Dora Cupcakes

As you can see, I decided to have a little fun with my kid brother.

And I’ll admit, this was a little creepy for my taste.

However, it was a fun, how shall I say, learning experience. It was the first time I worked with chocolate in this way! And really, I wasn’t even planning to bake anything. Mom just spontaneously asked me to bake these Dora cupcakes with Johann, which is rare because I usually jump at any chance to bake- so, there’s never any need to ask me.

Oh Dora, with those round chocolate eyes and that perfect stiff bob of brown hair. Lo siento, but I just don’t think that I did any justice for you here today (And that, my friends, was the extent of my Spanish). I’ll just assign this to my prototype heap of recipes, and try again next time. I’ll keep a mental note of trying to give her skin a little more of that exotic tan, and I definitley need to do something with those big eyes of hers (which are made out of chocolate chips). Well, at least the inside was what counted- the cupcakes tasted, well, like cupcakes! To tell you the truth, I’ve always been more of a cookie person.

Oh, I feel bad now. I’m hating on my Dora cupcakes too much. Well, it is a bit unsettling to eat something with a face on it, especially a face that you associate as an important part of your childhood…

And on that note, here’s the recipe :).

 

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M & M Cookies

I baked these awhile ago, so I don’t really have a story to go with these cookies. But what I do remember is how delicious these cookies tasted. I love the candy-coating of the m & m provides a sweet crunch to the cookie, and how the m & m gives way to a chocolate, melty center. When I stack them up in piles such as these, its almost as if they could go for a delicious form of currency :) Here is the recipe.

* I replaced the shortening with butter

 

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Cute Peanut Butter Cookies Photoshoot

Made another batch of these easy peanut butter cookies- they turned out to be so cute that I couldn’t resist to take a picture! Each cookie is about tablespoon or so. I topped them with jelly to make some thumbprint cookies! And of course, all I’m using is my favorite brand, Peanut Butter and Co. 

ImageImageImageImage

 

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Raw Blondies

 

As you may know, during Lent, you have to give up something you particularly enjoy doing (or eating). And lucky for me, my friend came up with the most ingenious plan concerning me and the next 40 days: Giving up sweets.

And as I stare at that phrase, I am feeling an intense hatred and gratefulness for that friend right now ;).

I will say the truth- though I may have denied it back then, now that I look back on how I ate a week ago, it was bad. It got to the point where I was baking something nearly every night. I truly enjoy the process of baking, but on the other hand, I just as much love the raw cookie dough that comes with it. Every time my friends would come over, it meant baking time! I would always use them as an excuse to eat as much sweets as I wanted. The basic healthy eating rule of treating myself every once in a while had been thrown out the window.

That is, until my friend, Kaylynn, called me out on my insanity.

(Looking through all the new baking books I got from the library). “Oh, this looks so good! I have all the ingredients, I can make everything from this book, we can make this today, and-“

“Isabel,” Kaylynn says.

“What?”

You should definitely give up baking sweets for Lent.”

And at that moment, I knew that it was the perfect thing to give up. I was practically addicted to baking unhealthy treats, and to top it all off, I did it everyday. Giving up something like this would be the ultimate challenge. It was practically a game-changer in my mind. The only problem was, was that I would have nothing to eat anymore. Just kidding..but it’s what I felt.

“And just what are you giving up?” I said.

“Rice, saying stupid words, you know. We are already three days into Lent, and you still haven’t actually given anything up- you screamed at your brother, like,five minutes ago.”

To tell you the truth, I hadn’t really planned on giving anything up,” was what I wanted to say. But then she said:

“I just wanna see if you’ll actually be able to do it.”

She scoffed.

And that was it. She just flipped on my competitive switch on like there was no tomorrow, and I was determined to see her through that proposition. So as usual, I jumped in head first.

I decided to get rid of baking unhealthy sweets, and I also decided to give up anything with added sugars. I haven’t eaten any of the Biscoff or Nutella spread in the cupboard, and I turned down several unexpected treats during school. I am on this challenge! Oh, and I also decided, what the hell, I might as well give up my favorite peanut butter too. This craziness is going to be fun.

Giving up sweets for Lent wasn’t only for my religion, it also served as a way to get healthier. Of course, I won’t give up sweets for the rest of my life, but this will hopefully serve as an intervention of sorts, and teach me how life is like without all the extra junk.

This recipe has definitely helped me calm my cravings, and has also taught me to love the natural sweetness and flavors of unprocessed foods. I love how raw desserts creatively combine fruits and nuts to make new and healthier creations of comfort foods! This raw blondie was quick and easy to make, and has a chewy texture and a nutty, caramel taste. Don’t leave out this vanilla extract; it makes a world of difference!

Made out of a few main ingredients, including walnuts, dates, and cashews!

You can get the recipe here at Vegan Piggy.

 

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A Nutty Photo Shoot

Just a photo shoot of one of my most favorite things in the world.

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Blackstrap Molasses Chews

I was in a rut.

That’s probably the simplest way to put it. You get stuck sometimes in life, and there was a point in time where I felt like I didn’t want to continue this blog any more. I kept on making excuses like “I’m too busy with homework” or “there is no good light to take photos today”, when in actuality I was just too lazy.

But then my mom told me that I had already inspired two of her friends to start their own blogs. So I thought to myself, “Hm, I must be doing something right.”

So here I am right now, and I’ve just as quickly caught on to my blogging rhythm once again. Being proud of something that you’ve created all on your own power feels amazing.

So, let’s celebrate with Rise and Shine’s Blackstrap Molasses Chews!


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Easy Carrot Soup

Inspired by Mirielle Guiliano’s book French Woman Don’t Get Fat, I made her Quick and Easy Carrot Soup recipe. She tells of a lifestyle where indulgent things like bread, butter, cheese, chocolate, and soup are all a part of a healthy diet, if you eat them with pleasure. I absolutely LOVE this read- I love how she laces lessons on healthy eating into personal stories of her childhood, marriage, etc.  In her book, she describes soup as a mouthwatering magical elixir, always made with seasonal and wholesome ingredients. There’s something about the simplicity of this soup that makes it so appealing! There’s plenty of room for flexibility and versatility, too- a pinch of this and a dollop of that and voila, you’re done!

My absolute favorite part of eating this is watching the butter melt and swirl into the warm soup…

Quick and Easy Carrot Soup

  • Carrots
  • pinch sugar
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • dollop of butter

Place the carrots in a pot with and equal amount of boiling water. Cook for about 15 min, until tender.

Puree the carrots and water in a blender and season to taste with a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper. Serve warm with a dollop of butter on top.

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