This Page

has been moved to new address

Hungry Heart

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Hungry Heart: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Pirate and A Cake

Happy Halloween, from witches and runners and pirates!

Doesn't she looked thrilled to be wearing that hat?
I think Sadie should wear more skirts.

Last week I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to make an apple cake. She said her mom used to make an amazing one, and got me the recipe from my Aunt Pam. 

It is basically a dense vanilla cake with layers of cinnamon apples baked inside. 

Apple Cake

Peel 5 large apples and cut into thin slices.  Mix 5 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.  Sprinkle over apples and set aside.  

Put first 7 ingredients into mixing bowl:
  • 3 cups unsifted flour
  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs unbeaten
  • 1 cup cooking oil (vegetable)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
Blend together with mixer on low speed for one minute, then 3 minutes on medium speed.   
Add the baking soda and the baking powder.  Mix for 1 minute more.   
Grease tube pan and fill with alternating layers of batter and sliced apples. (3 layers of batter, 2 of apples, beginning ending w/ batter).

Bake at 350 for 1 ½ hours.

*Note: Do not let the apple layers touch the bottom or sides of the pan or the cake will stick. 
I learned this lesson the hard way. 

And this was taken from a good angle. Whoops

Of course, the cake still tasted wonderful. But what would make it taste more wonderful? 
Homemade caramel sauce, of course!

I heated 1/2 cup of sugar and 1.5 tablespoons of water on the stove. Once it boils, do not stir. Wait until it becomes a medium brown color. Remove from heat. Be careful, because boiling sugar is hot. Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream. It will spit and bubble up, so keep your hands away. Then whisk until the cream is combined. 
Let it cool slightly and then serve. 
Or eat with a spoon. 
Or lick it off your husband's chin.

Jerry and I really enjoyed dessert. 

And we really enjoy torturing our dog. 

Jer and I are off to see our nieces and nephews all dressed up this evening. And then hopefully whip up a quick dinner and hand out candy at our house. With the help of a pirate, of course.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Do you dress up your dog for Halloween?

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Applesauce with a Chance of Snow

Hazardous Weather Outlook

Today: A chance of rain and snow after 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 44. East wind between 5 and 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible

Snow is in the forecast!
I love snow. Especially the first snow fall.
Don't get me wrong, I am sick of it by February just like everyone else.
But every year I look forward to the first flakes hitting the ground. 

I think my love of snow has intensified since I met Jerry.
Maybe it's because he lets me park in our one stall garage, and rarely lets me shovel.

But it's mostly because the man LOVES Christmas.

He is like a little kid around the holidays. And his joy is contagious.
We are those obnoxious people that turn the Christmas music on in November. There are few things that make me happier than listening to Jerry belt out Let It Snow!

Except maybe the smell of apples and cinnamon simmering on the stove on a cold morning.

I chopped up 6 large apples for applesauce. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon and let it simmer until the apples started to break down.

While it cooked I made myself a bowl of hot cereal.

I made multi-grain cereal with a pinch of cinnamon and 1/3 cup chopped apples thrown in while it cooked. Topped with peanut butter and dried cranberries.

Apple and peanut butter is one of my favorite flavor combinations.
But I must make a mental note to make the multi-grain cereal with milk next time. It could have used a little creaminess. The texture just seemed blah.

Jerry and I are off to hunt for Halloween costumes today. I am not a fan of dressing up, so we'll see what Jerry talks me in to!

Are you excited for snow!?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Soup's On

The Alarm (aka Sadie) got up very early today.
At 4am she hopped onto our bed and wedged herself between me and Jer.
And she didn't want to sleep, she wanted to be pet.
If you stop petting her, Sadie will lick you until you feel like you need a shower.
She has figured out that we usually choose to pet her instead of be licked.

She's smarter than I giver her credit for.

Sadie always gets up at 6:15 with me when I get up to blog.
She eats breakfast immediately, then goes outside.
After 10 minutes outside, she comes in and immediately runs to our bedroom.
She takes my spot next to Jerry until I am done blogging and wake them up.

