I had the best day today! I think the girls and I both desperately needed some downtime, because after Eva’s Little Gym Class and Lola’s morning at school, we picked Lola up and spent the entire afternoon inside. I cooked and baked and generally puttered around the house, and the girls played happily together all afternoon, with no fighting! They didn’t ask to color or paint or use PlayDoh or any of the other messy, mom-directed activities they often want to engage in. They were content to just play play play. It was amazing – a first! In the middle of the afternoon, I took a break and sat with them, in the alcove surrounded by windows where our Christmas tree had reigned until yesterday, when we took it down. It’s one of their favorite places to play. We sat there in a patch of sunlight and I shelled pistachios and fed them to the girls. I think we all needed an afternoon off, and I feel refreshed.
Eating-wise, things went pretty well. Even though my brand new juicer stalled at every couple of carrots, I was able to make a cup of carrot apple juice. I left out the ginger because I was afraid it would be too spicy for the girls. They refused it anyway. Tomorrow I will try a lighter, more kid-friendly option for them – maybe apple and berry. And I will make more of the carrot/apple juice for myself, this time with ginger for a little kick.
I also made the yummiest, easiest egg white omelet. I’ve had this omelet pan for years, and I never use it. Mornings are so hectic, especially school mornings, but this took minutes while I was doing other things. I simply poured some egg whites from a carton into the pan, sprinkled some crumbled feta on top, and closed the lid. A couple of minutes later I had a light, fluffy omelet. Next time I might try putting it in a whole grain English muffin, which will also make it easy to eat on the go.
By the time we got home, I was starved (I forgot to pack a snack!), so lunch was leftover duck flatbread from our restaurant. Yummy, but not exactly lean! I only ate a little though.
For dinner, we had the Sweet Potato Chicken Curry, which was really yummy. I got the idea from my juicer instruction manual to use the pulp left after juicing to thicken soups and stews, so I stirred it all (almost a cupful!) into the curry dish. It really gave it body and made it sweeter, in addition to adding vitamins and fiber. I served it over rice, and Kevin had a second serving, which is very unusual. And there was plenty left over to freeze for another day!
And just because I had the time, on this rare afternoon, to bake something, I decided to indulge everyone with a Hot Fudge Spoon Cake made in my brand new medium sized round (3 quart) slow cooker. It’s a very easy recipe, from one of my favorite cookbooks, Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, but the result is a decadent chocolatey pudding cake. Amazingly, it has no eggs, so this is one recipe I am going to share with my sister, whose youngest daughter has an egg allergy. Lola liked the cake, Eva liked the pudding part, and everyone was happy, including my husband. I ate the couple of bites Eva left behind, but now the leftovers are calling to me from the other room.
If you feel like indulging yourself and your family, here are two decadent chocolate desserts that are super easy but will have you looking like a rock star! The fudge is a Clean Eating recipe, the other – not so much, but worth it. Enjoy!
Clean Eating Fudge
In a bowl, mash together half a cup of coconut butter with half a cup of raw honey. Add half a cup of organic unsweetened cocoa and combine well. Spread in a small glass baking dish and refrigerate until set, about half an hour. Slice and serve. This is not only delicious, it’s amazing for you!
Hot Fudge Spoon Cake
by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann
•Cooker: Medium round
•Setting and Cook Time: HIGH for 2 to 2 1/4 hours
•Serves 4 to 6
•3/4 cup all-purpose flour
•1/4 cup sweet ground chocolate, such as Ghirardelli
•1/4 cup sugar
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/2 cup milk
•1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/4 cup sweet cocoa powder, such as Ghirardelli
•1/4 cup granulated sugar
•1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
•1 1/2 cups boiling water
•Vanilla ice cream or coffee frozen yogurt for serving
1.Coat the slow cooker with butter-flavor nonstick cooking spray.
2.In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, ground chocolate, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center, add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla, stir the liquid ingredients until well blended, and continue stirring in widening circles, gradually incorporating the dry ingredients, until you have a smooth batter. It will be thick. Spread evenly in the cooker.
3.To make the topping, combine all the ingredients in another medium-size bowl and whisk until smooth. Gently pour over the batter in the cooker; do not stir. Cover and cook on HIGH until puffed and the top layer is set, 2 to 2 1/4 hours.
4.Turn off the cooker and let stand, covered, for at least 30 minutes before refrigerating or serving right out of the cooker.
5.To serve, scoop the cake into individual bowls. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or coffee frozen yogurt alongside the cake. Spoon some of the fudgy pudding at the bottom over the cake and ice cream.