Sunday, March 25, 2012

Carrot Cake Pancakes!

I have been on a food cleanse for the past week, I eliminated caffiene, alcohol, processed sugar, gluten, and all animal products. Its been a really reflective and interesting time so far, my goal is to keep it going for another few weeks and to hopefully come out the other side with more energy, a healthier body, and more reverence for my body and well being. I really need to learn to respect my own limits and take better care of myself, and I think this is a great way to start my journey. My husband has been a great sport and has gone along with me, though we did declare Saturdays "cheat days" and I usually make us something for breakfast on Sundays -- our only day off-- that may stray a little from our normally healthy diet.

    I have been working on my vegetarian biscuits and gravy for a while, and I think it is just about perfected, so look out for that soon. My version includes Parmesan black pepper biscuits and mushroom veggie sausage gravy. Not cleanse appropriate, but delicious and suprisingly healthy.
   I found this recipe for Carrot Cake Pancakes last week and have been obsessing ever since, but how could I indulge while on my cleanse and not feel terribly guilty for it? I went searching, and got a little brave. I went over to post punk kitchen, and also tried some of my other favorite vegan blogs, Vegan Yum Yum, and Vegan Visitor, and then I * gasp* converted my own vegan gluten free recipe. AND. it worked!

Vegan Gluten Free Carrot Cake Pancakes with Vegan Cream Cheese topping

1 C Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour
1/2 tsp Xanthum Gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 banana pureed
1 C unsweetened soymilk
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C grated carrots
2 Tbl coconut sugar

** Coconut Earth Balance for cooking

By hand, combine wet ingredients, add carrots, add dry. Let batter rest 5 minutes, then fry on Medium-Low heat.

*Makes about 8 pancakes


4 oz vegan cream cheese ( I used galaxy brand, as it has no added sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch cinnamon
1/4 lemon- for juice
1-2 Tbl Maple Syrup to taste

Beat Cream cheese, add the rest until blended.
With Tempeh Bacon, and please add syrup! yum!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Best Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

I adapted this recipe from the NY Times best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, which was adapted from Jaques Torres.
Finished Product

   Usually Valentines Day inspires me to bake something that requires food coloring and use of my sprinkle stash. (YES, I have a stash of sprinkles, I hoard them.) This year, I just couldn't get inspired to go there, but when I saw this recipe, I knew these cookies would please the potluck crowd. They were a hit, and I even made some healthy substitutions.

"The Space Ship"
Time: 45 minutes , plus at least 24 hours chilling
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) Whole Wheat Pastry ( or any Pastry flour)
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) Spelt Flour, ( any AP flour will do)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) Coconut Sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds  chopped chocolate disks or fèves, I used a combination of bittersweet, semisweet and white chocolates
  (For best results use bars or disks and chop them, NOT CHIPS, chopping the chocolate spreads it around the dough in a magical way)
Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them  Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.(you can skip this step if you wish)
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Slice and roll  mounds of dough  onto baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft,approx. 15  minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Changes are Afoot

   I have been forced to slow down this week, recovering from what is hopefully my last in a series of many oral surgeries in the past 3 years. Neither my husband or myself make a good patient when we are supposed to be on bed rest. I must say, I have still been taking advantage of every moment in which there was a spec of extra energy, cooking mushy food and catching up on computer work. It is not often that I have days and days to reflect and spend time with myself, and its been kind of nice, if a little frustrating.
When I first began...
    If you read my previous blog before it was hijacked, you will recall my quest for balance in my life since starting my business. Its been such a struggle over the last 5 years, a string of "bad boyfriends" didn't help me feel good about ever finding a partner, and I was on the verge of burnout for the first 3 years. I was really down and out after choosing people in my life that were derogatory and jealous of my work life.  Meeting and marrying my husband has changed things for me. Its like this thought has finally crept in, " There is more to life than your work."
    I find myself wanting to hang out at home, cook, entertain and fix up the house. I really don't want to work at all lately, at least not to the extent I have been for the past 5 years. I am tired, and I want a life, and a family. So now comes the time when I try to untangle myself a little, build boundaries between myself and my business, and figure out not my quest as a single gal, " who will deal with my 80 hour work week?" but " How do I lessen my 80 hour work week to make room for myself and my family?"
    I have been trying really hard lately to make a manageable to-do list. I am a list maker, and really have been torturing myself with piling too much crap on a single day and then beating myself up for not achieving the crazy goal I set out for myself. I think this is the first step. Since the new year, I walk into work and determine what time I would like to leave that evening, (which is still late sometimes, and that's okay) and determine what exactly I can accomplish during that time. It is working, I leave withing about 30 minutes of when I set out to, and I actually finish the tasks on my list.
     My friend, Kyle Carpenter,  a fellow potter gave me this little gem of wisdom when i asked how he manages to balance a career, 2 kids and a wife, "It's all about time management." I guess I am moving in the right direction.