Last night I made my white cake but with some adjustments to create a white almond cake with vanilla bean buttercream, topped with shaved German chocolate. To make this, simply follow the original recipe but substitute the vanilla extract in the cake and simple syrup with pure almond extract. Also, when cooking the simple syrup, throw a whole vanilla bean in there. To make the buttercream, omit the lemon juice /zest and food coloring and add the scraped insides of a vanilla bean (the one that was brought to a boil in the simple syrup). Also add some nondairy milk, a teaspoon at a time, if the consistency of the frosting is too thick. Top with shaved dark chocolate and/or chopped almonds!
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
“Don’t plant your bad days. They grow into weeks.
The weeks grow into months. Before you know it,
you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me - choke
those little bad days. Choke ‘em down to nothing.”
"Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves.
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how 'power posing' -- standing in a posture of confidence,
even when we don't feel confident -- can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain,
and might even have an impact on our chances for success."
"When Joshua Prager was 19, a devastating bus accident left him a hemiplegic.
He returned to Israel twenty years later to find the driver who turned his world
upside down. In this mesmerizing tale of their meeting, Prager probes deep
questions of nature, nurture, self-deception and destiny."
Quite a few links this week, but that happens sometimes:
- The two above Ted Talks; they both moved me to tears. The second especially hit home (for obvious reasons).
- Shortbread cookies.
- A clean bathroom.
- This stuffed eggplant recipe (that came out beautifully delicious!).
- Poetry! I've been reading through a couple issues of Rattle lately.
- Wearing skirts and tank tops in hot weather (I may even bust out my wedges this week!).
- The Nu Project.
- The Body Images Project.
- The Google Ngram Viewer.
- Frida's closet, always.
- A feminist critique of cisgender.
Any links you care to share this week?
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Click images to enlarge.
Lately I've been feeling renewed, rejuvenated, and inspired. I believe I'm really finally looking forward and leaving illness and injury behind... I have to ultimately conquer my diagnoses and leave them in the past; I'm ready to start believing I’m not sick anymore. I love myself, I really do. I also know the positive directions in which I want to grow. I have to make a final examination of my days and cut ties to the last of what is holding me back from a ‘complete’ recovery - and I know that I am going to accomplish everything as I imagine it.
Things I love as of late:
- Feeling inspired to write and write and write and write.
- Receiving this wonderful compliment: “You’re that special blend of smart & compassionate and you’re literally like one of the best people I know”.
- This 'Goddesses Shirt'.
- "This is your daily reminder that self-indulgence can be a form of self-care."
- The prospect of having tofu in my Chipotle burrito.
- Anthropologie. Sorry-not-sorry. Their stores are beautiful. I fawn over everything.
- My writing being described as "powerful".
- Looking forward to dressing cute and going to see a movie tomorrow.
- Visiting a coffee shop for the first time.
- Hearing about the stimulating time someone had during their travels. Imaging places as they're described and wondering if one day you'll be there yourself.
- Laughing big belly laughs and feeling like you can't stop.
- Feeling at peace.
What's helping you feel like you can conquer your life?
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
I love a solid recipe that can be played with and adjusted to accommodate what's in your fridge or pantry. I also love baked goods that have just enough sweetness, are hardy, make the house smell awesome, and have the subtle ability to warm up your insides.
These muffins are simple, moist, and definitely have the potential to improve your mood. Grant your spring night or weekend morning some joy [of baking] and whip up a batch! Got some browning bananas? Want to have something to grab before leaving for school or work? Yearning for a sweet snack to nosh on with your mug of chamomile tonight? Do you really need an excuse to bake these? (The answer to that last question, of course, is 'No.')
Jenny's Bountiful Banana Muffins
Makes a dozen (12) muffins. Vegan.
Recipe can easily be halved or doubled.
Great with tea, coffee, a nice smoothie, with breakfast or as a snack.
2 cups flour (I used 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat; you could also use cake flour)
2 tbsp ground flaxseed (This can be ommitted, but keep in mind that flaxseed is very nutritious!)1½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup melted coconut oil or canola oil
4 ripe bananas, mashed (Don't have quite enough bananas? Substitute ⅓-½ cup apple sauce for every banana you're missing!)
¼ cup nondairy milk (Splash in a little extra if your batter seems too thick - this will depend on the size of your bananas.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (optional - check that they're nondairy if you want to keep the recipe vegan) or raisins or a combination
1 cup chopped nuts (optional - almonds, pecans, walnuts, whatever you have)
oats for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a muffin tin or line the tin with cupcake papers.
- Combine flour, flaxseed, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- In another bowl - combine mashed banana, sugar, oil, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well-mixed. If your batter seems a little thick, add a splash of nondairy milk.
- Fold in chocolate chips, raisins, and/or nuts (optional).
- Fill your muffin tin cups about 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops with a pinch of oats - I like doing this when I'm not using mix-ins because it makes the muffins look a little fancier.
- Bake 22-25 minutes or until muffin tops are somewhat golden brown.