Archive for October, 2010

October 29th, 2010

Butter Beer

Harry Potter is one of those movies I always try to squeeze in, in October, to get into the fall/Halloween season. This did not happen.

Some how, I was at the grocery store, saw a lady running out of the store with bags of candy in her arms, and thought to myself, “I should probably get some trick or treat candy soon”. The thought stopped there! When I came home, B reminded me that beggar’s night was that night. I freaked out a little because I was so unprepared. The kids would be ringing out door bell any moment.

I was busy cooking dinner and awaiting my brother-in-laws arrival. B made the fastest candy run ever. I called him right after he left (I thought) to tell him to get packs of organic raisins instead of candy. Yes, I’m that person who would give the weird, healthy snack! I don’t want to give my money to companies that contribute to our country’s obesity problem. B made the run, so we had a bowl full of typical Halloween fair.

Back to Harry Potter- I love when Harry and his mates visit The Three Broom Sticks. The minute I saw “Butter Beer”, I could taste it! I knew exactly what was in it. When you see it, in the movie, you see the golden, buttery color, and the lovely white foam on top.

I looked up recipes, but all were loaded with artificial flavors and ingredients. I like to keep it natural. I whipped up a batch of salted butter caramel ice cream and added cream soda, and BAM! Butter Beer. It tasted just like it should. a little salty, sweet, and warm from the intense vanilla. I recommend using a high quality cream soda such as Virgil’s. It’s the creamiest cream soda I’ve ever had!

I’m sure vanilla ice cream would be equally delicious, but won’t give off that buttery flavor. This would be a great addition to a Harry Potter themed party or any Halloween party!

Salted Butter Caramel Ice cream

For the caramel
3/4 C organic gran vanilla sugar
1/2 t Fler De Sal
2 T salted butter

In a small sauce pan add the sugar to the dry pan. Heat on Medium heat, do not stir. The sugar will melt slowly and you may swirl it, but not stir. Once it’s melted and starts to smell like might burn, take it off the heat and add the salt and butter. Stir until completely combined. You can add it back to the heat for just a little bit to combine them but don’t let it burn, which happens fast.

For the ice cream base
2 C heavy cream
2 1/2 C whole milk
1/2 C vanilla sugar
1/2 t salt
1 T honey
1 T + 2 t tapioca starch

Add the milk (reserving 1/4 C), cream, sugar, honey and salt together in a medium pot. Bring to a boil to evaporate some of the water in the milk, this should take just a couple of minutes. Add the caramel and stir to combine. With the reserved milk add the tapioca starch and dissolve with your clean fingers. Add the starch mix into the cream base and on medium heat stir until thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool over an ice bath if you like, or just cover and refrigerate over night. Churn according to manufacturer’s directions .

For the Butter Beer
Add 2 scoops of the caramel ice cream to a large glass or stein and pour in a 12 oz. bottle of cream soda

October 27th, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

October 22nd, 2010

Fitness Friday With Bellicon

I had to take quite a few days off of rebounding. We spent a long weekend visiting my family in Wisconsin. This was the first time that I would be taking a significant amount of time off from rebounding.

I could tell my body was getting a little stir crazy during my days off. I would describe my feeling as stagnant. As soon as I got home, I did 30 minutes on my Bellicon. I felt amazing after I was done. I had blood running to every part of my body.

As I’ve gotten back to it, I’ve now noticed that my back has shaped up quite a bit. It seems as if my “soft spots” have thinned out and firmed up. This has really been the first physical difference I’ve noticed so far. I’m excited too, because my back has been one of the hardest things to work out.

I’m still amazed at the quality of the Bellicon. It’s so sturdy and quiet. I saw the movie “Jackass” and they had a rebounder, which I think was a Needak. It looked small and they guy that stepped on it didn’t even bounce, just stepped right on to the ground. The Bellicon is much higher up so you’re not going to hit the ground while rebounding. I’m so glad I get to use a Bellicon! If you want to learn a little more about Bellicon, visit their facebook page by clicking here.

October 21st, 2010

Hazelnut Macaroons With Homemade Nutella


Hazelnuts trigger a very distinct feeling and memory for me. In my (German) family, hazelnuts scream Christmas. My favorite Christmas cookie that my family makes is the hazelnusse cookies. It’s a hazelnut meringue atop a backoblaten, which is a baking wafer, used back when parchment and silicon mats were unavailable. They always reminded me of the communion wafers from church.

