Running Forward

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I’m back with a recipe! On Thursday I need to bring a food to class for extra credit, so I decided to bring my dad’s cinnamon swirl bread. This was my first time making it completely on my own and it turned out just as good as dad’s. Here’s the recipe:

1 cup milk

¾ cup water

6 tbs sugar

1 package yeast

½ cup sugar

2 tbs butter, melted

1/3 cup butter

7 cups flour

1 tbs salt

3 eggs at room temperature

2 tsp cinnamon

1 egg white

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine milk, water, and 1/3 cup butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are very warm. Butter does not need to melt.

Place 4 cups flour in a bowl with 6 tbs sugar, salt, cinnamon and yeast. Mix well. Add eggs and warm liquids, mix and knead. Knead in remaining flour.

Place in a well-greased bowl and roll to grease top. Let rest covered until dough doubles in size.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll out each half and brush with melted butter. Then cover with a sugar and cinnamon mixture before rolling each square of dough into a log. Here’s my cinnamon swirl station in the kitchen:

Shape halves into loaves and place in well-greased pans, let rise until doubled in size. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

This stuff is freaking delicious! I highly recommend eating it straight out of the oven while it’s still warm and gooey. It’s also really good when toasted. I’ll leave you with one last close-up.

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In the Clear

I haven’t really mentioned it on my blog yet, but my dad had a seizure out of the blue in June, which led to the diagnosis of a brain tumor. He had surgery a few weeks later and now just has to get an MRI every couple of months to make sure it doesn’t grow. Today he and my mom flew to Duke for his second post-op appointment and received great news. No growth! And he doesn’t have to go back until the end of February! Woo! We’re so thankful and are ready to have an amazing holiday season.

Back in Athens: Usually day of class except for anthropology of eating. This week we can bring in food for extra credit on our projects. The first half of the alphabet brought their stuff today. It worked out perfectly since I normally have to pack a lunch to get me through the day. There were a ton of desserts, but I stayed healthy by loading up on quinoa with veggies and a bean salad. I also enjoyed nibbles of fudge and some other homemade sweets. Now I’m excited to bring my dish in on Thursday.

When I returned back to the apartment I went on a spontaneous 2 mile run with a buddy. Surprisingly, my legs felt pretty good. My knee has been killing me since Sunday, but acted pretty well today. I was mainly just stiff. Since I don’t have much else to work on today, so I put together the dough for my cinnamon swirl bread (to bring to class on Thursday). Right now it’s going through its first round of rising. As soon as it comes out of the oven I will take some pics and post the recipe. It’s one of my dad’s favorite things to bake. You’ll understand why when you make it for yourself. Now that I’ve typed way too much, I’m gonna go chill for a bit. Be back later for the recipe!

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Some of my Recent Favorite Foods

I’m the type of person that finds a good thing and sticks with it. But, for the sake of making mealtime more fun and for stretching my creativity I’ve been trying to branch out with some new ingredients. Here are some of the things I’m into lately:

Puffed Millet: I ran out of Cheerios, so I picked these up to replenish my cereal supply. They’re like healthy little sprinkles that only cost $1.99 for the bag at Earthfare. Plus, a cup is only 60 calories.

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos: I discovered this stuff last year, but kept forgetting to bring my bottle back to Athens with me this semester. Luckily, I finally remembered and have been using it to replace soy sauce in my stir fry. It has lower sodium and is a good source of protein, but tastes exactly the same as soy sauce.

Nutritional Yeast: Yes, it looks like fish food, but it tastes oh so good. It’s a great source of protein and is usually used to add a cheesy flavor to vegetarian and vegan dishes. I love copying the Grit’s recipe for the golden bowl and using it in stir fry with Bragg’s.

Frozen Spinach: For some weird reason I’ve been craving spinach a lot lately. Random. So, I picked up a bag of frozen spinach and toss it into pretty much everything. Just throw it into soup, chili, stir fry, or whatever else you can imagine.

Pumpkin Puree: I eat way too much pumpkin. Luckily, it’s super healthy so I’ll stick with my addiction for now. Throw the puree into a blender with half a frozen banana, some ice cubes, a dollop of plain yogurt, and pumpkin pie spices for a delicious pumpkin pie smoothie. I also mix the puree with pumpkin pie spices and top with some cereal for a yummy snack. Hopefully, I won’t turn orange.

Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to try some of these foods and incorporate them into your diet. They’re delicious and nutritious!

 

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13.1 Again!

This morning marked the second Athens, Ga half marathon. I ran the inaugural race last year as my first half marathon and loved it. This year I trained, but wasn’t nearly as nervous and anxious as last time and I think it helped. At 5:50 am I started the day by getting dressed and fueling up with a yummy carb breakfast. I’m not a big bread eater, so I didn’t want to buy a whole loaf only to have it go to waste. Therefore, I stole half a hamburger bun from the pantry on my last visit home. I toasted the bun this morning, then topped it with some PB2 and half a banana.

My Pi Phi buddy, Alex, picked me up at around 6:40 and we quickly made our way to the starting line. We tried to hang with the 2 hour pacer, but he was running fast! By the third mile, however, we passed him for good. Our average pace seemed to be 8:30, which is really good for me. I am definitely not a natural runner. Anyway, the miles flew by and we felt great. Side note: during mile 6 Alex’s dad called from Afghanistan and she chatted for a bit while we ran. How cool! Anyway, I felt super strong until we reached mile 11. All of the sudden my lungs started burning and my legs got stiff. Alex pushed ahead while I slowed my pace a bit. I continued to run the entire time, but didn’t push myself as hard. Mile 12 was almost completely uphill, but I conquered it. Soon enough I was at the finish line and I crossed in 1 hour and 56 minutes. So happy that I made my goal of finishing under two hours!

