Time to Lighten Up a Bit, Maybe?

By on 02/12/2014
ChocolateStrawberryCups

I was recently told by a friend who also reads my blog that I’ve turned into quite the investigative journalist.

While I know that was meant as a compliment (I think!), it made me freak out a little. That’s not the kind of blog I wanted!

I don’t want to just blog about corrupt industry practices, bogus products, and other crappy health shenanigans. I’m not that negative or cranky of a person, and I don’t want this blog to read that way.

So today, I post light, happy, fluffy stuff – just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Since I’m still not back to 100% with my back, most exercising is low impact and not frequent. So to keep the weight off I really need to focus more on what I’m eating. It needs to be healthy, non-processed, and in moderation.

So Valentine’s Day is a holiday that is currently making me a bit… er… nervous? So many decadent cakes and cookies and CHOCOLATE…OH MY!

Oh! And did I mention I am the Matron of Honor in a wedding Feb 22? Yeah… right after V-day. My dress has already been fitted so I cannot stuff my face with tasty treats.

I wouldn’t want my dress splitting down the back as I bend down to adjust the bride’s train in front of all 300 guests.

So! I hunted around on the magic Google, and found what I think are the two best Valentine’s Day recipes I could find.  No, they aren’t 100% good for me, as that would probably mean just eating a head of lettuce.

But they are better than the traditional sugar bombs of this holiday.

So, may I present to you, my two planned baking adventures for this Friday!

 

First, I am going to make the hell out of these delicious little treats from toneitup.com (which has a lot of great recipes, btw!)

Chocolate Strawberry Cups

ChocolateStrawberryCups

Not only do they look pretty and tasty, they are super easy to make. I am a blundering idiot in the kitchen. The only applause I usually get for my cooking is from the smoke detector singing to me. But these? I can do these and will probably even impress the hubby!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 6-10 paper cupcake liners
  • 1-2 cups fresh strawberries or your favorite fruit
  • organic honey or maple syrup (this last ingredient is not from the original recipe, but I’m gonna add a drizzle because YUM).

Directions (as told by toneitup.com):

  • Melt chocolate in a heat proof container, either in the microwave or melting it in a small pan slowly over another larger saucepan filled halfway with water, on low heat. It will melt quickly, so stir, stay there while it’s melting and be careful not to let it burn!
  • Lightly spray cupcake liners with organic non-stick spray before spooning melted chocolate inside. Carefully brush the chocolate mixture inside the liner with a spoon. The layer of chocolate should be thin, but thick enough to hold up, about 1/4″ or less. Take special care on the sides.
  • Place on a plate in the refrigerator or freezer for 30 minutes and allow the chocolate to harden. If you see any thin spot, re-brush chocolate on the liners.
  • When ready, peel the paper liners to reveal a perfect chocolate cup. Fill with sliced strawberries. Drizzle with organic honey or pure maple syrup.

THAT’S IT! SERIOUSLY!

Can you tell I’m excited about this one? I may not even wait until Friday. I may have to do a “test run” first.

And recipe number two…

Gluten free chocolate chip cookies!

My husband is not big on sweets (the nerve!), but his one weakness is chocolate chip cookies. Now that he is gluten free, tasty cookies are hard to come by. I’ve tried a few recipes before, mostly from pre-made gluten free dough, and they were so not good.

I admit, other than being gluten free, these cookies aren’t all that much healthier than regular cookies. That is because my husband is a purist, and because all of my “healthy” baking usually sends him running for the hills.

So, in the name of love, I am going to dedicate myself to making fresh gluten free chocolate chip cookies, and I think this is the recipe that is going to deliver!

The Chewy Gluten Free

Alton Brown Gluten Free Cookie(From one of my faves, Alton Brown: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/the-chewy-gluten-free-recipe.html)

DO YOU SEE HOW DELICIOUS THOSE COOKIES LOOK?

Gluten free cooking is also really tricky, with the lack of the gluten binding agent and all. I know Alton Brown is smart enough to figure it out right, and I can’t wait to nom the heck out of these present these to my hubby as a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift to him.. for him.. so he can eat them.

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 11 ounces brown rice flour, approximately 2 cups
  • 1 1/4 ounces cornstarch, approximately 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 -ounce tapioca flour, approximately 2 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
  • 10 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 1/4 cups
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

 

Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Once melted, pour into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, xantham gum, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  • Add both of the sugars to the bowl with the butter and using the paddle attachment, cream together on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the whole egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  • Chill the dough in the refrigerator until firm, approximately 1 hour. Shape the dough into 2-ounce balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet.
  • Bake for 14 minutes, rotating the pans after 7 minutes for even baking. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on the pans for 2 minutes. Move the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Store cooked cookies in an airtight container.

 

I admit, while this may be easy over all (And he even labels this recipe as “easy” on his site), it looks challenging to me – the woman who can’t even microwave food correctly. I also don’t own a stand mixer, but am assuming a hand mixer will work as well.

But I will still put my heart into it and try my best. Hubby may just get an amazing cookie treat!
If not, its the thought that counts, right?

About Anna

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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