She is a lot smarter than I giver her credit for.

Also smart, is making a big pot of soup on a cold day.
During the cold months, I make soup about once a week.
They are usually healthy, full of vegetables, and make great leftovers for lunches during the week.

I guess you could call last night's soup my take on minestrone.
I don't know if minestrone has a specific recipe, but this soup has tons of veggies, pancetta, and beans.

Hungry Heart Minestrone Soup 
  • medium onion, chopped
  • small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2-4 oz pancetta, chopped (or bacon)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups petite diced tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups baby spinach
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 15oz can of beans, drained and rinsed (I used cannellini)
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning or fresh rosemary, basil, parsley
  • grated parmesan, for serving
Heat your soup pot to Med/Low and add pancetta.
Once your pancetta is brown and crispy, add the onions, celery, and carrots and garlic.
Add salt and pepper, and the Italian seasoning.
Let cook 10-15 minutes, or until the veggies get soft.
Add zucchini, and a few minutes later, the tomatoes.
Pour in the stock and beans.
Cover and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes.
Roughly chop the spinach, and stir into hot soup. 

You can add pasta to this soup if you like. I would increase the liquid by 1-2 cups, and add one cup of short pasta, like ditalini, orzo, or elbows.

You can also use lots of different veggies. I have seen recipes that add potatoes, green beans, chard, peppers, and cabbage. Some recipes also add rice as a starch. 

The key to making soup on a weeknight is sauteing the vegetables. Otherwise, you would have to wait hours for the veggies to soften while the soup simmers.

Serve soup with grated parmesan or pecorino cheese, a dash of hot sauce, or some crispy croutons.

I promise there is soup under those croutons

Next time I might add more beans. If you like beans, feel free to add two cans. It will add more fiber and protein to the soup.
Unless you are a vegetarian, definitely don't skip the pancetta. And the cheese is a must. They bring a nice salty depth to the broth, and make it seem more like a meal than a bowl of vegetables.
Can't wait for leftovers at lunch!

What is your favorite soup to make when the weather gets cold?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dog vs Vitamins

I can always count on Mom to cook a healthy dinner.
I can thank her for introducing me to quinoa, chia seeds, almond milk, beets, overnight oats, and banana soft serve. The list could go on and on.

Last night Jerry and I joined Mom and Dad for dinner for a taco spread.

No, that is not my wine!

Mom made tempeh filling with a spicy chipotle lime sauce. Delicious! Plus tons of toppings; cheese, lettuce tomato, olives, onions, and yogurt.
I'm not sure I can name a single dinner that makes men more happy than 'Make Your Own Taco Night'.
I wish I had taken a picture of Jerry's dinner.
He took a soft whole wheat taco shell and put a layer of yogurt on. Then he wrapped it around his already filled hard taco shell. (Reminiscent of Taco Bell's 'Cheesy Gordita Crunch').
Not only is his method yummy, but helps the filling from falling out of the hard taco shell.
I have married a genius.

There was one unpleasant aspect of the trip to my parent's house.

It is for sale!  :(
I have threatened to loiter outside during Sunday's open house and tell people it has mold. And ghosts.

I'm not-so-secretly hoping it doesn't sell quickly and we can have the holidays there one last time.

On another unhappy note, I was pretty certain that Sadie was going to die yesterday.

Jerry and I came home last night to find this:

Yes, she ate 60 men's multi-vitamins.
She grabbed them off the back of the counter. And removed them from the plastic Rite Aid bag, then chewed through the box and container. Seriously?!
I was completely convinced that this would kill her.
Just like the time a few years ago when we came home from a movie and found that she had eaten 3/4 pound of coffee beans. 
What is my dog thinking?

Luckily, the vitamins didn't contain any iron. Iron is toxic in large doses, to both dogs and humans.
We called the vet who recommended we induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide.
Sadie threw up, but the vitamins must have already dissolved.
She seems to be doing fine this morning.
But apparently last week's Naughtiest Coonhound post came far too soon. 

