Chocolate Avocado Joy in a Bowl

Chocolate Avocado Joy in a Bowl

I started out with a recipe for chocolate avocado mug cake.  I quickly decided the mug made it harder – especially because my mugs are mainly a collection of artisan crafted pottery mugs I’ve collected for years at fairs and artisan shops–interesting shapes but awkward for this.  After the change to a bowl (SO much easier) I wound up tweaking a little more and then experimenting about whether you can make more than one serving and cook the second batch the next day (you can!).

A double batch required fiddling with the ingredients as I could instantly see just doubling everything wouldn’t work.  At some point in the future I plan to  try more like a quadruple batch and figure out if you can freeze the unbaked extras to cook off at some later point.

This recipe isn’t too far off from recipes for chocolate avocado mousse so I suspect you could put it in the fridge without baking and eat it cold as pudding/mousse but I’ve been so enamored of the warm version I’ve not tried it.  Plus I really like my mousse recipe. 🙂

So delicious I fix this often and EVERY time exclaim over how something so simple and reasonably healthy can be so utterly scrumptious.  It is 540 calories per serving but I comfort myself with the by and large nutritious content as opposed to the usual empty calories of dessert.

2-serving ingredients

  • one medium to large avocado
  • 3 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tb almond butter
  • 1/4 c. pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

One-serving ingredients

  • 1/2 medium to large avocado
  • 2 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tb almond butter
  • 3 Tb pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Optional for both: drizzle with chocolate syrup right before eating

I put it all in a small food processor and whirl it up till well mixed.  If you wish you can butter or oil your bowl but I find the clean-up is about the same either way.  Place the batter in your microwaveable bowl.

The microwave times are going to vary with the power of your microwave.  Mine is an 1100 watt, so adjust accordingly up or down.  I cook anywhere from 1 minute 45 seconds to 2 minutes.  The lesser time makes it a little more like a thick pudding and the longer time makes it more cakey.  People say it’s like steamed cake — personally haven’t had one so I can’t tell ya.

When I make the double batch I go ahead and put the second half in the bowl I intend to use, cover and place in fridge. The next day I put it cold in the microwave for the same time as normal and it turns out great.

You can drizzle with a little chocolate syrup to make it extra yummy.

Advertisements

Mother’s Day at Buck Pond Farm

My childhood friend Cecy Rose came to town for the weekend.  When we met I was 12 and she 13 and she lived here, down the street from my aunt and grandmother, and I lived in Michigan.  Now I’m here in Lexington and she’s in West Virginia.  We’ve been friends all these years.

As kids, Cecy went to school for a while with Pat Davis and I was friends with Pat (as with Cecy) via my aunt Mary Jane.  We each both separately and together spent a lot of time in summers out at High Hope/Buck Pond Farm (Pat’s family changed the name and now the current owners took it back to the original–built in 1785).  So Cecy had made an appointment at the farm and the manager took us around on Sunday.

Cecy is an artist and in recent years has been doing a lot of horse paintings.  She comes to town and takes a bunch of photographs and then uses them to inspire her paintings.  I just lucked out on getting access I would not have (and have not had since my aunt died) to taking some shots of the horses.

We even went through the foaling barn and got to see a one-day-old foal (the one shown both nursing and, with big white forehead marking, standing against mom.  In the paddock next to it a bunch of mares and foals were out and it was nap time for many so there were foals flat out on the ground all over the place with moms standing vigil.

I’m putting them in a gallery below but wanted to single out this photo which has a little story.  The foal is this mare’s first.  They were alone in a paddock and when we approached to take photos, she nervously herded her baby away from us and every time we moved to try to get a shot, she moved him again.

Finally we gave up and turned to the paddock across the drive, where some more pairs grazed.  I glanced back and realized these two, upon realizing we were paying attention to other horses, had come to the fence and posed, like “no, we’re more photogenic, take us”.

Any time I spend with Cecy is always great, but this was a special treat!

 

Springtime at Lexington Cemetery

It was such a beautiful day (a breather from what seems like an endless stream of clouds and rain and storms), we went for a ride through Lexington Cemetery to enjoy their amazing spring flowers.

