Posole and Posts

Finally joining Pinterest this year opened up an entire world of recipes and bloggers for me.

 

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How fun is that?!

 

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The crockpot recipes alone could keep me busy for half of 2014 : )

 

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I found this recipe on my Pinterest page and adapted it slightly, subbing in chicken for pork and simplifying a few other steps.

 

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With a busy New Years week ahead, I thought this would be the perfect recipe for lunch this week.  A healthy and satisfying way to start 2014.

 

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The smell attracted the BOY’s attention and Cooper went sniffing around looking for chicken.

 

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This soup is really hearty and satisfying, full of flavor and good stuff…hopefully like the year ahead!

 

For the last day of the year, I thought it would be fun to share what I learned from WordPress this afternoon.

My top 5 most popular posts in 2013 are…

 

1. No Bake Quinoa Energy Balls March 2012

2.  What Do You Do with an open Cake Mix?  April 2012

3.  Fun with Cake Mixes March 2012

4.  32-Bean & 8-Vegetable Soup March 2012

5.  Easy and Clean Chicken Curry October 2011

 

The most common search terms were…

What to do with leftover cake mix

Quinoa energy balls

Paleo pumpkin muffins

Salad dressing mixing bottle

 

The majority of my referrals came from…

Pinterest and Bloglovin

 

Thank you to everyone who continues to follow my blog, stop by, and comment.  You make each year more and more fun!

Happy 2014!

 

 

Chicken Posole Crockpot Stew

Adapted from Foodie Crush

 

Ingredients

2-3 pounds of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts

1 onion, sliced

½ whole head of garlic or 2 tsp chopped garlic

16 ounces chicken stock

1 lime, juiced plus rind

1 large jalapenos, seeded and sliced

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon oregano

1 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles

2 carrots, chopped

1 15-ounce can hominy

 

Directions

Layer half of sliced onion on the bottom of your crock pot. Place chicken on top of onions. Add half head of garlic (no need to remove paper wrap) or 2 tsp chopped garlic, the rest of the onion slices, chicken stock, bay leaves, jalapenos, lime juice, lime rinds, oregano, carrots, hominy, and Rotel tomatoes. Cover and set to low and cook for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender and pulls apart easily.

Remove meat from the crockpot and set aside to cool enough to handle and shred chicken. Remove lime rinds and bay leaves and discard.  Remove garlic (if using whole head), discard paper casings and chop finely and add garlic back to the crockpot with the shredded chicken.  Cover and cook for an additional half hour or until warmed through and carrots are fork tender.

Serve with avocado or tortilla strips.

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{2013} How did it Go?

It seems like a lifetime ago that I sat down to write this 2013 Bucket List.  In fact, it was just one year ago, but in some ways, each year feels like it’s own life time.  So many things get packed into each of the 365 days that there is so much to think about and mull over come the end of December.  In truth, it’s been the second half of the year that has whizzed by.  It seems like yesterday I just got back from Israel with the rest of the summer ahead of me.  And wrote my half way Bucket List post.  Fast forward 6 months and here we are at years end.

 

Overall, this has been an outstanding year for me.  I’ve made some changes in my professional life that have dramatically decreased my stress levels, turning me back into the woman I like and respect.  I started a new job full time at the start of December and I look forward to continuing to grow in that position in the new year.

 

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In the racing world, it’s been the year of the PR.  I finally PRed a half marathon, breaking the 1:50 mark.  I ran an incredibly fast (for me) 8k Shamrock Shuffle and finished out racing season with an exciting finish to the Chicago Marathon, blowing away my expectations and leaving me with a sense of pride for my physical accomplishment and sense of commitment to the children of St. Jude.

 

On the healthy living front, it’s been fun pulling the BOY into meal planning and cooking up some healthy week night dinners each week.  I’ve moved beyond some bad habits and picked up some new better ones.  Although I am not in my skinny jeans just yet, I see myself slipping into them in the near future.

 

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It has been truly fulfilling adding Cooper into our family, and the BOY and I continue to enjoy each day and every new adventure that comes our way.  Although it may not seem like anything huge has happened this year, I think that is what makes it so outstanding…just appreciating all of the little moments and gifts in 2013.

 

This is my first year doing a bucket list, and I think that it is a great way to capture all of the little moments that make up a big year.

 

2013 Bucket List

 

Restore Balance

Eat Clean

I don’t know why this continues to be so tough for me.  I cooked up a lot of clean meals this year, but still hang on to a bit of a snacking tooth.

