Monday, May 23, 2011

Sugar, sugar, ahhhh honey honey!

I think I have more than one sweet tooth.

I mean, who named it that, anyway? We all know that the sweet taste buds are found on the tongue...

I eat a pretty balanced diet, if I do say so myself. Although, in the last 9 months I started working at a cupcake shop (which lets me bring home leftovers at the end of the night), took two baking classes (in which we had to create and sample five or six delicious cakes per week), turned 21 (and now have one or two drinks a week)....yeah, it all adds up. No matter how many salads, whole grains, and fish I eat the rest of the time, my sweets intake has gone WAY up.

I'm going to try a challenge: no sugar. No time limit. One week minimum, but ideally I want to eliminate a new thing each week.

Week one: no added sugar. White, brown, raw, honey, syrup, etc. I would love to simply go sweetener-free and learn to appreciate the natural flavors and sweetness of foods, but that might be a little crazy for me. Instead I'm trying Stevia and Xylitol, both natural sweeteners, and allowing myself a teensy bit of agave nectar because although it has sugar, it is low-glycemic.

I'm keeping fruit, because it's blueberry season in my backyard.

I'll see how it goes, and in a week, decide what to eliminate next.

Here are the blueberry muffins I made this morning!

Recipe adapted from

Makes 14 muffins

  • 6 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 oz. milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Trader Joe's pure Stevia extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg

  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen, I used a mixture)
Pre heat the oven to 375°. Paper muffin pans.

Soak the oats in the orange juice for 15 minutes in a small bowl.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, Stevia, and salt.

Use the same whisk to thin the yogurt with the milk and beat in the oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the soaked oats with a large rubber spatula.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until the flour is mostly combined, but you can still see it. Fold in the blueberries very gently. Spoon the batter into the muffin pans and bake for 20-25 minutes. The muffins should be golden brown, firm and springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out nearly clean.

Serve hot, with butter. Eat three and don't feel bad, because they are sugar free low sugar (forgot about the orange juice and blueberries!) and whole wheat. :)

Do you know anybody who eats absolutely no sugar? How do they do it??

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cookies for sale!!

just made 4 dozen 3.5 inch diameter, chocolate chunk, white whole wheat cookies. They are crispy-chewy and still warm...I will sell them for $10 a dozen if anybody is interested! You can pick them up or I can deliver!

Here is the recipe I used, and seriously, they look just like the pictures! 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Just pick up your shoes and go

I recently saw pictures of an acquaintance's backyard in Montana. Bare trees, snowy fields, and a lovely, looming, blue mountain in the not-so-distant view. The mountain filled the whole photo. Wouldn't it be wonderful to fill your eyes with gorgeousness each time you looked out your window?

Sometimes, the suburbs are so dreary.

On a brighter, whiter note, I am now in possession of knowledge which makes me suspensefully excited for Valentine's day to roll around! (and I am obsessed with the song that plays! Does anyone know who it could be? I found it! The full version is even prettier.)

No, it's not a date with my fiance. But it does bring me a little closer to seeing him.

Ah, l'amour, l'amour. How it does get you down...and how it does pick you back up again!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

cocoa brownies--my first post ever!

Today was one of those unexpectedly free days. My plans were cancelled, but not by me, leaving me plenty of time to whip up something delicious for bible study tonight. What kind of thing? Chocolate, absolutely. Cake? Cookie? Brownie? Mousse? Hmmm. Time to peruse the blogosphere for ideas.

I found lots of delicious looking chocolate recipes, like this lighter, airier cupcake to this dense, rich torte. My problem was a lack of solid chocolate, except for a handful of chocolate chips, so I settled on the best cocoa brownies I think I've ever tasted. They almost have the texture of a torte, but the ingredients and the preparation are so simple. The only problem I had was with which pan to use. Our glass square dish is in the fridge with raw chicken in it (that's a no-go), so I decided to make the brownies in a round ceramic dish and cut them in wedges, like the flourless cake. It sounded cute. I even thought about topping it with some kind of cream cheese frosting or raspberry sauce.

But....wait! Stop right there! I have to taste the brownies before I serve them! It's like an unwritten law, right? They could turn out bitter, or raw, or dry, or any number of things and I taste them. Without leaving the brownie pie with an unsightly wedge-shaped gaping gap, telling everyone of my lack of self control.

That's when my brilliant idea was born! I would square off the brownies! Not unlike the way I have learned to square off potatoes before slicing them into nice, beautiful little juliennes or batonnets.


Yes, there were two more sides to this brownie slab...I ate them warm with slightly-thawed-frozen-raspberries and a glass of milk. Mmmm! Couldn't ask for a better lunch! And there is plenty left in the square to cut many tiny squares of brownie goodness, perfect for kids or people (like me) who think, I'll just have a little I can have three more in the course of an hour and not feel guilty about it. :) Besides, I worked out intensely yesterday! I deserve it! Oh man...I am reminding myself of one of my favorite commercials...really, this is so me!

You can see the dense, moist texture of the inside and the beautiful color and shininess (is that a word?) of the top. Good thing I've grown some self-control since a few hours ago. *wink wink*

I don't know how recipe rights go as far as posting someone else's recipe...but I'll give credit where credit is due, ok? This recipe is from Deb at Smitten Kitchen. I have been reading her blog a lot lately. She is funny and her food always looks and sounds AMAZING. I already shared the link above, so I won't repost it here. Enjoy!

On another note...last week I went to San Francisco to the most amazing collection of gourmet food stores I have ever seen and I decided to splurge on a $2.50 square of chocolate. It was dark chocolate with cardamom and caramelized cocoa nibs. It was so intriguing! I am totally inspired to make cardamom brownies or soon as I can get my hands on some cardamom...