We also spent a long time looping around trying to find Mom’s parents’ graves, which we used to be able to drive straight to but haven’t been for a few years…  Eventually, success…

Rainbows in the fountain

Lexington Green shopping center here in Lexington has a lake with a fountain in it — part of a “green space” between the center and a freeway that blocks the view and much of the sound of the road.

A lower level restaurant is lakeside and above it the cafe connected to a large independent bookstore has a section overlooking the lake.  Last night at dinner the sun shone on the fountain and created rainbows.  They came and went as a series of fluffy white clouds moved.  Magical.

Wintry Windy Corner

In all seasons we love heading out to Windy Corner Market for lunch or dinner.  It’s out in the country, in the midst of farms.  The drive lets us meander through the historic part of town and once in the country it is beautiful and serene.

Local celeb chef Ouita Michel created the menu so the food is great.  Too much deep fried for my taste, but they have a “Health Pub Basket” that’s great:  a steamer basket of 5-6 very fresh and beautifully prepared veggies to which you can add salmon, tofu, etc. and choose one of their homemade dressings.  For me it’s lemon oregano every time.

Lots of windows let you gaze at the peaceful countryside while you eat.  Great food, tranquillity and beautiful views — who could ask for more?

Ivanka didn’t know???

Hologram or fake photo pretending she was in Jerusalem :-)?

Okay, after reading the news of Ivanka using private e-mail instead of gov, in violation of law, and that she’s claiming she didn’t know she wasn’t supposed to, my mind has been spinning. Seriously?  After her dad started in on Hilary’s e-mails over two years ago and hasn’t shut up about it since?

So I figure they’ll be putting out a cover story to explain how she wound up unaware of something that’s been in the news and mentioned in her father’s speeches hundreds of times.

And I made this one up:

She was kidnapped by Hilary and held in the [non-existent] basement of the pizza place in D.C. where the [non-existent} child porn ring was [not] run by Hilary.  And tortured by being kept from all sources of news.

And the fact that we think we kept seeing her all that time? You choose:

(1) we’ve actually been seeing a hologram of her produced by nefarious Democrat tech geniuses, hidden in some possibly un-raked forest of California

or

(2) all the news coverage of her has been FAKE.  None of those pictures were her.  She was never at any of the international or other meetings we were led to believe she attended.  Another nefarious plot of Democratic thugs protecting Hilary by pretending Ivanka isn’t being held in the [non-existent] basement…

And her Dad didn’t realize she was missing… hmm..  because he believed the fake news media were telling the truth this time???

Anyone want to take bets on whether some or all of that will show up in a speech by the #Terrorist-in-Chief or on Fox-not-really-the-News?  And the possibly brain-dead people who still love him will believe every word???

Shredded greens

Shredded kale

My recent cooking craze has been buying bags of organic baby spinach or kale and immediately running it through the slicer plate on the food processor.  I keep it in a plastic storage container, which seems to help it last longer.

It makes it easier to eat in salads; no big awkward leaves, no stems poking out all over…And even better it makes it ideal for dropping handfuls into scrambled eggs, soups, mashed potatoes, smoothies etc.  I get the great nutrition benefits and the chopped-up leaves blend nicely into various dishes without having to make another separate side dish.

Recently I’ve been using it to make my own version of Trader Joe’s Broccoli Kale Slaw.  Initially I liked theirs fine but they chop up stalks of the kale with the leaves and I hate the stalks.  Then there’s the high sugar content (from dried cranberries and their slaw dressing) and then the eventual shift from a higher broccoli to kale ratio to more kale less broccoli slaw… So mouthfuls of stalks.  I just decided I wanted my own.

So I pitch some of my shredded leaves into a bowl, add broccoli slaw on top of that, then some shredded carrots (I buy them that way) followed by half a diced avocado and some lightly toasted cashews.  I toss with a nice no-added-sugar balsamic vinaigrette.  Ta da!  A healthier salad with no sugar, and no stalks.  Add a bowl of soup and it’s a perfect dinner.

And I love tipping handfuls into anything else I can think of 🙂

Share Your World Aug. 13 and 20

I’ve been neglecting this blog for a long time now and, without ever intending to, drifted away from posting for Cee’s Share Your World.  So I’m doing the last two weeks, starting with the August 13 prompt.

A class you wish you would have taken?

