Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake

Autumn is in full swing, and the apple and pumpkin recipes are going to keep coming around here! From Pumpkin Apple Spice Loaf to Pumpkin Muffins, and Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies to Apple Cinnamon Flax Muffin Bites, I love the flavors of this season and all the concoctions I’ve been cooking up. Today I’m sharing a recipe pulled from the archives, one of my earliest creations back when I first started cooking in college. This Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal cake is perfect for a warming autumn breakfast that you can make and bake ahead while you get ready for your day, and it’s easy to whip up with ingredients you have on hand.

 

A gluten free apple cinnamon baked oatmeal cake, perfect to make and put in the oven to be ready when you are to start your day.

 

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Peaches n’ Cream Oatmeal Cake

I hope everyone’s week is off to a smashing start! As for me, I’m getting in some early morning runs before the heat gets too high, and studying up a storm (in between my snacks). Honestly, I’m still reeling today because in yesterday’s lecture my world was rocked. I learned that in New York, there is no spousal privilege when testifying in a criminal case – meaning that Gossip Girl’s awesome series finale Chuck-and-Blair wedding would not actually have worked like it was supposed to… I was walking by Bethesda Fountain,where they filmed the scene, on my way home from a run listening to the lecture, and I was totally thrown!

 

Bethesda Fountain

 

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First Week of June + Dinner at the Eveready Diner

Happy Saturday, everyone! Hope all of your weekends are off to a great start. While the week started off pretty gloomy with lots of rain here in the northeast, it’s been a beautiful past couple of days and June is shaping up nicely, so I’m checking in about life lately – running, studying, and start-of-summer eats, including a trip to the Eveready Diner.

 

Despite the rain, I managed to get some good runs in this week. I did 6 miles each on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in Connecticut, on the roads near my house and the Rail Trail, and have a 4-mile race tomorrow in Central Park that I’ll add a mile to with jogging to the start. I was lucky on Monday that there was a lull in the storm in the morning – not so lucky later in the day when Sasha needed to go for a walk. We are both glad the sun has come out to play, though it looks like there might be a few storms in the coming week. A warm and dry puppy is always the happiest!

 

A sunny trail for my run...

Sasha wasn't sure if it had really stopped raining!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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National Running Day

This Wednesday, June 3rd, is National Running Day. So I am kicking off this week with a linkup with some other fun runner bloggers to share our running stories through a Q&A! 

1. Why do you run? I run for health and happiness. I started running because I wanted to get back in shape and have a physically active outlet for my energy after my childhood ballet and gymnastics days were over, but fell in love with it because of the way it contributed to my mental well-being and overall outlook on life.

2. How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day? I plan to celebrate by going for a long run in the sun (I hope!) and maybe stopping by some of the New York Road Runners events.

3. How many miles have you run so far this year? Just over 500 as of today! Averaging 100 miles/month, which works out to 20-25/week. March was a little less and May a little more but it all evens out in the end.

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WIAW #11: Getting Ready to Graduate

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This Tuesday’s eats were all over the map. I was in the midst of preparing for my law school graduation tomorrow (!!!) so that I wouldn’t be rushing around today to get anything ready. I found time for a lovely morning run yesterday though, and managed to whip up a lot of healthy mini-meals to get me through the day. Whenever I’m looking forward to something, or I’m nervous, I feel hungry but not in the mood for anything major, so it ended up working out okay. And here goes my WIAW!

 

Breakfast: I got up early and let this Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake bake, while I finished gathering up my outfit for graduation and laying it out so I’m prepared. I wasn’t sure if I would need to steam it and didn’t want to leave it to the last minute! I had my meal at 8am and then tied up a few other odds and ends before heading out for a run. 

 

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WIAW #10: Food and Precious Free Time

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This WIAW features a day of eats from something rare in my life lately (and promising to be for the next few months). Between last Wednesday’s final exam in one law school course, and tomorrow, when I start to prepare for grad ball, graduation, and bar exam prep, I’ve had free time to do whatever I wish. Meaning running, cooking up healthy and delicious eats all day (no snack packs on the go), and hitting a favorite spot for dinner out on a weeknight!

