Simple Green Smoothies

Hi there! I’m a big fan of making smoothies for breakfast. They are quick and easy to have on my way to work. The only problem is that I made the same one every. single. day. Occasionally I mix it up, but they all revolve around frozen fruit and almond milk. The other morning, I wanted to try something new. I googled “smoothie recipes” like a normal person and came across this site. Normally, when I try to find smoothie recipes they either make enough to feed an entire family, or involve 428 ingredients I don’t have. Simple Green Smoothies, like it’s name suggests, is full of easy smoothie recipes that are simple and delightful! The site in general is just plain awesome. It’s full of tips and useful information about smoothies. I’m impressed.

Here are a few recipes that caught my eye:

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Takes Two To Mango

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Raspberry Coconut Shortcake

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Almond Butter and “Jelly”

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Avo-Banana Kale

Happy Blending!

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Pancakes, Two Ways

Lately, I have been craving pancakes. Maybe it’s been the cold weather we have been having lately. Nothing seems to represent a snowed-in weekend morning better than heating up the griddle and brewing a hot pot of coffee. After many experiments, I have come up with two recipes that are going to be my “go to” recipes from now on. The first one is a classic fluffy recipe. This one is perfect when you want a relaxing Sunday brunch or are looking for a crowd pleaser. The second one is a heartier pancake that would be the perfect fuel before heading out on a long run. They will stick with you and provide plenty of carbohydrates.

Fluffy Pancakes

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  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • cooking spray
  1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to “sour”.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into “soured” milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.
  4. Serve with toppings of your choice. Special points if you serve with bacon.

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Multigrain Pancakes

(adapted from the Runner’s World Cookbook)

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  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • toppings of your choice (I like to go with a variety of smooshed and warmed fruit or a nut butter!)
  1. Combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, sugar, salt, baking powder, and soda in a bowl.
  2. Pour the buttermilk and milk into a 2-cup measuring cup and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Which together with the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Pour into the dry ingredients and which until just combined
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.
  4. Cover in toppings of your choice.

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Happy flipping!

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Crab Rangoon Recipe

Crab Rangooooooons! Fun to say. Fun to eat. Now fun to make.

Super Simple.

What you will need:

  • a block of cream cheese (8 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • 1 chive stack diced
  • 4 oz crab meat
  • garlic powder, ground ginger, and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • wonton wrappers

First, you take all the ingredients in the first 6 bullets and combine. I microwaved my cream cheese for a few seconds to get it manageable for mixing. Adjust the seasons until you have a filling you are happy with. Chinese restaurant crab rangoons are usually on the sweeter side, but I like mine a little more savory.

Take your filling and drop a little over a teaspoon into the middle of the wonton wrappers.

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Wet your fingers (or be more sanitary and use a brush) and get the edges of the wrappers moist so they will stick together. Fold the wrapper in half and seal the edges. If you want to be fancy you can take the two bottom ends and fold them together like this:

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You can also simply fold them over into little triangles. Fill a pan with about an inch of oil and heat to 375 degrees. Fry the filled wonton wrappers on each side until brown. This can all be fairly controlled. If the rangoon starts to make noise and splatter, it is because the filling is seeping out. This is why you want to have a good seal going on.

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When they are golden and delicious (I like mine on the darker side), take them out of the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to cool. You can then enjoy them playing or with your favorite dipping sauce!

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This recipe should make about 28 crab rangoons. If you aren’t eating them right away, they can be reheated in the over at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.

Thanksgiving in New Hampshire

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! My festivities began the night before with some pie making while buckets of snow came down from the sky. I think we got at least 8 inches. The entire time I was baking the lights kept flickering and we were extremely lucky to not lose power. A lot of the surrounding towns to me did lose power and couldn’t make their Thanksgiving turkeys. I can imagine that Friday and Saturday night dinners were just as full of Thanksgiving dinners as Wednesday was around here.

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I started things off with making Martha Stewart’s Pear-Cranberry pie. The only differences between the recipe and what I did were: I used a pre-made crust, did my own lattice thing, and only used four cups of cranberries.

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Coco was hating the snow and all the dishes I was making.

