APPLES, APPLES, EVERYWHERE

29 Sep

Yoga two weeks in a row? Yep. I was up early and ready Saturday morning for another yoga class. This week we did a lot of revolved poses and it was some seriously intense stretching of the body. While I am not as sore as I was last week afterwards, I definitely felt the affects of class! After our hour Vicki ran me by a couple different houses to do a few real-estate odds and ends before dropping me off at home to get started on my busy day. I heated up leftovers and planned out the menu for the week. Along with planning the usual amount of dinners to fix, I also had to pick out several apple dishes to make because Zach and I would be paying a trip to the orchard the next day! I did a fair amount of cleaning and found myself still really hungry for some reason so I had a small plate of cheese and crackers and that did the trick. 🙂

Headed over to Mom’s next and the two of us set off on a 1 hour and 10 minute walk beside the river. It was a BEAUTIFUL day out!! The sky was blue and clear, the temperature was warm, the trees were pretty- it was perfect. We just walked and talked to our heart’s content enjoying an exquisite fall day. We saw some herons, turtles and an all-black duck. I have never seen a duck like that before! It was solid black from it’s feet all the way to it’s beak. I really wished I had had my camera! By the time we got back to the car we were thirsty and our feet were getting tired. Based on the mile markers along the river I estimated that we did 3.5 miles, so not too bad for a Saturday afternoon walk. I wanted to laze and lounge at Mom’s afterwards with the kitty but unfortunately had no spare time. Instead I rushed back home to shower while Zach finally got home from his Saturday afternoon games. We ran to the grocery together and then had to head to our church.

Church on a Saturday? Well Saturday evening was our annual Hope 2 Liberia banquet. This is the first year Zach and I have attended but I’m so glad we did! Hope 2 Liberia is an organization started by my church that supports Liberia, Africa. Over the past decade people from our congregation (and outside) have gone over there multiple times a year to do everything from Teacher’s clinics and delivering water systems to building schools and spreading God’s love. The water systems have been one of the biggest focuses as clean water is nearly impossible to come by over there and one system (that only costs $60) can almost completely purify the water for loads and loads of batches (I forget the exact amount). We’ve always known some of the things our teams were doing over in Liberia as the whole church has always been involved but going to this banquet provided a clearer look at what we’ve accomplished and our vision for the year ahead.

We started off with a buffet provided by MCL- everyone got green beans, carrots, chicken, salads, rolls (which I passed on) and a slice of cake (which I ate a little over half of). Then we sat and listened to a speaker from Liberia who has been to our church before, a really great guy named Eric Wohwoh who is an ambassador God and for the country of Liberia. He talked about the disconnect between heart and head and how people in America have so much yet always seem unhappy and want more while people over in Africa have so little yet still are genuinely happy. It’s a humbling thing. We also learned in detail about the water systems, even getting to try purified water that started out incredibly dirty from a creek outside – that was amazing! We made bookmarks to send over in Bibles, watched a slideshow and learned a lot about the Hope Academy- the goal for this year. Hope Academy is going to be a school that we are working to raise money to build and I’m so excited to be a part of this and see the progress. Zach and I have said for a couple of years that we really, really want to go over on a missions trip to Liberia sometime and this banquet only reinforced our desire.

Zach and I had toyed with the idea of seeing a movie after the banquet but opted to go home and cuddle on the couch instead. Around 9:30 we were both really hungry. The dinner had been at 5, way earlier than we usually eat and the portions had been pretty small. We tossed around ideas of fast food trying to find something relatively healthy to get and ended up sharing a small order of mushroom chicken (one of the lowest cal things on the menu) with lo mein from Panda Express. Meh. I was not impressed. We didn’t stay up super late since Zach was feeling a little under the weather and I was more than ready for sleep!

Saturday’s Food Journal:

  • Breakfast – apple w/PB
  • Lunch – lasagna, cheese and crackers
  • Supper – salad, chicken, veggies, 1/2 portion of mushroom chicken + lo mein, 3/4 pc. chocolate cake

Sunday morning Zach was out the door before I even woke up because he had to run slides at church. I slept to my heart’s content and then got ready and went to church. We came home straight after and changed for our annual trip to the apple orchard! Usually we go to one that is about an hour and a half away but due to time constraints we looked for something a little closer. We found Dougherty Orchards about 45 minutes away in Cambridge City and headed over. It was a gorgeous day for driving! Windows down, fall colors, fresh breeze, Zach’s hand on my knee, hair blowing in my face and me with no care to remove it whatsoever. 🙂 We found this orchard to be quite different from our usual spot. It was probably 10 time smaller and had a large petting zoo attached! Random. Haha but not unpleasant because I absolutely love animals, especially if I can feed/touch them and especially, especially if they are tiny which some of them were. 🙂

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We wandered around taking pictures and cooing at the animals.

