Recipe Test: Midnight Chocolate Cupcakes

Posted on April 25, 2010. Filed under: Book Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

As I’ve mentioned several times, Book Pub Co. sent me the vegan dessert cookbook Sweet Utopia to read and review. I talked about my first impression here, but this weekend I got to test my first recipe. What a fun task that was! I immediately eyed the midnight chocolate cupcakes for my cousin’s 3rd birthday party today. I confess to making the following substitutions to the recipe:

  • All-purpose gluten-free flour and xanthan gum for the flour
  • Teeccino in place of the the coffee
  • Almond milk for the soy milk
Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream And Crumbled Cupcake

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream And Crumbled Cupcake

Two cupcakes suffered an, err, unfortunate oven accident, but their crumbs were still good for eating, so I made a cake and ice cream sundae with So Delicious vanilla bean ice cream. I am such a cake and ice cream person at heart. I can’t wait for the Summer since the grocery store near my home sells these ice creams for a dollar less than the Whole Foods near my school 🙂

The cupcake was impressively moist and “cakey”; I wouldn’t have thought that would be easy to recreate without eggs. The moisture must come from the fat ingredients, which seemed to work well. Overall, I think this recipe relies on a lot of sugar to be good(there are at least 4 sources of it), when in fact this makes an impressive cake all its own and doesn’t need to distract with sweetness. I would definitely give this one a thumbs up.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

I snacked on a red delicious watching Sherlock Holmes. In truth, I was paying more attention to my work and didn’t see most of the movie. I just like having British accents playing in the background. Can I get a white noise CD like that?

Oatmeal With Turbinado Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Turbinado Peanut Butter

And I fashionably finished off the night with oatmeal and peanut butter. This one almost tasted like Garden Grille‘s, except the chunks of sugar didn’t dissolve and made this really crunchy. I’ll discover you yet!

Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Frosting

I think the best thing is when you get to wake up and first thing make frosting. Run? Coffee? Breakfast? That can all wait. Chocolate first.

Midnight Chocolate Cupcake With Frosting

Midnight Chocolate Cupcake With Frosting

Perhaps surprisingly, I wasn’t a fan of this frosting recipe. It came out so thick, it was like fudge! It just wasn’t very spreadable or much more than melted chocolate. It would make for a good ganache filling, but it certainly didn’t come out like a “frosting”. I have to say, it was super simple to make, though. Believe it or not, I didn’t eat a cupcake for breakfast.

Oatmeal With Plain PB, Siggi's Orange Ginger Yogurt With Chocolate Chips

Oatmeal With Plain PB, Siggi's Orange Ginger Yogurt With Chocolate Chips

That’s more nutritious. I topped oatmeal with some 365 brand peanut butter(see, I practice what I preach). I also tried my very first Siggi! I chose the orange ginger flavor, since it sounded so exotic, and topped it with the vegan chocolate chips(you would too if you’d been handling them for 2 days). It was good, but it was a tad undersweetened for me; maybe I just have a sweet tooth to rival Averie’s. But what a fun flavor. And it’s so thick! Love it.

Are you a cake, brownie, or cookie person? I’m all about the cake, which is why cupcakes seemed perfect for this birthday party. I just love the light and airiness to the dessert! If I want something dense and chewy, I’d rather just eat a chocolate bar.

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The Birthday Day

Posted on March 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First of all, thank you. For everything. I haven’t had time to say that enough between the half marathon and my birthday, so I wanted to get that out from the start. These past two days have been hectic but I panned them that way after all and so thank you for all your well wishes. Over the past two days, 1) my official time and place was announced as 1:42:10 and 36, 2) Megan wrote this article which I really enjoyed pausing to take the time to read and I think you might as well, and 3) my Wellness giveaway is still running so get your entries in!.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

For breakfast I had plain ol’ pumpkin oatmeal with butter toffee peanut butter, which we’re running out of here and at my dorm so clearly it’s time to reorder Naturally Nutty. I sweetened a plain Chobani with 1/2 a serving Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free vanilla cake mix for something really yummy. On top were also one of my favorites–milk chocolate peanuts–making this definitely one special birthday breakfast.

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Since it was raining, I took the chance to do something I haven’t done in over 4 weeks: bake! Runners gotta run and bakers gotta bake. Since going low-gluten, I’ve discovered that one of the wheats I can tolerate is spelt. Spelt is an ancient, non-hybrid grain whose gluten is generally accepted better. Hearing that, I whipped up one of my favorite recipes, the banana goodness bread. A good bread has plenty of brown sugar on top to turn into a crust 🙂

Honey Baked Tofu

Honey Baked Tofu

I decided to do a “practice” for something to make for Easter Sunday and try baking a tofu “ham” with honey and cloves. The result was OK, but it really didn’t come out like I was thinking it would, and I much prefer maple anyway. Who needs to stick to tradition?

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

The honey with some soyaki Trader Joe sauce was actually really good and made it taste a little “tropical”; it reminded me of the Wildwood tofu I reviewed a while ago. For a vegetable, there was asparagus. And because bread tastes freshest, I had a slice of banana goodness bread made with spelt, chocolate chips, and hemp seeds(!!). The hemp added a great subtle nuttiness to it that I preferred to the flax.

Apple

Apple

Even though I wasn’t running, I felt like I could eat and eat and eat. This apple came while I was cleaning up dirty dishes and waiting for my next baked good to cook…

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

You all didn’t think I posted that recipe last night for no reason, did you? I made a batch of gluten free chocolate brownies done peanut butter style. I had such difficulty finding the black beans, wondering why they weren’t with the baking items?! I definitely had no patience, ended up cutting into them way too early, and making 1/4 of the pan turn into crumbs. Nevertheless, I got my slice.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode, anyone? I’ve actually never understood the combination of cold ice cream and warm brownie–until yesterday that is. It’s not that you want the contrast between the two, you just want brownies and ice cream and so take both 🙂 This was So Delicious, pun intended, but not terribly filling. Why not have more?

