Monday, April 7, 2014

Let Me Try This (Marathon Training) Again.

Well hello there blogosphere! It feels good to be back.

In case you were wondering, I've been absent due to moving, travels and endless meals cooked for me (instead of by me). Nonetheless, I've missed the kitchen and it was just a matter of time until I returned.

Once again, I'm training for a marathon--hoping to complete the training this time sans injury--and trying to eat better in the hopes that I'll achieve my "racing weight" (see Matt's book for reference). For that reason, I've found myself scouring the interwebs in search of healthy, yet yummy, recipes. Keep in mind that I'm back in Mexico (see previous posts about moving away from Boston), so some ingredients listed in the multiple recipes I've pinned are hard to find. For instance, unsweetened applesauce. Don't ask me why, but us Mexicans apparently don't consume unsweetened applesauce--maybe that's why we top the fat countries list? So, for recipes like the one below, I had to make my own applesauce.

Regardless, I'll keep searching for healthy recipes and post experiments from my runner's diet. I hope you enjoy my journey (for the second time) into marathon training nutrition (sort of).

Peanut & Almond Butter Protein Muffins (adapted from Veggie and the Beast)
Makes 12 muffins.
Active time: 15 minutes. Total time: 30 minutes + cooling

  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup oats
  • ¼ cup flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup natural unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 3 packets Stevia
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (180 C); line (or grease) a 12-muffin pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, stir together the applesauce and peanut butter. Mix in the honey, sugar, egg, and vanilla, and then stir in the greek yogurt.
  4. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet mix and stir to combine. Divide batter among 12 muffin holes.
  5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool completely before storing and store in airtight container

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Here's to Boston

So this is it. The moment I've been reluctant to picture for years--about four to be exact.

It's not that I'm unhappy to be moving back to Mexico City, because believe me, I'm ecstatic about that; it's that I hate being in this inevitable spot where I have to abandon one of the greatest cities in the world. Boston has been my home for almost four and a half years, but it feels like I've lived here for a lifetime.

When I first arrived in the Bean, I was a timid high-school grad looking for a place where I could find the extrovert in me (which is still quite muddled by my true introvert) while fulfilling my dream of attending college in the United States. I was searching a new group of friends, an additional layer of independence in my life and above all, the opportunity to grow as much I could. Now, looking back at my time at Boston University and the following months as a young professional in Boston--and yes, I did go through my albums in Facebook to reminisce about all the stupid/dorky/amusing, albeit fun times I had--I realize that in a sense, I'm a new person.

I've learned to laugh in ways I never knew existed at things I never would've even thought of discussing in Mexico; I've learned to live with others and coexist to the point of fights and immediate reconciliation, followed by inebriation; I've learned to manage my time in order to juggle classes, extracurriculars and work, or at least learned to function on a few hours of sleep, several ounces of RedBull and multiple cups of coffee; I've learned to like and dislike an array of foods (mainly because of obsession followed by overdose and ultimately a complete aversion to such foods) and to make a proper meal for myself both in and out of the dinning hall; I've learned to share personal details and turn them into overly dramatic yet funny stories, but also to keep to myself and listen to others while they pour their minds out; I've learned to duck around people to walk as fast as I my legs allow and to duck the curve-balls that continue to be thrown at me as I move into my young adulthood. But most importantly--and this is where I get really corny--I've learned that I'm capable of accomplishing my goals and surpassing those expectations that I once considered platonic.

And I must say, I owe this all to Boston. To this great city and the even greater people that inhabit it.

Here's to Boston, and to the friendships I developed in my years as a Terrier.

And now onto the food portion of this post... here's a recap of the dishes I served at my party last weekend. It was an early birthday and farewell birthday party and I decided to go all out since the people attending were those who made the above paragraphs possible.

**I will provide the recipes for these in following posts.

  • Peppermint Meringues
  • Dark Chocolate Mocha Mini Cupcakes
  • Pepperoni Pizza Bites 
  • Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts 
  • Mini Caprese Sticks
  • Funfetti Cake Balls
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
  • Corn Guacamole

... And then there were the drinks...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Minty Holidays

It's holiday season. And all the celebrations, and photos that accompany them, have begun. For me, it seems I'll have a couple parties here--including my farewell to Boston--and another few in Mexico. Followed by what I hope is an epic start to a very interesting year in my life. I say this because 2014 will be full of changes and adventures (a gist of which I'll share in another post) and I expect it to provide me with a handful (or more) of amazing stories.

But right now I want to talk about food. I haven't bakes in a long time--mainly because of a diet I started to get ready for the upcoming month of stuffing my body with holiday goodies--but on Wednesday I made cupcakes for a holiday party at my boss' house.

Here's the thing: there was a dessert contest and I was determined to win it.

I did. With these delicious dark chocolate mocha cupcakes topped with peppermint mascarpone frosting. I took a couple of recipes and combined them to make a christmas-time version of the traditional chocolate cupcakes; added a few decor details and took home the prize for best dessert!

Dark Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes (adapted from Sweet Revelations)
Active time: 25 minutes. Total time: 40 minutes + cooling + frosting/decorating
Makes about 24 cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup strong hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa
  • 3/4 unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature 
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F; line cupcake pans with 24 liners and set aside.
  2. Whisk together coffee and cocoa in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda and powder and set aside. In another bowl mix milk, yogurt and vanilla and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and salt at medium-high intensity. Lower to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating each one well before adding the next. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Then add 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture until combined. Repeat process with remaining flour and buttermilk mixes, ending with flour. Add cocoa mixture until thoroughly combined. 
  4. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Note that cupcakes may seem raw at minute 16, but will bake quickly past then, so keep an eye on them! Cool down completely before frosting. 

Peppermint Mascarpone Frosting (adapted from Epicurious)
Active time: 5 minutes. Total time: 20 minutes. 
Makes enough to frost 20-24 cupcakes
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • Red food coloring (optional)
  1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add extracts and salt and taste.
  2. Beat in mascarpone on very low speed until just combined; be careful not to overbeat since the mascarpone will curdle.