apple cinnamon bread

Who doesn’t love the flavors of Fall? Sometimes life just gets so hectic here with grading and work and life and life that I forget to take a minute to savor the season. The crescendo of work and obligations hit a fever pitch this weekend and I decided to hit that pause button hard and bake a little treat for myself. Because why not?  The result = my mind and tummy were grateful for the break and the sweet!

1 cup whole wheat flour or spelt flour
7 tbsp grassfed unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup raw cane sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
2 apples, peeled and grated – liquid squeezed out with a towel

for topping, mix together:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

preheat oven to 350 degrees. cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add eggs, one at a time, beating well. add flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt. mix until just combined. add grated apples (make sure you squeeze the juice out first) and chopped toasted pecans.

spread into a greased loaf pan. sprinkle the topping over and bake for 40 minutes. cover with tin foil and bake for another 15 minutes-ish, until done.

strawberry scones

I can’t remember the last time we baked. Since there is not a lot of self control in our home when it comes to sweets, we try to avoid bringing them in the house in general. So sad, right? But of course, it is important to constantly remind myself that I need to watch the intake, keep sugars to a minimum, and eat meaningful calories. Nevertheless, looking through our pantry,  it became apparent that we had just the right ingredients to bake scones. Even though energy is a major commodity these days for me, I decided to expend a little in order to later enjoy a delicious scone while sitting with my feet propped up. The recipe from Eat, Live, Run was simple to follow and my first batch of strawberry scones were quite successful!  Every morning since, I have been very thankful to my former self for making these delicious treats that my current self can enjoy. Besides, it is made with whole grain and strawberries so it can’t be too “bad” for me, right?

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chocolate covered strawberries

When we walked into our honeymoon suite in Antigua, we were greeted by chocolate covered strawberries. Something about these ruby red berries covered in dark chocolate screams romance.  Valentine’s Day must be the national holiday of chocolate covered strawberries as restaurants pass them along to their patrons free of charge while smiling at the loving couples. And, these delicious little treats are so easy to make yet I rarely think about making them on a whim. This past weekend though, I decided to bring these berries to our neighbor’s cookout and decided that they must not be reserved for romantic days. Sharing in them solely with your partner forces them to not be eaten often enough. So from the “extraordinary” to the “ordinary” though still delicious and decadent they go…

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Wash as many strawberries as you like. I chose to do two cartons of these ruby reds.

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Place a saucepan with about 2 inches of water on a burner over medium heat. Place a bowl inside of the saucepan that rest on the rim but does not in fact touch the water. Place the very best semi-sweet chocolate in the bowl.

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When the chocolate in melted and smooth you can lower the heat. Grab a berry by the stem and/or leaves and dip into the chocolate coating completely.

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Arrange berries on wax paper in a casserole dish or baking pan.  Once all berries are coated, place them in the refrigerator to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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Plate those decadent berries, serve, and utterly enjoy!

weeknight baking

I don’t’ have to go to “work” tomorrow. My sub plans are submitted and I am handing over my students for the day.  It is never something I enjoy.  I much rather prefer being in the classroom with my students, but tomorrow is our History Department retreat. Twice a year, the department gathers together in someone from the department’s home for a long day of brainstorming.  Last retreat we focused on implementing design thinking into our curriculum. This time, the focus is on designing one term elective courses for all four grade levels. This is quite the endeavor. Instead of full year courses catering to each grade level, we are throwing this traditional model aside and trying to create something more reminiscent of college course selections. The classes will not be grade specific and will use a thematic approach to Global History. Wish us luck!!  Any suggestions for course themes or structure?

To nourish our minds and stem the tide of hunger that will inevitably come crashing down on us during such a retreat, I made my semi-homemade berry tart to bring in the morning.

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