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My finished pie! This was prior to putting the apricot glaze on top. It was such a beautiful pie! As far as the taste goes, it was on the tart side, so be warned. I think either cooking the cranberries slightly with sugar before putting in the pie or baking a tad longer so they become more tender would have made a difference. However, I didn’t mind the tartness, especially since it complimented the sweet pears. I also didn’t feel bad for eating it as breakfast the next day!

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For me, Thanksgiving day started off with a four mile run. I was worried I would be slipping and sliding on the freshly fallen snow, but the roads were blowed pretty good and the ground hadn’t been frozen so the snow was already melting away. There were some sloppy parts, but I just took my time and made the best of it. It was like an running adventure.

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My poor little car got covered! You can really see how much snow we got here.

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Yikes. You would think this was a Christmas morning picture.

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Before dinner, I whipped up a super quick appetizer. All you do is take half a cup of softened goat cheese and half a cup of pumpkin puree and combine until one consistency. I then flavored the cheese mixture with a little cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Then, on whole walnut halves, you put about half a teaspoon and top with a dried cranberry. So easy and delicious!

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Feast number one of the day. It included turkey, potatoes, squash, stuffing, cranberry sauce, lasagna?, brussels sprouts, bread… anddddd some pies obviously. Dinner numero dos that I attending had twice as many sides. Needless to say, it is now Sunday and I am still full.

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It’s always sad when holidays are over, but the great thing about moving on from Thanksgiving is that CHRISTMAS SEASON IS HEREEEEE! Grab your Santa. Grab your tree. It’s time to get decorating!

 

Christmas Sugar Cookies with Icing

I am well aware that Thanksgiving has not happened yet, but every year the month of December and “Christmas Season” seems all to short. Yesterday, while out shopping at Target, I definitely got hit with the Christmas bug. Between all of the Santas and Candy Canes in Whole Foods prior, to the wrapping paper and Christmas displays in Target, I could have sworn it was already December.

While I did hold of on buying wrapping paper, ornaments, and stocking stuffers, I did come across the cut out cookie display which caused me to do a quick google for a sugar cookie recipe, and buy all the necessary items.

So we may or may not be eating iced Christmas cookies at thanksgiving… but by the time the actual meal of Turkey and all the fixings is done, I think it’s a good time to sneak Christmas in.

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So I ended up making a super simple recipe that was easy to work with and came out delicious! I need to work on my decorating skills and presentation… but it’s only November, I have time.

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Target had the cutest mini rolling pin for $5.99. It was perfect for this project and a great alternative to buying an expensive one. The shapes were inexpensive too, only 79 to 99 cents depending on the size. Using powdered sugar instead of flour is key when rolling them out. It adds a little sweetness to the cookie without drying them out.

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I was able to fill up two large cookie sheets! At first it didn’t look like a lot of dough, but I rolled them pretty thing and a little went a long way.

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The cookies were then cooked to a light golden brown color… some darker than others. I must admit that my rolling skills weren’t very good. I think that’s where the expensive full size rolling pin would have come in handy.

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Decorating was the best part. In the future, I need to buy actual decorating instruments, but for now a spoon and some sprinkles worked just fine for what I was going for.

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It looks like a three year old did most of these… but in reality it was a 23 and 27 year old.

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Also found this gem of a tree coat in Target. Coco was not impressed.

Sugar Cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Place butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer and beat until light in color. Add the egg and milk to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until combined. The batter will look crumbly, but it is stickily. Form a ball and put it in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Take half of the dough out and leave the other half in the fridge to stay cool since it is hard to work with the entire ball. Cover a surface with powdered sugar, and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes and place on a cookie sheet. If the doughs starts to get warm you can put a chilled ban over the dough, or I just used a spatula to assist taking them off the counter. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes (or longer depending on the size of your shapes) until the edges begin to turn brown, rotating the cookie sheet half way through. Allow to cool on the sheet for a few minutes before moving to an actual cooling rack.

Icing for Sugar Cookies

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • 4 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food coloring

Combine all ingredients with an electric mixer until it is glossy and smooth. You want it to be almost a tooth paste consistency, so play with the milk and confectioners’ sugar until that is reached. Divide the icing into bowls and add food coloring.

