Gluten free brownie cupcakes

It was time to get creative in the kitchen. My lovely friend (who is also a coeliac) was coming, and I find it so hard to know what to make. I have a good brownie recipe which is delicious, but comes out very moist and is so hard to cut. But I wanted to use my cupcake stand. So I attempted cupcakes with a few tweaks (eg less eggs, less time in the oven) and this is what happened!

I preheated the oven to 170C and put cupcake cases in the tin.

In a pan I melted 210g butter (well actually Pure spread) and 200g dark chocolate, and then added 200g caster sugar.

I whisked up 2 eggs, and once the chocolate mixture cooled (I left it about ten minutes while I made the spiced nuts) I beat the eggs into the mixture, with a couple of drops of vanilla. Then I stirred in 150g ground almonds. I then spooned the mixture into cupcake cases (this made 12) and baked in the oven until the tops looked firm. They did actualy puff up in the oven (must be from the eggs) but they sunk a little bit once they came out. In the end they cooked for about 17 minutes, as they are supposed to be squidgy in the middle still.

So problem solved! Gluten free baking? Check! Using my cupcake stand? Check! No need to slice the brownies? Check! Hooray!

What more baking?

Yes I am afraid that is how I spend my days!

But first I decided to get rid of my old trainers as during my run yesterday it felt more like they were made of cardboard than rubber or anything. (To be fair they have done over 600 miles, well, I say they have done it, I have actually run that far but while wearing them) so I took out the sensor and put it in my new shoes.

Now I have a run planned for tomorrow morning, and have just seen that it is supposed to be raining- so they are going to get wet. But I must not be precious about my shoes- they cannot stay pristine forever! I will always have this picture anyway!!

Also now exciting news is that I am back to having tea- big news I know! I popped to see my Mum this morning and even had a cup of tea there- all is fine on that front I feel :)

Lunch was delicious- I saw these Food Doctor pittas and decided to try them- they are wholegrain and have seeds and whatnot- turns out they are delicious too! I can’t believe all these years I have been putting up with supermarket wholemeal ones. These are the business!

The combo of cream cheese and beetroot was too good to miss (I think if I made this to take to work it would be a soggy purple mess by lunch so I am taking advantage of the holidays)- plus some sweet chilli oat bites. These were not very spicy at all- I much prefer the onion ones I had the other day.

I have been getting busy in the kitchen again;

And with the creation of the pumpkin tofu pasta, there is still some pumpkin puree left, so I might attempt pumpkin cookies later in the week. Or I may just add it to my porridge.

I also made some spiced nuts and some brownie cupcakes (recipe to follow) for when I have some friends over tomorrow. Although I dropped one of the cupcakes on the floor, face down, when I was putting them in the tin- booo.

Mid afternoon was a snack of a Mule bar and some mint tea;

Now I am back on the tea I can start trying out the cosy teas- hooray :) The Peppermint one was lovely- not too strong a minty taste but light and refreshing. The Mule bar was quite nice, but very sweet tasting- I preferred the apple flavour (shame they don’t do those ones in tescos) but this one was still good and provided me with some energy for aerobics.

Aerobics was hard work, but it is hard to take it easier (unlike running when you can slow down, you have to move with the music and keep up with the line)- some good tunes helped though.

My late night snack was scrumptious;

Some muesli topped with vanilla alpro and a little blob of my home-made chocolate pb (which I did keep in the fridge in the end). Scrummy :)

I am off to cross my fingers that it does not rain too much tonight- night :)

Yes!!!! And also lots of purple

Good evening friends, I hope this day found you well.

I have had a brilliant day- hooray.

Even though I was feeling better, even yesterday I was not feeling my best, and I was still having a dull ache in my stomach, but today I awoke with no pains or aches at all- yes! It is the last day of the antibiotics, and although my tum feels a little delicate (one of the side effects) I think they have managed to rid me of the infection.

Anyway, today I was having my car serviced, and had originally planned on driving it there and running back (it’s about 5 miles) but as I was not sure how I would feel, Andy followed me and dropped me home before he went to work. I sat around for a bit but still felt fine, so I decided to try a run. There is a 5k loop near my house, which I could cut short if I started feeling tired or whatever, but actually I felt so good I went around again. I was taking it steady, but in fact did 6.2 miles in 63 minutes, which for me is pretty fast. I was so hungry when I got home! And also so happy!

(That super cool head gear combo is a head band that is a bit too big which means that my running earphones fit under it- super cool as I said).

I was cold outside and I fancied something warm, so I heated up some coconut milk and made a hot chocolate- delicious! Along with a stoats strawberry and coconut bar.

