Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Vegetarian Spinach Carbanara

Today's recipe is yummy vegetarian version of the typical Carbanara.  Instead of prosciutto, you use spinach and it is super yummy.  But first, I want to tell you about my interviews!

I am waiting to hear back from some places, but I have interviewed a few times now and I think it gets a little easier every time. The catch is that every place is different! Something that I had never heard of was a school coming to watch you teach in the classroom where you are a student teacher as a second round to the interview.  That was a nerve-wracking experience! I have also had interviews where a committee of five people are there to listen versus one where there was only one person.  Then, the times have varied from 15 minutes to a whole hour! I also have had to write writing samples explaining my ideal school or a letter home to parents introducing myself. I have always been nervous, but I think that trick is to be over-prepared.  I have dressed in an adorable and simple dress with a blazer, worn comfortable-yet-cute shoes, brought a binder with some of my work as a sample portfolio, and arrived about 30 minutes early.  You never want to be running late! While, the school may be accommodating  it will make you feel sick to your stomach.  In terms of the sample portfolio, build it as if you could direct the interview.  What do you want to showcase about yourself?  If you were asking the questions what would you want to share?  Here is what I included:

  • My Educational Philosophy
  • An example lesson that incorporates Discovery Based Learning
  • An example lesson that incorporates Technology
  • A classroom management strategy that I use
  • A few of my favorite lessons that were successful
  • A few worksheets that I created
  • A sample of student work
  • Letters of Recommendation and an Observation
I have shown something from this portfolio in all of my interviews except for one.  if it doesn't feel right to show something  don't force it.  It is just good to have these things on hand just in case.  Also, in each of these I include explanations, connections to standards, and pictures if I have them.  So far, I have felt that I have done basically my best.  There are always a few moments that I wish I could re-do or re-word my answer, but at the end of the day I have been overall pleased with how these are going.  Now, I just have to wait and see!

Vegetarian Spinach Carbanara (adapted from Drizzle & Dip)

Ingredients:
8 oz whole wheat angel hair pasta
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 cups baby spinach
zest of one lemon
salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Prepare pasta according to directions until al dente.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, drain the rest and place pasta back in the cooking pot.
2.  While the pasta is cooking, get your other ingredients ready.  Lightly beat the egg yolk.
3. Once pasta is drained and back in the pot, place the baby spinach in with the reserved water and let cook until wilted.  Stir in the egg yolk and then the creme fraiche, parmesan, and lemon zest.  Season with salt and pepper (I just did pepper).

Enjoy :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Grilled Spinach Artichoke and Chicken Sandwiches

This weekend I saw my little brother in his first half marathon and he did great! I can't believe that mine is less than a month away! This past week I got up to 11 miles and it was pretty rough.  I didn't drink enough water before hand and I ended up struggling.  Plus, my shoes are pretty worn at this point and I've been getting blisters! Uh oh! I need new shoes ASAP! I want to be able to break them in before I go off on this Half Marathon in one month! This week I am going to keep up with my shorter runs, but I've been getting so busy with school and interviews that it has been getting pretty difficult to keep up on other things like running and cooking! I'm doing my best!

Today I have a great lunch idea! Grilled Spinach Artichoke and Chicken Sandwiches.  I used yummy whole wheat wraps, make my Lightened Up Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip (this time I used all Greek Yogurt instead of half yogurt half sour cream), and then spread some of that along with chicken strips on my flatbread and turned it into a little panini.  It was a delicious lunch and I love how I had enough to make leftovers to take with me to school!

Grilled Spinach Artichoke and Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients:
1 batch of Lightened Up Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip
1 packaged Grilled Chicken Strips
8 pieces Whole Wheat Flatbread

Directions:
1. Lightly grease a pan and place over medium heat.
2. Spread dip on a piece of flatbread and place chicken strips on top.  Top with other piece of flatbread and toast over medium heat for 3 minutes.  Flip and toast the other side for 3 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Oreo Stuffed Brownies

Happy Sunday! I had a slight change of plans in regards to this weekend...

And by slight, I mean HUGE! I was supposed to hang with DTS on Friday night, run the Crazylegs Race Saturday morning, go to Spring Formal for DTS Saturday night and plan my lessons for the week today.

