Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Myth Busted...

Kitchen Skills. I thought they came with the territory. Just a part of the whole estrogen package. The way I thought all testosterone driven creatures could, just by nature, shoot a rifle with precision.

Then I met them. The people who would completely dispel both myths. I have changed their names...to protect the "innocent"...so we'll just call them Michael...& Ceci :)

My testosterone belief was tested when Michael, having gone on a wild turkey hunt (a difficult hunt in his defense), proudly emailed a link displaying the photographs of his kill. The first thing that popped out of my mouth...clearly without thinking..."What did you kill him with? Your car?" My intention was not to be cruel or even sarcastic...it just was evident that this was NOT a "clean kill" by a skilled marksman. Myth Busted.

On the estrogen front, my very own sister Ceci came to visit me in Colorado for my daughter's 4th birthday. As we planned for the party, homemade cupcakes were on the "to do" list...to be more accurate actually, semi-homemade. The list was made for the grocery market & she offered to make the trip. It was a short list & the market was just around the corner from my neighborhood.

As I was busy attending to other party details at the house, I hadn't noticed how much time had passed. Then the phone rang.

Me: Hello
Sis: (exasperated) I can't find the cupcake mix!!
Me: silence & then tear streamed laughter

I realize now that this sounds a little harsh on my part. I was just a little thrown off by the fact that a woman...an estrogen infused member of my own family...was standing in the baking aisle...staring down the cake mixes & searching desperately for a box that simply read "Cupcake Mix". Betty Crocker had let her down! Myth Busted!

I love this memory & the smile (no...laughter) that it still brings! While cupcakes were not on the "to do" list last night, I did mix up a quick peanut butter bar to satisfy that little sweet craving we all get & thought I would share it with you.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Bars
16 servings

1 cup natural peanut butter
3 large eggs
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 (3.2 oz approximate) dark chocolate bar, rough chopped into chunks
(I used a Chocolove 55% dark chocolate bar & put it in the freezer while I was mixing other ingredients)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 pan (use butter or a butter spray like Mazola Pure containing no alcohol or silicone).

Mix peanut butter, eggs, agave, almond milk, & vanilla until smooth. Add baking powder & mix well. Add wheat germ & flour, mixing just until blended. Stir in chocolate chunks. Bake for 20-22 minutes (just until lightly browned & firm).

Remove from oven & place on a cooling rack. I melted the chocolate shavings left over from chopping & drizzled them across the top of the bars before cutting them (this was actually my son's idea...he is a creative chef in the making!)

These bars are a satisfying little delicately sweet protein rich delight with a cake-like consistency providing a great dessert or after-school snack option. We even enjoyed one for breakfast...shhh...don't tell ;)

Agave nectar: you will probably become a big fan of this natural sweetener; consistent, pleasant, mild flavor; very versatile; suitable for any sweetening need; dissolves readily even in cold beverages; will not crystallize; has a milder insulin impact than raw sugar; while newer to the market, it can be found pretty readily in most markets now, usually located near other alternative sweeteners or honey

Well, a few years have passed since both of the above mentioned "myth busters". Michael has gone on to become a much improved hunter...practicing & perfecting his skills with the rifle.

My sister is an amazing woman, wife, & now mother of her own two beautiful children. She possesses many life skills that would put the most ardent of "Martha Stewarts" to shame...& she throws a pretty mean birthday party of her own!

She was redeemed just a couple of years ago when Williams Sonoma introduced a gourmet line of...you got it...Cupcake Mixes. I presented her with the Red Velvet version for HER birthday!

Sweet eating,



  1. when you say natural peanut butter, do you mean unsweetened, organic or both?

  2. Great question for clarification Ms E. This is what will help me give my readers the most useful info!! By natural, I mean that the only ingredients should be peanuts & maybe salt. There should be no added sugar & definitely no hydrogenated oils. It is best if it is an organic version as well, but not essential. The nutrional benefit of this nice healthy fat is then not lost with your body trying to figure out what to do with all the extra "stuff" they put in it!! This takes a little label reading initially, but once you find one, the work is done! :)

  3. Love that story! And I love your recipes. Hidden talents!!!!!!!!!