Adventures!

Jen’s Mid-Life Birthday Cake & Ice Cream

Thursday, May 5 2011 Adventures!, Cooking!

First, let me start by saying, Happy Birthday Jen!
You know I love you from head to toe. Cheers to you and your grand new year.
xox, Jenn

When Jen mentioned she was making flourless chocolate cake for her mid-life birthday, I remembered a recent pairing I’d seen for chocolate cake and lime sorbet. I attempted lime (coconut milk) ice cream last month for a dinner party and felt it just wasn’t tart enough. So, this time I amped up the lime juice. Jen’s surprise addition of raspberry syrup and fresh berries brought it all together, heralding the arrival of spring. And so, so pretty.

COCONUT LIME ICE CREAM
  • 1/2 c. + 2 Tbs. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 c. Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Guar Gum
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 – 14 oz. can Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 c. Water
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Stir together the sugar and guar gum to break up any lumps. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, whisk together 1/2 c. lime juice, sugar + guar, eggs, water, and 1/2 c. coconut milk. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until just barely simmering. Mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees). Remove from heat and strain through mesh sieve into bowl, to remove any egg threads or guar lumps. Whisk in the remainder of the coconut milk. Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours, until chilled thoroughly (if in a rush, can place in freezer for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes). Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Mine takes 35 mins. In the last 5 minutes, add the remaining 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice.

Makes about 1 qt.

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Walnut Brownie Bites

Monday, Mar 7 2011 Adventures!, Cooking!

While I was seeing health counselor Katie Decker, we would sit at her cozy second floor apartment with a rolling fire chatting about all things health and nourishment. I loved each week’s introductions to new flavors, cooking tips and what became some of my favorite new ingredients: dandelion coffee, umeboshi vinegar, and almond flour.

When she brought these dark chocolate little morsels to me, there was good indication I’d be a fan from the obvious high cocoa content. Dense, chewy and intensely chocolatey, these have since satisfied my cravings for a sweet bite more often than any other recipe. They were the first treat I experienced using almond flour, something I was intensely curious about, and an ingredient that has become a staple of my cooking since.

She let me take home a few and I ordered my first bag of almond flour from Honeyville the same day. Finding a baking staple that allows me to stabilize my blood sugar has been key for me, and this flour is naturally low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fiber. It’s also moist, easy to use and highly nutritious. I could do an infomercial about it without any rehearsal. Just ask.

This recipe is adapted from the lovely Ani Phyo’s Brownie Bites, and also modified for oven baking. If you can spare 12 hours in a dehydrator to wait for these incredible chocolate nuggets, then you don’t love chocolate as much as I do.

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Dance Party Pancakes

Saturday, Mar 5 2011 Adventures!, Cooking!

My mom recalls that the first time she gave me cow’s milk it dripped down my chin leaving a bright red streak. As a kid, I was allergic to wheat, dairy, citrus, tomatoes, and chocolate. Although I’m too old now to remember the consequences of dietary indiscretions at such a young age, I am told that there were hives and other unpleasantries. Around 4 years old, all noticeable symptoms disappeared and I went about my way, leaving carob chips and sesame snacks behind forever.

Fast-forward: 28 years.

On the heels of a 3-week gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free cleanse last April (2010), I discovered that I was unable to seamlessly reintroduce gluten and dairy to my diet. While on the cleanse, I felt great and my skin cleared, my energy was good and after a few days, my digestion was impeccable. When the cleanse concluded, I tried to go back to my prior ways—toast for breakfast, cream in the Earl Grey, pasta on semi-regular rotation. It was a non-starter. Mild rashes were appearing on my face, my digestion was off, the glow was gone and stomachaches reappeared. Nuts.

Enter: New way of being.

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