*AMBER512   207,013
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More Brownie Pictures : Because you need them ;)

Monday, June 06, 2011

So it has been exactly one month since I have posted anything. I have thought about it, but just havenít felt up to it. My body has decided to continue to rebel against me in any way that it can. I have seen my doctor and specialists so much the past couple of weeks and I still have two more appointments this week.

Itís frustrating when you know something is wrong with your body, but you just canít figure out what the stinking problem is! So I havenít been really experimenting with food. Last week I spent the majority of the time attempting to fight sleep. Iíd sleep all night and then practically sleep all day. One of the medications I was on had a side effect of insomnia, but apparently it hit my system in the complete opposite way! Because I could barely keep my eyes open for a week.

I didnít want to post just to complain though. Iím hopefully getting closer to some sort of answer. I wanted to post about these brownies I tried a long time ago. In fact, I think I made them before I made the raw brownie bites in my last post.

These frosty goodies were quite tasty, but I would probably consider them closer to fudge than brownies.

Now this is bad, because it was so long ago I donít even remember the exact amounts I used! But from this picture I gather that I used a banana, ľ cup walnuts, Ĺ cup dates, and Iím guessing a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a Ĺ teaspoon of vanilla. Those measurements are ones I use a lot, so weíll go with that. Obviously you can play around with the recipe to your liking!

Then again, looking at this picture it looks like more than a tablespoon of cocoaÖ maybe two? Oh geez, now the recipe police are going to get me.

After blending everything together in the food processor I doled out four servings.

These could be eaten right away with a spoon, which of course I did because I had to make sure it tasted good!

Or you can stick them in the freezer if you want them to be more solid. Although, I tried eating one like that and itís quite messy as it melts. So you might want a spoon anyway!

Either way, they were really good.

Itís been forever, how have you all been? Iím starting to feel a bit better now that Iím not on anything that makes me fall asleep at a momentís notice and Iíd love to get back in the kitchen. Please share any awesome new recipes youíve tried!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUBREYINGMAN 6/9/2011 2:37AM

    I am sorry that the doctors are taking so long to sort everything out. These brownies were really tasty. We need some more!

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YOGINIMAMA108 6/7/2011 7:47AM

    Yum! Yum! Hang in the there lady, you will find out soon what is going on. Stay positive!

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NPA4LOSS 6/6/2011 8:59PM

    Stay strong. I went through this a couple of years ago. I hope that they are able to give you some answers soon. emoticon

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*AMBER512 6/6/2011 2:16PM

    Yeah, I have other problems too. Cutting out gluten definitely helped, but didn't solve everything.

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    Sorry that you aren't feeling well!

Those brownie/fudge bites look delicious!

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AMBER32585 6/6/2011 1:46PM

    poor thing! hope they figure it out soon! so it is more then gluten issues??

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Little Poo Ball Pictures : Brownies Anyone?

Friday, May 06, 2011

I was thinking the other day ďI wonder what people will eat.Ē Seriously, there are so many shows that depict people eating some pretty gross-looking stuff. And yet they will say itís not bad or even delicious.

Well the recipe I have to share with you today is amazing. In fact, thinking about it makes my mouth water because it was so good. However, youíll also notice that the recipe doesnít have the best look.

HmmÖyeah that doesnít make a pretty picture, huh? But stick around, I promise itís delicious.

Before I get to dessert though, letís start with lunch. I made a big bowl the other day with beans and veggies and I wanted to try out a new dressing. So I took Greek yogurt and mixed in lemon juice, cumin, parsley, and pepper.

I diced the broccoli stem and carrots and dumped pinto beans on top.

Then I added my dressing and ate the bowl with cucumber slices and Food Should Taste Good chips. Delicious!

Not that filling though, so I decided to try out a raw brownie-bite recipe for dessert. Itís not only vegan but gluten-free for me!

First off, I blended up 60 grams of walnuts (about Ĺ cup?) and 130 grams of dates (maybe a cup? Sorry, I didnít measure) together in my food processor.

Then I added Ĺ tsp vanilla and 7 grams of cocoa powder (about a tablespoon plus a teaspoon). After it was blended I pulled the dough out and placed it on the wax paper.