Practice Yoga More Consistently

I practiced outside of the mat is Israel and had a strong finish to the year getting to yoga twice a week for the last few weeks.  Yoga continues to be a beautiful journey for me and next year, I am hoping to be able to combine my passion for yoga with work.

Keep Meal Planning

Looking for meal planning ideas, you can find a lot of planned out weeks throughout the past year.

Create/Join a Book Club (and read more!)

This area was a bit of fail as I am still working on the same book from a few months ago.

 

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Improve Fitness

Half Marathon PR

I had a speedy start to the year with a 1:49:46 half marathon PR

Another Olympic Tri

Sadly I wasn’t able to fit one in this year, but I did do one sprint distance race

Chicago Marathon (Sub 4:00 please)

Yea!  I am so excited to call myself a sub 4 marathoner!

Do a Century Bike Ride

Like mentioned above, I just couldn’t fit everything into this racing year

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Make a Change

Write! (maybe even take a writing class)

Well, I still blog so that has to count for something : )

Volunteer

I volunteered for St. Jude for 3 different events this year!  Sooo fun!

Take a Professional Risk

I’m so grateful that with the support of my family and the BOY, I made some professional changes, quitting my job of 5 years and starting a new one.

Self Host the Blog

I have my own website and updated my Recipe Page!

 

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Other Things Worth Mentioning July-December 2013

My Trip to Israel

Turning 32

My first time as a Guest Blogger

Introducing Cooper

Learning to Taper

Two 20 Milers

Writing a Running Poem

NYC Bar Crawl

Cutting Bangs

Thanks and Giving

 

I think I’ll take some time to reflect on this year and think about the year to come…and then get started writing down my 2014 Bucket List.

 

 

Did you reach you 2013 goals?

What are you hoping to accomplish in 2014?

12 Days of Recipes {Day 12}

I know that I probably should have some healthy recipe for the day after Christmas to help us move through the sugar coma we are living in (especially since it’s a work day).  And if that’s what you’re looking for, then Healthy New Years Soup is the way to go!  Instead, I have one last cookie recipe…

 

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Ok that’s a lie.  I may have a few more cookie recipes : )  In fact, I had planned on baking up one or two more cookies yesterday but didn’t make the time.  My mom and I started our Christmas day with a 10am yoga class.  It was challenging, sweaty, and a lovely way to begin our holiday.  Then came back and spent a little time with everyone’s favorite mischievous kitten.

 

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Then, of course, we saw a movie and finished out the day with Chinese food. 

 

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Which doesn’t really relate at all to the cookies, but it was a really fun day!

 

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So back to the cookies.  These mint chocolate delights taste very similar to a thin mint!

 

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And to add a little décor, I decided to sprinkle the tops with some mint and chocolate chips.

 

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Aren’t these beautiful???  So much more fun than soup : )

 

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12 Days of Recipes {Wrapping it Up}

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

 

 

Chocolate Mint Cookies

From Cooking Light May 2001

 

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons butter, softened

3 tablespoons applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1 cup mint and chocolate chips

 

Directions

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Combine the brown sugar and next 5 ingredients (brown sugar through peppermint extract) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed for 2 minutes. Beat in the egg white. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed until well-blended.

Coat your hands lightly with cooking spray. Shape the dough into a 6-inch log. Wrap log in plastic wrap; freeze 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut the log into 24 (1/4-inch) slices, and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray. Push chocolate chips into the tops of cookies.  Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

12 Days of Recipes {Day 11-Merry Christmas!}

I’m saving my favorite cookie recipe for Christmas day.  Not because I think that you’ll have time to bake it today, but because it just shows how special it is!

 

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In the past, I’ve made ginger or molasses cookies and although they’ve tasted good, they’ve lacked that strong flavor bite that I love.  So this year…I decided to buy the Robust flavor of molasses.  I am a changed woman!

 

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The next step was finding a recipe to use above mentioned molasses.

 

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Thanks Pinterest!

 

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These cookies turned out beautifully!  I think the smiley face one is my favorite : )

 

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And this recipe might be my absolute favorite cookie of the year!

Wishing ya’ll the merriest of holidays and a happy Christmas day!

 

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Do you like ginger or molasses cookies?

 

 

 

Molasses Cookies

From What’s Gaby Cooking?

 

Ingredients

¾ cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar, plus extra for rolling

1 egg

1/3 cup robust molasses

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 tsp ground cloves

½ tsp powdered ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

 

Directions

In a large stand mixer combine the butter, sugar, egg and molasses. Mix for a minute or two until well combined.

