Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving- Running and Pumpkin Pie

What a great day! A high of 60 degrees and sun, perfect weather for running. Started the day with a 5K at the local Turkey Trot. Still managed a decent time despite crowds, walkers, dogs, strollers and plenty of people starting much too further up then they should. Mile 1: 7:00 Mile 2: 6:20 Mile 3: 6:40 Finish 20:40, Nice! And I managed to run this comfortably with a presumed broken toe.

Spent the afternoon eating pumpkin pie and then just had to get in another run with the dog to top off the day. Another 4 miles in perfect weather before coming home to grill for dinner.

I've got to say even when I did eat meat I was never a fan of Thanksgiving dinner, the only part I've ever liked was the pumpkin pie and sometimes the stuffing if it wasn't too salty and mushy. My family often goes away from the traditional and opts for whatever dish we choose for most holidays. This year we were at the in-laws who stick with the traditional, well if you count canned vegetables and Jell-o part of the traditional meal. I'm always bringing a dish I'll eat that is never touched by anyone else (besides Matt) because it "looks too healthy" or they don't know what it is.

Same response this year to my quinoa apple stuffing which was kind of a take on an old recipe we used to make for Stuffed pork chops with a few changes: sub vegetable broth, increase to 4 apples and cook 1 cup of quinoa first. Throw everything in the slow cooker on low and add more broth as needed to keep moist.

Now for the best part...
Pumpkin Pie
                                                                              
Crust:
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons water
pinch salt

Blend dates in a strong blender or food processor until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine until well-mixed. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan and press the mixture evenly to the bottom and sides. Bake at 375* for 10 minutes or until browned.

Pumpkin Filling:
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup dates
1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice)
2 tbsp cornstarch (can use flax egg or other egg substitute)
6 tbsp water
1 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp stevia (or leave out)

Combine cornstarch and water in small bowl. Chop dates in food processor, then add pumpkin, milk, sweetener (if using), cornstarch mix and spices and beat until combined and smooth. Pour mix into crust and bake, uncovered, at 400* for 10 minutes. Then cover with foil and bake at 350* for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Turned out great, but next time I won't burn the crust! Check out other recipes at Wellness Weekend

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Where's the "do over" button?

November has not been a great month, can I have a do over? Please! It all started with some of the worst illness I've had in years, so much that I gave in and hit urgent care and got the dreaded words "just a virus". But was still offered antibiotics "if I wanted". What? No thanks! Especially not after all the GI issues I've encountered since the last antibiotics. The worst part of this illness...we're still not better. Every time I start feeling better it only comes back. And right now Ophelia and I are in the midst of wonderful upper respiratory fun. This needs to end soon.

Then we decided it was time to give away the pacifiers and my big girl left them out for the baby bunnies. At first she was all excited about it, but has wanted to find the baby bunnies many times since. Luckily she was a toddler who only used pacifiers at nap and bedtime. Unfortunately after almost 3 weeks nap time sis still not fun much of the time and bedtime only slightly better some nights.

Then came my 5 days of solo parenting resulted in some of my not so proud parenting moments. It started with a no nap day and a crabby toddler which resulted in a crabby mom and a late bedtime. We survived but I have no idea how single parents do this!

Then came the first snowfall of the season. I'm not a fan of winter, cold and the short darker days. It also means BOB running is out since the paths are poorly cleared.
At least someone is having fun in the snow

And yesterday came the peak (at least I hope). In the process of trying to get to a toddler who was climbing on the counter I managed to kick the highchair so hard that I was on the ground. Pretty sure with the amount of swelling, bruising and pain that it is broken. 24 + hours later I still have walking issues. Not happy about this!

Seriously, anything else? All of this in a month packed with writing papers, projects and clinical hours. The month still has a week left, hope it only improves...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I love Fall!

I love pumpkin so Fall is the perfect time of year. Last weekend I spent hours, roasting and pureeing pumpkins and now freezer is full and ready for my baking adventures. First up was pumpkin bread, it was a hit and Ophelia is requesting more, too bad it only last a couple days. Good thing it is healthy! I've been working on this recipe I've been adapting over the past month and keep forgetting the changes I make. The last batch turned out best so I figured I better write it down, so my main reason for the post is to remember. While posting I figured I'd also share on Wellness Weekend

Pumpkin Spice Bread
2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c oats
1/2 c dates, packed (soak for a few mins in warm water if dry)
1/2 c non-dairy milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 3/4 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c raisins or chopped dates (nuts, seeds, etc)
Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
Mix dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices). Sift or stir with a fork to combine.
Puree dates in a high-powered blender. Add remaining wet ingredients (pumpkin, applesauce and non-dairy milk), combine. Add to dry ingredients, stir to combine. Add in raisins or nuts.
Pour into nonstick or sprayed bread pan.
Bake about 45 minutes or until center is firm to your liking.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Such big goals

The other day I was getting ready for work and having a conversation with my chatty daughter...

O: Daddy?
Me: Daddy's at work.
O: Baby work. (she calls herself baby)
Me: What do you want to be when you are bigger?
O: Mommy.
Me: You want to be a mommy?
O: Yep!
Me: How many babies will you have?
O: 3 (holding up 3 fingers)
Me: Do you want to be anything else too?
O: No, mommy.

Looks like at 21 months we have our first life goal and answer to the ever changing question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" Looks I I can forget about the college fund and instead start a wedding or rich husband search fund!