Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Things that are Awesome: Wild Friends Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter

It's creamy almond butter, sweetened with agave, and enhanced with vanilla and tiny flecks of espresso powder.  If eating this isn't a brilliant start to any morning, I don't know what is.

Try it on everything from waffles to cookies to ice cream.  Or straight out of the jar.  Did I mention it has a WINKING SQUIRREL on its label? because that just makes it infinitely better.

Eat this now.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

AWOL (still)



Yes, I've been AWOL for quite a while.

I was diagnosed with Lyme a year or so ago, and since then I haven't had much time, energy, or motivation to spare.

Call it what you want- Chronic Lyme, Lyme Disease Syndrome, Lyme-MSIDS... it's no party.

"It is estimated that there are up to 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year in the U.S. alone. Yet, only around 30,000 of them will properly diagnosed and reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC themselves admit that the actual cases of Lyme disease could be up to 10 times higher than those reported.
 By the time many Lyme patients are properly diagnosed their health has deteriorated far beyond what the IDSA’s two to four weeks of treatment can fix. Lyme opens the door to other opportunistic infections including additional tick borne illnesses that may have been contracted at the same time as Lyme. Viruses, parasites, candida and other bacterial infections not related to Lyme have taken control of the patients immune system.
Lyme Literate Medical Doctors (LLMDs), who are very hard to come by, tell the newly diagnosed it will be at least two to four years of treatment. There are no guarantees that they will get well though, some are past the point of no return. For many treatment is management, not cure"
- from http://lymelightfoundation.org/about-lyme/what-everyone-should-know/

 For more information, I highly recommend these videos:

Under Our Skin - http://www.underourskin.com/
      watch for free on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/268761

LymeLight - http://vimeo.com/65479794
       This is the story of Olympic halfpipe skier Angeli Vanlaanen living with Lyme Disease.

I am also happy to share my experiences with treatment (and life) with anyone seeking more information.

And now, a friendly infographic:





Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mint Chocolate Cake

What I made for St. Patrick's day:

Leprechaun-friendly.  Will trade for pot of gold.

MmmMmm. I made 4 mini cakelets.

THE RECIPE:

Flourless Chocolate Cake:

4 ounces fine bittersweet chocolate -- I used a little under 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, plus ~ 4 tbs coconut sugar
1/2 cup ghee (or other butter substitute)
3/4 cup coconut sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt

---> Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 inch round springform pan, or four 4-inch springform pans.  Line bottom of pan with a round of parchment paper, and grease the paper.
Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a microwave safe bowl, Melt the chocolate over low heat, and stir in butter substitute until they are melted together.
Add cocoa, then whip in eggs, vanilla, and salt.
Pour the batter into cake pan(s).
Bake for ~25 minutes.  Let cool in springform pan.

Mint Frosting:
1 can full-fat coconut milk, chilled. --> scoop the thick coconut fat off the top of the can, after it has chilled. leave the watery stuff behind.
mint extract, to taste (i used ~1/8 tsp)
green food coloring (I usually don't use food coloring.... but i couldn't resist!!)
Add powdered xylitol and erythritol in 1:1 amounts until desired consistency
     Note: to make powdered xylitol/erythritol, add the granulated form to a magic bullet, with a dash of tapioca starch or potato starch.  The starch will help it to 'powder' easily. Bullet until powdered.

Topping:
Shaved mint chocolate bar.
    I used Endangered Species Chocolate, Mint Chocolate and shaved off curls using a vegetable peeler.

Assembly:
After cake has cooled in springform pan, pour frosting on top of cake. Chill until frosting is firm.  Then add chocolate shavings on top of frosting.  Garnish with mint leaves if desired.

To serve, gently remove sides of springform pan, then transfer cake onto serving platter.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Best Chocolate Cookies in the Universe


Note: sandwiching with mint chocolate chip ice cream only makes the best even better.

Best in the Universe? --prove me wrong, I DARE YOU.

They're fudgey, chewy, soft, gooey, crinkley, sweet, and delicious.  (And grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, of course.)

Recipe can easily be doubled for twice the aweseomeness.

Adapted from the 2013 Washington Post Christmas cookie section.


THE RECIPE:

Prep:
- toast 2 3/4 c chopped walnuts:  spread them on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven, shaking sheet occassionally, for 8-10 minutes.  Watch carefully to make sure you don't burn them.

- separate 4 large eggs, saving the whites **

- powder 3 cups coconut sugar:  I used a magic bullet blender for this, powdering small amounts at a time.  A Vitamix could probably handle all of it at once and save considerable time.  I put ~1/2 c at a time in the bullet with a pinch of tapioca or potato starch each time, and blended until powdered. Adding starch helps create the 'powdered' consistency.

- locate parchment paper or silicone baking mats to line cookie sheets before dropping cookies.

- heat oven to 350 degrees

[** save those yolks and make some Gluten Free Pasta!! It's no coincidence that a double cookie recipe takes 8 whites, and a double spinach-pasta recipe takes 8 yolks..... :) ]


THE ACTUAL RECIPE:

1/2 c plus 3 tbs cocoa powwder
3 c powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 3/4 c walnuts, toasted
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tbs vanilla

Combine the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, salt, and walnuts - beat on low for 1 minutes.

With the mixer running, slowly add the egg whites and vanilla.  Beat on medium for 3 minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly and looks lumpy. Do not over-mix, or the eggwhites will over-thicken.

Use a 2-ounce cookie/ice cream scoop (or let's be honest... a normal spoon) to scoop that batter onto the LINED cookie sheets.  Space cookies about 3 inches apart.

After placing cookies in the oven, immediately reduce temperature to 320.  Bake 15-20 minutes, rotating pans font to back and top to bottom halfway through. (note... this entire step is optional, but is included in the original recipe, and would probably would help for optimal results.)

Pull parchment paper with cookies onto a cooling rack and cool completely before moving cookies.

Eat and enjoy!