Archive | May, 2013

Double Chocolate Cupcakes With Marshmallow Topping

16 May

In the past month, since surgery, I have consumed more sugar and carbs than in the past year. Why? Comfort foods, of course! After being discharged from the hospital, we headed to Whole Foods, hoping to find some food that i could keep down; and instead of filling myself with veggies and fruit, I went for some classics, mashed potatoes and beef broth. This morning I woke up craving cinnamon rolls, but after two hours of searching for the perfect gluten-free recipe I gave up. I instead decided to make some chocolate cupcakes, the recipe below.

While waiting for the cupcakes to be ready, I wondered what exactly made me crave these foods, and why I was still craving them four weeks post-surgery.

*comfort food (n)-food that comforts or affords solace; hence any food (frequently with a high sugar or carbohydrate content) that is associated with childhood or with home cooking.

That explained it! I am seeking the good feeling that these foods provide. With further research I found that only in the past twenty years did the notion of comfort food become part of everyday life. With the high-stress lives we lead, it makes sense, we need an easy outlet for this stress. The biological explanation behind this idea is that foods high in carbohydrates increase the availability of typtophan,which increase the level of serotonin(the chemical that is associated with happiness in the brain), resulting in a better mood. The choice of comfort foods varies from person to person, depending on the geographical location as well as their upbringing. Some typical American comfort foods include apple pie, chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes. So the next time you’re feeling crummy, whip up that comfort food and enjoy the sweet release. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Topping

Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup+ 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk (from can)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350° and line cupcake holder with paper liners. Mix together coconut flour, cocoa powder, palm sugar, and baking soda (I sifted the flour and sugar because they were clumpy). In a separate bowl combine the eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients bowl, mix in chocolate chips at the end. Spoon batter into cupcake holder, filling cups 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cupcake recipe adapted from The Wannabe Chef

Marshmallow Topping

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract

Instructions:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring agave nectar and vanilla to a boil, stirring frequently. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 4 to 8 minutes, watching constantly and stirring occasionally, until the agave darkens slightly from its original amber color. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Drizzle the agave nectar slowly into the egg whites, whisking continuously until blended.

Marshmallow topping adapted from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam

*To get toasted tops, place frosted cupcakes on baking sheet and put in oven with broiler on for 30 sec-1 min. Be careful not to burn them!

 

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_food

http://www.enotes.com/comfort-food-reference/comfort-food

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Massage vs. Massage Therapy

16 May

Listening: Pandora Radio- Dean Martin

Reading: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

bishop yoga and pilates

This afternoon I had my first massage therapy session since my hip surgery. Mary Devore at  Bishop Yoga and Pilates Center is well known in the small town of Bishop, and was recommended by my physical therapist. The center is off the main road, downtown, in a building with a yoga studio and several rooms for massage.

What an experience. I have had massages before, but never a therapy session like this. She started with having me stand, checking my posture, stance and alignment. As I lay on the table she pushed pressure points in my hip and lower back, causing reactions in different parts of my body. She began the traditional massage on my back, releasing the muscles along my spine. She then pressed inward to my hip, deep into my hip… Ow! The muscles in my hip were tight; she used a method of resistance to flex then release the muscles she was working on. By the end of the session I felt as if I had been in an hour long intense workout class rather than an hour long massage. After icing when I got home the difference was apparent, I felt comfortable walking without my crutch, there was less of a pinch in my hip while sitting, and my back pain was gone. I can only hope that this is the beginning of the upside of my surgery.

cashew cookingOf course, Cashew was ecstatic when i got home, not leaving my side, even while I was making lunch.

The Beginning

15 May

Listening: Artist- Various  Album- Dark was the Night

Reading: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Image

My desire is to share food, inspiration and my life. I love experimenting with cooking, so I will post recipes and opinions on health foods as i study them. I read and write, so expect book reviews and recommendations, magazine articles, and poetry, short stories and quotes. This is the beginning of my new life… life post-op.