Day 34: My First 5K!

We all began assembling in the chill of the late morning. Smiles on faces. We were here for a 5K, but somewhere along the lines, it became much more than that.

Jamie is a teacher in our school district and, after already battling one brain tumor, has discovered that another one has grown. This race was in her honor and tons of community members showed up to support her. It became such a community building activity.

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It was encouraging to be running with such a large group with people of varying abilities. I felt motivated. I would see someone – get up to them and then pass them, picking another goal. Of course, people were passing me too, but it was so nice. Hearing the cheers and encouragement kept you going! It was so great to see everyone and have the positivity everywhere. Those that watch a race of any kind, do you know how much it means when you clap and cheer? Even if you’re a stranger! It’s wonderful.

So I’m proud of us and our accomplishments. Here’s to my first 5K!

If I can do it, you can too <3

Sara

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies in the making!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies in the making!

Pumpkin is HUGE this time of year!  You can sell just about anything to some of my friends just by putting the words ‘pumpkin’ in there some where.  Give these a try.  You’ll notice that this isn’t the standard cream cheese filling that sometimes is inside – this filling doesn’t compete with the delicious pumpkin flavor.  You can’t go wrong here!!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Oven Temperature:  an accurate 350 degrees F

1  16 oz box of Domino Light Brown Sugar

1 cup canola oil

1 1/2 cups pumpkins, cooked and mashed (plain canned is fine)

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground ginger

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream sugar and oil.  Add eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla.  Add sifted dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Drop by rounded tablespoon on a very lightly greased or sprayed baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Cool.

Fluffy Icing:

2 cups whole milk

1/4 cup flour

1/2 pound salted butter

1 cup butter flavored Crisco

2 cups granulated sugar

Cook the milk and 1/4 cup flour together until thick as whipping cream, stirring constantly.  Set aside and allow to cool.  In large mixing bowl beat the butter, Crisco and granulated sugar.  Whip for 10 minutes, using the mixer’s whisk.  Mixture should be light and fluffy.  Scrape sides of bowl several times and there should be no hint of grainy sugar.  Add the cooked milk and flour mixture and whip for 5 full minutes.  Put a generous amount of icing between the flat sides of 2 cookies

Romanesco!

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Have you seen this whimsical vegetable in your supermarket?  It’s an Italian veggie that makes it’s debut in the fall in my town.  It looks like turrets are poking up the head of this Dr. Seuss looking vegetable.  But I’d eat it anywhere!  It’s a lovely addition to your Thanksgiving table.  Check out this delicious, simple, healthy recipe!

1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2  teaspoon capers
1 1/2 lb romanesco, trimmed, cut into pieces
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
cracked black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil, garlic, and capers on MEDIUM-LOW. Cook, stirring, 2-3 min
  2. Raise heat to HIGH. Add romanesco, water, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer; cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 min or until water is evaporated.
  3. Season to taste with pepper.

Glowing Mean Green Smoothie

I’ll admit it.  As much as I love veggies, fruit and all that fresh produce has to offer, I just can’t do smoothies!  I’d much rather eat a ginormous plate of the food that goes into them instead.  That being said, this one is actually good!  It’s super healthy and is a beautiful green!  Enjoy!

 

First ya gotta chop your ingredients!

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Love my Vitamix!

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Look at that color!!  So good for you!

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Ingredients

1 cup cold water

2-3 large fistfuls kale, chopped

4 stalks of celery, chopped

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

2 granny smith apples, cored and chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Piece of ginger, peeled

Instructions

Fill blender with 1 cup of water, blend kale and celery until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again. Serve.

Strawberry, Asparagus, and Quinoa Salad

I made this very yummy salad for a get together in September and soon discovered that it was gone in minutes of me putting on the table (and this recipe makes a good amount).  Go for it!

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Ingredients:

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups cooked quinoa

2 cups fresh asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces

8 cups arugula

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Method:

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, oil, honey and balsamic vinegar together.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat.  Add the asparagus and depending on the thickness cook for 1-3 minutes.  Have a bowl of ice water set aside.  Drain the asparagus and add it immediately to the ice bath.  Set aside

In a large bowl combine the quinoa, asparagus, arugula and strawberries and lightly toss with the dressing.

Perfect Fall Salad

Well folks, Fall is here!  Ain’t no denying it now!  While you’re Fall festival hopping (as my friends and I enjoy doing) why not take a quick moment to make something good for you, yet delicious at the same time to celebrate the season?  Enter my perfect fall salad!!

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You’ll need: (I don’t measure, I just throw it together and it’s SOOO good!!)

Spring Mix (generous handful)

Arugula (handful)

1 granny smith apple, sliced

handful of raw pecans

small slice of blueberry goat cheese (on my gosh, have you ever had this from Trader Joe’s??  AWESOME!!)

Pumpkin Hummus (I made my own, but didn’t love it.  It was good enough for this salad, but let me research more before I give you a mediocre recipe)

Dressing: Honey mustard, dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, apple cider vinegar, tarragon vinegar – adjust the ratios to your liking!  Enjoy!

Healthy Coconut Crisp Fruit

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Ingredients

1/2 cup rolled oats divided

6 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 up finely chopped raw unsalted walnuts

1/4 cup Sucanat, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted

1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

4 1/2 cups fruit (see note below)

3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon arrow root starch

The original recipe is made with strawberries (which was my favorite until I made it with fresh local peaches).  I have also made it with apples and with fresh local peaches.  The picture is with some fresh Pennsylvania peaches from the farm down the road.

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1.  Preheat grill to medium or preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut 6 12×14-inch pieces of foil and mist with cooking spray.
2.  To a small bowl add oats, coconut, walnuts, 2 Tbsp. sugar and cinnamon.  Stir to combine.  Drizzle in oil and maple syrup and mix until crumbly texture.  Set aside.
3.  In a large bowl, combine fruit, remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar, lemon juice and arrowroot.  Toss to combine.  Divide fruitmixture evenly into the center of the foil pieces and top each with oat mixture, dividing evenly.  Bring short edges of foil together.  Fold inward a few times along each long edge to seal.  Place packets directly on grill or on a large, rimmed baking sheet in oven.  Grill or bake for 15 minutes.  Carefully open packets and transfer contents to serving bowls.  Serve alone or with a little ice cream OR with a delicious salted caramel gelato!  DELICIOUS!!
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