciplined than I had ever realized before.  Both of these things helped me embrace who I am and what I love.

Now that today is here, I could not be more proud of myself for taking on this challenge.  It terrifies me.  I have trained for 18 weeks.  I have run 20 miles.  People keep telling me I am ready and its time to believe in that and have some fun.  I am so excited for today's race even if I feel like I'm going to get sick at any moment right now.  Last night, as I was sitting at dinner with my parents, cousin, Bri, and tons of good friends, I looked around me and realized that I have so much support and love in my life.  This is what is going to carry me through today.  I blog about food because I love how food brings people together.  Last night, we were brought together by two of my loves, food and running and it meant so much to me to have so many people there.

In about 40 minutes, I am going to be picked up by my marathon buddy, Jana, and we will be off to start this crazy adventure.  Wish me luck and thank you to everyone who has supported me in all the crazy endeavors I have taken on!