Monthly Archives: September, 2014

Fall Trends

It’s that time of year again…the time where we obsess over pumpkin everything. The time of year where the leaves change colors and the faint smell of winter is in the air. So get in with the new stylish fall trends!
– Pullovers
– Parka’s
– Boots
– Team Tee’s
– Sweaters
– Smock Dress
– Leather Skirts
– Sneakers
– Trousers
– Basic Black Belt
Fall Colors: Orange, brown, creams, oatmeal, purple, and wine colors!!


October Almost Here-Fall Season Begins!

As October just around the corner, fall season is approaching as well.  Many people begin to feel sad as the summer season is officially over, but many more are ready for sweatpants and sweatshirts.  October is an exciting month with Halloween approaching and the weather officially shifting into cooler days.  As the weather changes there are many things that students can do in order to enjoy Chicago’s bipolar weather changes;

  • Plan a Halloween Party!
  • Eat candy corn
  • Make a pumpkin pie
  • Attend a football game
  • Have a bonfire
  • Attend a concert
  • Paint your nails with fall season colors
  • Carve a Pumpkin
  • Go with friend to a farm
  • Have a fall scavenger hunt with family/friends
  • Clean up the leaves
  • Celebrate Thanksgiving
  • Go Pumpkin picking
  • Go on a hayride
  • Read a mystery book
  • Organize a yard sale
  • Create your Christmas shopping list
  • Drink eggnog
  • Attend a hunted house with friends
  • Have a Fall wedding
  • Take different pictures of the trees with leaves falling
  • Watch a scary movie
  • Go camping

Even though some of us don’t like the cold weather (like me), we still love the changes that happen with time.  Fall is a beautiful season with leaves falling, bonfires made and tons of family time. Let all have an exciting fall season!

Apple Recipes

Have you taken the advice of rachscianna11 yet? Gone apple picking? Yes? Well, here is what you can do with all the left over apples you are going to have!
Apple Muffins



Total Time: 55 min

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 40 min

Yield: 12 servings

Level: Easy

Cooking Spray

1/4 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1/4 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1 cup natural applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup low fat buttermilk

1 Golden delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-capacity standard muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together the pecans, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and the cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and the oil until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla.

Whisk in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of one of the muffins comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.


From <>


Apple Yogurt with Apple Compote



Total Time: 50 min

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 30 min

Level: Easy


4 cups whole milk

1/4 cup nonfat dry milk

1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)

1/4 cup plain yogurt with active cultures

For the Apple Compote:

Combine 6 cups diced peeled Granny Smith apples, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup water in a skillet over medium heat. Simmer until soft, stirring, about 30 minutes.


Heat the milk in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until a thermometer registers 185 degrees F. (The milk should be steaming but not boiling.) Turn off the heat and slowly whisk in the dry milk. Whisk in the maple syrup, if using. Let the milk mixture cool to 110 degrees F, 20 to 30 minutes. Whisk in the plain yogurt.

Pour the milk mixture into a large jar or glass bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap vented with a few holes. Set aside in a warm place (90 degrees F to 105 degrees F), such as near a heater or in a cooler with a thermos filled with hot water, 12 to 18 hours. (The longer it sits, the thicker and tangier the yogurt will be.)

Transfer the yogurt to the refrigerator; chill at least 8 hours. Stir before serving.
From <>


Fresh Apple Donuts (Rachscianna11 loves these…she’s kind of obsessed).

(makes 20 to 22 donuts)


4 cups all-purpose flour

4 tsp baking powder

1  1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1  1/2 T ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 cup unsweetened applesauce, from jar

1  1/2 cup fresh apple, peeled and grated

For the Coating:

unsweetened applesauce, from jar

1 cup sugar

1 T ground cinnamon

dash of ground nutmeg

STEP 1 :  Preheat oven to 375.

STEP 2 :  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

STEP 3 :  In another large bowl, stir together melted butter, eggs, sugar, buttermilk and applesauce.  Stir in fresh apple.

STEP 4 :  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture.  Stir with wooden spoon.  Add another 1/3 of flour mixture and stir.  Add remaining flour and stir just until combined.

