Monthly Archives: June 2010

My Very Own Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

Hello!! And happy hump day. I am so excited to share this Strawberry Rhubarb Galette that I’ve been shamelessly drooling over since.. mmm.. forever. It’s a true fact that I was more excited to bake it then to actually eat it. I mean look at it.. we’re dealing with a rustic piece of french art here. Simply Bellissimo. But my desire to indulge became more and more intense as it’s sweet and tangy deliciousness lingered  throughout every room of my house. Intoxicating indeed.

First, I owe a special thanks to Kathy at Food Lover’s Odyssey for sharing the recipe. I totally blog stalk her. Definitely bookmark the site. You’ll feel like you just spent an afternoon in France or Italy every time you visit it. Since I dooo adore travel, and cooking italiano, it’s naturally my favorite (virtual) happy place.

So I googled “galette”, and according to the ever-truthful Wikipedia, it’s a french-style pie or pastry with a free-hand crust. Yep, that’s definitely what we’ve got on our hands here, and it was so fun to make!!

Crust:

  • 2 c flour
  • 5 T sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c cold butter, cubed
  • 1/3 c ice cold water
  • 1/4 c slivered almonds
  • 1/2 c ginger snap cookies

Filling:

  • 2 1/2 c rhubarb, chopped
  • 2 1/2 c strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1) Mix dry ingredients and cut in cold butter. Add water 1 T at a time and mix just until it rolls into a ball. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 2) Mix together all filling ingredients, only leaving strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar separate. Cool in refrigerator until baking time. 3) Crush ginger snap cookies and mix with almond slivers. 4) Remove dough from the fridge and roll out on floured surface. You want it roughly 12″, 1/4″ thick. 5) Lay crust on baking dish lined with wax paper and refrigerate for another 30 minutes. 6) Line base of the crust with almond and cookie mix, keeping 2″ from the edge. Spoon in mixed strawberry and rhubarb filling, reserving as much liquid as possible for later use 7) Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. 8 ) Reserved liquid can be heated on the stovetop for thickening and drizzled over galette as a luscious syrup.

Me getting a bit silly in the kitchen with Bethy as my food photographer..

Not that I need an excuse to bake, but both my younger brothers are in town and staying with my the next couple nights. I get really excited about cooking for my family. Nothing says “I love you” like baked goods and mom’s comfort foods. (If you recall, my brother requested tuna casserole when I cooked Thanksgiving dinner last year… I was appalled. I had already made a mouth-watering prime rib, but I guess you can have the finest spread and still nothing tastes as good as food out of mom’s kitchen). If I ever host Thanksgiving again I know now, tuna casserole and apple pie. Easy to please.

Which of mom’s specialties do you find yourself craving?

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Filed under Indulgences

No Place Like Home

Isn’t it great to spend time with family? I was able to visit my mom and her husband at their beautiful new home outside Boise last week. I haven’t lived in Idaho since I was 10 years old. I haven’t even been there in 5 years, but now that the ‘rents retired back in cowboy country it was time to make a visit. Being there brought back so many great memories. It was really nice. And let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how old you get, home is always where your mama is.

Every day I woke up to blue skies, coffee on (thank you Paul!!), and just a nice, crisp morning. We had my cousins (10 and 6 years old) visiting also. They were such a hoot! I never grew up with sisters so seeing them interact was entertaining. We had a blast taking them all over doing things me and my brothers used to do at their age: the Boise Zoo, swimming at Eagle Island, Sunday school. My mom is so creative with kids crafts too. She kept the girls busy with painting projects, tye-diing, and my favorite… cooking! Lasagna turned out to be the perfect dish for having little helpers. Rhianna stood on a stool and browned the sausage while I helped Caitlyn chop onions, mince garlic. We cracked an egg in the ricotta cheese and seasoned it. Then spiced up the marinara sauce.. everyone put on their imaginary chef hat as we taste tested. And finally, assembly time! Voila..

While the lasagna was baking we made a big salad, ingredients straight from mom’s garden. Mmmm.. The girls got to choose which veggies they wanted in their salads (which worked pretty well). Turns out Rhianna loves carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers, and Caitlyn likes carrots and onions. What kid likes onions?! Unfortunately they weren’t fond of my homemade vinegarette.. so mom sprayed Ranch dressing on their salads and then they were happy campers. I guess fine dressing is a grown-up taste. 😉 Dinner was amazing. The lasagna was a tad bit spicy for Rhianna.. Maaaaybe I did get a little carried away with red pepper flakes. Clearly I don’t cook for children often. (In my house, the hotter the better).

Just when I thought our work was done I was reminded that I promised we’d bake cookies. Oh yeah. I was so full from lasagna that I felt like I needed to change into my yoga pants, but the girls still had room for dessert!! Must be a kid thing, no que for fullness. So I walked off dinner while my little helpers cleaned the kitchen, and we rondevu’ed an hour later for dessert. More great entertainment. Rhianna cracks a mean egg. Caitlyn is quite the mix master, and before we even rolled the balls out on cookie sheets they had to know how many cookies they could have before bed (I think this was their determining factor for how big to make the dough balls!!) Haha..

Here’s a quick slideshow recap of the rest of the weekend. Can’t wait to be back with the family for the Fourth..