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Did you know the same amount of So Delicious ice cream and yogurt has just about the same amount of sugar? In fact, a lot of flavored yogurts are just as sugary as some ice cream brands. Maybe I should have just had the ice cream, lol. At least this had probiotics. And after this grand afternoon snack I was filled well for dinner, which we ate at Tomasso.

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Holy yum, a dinner I didn’t have to cook! At first, I was a little disappointed the prezzo fisso menu wasn’t that appealing nor were the specials; I ended up ordering(for the first time, too, probably) just off the everyday menu local Misty Knoll chicken, roasted potatoes, and broccoli rabe. Let me tell you, the chicken and potatoes were to die for. Seriously, I have a little for leftovers and can’t wait to have them. I don’t think I’ve eaten local chicken before, either! So it was special after all.

Raw Vegan Brownies

Raw Vegan Brownies

When we got home I whipped, err, processed up dessert. I made a batch of raw vegan brownies using sunflower and hulled hemp seeds; I love that a raw recipe can be so no-fuss and still taste great and exotic! I made a quick and raw coconut milk frosting using about 2 parts coconut milk and agave to 1 part cocoa powder.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode was definitely the theme of the day 😉 The chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream never gets old; it’s just pure magic, and such a fine, natural replacement for my old Turkey Hill addiction. And anything with frosting never disappoints 😉

Raw Vegan Brownie

Raw Vegan Brownie

I snagged one last brownie, because, ya’ know, they’re best when they’re freshest out of the food processor. They’re also little sugar bombs, which is probably why I was up 2 hours later, but I got to sleep… eventually. All in all, it was a great great day, and that’s coming from someone who has a tendency to inflate the importance of things and create impossible expectations. I drank too many cups of decaf coffee to count, ate a lot of sugar, and couldn’t get out for a run because of the constant deluge here in New England, and I’m OK with all of that because that’s what special days are for.

I can’t believe all the Facebook notifications in my mailbox right now; did it have to send one everytime someone posted on my wall? Now I have the morning to deal with that. I’ve also decided I’m going to try to go low/no added sugar today and without sweetened beverages; after yesterday, my palate is just begging to taste something other than sweet. I managed to keep my breakfast “clean”, but I’ll save that for the next post. In the meantime, here are giveaways for a refrigerator makeover, my favorite brand chocolate, gluten-free goodies, a gluten free cheesecake giveaway, and one for coconut oil.

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Priorities And Directions

Posted on February 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good evening. I’ll just mention now that I’m bloggin’ from another state! But more on that in a bit. When I was wrapping up the post from this morning, I was thinking how much I really wanted to walk to Whole Foods, but didn’t have a lot of free time. Where are my priorities! I’m scarily good about doing what “should” be done, but not so good about always doing what I “want” to do. At that point, I let the dishes be dirty, the emails go unanswered, and stepped out the door. I know, I’m a rebel 😉

Groceries

I grabbed the typical stuff for next week: soy yogurt, beef, condiments, etc. The only thing they didn’t have was any soft tofu >:-( We got that a little later on in the day, though. And I say we because my dad met me at Whole Foods to pay for this and pick me up(double score). I just really felt like I needed a trip home this weekend after a lot of work and 3 weeks of not being in my own bed. So I packed up and was out of there!

Buffalo Chicken, Broccoli, Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries

On the way back to good ol’ MA, we stopped a different Whole Foods to grab some lunch. I grabbed buffalo chicken off the food bar, a bag of new chips that were on sale, but broccoli out of the produce section(!!). This is the trick to eating at Whole Foods without breaking the bank: get the things that are cheaper raw and cook them in the microwave–it’s so simple and instead of $7 a pound broccoli was $1.50 a pound.

Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries

These were the chips that were on sale made by Snikiddy and oh my God were they brilliant! I had never tried any of their products, but if it’s on sale I’ll definitely give them a taste. Cheddar Cheese Fries says it all; these were like straight up Cheetos. Heavenly. Unfortunately, Whole Foods didn’t have one of the Bob’s Red Mill products I was looking for, so we went across the way(literally, right across the street) to Market Basket.

Bob's Red Mill Products

Check out that selection! And it’s all super cheap because nothing costs much at Market Basket(granted, most of the stuff they sell I wouldn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole). I definitely need to keep this place in mind more often.

Red Delicious Apple

After I found what I wanted, I snacked on this apple until we got home safe and sound, where mom and Montana were waiting to say hello. Apparently, it’s been snowing in MA all week, or at least moreso than it has at all at school. Now, for the big unveiling…

GF Vanilla Cake Mix, Coconut Oil, Eggs

What I wanted to pick up was Bob’s Red Mill‘s gluten-free vanilla cake mix! God, I really need to lay off the exclamation marks in this post. Normally, I wouldn’t use a mix, but since I know so little about gluten-free baking I felt like I needed to the first time. But Bob’s is a good one because it uses whole grain gluten-free flours(very important to me). I used 1/2 the bag to make 8 cupcakes. And, while it called for vegetable oil, I asked myself “WWFLBD?” or “what would fat-loving bloggers do?” and swapped that out for an equal amount of coconut oil. Is there anything coconut can’t do?

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake With Coconut Oil Vanilla Frosting

I couldn’t wait longer than 30 minutes for them to cool; these smelled too good. And they tasted too good, too! So perfectly light, airy, and sweet. The texture was a bit chewy, but I think that’s just the general way of gluten-free flours and eggs. For a frosting, I mixed powdered sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract–heavenly. But you know what they say about cupcakes…

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake

1 is just not enough. At least I didn’t frost this one? It may have been a bit more sugars than I’m used to in an afternoon, especially an afternoon where all I did was find TV shows like Friends on channels I haven’t had in a while, but no regrets; when there’s cake around baked fresh, you better eat it up! To compensate, there at least was a vegan dinner.

