Sunday Morning Splurge: Apple Crisp Pancakes

It’s Friiiiiiiiiday! Can I get a “hell yeah”?!

OK, guys. All week, we’ve been good. We’ve eaten enough spinach salads to choke a horse. We’ve chugged coffee on our morning commute and shoved a quick, healthy snack in our mouths in between meetings. We’ve ran and practiced yoga and went to spinning class and done our HIIT workouts. We’ve worked HARD. And now, the weekend is almost here.

Weekend mornings are my favorite for a number of reasons. On Saturday mornings, I’ll get up, grab a quick, small breakfast and then go for a long run with one of my best friends. After that, we usually hit up a local coffee shop and enjoy a cup of coffee while catching up on the week’s events.

But Sunday morning. Ah, Sunday morning. You’re so easy (sorry, I had to). Sundays I (typically) sleep in a bit and then make us breakfast. I don’t do anything extravagant, but anything beyond my  weekday oatmeal-to-go feels indulgent. And if it includes bacon, my man is game.

One of my favorite breakfasts to make is pancakes. They’re easy, quick and there are about 100 different ways you can make them. Just a few things I like to add include pumpkin, dark chocolate chips, blueberries honey, cinnamon, protein powder (not all together) … the list is endless.

Drool-worthy. Source: lmld.org
Drool-worthy.
Source: lmld.org

Here is a yummy pancake recipe from my sister that tastes like dessert but won’t knock you off track with your diet. I like to top them with peanut butter for an extra kick of protein—who doesn’t love PB and apples?

Apple Crisp Pancakes

  • 1 ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix made according to directions (You can use any pancake mix. I didn’t use gluten free for any specific reason, but they turned out really good this way.)
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 small apple or ½ a medium apple, chopped in very small pieces
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • Brown sugar and pure maple syrup (for topping)

Make pancake mix according to directions. Fold in the rest of the ingredients, and add a tablespoon of extra milk at a time if the consistency is too thick. Spray non-stick pan with cooking spray and cook  about 3 minutes on each side or until they turn golden brown. Sprinkle with brown sugar and maple syrup and enjoy!

Leftovers: Stick a leftover pancake in the toaster for a quick healthy breakfast during the week!

Enjoy, and have a great weekend. You deserve it.

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Good Mood Food: Mushroom & Onion Bake w/Steamed Bok Choy

Source: aliveinthefire.blogspot.com
Source: aliveinthefire.blogspot.com

The other day, I heard on the radio that the most miserable day of the year is January 6. I beg to differ. I think as the holidays get farther away and the long stretch of months weeks separate us from Spring, my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) really sets in. If you are unaffected by the weather, props to you—send me your tips for getting through. But if you’re like me, you’ll do anything to bring a little sunshine into your day.

For me, frequent exercise, getting outside when I can and keeping busy helps, but my sister, the soon-to-be dietitian, is a firm believer that one of the best places to fight the winter blues is in your kitchen. During these long, cold winter months, your Vitamin D intake is at an all-time low. This important vitamin can help you fight off seasonal depression as well as promote healthy bone and muscle mass, potentially fight off cancer, and improve your immune function (which we all need right now).

The tricky part about getting enough Vitamin D, however, is that it can’t be absorbed without calcium, and vice versa. Sound confusing?  My sis says the answer is as simple as pairing the right foods together. So, I asked her to make a recipe that is high in both these vitamins/minerals, and here is what she came up with—a delicious mushroom (high in Vitamin D) and onion bake with bok choy (calcium powerhouse). It’s easy to make and sure to be yummy. If you haven’t tried bok choy, please do. It’s a green that often gets overlooked.

Here it is—I can feel myself getting happier just thinking about making this (or maybe it’s the glass of wine I’m drinking)…

Camille’s Zesty Mushroom & Onion Bake with Steamed Bok Choy

Mushrooms, onions & bok choy
Mushrooms, onions & bok choy
  • 1 cup mushrooms (I used portabella, but you can use any kind you’d like)
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ Tbsp. Olive Oil

Mix all ingredients together in an oven-safe dish. Bake uncovered at 375 for 20 minutes, or until onions are translucent and mushrooms begin to shrivel. 

In the meantime, cut and wash your bok choy (I suggest 2-3 stalks per person) and place in a microwave-safe crock with a lid. Fill without about ½ inch of water, cover, and steam in the microwave (I steamed mine for 2 ½ minutes and I had 3 stalks). Drain and add sea salt and pepper to taste.

