NATIONAL BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE WITH ALMONDS DAY

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Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor to which sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla have been added.  It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate.  Recent studies have revealed health benefits from eating small quantities of bittersweet chocolate. Almonds have health benefits as well.
 So of course for this day I have a low-carb recipe for you! sacher-cake-1194524
LOW-CARB SUGAR-FREE CHOCOLATE HEAVEN CAKE
Ingredients:
10.5 oz. dark 70-75% chocolate
6 oz. butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 eggs
6 Tbs. heavy cream
4 tsp. granulated Splenda
Instructions:
Melt chocolate & butter together over low heat in saucepan.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding vanilla extract.  In another bowl, beat eggs, cream and Splenda together for 3-4 minutes with a stick blender or hand whisk.  It will be frothy and remain runny.  Slowly add egg mix to chocolate mix in the saucepan, stirring constantly.  As you add more egg mix, the chocolate and butter will thicken to the consistency of custard.
Grease an 8″ round spring form pan with butter and line the loose bottom with parchment paper.  Push paper through the outer ring to seal and stop the cake batter from leaking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Garnish with slivered almonds, if desired.
The greater percentage of cocoa you use, the less sugar there is – but if you try to use anything higher than 75% it gets very bitter.  Most of the time I use 70% because it seems to be easier to find.  I get it at my local Walmart. 3b00db48ffe0a619
Feel free to put as much whipped topping on your cake as you want.  There are no carbs in Reddi Whip (my favorite).  Of course, I put it on my cake and immediately shoot a little in my mouth when nobody’s watching!  Just because I’m adult doesn’t mean I have to act like one.
I don’t know of any businesses with freebies today.  It’d sure be nice if our local nut shop would give some bittersweet chocolate and / or almonds away today.  Eating low-carb can get a little expensive.  That’s why I got so excited when I found 70% cacao bars at Walmart.  Score!!! 
Have a blessed day – and enjoy your cake!  🙂
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VEGAN BAKING DAY

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The awesome foods that do not raise blood glucose include:

☆ Eggs,
☆ avocado,
☆ Fatty nuts (walnuts pecans sunflower seeds almonds etc.),
☆ Dark green leafy veggies, i.e., “greens” ( mustard, kale, spinach, turnip greens), also lettuces
☆ Low carb crunchy veggies e.g., cucumber, celery, cabbage, bok choy, celery cabbage, green bell pepper,
☆ Any lean meat or
☆ fish,
☆ cheese (depending on the type this will give you protein & a smidge of fat or a whole bunch)
Greek yogurt, plain (be careful one cup will give you about 15 grams of carbohydrate and at least two to three servings in that 1 cup ),

and of course,
☆ herbs, spices etc… lots of flavor to our foods without adding tons and tons of carbohydrates or salts, provided you use straight season and not the seasoning salts {those are really just plain old table salt that’s been introduced do a minimum of herbs… you can make your own for far less money and far less salt}.

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Just because you say VEGAN, it does not necessarily mean that you’re home free as far as baking goes.  Vegan can be low-carb, but it is not necessarily, so be careful.  This recipe does use a cup of all-purpose flour and a cup of non-dairy yogurt, but everything else looks “legal” for low-carbers.  Notice that is LOW CARB and not NO CARB.

Vegan Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

Makes 1, 9×13″ sheet cake

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup sugar-free cherry jam
1 ¼ cup slivered almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup vegan butter, softened
1 cup non-dairy yogurt
1 cup Splenda
4 ½ Tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions:

1) Grease your baking dish

Preheat your oven to 350F (177C). Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with vegetable oil or cooking spray.

2) Prepare the cherry almond topping

In a medium bowl, mix together sugar-free cherry jam, almonds and set aside.

3) Whisk together the dry ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder and set aside.

4) Build the batter

In a large bowl, cream the soft Vegan Butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the non-dairy yogurt, then beat in the Splenda, followed by beating in the arrowroot or tapioca flour. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract. By hand, fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Spread half of the batter into the baking dish then top with half of the cherry almond topping. Spread the other half of the batter into the baking dish, followed by the other half of the cherry almond topping.

5) Bake the vegan coffee cake to perfection

Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Wait until cake is completely cooled if you’re going to remove it from the baking dish.

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So…  maybe we can have our cake and eat it too.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)There are times in life when you have to eat cake – one of those times is your birthday, right?  Does that mean your blood glucose has to get out of whack?  Not long ago I would have said, “Yes – yes it does.”  Now I’ve found a great recipe for chocolate cake that serves two people – and takes just three minutes to whip up!  Perfect for a couple like my husband and myself.sacher-cake-1194524_1920

THREE MINUTE CHOCOLATE CAKE

Makes 2 servings – 9 carbs – 4 net carbs

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 C. almond flour

1 Tbs. cocoa

1/4 tsp. baking powder

3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. Splenda

2 Tbs. butter, melted

1 Tbs. water

1 egg

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder and Splenda in a 2 cup glass measuring cup.  Stir in butter, water and egg.  Mix well.  Scrape batter down evenly with a rubber spatula.  Cover with plastic wrap and vent by cutting a small slit in the center.  Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute until set but still a little moist on top.  Cool slightly and serve warm with Reddi Whip.