Asparagus, Snobby Joe Mix

I actually love green lentils. Too bad they aren’t more dorm-room friendly. For the mix, a little ketchup and mustard and a lot of steak sauce and voila! It’s so good! And I couldn’t imagine a more homey meal. On the side was asparagus grabbed from Whole Foods because, well, they really keep this house bare. And now it’s already almost 7:30; how did that happen? I need to get a move on things! I can’t wait to hear what people think of the cupcakes once they eat them for dessert(obviously, I hated them ;-)).

Here’s a popchip giveaway! Perfect for fueling my addiction.

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Like Frosting

Posted on February 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Whenever the Olympics are on, I just feel such pride in being an American! I want to wear a flag wherever I go and pump my fist to the anthem; I think I’ve caught the Olympic fever! I’ve heard it lasts for two weeks and goes away and comes back every 2 years. Side effects include growing 5 lumps on your back, 3 on the top row and 2 on the bottom and all in bright, different colors. Have you caught this disease?

Last night involved finishing a reading on Socrates death(which coincidentally made me feel like I was dying a little inside), watching Apolo Ohno completely own the field in his first run, and making a big bowl of… frosting?!

Chocolate Avocado Frosting/Pudding

Pretty much. I tried merging the chocolate avocado pudding recipe with the frosting recipe from these brownies. I used 3oz avocado, 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, a dash of vanilla powder,and 1 tablespoon Xagave(reviewed here). It only tasted “OK”; it didn’t really taste like the frosting because it only had 1/3 of the sugar. Then again, all the sugar would have been a bit ridiculous. I ended up adding vanilla stevia to it to turn up the sweetness and make it not taste like avocado. The texture was incredible, though; in that respect, it was just like frosting in a bowl. I think the key for the thickness was no coconut milk and a really ripe avocado–yum! Did I mention I advertise as a “healthy living blog”? Yeah, I’m an imaginative person.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

I was still starving after that pudding and went straight for some volume oats! A full bowl of oatmeal plus what was left of a can of pudding plus a big spoonful butter toffee peanut butter by Naturally Nutty. Now that’s like frosting–deeeeelish. The women’s downhill was so much more entertaining than I would have gave it credit for; I felt bad a Canadian didn’t win because 2 of them were really impressive. I had to laugh that for all of them they announced their height and weight; I don’t know that much about women but from the bit I do I would think that wouldn’t be well appreciated? When a woman becomes president of the IOC, I’m sure that’ll be the first to go.

I had the oddest craving at 3am for chicken! If I had a rotisserie chicken in my fridge, it would have been in the oven in 5 minutes–I’m just saying. I didn’t though, so it was back to bed and sleeping in until 8:30. When I thought about all I had to do this morning–change, run, shower, eat, blog, and go–to be honest, I wasn’t sure how/if I’d do it.

5 Miles In 44:14

Clearly, I did it. My ultimate thought was “It doesn’t matter how it’s going to happen. If you go through the motions, and time passes, in 2 hours when you look back it will be done”. With that thought in mind, I laced up, put on a playlist, set the treadmill for 5 miles, and just ran. I tried not looking down as long as I could and instead just focus on Scooby Doo on TV. I tried guessing how long it must have been by the plot progression of Scooby Doo until I realized… “plot progression” and “Scooby Doo” just don’t go together.

Honest Foods Maple Almond Crunch Granola Plank, Vanilla 2% With Cinnamon

Having a quick breakfast in mind surely eased things a bit. I took the remaining 1/2 of a Vanilla chobani, added 2oz full fat Voskos, cinnamon, and NuNaturals vanilla stevia–Sweeeeet. This also gave me occasion to try a new product from Honest Foods, which I just made a review for here! In summary: large, maple, sugary, nice. Get the picture? If not…

Maple Almond Crunch Granola Plank With Cinnamon Yogurt Frosting

Now that’s like frosting. And now I’m throwing this post up about to head out the door to go home for the B-day bash! It’s going to be wall-to-wall work with picking up supplies on the way home, making a dessert as soon as I get in, and then playtime with the cousins throughout the afternoon, but it will be worth the hustle. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to take “real work” with me for the downtime in the car or something to blow my mind off like a magazine or DSi, but now I’m thinking I’ll need that time to nap!

Don’t forget I pick a winner for the coconut oil giveaway tomorrow morning!

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From Loser To Winner

Posted on January 25, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Self-sabotage is a funny thing: Do we do it on purpose? Do we do it subconsciously? Or does it just “happen”? I’m not quite sure, but I entirely sabotaged my workout this morning. I planned on doing the count-to-10 workout modified by 15 push-ups and 20 sit-ups. In anticipation, I drank. A lot. No, not beer–get your mind out of the gutter. But coffee, water, and black tea, and all this had me feeling like a hot mess when I got going.

It wasn’t pretty. I got through 1/4 of the workout and realized I was over-hydrated, overheated, and doing anything more would just be stupid; if you can hear “splish-splosh” when you do a sit-up, it wasn’t meant to be. I felt like a loser, but I just stopped and went to somewhere I’m always usually a winner: The kitchen.

Crunchy Sunflower Seed Butter

I must have gotten onto a sunflower seed kick after breakfast. First up, I made a sunflower seed butter that I’ll hopefully like more than Trader Joe’s(sorry, Joe, but you failed me there). I added sea salt and sunflower seeds at the end so this would be a crunchy seed butter. Who doesn’t love texture? Next up, I sought to make some new and improved raw brownies.

Raw Brownies

Avery led me to a recipe that I was able to modify to my own tastes. I most definitely wanted to use seeds as a binder, and just needed to adjust the cocoa/agave/date ratio. I think I ended up nailing them on the head. And while I usually don’t frost regular brownies(which I remember debated on Kalin’s blog once), these were just begging for something. The frosting was super simple, and by far the most fun thing to make.

Raw Vegan Brownies With Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 3/4 cup(120 grams) dates
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder

For the frosting:

  • 1oz avocado
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar

In a food processor, grind the sunflower seeds and flax seeds until mostly crumbs, but not to the point of becoming like butter. Add the dates and agave nectar and mix until a ball of dough forms. Add in the cocoa powder and continue mixing until well incorporated. Press into a square dish and cut.

