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A Blueberry Treat Whose Name We Shall Not Mention

30 Jun

Some things that I love, in no particular order: carbohydrates that defy definition, blueberries, and GingerKef’s cousin. So when I got the chance to bake a blueberry kind-of-cake/kind-of-bread WITH PresidentKef HIMSELF, I knew it was going to be a good night.

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PresidentKef and I go way back to the early days of this blog, when he was just a young man searching for Emerald City and I was a young, imprudent woman living on Lincoln Rd. Since then, we’ve been basically #BFF.

PresidentKef came into town last week and requested some time in kitchen with Kef, and I was only too happy to oblige. This recipe comes from the 1940s, and has an obnoxiously-appropriate-of-the-era name to boot: Blueberry Boy Bait. Blech. Good to know that in the 60 years between this recipe’s publication and the Neptunes’ production of “Milkshake,” America held true to the ideal that a hefty amount of saturated fat and sugar would snag you a suitable life partner.

Anyway- PresidentKef and I had a blast whipping this guy up. Here’s a mini lesson on when to be precise in baking and when to just go with your gut:

Sadly, there is no chocolate in this recipe– but there is a bunch of butter, sugar, and gluten. I’ve made this two or three times for large groups and it has always been met with demands for an encore appearance (but somehow, not one suitor… hmph). It’s “cake” in the way that coffee cake is, which is to say somewhere in between bread and cake (cread? brake?). Whatever you call it, it’s awesome, and I think you should make it.

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A Blueberry Cake Whose Name We Shall Not Mention

Ingredients

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 16 TBS unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 1/2 c blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first)
  • 1/2 c blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 13×9 pan (pyrex or metal).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a stand or electric mixer on medium high, beat butter and sugars until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated. Scrape down bowl between egg additions.
  3. Reduce speed to medium, then beat in one-third of flour mixture. Once incorpated, beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture.
  4. Toss blueberries in about 1 tsp of flour (optional). Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  5. Make the topping: scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter.
  6. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Who run the world? Girls.

9 Jun

Now that school is over, the question pretty much everyone is asking is, “What are you doing with all your free time?” I’d love to say that I’m taking up a new hobby or finally cleaning out my closet… but, mostly, I’ve been sitting around watching YouTube videos of girls who kick ass. I’ll distill my favorites here:

Kicking ass at kindness:

Kicking ass at taking down obstacles:

Kicking monster ass:

Actually, kicking pretty much all the asses:

 

Girl mother-effing power. And that’s really all I have to say about that.

Giving Thanks

27 Nov

I wondered a couple of years ago if we had lost our ability to be grateful. The cynical side of me worries that the November narrative of thanks is just another bad example of hashtag activism– seems like we’ve barely finished proclaiming to the world how grateful we are for the things we already have before we rush out the door to accumulate more ish we don’t need for people who may not even express how grateful they are to receive it. But–since today is Thanksgiving and not Day 1 of Intro to Cultural Critique– I’ll just leave that right there.

Instead, here are two interesting takes on being grateful. One comes to us from an amazing runner in North Carolina who is taking every moment she has by the horns:

The other is directed at Christians and use of the word “blessed,” but I found it a thought-provoking and universal reflection on what we’re grateful for and how we talk about our thankfulness: The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying

Happy Thanksgiving, Keftanis! I hope you all find something to be thankful for, today and every day.

Be-Grateful

Caveman Truck: Worth the Detour

17 Jul

Ed Note: I’m off with JetSet in Malaysia. Enjoy this awesome post from the OTHER gluten-free Greek named Kristina– yes, two of us exist! –ChefKefi, RN

When making a conscious effort to eat remotely healthy, one thing is clear: the struggle to find appropriate food on the go is REAL. As a travel blogger with a foodie streak, it only makes sense that one of my favorite restaurants is one that never quite stays in one place. Caveman Truck is an Indianapolis food truck notorious for serving the highest quality of locally-sourced ingredients with its own paleo twist on American dishes. And it is, without a doubt, a top recommendation.

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Shelby Malaterre is the Founder and “Chief Caveman” of the Caveman Truck that patrols the Indianapolis area serving healthy, organic, and Paleolithic-approved meals. His story is a rather unorthodox and unexpected one: what initially began as a competitive weight loss bet ended in a drastic lifestyle change that revitalized not only his health but also his career.  The goal was to lose 10% of his body weight and maintain that level for two straight weeks. As a lifelong yo-yo dieter, Shelby anticipated an easy win followed by a quick weight regain–when he started, this was just about bragging rights. He began researching his approach and was quickly introduced to the paleo diet. But this was not your average “quick fix”–though Shelby lost 21 pounds in the first ELEVEN DAYS of the challenge, he gained an immediate increase in energy and wellness and knew he wasn’t going back. With a new-found awareness of how his body could feel by avoiding the grain-heavy Standard American Diet (SAD) Shelby combined his childhood love for food, 20 years of food service experience, and this new-found paleo lifestyle by creating the Caveman Truck in early 2012.

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The menu features only gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free, organic, non-GMO, and paleo ingredients that are rotated by on the season. This alone is truly a blessing for those families with food allergies or special dietary needs– not many places can say they accommodate all of those criteria!

