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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

{Race Recap - TC 10 Mile 2014}


This recap is a little late (about a week late) but still… better late than never! 




2 Sundays ago (October 5th)  I ran my 2nd Twin Cities 10 mile race (my 4th 10 mile race total)!  And I still feel that to this day the TC 10 mile is one of my favorite races.  I love the TC 10 mile course, the spectators and just the overall joy I get while running that race (well any race for that matter)!    I couldn’t have asked for better weather either!  The sun was shining, there was the perfect amount of chill in the air and zero wind!  Perfect running weather! 


I will admit that before this last race I was feeling a little blah about running.  I was running more out of routine then for the enjoyment of running!  I found myself even dreading going for a run – something that very rarely happens to me!  Anyways, long story short I approached this years TC 10 Mile with an open mind.  I hadn’t trained my hardest and was determined to listen to my body during the run and to simply run for enjoyment.  I didn’t look at my overall time once during the entire run, I watched my mile pace and tuned into how my body felt.  That scenario must have paid off because I shaved 8 seconds off my mile time and came in a minute faster than I had the previous year in the exact same race!  I was calm during the entire race and took the whole experience in!   This year’s TC 10 miler helped rejuvenate my love for running, funny how the adrenaline of a crowed and flying across a finish line can remind you of why you love something!  Crazy how that works!


I also have to give huge props to my cheering section!  I don’t think I could or would be as successful in running without my cheering section!  My mom, sister and Derek all braved the chill with me Sunday morning just to cheer me on!  Thanks guys, I love you!


2014 TC 10 Mile Stats: 
Overall Time (Chip) - 1:15:35
Mile Time - 7:40 Min/Mile 
Place - 73 out of 1017 (Female Age 22-29)


Monday, October 13, 2014

{Classic Turkey Chili}

 

Chilly mornings and chilly evenings mean it is officially chili weather here in Minnesota!  And I. Love. It!   The crisp fall weather has me craving warm comfort food, and chili is one of those comfort foods to me!   


Chili was always and still is one of my dads specialties.   My dad never follows a recipe he  just throws all his "chili" ingredients into a pot and voila, chili!  I follow a very similar philosophy when it comes to making chili, just like my dad I throw everything in a pot and let it simmer and stew!  Half the time I don't even measure my ingredients!  This classic turkey chili is my take on my dads chili.  I replaced the ground beef with lean ground turkey and amped up the veggies for a little extra bulk!  Rosemary and basil give the chili a nice depth and a punch of unexpected flavor!  Serve with your favorite crackers, crusty bread and chili toppings!  This chili is bound to warm you up!  



Classic Turkey Chili
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 8 

Ingredients: 
1 - 15 Oz Can Bush Pinto Chili Beans 
1 - 15 Oz Can Bush Kidney Chili Beans 
1 - 15 Oz Can Black Beans Rinsed and Drained 
1 - 15 Oz Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes - Undrained) 
1 Lb Lean Ground Turkey 
3 Cups Tomato Juice 
1/2 Medium Green Pepper Roughly Chopped 
1 Cup Roughly Chopped Red Onion 
3 Teaspoons Chili Powder 
3 Teaspoons Garlic Powder 
2 1/2 Teaspoon Rosemary 
1 Teaspoon Trader Joe's 21 Spice Seasoning (or Mrs. Dash)
1 Teaspoon Basil 

Toppings - Optional:
Shredded Cheddar Cheese 
Sour Cream 
Chives

Directions: 
1- In a large stock pot sprayed with cooking spray saute onions until translucent.  Add in green pepper and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.  
2- Add ground turkey to the stock pot and cook until meat until no longer pink. 
3- Stir in beans, spices, tomatoes and tomato juice.   Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Serve hot with bread, crackers, or on top of a baked potato!  
Enjoy! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

{Coconut Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins}




Ok… I admit… the pumpkin obsession is in full force... and the obsessive pumpkin baking has begun!  


Another confession...I love that the Minnesota days are getting just a bit cooler!   The cool weather makes fall (pumpkin) baking that much better!  Fall is by farm my favorite season here in Minnesota!  


