I’ve been craving some chocolate decadence lately, but with some of the weight I gained back recently (keeping weight off is HARD people), I wanted something with fewer calories and sugar but not miss an indulgent thing – as it should be, right?! I have high expectations. I also have lazy expectations, so I threw all the ingredients in the blender and created a crazy-good double chocolate decadent monster. Yep, in the blender, the one-stop-good-old-smoothie-making blender … quick and easy … guilt-free … mess-free … chocolate bliss … these muffins are a very delicious thing and so accommodating. 🙂
Oh have I got a cake for you!
Carrot cake is an all-time favorite in my house and it’s about time I made it as a layer cake. If you have missed carrot cake you need this in your life – it’s a carrot cake lovers dream!
I usually make it as a quick and easy sheet cake but thought with my teenage son turning 16 (he LOVES carrot cake) last week why not make it fancy, shmancy for his birthday with layers and completely studded with pecans. My birthday boy was over-the-moon happy. He’s still a boy to me even though he’s nearly a head taller. I’ll admit this cake needs a good chunk of time but no need to reserve it at once – I never do. I made the frosting a couple of days prior, baked and chilled the cake the day before his birthday and assembled the cake the morning of his birthday while he was sleeping (until noon!) then hid it away in our garage fridge and managed to get a few photos before we dug in. And what better for Easter OR Passover? Actually, any day is a good day for carrot cake. No?
Many weeks ago, at dinner, I asked the kids’ what kind of pie they would like for Thanksgiving dessert. My teenager began with I don’t know… then was quickly interrupted by his younger brother, Michael who chuckled, then blurted out, I want pumpkin pie (for those of you new here, Michael, 12, has a twin, Ely, they both have the neurological disorder autism with moderate expressive language.). We all looked at each other, shocked. Then Ely chimed in, with perfect eye contact, to say I want apple pie cake. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I know it doesn’t sound like anything much, but for us, these moments are a big deal. You see, Michael and Ely don’t usually take part in group conversation, so to help with this we prompt speech or sound out the first letter of the word in conversation. It was another glimmer of hope that we are getting through, we are breaking through, more so every day (we, as in my husband and me. I could never manage it all without him.).
When I think about how changes like subbing flours, use of fat, or even as small as reducing a baking soda amount can make a baking recipe quicker, easier, and better, then I am up for the challenge. Especially so with my ginger cookies. We can’t live without these things and since we are giving grains a break until the end of the month, I gave them a makeover. These are a chunkier, thicker paleo version of the original that has me over-the-moon-excited over how freakin good it is.
“By November 24, giving thanks can start to feel like a command performance rather than a genuine act. Your social-media feed is all gratitude, all the time (#30daysofthanks!), and you’re up to your googly eyeballs in turkey-themed craft projects. It’s OK to feel jaded. “You can’t turn on gratitude” just because it’s Thanksgiving, says Robin Berman, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the author of Permission to Parent. In fact, peak holiday season may not even be the best time to make it a priority. “Gratitude happens in quiet pauses and moments, not when you have a giant to-do list and you’re racing around,” she says. So how do you embrace the season sincerely? Ten experts are here to help. Let’s do this, November.” …
I know, I know, I’m really late to the party, but I’ve come with some super quick and easy dessert that are a chocolate-lovers dream and allergen-free, so nobody is left out! More on the whimsy side rather than the ‘hey it’s Halloween and I’m going all out!’ kind of dessert, but the rich, creamy chocolate will have you forget my lackluster efforts with some white chocolate bark for good measure and to keep this yin-yang in our chocolate universe. This is chocolate heaven, my friends – Halloween or otherwise.
The past few weeks have been pretty much about recipe testing without the use of grains, now that we are giving a grain-free diet a try, in addition to gluten, dairy, soy and some other foods free. It’s like starting all over again, reminding me of all the recipe testing in hopes to replace all the pantry staples we have clung on to, eight years ago.
With the wide array of apples at the market now I couldn’t wait to make this recipe again.
Last year I made this recipe as baked doughnuts for Chanukah (twice in one week for obvious reasons), and a similar recipe to this one for the back-to-school apple pie cupcake. Fall is my favorite season for baking. I’m a sucker for the aroma of apples and spices lingering in the air, that and pumpkin spice, and gingerbread and … never mind … I just love this season. Time to get this warm and cozy baking season started — fall season has arrived!
Coming from a heritage stemming from the southern part of Russia, the cultural traditions set on my family’s table have always been similar to the foods of the Middle East – especially Israeli and Persian food. Halvah was one of them; my favorite Middle Eastern confection. My late grandmother would keep plenty of halvah, individually wrapped Russian chocolates, sesame seed candies, and sweet meringues in a big crystal bowl ready for the picking. That and hot mint tea was the final part of most family meal gatherings.
The month of June snuck up on me quick and the days seem to speed by before my eyes. School’s out and a break from the crazy school morning rush and the end of my being the annoying homework monitor, the cue that summer has begun. Michael and Ely (who go to different schools) had class parties, end-of-the-year school picnics, and culmination all last week, along with visits to a holistic doctor and an acupuncturist for the first time. Needless to say, it has been an overwhelming and exciting month so far, with many emotions and information to process.