Did you GIVE BACK for Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving ya’ll! Can’t believe it’s already November muchless Thanksgiving day!! I have had such a great week, preparing recipes and donating some time yesterday at Sacred Heart Community Center. The gym I belong to (FNS), organized a community give back day. While just in time for the holidays we were able to pack boxes for families in San Jose who can not afford a Thanksgiving dinner. The boxes included a turkey, butternut squash, potatoes, corn on the cob, fruit and some breakfast items all given by donation from strangers, Trader Joes and Second Harvest Food bank. The total families fed was around 4,300. WOW! This is amazing. I will say everytime I volunteer it is a real awakening to the fact that it could be any of us at any time that can’t afford the next best thing- including food. To me giving thanks on Thanksgiving is more than just saying what you are thankful for at dinner, but rather taking time out of your busy schedule to help someone in need. When I left yesterday I was completely humbled and thankful that I have a great family, job, my health, and food that will be provided to all of us.

Today I gathered with friends to run the annual  Sillicon Valley Turkey Trot in downtown San Jose. I posted about this race a couple weeks ago, but as a reminder it is for a great cause. Donations go to Second Harvest Food Bank, the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County, and the Children’s Health Initiative of Santa Clara County.  These charities provide families with their most basic needs for “health, hope, and a home.” I ran the 10k with a 58 minute race time. Definitely happy considering the last race I ran I sprained my ankle. And hey, under an hour? I will take it!

Have a great day everyone, give thanks, eat lots and be thankful you have your health most of all! Happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti’s…Yum!

{Flour & Baking Powder}

{Unsalted Butter & Organic Sugar}

{Recipe makes enough for 2 loaves}

{First round in the oven}

{Second round/after cut- for the hard crunch}

This is one of my favorite baking recipes. Not only is it super easy, but I feel better when I make treats like this vs. buying them at the store (usually they have preservatives). Cranberry and Pistachios are two of my favorites when adding in trail mix, so why not add to a sweat treat? Baking can be tricky- so make sure you add the ingredients just as they say. The first time I made them, I had to re-do because something wasn’t right…too much dough not enough love? Perhaps, something like that. The second time was perfection! Also, don’t forget to twice bake these puppies as that is what gives the biscotti the extra crunch. Hope you enjoy!

What is your favorite type of biscotti?

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 3 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place cranberries in a small bowl; add boiling water. Let stand until plump, about 15 minutes. Drain, and set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in cranberries and pistachios.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each piece into a 16-by-2-inch log, and transfer to prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, flatten logs slightly. Brush beaten egg over surface of the dough logs, and sprinkle generously with sugar.
  4. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until logs are slightly firm to touch, about 25 minutes. Transfer logs on parchment paper to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  5. Place logs on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down, on rack. Bake until firm to touch, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on rack. Biscotti can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Recipe is by Martha Stewart and can be found here .