A recipe for living with cancer.

Posts tagged ‘chocolate’

To Be Brutally Honest…

I have had time to calm down about my lipid levels.  After two days of being a strict vegan, eating no sugary products (cookies) and drinking no alcohol, I have honestly looked at the last couple months and my eating patterns.  And I have to be honest with myself.  Yes over those months I have been getting back to being a vegan or veganish (a vegan who eats fish!) and yes I have avoided dairy most of the time.  But when we go out to eat I will often have a veggie wrap – it has cheese , or a salad-it has feta, sometimes parmasean, or cavitelli -made with ricotta -so there have been many times when the healthy vegetarian option I am eating has fat in it.  We stopped eating at Dinette, my Hubbie’s fav restaurant, because there was nothing I could eat there when I was being strictly veganish.  I once ordered one of their pizzas without cheese…oh my…cardboard.  So in the past couple of months we’ve gone back there and I’ve eaten the pizza with cheese, but only a little, HA!  What was going on?

I was entitled.  I have breast cancer and made it through chemo, surgery and radiation and — well, I deserve to eat some stuff.  I maintained my weight, was feeling great, so my cheating, if we can even call it that, was not only justified but helping me get back to a normal life.  My chocolate cookies may also have had a bit to do with my LDL and cholesterol increase.

In the last two months I have perfected my vegan chocolate chocolate cookies (my son has named them “the cookie from heaven”).  And to be honest, I have eaten at least one every day for probably a month straight, some days more. One must taste test in order to ensure the product is worthy!  Even though vegan, there is sugar and a small amount of fat, but small amounts add up.  And sugar is one of the culprits that will increase LDL.

But how could I resist these cookies, part brownie part cookie and vegan ?

cookie

Or these my son made?

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Here is the recipe in case you’d like to try them:

Triple C-Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

or The Cookie from Heaven

In bowl of mixer Cream until fluffy

6 T room temp vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)

scant 1/2 cup white sugar

scant 1/2 cup brown sugar (scant just means don’t fill to top)

Add to bowl and blend:

4 T applesauce

In microwave melt:

1/2 cup dark chocolate (I use El Rey 70+%)

Add 1/4 cup good cocoa powder and mix directly into melted chocolate

Add chocolate mixture to bowl and blend well.

Add to bowl:

1 cup minus 1 T APF (all purpose flour) If dough to stiff, remove another T next time.

1/4 tsp baking soda

Blend and add 1 cup chocolate chips/chunks or bits.

Scoop a walnut sized ball for 2″ cookies.  Place on parchment covered cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes.

You want these cookies to be set but still soft in the center so depending on your oven it can take anywhere from 8-12 minutes.  This makes about 15 3″ cookies or 24 2″ cookies.

I have added extra white chocolate chips to the batter, also walnuts.  I love nuts and walnuts are so healthy and have good fat and not in a chocolate cookies would be even healthier LOL!  The cookies are very delicate when hot out of the oven but once they set they are between cookie and brownie.  They freeze well and taste yummy frozen too!  So to be brutally honest, I know why my cholesterol and LDL levels went up, but I sure enjoyed all those cookies along the way! Now, moderation.

Sometimes Life is Just Vanilla

I have been making vanilla cupcakes for 45 years, I’ve used the “Hurry Up Cake” recipe from the Joy of Cooking with my variations. I use organic all-purpose flour,  vegan smart balance, organic non fat milk, organic eggs and vegan or organic cane sugar.  The “organic” label has been within the last five years, before that it was regular everything.  I use organic in the hope  I am helping the environment in some small way from the dumping of more pesticides and herbicides on the already battered earth, maybe prevent a few toxic ingredients from creeping into our bodies and cause more wildly divided cells and as a message to the big corporate machine that I will not support their dirty, greedy ways anymore. I know organic is becoming part of the greedy machine, but I need to believe in something.

I have deviated from my recipe and tried the “best vanilla cupcake”, the “lightest vanilla cupcake”,  the “perfect vanilla cupcake”,  a “white cupcake”, a “yellow cupcake”, made it with butter, cake flour, full fat milk, egg whites, but my family always comes back to me and says “we like the old recipe better.” I know the ingredients by heart, but always turn to the page in my cookbook to have it visible like a comfort or reassurance that I am doing it correctly.  I will make chocolate cupcakes, pumpkin, carrot, raspberry, cupcakes with fillings, hostess cupcakes…but they always say “we like the old recipe better.” So here is my recipe, because sometimes life is just VANILLA!

Barb’s Hurry Up Cupcakes     Preheat oven to 350

  • 1 3/4 cup organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegan or organic sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt (I use Kosher)
  • 1/2 cup smart balance-room temp
  • 1/2 cup organic non fat milk-room temp
  • 2 organic eggs-room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl of mixer.  Break eggs into bowl, add milk and vanilla and whisk.  Add smart balance to flour mixture and with paddle attachment blend on low until well blended no chunks of fat appear.  Add liquid ingredients scraping down sides of bowl.  If doesn’t look smooth not to worry, crank mixer up to medium and let mix 2-3 minutes until smooth and well blended.

Place paper cups in muffin tin and fill two-thirds with batter.  Bake at 350 16-18 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

I can get 12-16 cupcakes out of this recipe depending on how high I fill them.  I have ice cream scoops, one of which gives me 12 cupcakes, the smaller 16.  I do not know the scoop sizes.  I also have three different muffin pans, each slightly different size then the next.  So try this with your pans, your scoops, your methods.

Changes you can make to this recipe, for a richer cupcake, use butter, use full fat milk.  For a lighter cupcake use cake flour.

Icing:  In the top of a double boiler place two handfuls of a really good dark chocolate, I use El Rey 70%.  Heat slowly until chocolate melts, remove from heat and add a third hand full of chocolate.  Stir until melted.  I turn the cupcake upside down and dip it in the chocolate and voila it’s iced.  I freeze the cupcakes and according to my hubbie, 20 seconds in a high-powered microwave and you are good to go! If you have chocolate leftover, dip some pretzels in it for a snack, or apricots, or pour it over a cut up banana for a treat.  Chocolate never goes to waste in our house.

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