After a shower it was lunch time, and I just had to take a picture (half way through excuse the crumbs!) when I saw how colour co-ordinated it all was.

My purple themed lunch was a sandwich with cream cheese and beetroot, some nairns caramelised onion bites which have purple on the packet (also with some cream cheese as a sort of dip), on a purple plate. The purple plate was the one at the top of the pile- not planned at all. (I also had a pear which was not purple but does begin with P- am I turning into sesame street?).

Then I got going in the kitchen-I have some friends coming to visit so I made some rocky road fudge (the good old Rachel Allen fudge recipe with some chopped toasted pecans and dark chocolate chips in the middle), (plus can you see the purple stripes on my jumper?) and (I am so excited about this) my own dark chocolate peanut butter! Emma I love you for inventing this recipe :)

I did cheat and used meridian crunchy pb (instead of peanuts as I am not sure my mini chopper would hold up), and it is sooooooo good!

In a jar for laters (should I keep it in the fridge though?)

Of course I could not waste the scrapings on the inside of the mini chopper, so I added some cherries and some chocolate alpro for (actually another purple) a choc PB&J style pudding! I thought that only bananas went with pb, but then I remembered apples do (don’t have apples) and jam (so – cherries right?). Scrumptious.

Also I just realised that my breakfast was purple as I had blueberries in my porridge (no piture though you will just have to believe me on that one). Although dinner ruins the theme as it is lentil and spinach chilli on a sweet potato- more orange and green. Should have been a stuffed aubergine….

Anyway, mostly I am excited to finally be feeling well again. In case you have not noticed, I am not good at being ill. I get annoyed with myself for catching the germs, and I also start to invent terrible things in my head and imagine myself lots of “what if’s”, and I start to forget how feeling “well” feels. I have a tendancy to try and get back to normal too soon (possibly my saturday run is an example of this as I was shattered after and was still having dull achey pains), as I do not want to believe that I get ill. But so far today I have been feeling fine. A little tired, but nothing unusual.

So at the moment the plan is aerobics tomorrow with my friend (I was worried I would have to cancel on her and she has not been for weeks, but fingers crossed the good feeling continues) and another 6 mile run on wednesday if I feel like it (or shorter). My plan has 8 miles but I am not sure I will have time as wednesday is a busy day, plus want to take it fairly easy still), body pump thursday and then a rest on Friday, before attempting 13 miles next Saturday. But still I am going to see how I feel and be flexible with the revised plan.

So as my theme is colour today- if you could eat one colour for the day, what colour would it be? :)

PS- just saw on facebook that nakd are having some good offers on their website at the moment including 4 boxes of nakd bars for £20- not bad. And they now do a mix box of all the “nudies” (oat/ gluten free ones)! Check it out here.

When running is out of the question

and I have loads of time to spare, I know what to do…… Bake!

Last night I made kidney bean burgers.

I used a recipe from Veganomicon for black bean burgers, and changed it a little bit.

I cooked one chopped red onion until browned, then added in 1tbs tomato puree, a tsp lazy chilli and a drained tin of kidney beans, then I half mashed this all up (so some beans were crushed and some were left). Then I added in about 30g vital wheat gluten and 1/2 cup of water, and mixed it all up. Then I shaped it into 4 (massive) patties and baked in the oven for 25 minutes.

I had two of them for dinner in a wholemeal wrap with a load of spinach, beetroot and a gherkin! Nothing goes better with a burger than a gherkin! The burgers were tasty, but not very spicy- next time I think I will have to be braver with the lazy chilli. I have frozen the other two for another time.

Today I impressed myself by being so efficient! Andy was off for a 13 mile run, so while he was gone I got on with a total cleaning blitz- I cleaned the kitchen, bathrooms, cleaned the floors, did a load of washing and washing up, did the dusting, took out the recycling- phew! Then I walked up to the shops and was actually so excited when I saw these babies on sale in Tescos;

Mule bars! I tried some of these a while back and really liked them, but I did not try this flavour (summer pudding which is different berries- here is to hoping that they might start stocking other flavours too), and also PB&Co peanut butter!! It is only the normal stuff and not dark chocolate dreams, but I am hoping one thing will lead to another! Plus I might use this to try and make my own choc pb- more authentic don’t you think?

Woo!

I needed a mid-afternoon snack and I decided to make this chocolate pudding that I keep seeing on various blogs. One partly frozen banana whizzed up with 3 dates, a blob of pb and 2 tsp cocoa powder. Leave in the fridge for a bit, and then enjoy.

Yummy Yummy Yummy! :) So chocolatey and delicious, scrumptious, I loved the dates in there, and although it looks like a tiny amount it was quite a bit (it was a whole banana).

