Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Today's culinary project totally deserved a post--so here goes:

With the fall season coming fast, I find myself in my usual conundrum.  How to satisfy my need for speed-uh-I mean pumpkin lattes?  Pumpkin and I are friends, bff's really although lately I haven't been able to return her phone calls.  But believe me, until they told me I shouldn't hang out with her I did so often and in nearly every way possible.  In scones, pie, cake, bread, soup, lattes.  I know I'm not even scraping the top slots off the list, and this is before gutting her and eating her young roasted in a wide variety of coverings, up to and including Sriracha.  Then I found out that SHE's not the problem, it's the SUGAR!!  And Jeez is there a lot in the offerings of most coffee houses.  Pumpkin latte is the name of the day here, though.  Pumpkin lattes are awesome but also chock full of sugar or made out of watery syrup which then lacks consistency.  Imagine then, if you will, my joy when hubby sent me this recipe last night.  I don't know why I don't think of these things until he's told me I should.  SHsshhhh though, don't tell HIM I said that!

As with my previous(if not sparse) posts before, I've tossed my handfull of tweaks on a found (or in this case received) recipe in red.  I used what was in my personal pantry out of a desire to not go to the store and open another vein and plus it was better anyway.   And I doubled the recipe because really, we all know it will go fast.  

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer
1cup of organic whole milk(2 cups 1%)
1cup of organic heavy whipping cream(2 cups half and half)
3 tablespoons of organic pumpkin puree (I used 4-ha!)(Kind of lost count but somewhere near 9 or possibly up to 15 tbsp used)
1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice(again kind of winged it here, 2 tsp cinnamon, about 3/4 of nutmeg(I reserve the right to increase at a later time and plus it was freshly microplaned off a nutmeg nut), about 1/4 tsp cloves and what looked like a proper amount of the frozen, chopped ginger from a few weeks ago.  Oh yes, and there's probably 12 whole allspice thingies floating around in there too.  
4 table Maple Syrup (I prefer pretty high quality you can taste the difference)(I just tossed some splenda in here instead)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract(will add this when it's time to strain, or after I get back with the kid, which will be about the same time)
(I also added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon)

Warmed till steamy, added all the spicy goodies, let it simmer slowly while I typed this and will strain it when I'm home from collecting the rug rat.  If it's anywhere as good as it smells like it will be, I just may make another pot of coffee today.  Thanks, Honey!

First update:  It's super, duper thick!  Added about another cup of milk and reheating to see if that helps.  Otherwise will need to go get some cheesecloth.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I love chocolate.  You love chocolate too, you know you do.  Chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, truffles, chocolate covered children, yummmm.  This was one of the bummers (along with pasta) that I had when I found out about the "d" word.  Sooooo, I decided to find things that were more healthy alternatives or tweak established recipes, as I'm so good at doing.  Below is a recipe I've made a number of times, and tweaked a little each time and I think you need to try it too.  Especially you, Kevin.

First the link, the picture above is from the same link, I totally love  

And now the ingredients, with my tweaks in red along side.  


  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened, divided.  Grapeseed oil works great in place of butter, or olive in a pinch.
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar Obviously no sugar, I use sucralose but you do what you like.  I did 1 1/3(ish) cups sucralose with maybe 1/2tsp molasses for richness.
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate I used 5, because I'm a rebel.  Melted that dark goodness in 1/4 cup grapeseed oil.  
  • 2 cups pureed cooked beets  mMMmmmmmMM
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • confectioners' sugar I'm making a very thin cream cheese glaze.  

I also added maybe a cup and a half of pitted, halved cherries which I've never done before.  Hope it's good!  Other than that, I followed the directions.  Enjoy!


  1. In a mixing bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and brown sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Melt chocolate with remaining butter; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Blend chocolate mixture, beets and vanilla into the creamed mixture (mixture will appear separated). Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely. Before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dark chocolate beet bundt cake.

Today's tweak is based off the recipe I got here.  This is how I choose all my online recipes.  Type stuff in the search engine, and pick the highest rated recipe, then tweak them to fit into whatever need/cooking goodie phase that I'm in at that time.  As always, recipe will be in black with my scribblings posted in red.

