Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fruity Goodness

These days, I seldom have dessert--or at least compared to my regular dessert-wholfing habits. If you know me at all, you know that I basically live for dessert, which is why cutting it out of my diet (for marathon training purposes) has been so hard. It's been more than three months of intense training and I have yet to go a full week--maybe even a day--without a bite of some kind of sweet.

People said there's fruit; people said I'd get used to fruit as dessert. People said--and continue to say--a lot of nonsense.

No I haven't gotten used to eating fruits as dessert and no I haven't abandoned dessert altogether (nor will I in the remaining week and a half of my training). What I have done, is create scrumptious fruit-based desserts to satisfy my sweet tooth.


This one in particular was a friend's request. It turns out my mom's variation of this raspberry crumble from six years ago turned into an all-time favorite. And even though this was my first time making it, baking it once is enough to vouch for the taste and easiness of the recipe.


Boysenberry Crumble (adapted from Gourmet)
Active time: 30 mins. Total time: 3.5 hours
Makes about 10 servings

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5-7 tablespoons ice water
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • About 6 cups frozen boysenberries (or fresh if available)
Dough

  1. Pulse flour, butter, shortening and salt in a food processor (or mix with your fingertips) until mixture resembles coarse meal with small pea-sized lumps. Transfer 2 cups mixture to a bowl; and reserve the rest.
  2. Drizzle 4 tablespoons ice water evenly over the 2 cups mixture; stir gently with a fork until incorporated. Squeeze a handful of dough, if it doesn't hold together, add more ice water (1/2 tablespoon at a time), stirring until incorporated. Be careful not to overwork dough or pastry will be tough. 
  3. Turn out dough onto work surface and divide into 4. With the heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice to help distribute the fat. Gather all dough with pastry scraper and press into a ball, then flatten into a 5-inch disk. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with additional flour. Wrap dough in plastic and chill until firm, at least 1 hour. 
Pie
  1. To make topping, add almonds and sugar to remaining dough mixture and rub together to form some large clumps. Set aside.
  2. Place a large baking sheet on the lower third rack of the oven and preheat to 375F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out disk dough into a 13-inch circle. Fit into tart pan and trim excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under pastry and press against rim to reinforce edge. 
  3. Fill pie shell with berries and sprinkle evenly with topping.
  4. Place tart on the baking sheet and bake until topping and crust are golden and the filling is bubbling, about 1hr. Loosely cover with a foil sheet after 30 minutes to prevent dough over browning.
  5. Cool in pan on a rack 30-40 minutes and serve warm.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hot Pink

Hello blogosphere. I'm here for the day (and maybe a couple more depending on my schedule and inspiration this week) because I wanted to showcase the ravioli I made for dinner the other day.


I had a few friends over for dinner so I thought I would treat them to home made pasta. Kill two birds with one stone: surprise my friends with a unique dish (which turned out to be a crowd pleaser) and gather material for my almost abandoned--keyword almost--food blog.


Before I move onto the recipe let me write an update on my life. I'm officially three weeks away from my first marathon! I can't begin to explain how excited and scared I am. Even though my initial fear of not finishing was obliterated by months of hard training and disappeared somewhere along week 12, a new fear has emerged in its place. I'm now terrified of not reaching my goal of a Boston Qualifier.

In a way, I'm happy I still fear something because it's making me challenge myself and stay focused on the running ahead. But at the same time, I'm anxious for the day to come when I can turn my dream into an achievement.


Ok. Enough writing about my running--I don't want to jinx anything--here is the recipe to these delicious and photogenic beet ravioli. I'll link to the pasta recipe, but if that is too much for one go, wonton wrappers are a good substitute (or so Epicurious says). Still, if you have the time and the motivation, I recommend making the pasta dough too; no need for a pasta machine and completely worth it.


Beet Ravioli with Poppy Seed Butter (adapted from Epicurious)
Makes about 60 ravioli.
Active time: 45 mins. Total time:

  • 2 red beets (about 14 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/4 Fresh Egg Pasta (or other pasta recipe)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + extra for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Wrap beets individually in foil and place on baking sheet. Roast until tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Open foil and let cool.
  2. Peel beets and finely grate. Add ricotta cheese and season with salt and pepper. Stir in breadcrumbs.
  3. Prepare a baking sheet by placing a layer of plastic wrap (or half of a clear plastic bag) and sprinkle it with flour. Roll pasta dough into sheets according to recipe above. Working with one sheet at a time, using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut 7-8 rounds out of each sheet. Transfer rounds to prepared sheet, lightly sprinkle with flour and cover with another layer of plastic. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Sprinkle two smooth kitchen towels with flour and set aside; place a small bowl of water next to work surface. Working in batches, place pasta rounds on work surface and spoon 1 teaspoon beet filling onto half of each round. Dip fingertip into water and dampen edge of the round; fold over the filling, pushing out as much air as possible and pressing edges to seal. Transfer sealed ravioli to prepared towels. Repeat with remainder. 
  5. Melt butter in a large skillet and stir in poppy seeds; keep warm. Working in batches, cook ravioli in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 4 minutes each. Using slotted spoon, transfer to skillet with butter and toss to coat. Transfer ravioli to serving dish and and sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan. Serve warm and with extra parmesan cheese.


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