Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Whoopie Pies

So I have started baking again. I saw a recipe online for Whoopie pies. I have never eaten one in my life so I don't know how close to the real thing I created. I think they came out alright. Kind of like a cakey Oreo? The original recipe calls for shortening. I'm anti hydrogenated-crap... so I used butter and applesauce instead. Probably would have had a better texture if I used shortening, but I'll take my applesauce over the artery clogging white stuff.

Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Frosting


1 2/3 cup GF flour mix
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
12 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup applesauce
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon xanthan

Mix all liquid ingredients until blended. It helps to melt the butter first. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Once all the ingredients are together beat on high for about a minute remembering to scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle. Place by the tablespoonful on a greases cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz Cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup butter softened
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
a few drops of red food coloring (not necessary but more fun)

Whip butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Whip in honey, vanilla and food coloring.

Frost 1/2 of the cooled "cookies" and place the other 1/2 on top to make sandwiches.

Additionally, You can add about 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the frosting to make it chocolate flavored.

The left is plain and the right is chocolate. :)

This has been linked to Amy's Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Corn Muffins!

Hello World! I hate letting so much time pass since my last post. Training has been less than spectacular. I'm blaming our lack of a summer. Tomorrow morning at 4-something in the morning, is the official start of summer. The Oregon weather gods feel differently. DB and I went swimming in Hagg Lake the other day to get a feel for the water for the upcoming tri, and for me to not have another freak-out episode in the water. The swim went well. We just stuck by the shore and The Beagle even tried to swim out towards us. I wish I had a picture of him. He hates the water but I think he thought we were in trouble out in the water and tried to "save us". Below I have posted 3 simple recipes for some "staples" in my workweek diet.

Oh and in honor of Father's Day, I rammed my step-dad's pickup into a poll. The side of the pickup now has a giant dent. errrrrrr..... I blame genetics.

Corn Muffins
*Adapted from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Analise Roberts: Corn Bread

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup GF flour blend
½ teaspoon xanthan
¼ cup honey
3 ½ teaspoon baking powers
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup apple sauce
1 cup soy milk
1 egg beaten
¼ teaspoon vanilla

Blend ingredients until combined. Don’t over mix. Scoop into greases muffin tins and bake at 400 for 20 minutes. I was able to make 12 small muffins with this recipe.

Cheesy Rolls

Cheesy Rolls
*Adapted from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Analise Roberts: Hamburger Buns


2 large eggs at room temperature
2 tablespoons applesauce
2 cups GF flour blend (I used 1 C Bob’s all Purpose, 1/3 Cup tapioca, 1/3 Cup Brown rice, 1.3 cup Sorghum)
1 ½ teaspoon xanthan
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons honey
1 packet active dry yeast
¾ c plus 2 tablespoons soy milk, warmed
¼ cup flax meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
Shredded cheese (I used smoked gouda but cheddar or another cheese would be yummy)

Mix all the ingredients in a stand mixer on medium for about 3 minutes. In the mean time grease a sheet pan and dust with cornmeal. Once the “batter” is mixed and beaten to death, scoop onto the prepared pan. A self-releasing ½ cup ice cream scoop works perfect for this job. I made 6 rolls. Stick the rolls in a warm place for 40 minutes to rise. Preheat the oven to 375. Once the rolls have doubles in size, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 20 minutes.

The applesauce, gelatin, honey, and flax meal really make the rolls tender and soft.

Once cooled, slice in half and store in the freezer.

These make wonderful sandwich rolls for lunch and are delicious toasted.

Banana Ice Cream


I large banana

Slice the banana into small pieces. Place the slices in the freezer for about 2 hours.

Once the slices are frozen stick in the food processor and blend away until smooth and creamy.

One banana fits perfectly in a mini-food processor and makes the perfect single size portion. I sometimes sprinkle the top with cocoa powder but today I used chocolate syrup. YUM! A friend of mine blended cherries with hers. I have been tempted to also blend other fruits and almond butter. This recipe is easy and can be vamped up in more ways than one.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Olympic Distance...check! (Spinach-Walnut Pesto)

When I completed the Beaver Freezer Sprint Triathlon, I was so happy that the Blue Lake Tri would be held in June. The Beaver Freezer was cloudy and cold and the roads were wet. Apparently in Oregon, monsoons still happen in June.