For the frosting, mash the avocado until it reaches a smooth consistency. Add the cocoa powder and agave nectar and continue mixing until completely smooth. Spread over each of the brownies.

Raw Brownies With Frosting

Nailing this recipe really had me feeling like a winner. You know what else had me feeling like a winner? Actually winning Q.bel’s contest for a catchy and fun review on facebook! I can’t wait to get a big ol’ box of chocolate. I’ve already reviewed 5 of their products here but have yet to try the milk chocolate rolls or their 2 new flavors(vegan and mint). It was amazing how much my spirits had changed so much over the course of 1 hour. I was intensly ready for a winning lunch.

Steamed Broccoli, Lightlife Sausage With Cheddar Cheese And Green Pepper

Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

I just love love love the Lightlife sausage(from a log, not pre-formed) heated up with some cheese; it’s like the perfect spice level for comfort. I usually make it with an onion but we’re all out so the pepper took that place(not too well). I don’t usually have dessert with my meal but I figured anything made mostly from seeds and dates wasn’t really a dessert(don’t you like the way I think ;-)). The brownie came out so good; it was actually just like the one I shelled out $5 for from Grezzo. I think it needs a little more chocolate flavor, but I don’t know how to do that without comprimising the texture, and the texture is amazing.

Work-Out Checklist

By 3 I was ready to retackle the workout. Over the last 4 hours, I had drank maybe half a cup of water and a cup of coffee(Hey, something needed to go with the brownie ;-)), and I felt overall better. I put the laptop near the stairs, played a movie, and got to work doing my count-to-1o series:

  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 15 push-ups
  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 20 sit-ups
  • Repeat for 10 iterations

To keep track while I’m doing this(and to make sure I really just need to count to 10), I use a checklist on the door to keep track of my progress. Obviously, once everything was checked off, I was done, and a sweaty mess at that. I quickly showered and then hopped to the kitchen for a refueling.

The Raw Bakery Chocolate Snackaroons

The Raw Bakery sent me these interesting snackaroons to try out, which I knew would go great on another one of my favorites:

Probiotic Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Chocolate Snackaroons

Chocolate avocado pudding. We picked up coconut milk kefir over the weekend so I was able to make this the way I love; it came out super creamy and coconut-licious. The chocolate snackaroons were just the perfect touch for some more coconut and healthy fats. Yum! They were perfectly raw-tasting, and held me over quite nicely until dinner.

Dill Salmon, Roasted Broccoli, Carrots With Maple And Soy Glaze

We had salmon we had to cook up, so I suggested throwing dill on top; dill is one of my favorite herbs ever, especially with fish–soo good! On the side was simple broccoli and carrots that needed another good 15 minutes in the oven. A little soy sauce(or wheat-free tamari for me) perks any vegetables up, though. I completely forgot to keep some in my dorm room all last semester; I won’t be making that mistake again.

Enter Holly’s amazing contest for a blender!

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If I Ate Like This Every Day…

Posted on January 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If I ate like this every day, I’d be

  • poor by the end of the week
  • happy as a clam
  • the “healthiest” me I could be(in my opinion, though this is completely relative)

Really, words cannot express my gratitude just for being alive today. To recap from my breakfast post, I kicked off the day with a full core and cardio, after convincing myself that a core wouldn’t be that bad if the promise of a raw vegan raspberry brownie was attached(I totally bribed myself with food here :-)). I followed that up with a bangin’ breakfast of greek yogurt and oatmeal with a couple of cage-free organic Eggland’s Best eggs. Have you heard that they now test higher in vitamins and minerals than supermarket eggs? Fascinating.

After breakfast, I was off to the city(which in my case means “Beantown”, or simply Boston) to meet with an old friend from high school. I suggested a cozy little restaurant I’ve been wanting to try.

Grezzo Restaurant

Grezzo is the only raw vegan restaurant around Boston that I know of and as I learn more and more about that cuisine, I’ve been dying to eat here. I arrived a bit early and got to look at the menu before my friend, Eury, arrived.

Grezzo Menu

Not like that extra 10 minutes helped me at all; I still had no clue what to order after reading all their good options. I wanted to ask the waitress about everything because the descriptions were all very brief and you know at a raw and vegan restaurant a “slider” is very different. I ended up just taking a leap of faith and choosing the burger(that’s a safe choice wherever you go, right?).

Seaweed And Wild Mushroom Bistro Burger With Guacamole

Sweet Potato Chips

The burger was made with seaweed and mushrooms, topped with guacamole, and served between cucumber “buns”. The burger had a great meaty texture, but it might have been a tad bit underseasoned. The guacamole was absolutely delicious and pure and I ate it by the spoonful. On the side came “sweet potato chips”; they were very thin slices of sweet potato dehydrated overnight. They were sooo good; they actually sort of reminded me of dry marshmallows, but in a delicious way. Maybe I need a dehydrator next Christmas?

Big House Salad

Eury got the big house salad. I had a lot of fun explaining my knowledge of raw food and explaining how the “cheese” was actually made of nut milk. You know you’ve been a blogger for too long when you are surprised that someone doesn’t know what a nut milk is. We had a great time catching up; I had yet to giver her her graduation present  8 months gone by and it was hilarious not remembering in the least what I wrote on the card.

We ended up walking around a bit afterwards down to South Station were we went our separate ways. On the way home my dad and I did weekly grocery shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Note to self: Saturday afternoon in the city is not the time to go grocery shopping; I’m surprised we got out with our limbs! There was a cute baby behind us in one of the register lines who kept on saying “Hi”. When we finally got home, I was so happy to put away the groceries, brew up some decaf coffee, and break out this baby:

Raw Vegan Hemp Seed Brownie With Chocolate Frosting

I took a dessert home from Grezzo, namely their hemp seed brownie with chocolate frosting. Another raw brownie? Sure, why not 😉 The raw frosting was simply amazing. I’m guessing it was agave nectar, cocoa powder, and avocado from my limited knowledge of raw foods and how they work together. The brownie was OK I thought. It had a nice chocolate flavor without any fruitiness; it might have been a bit too hard and dry for my taste, but seeing as how I can’t get my recipe to be hold together better I was very impressed that there’s is so firm.