Another option is to make the icing super thick and pipe an edge around the cookie. Then create a more runny icing and “flood” the inside. I went for the tooth paste consistency and using the back of a spoon to spread it around the cookie. Patience is key, and less is more. There are plenty of other techniques and tools out there to help, but this is a good basic recipe to start with.

Decorate your cookies with the icing and add sprinkles or whatever you want as needed!

 

 

Salted Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I originally wanted to create a blog based around running and racing. The problem with that is I am currently in race recovery mode and have only really done a handful of races I find note worthy. Not to mention here in New Hampshire race season is coming to an end with snow fall right around the corner. Don’t worry though, I have a few races on the calendar before the year ends.

SO meanwhile, I’ll write about things I do know about, like cookies. After all, a sweet rewards are one of the many benefits that comes with long distance running. Also can be the reason for all the running…

This is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. They require some serious patience and a little bit of planning, but as long as you have the ingredients and a few days to spare – they are easy!

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Ingredients: See? Normal cookie ingredients. The two most important things are cake flour and good quality chocolate. Cake flour is fine, while all-purpose flour has more gluten. Together they make magic. The difference between using cheap chocolate and good chocolate is extremely noticeable. After all, chocolate is in the name of these cookies.

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Kitchen Aid is taking the wheel here creaming the butter and sugars. You want to get it light and fluffy.

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After adding all other ingredients (see recipe below) you get a pretty good looking pile of dough if I do say so myself.

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This part is very important: you put the dough into plastic wrap and you…. wait for it…. put it in the refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours. If you are antsy, a few hours will do. 36 hours is ideal. Sometimes I do three days because I forget. The lesson I have learned is that the longer you wait, the better they taste. Having the dough hang out in the fridge allows the eggs, butter, and liquids to soak and hydrate into all the dry ingredients. It also allows the flavor to develop in a deep caramel toffee-y goodness.

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When the time is right, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (which I clearly forgot to do here, not the end of the world) and scoop out LARGE cookies. I’m talking about almost 1/3 of a cup. People make cookies too small. Larger cookies allow the edges to get crispy and the insides gooey… and they don’t dry out as fast!

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You also want to sprinkle some course sea salt on top… the salt… with the sweet… yup. Enough said.

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The bet part about the cookies is that they are great the second day because the flavors continue to develop. But of course, eat one right out of the oven and burn your tongue. I did.

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And that, my friends, is how you make an impressive chocolate chip cookie. (And how you take poor lighting pictures of really delicious cookies that look better in person.)

Here’s the useful information I left out. Enjoy.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Found via Kate who Adapted it from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

  • 2 cups minus 2 Tbsp. cake flour (8 1/2 oz)
  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour (8 1/2 oz) 1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. coarse salt, such as kosher
  • 2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups; 10 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cups (10 oz.) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (8 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks, preferably about 60% cacao content, such as Ghirardelli
  • Sea salt or kosher salt for garnishing

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

 

 

BBQ Chicken Pizza

 

 

 

Pizza. It’s magical. What’s even better is that making some at home doesn’t have to be that hard! Just purchase a ball of dough from your grocery story, heat the oven to 350 degrees, flatten it out on something round or square, and let the creative topping ideas flow!

I started out by baking the dough solo for about five minutes before adding a coating of olive oil and BBQ sauce:

IMG_6232Rewind. I baked a piece of chicken with some camp mix seasoning on it before I did anything. That was chopped up and put on the pie.

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And what’s pizza without cheese?! Throw some of that on there, and lots of it. Maybe even some more BBQ sauce for good measure.

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I think that’s good… for now. Throw her (or him) in the oven until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden!

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What is this?! Cilantro! I chopped some up. Pizza deserves garnishes, too.

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Look how lovely and decorated that looks. It looked so good I had to eat some before even getting a picture.

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SEE?! Making pizza doesn’t have to be that bad! You can, of course, overachieve and make your own dough. I’ve done it, but I’m so tired by the end of the process I want nothing to do with pizza. The “semi-homemade” way is just as satisfying. You don’t even need to use a traditional pizza sauce. It’s the perfect way to carb up for a long run. It’s kid friendly. You could make a desert pizza. You can make more than one. It’s good for sharing. Are you sold yet? I’m mostly just hungry…