 

Pre-run snack: A PB&J Oatmeal Cake and an iced coffee. I got up early and let this bake while I started to get my bar review materials organized (oh joy, oh bliss!) I didn’t end up going for a run yesterday until a little later in the morning than usual, around 10am, so I had the time to eat and digest. I was glad I had a fairly substantial snack, because it was so beautiful outside I ended up turning my planned 5-miler into a gorgeous, easy-paced 8 miles!

 

PB&J Oatmeal Cake

 

 

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Liebster Award Q&A

Liebster Award Badge

 

One of the great things about the blogging community is the way in which it really is a community. When I started blogging in December, I was looking for a way to share my thoughts on running, recipes, and life in general with the world. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I also missed writing for fun about subjects I enjoy, and I realize now that’s a part of me I never want to give up again! On a related note, this past Saturday was my 20th day straight of blogging, unplanned by me but the creative juices had been flowing for the past few weeks. That probably won’t happen again, I’ll keep it to 4-5/week at the sweet spot for me. But part of the reason I kept writing was because people kept reading! Another thing I didn’t know was how all the bloggers out there (and there are many, many more than I ever imagined) who found their way to my little corner of the web would be so supportive of my blog, and would themselves have such creative content that I’d become a daily reader of theirs. There was so much to learn over the past few months, and every day is another surprise. Like last Friday, when I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Peppermint Girl. I’d never heard of it, but I think it’s a great way to encourage connections between bloggers. So, without further ado, on to her questions for me…

 

What inspires you the most in life?

My biggest inspiration in life is seeing other people doing what makes them happy. For a long time, I thought I had to be the best at one thing or another, whether it was what I really wanted or not. I struggled to pick one thing and define myself solely by it. Now I understand that I’m much happier and on my way to living a full life by doing lots of things that I enjoy, whether I’m awesome at them or just average. In fact, that’s how I came up with my blog title. A Renaissance Runner Girl likes to run – and cook gluten-free treats, and look at art, and hang out with friends and family, and ski in winter and swim in summer!

What time of day do you write the best content for your blog?

I write the best content either early in the morning, before I go out for a run, or mid-afternoon, when I’m done with schoolwork or my internship and ready for a change of pace. 

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A Breakfast Is Born

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First things first – my initial thought I wanted to share with all of you this Thursday was one of thrills and thanks! (Yes, I like alliteration.) Yesterday’s WIAW post meant the first day of the month was also the first day my blog received over 500 reads. It’s not why I blog, but I’m so happy that people are interested in what I have to say, and I welcome any input on what you might like to read in future. More recipes, or ramblings on life, just post in the comments below!

Now, here’s what I was thinking about yesterday when I drafted this, when a friend of mine joked that I ate more oats than anyone she knew and I should have gone to her alma mater because then I would have been a Quaker. Now, I’ve shared a lot of oat-based recipes with you, but I’m going to let everyone in on a little secret – for the first 18 years of my life, I had a major aversion to oatmeal. Crazy, right? I just had this thing about any “lumpy” foods (I loved mashed potatoes, but refused to eat them if I found even a single lump, when the fork was put down for good). Neither the color nor texture of oatmeal was visually appealing. The first time I tasted it, I was five years old and had a bowl foisted upon me by my well-meaning grandmother, who is not known for her cooking. It was lukewarm and grayish and pretty much the opposite of appetizing, and that was it. I ate oatmeal cookies, especially because even before my wheat allergy was diagnosed I had bad reactions to a lot of other baked goods, but no oatmeal.

 

A bowl of oats

A bowl of oats

 

And then I arrived in Oxford for my first year at university. The food served up in my college dining hall was mostly unappealing, as it seemed to operate on the principle of maximum calories for minimum cash – good for starving students, but not so good for a student with a sensitive stomach and lots of allergies. To make matters worse, there was a small refrigerator in the hall of my dorm, but no kitchen, and we weren’t allowed to have cooking appliances in our rooms (because of the risk of burning down a beautiful 500-year-old building, to be fair!) There was a microwave on the floor above mine but I didn’t discover it until the spring. So for the first two terms, I pretty much subsisted on yogurt, salads, cheese, fruit and veggies, and other food eaten cold, and unfortunately, more junk food (chips and crisps and chocolate) which played a role in distorting my eating habits. The saving grace of this time was my electric tea kettle – the one appliance permitted in every room in Oxford, because it was always time for tea. I could boil water, so I could make anything to which you added hot water, which meant soup, and yes, oatmeal.