If the day had just ended there, I would have been very content. To my blessing, it continued. For the past two weeks, I’ve been hearing about the dishes Tomasso has been making with 1/2 of a local, 100% grass-fed cow they received. Do you get where this is going? We wanted to go Thursday night, but then ended up closing for a private party. Thankfully, they still had the beef for a special tonight(though by far a pricier cut).

18oz Local Grass-Fed Sirloin Steak

Rather than eat there and all order entrees, we decided to simply get the special take-out along with an appetizer-size pizza, and cook our own vegetables as sides; we figured just the one entree should be enough for the 3 of us( I mean, we aren’t that big eaters).

Local Grass-Fed Beef

Steamed Broccoli With Sea Salt

Holy. Freaking. Yum. This was absolutely everything I could have hoped for. The meat was so tender that parts of it just melted away in my mouth. I had 3 big ol’ slices of the meat. I have no clue how much that totaled up to and quite frankly I don’t care; when the beef is grass-fed like this was, the quality is through the roof, the fat is omega-3 rich, and in my line of thinking it’s all “healthy”. Portioning out and only eating 3oz would have been a shame, so I didn’t bother. As a simple side, I steamed up some broccoli; just like the beef was grass-fed, so was I 😀

And now, with today as a memory, I will not at all mind returning to eating oatmeal and beans for every meal this week(and with me returning to school soon, that’s not that big an exaggeration). I’m stuffed. And I can hardly fathom(though I will) eating something for dessert(cheap, like a banana processed with cocoa powder). Perhaps I could add to the menu some Honest Food Granola Bars if I won this giveaway or some Zevia if I won this one.

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Buttercream Is Just Too Easy

Posted on January 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I am liking the whole meal planning thing. It’s soo good knowing how much food we really have and when it’s for. It’s interesting to find out things like, while it’s fun to have so many flavors of chips, they just don’t cut it for the entrees. Well I have things sorted out through Friday and it looks like we’ll be eating well 😀 For lunch, ironically, the first planned meal was “do what you want”. This let me eat some leftovers and my parents have their pasta.

Lightlife Savory Chicken Tenders, Microwaved Potato With Salsa, Garlic Broccoli

I’m the best at eating 1 serving of something and letting the rest sit around for far too long, so this time I decided to nip the Lightlife tenders before they went past savory and to funky. On the side I was craving some of the really spicy salsa we picked up at Market Basket, so I had a plain, starchy potato. So good! Seriously, this has some heat. Before we left to do errands I wanted to get all my food processor projects out of the way.

Banana Bread Balls

I made some of Jess‘ balls! her and Avery really know their balls(I’m sorry, but I just had to say it). We had leftover banana goodness bread sitting in the back of the fridge so I combined that with 4oz of cream cheese and made balls to get cold. After those hit the fridge, I threw out some of my less successful nut butters and whipped up a new one.

Organic, Raw Almond Butter With Fair Trade White Chocolate And Strawberries

This one was definitely a winner! I just used 7oz of raw, organic almonds and mixed that up with 1/2 of my favorite white chocolate bar ever, the Divine white chocolate with freeze dried strawberries. I haven’t tasted this yet but the aroma is incredible–just like the chocolate! And I bet the nutrition isn’t terrible for something that must be flavorful. I can’t wait to put these over oats. My mom wanted to go to the mall to look for clothes for herself, and I easily obliged, mostly on account of this:

Seat Heaters

While it was 30 degrees outside, my butt was getting 76 degrees of heated seats. Aww yeah. My dad dropped her off at Macy’s and we went somewhere far more entertaining: Target! I contimplated getting the newest Harry Potter film, but passed up until it’s cheaper. Hell, maybe I can befriend Emma this semester and get it as a gift from her? Well, I can dream 😉 I did pop a drink open while shopping.

Mango-Melon Sobe Lifewater

Walking around looking at things is tough work, you know! It was decent. I like the melony flavor because it reminded me of Summer, despite the fact that the weather oh so disagrees with me. I did end up getting a new pair of running shorts for 3.something on clearance 70% off. I’d say 90% of what I wear came from the Target discount rack or was a gift to me; I never buy expensive clothes. I’d rather eat well and wear the shopping bag, haha! Speaking of eating well, while we waited for my mom we went to the Framingham Whole Foods which is the only place so far I’ve been able to find the best protein bar I’ve ever had.

Cookie Dough Luna Protein

So good, and yet, not this afternoon. We picked up 2, and I thought I really wanted to eat one of them then, but I only got 2 or 3 bites in.

Cookie Dough Luna Protein

While these are tasty, they’re pretty much a candy bar unless you’re working out. And I knew I was hungry for food, so this would not do at the time. As much as I hate not finishing bars, I wrapped the rest back up for God knows when and waited until we got home to eat something real. I threw a really quick bowl of oatmeal together when I got in the door.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Barney Butter

That definitely hit the spot so much more than the rest of the bar would have. I like Barney Butter because it’s pretty much how I imagine Jif or Skippy would be if they made those in almonds. I was a lot happier after that and ready to keep working with Jess‘ balls. I melted together a mish-mosh of chocolate: a Dark Chocolate Newman’s Own Organics bar, a Super Dark Chocolate Newman’s Own Organics bar, and 4 Unsweetened Bakers square. Really, I was just using things up because we didn’t have a bag of chocolate chips I wanted to use, but I like the resulting bitter chocolate.

Chocolate Coated Banana Goodness Bread Balls

These came out great. And they were so much simpler than I would have imagined! I’m keeping these in the back of my head for something different to bring to a dessert party that no one else will have(now, anyone want to invite me to a dessert party ;-)). I had leftover melted chocolate, and for a moment thought “What am I going to do with this?”. Where was my mind?! I quickly figured out what to do with it.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

See? I knew if I made them once I’d be making them again real soon. I filled these with some Earth Balance peanut butter since that’s agave sweetened and would work with the bitter chocolate. After that, I had one last thing to “whip” up.

Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread

Vegan Maple Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting On Maple Cupcakes

Remember those maple cupcakes I made a few days ago? Well, most of them hit the freezer, but I kept a few out for my parents’ anniversary. I made a simple, small batch of vegan buttercream frosting 1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter spread, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, and a dash of cinnamon. I always thought buttercream was something incredibly complex to make but this could not have been simpler! Mine might be a little lumpy, but that’s just because I was lazy. Knowing how easy it is to do is just a little dangerous. I mean, this is “healthy” in the sense that there’s no cholesterol, but it’s no superfood 😉 If you can believe it, cupcakes were not on the meal plan as dinner.

Grilled Steak, Green Beans, Nog Spiked Butternut Mash

This meal was so great; I can’t remember the last time I had something on the grill! It just has not been the right weather but we wiped off the snow and fired it up, and the meat came out nice and rare like I love it 😀 For sides, we steamed green beans and mashed butternut squash with 1/2 a cup Silk Nog. That last combination never gets old. I could practically eat a bowl for dessert. Now, I don’t think anyone has started picking at desserts yet. Then again, I haven’t been keeping a hawk eye on any of it, so who knows what’s left. I know there’s certainly no lack of things for me to eat up tonight.

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Whippin’ It

Posted on January 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Alternate titles: A Fruity Morning, Freezing My Potassium Off, and I Said I Wouldn’t. All very descriptive, the last one as in “I said I wouldn’t go back for more vegan meatloaf last night.”

Vegan Meatloaf

I had to. It was just too good. And, no, this wasn’t like I didn’t eat enough at dinner and needed a little more. I filled up on this at dinner(trust me), and this was me wanting this for dessert 2 hours later. I even thought about all the chocolate I could have instead. Nope. I wanted meat(sort of). This was probably a good choice to watch The Biggest Loser with. Did you watch it? I did, but honestly I don’t feel any connections with contestants when there are still so many. After that, I noticed a recipe on Facebook that was calling my name!

Vanilla FroYo Banana Whip With NuttZo And 2 Goji Almond Oat Cookies

The link was to a NuttZo blog post about banana whip ice cream! It looked so good, I had to break out the food processor. I blended 4oz banana(about 1 big one) with 1/4 cup really pure vanilla frozen yogurt, and then topped it with some Goji Gourmet almond oat cookies and a spoonful of NuttZo. This was so good! The banana ice cream had such great flavor and texture, and the cookies and NuttZo really hit the spot. And the healthy sugar here didn’t even keep me up at all so that I was sleeping pretty 30 minutes later.

By the way, did anybody else catch the Jay Leno Show? It was perfect. First Kim Kardashian deep fried Oreos with Guy Fieri, then Jillian Michaels came out and traded insults with Jay. She admitted her fat food of choice was Cheetos as a child. i could not picture her ever eating a Cheeto. Anyway, this morning I woke up in time to say goodbye to everyone heading off to work. I decided I needed something that felt like dessert for breakfast, so banana whip it was!

Banana And Chobani Whip With Xanthan Gum

Oatmeal With Vanilla Almond Butter, Strawberry Frosting, And Strawberry And Cocoa Granola

This time I whipped the same amount of banana with 1/2 a container of plain Chobani and some NuNatruals vanilla stevia. The texture came out more like a smoothie so I added xanthan gum and refroze it. I feel like a mad scientist playing with that stuff 🙂 For oatmeal, we’re running low on pumpkin. W’ere not out, but dangerously close so that I want to save it for an oats emergency. Instead of break the little glass box that holds the last can of pumpkin, I made some plain oats and gave it a fruity frosting with my MojaMix granola that has dried persimmons and strawberries. Yum! It went great with the clean but earthy vanilla almond butter.

So far today, I’ve been very lazy(still in my PJ’s :-)). Morning TV has been eventful, though. First, Goji Gourmet was featured as Rachael Ray’s snack of the day! And it was the almond oat flavor I had last night–too funny. After that, on Regis and Kelly, a guest explained how you can use alternative natural sweeteners to cut sugar out of the American diet. Perfect! Except he said Fage yogurt was good for you “because it has only one sugar cube per serving”. Correction: Fage yogurt, and other plain yogurts, have no sugar cubes per serving. They have sugar, but it’s lactose which is completely natural in milk. Attacking that would be like attacking the sugar in apples. OK, I just had to get that out there.

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The Worst Thing About New Years…

Posted on January 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The worst thing about New Years is dating everything 2009 for the next 2 months and having to cross it out. Seriously, I’m going to be doing that into March. But if that’s the worst thing about 2010, I’m guessing it’s going to be a good year 🙂

Isn’t it the case that whenever you’re hosting you forget something? For us, it was good parmesan cheese.

Parmesan Cheese

My dad and I ran to the store(in a snow storm) to grab a hunk. I also quickly looked for nutritional yeast while we were there but couldn’t find any 😦 I guess that’ll be one new thing to try in 2010! I also may have been convinced to come along by a McDonalds’ coffee–just saying.

Our guests called to say they’d be here more 5-ish because of the snow, so I definitely needed some snacks before party food.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Red Delicious Apple

Oatmeal and peanut butter will still be a theme in the New Year; please, nobody fret. We laid out the appetizers…

Apricot Glazed Baked Brie

Savory Cheeseball

Whole Wheat Red Pepper Foccaccia

…and soon they were here. Can I just say that we demolished these? I think there was 3 slices of foccaccia left, 1/2 of the hummus, and 1/3 the cheeseball and… that was about it.