Instead, I got interviews! This is exciting, but it meant changing my life around quite a bit.  I had an interview Friday morning, and then I found out about two more interview on Monday and one on Tuesday! All of them are in the Chicago-area, so I decided to stay at home this weekend instead of driving back and forth a ton.  My Friday interview felt pretty good and then Friday afternoon, I left for Champaign with my parents to see my little bro run his first Half Marathon on Saturday! He totally killed it! Finished in 1 hour and 42 minutes! Thats fast! I'm hoping for a time around 2 hours! Then, we hung out in Champaign, had lunch and dinner, and even a little froyo for dessert! I've been keeping up on my runs by using the lovely work out facility at the hotel.  I'm also working through a few more applications and getting ready for my other three interviews tomorrow and Tuesday!

I also have a yummy recipe for you today.  And by yummy, I mean, insanely delicious.  I made brownies, but then I decided to put a layer of oreos in the middle.  It was a pretty darn good idea if I say so myself.  The brownies were amazing and the oreos provided an awesome little surprise in the middle.  This is my all time favorite brownie recipe and I love coming up with little ways to mix it up!

Oreo Stuffed Brownies





Ingredients:
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 10 oz package dark chocolate chips
Oreos

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line the inside of a 13 by 9 inch baking pan with foil.  Let the foil hang over the ends of the pan.  Grease the foil.
2. In a large saucepan, over very low heat, melt the butter and bittersweet chocolate, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once melted, stir in the sugar until well combined.  Next, stir in the eggs until well combined.  Then, mix in the espresso powder, vanilla, and salt.  Fold in the flour until just combined and then fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan.  Place oreos on top of the batter.  Pour the rest of the batter over the oreos and spread out to make it even.
4. Bake for about 40 minutes.  The sides will be set and the center will be just a little wet still.  Let cool for 15 minutes.  Using the ends of the foil, lift the brownies out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Foodie Friends Friday: Crock Pot Party!

This week, Foodie Friends Friday is back!  This week is all about Crock Pot Recipes! Just follow the rules and link up your Slow-Cooker recipes! Also, host favorites will be featured on Daily Dish!  This week I'm linking up Crock Pot Veggie Lasagna, Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers, and Slow Cooker Apple BBQ Pulled Chicken.


Here are the winners from last week!


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Most Clicks:

And Host Favorites! 

Welcome to Foodie Friends Friday!

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*By linking up you agree that you read these rules and all photos/recipes are original and belong to you. You agree to allow Foodie Friends Friday and any of it's affiliated websites or publications (Social Girls Media, LLC) to use photos, links, and recipes for reprint and/or republishing and distribution without monetary compensation to you. If photos & recipes are used, proper link backs to you will be included.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Grilled Spinach Apple Cheddar Wraps

With graduation just around the corner and the job-search in full swing, I have been constantly thinking about the future.  This usually makes me feel like I am about to cry/I can't stop smiling.  I've been on one crazy emotional roller coaster.

I have also spent some time each weekend trying out a new recipe because I really want to get good at coming up with healthy recipes that I can take with me for school lunches.  I like to come up with things that are very tasty and comforting while also nutritious.  Today's recipe is all of these things! Bri and I made these Grilled Spinach Apple Cheddar Wraps last weekend and they were awesome! I made extras and took them for lunch during the week.  The flavors here are amazing.  I used a mustard that had quite the zing to it then added the comforting, melty cheese, healthy spinach, and tart/crunch apples.  It was awesome how simply eating lunch could brighten my day because I made that lunch and was proud of it!

Grilled Spinach Apple Cheddar Wraps

Ingredients:
4 whole wheat flatbread wraps
4 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup spinach
1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
1 granny smith apple
butter (I used Brummel & Brown)

Directions:
1. Spread a layer of butter on one side of the flatbread.
2. Spread 1 tbsp of mustard on the other side.  Then, place some spinach and apple slices on top.  Finally sprinkle about 1/4 cup of cheese on top.  Roll up into a wrap.
3. Place wrap in a pan and heat over medium heat for about 4 minutes.  Turn over and heat for another 4 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Amazing Lemon Bars

The weather up here still feels a lot like winter.  So, to compensate, I have been craving spring recipes! I had never made lemon bars before and they were on my food bucket list.  This recipe was absolutely amazing.  I found it on the Food Network and I ended up with great lemon bars.  I even brought them to school and everyone agreed that they were great! Maybe if I keep making spring like foods, the weather will start to reflect them?  A girl can hope!

