Tag Archives: chocolate

Alzheimer’s Advent Calendar: Days 5 through 8

I am a bit behind in posting these. By about day 5, I was streamlining the process for Quinten. He is having so much trouble with these but there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that he wants to do this for the kids. He is often frustrated (and doing a unique card for each kid was simply too much for him) but he is able to do at least 2 per day. We are up to day 18 (pics will be posted soon) so by Tuesday, we should have the rest of them completed and we can focus on letting him hand them out each night.

Day 5

Day 5. Chapstick and a small chocolate. Note from Dad: “I am thankful that you…”

Day 6

The lighting in my room sucks much of the time so the pictures sometimes turn out crappy. Day 6. Note from Dad: “You are smart.”

Day 7

Day 7. Hot chocolate packets and the note from Dad which says, “I am so thankful that I am your dad. Love, Dad”

Day 8

Day 8. Organic honey hard candies and the note from Dad. “You are handsome/beautiful.”

By now, you may be questioning/judging the amount of sugar in these packets–especially from someone who purports to be changing our diets to combat early onset Alzheimer’s. Again, it’s about balance. I have successfully, except for these presents, gotten rid of most of the sugar in our diet (the little bit that we do get mostly comes from the sugar in semi-sweet chocolate chips). And this whole idea is a way to give my kids something special this Christmas season. No matter how you spin it, their daddy has a terminal disease and is getting worse every day. They are dealing with so much right now and handing them baggies of carrot sticks just doesn’t send the message I want to send right now.

Balance.

We can go back to our sugar-free lives in 2 weeks.

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Dark Chocolate Custard with Salted Caramel Sauce

Today is Quinten’s and my anniversary. 23 years! Since money has been so tight lately, I hadn’t planned to go out for dinner like we normally do. Instead, I planned a simple lasagna dinner and wanted to find a truly decadent dessert to make up for staying in. I think I succeeded, if I do say so myself. The caramel sauce takes time but the flavor is worth it–it could be a Starbucks caramel copy (and my girls are already making plans for the leftovers in their coffee in the morning). The amount of cream in this recipe is staggering so there are no plans to include a calorie count. Ever.

 

Dark Chocolate Custard with Salted Caramel Sauce

Serves 8

Dark Chocolate Custard

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

¾ cup milk

½ cup sugar

3 TB cocoa powder

Up to ¼ tsp salt, to taste

4 egg yolks

1 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

1 TB vanilla

1 TB salted butter

Measure 1 cup of chocolate and pour into a large mixing bowl. Place a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and set aside.

Heat the cream, milk, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat stirring often until just before the mixture boils. Beat egg yolks well in small bowl while cream mixture is heating. When cream mixture is hot, remove from heat and slowly whisk in enough of the cream mixture into the eggs until the eggs are warm (about a cup of the cream will need to be added). The key is to add the hot mixture slowly enough to keep the eggs from scrambling.

Once the egg mixture is warm, pour it back into the saucepan and stir well. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture boils, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour through the sieve in the mixing bowl. The sieve will catch any lumps or bits of cooked egg leaving you with a creamy consistency. The hot custard will begin to melt the chocolate in the bowl.

Stir the chocolate and custard together and allow to stand for a couple of minutes to allow the chocolate to melt completely. Stir in the vanilla and butter until everything is completely mixed. Pour into 8 small containers (I like to use 4 oz. mason jars) and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Salted Caramel Sauce

 2 TB salted butter

2/3 cup dark brown sugar (I used light brown in the pictures and think that dark would give it a better flavor)

¼ tsp sea salt

½ cup cream

½ tsp. vanilla

¼ to ½ cup additional cream

Mix together the butter, brown sugar, sea salt, and ½ cup cream. Bring to boil over medium heat. Continue cooking and stirring over medium heat until caramel reaches firm ball stage. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and enough of the cream to make a thick sauce. Allow to cool to room temperature, adding more cream if needed, before drizzling over custard.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

It’s menu-planning and grocery list day today. And, oh, how I hate it! 7 people, 3 meals plus snacks for 14 days plus anything else that needs to be worked into the budget like laundry soap.  I suppose I should stop complaining about it and just do it. And I should be glad that it’s a 14-day menu this time instead of one that’s 21 days. And I’m definitely thankful that I have more grocery budget than I did last time.

It’s been so hot here lately. 102 at 9 am is something that I do not like one bit. I’ve never done well in the heat—especially heat like this. As a result, we work hard to keep the house cool and that means planning meals which require little use of the stove or oven. Since the heat wave doesn’t look to be breaking soon, look for lots of salads and grilling on my menu plan when it’s posted later this week.

In honor of all of this heat, I’m posting my Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe. I’m positive it has waaayyy more carbs than is good for me but I still feel that it is a better choice than regular ice cream since it contains no sugar.  Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter, or other nut butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 TB vanilla
  • Dash salt
  • 1 can organic coconut milk

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Depending on your microwave, you may need more time. You want to be careful though as chocolate chips burn easily in the microwave.  Stir in the peanut butter, stirring until well mixed. Add in the maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Slowly pour in the coconut milk and stir until completely combined. Pour into an ice cream maker and process until frozen. Serves 6.

 

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Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

Before we made the decision to go Paleo, we used to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins quite frequently. I wanted to recreate the flavors of the muffin in a cookie using healthy ingredients.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT the pumpkin pie filling)

½ cup coconut palm sugar

2 TB maple syrup

1/3 cup coconut manna

3 TB melted butter

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

4 TB coconut flour

½ cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix pumpkin, palm sugar, maple syrup, coconut manna, and melted butter together. Stir in eggs one at a time until thoroughly mixed. Add vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients, mixing until the coconut flour is completely incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop by teaspoonful onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten slightly (these cookies do not spread much). Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire rack. They will be a bit squishy when you take them off the cookie sheet but will firm up as they cool.  Makes 40 small cookies.

 

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Filed under Diet, Recipes