These Coconut Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins helped fuel my fall baking obsession and I have to admit I am pretty obsessed with them!   They have the perfect amount of sweetness with a hint of spice, and the addition of coconut and chocolate give these muffins a unique twist. Whip up a big batch and enjoy all week!  Happy Fall Baking!    

Coconut Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
12 Muffins 

Ingredients: 

Dry Ingredients:
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour 
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder 
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar 
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon 
1 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice 

Wet Ingredients:
1 - 15 Oz. Can Pumpkin (Not Pumpkin Pie Filing)  
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil - Melted 
1/4 Cup Almond Milk (or milk of choice) 
1 Teaspoon Vanilla 
1 Egg

1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips 
1/3 Cup Shredded Coconut 


Directions: 
 1- In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. 
2- In a medium bowl combine  your wet ingredients.   Mix well. 
3- Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients until well combined.  
4- Stir chocolate chips and shredded coconut into muffin batter.  
5-  Pour batter into 12 greased muffin cups.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 -30 minutes or until tops are slightly browned and a tooth pick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. 

Enjoy! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

{Chunky Pumpkin Vegetable Soup}



This time of year the entire food world goes absolutely pumpkin crazy!  Pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bars... I mean the list can go on and on!  And I am not complaining, because I am one of those pumpkin crazed fools.  Fall just doesn't seem like fall without a little pumpkin and spice!  


Last year I may have taken my pumpkin obsession a little to far... because Derek insisted that he wanted nothing to do with pumpkin this year (well unless it comes in the form of a pumpkin bar piled high with cream cheese frosting).   Party pooper!  


Anyways I'm putting a savory spin on this seasons shining star and using pumpkin in a hearty vegetable soup!  This soup is packed full of warm spices and vegetables!  A combo of kidney and black beans give this soup a good dose of protein as well!  Serve this soup with thick crusty bread and a side salad for a complete meal... oh and this soup is excellent the day after!  

Enjoy! 

Chunky Pumpkin Vegetable Soup 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 6-8

Ingredients: 
1/2 of a medium red onion - coarsely chopped 
1/2 of a medium green pepper - coarsely chopped 
2 small sweet potatoes skinned and chopped (small pieces)
1 - 15 Oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) 
3 Cups Chicken Broth 
1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (Or Milk of Choice) 
1 - 15 Oz can Fire Roasted Tomatoes 
1 - 15 Oz Can Black Beans drained and rinsed 
1 - 15 Oz. Can Kidney Beans drained and rinsed 
2 Teaspoons Garlic 
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon 
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg 
1 Teaspoon Cumin 
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder 
Salt and Pepper to Taste 

Directions: 
1- In a large stock pot coated with cooking spray saute onions until tender, add in your green pepper and sweet potatoes.  Sautee for 10 minutes. 
2- Add canned pumpkin through the spices to the pot and stir well.  
3- Bring to a rapid boil.  Once soup is boiling reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid.  Cook soup for 20-25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. 
4- Ladle into bowls and enjoy! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

{One Pot Mexican Style Farro}


Before we even jump into this post... how much do you love the new burlap place mats?  My sister got them for me as a birthday gift, and I am absolutely smitten with them!  She gave me a set of 6 and they all have cute little sayings on them... like "Try it, you may like it" and "Keep your elbows off the table!"  Yes, I am in love!  


Ok, now I can begin to tell you about this absolutely delicious One Pot Mexican Style Farro.  Which I am also pretty smitten with!  Mexican food or should I say spicy food in general holds a special place in my heart!  And this delicious little one pot dish definitely packs the heat and flavor... which wins over my taste buds!     


You know what makes this little dish even better?  The fact that you only use one pot!  Less dishes always equal a win in my book!   Make this flavor packed farro as a side dish or enjoy as a light lunch/dinner on its own!  Either way you cannot go wrong! 