  • ●  1 cup butter or margarine, softened, divided
    I used grapeseed oil, which I'm quite impressed with, btw.

  • ●  1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
    Substituted approx 1 tsp molasses and approx 1 cup of splenda.

  • ●  3 eggs
  • ●  4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
    Dark Chocolate chips.
  • ●  2 cups pureed cooked beets
  • ●  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ●  2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ●  2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ●  1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ●  confectioners' sugar
    Didn't use this at all.
1. In a mixing bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter(grapeseed oil) and eggs, beat it like you would a mugger Then add in your splenda, again beating for a few to "melt"
it all and incorporate the molasses. Alternatively, you could use honey or any other sweetener to your taste/needs. We are all smart people, we know what
our bodies can handle.
Melt chocolate with remaining butter(grapeseed oil); stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Blend chocolate mixture, beets and vanilla together before adding to the creamed mixture (mixture will appear separated). Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into
a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely. Before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar. 

I absolutely love grapeseed oil right now.  I use it everywhere and I've noticed the results to be very near to butter, but much better for you.  It works as famously here, as it has in every previous baking recipe I've tried.  This cake was FAB last night (if a little dry because I overcooked it just a touch, take it out 3 minutes before you think you should, if you want more of a dense brownie type consistently) and was great this morning with my coffee.  I'll totally make this again, and can see trying carrots in here too.  The beets melt into the cake, and I'd bet finely shredded and then pureed carrots would be good too.  Also maybe you can whip up some banana's and use that in place of the sugar and eggs?  And I'm dying to try coconut flour, so maybe here is a good place, maybe even rice flour for a more brownie like result?  All sorts of ways to keep making this so you can experiment.  Healthy chocolate cake?  Yes, please!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I just noticed I have followers!  Thanks to the both of you.  8^)

I realize I never update things, but I made a goodie today that I thought I'd share.  My cat is missing, and I spent the whole day yesterday stressing over it.  So today I decided she's just punishing us for the cat yodeling and stressing out about it isn't helping a single thing so I'll make carrot cake.  I typically use recipes I find and modify them, so below is the recipe and my changes are in red.  I originally got the recipe here.

Cat's missing Carrot Cake:

  • 4 eggs  
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil (grapeseed)
  • 2 cups white sugar (one cup splenda and about 2 tbls honey)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (almonds and also cranberries)  
Instead of making icing, I'm using some leftover no sugar pre-made (I know, I'd be rolling over in my own grave but a girl only has so much time) stuff I found at the local Scalpertsons.

Pictures to follow once I get them out of the oven.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. I did cupcakes, trying 380 for 5 minutes and then 330 for 10 to see if this gets the carrots done faster.  
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Firetruck cake

I've been requested, by my 6 yearsoldtoday boy, to make a firetruck ice cream cake for his family birthday party tomorrow, which of course became a challenge that has unseated my intended couch/yarn/movie plans, at least for now.

I love brownies.  They are chocolatey, awesomey goodness.  Especially the corners, and how the top kind of crackles and flakes off in their decadent sugary tops.  Serious love.  

I also can't eat them.  Curses!!  

So I've decided to kill 2 birds with one stone, and make the firetruck FROM brownies, then stuffed with ice cream.  Ideally it will be slightly not as bad for you with my method.  

Grapeseed oil, discovered at the local Cash n Carry, is my new cooking toy, I just opened the jug (JUG) last night, using it to replace the butter in the oatmeal peanut butter bars I made for the boys to go skiing.  And from the little I tried, they were wonderfully moist and without all the butter fat.  So today, I plan to try it with brownies, hoping for a nice, moist but not chock full of diabetic coma brownie.  

Wish me luck.  

The plan, man, is to bake said brownies in a long cookie pan, then cutting into general firetruck-ey building blocks which will be then frozen, to be assembled with a half gallon of chocolate cookie dough ice cream stuffed and decorated into what will hopefully then look at least half as awesome as my friend Joy's cakes look.  Which may or may not be successful but will taste great.  

