Peaches and Cream Cheesecake Braid
Posts Tagged ‘peach’
Peach Cobbler Pastry Braid
Easy Homemade Peach Cobbler
Here's what helped me: 1. Find the activity you love. I used to think that learning to exercise was a matter of repeatedly doing things you hated until you didn't hate them anymore. The problem was that it never happened like that for me. Either I did stick with an activity for a long time and still hated it (elliptical machine) or I couldn't stand to stick with it at all (running). Finally, I mustered the courage to try a group aerobics class. For some reason, group classes didn't seem intolerable for me like the treadmill did. It was an epiphany: I didn't have to keep doing things I hated. I could find something I loved. Since then, I've found that I love Zumba, kickboxing, step class, yoga, kayaking, and swimming. Keep trying different workouts until you find one (or several) that makes you happy. 2. Try group classes. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking some variation of: "But I'm too fat / too old / too slow / too out of shape." You're imagining that you won't be able to keep up. That you'll stand out. That everyone will be looking at you. You might be thinking of your social anxiety. You might be thinking of how heavy your breathing gets. But let me tell you: you've got group exercise classes all wrong! I know, because I did, too.
Even for an introverted loner like me, group exercise classes are usually extremely welcoming. I've been to lots of them, and I've noticed that there are always young people, fat people, old people, skinny people, slow people, and fast people. There are dancers. There are uncoordinated people. There are people with bad knees who modify the exercises. Nobody gives anyone else a second glance. Half of us are going the wrong direction at any given time, so nobody feels weird when they mess up the exercise moves. Our teachers encourage us, "Just keep moving and have fun!" and we do! We shimmy, shake, salsa, meringue, and laugh. We laugh at ourselves; we laugh with each other.
In addition to being surprisingly comfortable, group exercise classes provide light, positive peer pressure. There's an undercurrent of inspiration when you're with so many other people striving for the same physical goal. You're all quietly congratulating each other on getting to the gym and working hard. When you get tired, you don't want to quit because others around you are still striving. I've found it tremendously motivating in a way working out in my living room could never be.
I'm pretending like this is a photo of me in my exercise gear, but really this is me in my Halloween costume last year.
I was a dancer from the Gangnam Style video. Ahem.
3. Find the exercise that feels like a treat. When I'm doing something luxurious for myself, like getting a manicure, I really enjoy it. Exercise can be like that, but you have to figure out how. For me, exercise feels indulgent when I make time for it in the morning and then shower at the gym afterwards. This way I have my whole day ahead of me and I've set myself up to feel great. I also love going out for a healthy lunch Saturday after working hard in the gym, because I feel like I'm doing two great things for my body. For some of my friends, exercise feels indulgent when they leave their kids with a family member and make their workouts time to focus on themselves. 4. Find the exercise that gives you a sense of mastery. Find the exercise that, after you do it, makes you feel powerful and accomplished. For me, yoga is lovely for peace and mindfulness, but I don't feel a sense of mastery after it like some people do. After a difficult cycle class, though, I feel like I just conquered the world. When you're trying out different activities, evaluate how you feel afterwards. What gives you the "happy rush"? 5. Switch things up. I get bored doing the same exercise routine over and over. It makes things more exciting if I change up what classes I go to and what "extras" I do in the gym. I also vary the days and times that I workout. Look around for dance studios or gyms that offer a cheap membership and lots of variety. Also look for local lakes where you can rent canoes, swimming pools, rock climbing centers, hiking trails. Compile a long list of new activities to try so that you're never bored.
Quick tip: Many gyms offer trial memberships so you can try out their classes and facilities. I took advantage of a lot of these when looking for a gym to join, and it helped me find the perfect one.6. Just get yourself there. The other tips all sound great, but I've fallen back on this one more times than I can count. Even though I love the activities I've found (swimming, kayaking, Zumba, etc.) once I get there, making myself get ready and go to the gym is often a huge mental hurdle. So I've developed the mantra: "Just get yourself there." I don't worry about whether I have enough energy for class. I don't think about how much I have to do at home. I don't agonize over whether I "feel like it." Instead, I tell myself, "Of course you don't feel like it right now. But just get yourself there." Once I'm in the gym with my gym clothes on, I know I'm going to be productive. I know I'll feel even more accomplished having overcome my hurdle. So I turn other thoughts off and "just get myself there."