Whole Wheat Red Pepper Foccaccia, Apricot Brie, Dr. Kracker Hummus Maximus Crackers

I ate this times about 2 because I went back for seconds on them all. The bread was so good! It was a Food Network recipe–just store bought whole wheat pizza dough brushed with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper and topped with onion and parmesan. Could it get much simpler? I also really liked the Hummus Maximus crackers; I don’t know that there was anything specific about the flavor I could pinpoint as chickpea, but it was definitely unique and worked well with the hummuses. We did a very early toast.

Toasting Glass

Everyone had champagne except for me and their 4 year old boy, who had milk. Can you guess what was in my glass?… Black Cherry Zevia 🙂 And I wouldn’t have had it any other way(This, naturally, led in to the conversation of how something could be natural and diet soda and why my shirt matched my beverage ;-)). Once we were done with appetizers, we moved on to the main course.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Homemade Meatballs

Roasted Carrots And Turnips, Sirloin Roast, Roasted Broccoli, Homemade Whole Wheat Potato Gnocchi

Our guests were Korean and love their vegetables and red meat; can you tell we tried to accomodate that 😉 Everyone seemed to love everything, and there was nothing bad here. Our guest’s husband was soooo happy that the gnocchi was whole wheat because that meant “his wife would let him eat it”. Haha! Have I mentioned how much I love these people?

Roasted Brussels And Broccoli, Homemade Whole Wheat Gnocchi With Meatballs

This was my plate; I chose the 3 or 4 things I wanted and made a more-or-less normal dinner. I knew I’d be seeing this all for leftovers next year, anyway. You can pretty much assume I at 4 times the brussels and broccoli as pictured because that’s what I kept going back for more of. For the first time, my mom made her meatballs with all-natural ingredients so I made those my main course instead of the sirloin roast that the rest of the table had. They were so soft and moist they melted in my mouth! The gnocchi were also very good, too.

After dinner, we laid out the desserts.

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Gluten Free Brownies, Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti, Italian Bakery Bought Cookies, Tiramisu, Wine, And Newman's Organic Decaf Coffee

At first I was honestly too stuffed for anything but coffee. After a few cups and about 30 minutes of sitting and talking, I had room.

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Gluten Free Brownie, Tiramisu

This was my dessert plate. Oh My God, did these gluten free brownies turn out good! They didn’t even stick to the pan and were super super fudgy. I was worried 3 tablespoons peanut butter chips wouldn’t make a difference but you totally got the peanut butter flavor. Our guests brought a homemade tiramisu made with hazelnut liqueur. It was good! I appreciate that they made the cake bottom instead of using HFCS-laden ladyfingers. We’re not sure what happened with the top layer, which was rather thin, but overall the flavor was there.

Our dessert conversation ran through everything from my bacon milk chocolate bar to beliefs in God. The good thing about good friends and family is you can argue and disagree and everything and it won’t matter 10 minutes later 🙂

Our guests left around 9:45 to go home, put the little one to sleep, and spend time with their grandparents. Within 30 minutes, we had the house back to spick and span and our PJ’s on. We actually got a call from our neighbors to come over to their house but we were exhausted and did not want to think about leaving the house. Oh well, we’ll see them sometime this year.

Tiramisu, Peanut Butter And Chocolate Gluten Free Brownie

I made a snack plate. Seriously, these brownies are addicting! I’ll be making another batch before I know it. We watched Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin since we’re such fans of hers and wanted to see what she’d say. Good thing no drinking games around here because there are a ton with her and we’d all had been wasted.

Tiramisu

At 11:58 I unapologetically went back for another scoop of this dessert. It was last year, so it totally doesn’t count anymore, right 😉 And, of course, we watched the ball drop. After that, though, we pretty much went straight to different rooms and crashed. Midnight is a stretch for me!

So far, the New Year has been filled with laziness, not-working out, and baking. Excellent 😀 How long can I reasonably keep this up? We shall see… Actually, I did wake up at 7, but since no one else was alive I felt free to sleep for another 90 minutes. After coffee and a shower, I decided that my banana goodness bread would be my first dish of the decade. Whether it’s a new home or a new decade, I think homemade bread just says “welcome”. I mushed bananas, sifted flour, and stuck it in the oven. While it was baking I had my first breakfast of the decade.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Vanilla Almond Butter And Strawberry Yogurt Frosting

See? Things don’t change overnight! That’s partially why I haven’t made any resolutions: I do that enough day-by-day that I feel no pressure to do it year-by-year. Anyway, I wasn’t too hungry and this was late so I kept it simple with delicious, Springtime flavors. I love my salty sweet 🙂 Eventually the bread was done.

Banana Goodness Bread

Another perfect loaf 🙂 This time I swapped out the flaxseed for wheat germ and sprinkled vanilla sugar over the top for some crispness–beautiful. Then my grandmother came over for a New Years lunch. It used to be our tradition when I was a little kid to have chinese take out every new Years day with my grandparents. Instead, we had leftovers, which were 10 times tastier anyway.

Roasted Vegetable Medley, Sirloin Roast, Banana Goodness Bread

Was I supposed to hold off on slicing into that bread? I’m sorry; I think I missed that message 😉 I portioned out 3oz of meat and then loaded up on bread and veggies.Yum! I kind of wish I had the sirloin last night when it was freshly cooked and dripping red but oh well–that’ll happen again in my life sometime. The bread was simply perfect. The key to a crispy stop is a little sprinkling of sugar and it is sooo worth it. Today it sounds like we’re “getting out” because it’s going to snow for 3 straight days, so I’ll be curious to see where we wind up.

A coconut bliss ice cream giveaway! Never tried this but it sounds delicious.

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Christmas 2009

Posted on December 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Christmas Eve recap here.

I was definitely the kid who woke up early on Christmas morning and woke up everyone else around me so we could get to opening presents faster. I think I’ve grown since then because I let people sleep in until 8 now 🙂

Unwrapping Presents

We just did simple family presents between the 3 of us on Christmas morning. There was the obligatory scratch tickets.

Scratch Tickets

I won! But by now I forget how much… Oh well, the money is somewhere 🙂

Spreads And Spices

My parents know me so well. I’ve never tried Saratoga Peanut Butter before but my dad ordered some to try. The Catch Me If You Can flavor was invented by our very own Meagan! I’m glad I got it before it went off of the market.

