Tuesday things: running, cleaning, and baking Apple Spice Bread

Hello! Happy Tuesday!

I started off my morning with a beautiful run!

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Okay, so, it wasn’t really beautiful – it was pretty darned cold, as a matter of fact.

But, I like cold so I wasn’t complaining.

Well, much, anyway. ūüôā

And, honestly, my weekend of excess eating and drinking – okay, mostly drinking – really made the first few miles a little difficult.

But, it WAS a great weekend and excess, in moderation, is okay. ūüėČ

Right? You should definitely agree with me.

Anywho, post run was some yummy Irish oats and a nice warming cup of coffee.

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YUM!

And then, I got down to business.

When I went out on Black Friday, I picked myself up the coolest. thing. ever.

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No, it’s NOT a vacuum cleaner.

Sheesh, what do you think I am? Some kind of cleaning nerd? Pshh. Besides, I already have one of those.

This is a a Hoover hard floor cleaner!

It scrubs and then dries both my hardwood and tile floors!

Okay, so maybe I AM a cleaning nerd.

Don’t judge me.

I totally cleaned all the floors in my house this morning.

And it was SO EASY!

So much better than a mop and a bucket. Just saying.

And then, I totally had to make some bread!

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This bread. Oh my. Apples. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Brown sugar.

Heavenly smells and heavenly taste!

Apple Spice Bread
makes 1 loaf (about 20 slices)

1 cup shredded apple (about 1 medium)
1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek Yogurt or sour cream
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray; dust with flour.

2. Mix apple, yogurt, and egg whites in a large bowl. Stir in remaining flour and ingredients. Spread into pan.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

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4. At 45 calories a slice, enjoy one with a cup of afternoon tea and then with your coffee in the morning! Just try not to eat the whole loaf in one sitting. Om nom nom!

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Question: (If you have one) Does your cat eat your plants/flowers/etc or is mine just weird?

– jennifer

Apple Spice Bread

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend! I’m definitely enjoying it even without being able to run. I’m taking my resting seriously. We were out with some friends last night – one of whom is a track coach – and, he made me pinkie promise to rest for at least 10 days. Like, do nothing. 10 days. But, I pinkie promised so I have to do it. You *can’t* break a pinkie promise.

pinkie promise

I was in a “nesting” mood yesterday and I cleaned the house from top to bottom. Phew, did it need it! I was a little overdue on spring cleaning. For some reason, when I clean, I also like to bake. So, in addition to the amazing peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies I made yesterday to celebrate Cookie Monster’s birthday, I also made some Apple Spice Bread and, I got adventurous and decided to try my hand at some Orange Sherbert. Om nom nom! Thing 2 loves orange sherbert and, if you have ever purchased some and read the ingredients, you’d want to make your own too. So much better! And it was quite tasty. Win!

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But, back to the bread. I was really looking for something to make that I could use for French Toast. Thing 2 isn’t HUGE on cinnamon (except in cinnamon buns) so I didn’t want to do a cinnamon swirl bread but I also didn’t want something like just plain old bread. She also doesn’t do raisins so those were out. I came across this recipe for apple spice bread and decided that it would fit the bill. There is some cinnamon in the bread but it’s not overwhelming and the apple lends an amazing sweetness. Of course, if you prefer, you could always use a Granny Smith apple for a tarter flavor – I used a Jonagold apple. Yum!

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And, the best thing about this bread, is it is delicious enough to just eat on its own! Perfect with your morning coffee or afternoon tea, this light, fat-free bread is big on flavor. How did it do with the french toast? Om nom nom! It was fabulous – probably the perfect french toast bread in my opinion. Light enough that you can eat a few pieces without any guilt and packed with flavor and depth. Happy breakfasting!

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What’s your favorite weekend breakfast food?
Do you prefer a tart or sweet apple?

Apple Spice Bread
Makes 1 loaf (20 slices)

1 cup shredded apple (about 1 medium)
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
2 egg whites or 1/4 cup cholesterol-free egg product
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 or 7 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 2 1/2 inches) with nonstick cooking spray; dust with flour. Mix apple, sour cream and egg whites in large bowl. Stir in remaining flour and ingredients. Spread in pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

Nutritional information:
Calories 45; Protein 1g; Carbohydrates 10g; Fat 0g; Fiber 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 120mg

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Yes, my first blog is about a cake. ¬†What? ¬†Who doesn’t like cake? ¬†I’ve discovered that as my miles increase, so does my sweet tooth. ¬†I can’t decide if that’s good or bad but, for you, it’s good because you get a cake recipe! ¬†And, if you’re wondering, I ran 22 miles this morning. ¬†No, that’s not a typo. ¬†Yes, it was on purpose. ¬†No, I wasn’t being chased. ¬†Yes, I’m hungry.

We had a bake sale at work yesterday. ¬†It was supposed to be a “healthy” bake sale but you know there were store-bought cupcakes and brownies and other treats there. ¬†Healthy schmealthy, right? ¬†Well, there were good things like muffins not the size of your head, cookies, and cupcakes made with whole wheat flour, splenda blend sugar (best invention ever!), egg whites, applesauce instead of oil, and pumpkin. ¬†Yes, pumpkin! ¬†I love pumpkin! ¬†Plus, it’s chock-full of the antioxidant beta-carotene which is good for your health! (Read more here.) ¬†Anyway, it’s almost officially Fall and the thought of pumpkin inspired me. ¬†So, I looked for and found a recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese frosting. ¬†Delicious, right? ¬†I mean really, can’t you just taste Fall right around the corner?!

Pumpkin Spice Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin (about 1/2 of a 15 oz. can)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups sifted cake flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tbsp pure maple syrup (preferable Grade A Dark Amber)

3 – 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ (aka powdered) sugar, sifted.

For garnish:

1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans

1. ¬†Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. ¬†Butter and flour (or spray with Baker’s Joy) two 8-inch cake pans.

2.  In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.  Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Divide the batter in half and pour into prepared pans.  Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert and remove the cakes from their pans.  Cool completely before frosting.

4. ¬†Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of your food processor (or use a hand mixer) and pulse until smooth. ¬†Add the maple syrup and confectioners’ sugar and process just to combine. ¬†(Do not over process or the frosting will be too thin.) ¬†Adjust syrup or sugar until you have the right consistency.

5.  Place one of the cake layers, top side down, on a serving plate.  Frost with a layer of icing.  Place the second cake, top side down, onto the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake.  Garnish with toasted nuts, if desired.  Refrigerate but bring to room temperature before serving.

6.  ENJOY!

*recipe courtesy of http://www.joyofbaking.com*