Saturday, January 28, 2012

Black Bottom Cupcakes

So I happened to stumble upon this website while looking for an easy dessert to feed our dinner guests yesterday evening. Apparently this gal is a med student and blogs recipes for fun? Her recipes all look delicious!

Back to the dessert- I didn't want any butter in it, since we haven't really had any in the fridge for the last two months, and it needed to be minimal clean up since the guests were arriving in approximately 30 min. Lo and behold, the title black-bottom cupcakes caught my eye. Chocolate cupcake meets cheesecake. Yes please.

The cupcake batter is actually eggless and similar to red velvet cake in that in has baking soda and white vinegar in it! Now, I made a change with the cheesecake part: instead of regular cream cheese, I used 1/3-less-fat and I skipped the chopped up chocolate pieces she throws into it as well. My cream cheese/egg/sugar mixture came out thinner- not sure if it's because it's missing 1/3 of its fat or because I was impatient and warmed my cream cheese in the microwave... most likely the latter- so it seemed too messy to spoon on top of each cupcake. Instead, I put the mixture into a sandwich ziploc, cut a corner, and squeezed a dollop into each cupcake, creating a "filled" cupcake. Then I took something pointy near me (I think it was a piece of cardboard?) and swirled the chocolate and cream cheese to make it look cooler.

They were delicious! And not too unhealthy :) By the way, if you didn't note what I am baking these in, it is a silicone muffin pan. I HIGHLY recommend them! So much easier to use and clean.

delicious cupcake guts. no frosting required. sweeeeet.

go check out the recipe!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Juicing Chronicles

The Mr. and I watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead one evening while flipping through Netflix.

Wow. What an inspiring film. I'm serious! The director and main guy, Joe Cross, lost something crazy like 70 lbs and then he meets some trucker who's 400-something pounds and goes on to cut that weight in half! Basically, all they do is drink plain juicified (is that even a word?) fruits and vegetables for two months. And that's it. No extra fancy supplements or extreme exercise routine (though some exercise is done of course- very moderately since a diet of only fruits and vegetables is not quite the recipe for a great workout). On top of that, the diet program that is linked with the film, Reboot Your Life is completely free. No catches, no fees, nada. I was surprised! They have less extreme programs advertised than the one used in the film, but much more fit for the average joe.

When I say inspiring, I mean it. The Mr. has been wanting to shed a few pounds since before we were married. We are fairly healthy and active people (well he is. I'm just healthy, not so much active these pregnant days), so we never actually gained the "extra marriage love" when we first got married almost four years ago, but this is something he has wanted for a long long time. We didn't really have much to start this juice diet, so we basically started from nothing. Here is what we did (and are doing) and what may help you get started:

1. Of course watch the documentary first. Click the link above to watch it for free on if you do not have access to the film.

2. Get a juicer! So, we are not in the money market right now. Price was a major factor. However, through a credit card we use (go discover!), we've had gift cards racking up and happened to be able to get a $40-gets-you-$50 gift card at (I'll have to write up a post about credit cards one of these days. I love rewards!). On top of that, we got a $100 Visa gift card from AT&T U-Verse when we signed up for their Internet promotion upon moving into our apartment (always ask about promotions when getting Internet. Or anything really..). We had used the gift card to fill up on gas once or twice, but still had $60 left on it. So now we had $110 to spend. Well, like I was saying earlier, the Money Gods are not shedding their blessings upon us currently (I'm kidding. We believe in one God only), so while it was tempting to buy the $160 Breville used in the documentary, we decided to go with the FREE option of ordering the smaller $99 juicer (side note: Breville has some sort of lame contract with that excludes them from all the offers like free shipping or 10-20% off your total purchase. BOO). Woot!

The Mr. posing with his new juicer
3. Come up with a menu idea for meals and a schedule for how long you want to do this. The Mr. wants to try for 10 days and we decided to just juice for breakfast and lunch only and continue with healthy dinners. I highly recommend going with challenging but achievable goals. Unlike the documentary, the Mr. still has to work and be around his family (who are not participating). No 10 day vacations by the lake.

4. Buy ingredients that are on sale, in season, and something you can eat without gagging. We calculated that 5 days of produce would be about $40- we ended up at about $50, but I'm pretty sure it will last at least 7-8 days with the amount we brought home.

That all being said, check out the Mr.'s breakfast this morning:

Looks like it's a drink from outerspace!

We will be documenting his experience and reporting half way and then once the 10 days are over. Enjoy!

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Again, while roaming through the land of Pinterest, a recipe for frozen hot chocolate caught my eye. What can I say? I love chocolate. So I tried out the recipe last night and I think it was delicious.

The recipe can be halved, but since it takes 5 packets of cocoa in the original (I used Trader Joe's as well- so good!), be sure to make up for the half packet. I didn't want to use only half a packet, so I went ahead and added ovaltine to it (regular rich chocolate ovaltines is greeeeaaat) as well.

As another helpful hint, use powdered sugar and vanilla in the whipped cream. The powdered sugar keeps the fluff in whipped cream much better! I went ahead and just used 1% milk instead of whole milk as well. It was plenty creamy already.

I will definitely be making this again! Just maybe not too close to bedtime... it's really sweet and I had a bad case of restlessness last night haha.

Baked Doughnuts

Ok, I am back from my blogging hiatus. You know how the holidays are. Anyway, I'm always on the look out for healthier alternatives for tasty foods, so while skimming through Pinterest last week, I saw a pin for BAKED DOUGHNUTS. I happen to have a doughnut cutter (circa 1950's- it was my grandpa's!) even.

Now, I am pregnant and though I don't typically have cravings, I can barely turn down a chocolate glazed doughnut. I'm sure I could eat a dozen in one sitting. At least. It's much easier buying a doughnut than to convince myself to fry a batch. All that oil. I can't do it!

So back to the baked doughnuts- I wasn't very impressed with the results. The pictures on the blog look so convincing that you'll get a fluffy sweet treat, but this was not so. In fact, I felt like I was eating a dinner roll with chocolate glaze. Nonetheless, I ate a couple of doughnut holes and a whole doughnut or two even. They weren't bad, just not doughnuts. Here's some documentation:
Aw, little doughnut holes.

The baking.

Glazed and ready to be eaten.

I just added cocoa powder and ovaltine to the glaze recipe provided.

They need to be kept in a sealed container of some sort after baking- they dry out very quickly.