She will now spend her days banned from the kitchen. If she continues to get into trouble, we will have to think about crating her again.

As I frequently say;
She is lucky she's cute.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Challenge Accepted

12 more days until the ING New York City Marathon!
Jerry is getting nervous and excited.
I'm sure the other 44,999 runners are, too.

On Sunday, Jerry announced to me that he was not going to drink alcohol for the two weeks prior to the marathon.
I wasn't surprised, since he has done this for his previous two marathons.

I was surprised when he said "Would you like to not drink with me?"

I was also surprised when I heard myself enthusiastically say "Sure!"
Frankly, I think my body needs a break after the pumpkin beer experiment of Fall '11.

Aside from not drinking, I have been thinking of some of Jerry's favorite (healthy), carb heavy meals to make next week when he starts carbo-loading.

One of Jerry's favorite carbs is rice. We do not share a mutual love of rice. I can take it or leave it.

Unless of course, it is risotto.

Last night I made butternut squash risotto.
It wasn't my best batch of risotto, so I will refrain from posting a recipe.
But I will review the general method, which can usually be found on the back any package of arborio rice.

Peel and dice squash into 1 inch pieces. Roast with olive oil, salt, and pepper, until soft.
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil and butter until soft.
Add your favorite herbs/spices. I used thyme, but saffron is very traditional in risotto.

Add risotto to pan, and toss until coated in the fat. Let cook 3-4 minutes, and then add white wine. Once wine is reduced, you can add the stock or water, one ladle at a time. Stir the risotto until the liquid is absorbed. The stirring is what releases the starch from the rice and makes the rice creamy.
Continue adding the liquid, one ladle at a time, until the rice is al dente.

While you're stuck in the kitchen with your wooden spoon, your family can relax in a recliner and watch TV.

Once the rice is almost done (it will take 4-6 cups of liquid), stir in the squash.

And some grated pecorino.

If you have added your liquid slowly enough, you will have a creamy bowl of rice, without any cream.

We ate the risotto with an over easy egg on top, for a little extra protein.

Risotto is really not as hard as it sounds and it you can add pretty much anything you like.
I've added asparagus, scallops, pancetta, pumpkin, peas.  The list goes on and on.

Once you make risotto, you will be hooked. As long as it has vegetables and a protein, it makes the perfect creamy, one pan meal.

Have you ever made (or eaten) risotto?

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 24, 2011


Oatmeal is about the only thing I cooked this weekend.

Saturday night we had a delicious dinner out at Nola's with my family. Nola's changes their menu seasonally and uses lots of local ingredients. I would highly recommend the Scallop Carbonara Pot Pie and the Cider Glazed Salmon.
Yesterday we celebrated my niece Cecilia's 1st birthday. I can't believe she is a year old already!
My father in law made his famous chicken BBQ (the best chicken ever) and my sister in law made an adorable birthday cake that she decorated with homemade fondant.
Did I bring my camera? No.
So you are stuck with a few of the random photos from my iPhone this weekend.

Freezing at Saturday's cross country meet
Scallop Carbonara Pot Pie at Nola's
Craig and Jerry playing pool at the Little Pub at Hamilton.
They had Dogfish Punkin Ale on tap!

Sadie, cuddling with a toy in front of the fire place.

I did manage to get my two workouts in this weekend. 
Thirty minutes of yoga, and a walk with Jerry and Sadie.
My foot finally feels better, so I am going to work in a short run or maybe a kickboxing DVD this week. I'm excited to get back to sweating!

What is on your menu this week?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Weekend Oats

It isn't exactly a lovely day in the neighborhood.
Cold, wet, drizzly.

A perfect morning for making steel cut oats.  Steel cut is my favorite kind of oatmeal, but it takes a long time to cook. Perfect for a Saturday morning when you are voluntarily up before the sun!