STEP 5 :  Spoon batter into a large ziplock bag.  Seal and snip the corner off one end.  Squeeze batter into the cavities of a donut pan sprayed with non-stick baking spray. Fill each cavity 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full {to help donuts keep their pretty shape when baking, use a clean finger to gently even out the batter in each cavity and clean off the center knob of the pan}. Bake at 375 for 12 to 14 minutes, until the tops of donuts spring back slightly when touched.  Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

STEP 6 :  For the outside coating, combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.  Brush each donut with a light coating of applesauce.  Then dip into cinnamon sugar and toss to coat.  Let cool completely before eating, if possible.  A second dip into the cinnamon sugar creates an extra crunchy coating.   Best enjoyed the same day!
From <>


Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple, and Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients Original recipe makes 6 servings

1/4 cup butter

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped

1 onion, chopped

1/2 cup red lentils

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

4 cups vegetable broth

plain yogurt

PREP: 20 mins

COOK: 50 mins

READY IN: 1 hr 10 mins


Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot. Stir and cook the apples and vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

Stir the lentils, ginger, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and vegetable broth into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.

Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot.

Return the pureed soup to the cooking pot. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Add water as needed to thin the soup to your preferred consistency. Serve with yogurt for garnish.

This soup is also great served with crumbled feta cheese instead of yogurt as garnish.

From <>


  Do any of these interest you? Try them out and let me know how you liked them! Send pictures! 😀

Blood Run 5K!

Recently I was given the opportunity to become an intern at Will Grundy Medical Clinic. In the clinic I got to meet some great hardworking people, also very kind and caring.  The nurses and the doctors are all great and very knowledgeable. Will Grundy The Will-Grundy Medical Clinic is a not-for-profit organization that provides free medical and dental care to adults who have no health insurance or medical care entitlements and meet prescribed income guidelines. Will-Grundy is one of the two clinics that provides total free-health insurance based on your income or unavailability to health insurance.  They hold a total of four fundraisers, one being a Blood Run 5K!. If you are a runner or a walker, please sign up for this great beneficial event! Will Grundy Medical Clinic is a clinic that truly benefits many people in the Illinois area. They are located in Joliet and the website to register for the event on October 5, or you can also contact the administrator via e-mail Kim Kalafut at Also to register you can call the clinic at (815)-726-3377.

Thank you 🙂

Apple Picking!

Unless you haven’t stepped outside in the last few weeks, you know fall is finally in full swing. I was lucky enough to “tis’ the season” this weekend by taking a trip to the happiest place on earth, the apple orchard. As you can see, your Benedictine Cross-Country team likes getting festive. Even if you don’t like apples or are a grouch who hates having fun, there is always something for you at an apple orchard (by this I mean APPLE DONUTS).

This past Sunday, my team and I decided to take the drive to  Jonamac Apple Orchard in Malta, IL. It’s only about an hour ride from Benedictine’s campus and it’s a pretty simple drive. When you walk in, you can smell the happiness (mostly the APPLE DONUTS). It’s hard to determine where you’re going to start. As far as the actual apple picking, you can by a bag from stands around the orchard. A half peck bag is $13 dollars (5 lbs of apples) and contains more than enough for two people to split the cost. There are aisles and aisles of apples to choose from, but they let you pick from the 3 rows that are the ripest. Eating the apples straight off the tree is probably better than actually bagging the apples. They’re a billion times better than store apples. After your done with picking, you can watch people launch apples at high speeds and hit things at the Apple Launcher. After you’re done with that, you can go to the shop inside the orchard (just follow the scent of the APPLE DONUTS). They have adorable apple-themed goodies you can get if you’re willing to spend the money. I recommend buying at least half a dozen APPLE DONUTS and apple cider or coffee. If you’re blessed with some time, make sure you check out the corn maze. When you’re all finished, make sure you find a sweet looking dad with his kids to take a picture of you and your group :).  It’s going to be difficult, but be careful not to eat all your APPLE DONUTS on the car ride home.

Take advantage of fall while you can! And make sure you check out my fellow student ambassador’s blog, Jasy Jones, on what you can do with all your delicious apples you so diligently picked.

Here is a link to the  Jonamac Apple Orchard website so you can plan your visit:

Happy autumn ya’ll!