An Iowa City filled weekend…

This past weekend was the big ISU vs Iowa football game. Although, the game might not have been a hit, the weekend was!
Lots of good times and good food with friends and family.

Friday J and I had Aunt Barb and Uncle Tom and Kelli and Mike over for dinner.

The Menu:
Appetizer: Bruschetta (recipe from crossfitter Katie)

Here’s the bruschetta recipe (makes 12 pieces):
• 1/2 loaf whole-grain French, ciabatta or other thin loaf bread
• 3 Tbsp / 45 ml extra virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 cup / 240 ml fresh tomatoes, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
• 1 tsp / 5 ml sea salt
• 1 tsp / 5 ml freshly ground black pepper
• 1 handful fresh arugula leaves, finely chopped
• 1 handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
• 2 Tbsp / 30 ml best quality balsamic vinegar
• 2 fresh avocados
• Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
1.Preheat oven to 375º F / 190 ºC. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.Slice bread into thin, 1/2-inch slices on the diagonal. Arrange slices on baking sheet. Don’t overlap. Use another baking sheet if necessary.
3.Use a baking brush to lightly coat each piece of bread with olive oil. Bake for several minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from oven. Set aside.
4.In a medium-sized oven-safe mixing bowl combine tomato, remaining olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place in hot oven and bake for 10 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Remove from heat.
5.Transfer cooked tomatoes to new mixing bowl. Add chopped arugula, basil and balsamic vinegar. Mix gently to combine. Set aside.
6.Peel avocados. Cut in half and remove pits. Dice avocado and toss with lemon juice.
7.Top each piece of bread with tomato mixture. Top with avocado. Serve.
***Katie mentioned she couldn’t’t find arugula by itself, so instead found a salad mix that had spinach and arugula together and used that. You could use spinach by itself, too.

Entree: Swiss and sauteed mushroom burgers (mushrooms were sauteed in olive oil)
and Uncle Jim’s home grown squash

Dessert: Birthday cake for Kelli!

it’s suppose to be red frosting and not pink…obviously I do not have a career as a cake decorator

and of course, Aunt Barb’s scotcheroos

Saturday morning we woke up ready to cheer on our Cyclones!

I prepared a meat and veggie egg dish and homemade banana bread for breakfast.

then it was off to tailgate

Sunday started with a trip to my favorite Iowa City breakfast spot…
the sign says it all

The banana bread french toast is AMAZING!
J couldn’t even wait for me to take a picture before digging in 🙂

Then it was off to Wilson’s Apple Orchard to pick us some Honey Crisp Apples!
over the river and through the woods…
Mike had his technique for crossing the raging river
and J had his

We had to pull out all the apple picking techniques to get the best apples
What a great weekend!
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

First visit to the Apple Orachard this season & Homemade applesauce

The other week J and I made our first trip of the season to Wilson’s Apple Orchard just outside of Iowa City.
One of my favorite things about fall, besides football, is the FOOD, duh. Apples, squash, pumpkin, and everything that is made from these scrumptious ingredients.

Here I am, ready to go!

We had to travel on the unbeaten path to get the best apples

Good think I wore my high waters

J has spotted a good one!

Out varieties this time included: Ginger Gold, Summer Treat, and Burgundy.

With full buckets we were ready to head home.

I just wanted to share a picture of the fun apple I picked up at New Pioneer Coop the other day….it was pink inside!

Homemade Applesauce
4 apples that have been peeled, cored, and chopped into pieces
1/4 tsp lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
ground cinnamon to taste (start with a couple teaspoons)
sweetner to taste (start with 1/4 C) – I used evaporated cane juice (you can purchase in HyVee health market), you can also opt to use brown sugar, Stevia, honey, agave nectar, etc.
about 1/2 C water


Place all ingredients in large pot over medium-high heat. Cover and cook ingredients for 10-20 minutes or until apples are soft. Allow to cool and then mash with potato masher or fork.

My pal Abby just made homemade applesauce as well (great minds think alike)…visit her site here.

Enjoy! and GO CYCLONES!

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Wilson’s Apple Orchard and Apple Cinnamon Buckwheat Pancakes

Big pumpkin…so heavy 😉

trying to get the very best apples…this kid knew what he was doing

Liberty apple and Smoothee apple…I never knew there were so may varieties
found it!…the very last Honeycrisp!

Apple Cinnamon Buckwheat Pancakes
If J and I aren’t whipping up protein pancakes for our pancake fix, we opt for buckwheat or whole wheat mixes.

We jazzed these up with apples and cinnamon…yum!

a couple hard eggs and breakfast is served!
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Apple Extravaganza! Apple Crisp, Apple Orchard, Dried Apples

Last night it was beautiful out! Crisp fall air…perfect for a bombfire in the backyard and snuggling up in a blanket.

Dinner was kinda summerish with a definite fall finale…

Grilled Pork Chops seasoned with Cookies (this is a no fail tasty seasoning)
Green Beans steamed in Ziploc Steambags (J and I like them plain and eat them like fries, but a little olive oil and sea salt in a good seasoning)

for dessert….Apple Crisp!

the line up…Gold Rush and Empire Apples (both picked at Wilson’s Apple Orchard in IACity)

I kinda threw my own recipe together so bear with me….it is yummy

Apple Crisp
First, we need to slice and peel. I grew up with this fancy contraption and then happen to stumble upon it at Bed Bath and Beyond (of course they have it, they have everything). It’s called the Apple Peeler (clever huh). Works like a charm 😉

perfect ringlets

makes slicing a breeze

4 apples, season liberally with cinnamon, a dash or two of nutmeg, and about a tablespoon of Splenda brown sugar and whole wheat flour

mix well so all the apples are coated

Crumble Topping:
(J and I like a lot of crumbly so I am pretty generous with the oatmeal)
about 2 C old fashioned oats
couple tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 C to 1 C whole wheat flour
add butter chunks (I used Smart Balance) to mix or place evenly on top like so

sprinkle with cinnamon
Bake at 375F for 30 minutes
After it has been baked I like to broil the crisp for a few seconds on the top rack just to brown it a bit ..but keep a watchful eye so it does not burn!

Top with light whipped cream.
Does that not look good!?
Dehydrated Apples
Next, I sprinkled cinnamon (yes, our house smelled like a Yankee candle) on the remaining slices and dehydrated them over night.

Crispy and crunchy…healthy chips!
Next up….our visit to Wilson’s Apple Orchard to get all these fine apples.
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good