If you are used to eating wedding cake with butter cream frosting, this will probably not taste wonderful to you, but if you’re like most of us and haven’t eaten wedding cake for years – and you avoid sweets as a general rule – you will notice that almond flour has a sort of “mealy” consistency, but if you can get past that, and appreciate that this cake will not cause your blood glucose to spike, you may find yourself yelling YEE-HAW because hey – this is the closest thing to chocolate cake you’ve eaten in a long time!

Almond flour is also much more expensive than all-purpose flour.  I rationalize spending the extra money by thinking of how much it cost to buy insulin every month.  My Levemir was costing about $400 a month.  A small sack of almond flour costs about $7.  I won’t eat too many things with it – but once in a while I want some pancakes or waffles – or some chocolate cake for a birthday celebration.

Isn’t it fantastic that we can eat a low carb diet that sometimes includes cocoa – and more to the point, know that our blood glucose will be happy?  I’m just so tickled with this discovery!

 

HOSTESS CUPCAKE DAY

TL 5-11 HOSTESS CUPCAKE DAY

It’s a silly little memory – some childhood memories are.  My mom used to pack my lunch, which included a bologna sandwich with mustard and lettuce on white bread, some cheese curls or potato chips, apple slices and a Hostess CupCake.  That was the crowning moment – eating that yummy chocolate cupcake.

The Hostess story began in 1919 when the world was introduced to the Hostess CupCake.  Six years later, Continental Baking wanted to add a line of cakes.  Twinkies and the rest were baked and the brand Hostess was created.

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The signature white filling is my favorite part

 

For years we had a Hostess thrift store where my dad picked up all sorts of delicious goodies for lunches or snacks at home.  My favorite has always been this signature treat, with the perfectly swirled white icing on top of the smooth, creamy chocolate.  That, along with the filling in the center, makes this the most iconic and delicious ending to any lunch.

A chocolate Hostess CupCake, showing the chocolate cake and icing, and the signature line of white squiggles
A chocolate Hostess CupCake, showing the chocolate cake and icing, and the signature line of white squiggles

Today, of course, I can’t eat things like that.  Everything that Hostess makes is now just a distant memory.  My mind goes back to elementary school in the lunch room.  I knew my mom loved me when I opened my Bobby Sherman lunch box every day!

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Bobby Sherman had lunch with me every day at school

I know some of you enjoy having a clone recipe.  This is the closest one I’ve seen!

http://www.browneyedbaker.com/homemade-hostess-cupcakes/

As adults, we are more smart about snacking.  The best we can do is choose more healthy ingredients so we can get a little taste of nostalgia.  Sometimes all you need is just a little taste.  Wink!  😉

 

BIRTHDAY #54

TL BIRTHDAY #54

I enjoy and am enjoying the good things that come along with [aging]… Nobody can buy experience.  Nobody can buy wisdom.  Nobody can buy a shared history with others that you get by being relevant and engaged year upon year upon year.  – Rob Lowe

Have you ever seen a cake with 54 candles on it?  I know, me neither.  So, there is a positive to not eating cake, huh?

I’m so thankful to God for another year of life.  I received this from a friend:

Renew My Strength

Heavenly Father,

Please bless Linda, for today is her birthday. Dear Lord, please protect and guide Linda as she continues along the path you’ve chosen for her. Give her the courage to follow in your light, and feel your love wherever she goes. Make her strong and give her the strength to make good decisions in the coming year. Keep her free from illness and sadness, for she is a truly good person who deserves happiness and success in all aspects of life. We know that life is like a book. With each new chapter, we learn and grow towards what you would have us be. Bless Linda now on this day, and in the future.

In your name we pray,

Amen.

Isn’t that sweet?  My friends mean so much to me, and kindness like that is a real treasure and uplifts my spirit!

On this day I also want to wish some other (more famous) people a very happy birthday!

