It’s been a couple year’s since I’ve made pie (and this pie specifically), but it literally does not get any better than this.  Homemade crust with a layer of warm gooey chocolate topped with a coconut pecan caramelizing mixture.  I made this for Thanksgiving, but it’s also a good one for Christmas!  I can’t take the credit for this one (thx Rachael Ray), but if you make it, let me know what you think!

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German Chocolate Pecan Pie
From Rachael Ray

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick chilled unsalted butter cut into small pieces, plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (separated)
1/4 cup ice water
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) pecan halves, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sweetened flake coconut
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the chilled butter pieces and pulse until coarse crumbs form, about 5 seconds. Drizzle in the ice water and pulse just until the dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap; flatten to form a disk. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round; transfer to a pie pan. Cut the excess dough to leave a 1/2-inch overhang. Using your fingers, roll the dough edge under and crimp. Prick the bottom of the pie shell with a fork; refrigerate for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees .
  3. Line the shell with foil and pie weights or dried beans; bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 12 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. In a heavy, medium saucepan, whisk together the remaining 5 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt with the brown sugar and corn syrup over medium heat until melted and smooth. Whisk the sugar mixture into the beaten eggs. Stir in the nuts and coconut.
  5. Spread the chocolate chips in the pie shell. Pour in the filling and bake until set, about 25 minutes. Let the pie cool completely before slicing.

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Sunday we had my running club holiday party including a white elephant gift.  Last year I went all out and gifted a homemade bloody mary kit.  This year I knew I still wanted to make something homemade, but wanted to go a slightly less labor intensive route.  So I made rosemary infused vodka!

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Homemade Rosemary Infused Vodka
What you need:
Large glass bottle with clamp stopper
750 ml bottle of vodka
2 sprigs of rosemary
Decorations: tag, twine, stamps

What to do:

  • Prepare at least 1-2 days in advance. Pour vodka into bottle. Add rosemary sprigs. Seal and decorate!
  • Gift with lil’ red solo cup shot glasses, festive straws and cocktail napkins!

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What’s the best and worst white elephant gift you’ve ever gotten?
I got a pair of nose/ear trimmers in exchange for this combo! 😛

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Today’s a busy day for me, so I’ll keep it short and sweet.  NEWS FLASH: DIY girl has come out of the cave.  It finally hit me that I didn’t have to buy all of my Christmas presents, I could make some!  So I put together this “keep warm kit,” that is simple, sweet, and has the ability to be personalized through selecting a unique mug for every recipient.  Enjoy!

Are you doing any DIY gifts this year?

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Homemade Mexican Hot Cocoa Mix
From Yours Is The Earth
Makes one 16 oz. mason jar (equivalent to 4 cups/servings of cocoa)
INGREDIENTS:
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup of sugar (mixed with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
A dash of cayenne
1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate chips
Approximately 1 cup large marshmallows
DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, vanilla sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne and chopped semi-sweet chocolate chips
  2. Pour into your 16 oz mason jar.
  3. Top with the marshmallows (used to fill the space at the top of the jar).

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How to enjoy the cocoa (one serving):

  • Set marshmallows aside.
  • Scoop ¼ of the mix into a mug.
  • Warm up 1 cup of milk (cows, almond, coconut – your choice).
  • Pour over the mix and stir.
  • Top with a marshmallow (or two) and enjoy!

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Materials

  • 16 oz mason jar
  • Cute coffee mug (I got a variety from Anthropologie)
  • For the labels: kraft paper, black ink pad and rubber letter stamps (I got my set from Michael’s for $1.50).
  • For the instructions: Scrapbooking paper (in kraft paper color) and printer.
  • For the accessories: baker’s twine and paper straws from Michael’s.

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Grocery shopping and looking for last minute gifts, holiday treats and/or stocking stuffers?  I know that could be me…After stopping like 50 billion times, competing for parking spots, dealing with crazy drivers, honking my horn (which I never do!) and trying to avoid accidents, I’m to the point where I’m looking for a one stop shop.  So here’s a round-up of some great gift ideas from Whole Foods Market that anyone (<< insert *me*) would be excited to receive.

DCA_WFMDMessentials
Silly Cow Farms Hot Cocoa // Whole Foods Market $ // Crunchy Chocolate NuttZo // Califia Almond Milk Eggnog // French Macarons from the WFM Bakery Dept. // Zumbo Kiss Peppermint Lip Balm // Mighty Leaf Tea Top Brew Mug

Now here’s your chance to win one of them (the Whole Foods Market Ca$h MOnEy!).  Giveaway ends midnight Saturday, December 21.

To enter the giveaway just follow: a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for hosting this giveaway. The amazing people at Whole Foods Market Del Mar were kind enough to provide the gift card for me to giveaway.  

Originally, I was going to do a post on “winter running essentials,” but due to this weird California chill, I have zero clean clothes and double the laundry from having to wear double layers of everything.  Hence my inability to provide pictures to support my post.  And instead of creating a gift guide of what you should buy others (e.g. the fitness enthusiast, the runner, the yogi), I thought I’d just put it out there, all of the fitness related items on my wish list…which makes up about 98% of it.  This was highly curated because it took a lot of will power to create a list and not buy everything on the spot because “I want it now.”

DCA_holidayfitlist

Mizuno Wave Rider 17 // Spiritual Gangster Beanie // The North Face Venture Jacket // Lululemon Open Your Heart Long Sleeve // The North Face Aconcagua Vest // Lululemon Pure Balance Sweater // Nike Vapor Running Jacket

Also note, after one torrential downpour this past weekend, a windbreaker, rain jacket and puffer vest all seemingly made the list.

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This year I learned about and decided to participate in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  And while this blog is primarily about running and healthy living, food makes up a good portion, sweets and treats included.  I mean, it’s all about balance, right?

The Food Blogger Cookie Swap is pretty simple.  You sign up, donate $4 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, get matched with 3 food bloggers, bake, ship out your cookies, receive cookies from 3 different food bloggers and post your recipe!

And today is the day that all the participating food bloggers post their cookie recipes.

For the swap, I made some truly holiday-spirited cookies.  This is a go-to recipe I’ve been making for the past 2 years during Christmas time –Eggnog Snickerdoodles.  These cookies combine the soft and fluffy goodness of a Snickerdoodle with the subtle holiday hint of eggnog and its spices.

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I decided to package my cookies in ½ gallon mason jars, which fit 1 dozen cookies perfectly stacked.  I also opted for flat-rate boxes so that the weight of the package wouldn’t matter.

I sent 1 dozen each to 3 different food bloggers (A Kitchen Addiction, Miss In The Kitchen, and Stay And Have A Cookie) and received cookies from Where Has All The Flour GoneNicki’s Random Musings and Tales From The Crumb Tray.  I had so much fun making, packaging, and sending out my cookies and it was really exciting to unexpectedly receive a box of mysterious cookies…three times!  I also haven’t baked in a really long time, so it was great to engage in a swap.

Below is my recipe for Eggnog Snickerdoodles if you want to try them for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed!

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Eggnog Snickerdoodles
adapted from The Cooking Photographer
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar + 3 Tbsp. for rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1/4 cup full fat eggnog
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar, salt, nutmeg and vanilla extract together until fluffy.
  4. Mix in the egg and eggnog.
  5. Mix in baking soda, and then beat in flour until just combined.
  6. Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter and roll into balls.
  7. Roll balls into a mixture of sugar and cinnamon
  8. Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden around the edges. Let rest for 2 minutes on sheets then move to cooling rack.

December – Thing One: Bake holiday cookies
See: Three Things – December

 
 
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