It’s official. Fall (winter?) has hit. It is SO cold here in Iowa. We skipped right over the breezy 50-degree days and went straight into so-windy-it-feels-like-it-might-blizzard freezing cold temperatures.
Luckily, I made a big batch of this Winter Veggie Soup a couple days ago and am now eating it for lunch every day. It’s super easy to make—just chop up and sauté some veggies, add vegetable stock and let it sit. Bonus: It’s delicious and makes your house smell like you really know what you’re doing in the kitchen, even when you’re just throwing vegetables in a pot and stirring them around. :)
What you need:
(adapted from HyVee Vegetable Stock box recipe)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
3-5 spears asparagus, chopped into 2-inch pieces, tops removed and set aside
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 tsp minced jarred garlic or 1 clove garlic, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion, thyme, rosemary and salt in oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add carrot and asparagus and cook and stir until softened, about 3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, potatoes, garlic, vegetable stock, water and pepper. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Carefully puree 1 cup soup in blender and return to pot and simmer. Stir in peas and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Enjoy!
I’m back! Sorry for being away so long—after my Nashville trip, I had a slew of freelance work to catch up on, plus friends visiting from out of town, plus general life happenings…and finally my life is finally feeling a bit more normal again.
We’re getting back into the swing of things today with an awesome fall recipe. Though it’s still in the 70s here (I’m not complaining, but what’s going on?), I know chilly temperatures are coming, so I’ve been stockpiling some pretty awesome cold-weather recipes—the first of which is quintessentially autumn: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.
These cookies aren’t your typical “cookies.” The pumpkin (and eggs, of course) make them a a bit fluffier—almost cake-like. And that’s not a bad thing. They’re moist and delicious!
A quick note on the first ingredient below: If you use whole-wheat flour, you’ll end up with a denser, chewier cookie, while all-purpose makes the treats fluffier (which I prefer for this specific recipe).
What you need:
(Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker, makes appx. 16 palm-sized cookies)
2 cups all purpose flour (OR) 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream eggs and sugar until frothy and lightened in color, approximately 1 minute. Add applesauce, pumpkin and vanilla, then beat with an electric mixer on medium until thoroughly combined. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, mixing on low. Scrape sides of bowl as needed. Lastly, add chocolate chips and mix on low to combine.
Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat mat (I realize I’m probably one of few 22-year-old kids who asks for a Silpat for Christmas, so if you don’t have one, a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper coated in butter or cooking spray will do just fine). Scoop dough onto sheet with an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup, making sure you keep dough rounds at least 2 inches apart. Use a pastry spreader to smooth rounds into puck-like shapes. Bake for 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack. Enjoy!
Hey guys. I’m writing this from Nashville, where I’m on a week-long work trip. We don’t have free wifi at my hotel, and since I’ll be out and about all day, I don’t think it’s worth it to pay to try to post tiny recaps during the hour or so I’m in my room. Therefore, I am going on a blog hiatus for a few days until I get back into my normal routine. Until then, feel free to check out older posts (if you’re new to the blog)…or go bake a cake or something! I’ll see you next week. :)
So I’ll soon be in the market for a new pair of running shoes.
I bought the pair above in January and though I can’t “feel” they’re worn out yet, the ripped seams and worn-through heels are starting to show the telltale signs of half-marathon training and my over-use of concrete trails (oops—maybe that’s why my knees hate me?). I’ve started window-shopping for a new pair, but as always, the options are overwhelming.
Though everyone I know runs in Asics, Brooks and New Balance, I almost always choose Nike. I use insoles because I have high arches and narrow feet, and the shoes they feel best in are almost always Nikes. I trust the brand and the shoes always seem to last a decent number of miles. But I have an open mind! I know Asics and Brooks are great running brands. I just haven’t found a pair I love yet.
Anybody have any great experiences with any other brands? Mizuno? Reebok? I’ve never tried either before, but these look kind of awesome.
I want to try something else, but I don’t know if I can turn away from my trusty Nikes. Like I said—I may be decisive when it comes to other things, but shoes are something I could debate on for hours. We’ll see what I end up choosing. Recommendations are appreciated!
In other news, here’s a video on how to blow the perfect snot rocket (or, as we called it in cross country, farmer’s blow) while running. Gross? Totally. But when you’re on mile 8 and you can’t breathe, all shame dissipates.
On another note…
My Banana Nutella Oatmeal was featured as one of DailyBuzz Healthy Living’s Top 9 posts yesterday! Kind of funny as I even said in the post I didn’t consider it a “recipe,” but I should have known that anything with Nutella in it probably gets a second glance from the DB team. Thanks, guys!