Honey Crisp Apple Bars!

FINALLY got around to baking something with the apples I got some Wisconsin! Their numbers were dwindling from my preferred snack of apples and peanut butter (I know, I’m a child) and a few thrown in my backpack when I needed a mid-day pick me up. I came across this recipe on Pinterest for Apple Brownies, and it seemed too good to not give a try! The link to the original recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. I’m not just going to copy and paste that one because I did things, well, different. And they turned out AWESOME.

Disclaimer: If I bake “brownies” they are going to have CHOCOLATE. And a lot of it. Hence why these are called “bars”

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Scoop (maybe a tbsp?) chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (sorry mom- ignore this or use almonds!)
  • 3 medium Honey Crisp apples. From Wisconsin. Or just a couple apples

I put my oven at just under 350 degrees (I think mine is a little hot). Butter a 9×13 sheet, and start dicing and cubing apples! That was the longest step for me. May have eaten a slice or two while I was at it. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl I whisked (you could use a mixer, if you have one unlike me) together the butter, softened in the microwave, egg, and sugar. I stirred in the chia seeds (great source of Omega’s!) while I diced apples. Combine apples and pecans to the butter/egg/sugar mixture. Stir the flour mixture into the apple one until just mixed.

Spread out into pan. It’s going to look like A LOT of apples (okay, so maybe I added an extra). It also looks pretty thin in the pan, and to be honest at this point I was pretty worried at how these were going to turn out. I put them in the oven for 26 minutes on the dot, and they came. out. perfect.

Apples pre-pecans!

You could honestly use any nut, or multiple nuts, or dried fruit, or no nuts at all.

The result from the batter! Could NOT be happier!

Proceed to eat a third of the pan right out of the oven. Seriously guys, I can’t even. They are fantastic. I’m happy I added the whole wheat flour and chia seeds. Next time (and yes there will be a next time!) I want to use all whole wheat flour and might try adding dried cherries (would frozen work?) to the mix to make them apple cherry bars. Or maybe I’ll add oatmeal. Or caramel bits! (Or a crap ton of chocolate). With certain additions, I’ll eat them before bed. With others? Breakfast food.

I know it’s just baking, but I’m also super proud that not only I can feed myself but it’s so edible that I can share it with others. Long gone are the days that I didn’t know how to make Kraft mac and cheese, or the time I was trying to heat meat sauce and David pointed out that I turned on the wrong burner. So maybe that happened like two weeks ago. No matter.

Thanks guys! Feel free to send feedback =)

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Cymera

Just a heads up, I downloaded a new app on my Android Samsung Galaxy SIII called Cymera (yay me and technology!) I’ll be playing around with filters, editing, texts, transparency, etc. I thought I’d post the first two photos I played around with; the first took less than five minutes and the second less than two. The first is this afternoon in Iowa City when David and I sat on the grass and watched a wood pecker in the trees for ten minutes or so, it was one of those fall days in the Midwest you dream of. The second photo is one I got this morning from my mother. Go Calgary Go.

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Foodie

Can we discuss for a moment my love affair with food? All kinds of food. Salads, steaks, healthy quinoa stuffed peppers (which took four hours but was totally worth it). Any type of baking- cookies, cupcakes, healthy muffins and unhealthy muffins. I’ve had some one time recipes that would make again in a heart beat they were so good: good company chicken, lime cilantro chicken, whole wheat cranberry zucchini bread, or Louisiana beer braised shrimp. I’ve even got a few recipes that I’ve done several times now that I could eat for a week straight. I’m looking at you Mediterranean Shrimp Linguine (with white wine, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach, loads of parsley, and onions. Brb drooling)

Things I Ate This Weekend/Why I Love the Weekend: chocolate chip cookies, chicken florentine pasta bake, David’s version of scrambled eggs (which he trusted me to make for the first time and I did not screw up!), chicken stir fry with soy sauce, mixed veggies, and brown rice.

Considering posting a weekly recipe to the blog. Not only would it hold me accountable to cooking (at least) once a week, I can be encouraged to write up variations of recipes David and I have tried and loved! Maybe make it a weekly week date myself! I’d love feedback, thoughts, or recipes

Goodnight!

Lauren

Morning Joe

HP laptop, Natural creamy peanut butter, whole wheat cranberry zucchini bread, Wisconsin Honey crisp apple,

Mango Chobani greek yogurt, Wisconsin honey, big ass latte

Sometimes, the hours between 7am and 10am, are the most relaxed of my day. Normally yes I’m running around before I leave the house, trying to finish packing food and all my books and probably trying to chug down the rest of my coffee. But some days, when I get up at 5am, lift weights with the team, and come home, I’ve got an hour or two to spare before morning practice where I can just sit back, drink a cup or coffee or two, and prepare my day. Sometimes I’ll just sit in my little study den and look outside. I’ve got a decently nice view, if you ignore the train track about 20 feet away you can admire the colors on the trees. Some days I’ve even baked and made 2 dozen muffins before 9am. It’s when I get to be productive without a deadline necessarily looming. I can write a paper (which I still need to do this morning actually). Sort my laundry. I can get a head start on my day and feel like one of those people who get up at 6am for fun. I can make a massive breakfast, like above, or read the news. Long story sort, and not to sound depressing, I can help get my life in order during these hours. So many times when I come home from second practice, it’s 4:30pm and I’ve trained for six hours and gone to class for four and the laaaaaast thing I want to do is organize my life. When I have a night class, as I often do this semester, I get home and it’s 9:30 pm and there is NO WAY I’m going to try and organize or clean when all I want to do is crash face first into bed. By preparing in the morning properly, I have the ability to feel better all day.

I’m so in love with my life, and that time to stop and smell the coffee roses in the morning just helps me appreciate and take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities of being a 22 year old college athlete. Even it is before many of peers wake up in the morning (I’m talking you sir, in my law class who complains that 11am is too early for a lecture)

Fast Forward

Things I am looking forward to this week:

  • Hearing back from the Canadian Olympic Committee re: the absolute dream job and will be keeping my fingers crossed till then!
  • Baking something delicious with my 5 lbs of Wisconsin Honey Crisp apples. Probably dessert oriented
  • My awesome-beyond-words sister’s 24th birthday on Monday!
  • A new weights cycle. Yes, I am a loser, I get excited to see what we’ll be doing!
  • My new training schedule- frees up a couple more hours during the week for me which will be a nice change of pace
  • Spring 2014 classes going up also on Monday