Yup, my giant ball ofÖanyway. I got nine brownie bites out of this, plus maybe a few stolen bites of the dough. ShhhÖ

I then tried to take pictures in various angles to see if I could make them look like anything besides little poo balls.

I was unsuccessful. But let me just tell you, that these really are good! Very chocolatey. sweet from the dates, and you get the cocoa antioxidants with healthy fat from the nuts.

So, Iím curious. Does the look of a food determine whether or not you will try it?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOGINIMAMA108 5/8/2011 8:07PM

    I used to be much more likely to try a food (or not) based on looks. But at the first of May I decided to go more raw, and much like your poo balls I am finding that some of the raw recipes are not much to see, but yummy indeed!

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DJ4HEALTH 5/8/2011 12:40PM

    Well now it will look the same way it comes out so have fun eating them, may try them when I get back home

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MDTWEETY 5/7/2011 5:48AM

    LOL! Glad they were delicious. Well, what brownie DOESN'T look like that, if you think about it? :)

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BLACKRAINBOW28 5/6/2011 4:43PM

    I make a similar recipe at Christmas time. My husband calls them Reindeer Droppings!!

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TARANIE 5/6/2011 4:22PM

    Too funny! Little Poo Balls! Yummy :)

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JENNSWIMS 5/6/2011 3:40PM

    Funny stuff!

The appearance totally influences whether or not I will eat something. Since I've been eating pretty much clean, things that look greasy are a real turn off.

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Banana Cake: Celebrating Gluten-Free, Recipe and Pictures

Friday, April 29, 2011

Itís almost May, my absolute favorite month. It starts to get warmer, the farmerís market near me finally opens, oh and itís my birthday month! May 12th, mark your calendars. emoticon

I love my birthday, I always have. I donít always love what happens on my birthday though, as I have an annoying habit of getting my hopes up. I get super pumped and for some reason I always think whatever Iím doing is going to be 100 times more fun than it actually turns out to be.

But this time, Iím celebrating gluten-free. Usually I eat out on my birthday, but my favorite restaurant (Sweet Tomatoes!) will be a definite no-go. I donít trust buffets anymore, and a lot of my favorite things there arenít gluten-free.

Also, cake. I say every birthday deserves cake. I was thinking about going to a gluten-free bakery near me and getting cake, but Iím pretty sure that they use xanthan gum in their gluten-free baked goods, as most people do. However, after I discovered that I am also intolerant of xanthan gum, THAT is a no-go.

So where does that leave me? Not quite sure yet! I might go try another raw restaurant (much easier to find vegetarian gluten-free things there!) And I might just make myself my own birthday cake. Ok, what am I saying, Iím definitely making my own cake! And Iím thinking banana cake.

If there is ever a celebration that deserves really great tasting cake, itís a birthday. You canít stop them from coming, so you might as well live them up!

The inspiration for this cake comes from Averie at www.loveveggiesandyoga.com You can find her version here www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2009/10/v

I halved the recipe because while I like cake, thereís just the husband and I. We donít need that much cake! First up was turning my gluten-free oats and almonds into flour using my food processor. One day Iíll own a Vita-MixÖ.one day!

This was somewhat blended, but more would definitely turn it into a finer powder. Then I added the banana, peeled and cored apple, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, baking soda, and blackstrap molasses.

Last up was the almond butter (I was all out of peanut butter, boo!) This was also before I discovered that I canít tolerate almonds either. Iíll have to be sure I have peanut butter next time and maybe peanuts for the flour instead of almonds.

After everything was blended I poured the mixture into a 9x9 pan and threw on some banana slices for decoration.

Baking it at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes turns it into deliciousness.

I decided I needed two pieces. Who cares that itís not my birthday yet? I had to be sure I really liked it, right? Because I certainly wasnít going to wait until my birthday to find out!

Now I know someone is going to freak out that this must be high in calories because of the almond flour, almond butter, and sugars. Yeah, it is. Itís birthday cake. What did you expect? You can certainly make changes. If gluten doesnít attack your insides you can always swap out the almond flour for whole-wheat flour. You can sub in rice flour, sorghum flour, I donít know, play around with it your liking! Itís definitely sweet, so cut down on the sugars if you like.