Amazing Lemon Bars
Ingredients:
For the Crust:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
For the Filling:
6 eggs
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup flour
powdered sugar for topping

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease 2 9 inch round cake pans.
2. For the crust: In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the flour and salt.  Divide the dough into two balls and place one in each pan.  Press into the pan and up the sides.  The crust should go about 1 1/2 or 2 inches up the sides of the pan.  Freeze for 15 minutes.  Once chilled, bake the crust for 20 minutes.  Let cool.
3. Make the filling: In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until pale yellow in color.  Beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour.  Divide mixture among the two pans.  Bake in the oven at 350 for 35 minutes or until the filling is no longer wobbly.  Let cool.  Dust with powdered sugar and cut into slices.

Enjoy :)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-bars-recipe/index.html

Monday, April 22, 2013

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes with Pretzel Crust

When Tamara and I were planning a dinner for Courtney's birthday, Tamara came up with an amazing sounding cheesecake idea: Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cupcakes with Pretzel Crust and Salted Caramel Glaze.  Yea, she's a genius.

I can't wait to share this recipe, but I am also excited to share my Half Marathon Training! I finally made it up to the double digits and Saturday was my 10 mile run! It went really well and I got to run on a beautiful day through the Madison Arboretum.  It was awesome.  This week I have some shorter runs planned for during the week and then on Saturday, I am running in the Madison Crazylegs Race! I can't wait! I've wanted to run this race all through my college career, but I have always been busy.  Finally, my senior year, I am crossing this one off my bucket list!

Speaking of bucket lists, I got another item checked off when my parents came to town Friday for the UW Marching Band Concert.  We went out for dinner at Roast, saw the concert, and then headed to the Ivory Room for a fun night of dueling pianos.  The bucket list item: my mom and I took a shot together! It was super cute.  We had a really fun time and it was awesome to have them here in Madison.

The rest of the weekend was jam packed with running, DTS Sister Bonding Sleepover, DTS Activation, and lesson planning.  I also spent some time coming up with new recipes and I can't wait to tell you about them!  I hope that everyone has a lovely day and enjoys this amazing recipe for Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes with Pretzel Crust!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes with Pretzel Crust
(Cheesecake Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour and Caramel Sauce adapted from Cooking Channel)

Ingredients:
For the Crust:
1 1/4 cups crushed pretzels
4 tbsp powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
16 oz light cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 eggs
3 tsp vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips
For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp sea salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 and place 16 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the crushed pretzels, powdered sugar, and salt.  Pour melted butter over the mixture and stir to combine.  Place 2 tbsp of pretzel mixture into each cupcake liner and, using a small glass, press the crust into the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool.
3. Lower the oven temperature to 325.  In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in the sugar until well combined.  Beat in the cream, eggs, and vanilla until well combined.  Beat on high for a few minutes until light and fluffy.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour batter into cupcake wells until it is almost to the top.  Bake for 30 minutes or until cheesecakes are no longer wobbly.  Let cool for an hour and then place in fridge for 1 hour.
4.  To make the caramel sauce, heat the sugar with the water in a medium pot over medium heat until completely dissolved.  Increase the heat and bring to a boil.  Continue to cook, without stirring, until your mixture is a deep amber color.  Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and cream.  Mixture will bubble violently.  Whisk until well combined and whisk in the salt.  Let cool completely.  Mixture will thicken as it cools.  Drizzle over cooled cheesecakes.  You can store the extra caramel sauce in the fridge.

Enjoy :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Foodie Friends Friday-National Garlic Day!

This week, Foodie Friends Friday is back!  This week is all about garlic! Just follow the rules and link up your Garlic-y recipes!  You could win some great items from Honey Locust Hills!  One winner will win Apple Butter, a set of Glitter Pins, a Vintage Necklace, and Chevre with Pink Sea Salt and Five Pepper Blend! Wow! Also, host favorites will be featured on Daily Dish!  This week I'm linking up Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Lemon Garlic Pasta with Seared Scallops!



Top 3:


Most Clicks:


And Host Favorites! 

Welcome to Foodie Friends Friday!

