Monday, August 22, 2016

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

We went over to my mom and dad's for a BBQ and to celebrate my mom's birthday this weekend.  I figured I would make a pie because we needed a dessert and I've been wanting to bake!  So, I decided to go for a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.  I have never made one before! Can you believe that?  Every summer, I see all these strawberry rhubarb recipes come out and I'm always like, "I'm gonna make a pie..." and then I never get around to it.  So, I finally did.  And, everyone LOVED it.  It was a delicious, freakin pie. The crust was flaky, the fruit amazing, and it looked gorgeous!  I was inspired by a recipe I saw on America's Test Kitchen and then I adapted from there.  I love how you make a strawberry rhubarb syrup of sorts to keep the fruit juicy, but also keep the crust from getting soggy.  It was really delicious!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

3 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
12 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4-6 pieces
cold water
2 lbs rhubarb, chopped
1 lb strawberries, hulled and halved
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tbsp tapioca powder

1. Make the crust: Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Then, add in the butter cubes and pieces of shortening and pulse until you have a sandy mixture.  Add in water as needed until dough comes together.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill.
2. Place rhubarb in a microwave safe bowl with the sugar.  Microwave for a minute and a half, stir, and then microwave for another minute.  Stir in 1 cup of strawberries and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.
3. After 30 minutes, drain the rhubarb mixture into a small saucepan.  Add the rest of the strawberries to the rhubarb juice and cook over medium-high until you can mash the strawberries.  Mash the strawberries, add in the tapioca powder and continue to cook until sauce thickens.  Add the sauce to the rhubarb mixture.
4. Take the dough out of the fridge, cut into two pieces.  Roll one piece out on a well floured surface and then place in pie dish.  Pour the fruit into the pie dish and place in the fridge.
5. Take the other piece of dough and roll it out.  When you are ready take the pie out of the fridge and lay the rolled out dough over the top. Press the dough together around the sides.  Then, brush the top of the crust with water, cut a few slits into the top, and sprinkle sugar over the top.
6. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes.  Then, lower the temperature to 375 and bake for another 35-40 minutes.  Let cool.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Cookie Dough Stuffed Cupcakes

Today is a very special day! It is on of my best friend and bridesmaid's birthday!  I celebrated with Tamara this weekend up in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin where we went out to a fabulous dinner and then had a good old-fashioned sleepover back at her place.  Tamara and I share a deep appreciation for cupcakes and so for her birthday I baked this outrageous Cookie Dough Stuffed Cupcakes.  Everything is homemade!  I made yellow cake, homemade egg-less cookie dough, and dark chocolate frosting.  Check it out:

Cookie Dough Stuffed Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
For the cookie dough filling:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp skim milk
1 cup mini chocolate chips
For the frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 oz low-fat cream cheese
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup skim milk
3-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla


1. To make the cupcakes, whisk dry ingredients together.  Beat in wet ingredients.  Pour into prepared cupcake pan with liners.  Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
2. To make the cookie dough filling,  beat the butter with the brown sugar.  Then, ad in the vanilla.  Then, add in the flour and salt until just combined.  Beat in the milk until you have a desired consistency one tablespoon at a time.  Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.  Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Then, core the cupcakes using a knife or cupcake corer and put the cookie dough inside.
3. To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the powdered sugar and then slowly add the milk and vanilla.  Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl on high, stirring after 30 seconds, until melted.  Beat in the chocolate.  Frost cooled cupcakes!

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Breadmaker 101: My first loaf!

So now that it is summer, I have a ton more time to cook and bake!  I'm still doing camp but I have way less work to take home with me. Camp has been really great so far.  I am the director for three park district camps and they have all been amazing!  The site directors and counselors are doing a fantastic job and that makes my job even easier! 

Today I am going to tell you about my latest obsession: bread!  I got a bread maker at one of the wedding showers and I have been totally obsessed.  I also got a bread making cookbook.  I have already tagged multiple pages of recipes I want to try.  The first loaf I decided to go with was a 1 pound whole wheat loaf.  It came out amazing and I promptly announced that we were done buying bread! 

Whole Wheat Bread in a Bread Machine

I used King Arthur white whole wheat flour and bread machine quick rise yeast.  

This was also a honey whole wheat recipe and I really liked the flavor.  I went with the dark crust option and I think I'm the future I'll go with medium.  I also didn't take the paddle out after the mixing stages and I ended up with a hole in the bottom of the loaf.  Next time I'll change that as well. 

If anyone has any suggestions for me on what I should make or technical things, I'd love to hear it! 

Enjoy :)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Marathon Training Monday: Summer Marathon Training

Sorry! I took a little vacation.  And, by vacation, I actually mean I was like really sick for a while!

I ended up finishing up my last day of school and coming down with something.  It was horrible.  I had a fever and just felt like I couldn't move.   Turns out I had a sinus infection and bronchitis!  I took medicine and now I am all better!

I had to take a break from running as well and I am grateful that this illness happened at the beginning of summer marathon training.  I missed a few runs, but nothing that would get my off track.  And, in general, summer training has been off to a great start!  The runs have been pretty hot and I think this is going to be a sizzling summer in Chicago, but at least I have my group that I train with and there is a lot of water support along the lakeshore path where we run.  During the week, to beat the heat, I wake up around 4:45 or 5 and get my run in super early.

Our long runs so far have been 6 miles, then 7, and then 5 this past Saturday.  This week I have to run 3, 3, and 3.  Then, Saturday we jump up to 9 miles.  I feel like this is the week where I am going to really start to feel like I am training for a marathon again.

For those of you that don't know, I am training for TWO marathons.  I got into Chicago and New York through the lotteries and so I am going to do both.  The races are 1 month apart and I am super excited about them.  This will be my third time running Chicago and I just love it.  It will be my first time running New York and so that makes it really exciting.   If anyone out there has any advice for New York, I'd be grateful to hear it!