Goji Cookies And Baking Pans

The Goji Gourmet cookies weren’t much of a surprise since I picked them out in NYC 🙂 But the vitatop pan will be fun to play with! Maybe I will rekindle my obsession with muffin tops but not bottoms.

Cuisinart Mini Prep

And I got a food processor! Sort of. Any one have experience with this model? I know Cuisinart is a good brand because I have some of their other appliances. But I might return this one and take some of the money I got from Christmas to buy a more expensive model. I think opening presents is way more fun than working out 7:30-9:00 😉 But afterwards I was ready for breakfast.

Eggnog Greek Yogurt With TRUwhip

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Gingerbread PB, And A Ginger Molasses Cookie

TRUwhip at breakfast is totally OK at breakfast on Christmas if it’s over a seasonal yogurt. The Catch Me If You Can peanut butter was really good! Go Meagan! I loved the way the ginger and the molasses played together–yum! At 11 we packed up to go to my dad’s family, who live in Concord, New Hampshire. It’s only a 90 minute ride and honestly it felt like we were there sooner than ever. When we walked in we were greeted, and with food.

Snack Spread

The spread was so good; there was even Kettle Chips and Food Should Taste Good chips! Rather than not fill up on chips, though, I chose some of the “healthier” food items.

Blackberries And Cantaloupe

I can not resist fresh, precut fruit. We never have it at home because it’s such a waste of money to buy, but then we’re also to lazy to cut our own–double whammy! Naturally I had about 3 times as much is pictured.

Tio Juan's Margarita Salsa Mild

There was also a plethora of celery dipped in this salsa. It has amazing flavor, except I much prefer the hot to the mild(and the hot one you know is hot because it burns your tongue when you hit a seed). My little cousins were quick to tell me what to do and where to go while I was eating.

The New Mario On The Wii

The big gift this year was a wii! I have to say, this was entirely a present for me, too. No more little cousins going crazy for mine when they come to my house! Haha. They wanted to show me it and their new Mario game. I have to say it was pretty fun, and they were in awe about how good I was. I don’t think they realize this game is 20+ years old and I’d been playing it since I was their age 😉 Once I peeled myself away from that, I was able to hang out with my grandparents and aunt and uncle. They told me stories about my great-grandfather who ate 3 raw eggs with milk and maple syrup every morning, walked 5 miles a day, and was tiny framed his whole life; well now I sound like a chip of the ol’ block! After much cooking, dinner was ready.

Dinner Table

So much food! And unlike Christmas Eve dinner, I could eat 90% of it! It was pure heaven. Usually, at holidays, I try to treat meals like every other one: make a balanced plate of 3 or 4 things and eat until you’re comfortably full. However, I really just wanted to pig out on good and natural food and feel for once like the holiday season was actually here!

Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Brie, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Cornish Hen

Such a good plate of food(though nothing in comparison to how much my grandfather put away 8-|). I also tried boiled onions for the first time and had seconds(and thirds) on the brussels and cauliflower. It was all really good. The cornish hens were naturally raised so I had no problem digging in to it. I ate the breast meat and my mom picked at probably the rest of it. Everyone pigged out on veggies so we even got to take home 3 hens!  Sweet deal. After all that amazingness, my cousins drove us to unwrap gifts.

Faux Christmas Tree

Scratch Tickets

Can you tell the type of family we are? 😉 This time I won 6 more dollars!

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

And I got the Mario game for myself 🙂 I have to admit, it was really fun when I played with my cousins so I was definitely looking forward to getting this(especially after hearing Lynn talk about how much she loved renting it). There was also clothes–some of which I’ll keep and some return–and gift cards. My aunt got me not 1 but 3 Target gift cards; apparently she couldn’t decide which one looked cute enough. After everything digested I was sooo ready for dessert.

Dessert Spread

Along with the two things I brought, there was Carvel birthday cake for my mom’s birthday and a chocolate pudding pie and apple pie from my grandmother. I think the apple pie was all-natural, but really I was not that hungry at all after the feast. I just opted for coffee(decaf, of course) and some tiny tasty treats.

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti, Chocolate Mint Gluten Free Brownie With TRUwhip

This was such a sweet ending to the whole thing. The gluten free brownies came out amazing! No one could guess there was anything funny about them, let alone having black beans! I’m definitely going to be posting the recipe soon(and maybe even making another batch). And these biscotti got rave reviews again. I don’t think I could possibly get tired of them. The secret is in the peanut butter, peanuts, and peanut flour. After dessert we gathered our gifts, said goodbye, and drove home. It was snowing slightly and looked sooo beautiful all the way home; what a perfect way to end Christmas. When we got home it was past dinner but I wasn’t really hungry from the feast anyway. Instead I had (another) sweet ending.

NibMor Original With Raspberry Jam

Yum! The NibMor raw chocolate is definitely a bit lighter on texture but the flavor is just as decadent as rich, dark chocolate. And I love that combo of dark chocolate and raspberry 🙂 I was actually thinking of making raspberry chocolate cups but this was way faster and more effecient at 8pm at night.

Oatmeal With Honey Cream Cheese Frosting, Adirondack Jack Butter, And French Toast Almonds

A little later I definitely reverted into my nutty habits and was hungry for dessert 🙂 The “frosting”, which had yogurt in it, was more to get a 2nd(albeit, lame) source of probiotics in for the day. The adirondack jack butter was new and really interesting; it’s a mix of peanuts, almond, flax, cranberries, sunflower seeds and honey. Not my favorite, but it definitely has its own flavor. I loooved the added roasted nuts. I took them to New Hampshire, too, and everyone seemed to enjoy them, so I’m thinking next Christmas I’ll roast a batch for each person individually.

Well, that was my Christmas. In writing this post, I think I’ve remembered one of my favorite things about this blog: I know have all these great memories in a place I can go to whenever I want. Being able to share it with you all and my family is just the cherry on top. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night 🙂

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