Then I got on and made some peanut butter bars which I saw here;

I changed the recipe a bit (had to use what I had in)- 120g oats, 55g chickpea flour (thought I would try it in a sweet recipe), 100g sweet freedom, 100g PB, 50g chopped dark chocolate, 10g ground flax seeds and a few tbs water (I had no eggs)- mixed up, baked at 180C for 17 minutes, turns into this;

Andy had one with some tea this afternoon so they have passed the taste test :) Plus each one has 6.6g protein so not too bad for a little snack.

On a random side note I am pleased to note that I do not have a caffeine addiction! I only tend to have one or two cups with caffeine per day, but the last cup of any kind of tea I have had was last monday, and I have been fine. Silver cloud and all! I am still off tea for the moment- might try a cup tomorrow. Rock ‘n’ roll.

I have decided that I am going to ignore my marathon training plan for this week, and make sure I get back to feeling 100% before I attempt a really long run. Lots of your comments really talked sense, and Andy (he was moaning about how he was not looking forward to the 13 miles, and I said to him that at least he could go out) also talked some sense into me- 2 weeks off now is not going to make much difference in the long run- we still have nearly 4 months to go and I know I can run half the distance already. The 4 miler was much harder than I thought, and I don’t want to make myself worse. So basically I am going to see how I feel on each run, make sure I do routes that I can cut short if I need to, or repeat if I feel like it.

So my recap of the week is pretty much non existant- a 3.7 mile run on Saturday is all the exercise I have managed. But I am going to move on and not dwell on it. On marathon news, I got an email this week saying that they have moved the start time from 2pm to 11.30am, which I am pleased about. 2pm did seem a weird time, and although I did have one practise of running after lunch (and was planning to do more) it did concern me that by the time I finish it would be time for dinner and then bed (or maybe just bed!), and I would get really stiff. At least this way around, we can take our time having breakfast, do the race and then have some time to wander before dinner, and hopefully not get so stiff. And I can run better on porridge than anything else! Good news, right?

And I am looking forward to doing much more baking! Pumpkin tofu pasta is again on the cards (yippee) as will be copious amounts of sweet stuff- I have some friends over in the week and I love to ply them with baked goods! Yipee! So on the subject of baking and cooking, if you could have one item of baked goods, what would it be? And what is your favourite meal?

Catch up

The weekend (and more importantly, half term) is finally here! Thanks for all the lovely wishes- all put a smile on my face!

I was back to work on Wednesday (lots of people were very surprised that I was even off as I am hardly ever off work- in the last 4 years I think I have had one day off before these two!)- for some long days as we had parents evening on Wednesday and Thursday. But the antibiotics were kicking in, as was the copious amounts of water (and Andy got me some cranberry juice) and I was feeling better.  I kept on thinking that I might have a run on friday when I got home, but in the end I was shattered so decided on some baking instead!

I made the Blackstrap ginger cookies from the vegan cookie book – yum! Although the 3 rounded tsp ginger recommended meant these are very strong, so next time I would reduce it to 2 tsp I think.

This morning started with oats in a bucket! As I finished a massive tub of meridian pb (not the one I bought last week don’t worry- this was from months ago!) I went for it! Although the porridge looked rather pitiful in the bottom of such a huge container!

It also looked rather unappetising in the picture- but it was yum! Porridge with allspice, dried cranberries and cinnamon, plus the pb scrapings from the tub.

Now on to the running side of things. My plan has got rather complicated, as I keep on moving things around. I was due for a 13 miler today, but as I was so tired (and had not run for a week) I decided against that. Instead as I was feeling alright I decided to test the legs and do a 4 mile run (I am due for a 4 mile interval run later in the week, so I pinched it and changed it to a steady run)- making sense? Anyway, the run was very hard work. I still have a bit of an ache in my stomach, and this seemed to get worse while I was running, so in the end I did only 3.7 miles. I was so tired once I got home.

So now what I am going to do it have tomorrow as a rest, and make sure I get out for a walk, and then try the 13 miles on monday. But next weekend my long run is down to be 10 miles, so I think that on monday if I only do 10 miles than I will do the 13 miles next weekend instead. Does that make sense? It’s all ifs and buts at the moment though.

I am going to make some kidney bean burgers for tea tonight which I am really looking forward to as I have not made anything like that for ages :)

I also think the antibiotics are making me feel a bit rubbish generally- I had to have some a few years ago and I think I was recommended some probiotic vitamins to help, so I might hunt some of those down tomorrow. Any recommendations?

Cheers and laters dudes :)