An Apple A Day
I firmly believe that eating right, getting lots of exercise and getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night is the veritable fountain of youth. As some of you may know I used to be fat. I'm not going to pussyfoot around the subject, I was fat. I was extremely unhappy and most of the unhappiness in my life stemmed from the fact that I was not okay with who I was; with the body that I was carrying myself around in. This unhappiness led to bad, horrible relationships; relationships where because I hated myself, I thought it was perfectly acceptable for people to treat me like shit, to take advantage of me, to abuse me, to make me feel as bad about the me on the inside as I felt about the me on the outside.
I guess you could say one day I just woke up. It's as simple as that. One day I just had had enough, I realized that happiness doesn't come from the acceptance or judgment of others. It comes from being the best person you can be; from respecting yourself and the body that God gave you, with all of it's amazing possibilities. This is when I decided to push my body, to see what was lying dormant within me. This is pretty much when I decided to become a healthy person, a marathon runner, an advocate for treating your body like a machine that needs to be fueled, not like an animal that needs to be fed.
Just last week I got the news that the doctor found two lumps in my Nana's breast. My Nana is 82. We will help her go through the process of needle biopsies, lumpectomies and if need be chemotherapy and radiation. Since I decided to change my life, and respect my body I have thanked God for legs that run, lungs that breathe and muscles that recover by running and biking for certain causes. My first two marathons I raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society honoring my friend's mother who had been diagnosed a few years earlier. Two years ago as my friend battled brain cancer I biked in his honor to help raise money for the Brain Tumor Society. This year it seems as if my body will most likely walk; it will most likely walk for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Society. I say; if you are blessed with good health, do something good with it.
This may not seem like the kind of recipe someone who complains about once being fat should be making, but an apple a day does keep the doctor away and this is a pretty fun way to eat that apple.
This is one of Giada's recipes, like I said; the bitch can cook, or better yet, bake.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt1
- 0 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- 2 small Golden Delicious apples, peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
- 1 Pippin apple, peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 large egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon of water (for egg wash)
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
To make the crust: Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a processor. Add the butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the ice water and pulse until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. (If the dough still crumbles and does not form into a ball, add another tablespoon of ice water.) Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
For the filling: Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the apples, 1/4 cup of sugar, and lemon juice in large bowl; toss gently to blend. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, dust a large sheet of parchment paper with flour and roll out the dough on the paper to an 11-inch round. Transfer the dough on the parchment paper to a heavy large baking sheet. Spoon the apple mixture over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the dough border over the filling to form an 8-inch round, leaving the apples exposed in the center. Pleat loosely and pinch the dough to seal any cracks. Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Bake the crostata until the crust is golden and the apples are tender, about 40 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack; cool for 10 minutes. Slide a metal spatula under the crust to free the crostata from the baking sheet. Cool the crostata to lukewarm. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve.