Friday, December 30, 2011

So yeah, here I am again

Yes, I know I have been gone from the blogging world for forever. I am sure that the 2 of you that read this blog have been waiting anxiously for my next update. Hold your breath no more, I am back - sort of. 

Life hit a feverish pace this fall when Menus, Meals and More started offering casserole batch parties. Participants pick the casseroles and I do all the work. They go home with a bunch of meals and I get a bit of cash. It's a total win-win except for the strain on my time. Ok well mostly. Another draw back is the fact that  while making all the tasty meals for other people I end up with leftovers and tidbits of ingredients that I have just been throwing together to feed my own brood. My meal planning kind of went out the window and we were just grabbing whatever I could piece together from the leftovers of MM&M stuff. None of our thrown together meals were worth writing about or even busting out my camera for a cruddy picture.I know how you all have missed those!

Anyway, all of that has come to a screeching halt. While I am still planning on doing monthly casseroles, the pieced together meals and lack of planning are over. Last month we found out that my oldest daughter and cooking assistant, Ashley, has blood sugar levels in the prediabetes range. The standard advice for people with prediabetes is to lose 5- 10% of your body weight and exercise more. These are not options for my thin and athletic 11 year old, so we are having to really watch her diet and hope that we can hold off the onset of full blown diabetes for as long as possible. Meal plans are back and I am having to get really creative on how to keep meals and treats interesting so that no one feels like they are missing out on anything.

The holidays really were a difficult time to reign in the sweets consumption. Ashley loves R eese's Peanut Butter Cups, so I decided to try this recipe from Diabetes Health. Since I can't seem to leave a recipe to the way it is written I had to play with it quite a bit.

The first ingredient is cocoa butter. Yes, the stuff you see in lotions. In fact I had to buy food grade cocoa butter in the health and beauty section of my local store because they don't even stock it with the food. After 20 minutes of searching and label reading I finally found the right stuff. It felt weird buying lotion for dessert, but whatever I was being adventureous and this is what I came up with.

I weighed out the cocoa butter like a good girl and followed the direction exactly on melting it.

I even put the powdered milk in the food processor to make sure that it wasn't too grainy. This things were gonna be GOOD!


After hearing from several people that Stevia is the sweetener of choice for diabetics, I decided to sub the Splenda that the recipe called for with Stevia. Boy that was a HUGE mistake. A very knowledgeable friend informed me that Stevia is much sweeter and that we needed to drop the amount down. My husband convinced me to do a blind taste test in the old Pepsi Challenge style and do a batch with Splenda and one with Stevia. I added one more batch with agave nectar just to see how it would do. Well, it turns out that ALL 3 batches had a really weird aftertaste and a super greasy texture. That stupid cocoa butter made it all FUNKY and not in a George Clinton and P-funk all stars kind of way. This stuff was bad. So, yeah I am still looking for new ways to make these things taste good. Wish me luck! I will find a way to make my daughters favorite treat in a way that won't make her sick.

Look at her- how could I say no?

Next time- more on the quest for the  perfect chocolate treat.