Encouragement

December 11, 2018

It’s easy to become discouraged… whether it’s ‘my times are so slow’ getting back into running, or ‘I still have 10+ pounds to lose,’ or ‘I need to be a better parent/spouse.’ Just layin’ it all out there because I’m willing to bet you can relate to one if not all of those statements. It’s so easy to become discouraged…so here’s some encouragement for me and you both…

1. Whatever you’re plugging away at…keep doing it. Baby steps… And it’s ok to celebrate little achievements/improvements along the way.

2. Be patient…it doesn’t happen over night. (Whether it’s a goal or weight loss etc.) As for baby weight, as I’ve heard myself tell friends and had to tell myself…it took 9 months to put that weight on, give yourself a break, it may take some time, be patient (and continue to work at it).

3. Focus on the positive things and small victories- ‘yay! We made it out of the house for school this morning without any yelling/bickering!’

4. Sometimes when you’re at a low point and having a hard time focusing on the positive, lift your eyes to the Big Guy. I’m convinced Satan wants us to focus on the negative…it makes us miserable and in that state we definitely aren’t glorifying God. I have to remind myself of this and not let him win! Remind yourself through God’s word, just how much He loves us. He knows everything about us, all our thoughts and screw ups and He still loves us, immeasurably so.

So chin-up buttercup. I think we’re all in the same boat, at one point or another anyway. We all need encouragement. Wouldn’t this world be a beautiful place if we all loved one another? Gave encouragement to those around us…were real with ourselves and others. It’s OK to admit we need encouragement. We all do!

Today I’m choosing to celebrate small victories, as my run felt great this morning…and I’m just thankful for whenever I can get out!

And I’m even more thankful for and encouraged by God’s love for me!

Be encouraged, you’re a child of God!

Sugar cookies

December 6, 2018

Need a quick sugar cookie recipe? Not the kind you spend hours rolling out, cutting, then frosting…those are great but I don’t (currently) have time for that. Not only that, but the reason I’m baking these ones today is per my grandpa’s request. 😄 He told me his mom used to make them, with a raisin on top. So today, I’m adding a raisin on top for Grandpa! ❤ It’s special things like that, that I love to know and that allow baking to have a special meaning as well.

Anyway, to not keep you waiting for the recipe… (Did you know according to Facebook people just come for the recipe, no one wants all this chit chat lol 🙄😂😜)

Like I said, lately I’m short on time and this recipe came from one of those lovely church cookbooks…so I simply took a picture of it for you rather than taking the time to retype it. (Forgive me!) These cookies are pillowy soft and you can dress them up with sprinkles to suit any holiday! The secret ingredient is nutmeg- Adds the perfect touch! You may even want to add it to your own roll-out sugar cookie recipe!

Enjoy!

Formal introduction…

November 21, 2018

While blogging about the baby in my last post, I realized he was probably not properly introduced or formally announced to the blog world. 😚😜

This is Mr. Henry born October 23rd.

Posing with his medal from his first half marathon; hey, he was there! 😁 And dreaming sweet dreams of more races in his future. ❤🏃 We are totally in love! 😍

In addition to sharing our new addition, there’s something to satisfy the bakers here, too. I like to bake for people to thank them sometimes. For the OB doctor and nurses I made this Nutella cheesecake (my doctor had a bit of a love for Nutella…) I made it a week or two in advance and then put it in the freezer so I could take it out and take with me when the time came! I think it went over well; everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Ferrero Rocher Nutella Cheesecake: I can’t take credit for the recipe, but I did adapt it some from the original (found at bestcookingtime.com). I can tell you it’s super rich, for a good reason- it contains almost 3 whole jars of Nutella.

Ferrero Rocher Nutella Cheesecake
For a 10″ cheesecake:
Crust:
2 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1 cups rice krispies cereal, slightly crushed
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
1/2 cup Nutella
Cheesecake:
4 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese
1 1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
6 eggs
4 tbsp corn starch
1 3/4 cups Nutella (15.9 oz container + 1/4 cup)
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Ganache topping:
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate (chips or finely chopped)
1/2 cup Nutella
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
2/3 cup finely chopped roasted hazelnuts
*Reserve 1 cup of the ganache mixture to decorate the top

For the crust: Line the outside of a 10″ spring form pan with two layers of foil to protect from water seeping in while cooking in water bath.
Combine the dry ingredients. Then combine butter and Nutella and microwave 30-45 seconds until melted. Mix together with dry ingredients. Press in bottom and up sides of pan. Set aside.
For the cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350*.
Combine cream cheese, sore cream, sugar, whipping cream and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing just long enough incorporate.
Scrape sides of bowl and mix in corn starch. Add in the Nutella and melted chocolate, mix until combined. Do not over mix.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Place prepared pan/cheesecake in a roaster type pan that will hold water to bake cheesecake in a water bath. Fill with hot water around cheesecake, 3/4 up the side.
Bake on the middle rack at 350* for the first 30 minutes, then decrease temperature to 250* and bake for another 75 minutes. Then turn off oven and let sit for one hour with oven off. Remove from oven and allow for cool to room temperature before placing in refrigerator.