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Healthy Snacking


Grazing is the name of the game, and anyone who’s mastered it knows that it takes a healthy balance of carbs, fats and protein to to keep the metabolism a-chuggin’. Also, don’t skip breakfast. Although it would seem like the longer you can hold off on eating, the less you eat in a day, that theory is all wrong. Studies show that those who eat breakfast are way more likely to lose/maintain a healthy weight over their lifetime. Think of your body as a hoarder. It hoards and stores calories all night long, and it isn’t giving any of them up until you feed it. Only then will your body start letting go, burning calories for energy, and fueling the metabolism and other body systems. Eating is a good thing. 🙂 That’s why grazing is so important. If your body is used to being fueled slow and steady throughout the day it will be much more willing to dispose of extra calories. The trick is moderation. A 100-calorie snack pack is not going to cut it, but you certainly don’t need an Olive Garden serving size every time you open the fridge. Plan on a hearty, healthy breakfast of about 30% your daily calorie needs, and grazing snacks around 200-300 calories (find your individual daily needs at
mypyramid.gov).

Some snacking suggestions? I have a few faves I don’t mind sharing..

  • Hummus with cucumbers, mushrooms, whole wheat crackers
  • Whole wheat wrap with arugula, hummus and cherry tomatoes
  • Greek yogurt with muesli (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • Apple halves coated with almond butter
  • Honey & ricotta cheese in a whole wheat wrap
  • Salmon loks with cream cheese on whole wheat toast

For breakfast I am ever faithful to my morning oats. I totally look forward to breakfast, and have never been one to shovel food into my mouth while putting on makeup, or driving in to work. Take 15 minutes: pop a bowl of old fashioned oats in the microwave for 3 minutes, chop some fruit (or buy mixed berries in the frozen section of your grocery store), toss a handful of nuts in, and BAM!! Breakfast of champions. Sit and enjoy. I insist. 🙂 Remember, you want a filling, nutritious breakfast to start the day, and taper off as the day goes on, keeping dinner light. Here’s one of my no-fail breakfasts that will keep you satisfied and give you something to look forward to when the alarm goes off..

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • sliced apple
  • chopped pistachios
  • 1 T apple-cranberry butter (or fruit preserves of some sort)

Got some healthy snack ideas? Share your secrets..

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Filed under Healthy Cooking/Eating, Uncategorized

This Is Why I Run..

“I run because it’s my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I’m going where I’m going and I’m already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise… it’s a consistent reward for victory!”
William Arthur Ward (RW Quote of the Day)

Great quote, huh? Running in Seattle in the summertime is such a treat too! Finally, the weather is turning, and finally I have time for me. Since my Prague Half Marathon in March I haven’t gotten my daily runs up past 8 miles. (That’s my comfort zone). But these last 2 weeks I’ve really challenged myself with consistent 10, 12 mile runs. And although I have to admit the first 12-er lead to a sleepless night with achy legs, I feel so strong, accomplished, and proud of myself. It’s a beautiful thing. Three years ago I was the girl who “clocked in” for 30 minutes of cardio 4 times a week. Now running is as much a part of me as breathing. It can change your life. Wish me luck as I gear up to train for my first FULL marathon in October!!

I think there is something for everybody. Growing up I was teeeerrible at sports. After being a horrible basketball player, volleyball player, and discovering that I hate softball, I quit. I pursued spectator sports 🙂 hence my love for football, and all other games deemed “manly”! It gave me lots of father-daughter time and required little coordination, just strong vocals (for cheering and yelling at the TV).

Later I tried golf, racquetball, snowboarding, wakeboarding… My primary motivation being to kick my brothers’ butt in something athletic. I failed. But I did discover that do enjoy sports (even if the only thing I do well on the green is drink). Hey, again, it’s all about having fun.. and golf is about being with family/friends 😉

There was a time in my life when I worked out to lose weight, and after a vacation, several days of happy hour and no cardio, or feasting holidays, I still do. But it’s not my focus anymore. Headphones on, just me-myelf-and I, and 60+ minutes of letting my mind wander.. I look forward to it.  I share my reflections on running woes and victories not to brag, but to encourage. If you haven’t found a sport that’s changed you, keep looking. Fitness is so much more fun when it’s about the way it makes you feel rather than the way it makes you look.

Here’s one of my favorite places to burn off energy. This is Seattle’s Discovery Park. I love that I can lace up, run out my front door, and be there in 15 minutes. It’s easy to get lost in the scenery too and just spend half a day winding through the trails.. So. Beautiful.

The view of the Puget Sound is breathtaking too…

Questions:
Wha’s your favorite form of fitness?
What do you love about it?

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Filed under Fitness

Chocolate + Probiotics.. A Healthy Indulgence

Can it be? Chocolate with even more health benefits? Well, in fact, dark chocolate alone possesses health benefits of reducing blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol thanks to naturally occurring antioxidants called flavonoids. Not to mention, chocolate encourages the body’s production of endorphins, aka the “happy hormone”. But if you’re thinking this is a good excuse to fill the grocery cart with Reese’s and Snickers, think again. There are healthier, tastier options with less fat and sugar and more of the good stuff!

Attune Foods has a wellness chocolate bar with all the natural benefits of dark chocolate, plus probiotics for added digestive and immune benefits. I have personally tried the Almond Milk Chocolate, Raspberry Dark Chocolate, and Chocolate Crisp. Mm.. Mmm.. Mmmm.. all delectably rich with the perfect melt-in-your-mouth quality of the finest chocolate. The best part is, no guilt trip. Attune wellness bars give you just enough sweet to curb a craving, while having only 90 calories and 3-8 grams of sugar. For your daily serving of chocolate I recommend visiting Attune Foods online. My favorite thus far is the Raspberry Dark Chocolate. 🙂 Enjoy…

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