Side note: Check out this article that Alex wrote: http://redandblack.com/2011/10/22/runners-in-athens-half-marathon-race-for-arts-education/

I just got called in to work early, so hopefully I can make it all the way through the day without too much pain. Have a relaxing Sunday!

 

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Bowl of Chili for the Chilly Weather

Fall weather has fallen upon Georgia, and I mean fall all the way down on its face. It’s downright chilly! I actually wore my gloves and a sweatshirt for my morning run. Today’s workout was my last one until the half on Sunday! Can’t wait to cross the finish line!

I had no idea what I wanted for dinner tonight. Of course, I was craving a huge bowl of fresh, juicy fruit, but I don’t have much at the moment. So, I gathered up some random ingredients and a vegetarian chili was born. My first of the season! Here’s the recipe:

half a zucchini

half a yellow squash

quarter of an onion

a few handfuls of frozen spinach

some leftover garbanzo beans

can of diced tomatoes

chili powder

cumin

chipotle pepper powder

salt

oregano

First I sauteed the onion until translucent, before adding the zucchini and squash. Once everything was almost cooked through, I added a few small handfuls of some frozen spinach I picked up the other day. At this point I remembered that I had some garbanzos leftover from my salad the other day, so I tossed those in as well. Stir every few minutes until the spinach completely unthawed. Then add the can of tomatoes and get ready to spice it up! I added a little salt, chipotle, and oregano then got a bit heavy-handed with the chili powder and cumin. But, you need a lot to make it really taste like chili. I let everything simmer until it thickened up and the flavors melded together. Yum! It turned out to be the perfect dinner for a chilly day.

Now I’m enjoying Hocus Pocus and getting ready for my favorite advertising friends to come over. I hear Beetlejuice and homemade cookies are on the agenda.

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Ratatouille

Finally, I have a new recipe. It was the perfect dinner for a cold, wintry day like today. Plus, it’s the title of my favorite Pixar film, so I knew it was destined to be amazing. I started out by sautéing onion until translucent.

Next I added a zucchini and yellow squash sliced very thin. After letting them cook for a few minutes I added basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, and salt. 

Once the zucchini and squash was almost fully cooked I added a jar of diced tomatoes and stirred to combine everything.

Oh, the struggles of college life….

After letting the sauce thicken up, I served it with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a new episode of Big Band Theory. Perfect.

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Going North

Guess where I’ll be going November 5th? New York City! I haven’t been since high school and can’t wait to be back. The purpose of the trip is to meet with some Food Network people. So far I’ve got two meetings set up and can’t wait to put some faces with names. And I promise to post some new recipes soon! I’ve been living off of the regulars this week, so it’s about time for something different. Now it’s time for tea with friends.

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The Near Future

Now that October is here my calendar is filling up quickly. I’ve got a few dates that make me so excited to think about.

October:

23: my half marathon

27: I drive home for fall break

30: my mom’s birthday

31: Halloween

November:

18: Drive home for Thanksgiving break

21: Go to Turner Classic Movies to meet some people

24: Thanksgiving!

December:

6: last day of class!

10: my dad can drive again!(6 months from the date of the seizure) and the Jingle Jog

25: Christmas!

 

Bring it!

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Jerusalem Artichokes

For a part of my anthropology of eating project I had to try cooking an unfamiliar piece of produce from the farmers market. So, on Saturday morning Lesley and I went running in Bishop Park, then walked over to the market. It wasn’t as great as my beloved Alpharetta farmers market, but there were still a lot of vendors. We browsed the produce area for a bit, but I quickly noticed the Jerusalem artichokes at one stand. At first glance, I thought it was ginger, but the color was paler. They’re actually the root of a type of sunflower. I bought three knobs of the mystery ingredient and anxiously waited to prepare them at lunch.

The farmer informed me that they can be eaten raw or cooked using pretty much any method used for a potato. So, I first cut off a piece to try raw. Tasted just like a radish. I cooked the remaining tubers by cutting them into bite-sized pieces and roasting them for 30 minutes on 400 degrees. After they cooled down, I excitedly tasted the foreign vegetable. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. The outside was bitter and the radish aftertaste still remained. The texture was the same as a potato, but the taste was just too strong for me. I love trying new foods, but will not be purchasing anymore of these gems any time soon.

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Halloween Party and Football

Saturday was a busy day made up of running, farmers market exploring, cooking, and Halloween partying. At the farmers market I picked up some Jerusalem artichokes for a school project. But, more on that later. For the Halloween party, I made pizza dough bones with roasted red pepper hummus and toffee cookies. Here’s the spread:

Pizza dough bones with roasted red pepper hummus:

To make the roasted red pepper hummus I simply roasted a red bell pepper in the oven at 350 for about half an hour. Once it cooled, I peeled it and placed it in the food processor with a can of garbanzos, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, salt, oregano, basil, and some water to thin it out. Super simple!

Here are the toffee cookies. I used a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but made a slight change. Instead of creaming the butter and sugar, I melted the butter and sugar over the stove to get a more caramelized flavor. I also used Heath Bar bits instead of chocolate chips.

Lesley and I worked on these cute mummies:

Lesley was the mastermind behind these awesome frankenstein pretzels:

It was great to hang out with some of the ASB girls again. We had such a fun time last year.

Today I went to my first NFL game ever! I love the Falcons, but have only seen their games on TV, so I jumped at the chance to go with one of my favorite guy friends. What a fun day! And I’m super proud of myself for navigating Atlanta.

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