To make the ganache: Combine chopped chocolate, Nutella, whipping cream and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 1 minute intervals until melted and without lumps. Reserve one cup for decorating the top. Then add the chopped nuts to what remains and pour over the top of the completely cooled cheesecake.

Chill and enjoy!

Back at it…

November 20, 2018

I’ve started to write a few different blog posts since the baby was born 4 weeks ago and none of them have made it past the ‘draft’ stage lol. Been a little busy…

But I did set a goal for myself to do a Thanksgiving run… because I always enjoy a nice early morning Thanksgiving run. It’s my second favorite holiday (second to 4th of July) and I always use my running time as time spent with God, time to reflect, think, be thankful…so Thanksgiving day is definitely a great time for all of that! And I’ve definitely been itching to get back out there!

Anyway, the baby has been a great sleeper at night for the most part and it just happened to work out that I was feeding him from 4:45- 5:45am and thought ‘hey I have time to squeeze a little run in.’ By the time I actually finished feeding him and got around and out the door, I only had 30 minutes before I had to be back to get the older two ready for school…so I did what I could. I was a bit slow but trying to cut myself some slack, right?

I was proud of myself for being out there 4 weeks post-baby. It wasn’t without some aches and pains but nothing to write home about. I’m sure each run will improve.

I’m already very aware that it’s going to be more of a challenge to get out running. If it were the time of year where the weather was nice, I could pick up and go with the baby jogging stroller, but I don’t want to take him out in the too awful cold.

For any other new moms or moms-to-be that run and are reading this, I’ve done some reading about nursing and running also. I wasn’t as big into running back when my other two were born, so this is new to me and I had some questions/concerns!

Some of the articles I found helpful:

https://www.lllusa.org/running-and-breastfeeding/

https://www.todaysparent.com/family/6-things-i-wish-i-knew-about-breastfeeding-and-exercise/

https://www.womensrunning.com/2016/01/training/tips-breastfeeding-runners_53288

Hopefully if someone like myself is looking for input, they will find this helpful!

Looking forward to more runs in the near future!

Honey pecan butter for your skillet corn bread

October 23, 2018

While I have some time to kill today, figured I would share the other promised recipes. Free time may be limited in the days, weeks to come. 😜

The recipe for this deliciously sweet corn bread is a copy cat recipe from Smokey Bones restaurant. (I apologise I don’t have the original source as I’ve been using this recipe for years.) It’s baked in an 8″ iron skillet, giving it added deliciousness.

Corn Bread
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/3 cup milk

Combine softened butter, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add eggs. Mix dry ingredients and add alternating with milk. Transfer to prepared/greased 8″ iron skillet.
Bake at 400* for 30 minutes.

And you can’t have this warm corn bread without the yummy sweet honey pecan butter spread to accompany it. 😍 Think of that special butter that you look forward to at your favorite steak house. Mmmm…

(FYI- I didn’t want to heat up the oven to toast a whole 1/4 cup of pecans, so I used the toaster oven and burnt the first batch- lol. Live and learn. Took half the time recommended in the recipe, so keep an eye on them.)

Honey Pecan Butter
1/4 cup pecans
1 cup unsalted butter- soft/at room temperature
1/8 cup honey

Toast pecans at 350* for 5-8 minutes (less if using a toaster oven, see note). Allow to cool. Then chop. I chop mine fine in a small food processor.
Begin whipping butter in mixer, then add in finely chopped pecans. Mix for 3-5 minutes. Add honey and continue to mix on low until smooth/combined.

I promise you’re sure to enjoy this combination!

Pumpkin Chili

October 21, 2018

What do you do when you’re waiting for a baby to arrive? I powerwalk and cook/bake apparently…but it hasn’t helped yet lol. 😜

Anyway, spent some time in the kitchen today, making lots of yummy fall favorites! This is something different for the pumpkin lovers…Pumpkin Chili. Don’t knock it ’til you try it! It’s not much different from traditional chili, but has obviously a subtle pumpkin flavor with a warm cinnamon under toan as well.

We used to have an annual Halloween party and I always made this pumpkin chili, even some of the pickiest eaters loved it and looked forward to it at our gathering each year.

