Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

Andrea: When I die…

…and go to heaven, I will be greeted with this cake.

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For a full description and way better photos, head to SharedSugar.com

Thank you to Stephanie for making this wonderful dessert, and to Lee for helping her out even on your own birthday 🙂

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Andrea: Andrea vs. Harold

Harold is the name of my house. My friends Emilly & Andy named their house “Maude” and when we moved in down the street, our house was christened, “Harold.” Harold was vacant for four years before we moved in and wasn’t well taken care of before that.

So, armed with a shovel and a steam cleaner, I did battle with the yard and with years of grease and grime. I won this round, but it’s still an ongoing war!

Between all the yard work, house work, and work work I did this weekend, needless to say, the last thing I wanted to do this weekend was cook, blog, or even open my computer – hence my MIA-ness.

I successfully avoided all cooking, but then I realized that I had signed up to take Rose & Jon dinner on Sunday. I quickly raced over to Whole Foods and then whipped up a no-fail dinner: vegetarian shepherds pie.

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No calorie was spared here! I sauteed the veggies in real butter, put yogurt in the mashed potatoes, and then topped everything with a healthy dose of Dubliner cheese. I figured the new Mom & Dad could use some comfort food.

I also knew Rose could use some chocolate. Since Rose was the first person to introduce me to raw foods years ago, I made a raw chocolate tart for dessert. I did some Googling and then stumbled across this recipe for Chocolate Cream Cake from the twins over at Pure2Raw. This is the 2nd recipe of theirs that I’ve tried and again, I was not disappointed!

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The crust.

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The filing.

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The end result!

Four of us polished off half of the tart and I suspect the other half will be eaten by Rose by the end of the day 🙂

After such a laborious weekend, it was nice to spend some QT with this little guy…

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Seriously. I’m in love. He doesn’t make me want to go out and get knocked up, but he’s certainly trying!

Andrea: The calm before the storm

Goodbye sleeping in.

Goodbye eating whatever I feel like.

Tomorrow starts six weeks of 10k training. The only part of my body looking forward to going back to regular exercise is my muffin top.   

Despite the re-introduction of exercise to my already busy schedule, one thing will remain the same – weekends in the kitchen.

Here’s what I’ve been cooking. And un-cooking!

No knead bread:

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This lump of dough is hanging out in my fridge ready to be consumer over the next week or two. I’m thinking tomorrow I’ll make pita bread for these….

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Raw falafel balls! I first saw raw falafel on Greens for Good and I knew I had to make them. I used the same recipe Ryan did, but since I wasn’t overly precise with my measurements, I think I used too much cilantro – hence the light green color. That’s okay because I love cilantro and they smell amazing. But, unlike Ryan, I didn’t heed her suggestion and added all the water, something I wish I hadn’t done. BUT, I was still able to form little balls/patties and I even saved some of the mixture to use as pesto later this week! They’re just about ready to come out of the dehydrator and I can’t wait to try one!

I also jumped on the HEAB bandwagon

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…and made my own coconut butter! This was so easy and I’m so glad Heather tried this as I was just about to plunk down $15 for some store-bought coconut butter this week! This cheap, homemade coconut butter came in handy when I tried making…

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Raw macaroons! These are still in the dehydrator as well, but as you can see, I’ve already sampled a couple. They are so freaking good. I actually don’t care for coconut all that much, so I knew I wanted to make a flavored or chocolate variety. I came across this recipe and since I had all of the ingredients, I went to town. These are going to be great as my sweet snacks for the week.

Yesterday, I was craving chocolate in a major way, so I finally attempted Averie’s Raw Peanut Butter Cups.

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I made my own chocolate with 3 tbsp cacao and enough agave and coconut oil until I got the consistency I wanted. Also, I subbed maca for nooch in one of the cups and it made all the difference in the world. The one with nooch was kind of flavorless, but the one with maca blew me away. I had trouble assembling them, so they weren’t very pretty and not photo-worthy. I’m definitely going to make these again, so if/when I make a decent looking one, I’ll post a pic. For now, just visit Averie’s blog – hers look like the real deal.

And as if I hadn’t made enough desserts, I made the Pure2Raw twins’ Raw Carrot Cake recipe. I always have so much carrot pulp leftover from juicing throughout the week, so it was a great excuse to try them out!

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As luck would have it, I picked up these cute little ramekins earlier this week:

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They were the perfect size for the recipe:

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These are also in the dehydrator, so I’ll let you know how they turn out!

Of course, I didn’t just eat dessert this weekend. I had a bunch of other goodies as well….