One Pot Mexican Style Farro
Brunch N'Cupcakes
Serves 4

Ingredients: 
2 Cups Quick Cooking Farro (I use Trader Joe's Brand- 10 Minute Farro) 
1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth 
1 - 15 Oz. Can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies -  Undrained
1/2 Medium Onion coarsely chopped 
1/2 Medium Red Pepper coarsely chopped 
1/3 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese 
1 Teaspoon Coconut Oil 
1 Large Handful fresh Cilantro Chopped 
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder 
1/4 Teaspoon Salt 
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper 
 1 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin and Chili Powder 
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Directions: 
1- In a medium sauce pan heat coconut oil.  Add in onion and saute 3 minutes.  Add in red pepper and saute for an additional 2 minutes.  
2- Add chicken broth, tomatoes and spices to the sauce pan, bring to a boil. 
3- Once broth mixture is boiling carefully stir in farro - reduce heat to a simmer. 
4- Cook farro until liquid has been absorbed and farro is fully cooked (about 10-15 minutes). 
5- Pull sauce pan from heat, stir in black beans, cheese and cilantro. 
Serve immediately with more cilantro for garnish and cheese if desired!  

Check out these other delicious farro recipes from around the web: 
Enjoy! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

{Fresh Zucchini and Tomato Skillet with Grilled Chicken}



I have been on a bit of a zucchini kick lately (check out a few other zucchini dishes here and here) and this zucchini dish was a bit of an accidental creation!  I have those nights where I go at cooking without a plan, and simply just throw things together (hoping/pray that it works out)!  And a few weeks ago, on a lazy weeknight I tossed a few pantry staples in a skillet with my beloved zucchini... which resulted in this bomb zucchini skillet! Added bonus this dish is quick and healthy!  Oh, and super tasty!  


Yup, this dish was certainly unexpected but to good not to share with you all!  I love serving this simple veggie saute of sorts with grilled chicken and the leftovers make a great lunch the next day (the flavors seem to meld together over night)!  Yum!  All you need are a few pantry staples (I bet you have them in your pantry right now), fresh zucchini and grilled chicken (or beans for vegetarians)!  Serve the zucchini and tomato mixture over rice or eat by itself, either way it is delicious! 


Fresh Zucchini and Tomato Skillet with Grilled Chicken 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 4 

Ingredients: 
4 Zucchinis chopped 
1 - 15 oz can Italian Style Diced Tomatoes - Undrained
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder 
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan cheese 
2 Grilled Chicken Breast; or 1 Cup Bean of Choice
Salt and Pepper to taste 

Directions: 
1- In a skillet coated with cooking spray saute zucchini until tender.  Roughly 7 minutes. 
2- Pour canned tomatoes over zucchini and stir until well combined.  Season with garlic.  Cook until heated through about 5 minutes. 
3- Top skillet with Parmesan cheese and serve. 

**Note - If using beans stir beans into zucchini before topping with cheese. If serving with chicken, lay chicken breast on top of zucchini once sprinkled with Parmesan cheese! 

Enjoy! 



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

{Blueberry Oatmeal Scones}




There are those days when you need the bottomless cup of coffee to get through the day. Then there are those days where you have the bottomless cup of coffee, while snacking on a delicious scone, gathered around your kitchen table chatting and catching up with a few good friends. The later of those two scenarios is the recipe for a perfect Saturday morning (in my opinion).   And these scones are the perfect Saturday morning treat (also in my opinion).  


What I love about these scones is the subtle sweetness and the bright burst of flavor that the fresh blueberries provide.  Oatmeal gives these scones a nice hearty texture without weighing them down and a little sprinkle of cinnamon sugar add a nice sugary crunch to the top!  I lightened up these delicious little treats by subbing in Greek yogurt for half the butter, trust me you will not taste the difference!   Make these for your next brunch or make a batch for yourself!  Enjoy! 



Blueberry Oatmeal Scones 
16 Scones 

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour (whole wheat works too) 
1 1/2 Cup Oats 
1/3 Cup Sugar 
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon  
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt (I used 2%)
1/4 Cup Butter - Melted 
1/3 Cup Milk of Choice 
1 Egg - beaten 
2 Teaspoons Vanilla 
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon Sugar 
1/3 Cup Fresh Blueberries 

Directions: 
1- In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon).  Whisk together until well combined.  Set aside. 
2- In a medium bowl combine melted butter, greek yogurt, milk, beaten egg and vanilla.
3- Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into the well, mix to create a soft dough.  Carefully stir in blueberries. 
4- Pat dough into a 1/2 inch thick circle.  Place circle of dough on a greased baking dish and sprinkle dough with cinnamon sugar. 
5- Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through in the middle.  Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into individual scones. 

Other delicious scone recipes from around the web:
Enjoy!