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I was absolutely thrilled to get to feed a shetland pony- I have always LOVED these little ponies!

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Later on some greedy goats at the whole cones out of our hands and we were left with no more animal feed, haha.

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We washed up outside the “zoo” and went to gather apples. We assumed this place was not one where you pick directly off the trees which is what we usually do, but we were okay with choosing them out of barrels for the sake of time.

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We got a half peck filled mostly with Macintosh apples- some of the best for baking. It wasn’t until we were pulling away that we saw the rows of trees where people were out picking their own apples…oops. It worked out fine though because we had a busy afternoon! When we got home we finally worked on putting lunch together, a very late lunch. I made us Super-Cheesy Ham Stuffed French Toast from Hungry Girl 1-2-3.

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It was supposed to be our dinner that night but Zach had beer club right after our class so I decided to make it lunch instead. Between two pieces of whole wheat bread we put slices of mozzarella, slices of 98% fat-free ham and spread a wedge of Laughing Cow swiss & herbs cheese.

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The whole sandwich was dipped in a mixture of egg substitute and cinnamon-

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Then grilled on the stove.

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These weren’t that great. I really didn’t care for this style of Laughing Cow cheese and ended up taking most of my bottom piece of bread with the spread on it off.

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Zach ate his with syrup but I just peppered mine and ate it with a fork. I wouldn’t make these again but it satisfied for lunch! After eating Zach helped me make the first of many apple projects you’ll be seeing in the coming weeks. We set out to make Mini Apple Crumbles from a recipe torn out of Shape magazine. The first part was to make the crumble topping which would also be the base for the tiny treats. I mixed together oats, whole wheat flour, cinnamon and salt.

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Once the dry things were mixed I added maple syrup and stirred until it was all covered. While I was doing this Zach was busy using our Apple Master to peel/core/slice some of our freshly purchased apples. All that’s left after the machine has it’s way is to dice them into small pieces.

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Back over to me and I was slicing cold butter into thin pieces and dicing it from there.

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The butter was smashed into the oat mixture with a fork until it was all crumbly. I sprayed a mini-muffin tin and used about a tsp. of the crumble to smash into 16 of the cups.

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The recipe only called for 12 but we had enough stuff leftover that we made 4 extra. The diced apples were simmering on the stove in a pan of water + syrup and then 1 TBS of the apples went over each of the firmly pressed oat crumbles. Sprinkled each individual cup with remaining crumble and baked in the oven for just 10 minutes. Out came adorable little apple treats!

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They fall apart pretty easily but taste great! Each one is only 95 calories but I think since we made them a little smaller ours are probably more like 85-90 apiece. They make a great snack but we also decided they would make a good breakfast item (which I acted upon this morning…). Once our baking was finished we were off being busy again- to Concannon’s (NOT for cheesecake!) for cinnamon bread to use for a later apple recipe, to Mom and Dad’s to share the mini crumbles, to Aldi for kid’s groceries and then to the church for week 4 of our Bible reliability class. It was another really good week of learning and it was the last week for the science aspect of things. The next two weeks will be on historical accuracy and documents. Excited!

Zach went to hang out with the guys after class and I talked Hillary into coming over for a late evening run with me. It was getting pretty dark but we ran in the neighborhood and had just enough light from houses and street lamps to see. It was perfect weather/temperature for running and I was so glad to have a partner! Hillary hasn’t ran in quite awhile so I told her we would do a run 2 minute-walk 1 minute pattern and that’s what we did for 1.5 miles. It took a little while, 23 minutes, but I was proud of her for coming with me. Back inside she worked on homework while we watched Harry Potter together and I had a late supper of spaghetti squash with pasta sauce plus one more mini crumble. I let Hillary have one too. 🙂 At 10pm Hillary went home, I went to bed and that was the weekend!

Sunday’s Food Journal:

  • Breakfast – none
  • Lunch – ham & cheese french toast
  • Supper – spaghetti squash, 2 mini apple crumbles

833.5/1,400 miles. 165.5/150 running miles.

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One Response to “APPLES, APPLES, EVERYWHERE”

  1. Mom October 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    I like the apple orchard pics. Especially the cute animals 🙂

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