Posts tagged ‘chocolate’

Making Pumpkin Muffins (gluten-free) because…

…someone peed in my cornflakes.

I am a realist. Some people call me a pessimist. I’m not. I’ve had this conversation with my friend Annie once. People thought she was a pessimist as well, but we concluded that we were realists. We are the type of people that do not put all of our eggs in one basket, we don’t hope for the best, we set our goals on what can realistically be achieved, and that is what keeps our lives and everything around us positive. We avoid conflict, but you’ll know when we are not happy. And most of all, when someone pees in our cornflakes, we sit quietly and busy ourselves with other projects – like I did today. I enjoyed the ballet and then I baked some seasonally divine gluten-free pumpkin muffins (and tried desperately to put the last two days behind me).

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (gluten-free)

Chocolate chips and fresh pumpkin make these muffins magic.

I’ve recently switched to a gluten-free diet due to some health concerns; big ones. I’ll have to share these when they make more sense. Until then, you can enjoy some gluten-free recipes. I’ve made these muffins twice. Once with potato starch and once with arrowroot starch. I liked the arrowroot better, but play with them and let me know which ones you like better. If you are sensitive to gluten, make sure your chocolate chips and vanilla extract are gluten-free. If you can’t find sorghum flour use brown rice flour instead. Canned pumpkin may not be as moist as fresh pumpkin; you can always add a bit of unsweetened apple sauce if need be. Makes 12 muffins.

  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chia seed, ground
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (I used local fresh, steamed pumpkin)
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil (melted)
  • 3/4 cup organic palm sugar (or brown sugar if you must)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (the real stuff)
  • 2 large organic free-range eggs
Preheat your oven to 375degreesF. Line a muffin tray and set aside.
Sift the dry ingredients together (first seven ingredients) and set aside. Mix the remaining ingredients with the exception of the chocolate chips together. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir until smooth. The batter should be thicker than cake batter. If it is too thick add a bit of apple sauce (see head note above). Mix in the chocolate chips and spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tray. Bake for 15 minutes and cool on a wire rack. I freeze these for gluten-free goodness whenever the mood strikes, like today.

September 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Been busy!

I have been busy! So much to do and so little time. I wish weekends were an extra day and I could sleep less and still feel rested by morning. Alas, that is not going to happen so I will have to scale back on something… but what? Here’s a little recap of some of what I have been up to:

  • waiting for a few finishing touches on the primed hallway walls before I paint them
  • finished the bathroom… as soon as I take some pictures, I will share… need to buy some new towels too
  • made this and this and this (all very good)
  • been learning a lot about bees with my colleagues… our very own bee hive is teaching us so much about bees
  • went to NYC with the hubby and my little one for a few days… saw Mary Poppins on Broadway while we were there – loved it!
  • put in another small veggie garden and cleaned up and planted all the other gardens (when did I start like gardening?)
  • made birthday party invitations for my little one’s upcoming birthday party
  • read a book
  • made my mom dark chocolate covered marshmallows dipped in toasted coconut because she said she never gets any treats (this is really easy – melt really good chocolate – dip marshmallow in melted chocolate – roll in toasted coconut)
  • planning to make these for the birthday party
What have you been up to?

June 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Make it Monday: Coconut Macaroon Nests

Spring will come. Sigh. I wish it would hurry up, but until it does, I keep crafting, cooking and baking spring at our house. We made up these little cookies for the teacher’s at my daughter’s daycare as a little Easter treat last week. I used this recipe here, but I shaped them into nests before baking. Then we added a couple little candy coated chocolate eggs. These are a nice little Easter treat or a springtime treat (especially when spring doesn’t seem to want to grace us with her presence).

April 25, 2011 at 5:07 am Leave a comment

Make it Monday: Treats

While writing this post, I just want to make it to Monday (tomorrow). We spent some time at the sugar bush today and now I’m bushed. I’ll post some pictures this week of our adventures, but until then might I suggest you make these healthy treats by Meghan Telpner. I made them this weekend and I really don’t want to share. I made my batch with maple syrup… I think next time I might use some maple sugar or vanilla bean and leave out the vanilla powder. I find it a little bit bitter, but the cacoa butter more than makes up for it.