The pre race dinner:

Spinach-Walnut Pesto Pasta, Curried Butternut Squash Soup, and BBQed Pork Chops.

Spinach-Walnut Pesto Pasta:

4 Large handfuls of baby spinach
1 cup walnuts
1 cup skim ricotta cheese
4 cloves of garlic
salt to taste

Stick everything in a food processor and blend away into smooth. Toss with cooked pasta.

I made the Curried Butternut Squash Soup from below sans the honey. It was easy and delicious. I highly recommend it. DB grilled the pork. My mom just seasoned them with my favorite Kirkland Organic No-Salt seasoning and some salt (ha).

The Swim:(1.5K)
I would consider swimming my strongest portion of triathlons. I have the strongest background in it and I'm a pretty slow biker and running isn't my biggest favorite thing to do. The problem with today is that I have never really swam in a lake before. Many people say that before your first lake swim, it's important to practice in a lake beforehand. Many people say the reasoning behind this is that in a triathlon lake swim, there is a lot of splashing, kicking, and it's hard to see. Well this is a lot of what water polo is. I have a background in water polo. I have no problem will people trying to drown me in water and splashing or getting kicked in the face. (no, that was not an invite to kick me in the face). The one part of lake swimming I did not take into consideration was the temperature of the water. The water was under 65 degrees today. This is COLD! Not to mention that it was pouring down rain the entire time. After the first minute of the swim I couldn't stick my head under the water because I couldn't breathe. I typically do a 5 stroke breath pattern in the pool. I couldn't even breathe every stroke. I began to breast stroke with my head out of the water. I thought about head up freestyle, but seeing that I had a mile to go, that wasn't going to work. DB and I expected that I would be in about the middle of my swim heat. I was nearly dead last at this point with one girl right next to me. After what seemed forever and after I began to panic because I realized it would take me a damn hour to finish the swim a guy from the wave behind me passed me. I decided that that was it. I forced my head in the water and started to swim head down for 2 strokes then head up for 2 strokes. After I passed the turnaround buoy, I realized that I could do this! I began picking up my speed and continued to swim head down and lifting my head every 5 strokes to make sure I was going the right way. And guess what?! I starting passing other women in my wave. Finally I could see the get out point and picked up my speed again until I got there. I was soooooooooo happy to get out of that water.

The Bike: (40K)
The bike portion was really good. My legs felt good and I made sure to monitor my fluid intake. The only down side was that the entire ride was soaking! It was pouring down rain the entire time and the road was flooded half the time. I literally thought I'd have to dismount at one point because the water looked really deep. There were a lot of people with flats and even one guy just laying in a ditch. It looked like he fell but his feet were still stuck in his pedals so he was stuck laying down. Thankfully there were a lot of support vans and motorcycles to help those folks out. The first 12 miles flew by. My goal was to keep my pace up and I was reassured that I would do it since I felt better than I did at the 12 mi point of the Beaver Freezer. At the point that the bikes entered the park, the course narrowed from a 2 lane road into a 5 foot wide steep hill with a super muddy mat on top of it for "traction". I thought this was the dismount area so I clipped out of one of my pedals. Unfortunately it was not and I couldn't clip back in fast enough. My speed to too slow and I ended up having to half walk/pedal my way up the little hill. Well I nearly tipped over. I was on the far left of the mat for this reason. Some uber-hardcore-looking guy tried to sneak by me on the left (WTF!?) at the same time I nearly tipped to the left. So I ran into him. I felt really bad so I yelled that I was sorry but he just acted all pissed. Honestly buddy, you could see that I was about to fall and you could have gone to the other side. Hate the game, not the player. The actual dismount went well and I couldn't decide if I wanted to change my shorts or not (from bike to run) so my T2 time was extra long. I ended up sticking running shorts on since my bike shorts were soaked.