Everyone in my family makes them, and it took me forever to master this family cookie. I remember trying to make them when I was little, and I would always end up with flat, unfamiliar rounds of crunch. My mom would have to take over to fix my mistakes. It’s funny how, as an adult, I look at the recipe and realize, with a little family guidance, the mistakes I made. I always over mix the batter and deflated it.

When I moved on, to French macaroons, I was well practiced. I was so intimidated by French macs at first, because of hearing how hard they are to make. When I made my first batch, I realized I had been making these for years, just with less flavor variety.

As I was planning my Dads surprise 70th Birthday Party, I knew I wanted to make Nutella filled hazelnut macaroons. Even though it wasn’t Christmas, it was a celebration, that a lot of our German friends and family would be at. It would be something they would recognize, with a twist.

I was so happy at how they turned out, even B was hovering over them, begging to have more. At the party they seemed to go pretty quick. The more unattractive ones were left over, and as we were cleaning up, my Dad said to my Uncle, “hey, these are pretty good!” and finished them up. That’s all I need to hear, to know if something is good. My Dad is a man of few words, and if he praises something, it must be really good!

There weren’t any left. Enough said

Hazelnut Nutella Macaroons

macaroons adapted from Cannelle et Vanilla

181 grams hazelnut flour
243 grams powdered sugar, sifted
138 grams organic egg whites
3 grams egg white powder
2 grams fine sea salt
2 grams of cinnamon
81 grams sugar

Sift the powdered sugar, sea salt, and cinnamon with a fine mesh strainer or sifter into a bowl. Add the Hazelnut flour, and stir with a whisk. Add eggs whites and egg white powder into the bowl of an electric mixer, and whip on medium until soft peaks form. Continue whipping, now on med. high speed and gradually add the sugar until you get stiff peaks.

Add the hazelnut flour/ powdered sugar mix to the meringue and fold gently, trying not to lose too much air. Make sure everything is uniformly mixed. The batter should have a little volume but should not be too runny.

Put the batter into a piping bag and pipe into uniform rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. If there are any peaks, wet your finger and smooth it out.

Let the macaroons dry for at least 30 minutes or until they are dry to the touch. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, rotate the pan and bake 7 minutes longer.

Remove the sheet of parchment and let them cool on a cooling rack.

Homemade Nutella filling

adapted from bakingbites.com
1/3 C hazelnut flour
1/2 dry nonfat milk powder (organic)
1/3 C. sugar
1 T. honey
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T. cornstarch or tapioca starch
3/4 C. milk
1 T. virgin coconut oil

In a small sauce pan add the first 6 ingredients and combine. Then add the Milk and oil and whisk over medium heat until it starts to bubble and thicken. Take off heat and add to a sealable glass container.

To assemble macaroons

Let the hazelnut spread cool completely and add to a piping bag. Pipe the spread in a concentric circle on the hazelnut macaroon, because it will not spread so, cover the shell completely. Do this before serving or they will go soft and a little soggy over a few days.

October 20th, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

October 15th, 2010

FItness Friday With The Bellicon


It’s been two weeks since I’ve started rebounding. It’s been great so far. This week was awesome, because the weather was fantastic and I was able to rebound outside, in the sun.

There were no distractions, which I thought would make it take longer, but it actually flew by. I can’t imagine what my neighbors thought! Being outside, without any height restrictions, I got to bounce higher than normal. I felt my blood flowing like crazy! I put my arms up in the air, above my head, and my hands were pulsing quite strong. It felt great, and I felt so invigorated afterwards.

This week, I also started incorporating arm workouts. As I bounce downward, I raise my arms quickly, like a bird. If you’ve ever thought you couldn’t get a good workout on a rebounder, you’re wrong! My arms were sore the next day, but in a good way. My legs were also sore around my upper thighs, because I did fast “tire jumps”, like football players do, for agility. I must say, this week, I was able to figure out an intense workout regimen.

I normally run for my workouts, but I took September off of running, since my joints were hurting a little bit. I lost a little bit of muscle, but in the two weeks of rebounding, I think I got my muscle back. It amazes me how efficient rebounding is. My back doesn’t hurt, and it does not hurt my joints, at all. This is the only workout I’ve done, that I’ve been able to feel my hips being worked and toned, every time.