This is a versatile dish that can be served with grilled chicken for added protein and/or on top of brown rice or quinoa. Beyond the Vitamin D and calcium, it is packed with potassium, magnesium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Happy cooking and eating! 🙂

O & C

Cupcakes & Pie: Two Crowd-Pleasing Recipes

Hello, and happy Wednesday! We’ve officially made it halfway through our week back after the holiday. How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was wonderful, and I’m so excited for the season now. Between decorating, attending Christmas parties (I’m also hosting one later this month!), seeing Christmas lights, baking cookies, spending time with family, sled riding—there’s a lot of fun on my to-do list. I can’t wait.

With all the get-togethers approaching, it’s always nice to bring something homemade. I wanted to share two recipes with you today—one is a quick and easy recipe that was a HUGE hit at our Friendsgiving last week and the other is an amazing dark chocolate pecan bourbon pie I brought to our two Thanksgiving dinners. Get your ingredients ready, and let’s do some baking!

IMG_20131125_220041

If you have less than an hour, make these cupcakes.

Pre-frosting
Pre-frosting

These pumpkin cupcakes are so simple, I almost feel foolish sharing the recipe. But after I heard such rave reviews last week, I knew I had to! They’re great to make if you’re in a pinch or looking to bring a fun dessert without slaving over the oven. It’s loosely based on the Weight Watchers cupcakes I shared a while back, but punched up with some not-so-waistline friendly add-ins (but it’s the holidays, so ’tis the season!).

Ingredients:

  • One box of spice cake mix
  • One 15 oz. can of pumpkin
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cream cheese frosting
  • Cinnamon for dusting

Combine the cake mix with the can of pumpkin. Fold in the chocolate chips and bake according to the directions on the box. Top with homemade or store bought cream cheese frosting and dust with cinnamon for a pretty topping.

If you have a couple hours, make this chocolate pecan bourbon pie.

IMG_20131127_232732

I cannot take credit for this recipe—it’s from one of my absolute favorite blogs Eat Live Run. I made two of these the night before Thanksgiving, and these were simply amazing. So rich, you only need a sliver, but add a dollop of whipped cream on top, and you look like the next Martha Stewart. Plus, it’s just a pretty pie. Take some time to impress your boyfriend’s family or your friends this season with this one, folks!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 2 tbsp melted, unsalted butter
  • 1 thawed pie crust (I used store bought, but for the ambitious, you can make your own)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9″ pie tin with nonstick spray. Drape your pie crust into your tin. Crimp the edges of the dough with your fingers and remove any extra dough. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork.

Scatter the roughly chopped pecans and semisweet chocolate chips over the bottom of the pie dough.

In a small pot over medium heat, combine corn syrup, brown sugar and bourbon. Bring to a boil, stir well, then remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Here’s the slightly tricky part that may require help from someone: In a bowl, mix together the eggs, melted butter, vanilla and salt. SLOWLY drizzle hot syrup into the eggs, stirring continuously with a whisk while you drizzle. Go slow, or you risk cooking the eggs. Continue drizzling and whisking until all the syrup has been poured in. Pour over the pecans and chocolate in the pie.

Place pie in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Top should be puffy and crust should be golden. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. But don’t worry! To balance all this sugar out, I’ll be posting more about workouts and my sister will be guest blogging about how not to gain any jiggle this holiday season. Stay tuned!

Until then … happy baking!

Yummy Homemade Energy Bars

This blog post is dedicated to my little sister. Because she is the one who perfected this recipe—not me.

Me and my sister, living it up at OU
Me and my sister, living it up at OU

There are many reasons why I love and admire my sister, but one of those reasons is because of how multitalented she is. I mean, really. The girl can cook. She can bake. Sculpt. Draw. Craft. Run. And although I have a leg up on her with some things (anything that involves coordination, really), she’s always been slightly more blessed than me in the kitchen. I have to work to make a great meal. She just does it.

I visited her at college this past weekend before she came home for Thanksgiving, and as I drove away, I was left with the same pang in my stomach that I always have. She’s my best friend, and it’s hard to spend a whole weekend together and then leave her again. But the holidays are coming, and that means she’ll be here for a whole month. So expect more recipes from her cookbook!

These awesome energy bars are based on this recipe, but below is the combination my sister used. They were better than any store-bought bar I’ve had, and are of course healthier because they’re less processed.  She said she’s going to experiment with canned pumpkin and chocolate protein powder next. I’ll be around to taste test that for sure.

For easy portioning, bake them in muffin cups. They store well in the fridge. Enjoy!

  • 1-pound can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (or 1.5 cups cooked beans)
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup mashed banana
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups of oats (you can toast them if you want, but I can’t tell the difference)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup stir-ins: shredded coconut, dark chocolate chips, chopped nuts