Personally, I think you have to enjoy life sometimes. Eat a giant salad before your birthday cake if thatís your style. Whatever you like!

How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEVERGIVEUP68 8/7/2011 8:39AM

    Amber, I make this cake last night oh boyi love it. Actually my daughter is very good of baking things i told her to make if for me since my birthday is coming up end of this month. I just want to make sure that this cake turn out good so that my daughter can make it for my birthday. My duaghter is such a sweet girl she try to help me found some good recpies for me online and send me links. But this cake to die for i love it some much. I eat only one small pcs. last night and small pcs. this morning. I do not want to eat more. emoticon emoticon

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DNJEN471 5/3/2011 1:28PM

    We just celebrated Xavier's 2nd birthday and made vegan cup cones instead of cake. We used Cherry Brook brand cake mix, which is Vegan along with Cherry Brook brand frosting mix, which is Vegan and got organic cones, also Vegan all from our local Whole Foods. It was a easy remedy apposed to finding a local Vegan bakery.

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MDTWEETY 4/30/2011 8:13PM

    So glad you'll be able to have a cake you enjoy on your birthday! Everyone should have cake on their day! :) Hope you are having a nice weekend.

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DJ4HEALTH 4/30/2011 10:31AM

    Looks good and enjoy your cake!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Great cake! Happy early birthday!

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RORYLYONS 4/29/2011 2:24PM

    This is a must try cake..yum looks good. Aw what the heck Happy Birthday in advance.. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Recipe Flops : Pictures of my Failures

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We have all had flops in the kitchen. At least I hope so! Otherwise I am very alone in this. Actually I know itís not an uncommon thing, even Gena at www.choosingraw.com has had her share of flops www.choosingraw.com/on-recipe

So until I have my latest recipe ready, I thought I would share some of my more tragic attempts.

First off was a single-serve brownie I attempted to make gluten-free. I swapped all-purpose gluten-free flour for the flour listed.

I donít remember the exact measurements of everything, but if you Google microwaveable brownies Iím sure you can find a good recipe. Unfortunately I could never get it to turn out. I believe I used water as the liquid the first time.

It ďbakedĒ up to this weird, gummy texture. Even topped with chocolate peanut butter it wasnít great.

The second time around I thought of using banana and adding xanthan gum, while leaving out the Stevia and water.

It was definitely thicker than the first try, but definitely not less gummy. The taste wasnít that great even with almond butter on top.

Another recipe I tried from awhile back was for some applesauce oatmeal muffins. I thought it was a bit weird that the batter was sooo liquidy and that should have been my first concern. But they seemed fine going into the oven.

But I kept waiting for them to set up and stop being so liquidy. I kept sticking them back into the oven waiting for the magic to happen, only to give in after they turned into this.

I swear when I put them back in they didnít look like they were about to turn into that!!

The last one that I actually have pictures of was a caramel recipe. I was trying to make a healthier version of a Chex Mix recipe, but it didnít seem to occur to me that the texture of the caramel I was making was completely different than the Chex Mix version that calls for butter and corn syrup.

My caramel sauce contained pine nuts, vanilla, dates and almond milk. Which forms a wet, thin consistency, not caramel-like in texture, just in taste. It is actually delicious on its own as a dip, but poured onto Chex?

It just makes the Chex a big soggy mess. I tried adding some cinnamon to the top and freezing it.

Yeah, didnít help the gross mushy texture. Although I still ended up eating about ľ of it. It was delicious, just really, really mushy.

Ok, ok, so thatís enough stuff that didnít turn out. I guess I should share a recipe thatís actually good!

Raw Vegan Caramels ala Averie


ľ cup pine nuts
ľ cup dates
Ĺ tsp vanilla

Blend the pine nuts first, then add chopped dates to blend, and then add the vanilla.

I dumped the mixture onto some wax paper and formed it into a rectangle.

Now, one is supposed to put this into the fridge for a couple of hours. But we all know patience and I arenít friends. But I did let it chill for a bit before cutting it into little caramel-sized bites.

