My favorite mocha

Unless I’m having a bad day I usually have one large cup of coffee before breakfast.  Because it’s the only cup I’m going to have, it’s gotta be good.  I’ve discovered a new treat that satisfies my chocolate craving along with my java fix.

Safeway puts out a nice ice cream they call “Select”.  It’s great for people like me who have soy and/or cane sugar issues and can’t eat just any ice cream.  Sometimes I don’t know why I can’t eat an ice cream.  Nothing leaps off the label and screams “BAD”, but my body rebels.  I like, and can eat, Select Chocolate ice cream well enough to know better than to buy it in the half-gallon size.  If you’re a woman, you know exactly what I mean.  Fortunately, Select Chocolate is one of the ice creams packaged in single serving cartons.  A single serving carton has enough ice cream for three mochas.

Add a couple heaping tablespoons of Select Chocolate to an oversized cup.  Add coffee.  Add a teaspoon of real maple syrup (I can’t eat cane sugar, fructose, stevia, yada yada.  Maple syrup works great.  No pancreas issues, no glycemic issues, no yeast issues).

You’re probably going to need to pop it in the microwave to heat it back up.  It’s like desert in a cup.  Nummy.

Family Jewels

I’m still playing with cookie recipes.  I’ve tried a new recipe with almond butter, apricots, almonds and pumpkins seeds and they’re pretty darned yummy, but I think I can do better.  Next iteration will have no butter and half the almond butter.  Tentative recipe is:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rolled or crimped oats
  • 1/4 cup flax seed (ground)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup maple butter
  • 12 diced apricot halves
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkins seeds

Cook the oats and flax seed 15 minutes on med in the salted water stirring occasionally, cream the baking soda into the almond and maple butters, stir in the apricots, nuts and seeds, spread on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet, bake at 325 for 35 minutes.

I made these changes because I prefer almond butter to peanut butter and almond butter is pretty oily which renders the butter unnecessary.  I’ll pour the oil off the top of the almond butter next time around instead of stirring it in.  That should improve things.

If you’re wondering about the title, it just seems to fit this cookie recipe . . . fruit and nuts.

Gluten free cookies

There are some foods I really have trouble with. The biggest/worst are gluten (wheat is the worst), soy (try and find any prepared food without soy . . . ) and cane sugar. I can get stuff at the health food store that’s okay, but it just lacks that “you’re going to hell” good taste of indulgence food.

Kristen the Cookie Queen makes a good gluten free cookie bar, but at $2.89 per bar it’s outside my budget for anything but an occasional indulgence and it falls apart fairly easily.

The following recipe is my answer. It took some fiddling and taste testing, but the result ROCKS.

THE Most Awesome Gluten Free Cookies

This recipe has some strange ingredients, but the result really is the most awesome gluten free cookies I’ve ever had, and unlike other gluten free recipes, these hold together really well. One cookie with tea or coffee for breakfast is a full meal!

½ cup uncooked rolled oats (not quick oats). If you’re gluten sensitive, be sure to use certified gluten free oats.  I order mine online from Azure Standard.
1¼ cup water
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup flax seed (can be found in the refrigerator at the health food store – tastes great and replaces the stickiness of gluten)
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
½ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
¾ cup mixed dried fruit  (I use halved dried sour cherries and whole dried cranberries)
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth to your taste)
1/3 cup maple butter (with the preserves and jams at the health food store)
4 tbsp butter

Put water and salt in sauce pan. While waiting for the water to boil, put flax seed in a blender or coffee grinder, process on high for 1 minute or until coursely ground.

Slowly stir oats and ground flax seed into boiling water. Cover and cook on low/med for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it starts looking and stir like sticky lumpy snot, it’s about right. When done, remove lid and set off heat to cool.

In a large mixing bowl add maple butter, peanut butter, baking soda and butter. Cream until completely mixed.

Add oatmeal/flax (does not need to be completely cool). Mix thoroughly.

Add mixed fruit. Mix thoroughly.

Add sesame and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly.

Add chopped almonds. Mix thoroughly.

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Drop cookie dough globs on the cookie sheet and squash ‘em flattish. These cookies will rise, so make sure they have enough room.

Bake at 325° for 35 minutes. Do not over bake. The cookies should be just a bit darker than golden brown. Use a spatula to move the cookies to a rack to cool.

These cookies are a healthy indulgence I truly enjoy.