Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Confession time: I do not always bathe in chocolate and peanut butter. I know, I know, if you have read my blogs recently they have definitely taken on a sweeter tone. Sweet as in CANDY! But I promise I do eat other things. They just arenít as tasty as chocolateÖ
And I think I figured out why my ďrecipes to tryĒ folder has exploded. Ok, it hasnít exploded yet, but itís bursting at the seams! If e-mail folders had seamsÖ.
See, I donít like the idea of making up a huge dish only to have it bomb. I donít want to rely on something for dinner and then find myself with something inedible. So itís been a lot easier to try recipes for snacks or desserts. I can always throw together a different snack, and dessert isnít necessary. (Ok, so it is necessary in my world, but I ALWAYS have backups.)
And I also havenít touched upon my dairy reduction lately, becauseÖwell I havenít done so great! I have completely cut out regular milk and cheese. But in all honesty, I rarely ever ate cheese, and I hate milk. Unsweetened coconut milk is a great swap. And if you can handle it unsweetened almond milk is so much tastier. Yes, there isnít as much calcium or protein, but that can be made up elsewhere. But I still havenít been able to cut out Greek yogurt completely. I havenít found a good substitute and it does provide a good portion of my protein.
I wish I could say I was writing this blog because I had finally made something savory for once. YeahÖI wish. But I do have another dessert/snack recipe. Because we all need more of thoseÖright?
That doesnít quite look like dessert, does it? Maybe it looks like guacamole, but I assure you, it is sweet and quite delicious. I was a little concerned as to whether blending avocado with a little vanilla coconut milk and banana soft serve would actually taste good or not. But when Averie posted this, I figure I should at least try it out. www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2011/05/v
I made banana soft serve first. So simple, and amazing all on its own. Just blend up frozen banana in your food processor. You can add a little milk for a thinner consistency or add vanilla extract, cinnamon, anything you want!
Then I added the avocado for its creamy boost.
Blended that all together and it lookedÖgreen. Okay, I am a bit better about green foods since my favorite vegetable is broccoli and I drink green monster smoothies pretty much daily. But still, green ice cream? I wasnít sure.
On the day I was trying this out I had the benefit of having two little ones over. One of my nieces and one of my nephews were spending the day with Aubrey and I and I figured if they liked it, then it was probably going to be good.
They approved! In fact, they gobbled it up and wanted more. If that isnít a good sign, I donít know what is. And after I tried it, I realized why they liked it so much. The banana and vanilla coconut flavors melded quite well with the creamy avocado.
I felt bad when it was all gone, because that they did not approve of that!
I think I can hear them saying ďWhy did you eat the rest of the ice cream? *Sniff* The whole thing was supposed to be for us.Ē
Sorry cuties. Another time!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Before I fully get into my blog, I just wanted to send a thank you to everyone who congratulated me on being in the SparkPeople cookbook that comes out on October 4th. Iím excited (and really nervous) about it and canít wait to see how the whole thing turned out! Iím even considering starting my own blog to allow more than just SparkPeople users to see and comment on my random musings. Still researching how to go about it, but thank you all for your help in my weight-loss success! I love this community
Now to explain: How Not to Make Candy
It was about three weeks ago that I left you all on a cliffhanger of yet another candy making failure.
So what exactly went wrong? Well you see, I have never in my life followed a recipe exactly. There is always something I add, take away, or change, or in the end Iíll realize I have barely followed the recipe at all. And yet, I never make something new without a recipe. I want to know that what Iím craving has a good track record of turning out well.
So when I saw Averieís chocolate turtles recipe I knew it sounded delicious, but that I also donít keep agave nectar in the house.
She did say I could use walnuts instead of pecans, which worked out well since thatís what I had on hand. But it was just in my own mind that I thought maple syrup could stand in for agave nectar in this case. It often can, but apparently maple syrup doesnít freeze.
Why does no one tell me these things? I had no idea maple syrup didnít freeze. I kept waiting for it to hardenÖand no luck.
It all started out so well. I laid down parchment paper, stacked up some walnuts.
Then I melted Enjoy Life (vegan) chocolate chips and dolloped some on each stack. Yummy!
Things were going so well. Then I attempted to put the ďfrozenĒ maple syrup mixture on top. I thought to myself, ďHmmÖthis seems to spreading out a lot more than I thought it would. But it should be fine, right?Ē
I mean, in Averieís version she still had some of the caramel sneaking out. So I just ran with it, I melted the second half of chocolate chips and attempted to cover up as much of the spill-out as I could.