A green monster w/frozen raspberries & hemp seeds:

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I think hemp seeds are so beautiful! Basil just seems annoyed by them.

A beautiful croissant veggie sandwich from Bipartisan Cafe in my ‘hood:

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Friday night Chris and I stayed in and had dinner and a movie.

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We tried out Bertoilli’s Four Cheese Rosa sauce that I got as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program. This was way better than the Arrabiata sauce they sent as well. It wasn’t too heavy which was nice, but it is what it is – cheesy, cream sauce. Great every now and then, but not something I’m gonna buy on a regular basis.

I also made this week’s stash of greek yogurt and a batch of goat cheese – which I’m sure will make appearances this week. In fact, I think I’m going to have some goat cheese and bread for dinner!

Back to the kitchen I go – I can’t believe it’s past 7 and still light out. Love!

Andrea: 35 years is a effing long time

I’m home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I actually got back late Tuesday night, but work has kept me busy. I had a whole post written yesterday, but WordPress was being a little bitch and wouldn’t publish it, then deleted half of it.

Since I am a dumbass and left my camera cord back in Portland, you’re getting modified recaps the next couple of days. Please forgive me 🙂

I went to Dallas because my Mom decided to fly me down for my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary. 35 years ago, after knowing each other for a few short months, my Dad was offered a job in Texas so he proposed to my Mom and they were married two weeks later on February 15, 1975. Their honeymoon was driving from L.A. to Dallas in my Dad’s tiny Volkswagen Beetle. Tres romantique!

I’ve learned a lot about marriage from my parents – not from what they’ve told me, but from what I witnessed growing up. They never argued or yelled at one another – they disagreed frequently, but they just talked it out and moved on. They make each other laugh. They have their own separate hobbies and interests. They are thoughtful and loving, and most importantly, respectful towards one another. They are partners in every way and the I can only hope that my marriage is half as successful as theirs.

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To celebrate their anniversary (and a little bit of Valentine’s Day), we went out to dinner on Saturday night. Dad picked the restaurant, Amici, and even called ahead to make sure there would be vegetarian dishes for me to choose from. It was a little hole in the wall type place and honestly, I wasn’t expecting much when we walked in. But, the whole dinner ended up being amazing.

The restaurant doesn’t have a liquor license so it’s BYOB. Dad and I split a bottle of Spanish wine and Mom brought a flask of vodka, cuz she’s Klassy like that 🙂

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My Mom loves escargot, so as an appetizer, we ordered those as well as some stuffed mushrooms.

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I had never had the opportunity to try snails before, so I had one of these. Not too bad, but they are mush little beasts!


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And what could be better than mushrooms smothered in cream sauce? That’s right. Nothing.

For dinner I did something I always forget to do – order off the menu. The mushroom ravioli was calling my name, but was supposed to come with chicken and cream sauce. I just asked if they could sub the chicken for whatever veggies they had in the kitchen and marinara instead of cream – I knew I wanted dessert and didn’t want my stomach to do into dairy overload.

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Mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, and eggplant. The eggplant was so good, I could have just eaten a whole plate of that alone. Mom and Dad asked if their dishes could be put on the blog as well…

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Roast lamb for Mom. Days later she was still talking about how good that corn was.

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And pork tenderloin for Dad.

Dessert was easily the best part of the experience.

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Almond “basket” filled with berries and pastry cream.

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Tiramisu for me – it was rich and very heavy, unlike any tiramisu I’d had before. Maybe that’s why I thought it was the best I’d ever eaten! Seriously, I almost cried that I couldn’t finish it all.

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Dad’s creme brulee. Dad and I also ordered cappuccinos at the end of the meal – I always love ending a big meal with “real” coffee.

The meal lasted well over two hours so we were able to enjoy and savor every bite of food and sip of wine.

When we were heading back to the car, I just had to take a picture of this pathetic, little snowman.

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Dallas got a record breaking 11+ inches of snow the day before I arrived. By Saturday, almost all the snow on the ground was gone and all that was left were random snowmen everywhere. Despite, the adornment, this was the ugliest snowman (snowwoman?) I encountered. At least it was ready for Mardi Gras!

Speaking of Mardi Gras, I gave up alcohol for Lent. I’m not Catholic, or even terribly religious, but I usually give up something every year. I’ve been riding the wagon pretty hard lately, so Lent came at a perfect time for me to take a break from the sauce for a while. I know my liver will thank me!