Prepare oats according to package directions. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup pumpkin, 1 teaspoon agave nectar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, a pinch of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, and a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter.

The result is creamy, chewy pumpkin pie in a bowl.

Delicious with a glass of apple cider.

  • I use water and milk when cooking my oats to make them extra creamy
  • I cook them longer than the package directions, or they come out very very chewy.
  • One serving is huge! I have never been able to finish a whole bowl of this.
  • You can substitute any kind of oats you like. I got the inspiration for these oats from an oat bran recipe from Peas and Thank You. Super creamy!

I'm off to go put on my boots and raincoat. Jerry and I have a cross country meet to time!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Lazy Phase

It seems as though lately I have been doing more napping than working out. I have encountered a solid three weeks of laziness.
And Jerry has the evidence to prove it.

I haven't been busy working up a sweat, but I have been busy in the kitchen.
On Wednesday night I made roasted butternut squash soup.

We ate this with some Greek yogurt stirred in for protein, and with some garlic croutons and pumpkin seeds on top.
And a glass of Riesling.

Pretty sweet for a dry Riesling

Yesterday I had every intention of doing a strength training DVD.
Instead, I baked cookies.

Pumpkin cookies, to be exact.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

They ended up tasting very similar to my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread.
Which definitely isn't a bad thing, but I could have just made another batch of bread.
Jerry gave them two thumbs way up. 

Fish was on the menu for dinner last night.
And I don't know about you, but I like to buy my fish the day I am going to eat it. There is nothing worse than opening your fridge and getting a whiff of fish. Gross.
The only fish that looked decent at the fish counter yesterday was cod.
I was hoping for some wild salmon, but all they had was Atlantic. Not only is wild salmon more sustainable, I firmly believe that it tastes much better. I'll have to pick up some salmon next week.

I made a francaise-style meal out of the fish. This is something I do with chicken frequently. Despite the fish falling apart a little, it tasted pretty good.

I dipped the fish in flour, then into egg. I pan fried it until it was brown, then removed it. I made a sauce with some lemon juice, zest, and chicken stock. I tossed my asparagus in the pan and then put the fish on top. I simmered it on low with the lid on until the fish was cooked through.
I added lots of fresh parsley, and served it over mashed potatoes.

My goal this weekend is to get TWO quality workouts in. I may even attempt to run on Sunday, to see how my foot feels.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cross Country

I really love the fall weather.
Jerry and I enjoyed the lovely weather yesterday afternoon at a high school cross country meet.

Jess is the girl's cross country coach at New Hartford High School (her and Jerry's Alma mater).
We went to cheer on her girls at their league championship meet at a local town park.

Ready to run

They're off!

Sadie helped cheer the girls on
It was a muddy course

Victorious Coach Jess
Congratulations to Jess and her girl's for their big win!

Jerry and I both ran cross country in high school, and it was kind of neat to watch a meet, 10 years removed.

When we got home we made a tasty beef and noodle stir fry.

I always have the same two problems when making stir fry; watery sauce, and making way too much food.

I managed to remedy one of those problems with the help of Food and Wine Magazine.
I used this recipe for their homemade General Tso's sauce.
They Tweeted this recipe yesterday, and I was excited to try it, since i had just bought a bottle of Chinese chili garlic sauce.
I just made the sauce this time, but I am excited to try out the whole recipe soon.

Chinese garlic chili paste, soy sauce, stock agave nectar

The secret to the F&W sauce is cornstarch. When you add the sauce mixture to the sauteed ginger and garlic, it gets all thick and glossy, thanks to the cornstarch. 
I also liked that you cooked the sauce separate, and then added it to your stir fry.
It coated all noodles and veggies nicely.

Our stir fry had broccoli, red and green peppers, onions, water chestnuts and Tylutki beef, on top of rice noodles.
I added peanuts to the top of mine and it gave it the perfect crunch.

I still ended up with enough food to feed a small army.
Or maybe a girl's cross country team.

Labels: , ,