When I make it for our family, I can’t serve it without delicious sweet homemade cornbread and honey pecan butter…but you’ll have to check back again in the near future for those recipes. For now, give the pumpkin chili a try… 😉


Pumpkin Chili
2 lbs of ground meat (beef/turkey/venison)
1 medium onion
1 can (15 oz) chili beans, undrained
1 large can (40 oz) kidney beans, undrained
1 bottle (12 oz) chili sauce
1 can condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder

In dutch oven, brown ground meat and onion until no longer pink, then drain. Stir in remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

(I typically use half ground beef, half ground turkey.)

Enjoy!

Rhubarb Apple Pie

October 14, 2018

First off for those wondering if your baby guess was correct…that’s still to be determined- no baby yet.

I’m here to share my favorite pie. I LOVE rhubarb and thankfully had some in the freezer to make this yummy fall pie: Rhubarb Apple! Trust me it’s a perfect combination! Growing up, strawberry rhubarb was my favorite pie, which is undoubtedly delicious, but I promise this combination will not let you down!

This is the perfect taste of fall and a fairly easy pie. For starters it has a crumb topping, so only requires you to make one pie crust! This crumb topping isn’t just taking the easy way out, the walnuts add a crunch that truly complete this pie!

apple rhubarb.jpg

You don’t have to take my word for it, try it for yourself:

Rhubarb Apple Pie
4 Tbsp butter- divided
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar- divided
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp flour
Approximately 3-4 cups rhubarb
4 apples, peeled and sliced (I use McIntosh)
1/4 cup cider
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
1 single pie crust/shell, bottom crust only

In a large saute pan, melt 2 Tbsp of butter. Add white sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp flour. Stir one minute until sugars are disolved.
Add rhubarb, cook 4-6 minutes (little longer if using frozen rhubarb).
Add apples and cook another 3 minutes.
Add cider, cook 1 minute and then add spices. Remove from heat.
(May add approximately 2 Tbsp tapioca if needed. I always do.) Let cool while you make the crumb topping.
Combine 2 Tbsp butter, brown sugar, flour and walnuts. Mix with fork until crumbly.
Pour fruit pie filling into pastry shell, top with crumb topping.
Bake at 350* for 45 minutes. Best to cover edge of crust until the last 15 minutes of baking.
Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pancakes

October 7, 2018

Now that October is here, I’m ready to jump on the ‘everything pumpkin’ bandwagon; September is just too early for me. One of our favorite fall breakfasts is Pumpkin Pancakes! These are the most pillowy soft, fluffy pancakes I’ve ever had.

I’m also a fan of the pumpkin and chocolate combo…if you are as well, feel free to sprinkle these babies with some chocolate chips once they’re on the griddle; I don’t think you’ll regret it. 😉

Getting straight to the recipe today:

Pumpkin Pancakes
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin (*not pumpkin pie filling)
1 egg
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 cups flour (can substitute half whole wheat flour)
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt

Mix the dry ingredients and set aside. Mix wet ingredients and add to the dry ingredients.
I add chocolate chips sparingly once they are on the griddle.
I heat my griddle to 300*.
Enjoy!

Do what you love!

September 22, 2018

Just a little blurb to let ya know I’m still doing what I love!

When you love running as much as I do it’s hard to think about giving it up for the next 2+ months…so I’m just not ready yet 😁🏃❤
I may be slow and have to walk at times but #35.5 weeks and I’m still plugging away …and loving it!

Still baking too…my obgyn has a love of Nutella I guess. So I baked him some Nutella Blondie’s this week for my appointment. Kind of used them as a bribe to get out of some tests I felt were unnecessary. (Yes nurses make the worst patients!) But hey it worked! He told the secretary when she took the bars back that he knew exactly who they were from and I could have anything I wanted! 😂

I’m guessing within the next month we’ll have a baby….boy or girl? Take a friendly guess on the date and gender and we’ll see who wins! Maybe I’ll even do some sort of give away for the one who is correct! 😍 Comment here or on my Facebook page: Runner with a hunger .

Close call…

September 19, 2018

Sitting here, in one of my favorite places, relaxing and reflecting on my day. I had a close call that really shook me up. While on my lunch break I was nearly in a car accident that would not have been good- 35 weeks pregnant or not.

It was not my fault; long story short an (oblivious) elderly man wearing the big cataract shades, who probably couldn’t see completely around a tree cutting truck on the corner, did not see me and left his stop sign as I was going through (without a stop sign). All I could think was ‘oh my word he’s going to hit me!’ Had I not pressed on the gas and veered to the far right and edge of the grass/street facing the wrong direction, he would have surly hit me in my driver’s side door.

Anyway it was scary and I was quite shaken but it didn’t take more than a second to thank God that I was completely ok.

The coolest part, or probably the only cool part about this story is that after I told my friend Rachel (and personal OB nurse 😉) what had happened she said for whatever reason she felt the need to pray protection over me and the baby this morning! 😇 So cool. I love God things…no such thing as coincidence! Thankful for praying friends and God’s protection today! ❤