Busy lives and hectic work schedules can take their toll on both the mind and the body, which is why it’s essential you try to take a break to recharge your batteries as you welcome the New Year. One way of energizing your body and calming your mind is to take a trip focused on self-care and general wellness.
With lower-than-average health care costs, an incredible park system, good infrastructure, and a seemingly endless stream of things to do, Minneapolis is a great place to live as well as visit.
Being exposed to high levels of traffic daily can lead to chronic stress. However, this isn’t something you’ll experience in Knoxville, Tennessee, one of the world’s least congested cities. Far less traffic ensures a quicker journey to the country’s most visited national park, just 34 miles away.
The Smoky Mountains spans over 500,000 acres and has 850 miles of trails, including the world-renowned Appalachian Trail.
Besides less congestion, other benefits of moving to Knoxville include lower housing costs. Searching for rental apartments in Knoxville is made easier by visiting sites like Apartment Guide. You can set your price range and other parameters to ensure you only search for properties within your budget and meet other requirements such as a number of bedrooms, pet friendliness, and other amenities.
San Marcos in San Diego, California, is a fantastic place to recharge and rejuvenate with its tranquil streets, peace, quiet, proximity to the breach, open spaces, and nature. It’s also home to one of the best spas in the world.
The Golden Door features multiple facilities including, a 2,000-square-foot equipment gym, two swimming pools, and a water therapy pool for guests to work out or relax. Discovery Lake, another place of interest, allows visitors to immerse themselves in large tracts of wilderness and connect with nature. Anyone deciding to relocate to the city can enjoy a lower cost of living and a lower crime rate than average.
West of Los Angeles, California, and known for its celebrity homes and beaches, Malibu also boasts an exclusive and sought-after seven-day wellness retreat, The Ranch.
Limited to just 19 guests, visitors immerse themselves in a self-care experience that includes weight loss, fitness programs while also enjoying local plant-based meals.
Eight hours of daily activity include afternoon naps, massages, and an organic vegan diet. Living in a sparsely populated city has many benefits, such as incredible landscapes, top attractions, and a low crime rate. As expected, living costs in the city are considerably higher than the average.
A Necessary Reset
Whether it’s a relaxing massage, a 45-minute workout, or an awe-inspiring visit to a national park or an organic vegan diet, sometimes a change and a reset are not only needed; they’re often necessary.
After more than a decade of living in California, Shauna Sever resettled with her family in her home state of Illinois and rediscovered the storied, simple pleasures of home baking in her Midwestern kitchen, developing what she calls the 5 tenets of Midwest baking: Bake Big, Bake Easy, Bake with Purpose, Bake from the Past, and Bake in the Present. You may have seen Shauna discussing these tenets and sharing some of her favorite Midwest foods recently on CBS This Morning: Saturday.
As she’ll tell you: “From the Dakotas to Ohio, from Minnesota to Missouri, the Midwest is a veritable quilt of twelve states full of history, values, recipes, people, and places that make up the baking culture of the Heartland.” And with MIDWEST MADE, Sever offers bold recipes for treats we’ve come to know as all-American—from Bundt cakes to brownies—most traced to German, Scandinavian, Irish, Polish, French, Arab, and Italian immigrant families that came to call the American Midwest their home. Recipes include Swedish Flop, Polish Paczki, Danish Kringle, German Lebkuchen, Candy Bar Baklava, Ozark Skillet Cake, Cleveland-Style Cassata Cake, Nebraskan Runzas, Apricot and Orange Blossom Kolacky, Dark-Chocolate Pecan Mandelbrot, Marshmallow Haystacks and so much more…
Here’s one that you’ll be sure to love.
Honeyed Raspberry and White Chocolate Cream Pie Serves 8 to 10 From the outset, this pie appears to be one of those floaty, feminine food things, because it’s just so dang pretty. However! The fluff factor here—a cloud of white chocolate cream, bolstered by cream cheese—is quickly tempered by the thick raspberry layer beneath it, sharp and nubbly with all those nutty little berry seeds, which I happen to love. The mix of cooked and raw berries help to intensify the raspberry flavor, making you wonder: why there aren’t more raspberry pies out there, anyway?
