“Guess who’s back, back again..”

10 Aug

I’ll spare you the rest of the song. I’ve had an impromptu hiatus since I forgot to renew my URL. D’oh! There’s a very long story behind this, but this I will spare you as well.

Of course, the time where I’m unable to blog would be the time where I’ve baked, and experimented, like a mad woman. I have so much to share regarding recipes, my condition, my newest health venture, the giant baking projects I’ve taken on etc. We’ll get there eventually, but for now, let’s get to the good stuff. I’ve been gone so long, I feel like I owe a recipe!

My newest love is coconut whipped cream. While I feel like I’m risking instant death if I eat some store bought version that normal humans can consume, it’s no longer necessary thanks to the powers of the almighty Google. This recipe is wonderful for vegans, should be IBS-friendly, and provided you check the labels on the ingredients you purchase, should be gluten-free.  It’s also immensely inexpensive. The most amazing thing? An entire mini-mason jar only has 160 calories. I’m not a mathematician, but a serving size probably has the same amount of calories of swallowing air. Hello, perfect guilt-free way of giving in to that sweet tooth.

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Just stick a can of coconut milk, in the fridge, over night.

Open it up, scoop out the “cream,” built on top, into a mixing bowl.

Discard the liquid left in the can, or save it for another use.

Drop three tablespoons of powdered sugar in the mixing bowl.

Get out a hand mixer, and get to work. I only whipped this for about 5 minutes, but I suggest doing it for a bit longer to really cream any bits of coconut.

*I can not pretend this simple recipe was my creation, and I feel obliged to share recipes that any readers can enjoy.  So, go on and check out Lunch Box Bunch!

Up Next: The success (or hopeful success) of the vegan birthday cake created for my brother 25th birthday.

“Macho Madness is comin’ at ya!  Oooooh yeah!”

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

18 Feb

One of the most annoying parts of following particular dietary requirements, whether by choice or medically, is not being able to have the candy you love the most.  My favorite candy contains dairy, and I’m pretty sure doesn’t include the most healthy version of peanut butter possible.  The solution? Make it myself.  Not only do these vegan chocolate treats taste even better than the packaged version (there’s something about fresh food that always wins), they’re probably less expensive to make.

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I based this recipe off of one I found online, but I tweaked it a tiny bit, and am including the brands I used.

Needed:

  • 30 mini-cupcake liners
  • 2 glass bowls
  • One 10z bag of Enjoy Life’s Mini chocolate chips
  • One cup of Stop & Shop’s Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water

Directions:

  1. Set up the cupcake liners on a cookie sheet or something similar that will fit in your freezer.
  2. Pour chocolate chips into glass bowl. Melt in microwave on 40% or 50% power for two minutes and stir. (If chips aren’t melted enough to become a liquid, like mine weren’t, repeat microwave instructions.)
  3. Spoon approx 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate mix into each cupcake liner. Freeze chocolate until solid. (This took me about 15-20 minutes)
  4. Into seperate glass bowl, combine peanut butter and salt. Pour and fold in half of the powdered sugar. Add teaspoon of water to mixture. Pour and fold in rest of the powdered sugar.
  5. Microwave peanut butter mix for approximately one minute to soften it.
  6. Remove chocolate from freezer. With hands, press down about one teaspoon of peanut butter mix into each cupcake liner.
  7. Drizzle remaining chocolate over peanut butter.
  8. Freeze for one hour.

Tea, Crumpets, & Cheshire Cats

13 Oct

Scones, Cupcakes & Goodies @ Chapter 2

“Twinkle twinkle, little bat
How I wonder what you’re at?
Up above the world you fly
Like a tea tray in the sky
Twinkle twinkle, little bat
How I wonder what you’re at?”
- Doormouse from Alice in Wonderland

Due to my inability to drink a cup of coffee without suffering consequences, of which I will spare you the details, I’ve become a bit of a tea nut.  I’ve always loved it, but learning how it can ease IBS symptoms sent me further down the rabbit hole of herbal remedies. Naturally, when I learned about Alice’s Tea Cup, and how easy it is for me to get to, I was ecstatic.Small Bag of Tummy Tea

While they have every kind of tea you can think of, particularly the IBS-soothing ones like chamomile, peppermint, and green, it was the fact that they have a “Tummy Tea” that sold me.  It’s a tea lover/IBS victim’s dream.  After an IBS attack, the mix of peppermint, ginger and rooibos has me feeling better in no time.  All of their teas can be sold to go.  I’ve purchased a small bag of “Tummy Tea”, that makes 20 cups of tea, for less than $6.  Get some tea bags, or an infuser, and you’ll be ready to go.  I would suggest getting a cute or funny infuser to lighten up those bad tummy bouts.

