Monday Matters

1. My brief lack of blogging is because I spent the weekend (err Wednesday through Saturday) in Keystone. My dad has a conference there, the basic theme for the event was “making Colorado the healthiest state.” There were a few sessions about nutrition and my dad invited me to attend snuck me into one of them. I’ll be discussing it more in a future post.  Look forward to that soon!

2. We climbed our first fourteener on Saturday! The atlitude + rockiness + steep incline made this a tough hike, but we made it!

3. I totally lied to you the other day when I said something about 61 songs. It was an accident. The number is actually higher. STOP JUDGING ME.

4. I start school in 11 days. Nooooooooooo. Summer reading, College apps, SAT stuff, and service hour sheets will be occupying my week. It shall be lots of fun (what is this, opposite day??).

5. I’m going vegan for the week. Actually, 5 days. The thing that is making it most difficult is I’m refusing to use any substitutes. No margarine, tofu, or soy yogurt for me. I’m sure if I was a long-term vegan I would use those things on occasion (except for margarine, I would NEVER cheat on butter like that) but I figure I can go without them for 5 days. I will be making lots of Mama Pea recipes.

Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love

6. I head back to Texas a week from Wednesday. I’m going to die in the heat.

7. I have a super easy, tasty, healthy, breakfast to share with you.

Trail Tacos

Whole-wheat tortilla + natural pb + granola + honey + apple slices + cinnamon

Try ittttttttttt.

Seal with peanut butter (it help it stay closed!) and love.

Make ahead, store in the fridge, grab when you’re hungry.

Perfect thing to eat while climbing mountains, listening to teeny bopper music, or reading borrrring books.

Can you believe it’s August 1st???

Peanut Butter Rice Crispies with Chocolate Topping

This is a family favorite that I’ve been making and enjoy for many years.

Many, many years.

But, a month ago I probably wouldn’t have posted them, because they aren’t exactly “healthy,” whatever that means. But, as you know, I’m so over that. Don’t get me wrong, I have not thrown nutritious eating out the window. In fact, yesterday, I had a big ol’ bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, a lovely salad with lots of spinach for lunch, and whole wheat pasta with avocado cream sauce with lots of zucchini and yellow squash on the side for dinner. And then, I had one of these for dessert. Balance is a beautiful thing.

And, it took me forever to find the corn syrup in the grocery store. It’s something I almost never use, so I had no idea where it would be located. But, fortunately, I found it. Just so you know, it’s by the pancake syrup.

Peanut Butter Rice with Chocolate Topping

These delicious treats are very quick to make and can be kept in the fridge for several days.

1 cup sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 cups rice crispies

12 oz chocolate chips

6 oz butterscotch chips

1/2 cup butter.

Please rice crispies in a large bowl. Heat sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until they come to a boil. Boil for one minute, stirring regularly. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour sugar/pb mixture over rice crispies. Press mixture into a 9×13 pan (a larger jelly roll pan may also be used, the result will just be slightly thinner). Melt chocolate, butterscotch, and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. When everything it melted, pour the mixture over the rice crispies. Spread evenly. Refrigerate until chocolate hardens. Serve and enjoy! 

 

No shame in using the same saucepan to melt the chocolate as you did to heat the sugar/corn syrup. No shame at all.

 

 

Chocolate + peanut butter + sweetness + chewiness + crunchiness + sweetness =perfection

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Fudge Filling and Peanut Butter Frosting

This is the kind of recipe that makes me want to forget about the whole college thing and open a cupcake shop. Immediately.

This is the kind of cupcake that I want to take pictures of and picture mail them to everyone I know because I’m so darn proud of them.

This is the kind of recipe that makes me realize that Katherine and Sophie(of DC cupcakes) having nothing on me and my sisters.

This is the kind of recipe that makes me want to do nothing but bake cupcakes all day.

This is the kind of recipe that makes me never want to eliminate gluten, dairy, or sugar from my diet.

This is the kind of recipe that must absolutely never be “healthified”. I guarantee you it won’t taste half as good. If you want to make something healthy just refrain from making insanely rich decadent cupcakes. No substitutions allowed.

My mom said she thinks they’re the best thing I’ve ever made. I’ve made some pretty good things.

Daddy says they taste as good as they look. They’re kind of beautiful, no?


I strayed from Jessica’s recipe slightly in that, rather than using some of the pb frosting as a filling, I just used it on top and filled the cupcakes with some of the extra hot fudge sauce. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I kinda like my way. The frosting is so sweet and rich having it on the inside too might over do it a bit. Rather, the fudge sauce on the inside adds unexpected gooey, chocolatey goodness and a nice moistness to the finished product.  I’ll be honest; it was actually my mom and sister’s idea. See, I’m really not tooting my own horn.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Fudge Filling and Peanut Butter Frosting

based on this recipe from How Sweet It Is

Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce

1 cup sugar

1 cup dark cocoa powder

2 tablespoons flour

pinch of salt

1 cup water or milk

1 tablespoon of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa, salt, and flour in a medium size bowl. Bring water or milk to a boil. Once boiling, Gradually pour hot liquid into the sugar mixture. Stir constantly until mixture thickens.

