Monday, December 6, 2010

"Pilates for Winter Sports" from STOTT PILATES® 2010 DEC Newsletter

“The attention to the core,
proper alignment, and good
posture that Pilates offers
through its numerous variations
of movement, with or
without specialized equipment,
is a natural carryover for the
athlete into regular living.”

*Pictured above on the Pilates Stability Chair is John Garey whom i have had the true fortune of training with at The Sweatshop in St. Paul!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

SOMN Polar Bear Plunge

Polar Bear Plunge for the Special Olympics of MN

click photo to pledge Susie directly!
Six years ago on a bathroom stall door i saw a flier from the Special Olympics of MN  presenting an interesting way to raise money and awareness for their cause.  So along side two friends and many other crazy strangers i plunged into White Bear Lake in the middle of January on a very cold day. I decided that day to plunge for the SOMN every year for as long as i was physically able.  So brought the second year, myself and five friends plunged marking our first year as an organized team. The third year we came up with a name, "Susie Q and Her Crazy Crew", tee-shirts and a photo crew with a crew of eight plungers. Last year, January 2010, we had a total of thirteen plungers and raised over $6000! And I will now be holding up my deal for the six consecutive year plunging on January 29th 2011 at White Bear Lake, with SIXTEEN friends already agreeing to plunge as part of the crew and we are still expecting a few more to make the commitment. 
Every year the plunge season gets bigger and more exciting for the crew, we even have a Facebook "Like"  and Twitter page this year!! 

This year i set my pledge goal at $1000 but expect to go above and beyond having raised $1599 for the 2010 plunge!  Any pledge amount is amazing and used to support this wonderful organization The Special Olympics of MN. "Special Olympics Minnesota is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can —  with proper instruction and encouragement — learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports, adapted as necessary to meet the needs of those with intellectual and physical disabilities" -


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Better for YOU & your guests Miniature Pecan Pies.

 I have for a long time had a strong belief in two statements; first, everything in moderation, easy enough to follow. Second, our bodies were simply not made to process foods that have been processed and or chemically changed. This is simple to understand as well; when we eat foods that have been changed by chemicals, additives and preservatives, not only are we eating foods that have been nearly stripped of all nutritional value but also trying to make our bodies use foods that our bodies do want want to nor know how to use. Simply said, when our bodies do not know what to do with a sugar or a fat that has been chemically changed, processed or preserved it will either dispel it or more likely store it away in a likely undesirable location on our body, the "problem areas".  

 So what am i getting at?! What was that about Pecan Pie? Well in honor of the holiday season and the season of gluttony, where moderation is furthest from our minds i purpose an idea.  What if we took some of the high sugar over processed foods we gorge ourselves with this time of year and replace them with wholesome natural ingredients while making portions smaller and then allowing us to enjoy something even better tasting then our plastic wrapped or boxed treats.

 I am going to share with you one of my very favorite recipes!

 All of the following ingredients should be easy to find in any of local natural food Co-op and some of the ingredients can be found in the "natural"section of most Rainbow Foods, Cub Foods or your local grocery.  A few local to the Twin Cities Co-ops are The Seward Co-op in the Seward neighborhood, Eastside Co-op in the North-East Neighborhood, The Wedge Co-op in the Lowry Hill East neighborhood, Valley Natural Foods in the South Metro area  or Whole Foods Market located in Mpls & St. Paul.

This is my Better for You Miniature Pecan Pies recipe!

To Start we need some Pie Crust!
I make a 10-Inch Two-Crust yield.

1 teaspoon Sea Salt  
1 cup Coconut Oil in the solid form *see below for tips on handling coconut oil 
8 tablespoons filtered water.
Measure flour and salt into bowl. Cut in solid Coconut Oil. Sprinkle in water 1 tablespoon at a time, 1 to 2 teaspoons water can be added if needed, mixing until flour is moistened and dough almost cleans the sides of the bowl. 
Gather dough into ball; shape into two flattened rounds on slightly flour covered table. With a flour covered rolling pin roll both rounds into two separate 12-14 inch rounds. you will be making cut-outs so the rounds do not need to be perfect. 

With a 1 cup measuring cup make round cut outs.  Make as many as you are able with each round. You should be able to make 24 cut-outs with the two rounds by repeating steps with left-over dough.  Set aside 24 rounds where they can remain room temperature.

Next we need some Pie Filing!
This is also the correct recipe for one regular 9 inch pie, you have made enough pie dough for two pies.

2 Free ranged preferred Eggs (local is a plus), slightly beaten.
1/2 cup Honey
2/3 cup Maple Syrup. 
**Buying in bulk as pictured not only will save you money and waste but the product will also mos likely be coming from a local farm such as Anderson's Maple Syrup or Ames Farm Honey.  **
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 vanilla bean, scrapped 
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 Cups Broken Pecan pieces. 

Preheat Oven to 375°
Oil with Coconut oil two sets of miniature cupcake tins. (24)

Add honey, maple syrup, flour and salt into bowl with slightly beaten eggs and mix well with whisk. Scrape vanilla bean and add into mixture mixing well, leave bean shell in mixture for added flavor.
Lay out pie Crust rounds and add broken pecan to the center of each round.  Then pinch sides of individual rounds to make small bowls holding the pecan bits.
The next step is very Important! You MUST stuff each little pie into a coconut oiled miniature cupcake tin, this holds the pie together as it bakes!

With table spoon, spoon in filing mixture over pecan bits evenly into each individual pie leaving a small amount of space at the top of each one.
this pic also shows mini apple and mini blueberry pies.

Beat One Free ranged preferred Egg in small bowl. Brush exposed sides and tops of each individual pie crust.

Bake at 375° for 15-20 Min (ovens vary). Pies are done when crust is golden brown and pie mixture is bubbling. 

Let fully cool before attempting to remove from cupcake tins. You may put the trays into a cool window or refrigerator to speed cooling.

And that's it! Not only are the portions smaller but they are easy to serve and best of all easy to take with you so guests are  always happy to bring some home!

*Working with Coconut Oil is easier than it looks.  There are two easy ways to work with it in it's solid for. At room temp and below coconut oil is in a solid form. Once you start working with it it tends to start to melt since your body temp is warmer than room temp. To get around that, put large metal spoon and measuring cup into freezer and let them get very cold. Then when measuring oil do not touch the oil with hands, use cold spoon to scoop oil into frozen measuring cup, until cutting it into dough. OR setting jar of oil onto warm stove let oil melt into liquid, once melted pour oil into open bowl and put into refrigerator (freezer if you are in a hurry) once oil returns to solid state it is easy to portion inside of bowl to measure and cut into dough.