Andrea: Magic Fingers

Or not.  Meet my new beast of burden:

You know what’s great about practicing now as a 30 year old as compared to when I was 16?  I can yell, “Motherfucker!” real loud when I miss a big note and I can drink beer while I play.  The beer doesn’t make me play better, but I think it makes me sound better 🙂  This piece by Debussy is the one I’ve chosen to learn and “master” this year.  Although, I’d like to see where I am in six months and hopefully take on a Scriabin Prelude I’ve always wanted to learn as well.

As I mentioned yesterday, part of my desire is to eat more locally is my wanting to create less waste with what I eat.  I’m just so disheartened when I’m at the grocery store and I see rows and rows of great, healthy “convenience” food, wrapped up in plastic and cardboard.  So, if I can’t always get local ingredients, if I think I can make it from scratch, I’m at least going to try.

Yesterday, I made my first attempt at meatless meatballs.  I did a little Google searching and settled on THIS recipe from Vegan Visitor.

**side note: Chris just asked me what I was blogging about and I said, “My balls!”  No lack of maturity here!**

The recipe called for a boullion cube, which I never really have on hand.  But, I stopped by New Seasons on my way home from work yesterday and picked up these:

They’re imported from Switzerland, so big FAIL in the local ingredient department, but they can’t all be winners.

All the ingredients before mixing it up…

My “raw” balls…

and the final product…

I made these last night before bed, and finally got to try them tonight at dinner on top of some whole wheat pasta and marinara sauce (jarred – I’ll attempt making my own this Summer when tomatoes are in season).

The result?  Not bad, but the recipe needs tweaking.  I think there’s too much vital wheat gluten for my tastes – it makes for a chewy texture.  Some gluten is necessary as a binder, but just not as much as the recipe calls for.  The taste is good, but I also think the recipe could use some onion.  I’m anxious to try these again – but for now, I’ll just freeze the leftovers and use them up as I need them!

Last night, I also made some vegan brownies using a recipe I saw on Yooli’s blog.  Although she can’t post as much as I would like (due to a little thing called Law School….whatever.), I absolutely adore this girl and her blog.  She always has the most brilliant ideas and recipes.

I was finally able to sample a piece today at lunch and I was not disappointed!  The texture wasn’t quite brownie like (more like a dense cake), but the taste was phenomenal – very dark and cocoa-y.  Yeah, it may not have been exactly like a “regular” brownie, but with NO oil and very little sugar (just some agave and what’s in the chocolate chips), you won’t feel guilty eating them!

And finally, I discovered another thing I want to attempt to make at from scratch:

Barbeque sauce!  That seems kind of daunting though, so I may just puss out and buy some from a local place here in town.  I used this sauce  – Carolina style, my FAVE! – on a sweet potato and a first for me….Humblecue!

I think Miss Bender herself originated this?!  Well, if not, that’s where I first heard about it way back when.

Please ignore the paper plate - it was all I had a work!

Jenn, I love you, but I did not like the humblecue!  I think I’m just not a fan of hummus + ___________.  I’ve tried mixing hummus with other stuff before and thought the same thing.  So, if you haven’t tried humblecue before, I would definitely suggest trying it for yourself and seeing what you think!

In other news, I went to the gym today for the first time in months, and ran for the first time since October!  I was able to do just under three miles before calling it quits.  I’m pleased with that, but am looking forward to getting in to better shape.

Ok, monster post ending…now.

Erin: Back to work!

You know what that means…

The return of lunches packed at the wee hours and photographed with an extremely offensive flash!

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🙂

I got up with Brody around 5:00. Henry and Annie were happy to stay sleeps with Robbie!

After playing, getting ready, blah blah blah, I made some breakfast:

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Eggs and broc plus red onion and tofutti mixed in for some creamy, topped with sf ketchup.

I worked all day! Which included shutting the door to my office and stretching for 45 minutes. I’ve worked out pretty hard these past few days and sitting in my chair makes my hips and knees sore.

God that makes me sound old!

But not too old to squeeze in a badass workout  🙂 The gym was grossly bizzy. Everyone has returned from break with some sort of communicable disease. It’s pretty nast to listen to people working mucus down the back of their throats while lifting! Why do people do that in public?! Are they not aware of others’ perceptions of them 100% of the time, fearful of negative evaluations and thus plotting their every move such that they appear their best?

I had to decided to stop at Target for some randoms and I found Smucker’s Natural PB on sale for $2.18 or something cray! So when I got home I had a couple heaping spoonfuls. I barely stirred it because the oily top is my FAVE 🙂

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After taking Brody for a 30 min walk and putzing around the house, I made a dinner reminiscent of my yoot 🙂

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This is just veggie crumbles with homemade taco seasoning, bell pep, and onion, topped with mozz and KETCHUP!