Once it has reached the desired thickness, remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Set Aside.

Cupcake Batter

makes 12 cupcakes

1 egg

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 1/8 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup dark cocoa powder

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup homemade fudge sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk egg and sugar until smooth and no lumps remain. Add milk, cream, butter and vanilla, and mix until combined, add sour cream. Stir in flour, coco powder, baking soda, and salt . Mix until batter is smooth, then swirl in fudge sauce. Line a muffin tin with liners and using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to each cup. Bake for 15-18 (it took me more like 20-25 but my oven is a little wacky)minutes. Let cool before frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup peanut butter

3 cups of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 of milk

pinch of salt

Cream butter and peanut butter together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar with mixer on low speed and gradually add milk and vanilla extract. Mix until frosting is smooth. If too thick, add more milk; if too thin, add more sugar.

Assembly

Once cupcake have cooled completely use a knife to cut two slits into the cupcakes, forming one X shaped slit. Inject hot fudge sauce into the cupcakes using either an icing bag with a very small tip or, preferably, put the fudge sauce into a squeeze top bottle (like the kind chefs use to decorate plates and for salad dressings). The sauce will soak into the cupcakes. Once this happens feel free to inject with a bit more fudge sauce. Top with peanut butter frosting and drizzle with more fudge sauce. Enjoy!

I plan to make these again very soon to take to some of my friends. Hopefully I will get  step by step photos up after that.

My cousins sure liked them :)

Don’t forget to check out my twitter.

@flourishingfood

Random Ramblings

1. Thanks for your incredibly kind comments regarding my prom pictures. I don’t post pictures of myself that often but y’all made me feel great! Seriously, with super sweet comments like that, who needs sugar in their life? Not me! (at least not for 4 more days!)

2. I haven’t posted a recipe in forever. Mostly because either a) I follow a recipe pretty closely and while I may share a link to it or whatever, I don’t feel like it’s mine to take credit for. Or 2) I don’t follow a recipe whatsoever and it’s kind of hard to share something without any measurements or anything. Hopefully that will be changing soon though!

3. I’m considering making The Flourishing Foodie twitter. But, I’m afraid no one will follow me and what fun is a twitter with like 2 followers? Lame.

4. I’m super excited to make Peanut Butter Stuffed Hot Fudge Cupcakes for Easter. With a title like that, how can they not be delicious?

5. I would really love to go gluten, dairy, and sugar-free for a week. I can’t seem to find the motivation to actually do so. I actually think gluten may be the cause of my perpetual headaches. If it is the cause I may cry. I love bread way too much.

7. If you have any comments or suggestions for my blog or things you’d like to see me post about in the future, please let me know :)

8. I have a half day of school tomorrow, no school Friday or Monday and am missing school Tuesday for tennis. Long weekend  much? Life is good.

Anything random you’d like to ramble about? I’m all ears!

Lent and Going Sweetener Free

Lent. As a Catholic, I definitely take part in the Lenten season which started this past Wednesday; however, I’m typically not a big fan of giving things up for lent. I just don’t find it that effective in growing spiritually during lent. For some people it’s great; for me, it’s not. Giving up some unhealthy food or habit probably makes me a bit healthier; however often I forget the main reason I’m giving said unhealthy thing up  which of course is to use my little tiny sacrifice as a way to unite myself with Jesus and His big giant sacrifice.

That being said, I’ve decided to give something up this year. I still primarily want to focus on doing good acts and growing in virtue this Lenten season; however, I have decided to go sugar free for lent. Actually, scratch that, sweetener free. Tuesday evening I said so long to not only white sugar, but also agave, stevia, honey and all other sweetening devices. Four days in and my commitment to being sweetener free has already been tested numerous times.

Friday afternoon I even made a batch of traditional chocolate chip cookies for some friends and family. I’m proud to say I didn’t so much as lick dough from the beater, nor did I eat a single cookie. I’ve realized that watching others enjoy the  food I make is actually better than eating my self. Still, nothing sounds better right now than a big chewy overly sweetened cookie. 42 days until Easter.

I’ve already determined that come Easter Sunday I will be making Peanut Butter Stuffed Hot Fudge Cupcakes from How Sweet It Is.

How Sweet It Is

I think they’ll be worth the wait :)

Do you celebrate Lent? What’s your opinion on giving things up? Any delicious sugar free recipe you’d like to share?