  • Emmylou Harris
  • Adam Rodriguez
  • Michael Fassbender
  • Quavo Marshall
  • Bethany Joy Lenz
  • Traci Braxton
  • Drew Van Acker
  • Christopher Meloni
  • Clark Gregg
  • Kapil Sharma
  • David Ferrer
  • Roselyn Sanchez
  • Linda Hunt
  • Jesse Carmichael
  • Adam Shulman
  • Sia Barbi
  • Deon Richmond
  • Leon Russell
  • Leyla Milani
  • Lindy Booth
  • Amy Castle
  • Samu Haber
  • Paquita la del Barrio
  • Pedro Pascal
  • Lee De Wyre
  • Clare Thomas
  • Simon Farmaby

I’m in good company!  And here are a few who were born on April 2nd but have passed on:

  • Marvin Gaye
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Buddy Ebsen
  • Alec Guinness
  • Charlemagne
  • Jack Webb

I’m sure you have done this on your birthday – looked up all the famous people who share your special day.  It’s fun to think about all the talented folks you share a birthday with.  I wonder if I could have been famous?  Oh well…  I’m sure that ship has sailed – but it might have been nice.

This year I’d like to see the movie “American Sniper”.  It’s time for America to see a real hero.

This picture [American Sniper] was interesting because I’m seeing it from the point of a person who was sort of an American hero…  His family and his beliefs were very strong…  You have to embrace his philosophy if you’re going to tell a story about him.  – Clint Eastwood

Look what I had waiting for me on facebook today…  Lucinda spoils me – she really does.  This poem made me cry – it did.

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From Lucinda… Awe!

And Lucinda, I will now give you another photo to add to your collection – LOL!  This is my official RED HAT photo.  No, I’m not a member of the Red Hat Society, but I sure do embrace the notion that as one ages, one must not be overly concerned about what colors do and do not go together, nor how many feathers one wears in one’s hat.  Bring on the hats, the feathers, the purple and red together.  I will age with grace, but I will age with an attitude that says RULES???  WHAT RULES???

I love this post on one of my favorite blogs – http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/2015/04/easter-parade-2015.html

Wouldn’t you love to join these wonderful women???  I sure would!

Ready for the Red Hat Society!
Ready for the Red Hat Society!

I must share a story about this photo.  I found this red hat (I know it looks orange in the photo but it really is red) at the antique store.  I saw it as a photo-op.  I didn’t want to actually buy the hat, so I casually went into the booth and tried to hide amongst some other items so I would not be seen taking the photo.

I was almost home free…  I got my camera out and was seconds away from pushing the button when I happened to glance just outside the booth and across the store – at the cutest little lady.  She must have been kicking 80.  I wondered if she was going to approve or disapprove of my actions – but I knew she was cool when those two little thumbs of hers turned upward and she gave me the biggest grin I’ve ever seen!  I wish I had a photo of that – because it was priceless!

Opinions are like birthdays; everybody has one, and I know yours only because of facebook.  @RANDILAWSON

Thank you all for the kind wishes and encouragement.  I’m thankful to God for another year of life!  And yes, I may have a small slice of birthday cake today – but it won’t be the cake that had 54 candles on it – lol!!!  🙂

 

 

WORLD NUTELLA DAY

TL 2-5 WORLD NUTELLA DAY

2-5 THE NUTELLA FELLA

It’s WORLD NUTELLA DAY!!!  This special day was started back in 2007 by people in social media, but the product has been around for over 50 years!  Once you’ve tasted this hazelnut and cocoa spread you will be a fan too!  There is even a fan page on facebook – check it out!  http://www.facebook.com/WorldNutellaDay

 All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.  – John Gunther

The most popular way to enjoy Nutella is on toast or pancakes.  It’s fun and healthy to add blueberries or strawberries to the mix.  Pineapple rings and kiwi fruit taste pretty good with it too.  Is it a snowy February where you live?  Are you having a craving for chocolate?  Nutella is a great way to curb the craving without breaking the calorie bank – especially on a snowy day!

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Nutella and banana slices are good on English muffins.  I’m making myself hungry! 

How about a high protein cake in a mug using Nutella???

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Croissant with Nutella and strawberry slices???  Very nice!

How about some hot chocolate???  It’s not as healthy – but it sure looks yummy!  🙂

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Remember the days before Nutella when we ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches?  Now that Nutella is here, we replace regular peanut butter and get a better sandwich.  There is no hydrogenated oil in Nutella and there is cocoa in it, so hey – if there is chocolate in my spread…  that makes me very happy – how about you???

Never work before breakfast; if you have to work before breakfast, eat your breakfast first.  – Josh Billings

With all this butter, I can’t promise that this is the most healthy recipe I’ve ever seen, but it does look good.  I wouldn’t recommend eating the whole thing in one setting.

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Have you heard of the Nutella “Spread the Happy” Truck Tour?  They’ve taken it on the road!  This video is from July 2014 – and at that time they were celebrating 50 years of spreading happy!  I had no idea it had been around that long!

 

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I like no bake cookies.  These are fun and easy – and delicious!

I do know that once you try Nutella you will get hooked.  It’s delicious with crepes, pancakes, toast or English muffins.  I even use it in my oatmeal.  You may even find yourself eating it by the spoonful!  Wink!  😉

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SHE FOUND HER BETTER HALF FOR VALENTINE’S DAY