Category Archives: Baking

Call Me Betty

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I finally finished baking the apple pie that I started making the dough for two days ago. The only healthy thing about this pie is that it contains apples, but I was making it for my boyfriend and Dad and wanted to make sure they enjoyed it.

I felt like such the little Betty Crocker pulling this out of the oven. The top got a little burned, but it still looks pretty good. Nobody has tried it yet, but I’ll let you know what my critics thought when they do. I’m not a fan, so I won’t be taste-testing this one 🙂

It’s amazing how much time baking takes, but I enjoy it so much time just flies by when I’m in the kitchen.

For lunch my dad and I went to Red Brick Pizza and I got my favorite, Chicken Caesar Salad. For some reason theirs is the BEST. It’s huge and their chicken is really flavorful & the croutons are awesome.

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I, of course, had no problem finishing it off 🙂 I can always take on a big salad.

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After baking up a storm, I was craving some fruit. I had a mix of pineapple, strawberries, and grapes. The strawberries are pretty “blah” so I’m trying to use them up. I also had some in my afternoon yogurt w/granola.

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I’m also finally getting around to watching Biggest Loser from this week & then it’s Dancing with the Stars after that! Man, I’m such a weird 21-year-old for spending my Friday night baking & watching TV. But hey, who cares, right? I’m happy. 🙂

Buh Bye for now!

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Party in a Bowl

Have I mentioned how much I love my bread maker?! It’s sooo simple and easy. I did make pizza dough in it the other day (thanks for the suggestion, Sarah)which turned out perfect. I just forgot to photograph it because we were in a hurry that night. Last night I made more cinnamon raisin bread with a different recipe and I think this one turned out even better.

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I toasted and buttered a few slices for Chris this morning on his way off to work and had a small slice for myself. Yumm

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But of course I couldn’t skip my oatmeal- I was craving a fun mixture today so I went with my trail mix oats in my new bowl. I love adding the trail mix on top because it feels like a party in a bowl.

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-1/4 cup oat bran, 1/2 c water, 1/2 c skim milk

-1 large banana, 1/2 added in beginning, half added towards end

-dash of cinnamon

-1 Tbsp PB on spoon

-2 Tbsp Trail mix topping

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I love how it gets while eating it- when the chocolate pieces melt and get all mixed in. It looks like a pollock creation or if you stare at it long enough it sort of becomes gross looking. It was delicious nonetheless & I enjoyed every bite.

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Shortly after I was craving some fruit so I had a banana and some grapes. 

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Like the cute bowl my mom painted? It’s adorable but took her at least 4 hours! She’s such a perfectionist when it comes to pottery painting and gets so serious and focused- it’s quite funny and cute.

I’ve been having a great morning. I woke up to 2 very sweet e-mails from Sarah and Louise, my sister, about my last post. Thanks, guys, you are the best 😀 I feel so much better and am going to write a quick note back to the girl today just to let her know I’m fine and I am going to slowly let our friendship go. It really doesn’t have much to do with her e-mail, just what I’ve been feeling for a long time. Plus she’s getting married in 2 months so I’m sure things will be changing a lot anyways. Once I do that, I think I will finally be done with this thing that I made way too big of a deal about. Oh well, you can’t help how you react sometimes I suppose but thanks again for everything.

My plans for today are to continue to be a lazy bum and enjoy my last week before school starts. (Gotta enjoy it while you can, right?!) I have dinner plans tonight with an old friend from high school that I haven’t seen since I moved back to Cali. It should be good to catchup with her. Hope everyone’s having a great Wednesday!

P.S. I know the mind is powerful, but dang my legs are sore today!!

Recap of Fun

This month has definitely proven to be as good as I hoped, even better actually! I’ve been busy having lots of fun celebrating my birthday, playing with my new toys I got, and finishing my first race ever, the sprint triathlon. Here’s a recap of what I’ve been up to:

My 21st Birthday/St. Patrick’s Day included:

DSCN0272 A GIANT bowl of oatmeal

DSCN0278 Sprinkles Cupcakes (aka Heaven in my mouth!)

and of course….

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It was a great time and I luckily didn’t get sick or hung over. I got a bunch of awesome gifts and was especially excited about the following:

DSCN0316DSCN0325 DSCN0229   Measuring cups,  a bread machine, & a new bike!! I know, I’m so spoiled but am sooo thankful. (Thank you everyone for the great gifts)

Race:

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Sunday was my sprint triathlon & oh my gosh, I had a blast!! It was early in the morning, cold, and began to rain halfway through, but I had a great time and finished which was my goal. I actually exceeded my own expectations. I finished in a total of 1:41:12.

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The split times were:

5k: 27:09

17 mile bike ride: 1:08:33

150 yd swim: 5:30

Not the fastest, but I was proud of myself & can finally see what is so addictive and fun about races. During the bike portion I was thinking “this is so crazy, but I’m loving it. It’s crazy that I’m loving it. Who am I?! I guess this is me..” If you would have told me about 3 or 4 years ago that I would be completing a triathlon, eat oatmeal every morning, and love healthy foods, I would probably look at you like you were insane. I never knew this would be me, I used to be the picky eater who would only eat grilled cheese and chicken fingers and couldn’t even run the mile in high school. It goes to show that really anything is possible.