Please take a moment to read through the rules before getting started, Thank You!

*By linking up you agree that you read these rules and all photos/recipes are original and belong to you. You agree to allow Foodie Friends Friday and any of it's affiliated websites or publications (Social Girls Media, LLC) to use photos, links, and recipes for reprint and/or republishing and distribution without monetary compensation to you. If photos & recipes are used, proper link backs to you will be included.
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Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

Yesterday, I shared a great banana recipe! It was for my brothers birthday and he requested something with bananas and chocolate.  A few days before, I asked my friend, Patrick, what his favorite birthday treat would be, and he also said something with banana and chocolate! Isn't that strange?  Maybe those two having the same birthday makes them share some sort of banana-chocolate connection?  Anyways, I found a yummy recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Cake Bars and whipped them up for Patrick's birthday! He was a huge fan :)

In other news, school went much better today.  I had a great day teaching, the students responded well, and according to an exit ticket, learning and understanding occurred! We learned polynomial division today and by the end students were able to divide polynomials, and began connecting the idea to finding roots of an equation.  It was a fun lesson and the students did really well.  I also got to see some solo and ensemble singing performances today for fine arts week.  It is really cool to be part of this because I have been able to see a lot of my students in a much different setting.  It is neat to see all the amazing talents they have outside of the math classroom.  One of my students sang a solo today that blew me away and yesterday I saw a student in a great jazz concert!  Fine arts week has also made me miss my singing and dancing and I hope that I can get involved in that sort of capacity at my next school...which I am still searching for! In the meantime, here are some yummy cake bars!

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake Bars (adapted from Taste of Home)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.  Beat in yogurt and vanilla until well combined.  Slowly beat in the dry ingredients until just combined.  Stir in the mashed banana.
4. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Cupcakes with Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting

I did not have such a great day yesterday.  I have been feeling super stressed out, my lesson was stressful, and I feel exhausted.  It is a good thing it is Fine Arts week at school and I get to go see some pretty neat performances with my math classes.  On Monday, I saw some highly entertaining group and individual acts and yesterday, I got to see a jazz band concert.  Today I am seeing yet another performance and I can't wait!

These cupcakes are AMAZING.  My mom found a great recipe and then I helped her make it over my Spring Break.  We brought these to my brother for his birthday and him and his friends loved them.  This is such a simple recipe and I am excited to share it with you all because it was so good! Enjoy!


Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes (adapted from Baked Perfection)



Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips, dusted in 1 tbsp of flour

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & line cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt.  
3. In a large bowl, beat the butter & sugar until combined.  Add the milk & vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until combined.  Slowly beat in the flour mixture, until just combined.  Slowly add in the bananas.  Once all combined, stir in the chocolate chips by hand.  
4. Divide batter evenly into 12 cupcake cups.  Bake until the tops are golden, about 17-20 minutes.  Remove to wire rack & cool completely before frosting.

Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting

Ingredients:
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk
2 cups powdered sugar

Directions: 
1. Cream the butter, peanut butter, salt & vanilla.  Slowly add in 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Then add in 2 tbsp of milk.  Add in the rest of the sugar and add 1-2 more tbsp of milk until you have the desired consistency. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowls

Who needs Chipotle when you can make this? Okay, who are we kidding?  I need Chipotle once in a while.  However, I did throw together my very own Chicken Burrito Bowl and it was really yummy! I made Chipotle Chicken and Cilantro Lime Brown Rice and then added my toppings and had a great dinner!  Tamara and I decided to do this for Courtney's birthday when we found out that she was craving Mexican food and this was a lovely way to spend a Saturday night.  We had homemade Burrito bowls, ate mini cheesecakes and watched tv.  I love hanging with these ladies and we always find a way to get some good food into the picture!