 

Matriculation at Oxford with my dear friend Elli

Matriculation at Oxford with my dear friend Elli

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WIAW #4: From PB&J to Gourmet

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Welcome to this week’s What I Ate Wednesday, hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons. This post features Monday’s eats. I think my PB&J cravings and insatiable appetite that day were the result of doing my first long run on Sunday since the NYC Half (I jogged to the start of the 10k, making it 8 miles and change). I’m always extra-hungry for a few days after one of those. In fact, after this morning’s November Project PR Day, I’m not sure my tummy is going to STOP growling! The sunrise was a beautiful way to usher in April…but now I need to make some breakfast to start my monthly eats off right. So without further ado…

Breakfast: I was really craving PB&J Monday morning. Before my run, I had a salted rice cake with a smear of Peanut Butter & Co Smooth Operator and some blueberry jam, topped with fresh blueberries. I did 5 miles in the sunshine in the park, just a nice and easy pace, and felt fabulous. Both my food and fitness for the wee hours seemed to be exactly what I needed. Then, when I got home, I mixed up a PB&J Oatmeal Cake and put it in the oven to bake while I showered and readied myself for the day. My stomach was already rumbling, so I had a peach Greek yogurt to tide me over. The oven timer couldn’t chime a moment too soon! I enjoyed my oatmeal cake with some more fresh blueberries and a crisp Pink Lady apple, and a mug of Green Mountain Wild Blueberry coffee. Scrump-diddly-umptious!

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Lunch: An assortment of snacks to get me through a long afternoon of class and internship. As regular readers know, I tend to eat a lot of little things strung together during the day, bookended by a big breakfast and dinner, because I’m often on the go and dislike feeling weighed down (as I snack, my backpack gets lighter!) OR hungry (because for me, hungry = hangry). This day featured a salad of greens, cabbage, and carrots, with smoked sockeye salmon and feta cheese, topped with Annie’s honey mustard vinaigrette as my ‘lunch’ entree. I ate this with a side of baby carrots around 12:30. I ate the muffin around 2pm before leaving school for Lincoln Center, and had the apple and pretzels around 4pm while at my internship. Then I had a pre-dinner snack when I got home around 6pm and had to wait a bit for dinner as I was going out to eat with a friend. To tide me over for the hour, I had the yogurt – banana cream, with some kettle corn and blueberries crumbled in. 

 

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My pack of snacks for the day

 

 

 

 

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Blueberry Muffin Oatmeal Cake

This rainy start to spring has put a damper on my mood recently (bad pun, no apologies) and I’ve been wishing and hoping that the sun will break through and May flowers will bloom even when it’s supposed to be April showers. After all, March went out like a lion instead of a lamb, the weather should mix it up a little! To get in the spirit of spring, I’ve been making meals with lots of spring fruits and veggies like asparagus, artichokes, baby lettuces and berries. Since I already have classically autumn apple cinnamon and pumpkin spice oatmeal cakes, I came up with a lovely Blueberry Muffin Oatmeal Cake for this season. It’s a little cakier than my other oatmeal cakes, and worthy of the muffin name for that reason. Go ahead, whip one up and take a bite bursting with berries!

 

Ingredients:

Essential ingredients

Essential ingredients

1/2 cup gluten-free quick-cooking oats (using these instead of rolled oats results in more of a muffin-y texture – I went with Chex Gluten Free quick-cooking oats)

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 Tbsp Greek yogurt – plain, vanilla or blueberry

1 egg white (substitute applesauce if desired)

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp brown sugar

Pinch salt

For topping: 2 tsp each of Greek yogurt, cream cheese, and blueberry jam or preserves

For ramekin: 1 tsp butter (can substitute olive oil or cooking spray)

 

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