The Run (10K)
The run started slow. Unlike the Beaver Freezer I could feel my legs after getting off the bike. I had about 6- 50 y/o women and men pass me on the. I swear they take drugs. They are amazing! The first water station I drank to much water too fast and well... the water just decided to come right back up. ew. My goal for this race was to finish and try to run the entire run. I only ran at the aid stations so that I could drink water and those were only for 10 feet at a time. I am going to count that as running the entire time. Finally after what seemed like FOREVER I could see the finish. I started to tear up. I ran through the muddy muck and finished! As I waited for DB to meet up with me I thought I was going to burst into tears. I didn't becuase I had already embarrassed myself enough for the day.

I surprisingly felt amazing after I finished. Far better than I did after the Beaver Freezer which was less than half the distance. I didn't bother changing or toweling off becuase everything was drenched and muddy. I could hardly pickup my bag because it was so heavy with wet clothes and gear.

Before the bike and run portion of the tri I ate a pouch of glucose gel. One from Powerade and one from Hammer. They were both orange flavored. The Powerade went down a lot easier but they both have comparable tastes. I didn't notice a perk in my energy but I didn't was not fatigued during the legs and I didn't cramp anytime either. I felt strong. I also wasn't famished after I finished. I don't know how I placed because results haven't posted yet. I'd just like to finish not last in my division after that swim. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

It was around 5am. I look beautiful!

This is before the swim. I was already soaking from the rain.

Aw, the wonderful bulges wearing your bike shorts under a wetsuit can create.
Me: ready to panic.

Getting ready to start the bike leg.

After I successfully dismounted from the bike.
Notice the standing water. It was like that everywhere.
The start of a very muddy run.
Yay, I'm holding back tears. Again, notice all the water/mud.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

First Day and a Guest Post from my Carribean Friend

Aw... first day was an adult. Not bad since it was all orientation. AK and I felt rather important in our lawyery suits and all. The day flew by and though we didn't do any actual "work", All this briefing made me more excited for the following weeks. In 6 days we will be likely doing our own trials. (!!!!). I have a good friend who is currently attending Vet School down in the Caribbean. What a smart choice! I chose the not so fabulous route of studying for law school in dreary, rainy Oregon. She is tan, in shape, and loving it! Since I have been super busy this past few days, I asled her to make a guest post about her Curried Butternut Squash Soup that she raved about. I will make it some day. (Hum...Perhaps I will have a cooking marathon this Saturday) Laura does not have a food blog and does not cook specifically with any allergens in mind, she has been able to use ingredients available on her tiny island of Saint Kitts to made mouthwatering meals, which I think sounds even more challenging at times then GF/SF cooking. She of course does this all while studying up a storm learning about animals and their parts.


Curried Butternut Squash
Guest Post by Miss Laura K.

Ok, so the best part of this recipe, is that you can make what you want of it. I took a plain recipe I found online and added my own twist, but basically this is how it is done:

2 medium-ish butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and chopped into 1in chunks or so
2 large carrots, peeled, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 small-med potato, peeled, cubed (helps thicken the soup a bit, I used a red potato)

6 cups chicken or vegetable both
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbs. curry powder (or less to taste, this is pretty strong)
1 tbs. honey (optional, if you have it around, it adds a nice sweetness to the spicy curry)
salt and pepper
olive oil

There are 2 ways to start this, but it all ends up the same, so it is just your preference.

1. Roast the veggies before boiling in the broth. I heard this helps bring out their flavor, not sure if it is true, but I did. Put all veggies on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for 20 min or so. Then continue to #2, skipping the saute part.

2. In a large pot, saute the onion in some olive oil. Add veggies, broth, spices (everything EXCEPT honey), bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 min or until veggies are all soft. Take off heat.

3. Stir in honey. Now, puree it all in a blender until you reach your desired texture. I like really smooth soup, I know some like it chunkier. Depending on your blender size/strength, you may need to blend it in batches.

and, you're done!

Really, it is quite simple. And delicious, and healthy! Have fun making it your own, there are a lot of things you could do to change it up a bit. Enjoy! :)