Category Archives: Uncategorized

Better than . . .

What a day! Wait, let me rephrase that. What a past 24 hours! (you know, since we still have a good part of our day left!)

Although I am still lacking full-use of a limb, I haven’t let it stop me too much. I surprised myself yesterday and took my spinning class one-handed. Yes, you read that right. One-handed. Hmmmm . . . I wonder if there’s a word for that. A unicycle is a one-wheeled bicycle.  Unicyclist is already taken . . . Maybe monocyclist? The jury is out on that one, but get at me if you know. Anyway, I was quite proud of myself for that one. I knew all that dance training would pay off—balancing on a bike.

Last night was also pretty eventful. I mean, how could it not be when it’s girls night? Just for the record, my friends and I are crazy. (Or as they say, “cray cray.”) But it’s all good kinds of crazy. Crazy fun, if you know what I mean. Delicious food, Sarah’s bomb bartending skills, epic jokes, AND mouthwatering dessert made by yours truly.

Image

Holy Chocolate Batman!

This is the kind of cake you need to have on hand on a bad day. It’s that good. Sorrow-curing good. Break-up therapy good. Better than sex good. In fact, that’s what I am going to call my version of this cake.

I found this recipe on averie cooks, but it was simply labeled “Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache.” Now, after tasting this scrumptious morsel from chocolate heaven, I have decided that this name just won’t do. It doesn’t do it justice. However, since I did make some minor adjustments, I am now dubbing this my “Better than Sex Chocolate Cake.” Oh, and did I mention that this is a no-mixer required recipe? Super easy to make AND clean up. So the faster you can dig in! Prepare yourselves you chocoholics out there!

Better than Sex Chocolate Cake

 Image

 Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 6 oz. plain greek yogurt (looky there, just the amount in a single serving Choboni cup!)
  • ¼ C. vegetable or canola oil (I used veggie, since that was what I had on hand)
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ½ C. coffee—I just dissolved instant coffee in a ½ C. hot water
  • ¼ C. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ C. dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s special dark)
  • 1 C. AP flour (King Arthur is the best!)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 9 oz. (1 ½ C.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ C. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 9×9 (or 8×8) pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, sugar, yogurt, oil, and vanilla. Now, whisk your little heart out until the batter is nice and smooth.
  4. Add coffee and both cocoa powders. Whisk again!
  5. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk, whisk, whiskiddy, whisk.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared ban.
  7. Bake for about 25-27 min. The top should be set, and the batter shouldn’t really jiggle as you pull it out of the oven.
  8. Let cake cool for at least 30 minutes. (Before ganaching it that is).
  9. Heat chocolate in a large-ish microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute. Set aside.
  10. Microwave cream for about 70 seconds—just until the cream is about to bubble.
  11. Pour cream over chocolate. Let stand for about 30 seconds to a minute. Then, you guessed it, whisk until smooth!
  12. Pour ganache over cake.
  13. Now this is the hardest part: wait at least 30 minutes for ganache to set before slicing and eating. (I put mine in the fridge for a while, too).

Now, doesn’t that sound fantastic?

I do have a confession to make, though: I had to make two of these babies . . .

Image

. . . because I messed up on my first one. I misread the ingredients and only put ¼ C. of cocoa powder in the batter my first time around! I would have just said a little prayer and hoped for the best if I was just feeding my family, BUT since this was for a party, I had to make sure it was Gooooood.

Funny thing is, is that I ran out of regular cocoa powder during my second go-around. Hence, the dark chocolate cocoa. I think it turned out for the best though. Don’t you think?

 Image

It’s like a fudgy little cake bite! Or piece of cake fudge . . . look at that moist crumb. And shiny, gooey ganache!

Yes, this is a cake that will instantly make you feel better. Or it will put you into a chocolate coma . . .

I, however, did not need the magical qualities from this delicacy today. Today was a good one. Maybe I should thank all of you? For the good vibes and crossed fingers that is, because I got an email about coming in for a THIRD INTERVIEW for elitefts! So may I ask for one more round of good vibes? Preferably around 10:30AM this Tuesday morning? Pretty please?

Another highlight of the last 24 hours is that I am finally back in the good graces of this little one.

 Image

She was not a happy camper when I picked her up from the groomers. She does not do well with change, or water, or with people hovering near her butt . . . oh, and let me tell you, this little pup can hold a grudge.

I was given the silent treatment for a good 24 hours. This was the look she gave me when I called her to come snuggle.

 

If you don’t get the horsebeast reference, check this link out.

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering: I have still been hitting the gym other than for spin class. However, I can’t say my workouts have been all that stellar. The elliptical machine is my best friend right now, and I did run today! I just haven’t mapped out my mileage yet.

Well, I am off to grab some dinner with Madre and computer shop. I think I have figured out how to afford a Mac!

Image

Winning!

Questions of the day?

  • Do you have an outstanding chocolate cake recipe?
  • What are your comfort foods?
Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Bananas, Guinness, and Army Wives

That title pretty much sums up my Sunday!

Before I planted myself in the kitchen for the day, I met my best friend, Lori, at church. I actually just started going to church again about a month ago, after having not gone in over a year, and I’m really enjoying it. This time around, I feel like I have more of a purpose to go—a yearning to grow closer to God. And this church provides such a safe haven to do just that. I love the pastor and his messages, and the people I have met have been nothing but welcoming. It almost is like coming home in a way. Smile

One of my favorite passages from yesterday’s message was from 1 Corinthians 15: 58:

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

It is just served as a reminder for me that we need to live for Him. Because He works through us and has a plan for us- even if it is not the one we have for ourselves.