Okay, so if you don’t like tea, you’re probably not giving a damn about anything I just said.  If you’re a vegan, or a scone-kind-of-person, or a person who just likes food, you abso-freaking-lutely have to go here.  They have a different flavor of vegan scone everyday (for the non-vegans, they have a nice selection of scones, cupcakes, and a restaurant menu for you to take advantage of.)  My favorite flavors are anything with pumpkin or bananas – both foods of which I seem to tolerate very well.

If you’re in the NYC area, you should check out any of the three “Chapters.”  If you have the misfortune of not being from New York, and don’t plan on visiting anytime soon, head over to their online store. I’m not sure where they ship their teas to, but it’s more than worth finding out.


*I am not at all associated with Alice’s Tea Cup.  I have not been asked to post this, nor have I been compensated in anyway.  I adore this restaurant, and I’m passing the word along to fellow IBS sufferers and/or vegans.

In other news – I’ve decided not to use this blog to solely blog about baked goods.  I didn’t succeed at a seventy-pound weight loss, and gaining control over my IBS, by over indulging in cake, cookies, and scones.  More on that to come!

-Jessica

Got, got, got to try a little tenderness..

12 Sep

While I do fully intend to post recipes, pending resolving a minor set back with a camera, I will post other things in the meantime. Someone has to advocate for IBS’ers, it might as well be me.  I won’t be finding any miracle cures here, but shedding some light from my personal experience seems worthwhile.

One of the biggest nuisances a person with IBS has to face is a near constant, overwhelming, feeling of embarrassment. A few years ago, I insisted on lying to my ex-boyfriend about my condition. Rather than explain what was wrong with me, I would say things like, “I got sick”, or just tell him I was throwing up. Somehow, the idea of vomiting seemed far less embarrassing than what actually goes on. Considering I’m emetephobic, that’s saying something.

Perhaps that’s far too much information, but I think that’s the point. Why should I stretch the truth? I didn’t do anything to bring this on, so lying doesn’t make sense. People who have IBS often feel compelled to lie about their condition, or make it seem like it’s not so bad. It took me a long time to stop this behaviour (apparently, my phone is British.) Even now, I tell certain people, “well, see, I have a stomach condition” or “I have a weak stomach.”  Just admitting you have IBS is difficult due to its nature.

People who are familiar with the term are generally sympathetic. Those who are not, are often curious for an explanation. I feel explaining does one of three things. It either makes the person think you’re exaggerating and/or want attention. They’ll be thoroughly grossed out.  Or the worst of all – they just don’t get it.

Feeling like no one will understand is an extremely compelling reason to lie. Family and close friends have been extremely sympathetic. I’m fortunate for that, but to understand IBS, you have to have IBS. You have to feel a stomach pain that causes you to curl up in a ball for  hours on end. You need to not get anything done at work, or even at home, because you keep gunning for a bathroom. You need be afraid to eat, because eating comes with consequences. You need to feel nauseous because you didn’t eat. Why didn’t you eat? You’re afraid it’ll intensify pain, or bring back the pain you just got rid of.

I count my blessings that through most dietary choices, and weight loss, I’ve brought my IBS under better control. Unfortunately, however, I will have this for life. So will many people you know. I think it’s important to be caring in general, but take care in your dealings with those with “stomach conditions.”  If you’ve been kind enough to read this without any compulsion to judge, I implore you to be kind to those with IBS, IBD,  etc.  It may not be life threatening, but it is life altering.

Promising an update soon,
Jessica

Intro..

3 Aug

This is potentially the most embarrassing statement I will ever publicly make;  my name is Jessica Martinez, and I have IBS.  There, I said it.

This fact, which I do not willingly share with many, has been affecting my life for the past 10 years. Despite having battled a complete nuisance of a syndrome for so long, it’s something many people do not know about me.  Do a quick Google search, and you’ll easily learn why only a few family members and friends know about my battle with digestion.

Alas, don’t anticipate a woe-is-me, what-did-I-do-deserve this, I-hate-my-life type of blog.  Don’t get me wrong – IBS sucks.  While I have learned how to control my symptoms through food, herbal teas, and natural solutions, I still have my bad days.  Despite those “Oh God, please just smite me now!” moments, I am blessed to not have something life threatening, or truly damaging to my health.

In any case, my intentions for this blog are to help others still enjoy food, without bowling over in pain, or running towards a loo.  I find, and everyone with IBS is different in what they can tolerate, that most vegan and/or gluten-free foods are IBS friendly.   I am quite partial to vegan baked goods, not just for my love of obsession with animals, but because I find the taste to be better than their gluten-free, and quite often, better than their dairy-laden, counterparts.

I plan on starting to tweak my mother’s old family recipes to be either vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, or some form of IBS-friendly, combined with a few reviews of random confections in the NYC area.  And don’t worry; I fully intend on subjecting my family and friends, sans sensitive stomachs, to everything I pull out of the oven. Anyone can, and should, enjoy anything I post about. :)

Until I get to baking,
Jessica

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