I was also thinking it’s amusing how I pretty much accidentally became an athlete. I was among all these great athletes and I actually sort of fit in and could keep up. (Mention I didn’t say dominate… still a looonnngg way from that :-))

I would love to do more races in the future and plan on it, but right now my budget can’t afford the registration fees… blogger bake sale, anyone? Haha, just kidding- I think I need readers for that first 😛

Playing Around:

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I finally got to go paint pottery this month (twice!) and made these beautiful oatmeal bowls. I have to say- they’re my favorite thing I’ve ever made and I’ve already been putting them to plenty of use already. 😉

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I’ve also been putting my bread machine to work with these projects:

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Raisin Bread & Bagels

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So far my bread machine creations have been successes as far as taste goes. The bagels were pretty hard to make, but I took it as a challenge. They aren’t pretty, but the good taste is there which is the important part.

Well this was a very long recap of my latest “adventures.” Until next time!

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

I’m so happy right now because I came home to this tonight:

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Sarah and I did a little food swap & she had mentioned a mystery baking treat she had in store for me, so I’ve anxiously been awaiting for it to arrive and it totally surprised me how fast it got here! Since my birthday is tomorrow I was going to wait until my special day or at least midnight tonight- but once my sweet tooth and curiosity couldn’t take it any longer I ripped into the box.

The amazing goodies were:  Arnold Sandwich Thins I requested (can’t wait to try finally try these!!), Homemade Ginger Date Cookies, Cranberry Strawberry Trail Mix Crunch bites, and an awesome chocolate covered pretzel with M&M’s. Of course I had to sample everything right away:

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Holy Yum is definitely appropriate here!! First off, the cookie was the chewiest one I’ve ever had in my life– seriously! I even tried to break off a piece and it wouldn’t crack in half! It was also super moist and sooo delicious. Go ahead and be jealous and drool:

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The rest was amazing as well & totally satisfied my sweet tooth. The trail mix bite was yummy- I loved the pistachios in it. And the pretzel didn’t disappoint either- the chocolate got a bit melty when I tried to break off a piece- but that made it even more delicious. THANK YOU AGAIN, SARAH!!

Well I had some of my own kitchen adventures today- I was in the mood to bake and also wanted to make something for Chris’ sister whose birthday is next week but she’ll be out of town. I made her puppy chow, or muddy buddies as Chex calls it. I made it for Chris at Christmas and remember her liking it a lot so I thought it’d be a good food to bring on her trip.

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I also made some Rice Krispy treats for my neighbors & family with green sprinkles for St. Patty’s Day.

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DSCN0265And a bag of Jelly Bellys & chocolate gold coins for Chris’ 5 year old niece.

And since I was in the mood to bake, I asked Chris if he wanted anything and he requested tuxedo brownies. He picked out a recipe that had strawberry slices:

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It was a great day for sure and tomorrow will hopefully be even better since it’s my 21st BIRTHDAY!! Woo Hoo! Oh yeah, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone! 🙂

Sweet Potato Raisin Muffins

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I bought some canned sweet potato a while ago to use in my oatmeal, hoping I would like it better than the pumpkin oatmeal that everyone on their blogs raves about. It was better than pumpkin, but still not my favorite. So I had a whole bunch of canned sweet potato and decided to use them to create a muffin recipe. I looked at a few of my favorite muffin/bread recipes as a guide for the recipe, but created it on my own; which I was proud of because that’s a first for me.

These weren’t the most delicious muffins I’ve ever had (I think I’ve decided I just like more traditional forms of sweet potato) but I was proud that they stuck together like muffins and were fairly good. And super healthy of course.

Sweet Potato Raisin Muffins (makes 24 mini muffins)

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp baking poder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp sugar/splenda mix

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup canned or cooked sweet potato

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg

1/2 cup skim milk

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup raisins

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F & grease muffin pan

2. In a food processor, process oatmeal until flour-like

3. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl & wet in another. Pour wet into dry and mix.

4. Fold in raisins

5. Spoon dough into muffin pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Like I said, I was proud of myself for how they turned out considering it was my first real recipe I created on my own. I think what throws me off about these is that I don’t like the sweet potato flavor much in other foods I’ve learned. The texture was good and they were very moist & fluffy. I like that they weren’t too sweet so they would be good for a snack or breakfast.

It’s getting exciting!

Today has been an exciting day so far and it’s only 1:30. Right now I’m living with my boyfriend’s family in California and my parents are in North Carolina. They’re coming out here at the end of the month (!!) and today we officially own our new house in California! Woo hoo! And this morning my mom’s car got delivered here so they can have it here already when they come. Things are definitely coming together for them to be out here. I also realized I leave to visit my family in Texas in 9 days and still have loads of things to do like finish Christmas shopping, gift-making, wrapping, etc. and I have to do all of those things around work and cleaning the new house top to bottom. I’ll hopefully manage to get it all done, but realized today I better get my booty moving on Christmas things. “It’s getting exciting!” as my gramma would say, she always says that around Christmas time.