Enjoy.

March 20, 2011 at 7:41 pm Leave a comment

Make it Monday: Happy Valentine’s Day

I missed posting a “make-it” feature last Monday and now I am late this week… sigh. I had to get some training complete which required commuting last week. Fourteen hour days… I don’t know how people do this day in and day out. Yuck! I promise if you make these cookies, you’ll forgive me.

I used this recipe from 101 cookbooks to make these delightful Valentine’s cookies. They were almost too yummy to give to the staff at my daughter’s daycare, but alas, we must share. We used pink sugar, a heart shaped cookie cutter, and half spelt and half whole wheat pastry flour. Otherwise, I followed the recipe (for a change).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm Leave a comment

Gluttony… it doesn’t have to be this way

This is what I was reading while I was sipping my 250ml of raw hot chocolate (super powered with raw cacao, maca powder and flax seeds) this morning. Starbuck’s is introducing a new 916ml Trenta Cup for its sweet teas. The average size of the human stomach is 900ml. I couldn’t imagine drinking more than the size of my stomach (even though its capacity increases as I consume) in one sitting; not to mention the bathroom breaks you would need, and the crazy headaches you would get from all the sugar in “sweet” tea. Why do people need the Trenta Cup? Really?

Why not enjoy a moderate sized beverage, not laden with sugar instead?

Hot Chocolate

  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maca powder
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey)
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 3 cups non-dairy milk (rice, hemp, almond, etc.)

Give this a whirl in a high speed blender. If you don’t have a high speed blender then you might want to strain it through a fine sieve to make it super smooth. You may also want to heat your milk up as well. I find my Vitamix heats it up enough, but you may want it a bit warmer – just don’t boil it. Makes 2 servings, one of which I shared this morning with my friend Heather.


January 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm Leave a comment

Building a Climber from “Junk”: Are we nuts?

“My Dad built me a really big climber!” This is the topic of conversation from our little one as of late. Of course, in true fashion, my husband cannot build anything small. This project started because someone put a perfectly good yellow slide alongside their garbage and my husband happened upon it; along with the yellow wheel and the handles. The ladder is an old step ladder that came with the house, and the monkey bars are from the original platform that came with the slide. The cedar posts that are holding up the climber came from a neighbour; a quick sanding and they were ready to go, as were the 1×2 railing boards which came from a junk pile at a lumber shop my dad found for us to be used as firewood. I guess we repurposed those boards! Even though this project sidetracked us from finishing the bathroom, I like it because we were able to reuse so many things! I’m sure some people just think we are a little bit nuts!

I don’t think we are nuts per se, but we have really been enjoying these coconut-almond goodies fashioned after an Almond Joy, but without all the sugar. I didn’t follow any particular recipe for these. I had purchased a coconut, it got lost (under the couch for two weeks – anything can happen with a little one in the house) and found again (hurray), and then made into these (yum) when I had to have coconut and chocolate one evening.

Coco-Nut

I used fresh coconut that I shredded in my food processor for this recipe, but you could use the packaged kind as well. Just be sure to look for the unsweetened variety, unless you like things super sweet – but then you may as well just go out and buy yourself an Almond Joy bar… do they still sell these? This recipe is surprisingly easy so spare yourself the processed sugar and enjoy these instead, or you may like Chocolate Raspberry Boats, or I Love You Mom Chocolates.

  • 1 generous cup of shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 12 whole almonds, shelled
  • 16 ounces good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa content)

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl combine all of the ingredients except the almond and the chocolate. Form the mixture into 12 tiny logs about 2 inches long. Press an almond into each coconut log, and place each long on the baking sheet. Place the coconut logs in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler (I use a bowl over a pot of simmering water – just make sure the water doesn’t creep up the sides of the bowl or it will spoil your chocolate). Using two forks, toss each coconut-almond log in the chocolate and place back on the baking pan. These will set up in a couple of hours at room temperature, but if you don’t have air conditioning and it is especially warm outside you may want to store them in the refrigerator.

June 7, 2010 at 8:28 am Leave a comment

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