CRUST: 2 ounces/57 g high-quality white chocolate, chopped 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream 1 single batch My Favorite Pie Crust (see recipe at bottom), blind baked and cooled FILLING: 2/3 cup/132 g granulated sugar 1/4 cup/32 g cornstarch 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 cup/225 g lukewarm water 3 tablespoons/63 g honey 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 cups/500 g fresh raspberries, divided 1 tablespoon unsalted butter TOPPING: 1 cup/240 g heavy whipping cream, very cold 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract 4 ounces/113 g full-fat cream cheese 4 ounces/113 g high-quality white chocolate, melted and cooled
Prepare the crust: Combine the white chocolate and cream in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave with 20-second bursts on medium, stirring until smooth. Spread evenly over the bottom of the cooled crust. Allow to set at room temperature.
In a 3- to 4-quart/2.8 to 3.75 L saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt until lumpfree. Whisk in the lukewarm water, honey, and lemon juice. Add 2 cups/250 g of the raspberries. Cover and set the pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the berries begin to break down and the mixture is slowly bubbling all over the surface like lava, cook for 2 timed minutes, stirring often. Stir in the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
Prepare the topping: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream with the vanilla and almond extract until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a clean bowl. Swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle. Add the cream cheese and melted white chocolate to the mixer bowl (no need to clean it). Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gently stir about a third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten it, then carefully fold in the remaining whipped cream.
Assemble the pie: Scatter 1 cup of the remaining berries over the bottom of the crust. Spoon the raspberry filling over them, then add the remaining berries on top. Pipe or dollop the white chocolate cream topping over the pie, leaving a 1-inch/2.5 cm border of the ruby red filling all around the edges. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to set. Let soften at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.
My Favorite Pie Crust Pie crust purists will likely object, but I’m a big believer in using a food processor for pie crust making. If you don’t overdo it, it just doesn’t get any easier or faster.
We’ve all heard a thousand times that keeping the fat as cold as possible is the key to great pie crusts, and that’s certainly a great tip. But I add a few pinches and splashes that I consider insurance, for when the kitchen is hot or I’m distracted by any number of children or things. Vinegar is great for tenderness: I like red wine vinegar, but cider vinegar is good, too. A little pinch of baking powder makes a flakier crust a little more foolproof in case you happen to overwork the dough (happens to the best of us). For a crust with a savory filling, I include the smaller amounts of sugar as listed here for flavor and browning. For sweet pies, use 1 or 2 tablespoons, as you like.
SINGLE MAKES: 1 (9- or 10-inch/23 or 25 cm) round bottom pie or tart crust 11/3 cups/170 g unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (see headnote) 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/8 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup/113 g very cold unsalted butter, cubed 1/4 cup/57 g ice water 11/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar SPECIAL NOTES > Pat the finished dough into a round disk before wrapping and chilling to make rolling it into a circle later much easier.
MAKES: 1 (9- or 10-inch/23 or 25 cm) round double-crusted or lattice-topped pie 22/3 cups/340 g unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (see headnote) 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup/225 g very cold unsalted butter, cubed 1/2 cup/113 g ice water 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar SPECIAL NOTES > Divide the dough in half before shaping and wrapping. For a lattice top, make one disk slightly larger for the bottom crust.
SLAB MAKES: 1 (10 x 15-inch/30 x 43 cm) slab pie 51/3 cups/680 g unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled 4 teaspoons to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar (see headnote) 2 teaspoons fine sea salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 cups/453 g very cold unsalted butter, cubed 1 cup/225 g ice water 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
SPECIAL NOTES: Make the dough in 2 batches (2 recipes of the doubled recipe, left), for the top and bottom crusts. Shape and wrap each batch separately.
METHOD: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Pulse a few times to blend. Sprinkle half of the butter pieces over the dry ingredients. Process until the mixture resembles cornmeal, about 15 seconds. Add the remaining cold butter and pulse about 10 times, until this batch of butter cubes is broken down by about half.
In a measuring cup, combine the water and vinegar. Add about three quarters of the liquid to the bowl. Pulse about 10 times, or until the dough begins to form a few small clumps. Test the dough by squeezing a small amount in the palm of your hand. If it easily holds together and your palm isn’t dusty with floury bits, it’s done. If not, add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of vinegared water and pulse 2 or 3 more times. Repeat this process as needed just until the dough holds together. Turn out the mixture onto a work surface. With a few quick kneads, gather the dough into a mass.
For a single crust, pat the dough into a disk, wrapping tightly in plastic wrap. For double crust, divide the dough in half and shape into disks. For 2 slab crusts, shape each half of the dough into a 5 x 8-inch/12.5 x 20 cm rectangle. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling. TIP > The dough will keep tightly wrapped in the fridge for up to a week, and in the freezer for up to 6 months.