I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up this morning! The predicted morning thunderstorms were nowhere in sight which meant that I could get outside for exercise. I had a very windy 5 mile run and thought it was going to pour on me at one point, but then the sun peeked out and the wind was gone with the wind! The only water I encountered was the sweat pouring out of my skin on this humid morning.
After the run, I did 4 sets (10-15 reps each) of both push-ups and lunges. I’ve been trying to sneak in mini strength sessions lately in addition to Whittle My Middle because I find it much easier to sneak in strength work as opposed to longer sessions. Mini sessions are a good trick if you tend to get bored with strength work. The same goes for cardio too.
Today feels like The Friday Dance because we have a VIP coming tomorrow…OSGMOM is coming to visit us for several days!
Yay for moms :)
Tomorrow, I’m driving up North to meet mom at Grandpa and Diane’s and then we’re going to meet my Grammy and Harry for lunch before heading back home. On Saturday, we’re having a family get together at our place with my Aunt Jenn and family. Good times. I still need to figure out what I’m making for dinner Saturday though!
Oh, and there will be lots of this going down…
Last night, Eric was gathering old furniture for furniture pick-up day when I spotted this green antique chair that he planned on throwing out…
That’s when the crazy old lady in me surfaced and my heart skipped a beat.
I don’t know where the chair came from, but I knew that it had many more years of life in it!
Eric saw my eyes light up like a Christmas tree and he said, ‘I KNEW you would want to keep that chair!!!!’
Like I said, many productive years of life left…
Repurposed for a pretty green background for cupcake photos:
In other good mood news, I finally had a successful recipe after a week of disasters. And I mean a week of disasters. I didn’t show half of the flops I had this week because it was just too painful to watch.
I finally I struck sweet [whole-wheat] cupcake gold…
Vegan Whole Wheat Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon Infused Frosting
Yield: 12 cupcakes.
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used Vanilla Almond milk)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or distilled white)
- 1 cup sugar (I used natural cane sugar)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted (I used Dutch-process)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- Cinnamon Spiced ‘Buttercream’ Frosting (see below)
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
2. With an electric mixer, beat together the following ingredients in a large bowl (non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, sugar, oil, vanilla) for a minute or two.
3. Now sift the dry ingredients (flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) into the wet. Mix well, until all clumps are gone.
4. Spoon the batter into prepared cupcake pan, about two thirds full for each cupcake. Bake for about 24-26 minutes at 350F, or until the cupcake slowly springs back when pressed with a finger. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
I love this vegan cupcake recipe with all my heart and I think that it rivals any non-vegan chocolate cupcake! My Aunt Jenn first introduced me to the famous eggless chocolate cake recipe and I’ve been hooked on them even before I became a vegan.
For this adaptation, I wanted to use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose to make it a bit healthier. Instead of 1.5 cups of all-purpose, I used 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 cup of all-purpose. I was worried if I used 100% WWPF it wouldn’t work. Maybe next time I will try the full 1.5 cups!
The cupcakes turned out FABULOUS!
They are a bit nuttier tasting than the all-purpose ones, but not in a bad way at all. I will DEFINITELY be making them with WWPF from now on!
I decided to make a cinnamon-spiced ‘buttercream’ to go along with the cupcakes. I love the combo of chocolate with just a hint of cinnamon.
Cinnamon Spiced Buttercream
Adapted from my Gingerbread recipe.
Yield: About 1 & 1/4 cup frosting.
- 3 cups organic icing sugar (confectioners)
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance (I use soy free)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2-4 tbsp non-dairy milk, as needed to achieve desired consistency
- Pinch of kosher salt, optional
1. With an electric mixer, whisk the Earth Balance and vanilla until smooth and soft. Add in 2 tbsp of non-dairy milk and mix again.
2. Gradually, add in the icing sugar slowly, adding more milk if necessary. Mix for several minutes until it is light and fluffy. Add in your desired amount of cinnamon and salt to taste. I use a stand mixer and let it mix for about 5 minutes or so. Makes about 1 & 1/4 cup of frosting.
I opted not to make frosting turds this time. ;)
Here’s a shot without my diffusion disc:
With diffusion disc (notice the shadows are gone)
Dolled up with a couple antique china plates that I picked up at the antique market:
The cupcakes tend to freeze well, so I popped them into containers and froze until the frosting got firm (about an hour or so). Then I added some plastic wrap over top of the cupcakes, sealed the container, and placed them back in the freezer. They will stay nice and fresh until the dinner party on Saturday!
By the way, a HUGE thank-you for your comments and emails yesterday regarding my gluten-free baking challenge. You sure know how to help a girl out! I’m sure that many other readers will benefit from all the information too. I’ll be sure to keep you posted with my GF + vegan trials and tribulations over the next few weeks.
Whew, I feel extra chatty today.
This Chatty Cathy needs to get back to work!