Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I have been off caffeine for over a week now. My friend Jennie said that might be something to try to get Elspeth to sleep better. So I went off Coke and coffee last Monday. So far it's not doing much but it's probably good to be off whether it does anything for her or not. Even though it isn't as caffeine-y as the other two, I had planned to go off chocolate as well. I was just so disgusted with myself after all the chocolate Easter candy I consumed. And Easter is the last in a long drawn out series of chocolate-y holidays. It all starts with Halloween. I'm telling you, I have gained weight since Elspeth was born. She came right at the onset of M&M season. Colorful, delicious, festive, able to be eaten by the handful- there is no worse combination! But Easter is over and with it went the last of the fun M&M's. So I hope I am safe until next fall. But I waited to quit eating chocolate on Tuesday or Wednesday, can't remember which, because I had pulled a recipe I just had to make before cutting out chocolate cold turkey. And I am off all three for the long haul. I'm just so addicted. Really, addicted. I had the worst pains and aches last week. I thought it was the lack of caffeine to perk me up after my touch and go sleepless nights, but now I'm wondering if my body was in a full blown detox of all the stuff in "the three C's" that make them so yummy. Seriously, between Coke, coffee, and chocolate I have knocked out at least 30% of my daily food intake! That's so gross. I know. I drank like four cups of coffee a day, one can of Coke (and sometimes two) or who knows how much if we were at a restaurant. And I don't have any idea how much chocolate. I mean, I love chocolate. But no more. I have absolutely no discipline so it has to be all or nothing. So it's nothing. Other sweets don't tempt me. Other soft drinks don't tempt me. It's Coca Cola and chocolate or nothing. Well, I did make one of my favorite non-chocolate recipes to get me over the three day hump last week. You know the third day is supposed to be super hard for some reason. So I made gingersnaps. They are soft and so good, part of my Christmas baking list every year. And though they are not even in the same league as chocolate, it is pretty easy to overdo them too. So I'm thinking no more of those, at least for a while. Maybe I'll whip up a batch to console myself when the Halloween M&M's come out, which I'm sure will be sometime in August, right? So sad, but that's probably close to true! Anyway, I have high hopes that I will soon have a baby who sleeps through the night and possibly even drop a few pounds while I'm at it. I'm not counting on the latter too much, I'm one of these that barely loses an ounce while I'm nursing. Anyway, y'all enjoy these recipes while I can't.

Chocolate Chunk-Mocha Cookies
These were in Southern Living this month under an article called "Dreamy Chocolate;" I highly recommend them but would steer away from the "fudgy cookie bars" which are not so tasty as you might think- if I didn't like, them, you know it's no good! Southern Living says that these "received our highest rating," also that the dough can be frozen up to one month or refrigerated up to 2 days.
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1 (11.5 oz.) package semisweet chocolate chunks (I used 2 c. chocolate chips because I had them on hand)
Mocha Frosting (recipe follows)

-Combine flour, cocoa, soda, and salt in a bowl
-Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Gradually add in flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in chocolate chunks.
-Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheets.
-Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until puffy. Cool on baking sheets for a couple of minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
-Spread cookies with Mocha Frosting. They're good enough without it, but you do not want to miss the frosting!

Mocha Frosting
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/4 c. hot strong brewed coffee
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

-Stir together first four ingredients until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, stirring until creamy.

Snap Crackle Gingersnaps
3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. dark molasses
2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Raw sugar for coating (I made them without this time and they were still fabulous; and at Christmas I use the big crystal colored sugar stuff from Wilton)

-Cream butter and sugar until light. Add egg and molasses until smooth.
-In another bowl, stir together flour, soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon.
-Add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing until smooth.
-Cover and chill 30 minutes or until firm.
-Roll dough into one inch balls with your palms (I usually make these a little larger, but you can do it either way), and roll into raw sugar to coat lightly. Place two inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets (or prepared however you do, greased, etc.).
-Bake 10 minutes at 325. Transfer to wire racks to cool.


lauren said...

All I can say is that I am right there with you on the 3 "C's". I am also an addict. But I am not on the 12 step plan, unfortunately. I'll cheer you on though! :)

Jessie said...

MMMM! I ate mine in less than 24 hours!

Anonymous said...

If the caffeine helps spur your creative juices, maybe you should add it back :) Missing your blogs....


Anonymous said...

sorry, I meant posts....


april said...

I tagged you if your interested. ;)

Anonymous said...

mmmm yessss m&m's are fabulous. And totally meant to be eaten by the HANDFUL. My husband eats them one at a time. Reese's Pieces too. How weird is that?!

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