I truly believe the only way to tell if your actually losing inches and toning up, is fitting into clothes that are a little snug. I have a pair of jeans that I love, and yes, they are a little snug. They still fit, I would just like them to fit a little looser. Trying these jeans on weekly will be my guide on success! I’ll keep you up to date!

I’ve truly never felt so good, so quick!

October 14th, 2010

Flour-less Chocolate Chip Cookies


The other night when B and a friend were watching a basketball game, I had a hankering for chocolate chip cookies, so I got out my almond flour recipe book and looked it up. The recipe didn’t seem familiar. I had made them before, and I noticed that some ingredients were different.

I went with the old recipe, and changed things up a little. The cookies were perfectly addictive, and I didn’t feel too bad about eating more than I usually would. They are made with almond flour =protein and fiber. Instead of granulated sugar, I used honey, so that’s a little easier on my system.

Chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite things. There are a lot of talented chocolate chip cookie makers in my family, so I was never far from a good cookie. Store cookies NEVER compared. However, I never gave into my desires to eat the whole plate of cookies. Those are all terrible for you. White flour, white sugar, some times, gasp, Crisco was used. I wasn’t about to give them up, since I started eating less grains. The fact that there are no grains in these make them worth making weekly! I don’t feel like I’m clogging my insides with plaster when I eat these. Even B, who loves the way things used to be sometimes, loved these. He even asked me if I could make more.

If you’re going to indulged in cookies, you might as well eat something that’s going to benefit your health! Cheers to yummy cookies!

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 C almond flour
1/4 t baking power
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla
1/4 C. honey
5 T melted butter
1 egg
1/2 C chocolate chips

Measure out the the almond flour in a medium bowl. Melt the butter over low heat. Add all the dry ingredients to the almond flour and combine with a spoon or whisk. Add the butter, honey and eggs and stir until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. While the mix is chilling, pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Measure out about 1 tablespoons worth of mix, they will spread to leave an inch between each cookie. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 9 minutes. I hate warm cookies, so I put them on a plate and refrigerate them! Enjoy!

*recipe inspired by Elanaspantry.com chocolate chip cookie recipe

October 13th, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

October 8th, 2010

Fitness Friday With The Bellicon

It’s been a week since I’ve had the Bellicon Rebounder and I have not been disappointed. I was hopeful when I started looking into rebounding but I did not expect the results I’m getting.

The first day I got it, I set it up, which was so easy, and bounced on it every now and then until I could dedicate a solid 20 minutes. I was baking that day (I know, counter productive!), so there were moments of waiting in which I could bounce. I started with a soft “health bounce” which was surprisingly effective. As a beginner, the health bounce is recommended to start out with, to ease into the motions and rhythm. Basically, it’s just bouncing lightly, without leaving the mat.

Later on, I went for the 20 minutes. It was fun, easy and the time went fast. I jumped high, slow, ran in place, twisted etc. When the 20 minutes were over, I wasn’t tired at all. I felt quit invigorated. A couple of minutes after getting off the rebounder, I felt a very familiar “detox” feeling. It’s sort of like I’m going to be sick. Let’s just say, there was a cleansing process. I felt so much better, and I slept great that night. This also happened for my husband!

Through out the week, I did every day, but one (I took a long walk), 30 minutes. I usually watch a show to pass the time. It goes by so quickly, that it’s hardly a hassle. On the days I run, I usually dread it. There hasn’t been any weight loss (not a goal of mine), but I am hopeful that it is going to target the muscle groups I have a hard time toning. I noticed that on a downward bounce, there is a back-to-hip muscle (external oblique) that was getting worked, which seemed hard to believe. I’m hoping to bounce away my love handles! My legs feel good and tight and my core is strong.

The best benefit, so far, is the energy it brings. Even B has just jumped on it for a few minutes, just to “get his juices flowing”. I’m hoping to get him to depend on bouncing, instead of coffee. When I’ve been a little tired, I start bouncing and I’m wide awake immediately. It’s so refreshing and not intimidating, and doesn’t require a change of clothes.

Something I’ve also noticed, is that, if you bounce lightly after a meal, it speeds up digestion. I hear my stomach gurgling away.

After some research on rebounding, I learned if you have problems with incontinence, rebounding can definitely help. It helps strengthen the pelvic floor.

The first week has been so rewarding and health benefitting. I can’t wait to see what the second week brings.

For videos and more information on rebounding check out Bellicon-USA.com

October 6th, 2010

Wordless Wednesday