Combine the flour, cloves, ginger cinnamon and baking soda and sift together.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture and mix until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Once chilled, scoop 2 tablespoons of dough at a time and roll into balls. Roll them around in a small cup of sugar and set onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack to cool.

These cookies freeze well!  And taste awesome straight from the freezer!

12 Days of Recipes {Day 10-Happy Xmas Eve!}

Wow!  We’re almost to the end of my 12 days of recipes, which means that Christmas is just around the corner.  Like tomorrow around the corner!

 

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Since I am Jewish, my Christmas day doesn’t look like your typical Christmas (can you say Chinese food and a movie?!).  But this doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the smells of the season.

 

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That’s where this recipe comes in handy!  After a half day of work, I baked up a loaf of this incredible smelling bread to bring with me this weekend.  I subbed in molasses for the honey because this bread was such a success!  And got a little lazy on the crust, smothering my bread with just cinnamon and sugar.

 

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I ended up using whole wheat flour, so my bread looks a little more dense.  It still tastes delightful, but if you’re not used to the added fiber, just use all white flour.

 

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The best thing about this recipe…it bakes up two loaves.  One for you and ONE for me : )

 

 

What do you eat Christmas morning?

 

 

Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Bread

Adapted from Bakaholic Mama

 

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat flour)
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbs cinnamon
15 oz fresh pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup water

 

TOPPING OPTIONS:

You can use a mix of cinnamon and sugar or this tastier version…

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbs cinnamon

2 tbs vegetable oil

Directions
Pre heat oven to 350.  Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. 
In a large bowl mix flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. In a separate bowl mix pumpkin, oil, molasses, and water together. Combine the bowls together and don’t over stir.
Pour batter into prepared pans.
In a small bowl using a fork mix all of your topping ingredients together until slightly crumbly. Sprinkle over the tops of each loaf.
Bake for 1 hour  or until a tooth pick is inserted and comes out clean.
Allow loaves to rest for 20 minutes before removing from pans.

12 Days of Recipes {Day 9}

The BOY and I had a whirlwind weekend in the city!

 

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We packed a lot into 2 LONG days, including a date night, Hanukkah party, and another yoga class.  We even bumped into a friend on the street and walked over to Bux for some coffee.  And of course…there were bubbles!

 

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Not surprisingly, I was in charge of dessert for Sunday’s Hanukkah party.  I brought along two types of cookies including these Granola Cookie Wedges.

 

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I also made the Hermit Bars I’ve been wanting to make for ages!  I baked up the bars last week, cut them, and placed them in the freezer.  My plan was to bring them downtown for the party and then frost them with cream cheese frosting.  Easy and delicious!

 

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Well, let me tell you…they were a HUGE hit!

 

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So much so that they were gone before I even got a picture.  I kept the frosting near the bars and everyone dug right in adding extra frosting to the Hermit Bars and a taste of sweet cream cheese to the granola bars.  I debated whether or not to post this recipe, but after today’s overwhelming response to the bars, I knew that I had to!!!

 

On another note, today is my 3 year bloggerversary.  Wow! I’m not sure how that happened!

I have a fun idea for a game to try at the start of the new year to honor this occasion.

 

 

Hermit Bars

From The Lemon Bowl

 

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups brown sugar – packed

1 cup butter (2 sticks) – softened

⅔ cup dark molasses

2 large eggs

 

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour one standard jelly roll pan (cookie sheet) and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, baking power, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, salt and cloves.

With mixer on medium, beat together brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in molasses then egg and mix until combined.

Reduce speed to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients until just combined.

Flour hands then carefully press dough into even layer on the floured cookie sheet.  (Warning: the dough is really sticky!)

Bake 17-19 minutes depending on oven. Remove when toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool completely before slicing into bars.

Freeze or frost as desired.

12 Days of Recipes {Day 8}

Just popping in quickly to share an awesome new recipe!

 

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I stumbled on this in my recipe binder, and I hope that you stumble upon this too because this cookie is outstanding!

Since I am downtown, I’ve just got a few pictures followed by a mouth watering recipe for you.

 

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I’ll be back tomorrow!

 

12 Days of Recipes

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

 

 

 

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Coconut Cookies

From Chocolate Moosey

 

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup shredded coconut

 

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture then stir in coconut. Refrigerate the dough until cold, about an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the cookie sheets 3 inches apart.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges are set. Wait a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely.