Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Hot Chocolate

Once in awhile, I indulge in a cup of hot chocolate. And Jim makes me the perfect cup. 

We no longer use traditional cocoa--many years ago, in our pre-vegan days, we used Nesquik, then we bought a Dutch processed cocoa from Penzey's in the Strip District here in Pittsburgh, now we just buy raw cacao powder. Considered a superfood, it's part of my journey to eat less processed foods and more whole foods.

And, as I said in a previous post, we also now make our own raw almond "milk." I find I can really taste the chocolate now, especially since I have also weaned myself away from sweets.

8 oz nut milk
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp sweetener (I use stevia or coconut sugar)

We steam it in our cappuccino maker but you can heat in a small saucepan on the stove. Makes two small servings or one large serving. 

Note: if you love sweets and eat them often, this may not be sweet enough for you, so feel free to add more sweetener.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Light Up Night, Pittsburgh

This was the first time Jim & I attended the annual Light Up Night downtown, when Pittsburgh officially turns on the holiday lights and decks the halls with boughs of holly. 

Market Square

Market Square

PPG Place, with ice skaters

Might be more magical without the cars!

Market Square

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Peanut Butter Cups

Jim recently celebrated a birthday and, since I no longer eat sweets and it's just the two of us (so, silly to bake a cake), he made these peanut butter cups to enjoy at his leisure. These are so good, not so sweet and definitely much better (and fresher) than commercial peanut butter cups! 

This recipe is from Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet.

1/2 C Earth Balance Buttery Spread
3/4 C crunchy peanut butter (preferably unsweetened & unsalted)
3/4 C graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares
1/4 C maple sugar or other granulated sweetener (he used coconut sugar)
1 C non-dairy chocolate or carob chips
1/4 C soy, rice, or nut milk
1/4 C chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts

Line either a muffin tin or baking sheet with paper liners.

Melt "butter" in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar and mix well. Remove from heat. Divide mixture among paper liners.

Combine chocolate and milk in another saucepan and stir over medium heat until melted and smooth. Spoon mixture over peanut butter mixture in paper liners. Top with chopped nuts. Chill or freeze until firm. Store in either refrigerator or freezer. Enjoy!