When I was a little girl I used to put ketchup on my Mexican food and I still love. Esp because I think Mexican food (made in America) is totes lame!

I haven’t made dessert yet but I’m pretty sure I’ll eat a pkg of this!

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And maybe some cinnamon gummi bears from last semester that I found in my backpack.

Okay enough of the food. It’s boring and I’m not into it because I’ve been obsessing over our little pudding pop.

Tonight I tackled a project I’m really serious about: teaching Brody to enjoy his carrier. He has a crate to sleep in at night, but if he’s gonna be my pocket puppy and come to work with me on occasion, he needs to learn to love this masculine bowler bag.

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Oh yes I did girl.

Your tackiness is my fabulosity.

So. Because I’ve been steeped in the principles of psychology (more specifically, operant conditioning) for like a decade, I felt prepared to work with him. Using a sweet potato chew, I lured him towards the carrier and dropped it in the back of the bag. He went in a couple times to retrieve it, but each time I made him drop the chew. I put it in the bag again, until finally he gave up and sat in there to chew it.

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Yay Brody!

I let him chew for about 20 minutes with the bag closed up, then gradually unzipped the top and made sure he was still interested in his chew and not trying to weasel his way out. It worked!

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Yay Brody again!

So, we’ll be practicing this exercise on the daily to create positive associations in the bag.

A few minutes ago, Brody brought a stuffed carrot squeaky toy onto the couch and is now using it as a pillow. Can you believe.

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Just because we’re obsessing over the pint doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about the man of the house.

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My Henry! Wow, he’s sexy. Admit it. Look at those eyes. Turns me on kinda.

He would really throw down with the ladies if he had anything to give!

P.S. YO’S! Did you notice we now have a cute little button in the sidebar where you can subscribe to our posts by email? So 2010!

Andrea: Domestic Goddess

That’s what I thought of myself when I sat down to write this post.  I was so proud of myself for making a good dinner and I was going to write this post while I sipped some wine and baked some vegan cookies.

I just took the cookies out of the oven.  I don’t want to talk about it 😦

Another good day of eats…I wonder how long I can keep my motivation up?

I started off by making a real breakfast.  Last week’s breakfasts consisted of whole wheat toast & Earth Balance eaten over the kitchen sink.

Banana oats with flax and pecans.  Boring, but wonderful as always.

Lunch was leftovers of last night’s dinner, so I’ll spare you.  But, I did have them on top of quinoa instead of brown rice, because I really know how to shake things up.

I came home from work a little later than planned, but I still wanted to make the dinner I had thought about all day.  I figure that even if I take the time to cook and don’t eat until 8 p.m., at least I’m still eating real food, right?  Cooking helps me unwind at the end of the day and if I eat pre-packaged crap for the sake of convenience, then I’ll just feel like crap all around.  Not to say there’s not days when I’m thankful I have that pre-packaged crap on hand!

On the menu was salmon cakes and potato croquettes – all stuff I had on hand in my pantry and fridge.

  • 1 can wild-caught salmon
  • 1/4 medium onion, diced
  • green chilies
  • 1/2 egg, beaten
  • whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • S&P
  • red pepper flakes

Mash it all together, make some patties and put in a 375 degree oven and cook until brown on both sides (flip halfway in between).

As for the potato croquettes, I wish I could tell you that I “healthified” them, but I didn’t.  If you have a hankering for fried mashed potatoes, you just have to go balls out.  I never fry anything in oil, so I did not feel the slightest bit guilty or apprehensive about this 🙂

I had some leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge, so I just mixed them with the other half of the beaten egg and S&P.  Mash it all together, make some patties, dredge in flour, and fry on both sides until golden brown.

Uh.  Mah.  Gaw.  Almost as good as the ones I ate in Spain.

Everything turned out great, but I have to confess, I did only eat one of those salmon cakes and I traded it out for a third croquette!  The leftovers are already packaged up for lunch tomorrow.

And oh yeah, I had a salad.  Whatever.

So, about those cookies.  I followed the recipe Mama Pea put on her blog yesterday, but I don’t know what happened.  I don’t own a mixer, so I had to stir everything by hand.  That was a bitch and a half.

Hers came out all nice and cookie-like, but mine just look like spotted balls.

They taste okay.  I’ve decided I’m NOT a fan of of the NuNaturals Stevia baking blend.  This is my second time baking with it, and I’ve been less than impressed.  I should have just used real sugar 😦

But don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to eat all of these!