(Green) Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie

True to form, it’s been a very wet spring here in the northwest. Running along a large creek near my house forms the backbone of a lot of my runs, so unfortunately when we have multiple days of heavy rain, I have to start getting creative.

running1

 

I was really proud of myself for finding this fallen log to help me get across a particularly flooded spot, but as soon as a rounded the next bend I found this:

 

Where did my trail go?

Where did my trail go?

 

P.S. Aren’t my new running shoes so happy looking?!? They’re the Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 and I love them!

Aside from needing to build an arc soon, I also need to talk about my current smoothie obsession. I’ll admit it, I was really late to join the smoothie-making train, but now that I’m on it I’m not looking back! I got a Vitamix last December, which is what is fueling this current obsession because of it’s ability to liquify any vegetable. This baby is seriously powerful!

I love experimenting with different fruit and veggie combinations, but this smoothie recipe has turned into my go-to breakfast before my Saturday long run. It does a great job of keeping me full without weighing me down, and also feels like an extra-special treat at the same time. If I can’t have pancakes for breakfast, then I’ll substitute with a smoothie that tastes like a cookie! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ingredients:

Slightly adapted from Gimme Some Oven

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup milk (or any kind of milk substitute)

1 medium banana

1-2 pitted medjool dates, depending on your level of desired sweetness (I like to add 2… Dates are one of my favorite running snacks!)

1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 1/2 cups baby spinach

ice

optional additions/ modifications:

use half milk, half Greek yogurt for additional protein

add a tablespoon of peanut butter or your favorite nut butter

use half baby spinach and half kale, or 1 c spinach and 1/2 cup broccoli florets

 

Directions:

Add all of the ingredients to a blender and pulse until smooth.

This recipe yields 2 smoothies that are on the small side for my liking, or one giant smoothie, that I happily finish on my own ๐Ÿ™‚

 

greensmoothie

 

Pumpkin Ginger Scones

Hello hello and happy 21-days-until-Halloween-day!! Well, on the west coast it’s still 21 days away- WordPress, why you gotta say that I published this post on the 11th?!?

I LOVE Halloween for reasons like carving pumpkins, roasting seeds, dressing up in costumes, the colors orange and black (obviously), and watching movies like Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas (no scary movies here!). Tonight, I decorated my house and made these scones, and this weekend I plan on getting my pumpkins to carve later- I can’t wait!

photo 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 c brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1″ cubes

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs, beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix together the first seven ingredients. Add in the butter cubes and mix until butter has broken up into pieces about the size of a dime.

Add in pumpkin, vanilla, and eggs, mixing until just combined. The dough should be pretty shaggy, with visible butter pieces, but should come out of the mixing bowl in one big chunk.

Separate the dough in half, and form each half into discs about 6″ across. Cut each disc into 6 wedges, and place wedges on a baking sheet.

Bake scones 20-25 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown on top.

P.S. I’m still mulling over ideas for what to carve into my pumpkins this year, anybody have a good idea??

Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins

A few weeks back I got a notification from WordPress congratulating me on making it to my one year anniversary of this blog. Welp, it’s been about a year and change now, and what do I have to show for it? 19 posts. Which works out to about 1 post every 19.7 days. Yikes.

Luckily, my friend Jessie is also a blogger who feels like she’s been slacking, so we’re holding ourselves accountable and decided that for the month of October we’re going to publish three posts a week. So ambitious!

Seeing as it’s October 1st, I’m starting the slew of new recipes off on the right foot, with breakfast of course!

 

photo(1)

These muffins were slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe in Barefoot Contessa Family Style and were the muffins they made at the Barefoot Contessa store, so you know they gotta be good!

Ingredients:

makes 24 muffins

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup yogurt (or sour cream)

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups frozen blueberries, rinsed but not thawed

Optional topping:

In a small bowl combine a dash of cinnamon, 3 tablespoons rolled oats, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add in eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Beat in vanilla, yogurt and milk.

In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients, except for the blueberries. On a low speed, add the flour mixture slowly into the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Spoon batter in muffin tins that have either been greased or have liners in them (I NEVER have paper liners on hand, for some reason I just never remember to buy any…)

Top the muffins with a pinch of the oat topping, if desired- this is something I picked up from my college roommate, it’s not really necessary but I think it looks nice and adds a little texture to the top of the muffin, kind of like a streusel topping would. (By the way, my computer doesn’t think “streusel” is a real word. How sad.)

Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

One recipe down, two more to go this week, let’s hope I can keep this up! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m Back! And I made a Dutch Baby!

Ha that’s a funny title for a post, isn’t it?

Well things have been crazy on my end of the internet; I’ve found another job starting next month (which brings me up to 1 part time job and 1 full time job…), I’ve substantially increased my exercise for racing season, AND I’ve been acting like a proper 23-year-old and have been spending more time with my friends. I’m so proud of myself.

With all these other activities needless to say my postings here have been a bit, ummm, nonexistant. But stay tuned, I’ve got exciting things coming up! Start thinking about a new way to enjoy Cuban sandwiches, my new favorite pizza, the best recipe for using ground beef, a delicious vegetarian pasta, and tips for getting dinner on the table when you get home from work at 6:30 pm and still need to fit in a 4 mile run. It’s gonna be good!!!

In the mean time, enjoy this breakfast recipe, or in my case a today-was-my-day-off-but-I-still-don’t-feel-like-making-dinner recipe.

photo(2)

As you can see I started eating this giant pancake before I decided I should take a picture of it. And before you even have to ask, yes, I did eat this entire thing by myself.