Homemade Chipotle Burrito Bowls
Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
Chipotle Chicken
Homemade Chicken Burrito Bowls

Ingredients:
For the Chicken:
2 1lbs. chicken breasts
2 tbsp chipotle adobo sauce
3 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp chili powder
For the Rice:
canola oil
1 cup brown rice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
juice of 2 limes
zest of 1 lime
fresh cilantro
1 14 oz can black beans
Toppings:
Mexican Cheese
Salsa
Guacamole
Sour Cream

Directions:
1. For the chicken, place in a ziplock bag with all the marinade ingredients   Place in fridge overnight or at least 2 hours.  Dice chicken and cook in a pan with a little bit of oil.
2. For the rice: in a medium saucepan, heat 1/2 tbsp of canola oil and saute the garlic and onion over medium heat until onion starts to become translucent.  Add in the rice, lower heat, and stir to combine.  Pour in the broth, juice of 1 lime, lime zest, and the salt, bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover and let simmer until rice is cooked, about 10 minutes.  Once rice is cooked, stir in juice of other lime, black beans, and fresh cilantro.
3. Build the bowls: Place rice and chicken in a bowl, top with whatever toppings you want!

Enjoy :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Gluten Free Easter Nests

This Half Marathon is really creeping up on me! I am already up to 8 miles for my long run and next week is 10!  This week, I am planning on a 4 mile, 6 mile, 5 mile, and 3 mile run before my big 10 mile run.  I'm also going to look into new shoes because I've been running in mine since August and I think it's going to be time for a new pair soon.

This week at school is fine arts week and I'm excited to see some of my students perform in various shows! We are also finishing up constructions in Geometry and learning about polynomial division in Algebra 2!  I'm also looking at some of the PreCalc material because I might be teaching some of those lessons as well! Also, we had a human knot challenge in the classes and I promised the winning teams a treat.  So, I made some awesome inception cookies and I can't wait to share them with the students.  I'm having such a great time with this student teaching experience and I really hope I find a job for next year because I just love to teach!

I have been really busy so I'm sorry that today's treat is a little out dated.  I made gluten free Easter egg nests for Easter a few weeks ago and I am just getting around to sharing them now! I made my Gluten Free Nutella Brownies and then topped them off with cute Easter Egg Candies.  They were a great treat to share for the Holiday and everyone loved them!

Gluten Free Easter Nests


Ingredients:
1/2 cup Nutella
1 egg
3 tbsp gluten free flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
egg candies

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a mini muffin pan.
2. Beat nutella with egg, flour, cocoa powder, and vanilla.  Fill muffin pan almost to the top.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.  Let cool.
3.  Decorate with candy eggs.

Enjoy :)




Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pretzel M&M Cookies

Happy Sunday! I have had a lovely weekend.  Bri came up to visit me and we have had so much fun!

Friday was a scary day for me.  I had an observation from a school in IL that is considering hiring me! It's all very exciting, but I was so nervous! When it was over, I was extra excited to relax and de-stress with a fun weekend.  So, I did!

Bri and I went out for dinner to the Tipsy Cow on Friday and then out for the night with a ton of friends.  The Tipsy Cow was fantastic! I had a great Mediterranean sandwich with cheese curds on the side and Bri had their grilled cheese, tomato soup, and beer battered french fries.  It was all very tasty and it was nice to treat myself to some great comfort food.  Then, we had a great time out and I continued my quest to learn the card game, Ucher.  I think I'm getting the hang of it!

Saturday was a great day to be lazy.  I didn't want to do anything so I didn't.  Well, after I got in my 8 mile run.  Then, I showered and we watched episodes of How I Met Your Mother and had lunch with a bunch of DTS for parents day.  My parents didn't come up, but I got to see my friend Lauren's family and the food was awesome! After more episodes of How I Met Your Mother and a nap, we met up with friends at Great Dane for a drink and then dinner at Flattop Grill.  The food was yummy, but their service was rather slow and we ended up getting a few free meals because they felt so bad.  Next, Bri and I came back to campus and met up with Max at Forever Yogurt for dessert...yum! Our adventure continued as we met up with Russ, Lauren, and Max (other Max) at The Plaza.  I like this bar because it is fairly chill.  We got a booth and spent time just catching up.  Other Max was in town because he had just been visiting University of Chicago and might be going there for law school!  How cute is that?  Bri and Max might end up there together!

Now it is Sunday, and while I had a lovely weekend, I know that I now need to get some work done.  After my Jillian Michael's Workout, I am planning on a shower, lesson planning for the week, filling out some more job applications, and then baking! Yep, I am going to bake something today.  Not sure what yet, so if you have a suggestion I'd love to hear it! I have been so stressed the past few weeks that I just haven't had much energy for cooking or baking, but I miss it and I know that it will make me feel good to get back in the game.  Check out this awesome cookie recipe and I can't wait to share what I end up creating today!

