Butter, Beef, and Bacon. (Recipe: Gooey Brown Butter Blondies with Pecans)

So, new research suggests that eating butter, beef, and bacon may not be quite as bad for you as we once thought.

One of these studies was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine early last year.  This paper reviewed 76 existing studies and found no association between saturated fat and heart disease.  What?  People have been preaching that for decades!

Another study review published in 2010 came to a similar conclusion.

However, just because these reviews found no association does not mean there isn’t one. Most of the studies reviewed were observational studies which means they were not designed to find direct cause and effect.  Also, most rely on self-report of participants. It does mean, though, that we should not restrict these foods simply because they have a high saturated fat content.

From randomized, controlled clinical studies (aka the gold standard of research methods), we do know that saturated fat raises LDL levels.  LDLs can contribute to plaque deposits in arteries making it a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.  So, don’t go hog wild on the saturated fats (pun intended!).

Saturated fat actually does have some benefits. For instance, taking out saturated fat lowers the levels of the “good cholesterol” (HDL)–strange, I know.  Also, certain medium-chain saturated fats have the potential to be immediately burned for energy rather than stored (example:  saturated fat in coconut oil).  Grass-fed beef and dairy also provide conjugated linoleic acids which have been linked to weight loss.

So, basically it all comes back to having a balanced diet. It always comes back to that, doesn’t it?

Food for Thought:  Eggs.  They are rich in choline, a nutrient that plays a key role in memory.

So, I think I was trying to kill my legs this week. I ran 10 miles Saturday and 4 miles of intervals on Sunday. Monday I weight-lifted with a focus on legs. I ran Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday totaling 15 miles. And tonight I went to an RPM class at the RTP location of my gym which was a first! I love RPM classes.  And I had a mini-revelation.  I realized that the one marathon at which I qualified for Boston, I had been taking indoor cycle classes 2-3 times a week making my legs that much stronger.  Hmm…something to keep in mind for the future.

So, last week was an adventure in terms of weather.  I did not make it into the office once last week!  Monday I had food poisoning.  Tuesday I was in DC. Wednesday we had a delayed start and they were predicting more snow in the evening, so I worked from home. Thursday I had no power. And Friday was a delayed start and I was leaving early for the airport so I worked from home.  But let me repeat: no power ALL DAY Thursday which meant my house got frigid and I had to trash everything in my fridge. K&T didn’t have power either, but they had an awesome fire going, so they let the girls and me crash at their place!  Thank goodness!  I’m so glad all the pups get along! There were over 200,000 without power in the area!  And there is literally nothing to do when you don’t have power. Snow days are no longer fun. So, we basically had THE. LAZIEST. DAY. EVER. Here are the *last* of my snow pictures because it is going to get warm soon!!  I’ll take more days like Wednesday when it was 73* outside!!

DSC_9719 DSC_9772 DSC_9710 IMG_0156                                          DSC_9757 DSC_9722 DSC_9750 DSC_9766IMG_0074 IMG_0161

I’m soooo ready for spring!

In other news, Envy got her OFA results back on her hips: she has “excellent hip joint conformation”! Woohoo! I love my merlie girlie!!

1 year ago: Internal Dialogue of a First-Time Marathoner (Recipe: Light and Soft Dinner Rolls)

Quote of the Day:

“We’re not trying to run fast workouts. We’re trying to run smart workouts that lead to fast races.” -Jack Daniels

OMG. So I made these Gooey Brown Butter Blondies with Pecans on a whim for the Super Bowl (yes, I realize that was a month ago).  And they are DELICIOUS. I’m not kidding. Sooooo good.  Ugh I’m craving one right now.  I have had one slip-up so far with my No Sweets Challenge.  White chocolate chips.  They were in my fridge for baking, and I just happened to see them sitting there the other night.  And now there is no longer any white chocolate chips in my fridge. (The bag was not full, BTW.  So, I didn’t eat the whole bag…maybe just 1/5 of a bag…) But you should definitely make these blondies!

Gooey Brown Butter Blondies with Pecans

Gooey Brown Butter Blondies with Pecans

Ingredients

Brown Butter Mixture:

– 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

– 1 large egg

– 3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

– 1/3 cup AP flour

Blondie:

– 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more

– 2 1/4 cups AP flour, plus more

– 1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

– 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

– 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

– 1 3/4 cups (packed) light brown sugar

– 2 large eggs

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Brown Butter Mixture:

– Cook butter in a medium saucepan over medium  heat, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns, 5-8 minutes.

– Transfer brown butter to a medium bowl; let cool slightly.

– Add egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until mixture is light and falls back onto itself in a slowly dissolving ribbon, about 3 minutes. Fold in flour.

Blondie:

– Preheat oven to 350*. Butter a 13×9-inch baking dish and dust with flour.

– Toast pecans on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until slightly darkened and fragrant, 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

– Whisk baking powder, salt, ans 2 1/4 cups flour in a medium bowl.

– Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar and 1 cup butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating between additions; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in vanilla.

– Reduce speed to low and mix in dry ingredients. Fold in half of the pecans. Scrape two-thirds of the batter into the prepared baking dish; smooth the top, pushing batter to the edges.

– Alternating, dollop brown butter mixture and remaining batter on top. Smooth and sprinkle remaining pecans over.

– Bake until blondie is golden and firm (a tester will not come out clean), 30-25 minutes. Let cool before slicing. Serve with ice-cream.

Courtesy of Bon Appetit

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This entry was posted in Callie!, Cycling, Envy, Individual Workouts, Nutrition, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

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