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I'm a runner with a baking habit.  I'm constantly on the lookout for awesome desserts, freezer friendly recipes to pack in the lunchbox, and quick dinner ideas.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Weekly Eats: Monday Dec 25 - Sunday Dec 31



A weekly round up: eats, workouts, watches, and reads.  Christmas - New Year's Edition.  Meal Plan: lots of parties.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Weekly Eats: Monday Dec 18 - Sunday Dec 24


A weekly round up: eats, workouts, watches, and reads.  Pre-Christmas Edition.  This one is less about meal planning and more about chilling out for the holidays. 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

S'mores Bars

Did you ever come across a recipe that was the best thing ever?  And then forget all about it?  This is that recipe for me.  When the family was putting together our Thanksgiving menu this year, one of the cousins requested that I make s'mores again.  I couldn't for the life of me remember when I had ever made s'mores to start with.  Over a campfire, yes.  But for Thanksgiving dessert?  And then the memories slowly came back.

It was July 4th, in the midst of the craziness of selling my house.  I spied a recipe for s'mores bars and thought it would be a nice thing to bring to our family party.  Stepson #2 is very handy in the kitchen, so I put him to work crushing graham crackers while I got the rest of the ingredients out. 

Everything went smoothly until it was time to roll out the dough.  Man, it was tough to handle, just like rolling out concrete.  I got it done, but it wasn't easy.  We kept going and had a blast with the chocolate and marshmallow fluff and put our treat into the oven.  As I was cleaning up, I realized what the problem was.  We had been chatting while I was measuring out ingredients.  In my distracted state, when it came time to get ½ cup of butter out of the fridge, I had grabbed ½ a stick of butter. 

(Quick primer for newer cooks.  ½ cup of butter is one stick of butter, I had grabbed half a stick.  Oh yes I did.  At my age.  With all my experience.)

My heart sank, not for myself, but for my stepson.  He had put in more than his share of the work and was proud of his efforts.  And it was going to be ruined through no fault of his.

But it wasn't ruined.  It was delicious.  There were no leftovers.

So the next day for our city fireworks show we made it again, with the correct ingredients.  The dough was easy to handle, but you know what?  I didn't like it as much as the half butter version.  With half of the butter, the cookie layer is crisper, just a little closer to a graham cracker.  With the full butter, you're closer to a sugar cookie.  So even with the extra muscle work of rolling out the dough, we adopted the half butter version as our standard.

With my memory fully restored, I found the recipe and assembled both stepsons in the kitchen the day before Thanksgiving to whip up a batch of s'mores bars.  And I must say, this is an excellent recipe to make with two kids...two layers of dough...two chocolate bars.  And once again there were no leftovers.


Ingredients:
(Adapted from A Pinch of Yum)


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 Hersey Bars, 4oz size
  • 7oz marshmallow crème

Method:

To start, get an 8'x8' pan and cut two squares of parchment paper the size of the pan.  Crush six graham crackers.  I used the food processor to crush and then mix the dough, but you don't have to.

Get all of the other ingredients ready, mixing the baking powder, flour, and salt together.

Melt the butter and mix it with the white and brown sugars.

Add the vanilla and egg and mix together. We cracked the egg into a separate bowl to be sure that we wouldn't get any egg shells into the mix.

Now add the flour mixture in batches.

Mix until just combined.


Place half the dough on a square of parchment paper, cover it with another layer of parchment, and roll it out to the size of the square.  Peel off the top layer of parchment (save it, we'll be using it for the other half of the dough).

Place the dough parchment side down in the pan and set aside.

Now the second layer.

The hard work is done!  Let's move on to chocolate.  Let's also move on to preheating the oven to 350° F.

Break the chocolate into squares.

Place the squares in the pan.  They won't form a perfect layer, but you'll get decent coverage.

Now it's time to make a mess.

Spread the fluff into an even layer.



Add the top crust and remove the parchment.  Don't fret if the dough breaks up when the parchment comes off, it's OK to piece it together.

Slide the s'mores into the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and lovely.

Let the bars cool completely, which for us meant an overnight stay in the refrigerator.  When ready, slide a knife along the sides to loosen.

Peel off the bottom layer of parchment, taking extra care not to leave any scraps behind.

Cut it up and eat it up.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Weekly Eats - Monday Nov 20 - Sunday Nov 26

A weekly round up: eats, workouts, watches, and reads: Thanksgiving Edition



Monday, November 20, 2017

Thai Sweet Potato Noodle Bowls


This recipe had me at sweet potatoes.  And then I found out about the almond butter and coconut milk and was on my way to the store for the ingredients faster than you can say obsession.

It was also a chance to break out the spiralizer.  I put off getting one for a long time (more gadgets=less kitchen space) before finally breaking down and forking out $25 for this one.  So what should you do if you don't have a spiralizer?  My vote would be to chop the potatoes into thin matchsticks.  It won't be as entertaining as stir frying endless orange spirals, but it will get the job done and get you a good lunch.

The noodle bowls are good hot or cold.  I usually eat the first serving hot, and then barely heat the leftovers.




Ingredients:
Yield: 4 servings
Recipe from: Cooking Light 

  • 14 oz extra-firm tofu
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • Olive and sesame oil for frying
  • ½ cup canned light coconut milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons red thai curry paste
  • 1 lime
  • Cashews for topping

Method:

 Slice up your tofu (more info about how I prep tofu here).  The original recipe had just 8 oz of tofu, but grocery stores in my area sell it in 14 oz blocks, so I was happy to up the amount (c'mon I know it's Cooking Light, but how many calories does tofu have anyway?)

Place tofu between layers of paper towels and two cutting boards and weigh it down with whatever canned goods you have on hand for about 20 minutes.

Next stop: sweet potatoes.

 Peel and slice the ends off.

Pop one end on the spiralizer.

Spike the other end.

Crank.

Keep cranking.  As you become buried in sweet potato spirals, you may doubt the initial claim that this recipe only makes four servings.

The spiralizer will leave you with a few scraps, I chop these into small pieces and cook them up with the spirals.




I tried to spiralize a bell pepper once, and it ended badly.  Someday I'd like to try again, for now I'll settle for dicing.

It's action time.  Heat up a few spoonfuls of olive oil with a few drops of sesame oil.

Pan fry the tofu in batches, a few minutes each side to get a nice tan.  Set aside when finished.

Meanwhile, whip up the sauce.

Grease the tablespoon for ease of detaching the almond butter.

Whisk the coconut milk, ¼ cup water, and almond butter until smooth and combined.  What to do with the rest of the can of coconut milk...portion off the leftovers into half cup servings and freeze until needed.

When it comes to curry paste, I take the term "tablespoon" very liberally.

 If you're new to curry paste or don't have a spicy palate, you may want to take the measurement literally or even conservatively.

Add the red pepper to the pan you cooked the tofu in.

Load in the sweet potato noodles and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Saute for five minutes or so, add ¼ cup water, and cover the pan.

Give them another five minutes to soften and cook down.

Pile on the spinach.

Stir until it wilts.

Pour on about half of the sauce.

Drizzle lime juice on top.

Portion out the bowls and drizzle on the rest of the sauce.  Top with cashews and chomp.

I don't know why the sweet potatoes made a frowny face, maybe because they were about to get eaten.