Pretzel M&M Cookies


Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 tsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
pinch of cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tbsp vanilla
12 oz pretzel M&Ms

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cornstarch, and cinnamon.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.  Beat in vanilla.  Beat in dry ingredients until just combined and stir in M&Ms.
4. Drop cookie dough onto the prepared sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.  This recipe makes about 60 cookies that are about 2 tbsp in size.

Enjoy :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Foodie Friends Friday: Cookie Party!

This week, Foodie Friends Friday is back!  This week is all about cookies! Just follow the rules and link up your Cookie recipes! Also, host favorites will be featured on Daily Dish!  This week I'm linking up Kissed Peppermint Crinkle Cookies, Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies, and Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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Most Clicks:

And here was our winner from last week!

And Host Favorites! 

Welcome to Foodie Friends Friday!

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

I just read a really excellent book.  Yeah, that's right, I read occasionally too.  I don't know how I find time, but I make myself read a little bit of a book every night before I go to sleep.  This helps me relax and it makes me feel really good to do something for myself and by myself.  It's a nice way to end the day.

My mom suggested I read this one and it was fantastic.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good read.  It's called 1000 White Women and it was based on true journals of a woman who marries a Native American.  It was a remarkable story.

Also, I recently made the best Zucchini Bread of my entire life and I am quite excited about it.  Bri and I got some fresh zucchinis from the farmers market and then made zucchini bread! It was delicious, healthy, and the perfect way to use up some fresh produce.  So, go out and get this book, make this bread, and read while it's in the oven.  Sometimes we need to do that sort of stuff because its just good for you!

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup non-fat, plain greek yogurt
2 medium zucchini

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, beat both sugars with the greek yogurt.  Beat in the eggs until well combined.
4.  Grate the zucchini and then place on a paper towel.  Wrap towel around the grated zucchini and squeeze to remove as much moisture as you can.
5.  Beat dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.  Stir in zucchini.
6. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

French Silk Pie

How have I not shared this pie?!?!
I made this for Pi Day way back when and I haven't gotten around to telling you about it.  This makes me sad because this was an amazingly good pie.  Plus, I tried a new technique with my pie crust and it was amazing!

But, first, today is half marathon Monday and I am excited to announce that I am 48 days away from race day! I am two weeks into training and things are going great.  Plus, the weather is getting nicer out and I get to run outside again! This week I am going to run 4 miles today and Wednesday, 6 miles Thursday, 3 miles Friday, and 8 miles Saturday! Along with this, I am still doing my Jillian Michaels on Sundays.

Also, I have applied to even more schools and now I am just waiting to hear back! I will keep you all posted!

So anyways, back to pie.  For the crust, I made my usual all butter crust, but I added a tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar.  This made it easier to roll the pie dough out and I ended up with an amazing flaky crust.  The pie filling was adapted from Taste of Home and it was delicious! Plus, after you bake the crust, all you have to do is pour the filling in and chill it.  That's right, you don't have to actually bake the pie!  And, it was amazing!

French Silk Pie


Ingredients:
For the Crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2-3 tbsp ice water
For the Filling:
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 heavy whipping cream
2 tsp powdered sugar
whipped cream for topping, optional

Directions:
1. Make the crust.  In a food processor, place flour, sugar and salt.  Process to mix.  Keep processing and add cubes of butter until you have a mixture that resembles wet sand.  Add in the vinegar and 1 tbsp of water at a time until dough forms into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 450.  Once dough is chilled, lightly flour a surface and roll dough out until you have a circle about 12 inches in diameter.  Place in 9 inch pie pan and trim edges.  Cover with foil  Place in oven and bake for 5 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes or until dough is lightly browned.  Remove and let cool.
3.  Make the filling.  In a small saucepan, combine eggs and sugar.  Cook over low heat until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and chocolate until chocolate completely melts and is well combined.
4. In a medium bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy.  Beat in chocolate mixture and beat on high for 5 minutes.  Mixture should be light and fluffy.
5.  In a separate bowl, beat whipping cream with powdered sugar until it forms a stiff peak.  Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.  Pour into pie crust and let chill for 6 hours or overnight.
6.  Once chilled, top with whipped cream if you want and serve!

Enjoy :)