I made the caramel sauce I talked about above for the Chex by sticking this dough back into the food processor and adding almond milk to thin it out. Quite delicious! But if you donít like mushy Chex, do NOT mix the two! Instead use it as a fruit dip.

So come clean, have you ever totally messed something up in the kitchen?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUBREYINGMAN 4/26/2011 2:33AM

    Even though some of your recipes have been flops, a lot have been taste flops.

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MDTWEETY 4/25/2011 2:58PM

    emoticon We all mess up from time to time. It's part of the fun. ;)

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*AMBER512 4/20/2011 6:01PM

    For the fruit dip you just leave the caramel dough in the food processer or blender and add as much milk (I used almond milk) as you want for the consistency you want. :)

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DOTSLADY 4/20/2011 3:40PM

    What a cute blog (it has been a long time since I baked a flop, since I don't bake much ...).

You made me hungry - lol. You should post the recipe for the fruit dip sauce you made.

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Comfort Food : Smoothies and Dips

Friday, April 15, 2011

It has been a busy week. Although I canít even figure out with what exactly. Being sick seems to make everything take three times as long. So with dishes, laundry, work and babysitting Iím mostly just ready for a nap.

When Iím feeling run down I try and up my produce intake. Green monsters definitely help with that.

In the mix was:

1/2 a banana
1/4 cup strawberries
2 cups spinach
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1.5 ounces avocado

I really thought I would have figured out what all foods Iím intolerant of, but things keep throwing me for a loop. Iím reacting to something, but I canít figure out what! So while my stomach freaks out, Iíve been eating a lot of smoothies.

I take the fruity ice cream and mix in some Greek yogurt.

I like smoothies that are super thick and creamy. Not icy, not watery. But blended to perfection.

Or when Iím more in the mood to chew I cut up some veggies for a quick snack. But veggies by themselves can be kinda boring. So dipping them in something can make it more fun! Sometimes I get lazy and just mix salsa into Greek yogurt for my veggie platter.

But one day when I was feeling better I experimented with a new recipe. I have had cashew sour cream before, but never attempted to make it myself. I actually used ideas from a few cashew crŤme cheese recipes to create this.

Okay, it looks quite boring, no? But in reality it was delicious!!

First off I soaked some cashews.

Ugh, patience again? Why does every recipe require me to be so darn patient?
So I set these up in the morning before breakfast and then used them after working out.

Well actually, I only used one of these. The other one I was soaking for a different recipe which Iíll write about later. (If you do this rinse and drain the nuts then add twice as much water as nuts and cover with something breathable like a cloth towel).

After they soaked, I rinsed and drained them and added them to my food processor to blend. Once they were mostly broken down I added 1 tbsp of lemon juice, Ĺ tsp onion powder, Ĺ tsp garlic powder, and ľ tsp salt. Unfortunately it refused to become smooth.

Thatís when I added it to my magic bullet and added some water to try to help it blend. I was hoping for a much thicker consistency, but thatís just another reason I have been trying to convince my husband that I need a vita-mix.


One day Iíll get it, one day! Iím saving!!

When you arenít feeling top-notch what do you turn to for food? Comfort food? Fast and easy fixes?

PsstÖ recipe coming soon:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HANNAH_CALM 4/15/2011 10:44PM

    I'm sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. Those smoothies look really good! I gave the recipe for the Green Monster to my mom's boyfriend. He's having smoothies for breakfast now. We don't have a scale, so is 3 T equal to 1.5 oz of avocado? Do you like Rice Thins? I really do. I just bought some teriyaki flavored ones. They're gluten free. You're not allergic to something in the air, because it's spring, are you? That can make you pretty sick. I hope you get it figured out soon.

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CAMELA_55 4/15/2011 7:15PM

    I just finished eating and now I am hungry again looking at all that yummy food.

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WORTHEYMOM 4/15/2011 3:06PM

    Ok - I so got to try the cashew cream recipe - I have totally fell in love with cashews! I am with ya on the smoothies - not to thick, but not runny either! I am hoping for a magic bullet for mother's day maybe! I hate using my big blender for a little smoothie for breakfast! Keep posting recipes please! I have even posted references to your sparkpage to my friends! Have a great weekend!

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