Occasionally, in a moment of madness, I wish I’d taken physics so I could understand quantum physics better.  But then I remember how much I disliked science in school.  My high school let us choose between math and science after 9th grade biology and, while I really didn’t like math either, I chose it.

Are you scared of heights?

Yes.  It’s hard to say how much. I’ve done trust falls and walked across suspension bridges and taken ski lift rides, all of which are supposed to end the fear and nothing ever changed it.  I can barely even get on a stepladder to change a light bulb if I’m not also close to something to hang onto…

Are you a good cook? If so, do you consider yourself a chef?

I’m a pretty good cook and have, to my surprise, developed a reputation that has spread beyond the people for whom I’ve actually cooked…  Quite a few people have mentioned it or dropped hints they’d like to sample something I make.  But no, I don’t think I’ve ever developed a talent level that qualifies me as “chef”.

And Share Your World for August 20:

Which tastes better: black or green olives?

black

What’s your favorite room in your home?

Our sun porch, without question.

 

What fictional family would you be a member of?

If we’re talking T.V., I’d say the Camdens of 7th Heaven — always trying to walk the talk of love and kindness.

In movies, I’d say it would be fun to be related to Nick and Nora Charles of the Thin Man movies.

As far as novels, so many I read involve dysfunctional or broken families…  hmm.  Well, the Marches of Little Women — the cleaned up, idealized version of the Alcotts… — might be good.  Aside from the 19th century, no appliances, no plumbing, no cars, no internet thing 🙂

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

The prediction has been for seemingly ceaseless rain for a week but we’ve actually had a few breaks.  We managed to get out yesterday to pick up some hold books from the library (always makes me happy to have a new pile of books to read) and go to our favorite Indian place for dinner in sunshine.  Books, sunshine and chicken tikka masala — hard to beat that.

Saying farewell to TV faves

I acknowledge it, I watch too much TV.  Lots of years of not feeling well plus lots of living alone added up long ago to finding companionship in t.v. characters (who, when you’re not up to par, are SO undemanding 🙂 ).  For some years I’ve really listened more than watched, as I’m often reading and writing blogs while the “tube” keeps me company in the background.

My faves are usually what they call “character-driven” which, for me, in some cases means I love the characters so much I watch it even though the plots are often stupid –long-time fave N.C.I.S. would be one of those.  But I also like shows like This Is Us or Friday Night Lights that not only have great characters played by good actors, but also strong and compelling storylines.

This last year has seen the demise of so many shows I love, I’m feeling sad sometimes at the losses.  Major Crimes, with the cast of characters I started loving when it was The Closer, was maybe the first; an incomprehensible exit for a highly rated show the network decided didn’t fit its new direction (which mostly leaves me not liking to see even the trailers of their newer shows…).  I was particularly disappointed in the decision to kill off Captain Raydor, effectively forestalling any possibility of a pick-up by another network or streaming service.

I adored The Fosters from the first episode and would have happily continued watching for at least another season or three, but they decided to end it.  So in June I sadly watched the 3-part finale and now wait uneasily for the spin-off, which will feature one of my favorite characters and one of my least favorite with occasional appearances by some of the others.

Loving Nashville came as a bit of a surprise to me since I’m not a fan of country music, but I love Connie Britton so I’ll try any shows she’s in at least once.  I wound up loving all of it and now there are a bunch of other actors I’d watch at least once in anything…  well, maybe not horror or one of those cable dramas so dark the trailers make me want to give up on humanity 🙂  Now I’m sadly watching the final countdown to the end.  At least I’ll have my playlist of the music I’ve liked best from the show.

Code Black has been one of the better medical dramas in my humble opinion.  While I thought they made a mistake in getting rid of some of the first season cast and replacing them with — to me — interchangeably uninteresting new interns, I did like the addition of Rob Lowe.  I’ve always liked Marcia Gay Harden, so she guaranteed my first watch and everything else kept me coming back.  Next week is the series finale and I’m sorry to see it go.

Even though much of it was pretty silly, I loved Amazon’s quirky Mozart in the Jungle from my first view.  I’ve taken my time with the latest season since I sped through the others too fast and was disappointed to hear these will be the last episodes ever.

Those are just a few of the losses so I’ll be posting again with some more.