Dutch Babies are also known as German pancakes, and are a staple on the menu at the Original Pancake House (which originally started here in Portland!). My dad’s family grew up going there once a week for dinner, so needless to say these pancakes are serious business at my house.

We’ve always used a 14″ cast iron skillet with high sides to cook these in, but something round like a 10″ pie pan would work too. Simply reduce the amount of eggs used to three, or cut the recipe in half, so the pancake has plenty of room to expand, depending on the cooking vessel you plan on using

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Place 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter in the pan you plan on cooking the Dutch Baby in, and place in the preheating oven for the butter to melt.

In a medium bowl, beat 4 eggs with a whisk or fork for one minute. Slowly beat in 1/2 c of half and half. Slowly add 1/2 c flour and mix until combined. Don’t worry about lumps in the batter.

Remove the pan from the oven, pour the batter over the melted butter, and make sure your oven comes back up to temperature before sticking the pan back in the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes WITHOUT PEEKING!!!! Otherwise you run the risk of your Dutch Baby not puffing up properly and falling,

Serve hot out of the oven with plenty of fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar.

Mexican Mocha Scones

Lately I’ve been reminiscing a lot on my favorite places to eat in my old college town. a Reuben from Cloud and Kelly’s, fruit-filled puff pastries from New Morning Bakery, sweet potato fries from Block 15 brewing, the usual Corvallis fare.

What I’ve been missing the most from my life though is actually a drink, a Mexican mocha from Coffee Culture. Coffee Culture only has good coffee, but there is something special about their Mexican mocha… I think their secret ingredient is unicorn tears or something, because everywhere else I order one, it’s never as good as theirs. Too much spice. Too sweet. Not sweet enough. Heaven forbid they burn the espresso!!

Because of these reasons I knew I wouldn’t be able to make a suitable replacement drink for my craving, so I decided to make a Mexican mocha in pastry form instead.

scone and paper

Fun fact: I read almost the entire paper every day, but I always start with the sports section

Now when you get to the point in the recipe where it calls for coffee grounds, don’t freak out…. It seems weird to eat what you are always throwing away, but I actually prefer the flavor you get from the actual grounds rather than using brewed coffee. Just make sure you’re using a good-quality coffee. My absolute favorite cookie is actually an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with coffee in it, but more on that later.

 

scone

I also like being able to see the pieces of coffee when I use the grounds in baking. So pretty!

Most of the pastry and dessert recipes I use I’ve adapted from The Grand Central Baking Book. These are the recipes from Grand Central Bakery (duh) which is one of the greatest bakeries in the Northwest. Seriously, if you are ever in the Seattle or Portland area you gotta check them out! (I’m looking at you Rita!!!)

Luckily, incorporating ideas from my favorite places in Corvallis and Portland led to one delicious scone!!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/4 c sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground coffee (use a finely ground bean- like what you would use for an automatic drip, not a French press, which would be too coarse)

1/2 c, or 1 stick, cold unsalted butter

3/4 c chocolate chips

2 eggs

1/4 c Greek yogurt + 1/2 c milk (or use 1/2 c buttermilk)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the first six ingredients. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes. Then, using either the paddle attachment of your mixer or your hands, combine the butter into the flour mixture until the pieces of butter are about dime sized. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Whisk together the yogurt and milk until combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla.

Add half of the wet ingredients to the dry, mix, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining half of wet ingredients. Mix the dough until it just comes together, you should still have visible patches of butter and flour. Too much mixing will yield a tough scone and the chunks of butter are needed to give it it’s flaky texture.

Turn the dough out onto a cutting board or counter, gather all the loose pieces up and then break into two chunks. Form the two chunks into 2 disks, 4-5 inches in diameter, and cut each disk into 6 triangles.

Place the 12 scones onto a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until scones are done and golden brown on top.

choco chips

This is my 10 lb bag of chocolate chips from Costco… I go through it much more quickly than I would like to admit

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes

I love Tuesday mornings. I get to sleep in, read the paper with my coffee, take my dog on a long walk, and most importantly, make breakfast foods.

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast” – John Gunther

coffee

I also loooove having time to make frothy milk for my coffee

This morning I woke up with a sweet tooth, and a hankering for peanut butter and jelly cookie bars. Yes, I did just say hankering. Anyways, instead of starting my day off with cookies (which is something I’m not opposed to…) I turned my craving into pancakes, a more socially acceptable form of early morning sweets.

pb pancakes- use

Ingredients:

1 c dry pancake mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill High Fiber Pancake/Waffle Mix)

1 c milk

1 egg

1 tsp vanillaย  extract

1/2 c peanut butter

1 c fresh or frozen berries

2 tsp jam

* I used frozen blackberries and homemade blackberry jam

maple or berry syrup, or powdered sugar for serving

Directions:

Preheat a griddle pan to 350 degrees.

Combine pancake mix, 3/4 c milk, egg, vanilla, and peanut butter in a bowl and stir to combine. Add remaining milk if batter seems too thick. Fold in berries.

Fold in jam until just combined, and stripes of jam can still be seen.

Drop batter onto hot griddle using approximately 1/4 c spoonfuls and cook until golden brown on both sides. Pancakes are ready to flip when edges are browned and pull away from griddle, and bubbles appear throughout pancake.

Serve with more berries, a pat of butter, and your choice of syrup.

pb pancakes plate