Thatís when I realized my second and much more major mistake. I hadnít put the parchment paper on anything. I knew I needed to transfer it to the fridge or freezer, but it wasnít going to stay like that unless it was on a very large plate, preferably a cookie sheet. Yet had I had the forethought to do this in first place? Of course not! And when I attempted to move it onto one, thatís when all caramel broke loose.
If there was any way I thought these were going to stay together, it was all over now. Oh well, Iíll just throw it into the freezer and see what happens...
See, if youíre going to do this, you might also want to take more care into making sure you lay the cookie sheet FLAT. Yeah, didnít think about that one until I opened the freezer to find that all of that excess maple syrup slid off into the corner.
Picking one up and sliding it around in the still unfrozen maple syrup before eating sure was tasty, but wasnít quite what I was going for!
Oh, I will try again someday, but not today. Stupid maple syrup, why do you do these things to me?
Now you may be wondering why I have been making up so much candy lately in the first place. To be honest, I like it! Thatís why! Actually, because I like ending the day with something sweet. And even though Iím madly in love with Reeseís peanut butter cups and candy of that nature, Iíd much rather make something yummy at home that I can at least feel better about eating daily.
I know dark chocolate is amazing and blah, blah, blah, but itís so boring. I donít want to eat just a piece of chocolate. Chocolate deserves a companion. Why do you want your chocolate to be so lonely?
Chocolate needs a friend, you know caramel, peanut butter, something! Besides dark chocolate is gross. White ďchocolateĒ is whereís itís at! Or címon at least mix it with something!
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Hmm did anyone happen to notice this blog today on Daily Spark?
I happened to recognize someone on there! ME! Crazy.
Yup, on October 4th the SparkPeople cookbook is coming out and I'M going to be in it!! It feels like I was interview yeeeaars ago, even though it wasn't quite that long ago!
Thank you to all of my Spark friends who have encouraged me, lifted me up, and shared your own stories with me throughout this journey.
Even when I make you question my sanity...
...you have still stuck by me. THANKS!!!!
Monday, August 29, 2011
Surprise, surprise, itís been awhile! I canít seem to ramble on about myself on a regular schedule. But hey, at least I donít post so much you get sick of me, right?
The dairy-phase out is going pretty well. I have successfully cut out all dairyÖexcept for Greek yogurt. Yeah, I canít seem to quit the stuff. Especially since I canít seem to get enough protein without it. Being a vegetarian, I especially need protein because I am not getting it from too many traditional complete protein sources.
So while Greek yogurt is still a part of my breakfast (vanilla), my dessert (vanilla), and a few dinners (plain), Iím doing pretty well everywhere else. Itís pretty easy to convince myself that I donít need ice cream or cheese and Iíve never liked milk. Although mixing in unsweetened coconut milk into my smoothies is awesome! Yum.
I also made something else with the coconut milk recently, vegan fudge!
Cutting back on dairy does not convince me in any way to cut out chocolate or sugar. I will always have my sweet tooth.
I mixed together Enjoy Lifeís dairy-free chocolate chips with sunflower seed butter and coconut milk to make vegan SB fudge. I had originally wanted peanut butter fudge, but since I didnít have any in the house I decided sunflower seed butter would make a fine substitution.
I used a tablespoon of sun butter, two tablespoons of the coconut milk and Ĺ cup (120g) of the chocolate chips melted in the microwave in 20-30 second intervals until it was fully mixed.
And then I poured it into a container to firm up in the fridge. Once it was firm I cut it into bite-sized pieces. Perfect for when a chocolate craving suddenly hits.
But thatís not the only candy making I did. I discovered that switching out cacao powder for cocoa powder only works if you remember that cacao is way sweeter than cocoa. Because I tried a chocolate bar recipe that tasted so horrible it went immediately into the trash.
It called for just two ingredients coconut oil and cacao powder. But see, I didnít have any cacao, so I used cocoa. Fine, right? Just take some coconut oil, some cocoa powder, mix together.
Pour into a container to freeze. Pull out, admire how shiny it is.
Then attempt to cut it and realize it is solid.
Then take a bite and realize it doesnít matter that you canít properly cut it. Itís horrible. Oh, forget it. I give up. This was after the massive candy fail I had suffered before.
Iíll have to share this recipe at another time, but it involves chocolate chips, nuts, maple syrup, and much failure. But eventual success. Well, sort ofÖyouíll just have to wait!
How have you been?? I feel like itís been forever since Iíve really chatted with anyone here. Whatís new?
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