I hope these tips help someone out there. I know they're not magic wands. There are those of you who can't afford a gym membership for $15 a month, who can't find childcare, who don't have transportation, who have different physical abilities. But for those of you in the same place I was in over a year ago, with no exercise plan and no concept of how to begin, maybe this will inspire you a bit! And more good news: you don't have to stop eating peach cobbler. I still enjoy my treats each weekend. In fact, I think I enjoy them more knowing that I've worked hard to keep my body healthy overall. What about you? What activities do you love? What exercise tips do you have? One year ago: German Chocolate Cheesecake Two years ago: Gooey Cookies & Cream Bars Three years ago: Bittersweet Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies Four years ago: Peach Crisp Pie
Easy Homemade Peach Cobbler
Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking Yield: 6 servings
This is the easiest cobbler known to mankind and also happens to be my favorite. It's cakey and spongey in texture (not biscuity), which is why my family called it a "peach cobbler cake" when I was growing up.
Ingredients: 1 cup flour 1 cup sugar Dash of salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup milk 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 1 large (or two regular) cans peaches in light syrup
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350F and spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish (or 12-inch cast iron skillet) with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Melt the stick of butter and pour it unceremoniously into the prepared baking dish. Mix the milk into the dry ingredients, whisk until the lumps are gone (the batter will be very liquidy), and then pour this batter over top of the melted butter in the prepared dish.
Pour can(s) of peaches over top of the batter, syrup and all. Do NOT stir this -- just let the peaches fall where they falls! Bake the cobbler for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and almost set. Serve hot with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Though she's not posh, Byrd does eat posh food of mommy's choosing. In a roundabout way, I have her to thank for this Spicy Peach and Cucumber Salsa recipe. I was at the local organic grocery store last week picking up a bag of her select kibble when I noticed a bowl of this surprising salsa sitting out to sample. I usually pass up samples, but the unexpected combination of peaches and cucumbers caught my eye, so I took a small nibble.
Suddenly, it was the 4th of July all over again -- fireworks in my mouth! Spicy chipotle; refreshing cucumbers; succulent peaches all mingled on a cayenne-pepper laced blue corn chip. There were so many experiences in each bite: tangy, sweet, hot, acidic, cool, juicy. I'd heard of mango salsa, pineapple salsa, but this salsa was a revelation for me. A delicious, tasty, yummy revelation. So much so that I thought about it the whole way home.
The next day after my Jazzercise class (are you still laughing about that?!), I drove back to the organic grocery determined to find the recipe's creator. And find him I did! Michael works at the grocery and is quite the home chef himself. After spending months in Mexico, he now lives in North Carolina and has his own garden plot replete with tomatoes. He was kind enough to share his recipe, and I scrawled it down on the back of an old grocery list.
My aunt and uncle recently visited from Missouri (hello, Show Me State readers!) and I served them this salsa before a delicious cookout on a balmy day. Mine wasn't as spectacular as Michael's, but it was still a success. This is really one of those recipes where you have to add a little, taste a little, add a little more. Fiddle with it until it suits your taste, and then let it sit in the fridge for a half hour or so and meld. I'll keep practicing until mine is as fantastic as the original!
Also, a note about chips. I tried this salsa on Garden of Eatin' Red Hot Blues, and I can't recommend them enough. This is not a sponsored endorsement (though I will accept as many free bags of these chips as they feel like sending me -- are you out there, Garden of Eatin'?), just good ol' fashioned personal opinion. These organic blue corn chips are coated in a fine speckle of cayenne pepper and were the perfect complement to the cool sweetness of the salsa. If you're not a fan of heat, Garden of Eatin' also makes a regular blue corn chip that I'm sure is fantastic as well. And everyone likes eating blue chips, right?
I know at first you might have some salsa skepticism -- peach and cucumber is definitely an unusual combination -- but give this recipe a try. One tiny bite of this salsa inspired a day of obsessive googling and a half-hour drive just to get the recipe. It must be good. And Michael, if you're reading this, make sure to drop me an email or comment to let me know you saw the post -- in true Julie fashion, I've lost your email address!
Spicy Peach and Cucumber Salsa
Recipe by: Michael Yields: 3 cups of salsa
Ingredients: 1-1.5 cups diced, unpeeled cucumber (about 1-2)* 2-2.5 cups diced, peeled, pitted peaches (about 3-4) 1/4-1/2 can of chipotle peppers, diced (depending on your heat tolerance)** 2 tablespoons chopped mint 3 tablespoons lime juice 3 tablespoons peach preserves
Directions: Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt. Prepare up to 2 hours ahead, cover, and refrigerate until serving. Stir to blend before serving.
*I recommend doing an even finer dice on your cucumber and peach than I did, for texture's sake. **Chipotle chiles come canned in adobo. Make sure to wear gloves while chopping and not to touch your face or eyes.
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Apparently there's also a Pie -- er, I mean Pi -- Approximation Day in July?! Score! Share this post with friends!
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