For now, I leave you with a picture of the notes I've made in the cake cookbook I got from a yard sale somewhere and therefore don't feel bad about writing in.  I'll keep you apprised of the status and results, I swear, dear reader, I will return.  


It appears to have gone pretty well!  I'd change a couple things, but overall I'd call it a success.  The grapeseed oil did separate a bit, and I blotted a bunch off the top, maybe next time I'd try half canola/half grapeseed.  And I would add more splenda too.  They are good enough for my purposes though!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's ham-ma time!

Lately I've been thinking about ham a lot.  In fact, I think I may have actually dreamed about hogs last night, which is vaguely disturbing.  So instead of going off to the therapist to explore this strange ham fixation, I decided to make one.

Freshly unwrapped and ready for roasting
This is a huge ham, a gorgeous mountain of yum that screamed for a killer sauce.  BuUuut, the glaze mix that comes with it is all sugar.  Most of them are, sadly, but since I'm a sauce freak I've started making my own sauces, using ingredients on hand and just letting things flow.  I love to make sauces, simmering stuff all day makes me happy.  And most of my friends are happy too at holidays and birthdays since they usually get some of whatever I've cooked up.  I make plum sauces, peach sauces, blueberry sauces, all kinds.  And thanks to a cool mustard/apricot idea a friend gave me, I'll be making some apricot jam this summer too.  Can't wait.

But I digress.  Glaze is what we're talking about here, not jam. 

I miss glaze, but I've found that with a couple of changes and a willingness to experiment you can make a good glaze with no sugar.  Give it a try, I'll bet you'll surprise yourself! 

Orangeberry Supreme Awesome Sauce

10-12 strawberries, washed, cored and finely chopped
juice and zest of one orange
2 tbsp brown sugar substitute*(more or less according to taste)
Hello Mr. Orange, I'm Miss Strawberry.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar **
1/2-1 cup water
dash of garlic powder, just start with a sprinkle.
1/4 tsp salt
Pepper if you like it

Place all in pot or pan together, cooking on low until a good and gooey consistency, adding water as it cooks down.  You want to spend a little time cooking it, so the strawberries kind of dissolve, low and slow baby, low and slow. Just keep adding water, about 1/4 cup at a time letting it boil down in between until things are good and thick and yummy.  Feel free to add spicy sauce, make sure to start small though and taste between additions!  Give the hot sauce some time to meet and greet before you add more, it always gets spicier as it sits.  I love Rooster sauce, and if I didn't have my little one who can't deal with the spicy stuff I'd be adding that in too.

You can use a stick blender or food processor here to blend it smooth but BEWARE.  You have to be careful when blending anything hot, believe me, you don't want this exploding in your face. 

Anoint your ham and enjoy!

*I used "ideal" brand brown sugar substitute, but this is my first time using it.  I'll get back to you on results, but so far I'm impressed.

**You could totally use rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar here.  Apple cider vinegar is also a great choice, but I usually make my apple cider vinegar only 1/4 of the total vinegar I am using.  It's good for you but has a strong taste that can overwhelm. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jewelry party goodies

Today's offering are some lovely desserts I'm making for my upcoming Premier Designs jewelry fondling party.  I am determined to make some decadent but still healthy desserts so just spent the last hour or so writing a book to a girlfriend whilst baking mini Harvest Apple Cake and prepping my Pumpkin Banana Snack Bars for when my husband comes home with the eggs.  Everything sugar free of course, as per my diabetic diva needs. 

Both recipes came from The Sugar Solution Cookbook, and I also managed to find the recipes online, I've placed links below to both the book description and the online recipe links.  I really didn't tweak the Harvest Apple too much, except to add crystallized ginger (didn't have powdered) and almonds  instead of walnuts.  And I baked them off in mini muffin cups (the bitesized ones) at 350 degrees for 11 minutes.  Otherwise I didn't change much on the Harvest Apple Cake.  I did change a few more things on the Pumpkin bars, but that's a post for another day.

The recipe:

and the book:

I got an old edition at a yard sale for $2, but got an older version for a friend for under $5 including shipping and this book seriously kicks my ever shrinking booty.  I think I've lost nearly 25 + pounds since my diabetic life was officially born.  Wheeee!