My morning workout has become as routine as brushing my teeth in the morning. I guess after so many years, it's become a habit for me to wake up, eat breakfast, send everyone off to school and work and then head to the basement and pop in a workout video.
I spend a lot of time working out in my basement but when the weather starts to turn cooler, I would much prefer to get my exercise outside. Every Fall I get the bug to start running again. I used to love running on a cool, crisp Fall morning. The beautiful leaves proved to be a great distraction from weary muscles on a long run. I loved listening to the birds singing to me as I passed under their perch in a majestic tree. Those are sensory experiences that I just can't duplicate in my basement workout room.
Even though I can't run, I still get out and enjoy the Fall weather. I've been taking Mia on long walks at the park and one advantage to NOT running is that I can carry my camera. I snapped a few pictures of yesterday's trip to the park.
Want to know the best part about taking the dog for a walk through the leaves? Coming home to a cup of tea and a crispy pumpkin biscotti.
Pumpkin Cranberry Biscotti Recipe
Once Upon a Tart
4 1/2 cups flour (495g)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (120g)
3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar (230g)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree, packed tightly (183g)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped (150g)
4 tbsp of turbinado sugar
Position one of your oven racks in the center. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with baking mats or parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until they form stiff peaks. With the mixer still on high, beat in about half the sugar until the egg whites are glossy. Transfer them to another bowl.
In the same bowl of the stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and the remaining half of the sugar on high speed until the eggs are pale and frothy and the sugar dissolves.
Stir in pumpkin puree and vanilla to blend.
Gently fold in the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
Gently, stir in the melted (and cooled) butter and nuts.
Gradually stir in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the dough comes together into a sticky ball.
Form into two logs (flour your hands because the dough will be sticky) about 3" x 10". Sprinkle each log with about two tablespoons of turbinado sugar.
Bake for about 50 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and feel firm to the touch. Cool on wire racks for at least 10 minutes.
Place the logs on a cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch slices with a long and sharp serrated knife. Do not use a sawing motion, but make decisive downward strokes. Line the slices on the baking sheet.
Bake for another 25-30 minutes, until they are crisp and golden brown throughout.
Mom and dad - I'm doing my best to not eat the entire batch before your visit but you better hurry.