Intuitive eating

Friends, I am going to start with an apology. I know I said that I would be eating exclusively soups until Mary Ellen gets rescued from her “vacation,” but I heard about intuitive eating in passing, and I just couldn’t force my body to stick to a strict diet of noodles and butternut squash any longer.

Has anyone else heard about intuitive eating? I’m going to be honest, I heard the phrase one time. And, as with all potentially complex subjects, I’m going to brazenly assume that I know what it means. Yesterday, I got off of a long hard day of work and by body intuitively knew that I needed to wander around the grocery store until I found some vegan gummy bears, and then I needed to intuitively eat them in my car while swerving slightly and shaking my fist at other cars (I couldn’t scream at them because I had a mouth-full of gummy bears).

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I do have green things in my fridge. But my body knew that I needed gummy bears.

Today, I got off of another long day at work, and while my brain thought I should make some quinoa lentil chili, my body knew better. I reached for a jar of chocolate almond butter that I bought yesterday before I found the gummy bears, and then I ate half of the jar with a spoon while drinking a beer.

Chocolate almond butter
The beer is in a fancy stout glass, because I intuitively wanted to bump up the classiness

You guys know how passionate I am about health food, and this intuitive eating idea is no different. I’m just so grateful that there is finally a phrase for the healthful way I approach shoving completely reasonable amounts of sugar in my mouth.

Serafina

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Vegan Chocolate Sheet Cake (with non-vegan chocolate frosting)

Guess what, everyone? I tried to find a recipe for a vegan chocolate sheet cake last week (I was low on eggs and had to bring cake to a barbecue). I could not find any vegan sheet cake recipes. What the fuck? Is this because vegans don’t have enough friends to bother with sheet cake? No offense, vegans. But maybe if you used some butter you’d have more friends. #realtalk #sorrynotsorry

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I am pretty new to sheet-cake-level popularity, so I don’t have large platters. I’m working on it, and I made do with the cake carrier this time

Anyhoo, I ended up making a few slight adaptations to a vegan chocolate layer cake recipe that I have used for years. It turned out marvelously, and thanks to a butter-filled frosting, everyone wanted to be my friend.

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I poured my vanilla and apple cider vinegar into bowls for you guys, instead of just taking more pictures of my vanilla jar with the rusty lid. Making friends takes effort. And butter.

This works as a layer cake with two 9in cake pans, or it could also make 24 cupcakes. I found this handy baking time chart for all you type A vegans looking to make friends with cake.

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 cups cold water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9 x 13 in pan and line with parchment. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Sifting is advised because cocoa power is a pain in the ass and clumps.

Mix the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla together in a medium bowl.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (vegan cakes get cranky when they are over-mixed, no one wants to eat a cranky cake)

Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes. It is done when the skewer comes out mostly clean.

Cool completely then transfer onto a cake platter to be frosted.

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I was not sure about the baking time, so I stabbed the cake with a bamboo skewer about 20 times. It was effective. Also, I didn’t use a timer

Chocolate Frosting, adapted from a recipe on the back of a box of baking chocolate

Ingredients

8 oz baking chocolate (I usually do ½ unsweetened and ½ bittersweet)

6 tablespoons butter

About 1/3 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

About 3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Melt butter and chocolate. I usually use the old put a bowl over some boiling water method. Once melted, take off heat and let cool for a minute. Add vanilla and salt.

Alternately beat in powdered sugar and milk until you get a thick, but spreadable consistency. Spread evenly on cake. This frosting hardens and becomes fudgy when it cools.

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I don’t know how there are already splashes of butter and chocolate on the cake carrier, I hadn’t even mixed in the powdered sugar at this point, and that’s the messy part

You don’t make friends with salad

Serafina

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I really wanted to do another doughnut recipe because I was inspired by Mary Ellen’s last post, but I didn’t have time. When you’re preparing for a Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman final exam, there isn’t much time for doughnuts (The exam is basically driving out to a farm and then doing practical multitasking midwifery while you pull babies out of cows, humans, goats, etc. The people and animals that live on a farm are always pregnant, so as long as you drive with your preceptor, it doesn’t matter which farm you go to).

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I made these cookies. I froze more than half the dough in dough balls, and then ate all the cookies and all frozen dough within a few hours. It was very nice.

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I can’t respect people who don’t eat cookie dough because of raw eggs. They’re just like the people who don’t eat food that they’re allergic to. I’m allergic to peanuts, so I only eat them when I know I have an Epipen with me.

This isn’t one of those horrible recipes that expects you to have your butter softened or rest the dough in the fridge for 8 years. This recipe knows you, and knows that if there is softened butter in your kitchen, it’s probably been sitting unnoticed for at least a year. Year old butter doesn’t tend to yield tasty cookies, and you deserve tasty cookies.

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Browned butter tastes better anyway (which is what I tell myself to feel better about my inability to plan ahead)

It also doesn’t have any stupid shit about only using an egg yolk. My chickens work hard laying eggs and I’m not about to let anything go to waste (they’d find out and probably peck my eyes out)

I started a sugar-elimination diet the same morning I decided to make these cookies. I didn’t have processed sugar in my system for at least six hours, which was probably the most important aspect of this cookie success. By the time the dough was done, I had nearly collapsed from lack of sugar. These cookies literally saved my life.

Choc Chip Cookie Dough
I advise using big chocolate chips and trying not to eat all the dough before you’ve made a couple cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen https://smittenkitchen.com/2009/03/crispy-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

¾ cup unsalted butter, melted, or browned

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 tbsp vanilla

2 eggs

About 2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325°

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl

Cream sugars and melted butter, then whisk in eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips. Don’t bother chilling your dough and gallantly drop dough balls onto the baking sheet. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, watching closely. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack. If you’re baking all of your cookie dough, just keep on keeping on. If you are freezing some of it, let the baking sheet cool. Then, fill the baking sheet with balls of dough and stick in the freezer for 30 minutes-1 hour. Once relatively frozen, cookie dough balls can go into freezer bags, waiting patiently for the day that they will be eaten.

 

Cookies and dough balls

May the cookie force be with you

-Serafina