Saturday, February 9, 2013

Eating for Hybernation

Its a funny thing about snow days. They make me want to eat. Maybe because my body is terrified of freezing to death and is suddenly hoping to build up a little fat. Or maybe because snow days feel akin to holidays. Cozy, work free little celebrations where I have tons and tons of time to cook and cook and don't have to rely on my crock pot. That being said...We got tons of snow. And we are eating like kings. And because I haven't posted in ages this is going to be a long one containing a snow day workout, and TWO recipes. I know. Its almost too much to handle.

Like the rest of New England, we got lots of snow. And we were fortunate enough not to lose power.

The wind whipped pretty hard last night but we were safe and cozy in our little house, playing Settlers of Catan (Katan?) with Jon, and FEASTING on The Worlds Best Brownies. I am not exaggerating. The best. In the world. I used to think that boxed brownies were preferable to homemade-- a sentiment shared by a lot of my friends. Homemade ones were always too dry and too cake-y and never had the level of fudge that a brownie needs to be glorious. I told this to a mom friend of mine last year-- she happens to be an amazing cook and told me that I just hadn't tried the right recipe. And it turns out she was right. a disclaimer...these are mind bogglingly bad for you. They are maybe the worst for you ever, and once you have a bite you will want more and more which is why one of my old roommates dubbed them the Crack Brownies. It's fitting....
So get ready. Now you know what you're getting yourself into.

two (TWO!) sticks of butter
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 (FOUR) eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar (!)
1 cup white sugar (!!)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
walnuts (optional)

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan over low heat. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and add in the sugar, salt, and vanilla. Pour in the chocolate/butter mixture and then fold in the flour. If you're adding in walnuts, mix them into the batter now.

Heat the oven to 350, line a brownie pan (I used the small size...whatever that size is...) with buttered or greased wax paper and pour in the batter. Did I mention before that this recipe is stupidly easy? Well, it is. Bake them for about 30 minutes, or until the center is mostly set. You want them to be a little wet still. Let them cool a little bit, and then eat them warm with a dollop of ice cream. Because you know what? Let's live a little.

After a day of hibernation yesterday, which was spent mostly reading in front of the fire at the farmhouse and eating copious amounts of the above delicacy, I knew a workout was in order today. I found this one on one of my favorite blogs: Iowa Girl Eats. And it was fantastic. I did three rounds of it, which added up to 45 minutes and left me sweaty (always a nice thing in our freezing little house) and sore. So, if you're feeling a little cabin crazy, here you go.

The 5-4-3-2-1 (+1.5) work out

FIVE:                                                     THREE:
1 minute high knee jog                            10 pushups
1 minute jumping jacks                           15 tricep dips
1 minute high kicks                                 (repeat these until the 3 minutes are up.)
1 minute jumping jacks
1 minute run (in place)
FOUR:                                                  TWO:  
1 minute alternating lunges                      30 second squats (shoot for fifteen reps)
1 minute mountain climbers                    30 second jump squats
1 minute alternating lunges                     30 second squats
1 minute mountain climbers                    30 second jump squats
                                1 minute plank
Repeat three times, and at the end, tack on 1.5 minutes of crunches.

In addition to doing this, I learned how to make a fishtail braid, shaped my eyebrows, AND made cornmeal-banana pancakes with fresh blueberry syrup for breakfast. Oh. My. Goodness. I almost never make breakfast-- I'm a cereal kind of girl (my old roommates know HOW EXCITED I get about my cereal). But snow days call for special things...

I used an organic, coarsely ground cornmeal which, I think, took these to the next level. combined with whole wheat flour, and a touch of raw honey, they were textured, just sweet enough, and incredibly moist and dense. For the syrup, I cut the amount of sugar used in half, and added in some cinnamon, and the result was perfection.

1 1/3 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1 tbs melted butter
3/4 cup 1% milk
1 tbs raw honey
2 eggs, well beaten
2/3 cup sifted whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 banana, mashed

Put the cornmeal in a large bowl, and pour the boiling water over it. Melt a tablespoon of butter and pour that in as well. Mix until combined, and then let it cool a bit.
Once its cooled, beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them in. 
Then the 3/4 cup of milk.
And 1 TBS of honey.
Mix this up, and then sift in the 2/3 cup of whole wheat flour.

Add in the salt and the 4 tsp of baking powder.
Stir this up, and then mash the banana, and mix it in.
Heat a (preferably cast iron) pan and add in either a little butter, or a tsp of bacon grease if you, like me, happen to be so fortunate as to have some. Then drop in the batter by 1/3 cup fulls into the hot pan.
Flip when they're all bubbled up in the middle, and  then keep them in a warm oven while you finish up the rest of them as well as the syrup.
Speaking of which...the syrup could not be easier.

Pour about 2 cups of fresh blueberries into a sauce pan, and add 3/4 cup water. 

Put it over medium heat, and once they get warm, mash the blueberries down a little with a fork. 
Add in 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp cornstarch.
Whisk it all together, and then simmer over a low heat until it is thick and gently bubbling.

And now, you can eat!

This syrup is SO MUCH better than the store bought least I think so...The blueberries are sweet on their own, and don't need the equal parts sugar and water that most recipes call for. And the cornstarch does the job of thickening that a larger amount of sugar would normally do.
The pancakes are nutty with a subtle hint of banana, and are a perfect counterpart to the fruit syrup.

So, enjoy your snow day, and eat some good food. And if your're watching the Bruins tonight like we'll be doing...Go Bruins! It's the only sport I like to watch. Such large men on such tiny skates. It boggles the mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love, love, love to hear from you!