According to The Daily Meal, the Caveman Truck is ranked in the Top 10 Paleo-Friendly Hotspots in the US. Shelby is notorious for cooking a mean batch of “Barnyard Chili,” which is a delicious combination of three different organic meats, organic tomatoes, and organic sweet potatoes. That’s it. Plain and simple. Another dish that has gained popularity is the Chicken Breakfast Taco which contains shredded chicken, eggs, and guacamole. Now, you may be wondering, “How on earth you can have a paleo-friendly taco?” Shelby gets quite creative with his taco shells and rightfully so, since he offers several different breakfast and lunch variations. The shell is actually sliced jicama, you know, one of those pieces of produce that you simply overlook at the grocery. It is an edible tuberous root vegetable that is low calorie, low sodium, high in fiber, and full of vitamin C. Check out the photo of the Chicken Breakfast Tacos that was featured in an Indianapolis Star article below:

 

caveman brkfst taco

If you are like me and enjoy eating healthy while trying new things, then definitely make sure the next time you are in Indianapolis to stalk the Caveman Truck on social media (he posts and tweets his location daily on Facebook and Twitter). He may park downtown for lunch and in the suburbs for dinner. Wherever he is, you can be sure that he is serving the highest of quality local ingredients in a unique dish. He also provides the ability to order ahead and get “take out” upon your arrival instead of waiting in line and eating curbside. As a traveler, whenever I make a recommendation on anything it is based on whether or not something is worth deviating from your original route. The Caveman Truck is definitely worth a detour.

Kristina Keltner is the author of Seize the Globe. Long after discovering her passion for travel she decided to share her experiences with others who understand its value. Her goal is simple: to inspire and empower those who wish to explore the world.

Quickie 4th of July Recap

8 Jul

Still don’t know what kefi is? A quick glimpse into a kefi-filled holiday weekend with the First Family of the Hudson Valley.

Let’s start with the food:

MamaKef always throws down–this year it was a Mediterranean-inspired BBQ. The best thing about my mom’s hosting skills is that she always make it look SO easy, unlike her daughter who barely showers before guests arrive.

 

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Paula’s famous peanutbutter cake–I really thought about ditching this whole clean-eating thing and sticking my whole face in the cake. Alas, I did not. Maybe she will kindly provide the recipe for us a guestblogger (ahem!)

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A new addition- s’mores bars. Graham cracker crumbs layered with chocolate and marshmallow fluff–MamaKef knows what the eff she’s doing.

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And then there’s the kefi NOS (NOS=Not Otherwise Specified for those of us not into the DSM):

We rang in the birthdays of BFKef, CafeKef, and KPMGKef. CafeKef was a great sport and put up with open flame–truly a life milestone.

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This group of people (minus BFKef) have probably logged nearly 1,000,000 hours in this exact spot since we moved into this house almost *twenty* years ago.

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JetSetKef in his natural habitat.

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Nobody–and I do mean nobody–just sits as well as we do in la familia Kef.

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Runner’s Low and Boozy Blueberry Banana Bread

30 Jun

Eventually, we’re gonna get to this:

photo 2(1)But first, I have some whining to get out of the way.

Coming off the runner’s high of the RnR Half and delving right into another intense training cycle for the NYC Tri may not have been my best idea. Actually–scratch that. Delving right into another intense training cycle while ignoring the basic tenets of training was definitely not my best idea.

Rest, stretch, listen to your body, they say. And what do I say? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don’t feel like resting, no time for stretching, and my body says another mile is a really great idea.

This training cycle has proven in exactly how many ways an attitude like that can (and will!) come back to bite me in my big ol’ butt. First there was an MPL sprain in early April. Next, more fueling issues in May. June brought some high temps, hydration woes that I can’t get into, and finally a nasty muscle pull in my lower leg that had me limping around. And then, because the triathlon Gods hate me, I woke up on Friday with a summer cold just as everything else was resolving. How cruel it is that people sitting on their couch eating bonbons have to wait 50 years for the error of their ways to catch up with them, while those of us trying to do something about the American obesity epidemic get rained on with instant ramifications. Granted I’d rather a pulled calf muscle than a CABG surgery–but the point remains.

I’ve had some really good training weeks, and I know that when push comes to shove I can complete the course and will have fun. I’m mostly frustrated by this up-and-down training experience, which pretty much leaves me feeling like this:

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For awhile there I was riding the runner’s low, and that hole got pretty deep and dark. But I woke up this morning and decided to bump that, as a bad attitude isn’t going to get me across the finish line any faster.  For all of you who enjoyed the picture-perfect running weather this weekend, I’m gonna let yall enjoy it… but I’m still gonna pass you in the swim.

And with that, I present you this really amazing boozy blueberry banana bread that would fool any gluten and sugar lover. This recipe comes from the fancy folks at So Let’s Hang Out, and I cannot wait to make this bread again–perhaps I’ll even give someone else a slice next time!

PS: I’m looking for some guest bloggers! Check out the details here if you want to be part of the fun.

Boozy Banana Bread that Makes Up for a Bad Run

Ingredientsphoto 1(1)

  • 1 c almond meal
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 TBS spiced rum
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tbs coconut sugar (optional)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Assembly

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a loaf pan (or two mini loaf pans) with parchment paper.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Combine wet ingredients (except blueberries) in a food processor until smooth.

4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well combined. Fold in blueberries. Pour into loaf pan(s) and smooth with a spatula.

4a. Optional: combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over top of loaf.

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on size of loaves), or until center is firm and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into middle.  Use the parchment paper to lift your loaf out and allow the bread to cool in the parchment paper for at least 30 minutes before serving.

I Absolutely Refuse

8 Apr

Last week I worried about the Dunkin’ Donuts Peeps monstrosity— this week’s threat to humanity as we know it comes to us from Subway, you know, “where athletes eat.” With the Winter Olympics over, Subway can no longer purport that world-class competitors fuel their training with processed meat and bread with shoe rubber in it, so the natural next step is to hock the “Mediterranean Collection,” which includes feta, olives, and a “thick creamy” tzatsiki sauce. I am so very much not impressed.

 

 

Subway-Mediterranean-Collection

 

What do you guys think? Yay or nay?

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