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I finished painting the rest of the ornaments I’m giving to people today, one penguin is for my sister and one is for Chris’ niece.

On to food…

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This morning I was pretty hungry when I woke up but wanted something a little different than the normal oats I’ve been having, so I made Kath’s Baked Banana Oatmeal I’ve been wanting to try forever. I haven’t ever made it because I was scared I wouldn’t like it since I didn’t like oatmeal before, but now that I’ve been eating (and loving) oatmeal in the mornings, I thought I’d give this a shot.

It did not disappoint! Another great recipe, thanks Kath! The only thing I 100_2169changed was using cinnamon instead of brown sugar, but it was still fabulous. I tried spreading peanut butter on top after taking the pic and it didn’t look too pretty after that. 🙂

For lunch I had a turkey pita with lettuce and alfalfa sprouts. Alfalfa sprouts are new to me, I’ve been wanting to try them for a while and tried them for the first time the other day at Bruegger’s Bagels in my salad and liked them, so I picked some up yesterday and added them to my sandwich, yum! 100_2177

I’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately which I’m proud of myself for. Last night I also tried Medjool dates, which I know why people love them for dessert; it tasted a lot like caramel to me. The other night I also had black beans on my sweet potato which was a first for me and I enjoyed that as well. Yay for new foods!

As far as exercise and the Holiday Marathon Challenge goes, I’m not doing so great on the challenge. I haven’t ran at all this week, but have been working out. I just don’t enjoy running as much as I do other activities or it seems so much harder to go running than go to a spin or step class. I figure as long as I’m exercising that is still good, and I should get more miles when I visit Texas and don’t have a gym so will most likely run everyday. I’m not too worried about it like I said, but I’m definitely the slacker of the challenge. :-X

Lastly, congrats to ZestyCook on his 100th post! Check out his site for a great giveaway!

Peace, Love, & Happiness 😛

Random Recap

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted but things have been crazy busy around here. I really don’t know how people find the time to live their busy/active/healthy lives and still have time to blog- but I really admire them for it! Mine is obviously more sporadic and random as you can see- so here comes the randomness:

100_2133 This is the only picture of food I really managed to photograph since my last post– sad, I know. But it was a delicious bowl of oats with a pretty xmas decoration in the background so I thought I’d post it anyway.

Chris’ sister & her fiancee were in town this weekend so we had a lot of fun with them. We went to Mexico one day for lunch at this place they all have fond memories of eating rolled tacos & drinking beer. I was a little leery of the meat & water- so I played it safe with my American water (notice my sigg?) and ordered a quesadilla with just cheese. I also snacked on the tortilla chips and yummy salsa. (I just recently started to like salsa and learned that I like the spicy versions best :-))

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While we were eating, we got serenaded with fun, live Mexican music!

100_2138 They were right at our table and had the whole set-up. I wish I knew Spanish better so I could of understood all the lyrics.

One night I decided I wanted to make sugar cookies while there were a lot of people there to eat them, plus I got some Christmas cookie-cutters I was excited to put to good use. I followed a basic recipe and everything seemed fine, until I went to check on my cookies and they had become huge and deformed! They said in the recipe that they’d expand, but I didn’t know they would this much! They also pushed down when I touched them after taking them out of the oven, so I thought for sure I had screwed something up.

I still wanted to make cookies since I had told the family I would, but it was getting late and I didn’t know if I’d even have enough ingredients to make another batch, so I went to the store for the good ‘ol Pilsbury dough.

100_2156 I thought I couldn’t go wrong and screw it up with this guy, right?!…. wrong… they did the same thing!!

100_2148 They expanded a little less than my homemade dough, but it still didn’t resemble much of a stocking, tree, or candy-cane. Does anyone know why they expanded & got so deformed?!! Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated. I knew I had to refridgerate the dough and I did that, but it still got huge. Hmm..

100_2158 Anyways, I used my homemade recipe from a generic recipe for sugar cookies which turned out okay but super super sweet. (I suppose that’s because it is basically pure sugar) Everyone still seemed to enjoy the cookies, despite their abnormalities, but I was kind of embarrassed at how crappy they turned out. Oh well!

100_2153 I did find this sugar cookie tea in the grocery store which I had been scouting for everywhere I went since I saw it on Meghann’s blog. I had a really sore throat for the last week and never have liked hot liquids (weird, I know, not even soup, tea, coffee– nothing!) but I thought I’d give this a try. It smelled amazing, but I was totally disappointed when I tried it. For some reason it smelled like potatoes to me after it had been brewed… I think I need to give it another try, but I’m still warming up to the whole warm-drink thing (sorry for the horrible joke, lol)

Well I think this concludes my long post of random updates and baking adventures for now. I’m feeling the urge to bake again soon so hopefully next time will go smoother. I don’t mind the trials and errors though- I just honestly like baking, but do prefer when my efforts are successful. I love this time of the year because it’s such a great excuse to bake!! Happy December!