Well, after church and a quick trip to the grocery store for supplies, I was ready to get down to business.The first things I had to get done were FOUR batches of protein bars for Discovering Strength clients. Clean eating approved, protein packed, and low in calories . . . these things are pretty great little numbers, let me tell you. I might have made a batch for myself also . . . Winking smile

The next thing on my list was finding something to do with my crazy ripe bananas. I certainly couldn’t eat them in their current state (I LOVE bananas and peanut butter), since I am slightly allergic to bananas. (I break out if I eat them when they are too green OR too ripe. They must have that picture perfect yellow peel!)

over-ripe-bananas

(Okay. . . those aren’t my exact naners, but they look exactly the same!)

So, after leafing through my huge recipe binder, I stumbled across a recipe Madre used to make all of the time: Banana Cupcakes! Basically, they are just banana muffins, but they are so delicious and MOIST! I think I would eat 2 or 3 after I got home from jr. high. (If only I could still eat like that!) Anyway, yes, they are THAT good.

I tried my hand at making them myself, but I have to admit, I was not perfectly happy with the end result. I remember Madre’s cupcakes having nice rounded, pillowy tops. Mine turned out kinda flat . . . bah! In my defense, I looked at the baking soda and found that the expiration date had passed. So, I am going to take the low road and blame it on the baking soda. It can’t defend itself anyway, so I automatically win! (Yes, I just sounded 7 years old!) Smile

Maybe you will have better luck at achieving those golden muffin tops:

Banana Cupcakes

Banana Cupcakes

(from Gma)

Yield:18

Ingredients:

  1. 1 C. sugar
  2. 1 C. mayo (no substitutions)
  3. 2 C. flour
  4. 2 tsp. baking soda
  5. 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  6. 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake/muffin tray with paper liners.
  2. Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Blend until smooth and incorporated.
  3. Fill cups about 1/2 full of batter.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes. (Or until lightly golden).
  5. Cool on a wire rack.

So moving on to Guinness . . . . Winking smile

Well, since I was helping move Gma on St. Patty’s day, I decided to make up for lost time and treat my family to Guinness Brownies!

Guinness Brownies

I can’t really take any credit for this recipe, since all I did was take Emily’s recipe (WONDERFUL) and subbed Guinness for Oktoberfest beer.

But the result: pretty darn good! We’re talkin’ rich, creamy, decadent chocolate brownie here people. And the ganache frosting . . . swoon!

guinness piece

Check out that dense chocolate! Mmmmmm . . . my thighs are getting bigger just looking at it. Winking smile

That about wraps up my cooking adventures for the weekend. Lucky I was solo all day, since I monopolized the kitchen for the day . . . no one would have been able to make a meal! Well, I guess I wasn’t quite solo . . . I had a bunch of Army Wives to entertain me in the background:

army-wives1

Haha! Yes, I am one of those people who likes background noise. I think it’s a woman thing—we rule at multitasking. Am I right or am I right? It’s actually a pretty good series . . . dramatic, witty, hot men . . . well some Winking smile

Well, I am off to work on my online class! Have a fantastic Monday!

Questions for the day:

  1. How do you use your over-ripe bananas?
  2. Do you like background noise when you are working and/or cooking?

Leave a comment

Filed under recipes, Uncategorized

Baked Apple Slices with Peanut Butter Crumble (AKA Peanut Butter Apple Crisp)

Recipe compliments of Hershey’s

PB Apple crisp

As promised, here is the recipe for the oh-so-delicious peanut butter and apple goodness! I pulled this recipe from this book. I highly recommend this little gem and have made several delicious desserts featured in here. For instance, I’ve treated my family and friends to the Chocolate Almond Cheesecake, Hershey’s Special Dark Truffle Brownie Cheesecake, Chocolate and Peanut Butter Filled Peanut Butter Blondies, and the good ol’ favorite: Peanut Butter Blossoms! And let me tell you, ALL were absolutely delicious! I wouldn’t lie about this stuff, folks! Smile

So, next time you happen to have several apples on your hands, try this baby out:

Baked Apple Slices with Peanut Butter Crumble (AKA Peanut Butter Apple Crisp)

PB Apple crisp 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
  • 1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square pan.
  2. Stir together apples, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup flour in a large bowl. Spread in prepared pan; dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Combine oats, remaining 3/4 cup flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and cinnamon in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Place remaining tablespoon of butter and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at Medium for 30 seconds (or until butter is melted); stir until smooth. Add to oat mixture; blend until crumbs are formed.Sprinkle crumble mixture over apples.*
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and edges are bubbly. Cool slightly. Serve warm or cool with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

*I had to break my oat mixture up a but with my fingers. The PB makes it a bit sticky, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!

Thank you Hershey’s for such a treat! Mmmmmm

I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

To New Beginnings!

Hello! (Salut! Howdy! . . . insert whatever salutation you desire!)

Well, here’s to my first post! If you have visited my About Me page you already know a little bit about Going Through the Big D and myself. For those who haven’t, here is me in a nutshell: my name is Dallas, and I am simply going through the ups and downs of life as a twenty something midwestern girl. I am sure my blog will evolve over time . . . growing and changing along with me, but for now I am here just to share my experiences, whether that be my job search tribulations, fitness goals, baking and cooking experiments, or just plain daily narratives.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized