Vegas and Cookies

Alright body. I give up. You want to be sick for two weeks? You want to be full of aches, pains, mysterious bruises and a deep, aching lethargy that requires 10 hours of sleep a night? Fine. You win.

With lymph nodes the size of grapefruits, bruises the size of texas and one too many, “You look so TIRED!” comments I have given in to whatever is raging inside of my body.

I can’t run. I can’t bike. I feel all my muscle slowly turning to jello. A month ago, I was feeling strong and ready to take on the world. This evening I feel like a visitor trapped in a weak, tired, unhealthy hot mess.

This shit is the worse.

Pity party for me.

In all fairness, my illness is pretty real AND somewhat of a mystery, which makes it that much more terrifying.

However, I did just get back from four days of 78 degree weather and the hot Nevada sun, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain .

My trip to Nevada was supposed to be filled with bad decisions, too much tequila and my bestie. Instead it was filled with my attempting to rally, crawling into bed at midnight on the one night I was on the Strip and then spending the rest of the vacation popping ibuprofen like it was candy, taking pre-natal vitamins (there is a theory behind it), and reading one too many murder mystery novels.

I also decided to eat cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. Reason number one: I felt like crap. Reason number two: these cookies are like crack. Reason number three: if I can’t exercise and feel like myself, I might as well drown my sorrows in coconut milk ice cream and cookies… right? (this is when I fall off the wagon and end up at 300 pounds. Se la vie)

Whatever the reason for my cookie consumption, these cookies are damn good. And you can almost justify eating 13 in one day because they are made with maple syrup, olive oil and whole wheat flour… healthy, right? My step mom spiced it up by adding chocolate chips, which was incredible. Took down the level of health, but also tasted awesome in my mouth.

Like I said, I feel like shit… I’m compensating by eating an exuberant amount of peanut butter cookies. Deal with it.

Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1 cup natural, chunky peanut butter

1 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place racks in the top third.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. in a separate larger bowl combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Pour the flour mixture over the peanut butter mixture and stir until barely combined – still a bit dusty looking. Let sit for five minutes, give one more quick stir, just a stroke or two. Now drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Press down on each one gently with the back of a fork. It’s a loose batter, so if you’re set on doing criss-crosses, go ahead and chill the batter for an hour or so before this step. Bake for 10, maybe 11 minutes – but don’t over bake or they will be dry. Let cool five minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Make 2 – 3 dozen cookies. 

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Yoga for Boys and Cookies… What?

First things first. Here is what I have discovered. There aren’t enough men that do yoga.

Perhaps it is the studio I practice at? Perhaps this is just a broad generalization that I am making? BUT, as far as I can tell, 85% of regular yogis are women.

Why is that?

There are a few dedicated men that I see in every class I take. Here is my second observation and broad generalization of the evening: they are all over 50. I marvel at their elegance and grace as they flip-up into head stand no big deal. These guys are the real deal. They practice regularly, and it shows. I look at them and am reminded why yoga is the best form of exercise.

But where are all the young men at? Now, I’m not looking to yoga as a way to meet my future lovah. If this happened, it would be pure magic I am sure. This man would most likely like Christmas and musicals, own a Newfoundland/Lab mix, know how to build a house, and be a farmer/rock climber/chef/pediatric surgeon.

A girl can dream.

Regardless, I want to see more young 20 somethings in yoga. Not just so the potential to meet my future lobster is there, but so the young men of the world can get limber. Boys of the world—get yourself to your nearest yoga studio and stretch yo’self. Yes, you will get a workout. Yes, you will be sore the next day. Yoga is hard. For all of those that doubt—go to a class.

Second observation/important detail of today. Christmas cookies.

Yes, I realize these two things have nothing in common, but these are the pressing matters in my life. What can I say, I am a bag of tricks.

So, this Christmas season is turning out to be the quintessential holiday season. Cutting down my tree—check. Hanging up my own Christmas lights—check. Having the most epic party ever—check. Buying soy nog, peppermint hot chocolate, candy-canes and Trader Joe’s peppermint joe joe’s—check. Sending out Christmas cards—check. SEATTLE MEN’S CHORUS—check. Date for the nutcracker and ice skating—check.

And most importantly, Christmas cookie baking date with my madre—CHECK.

However, unlike last year and every year for the past five years, I can’t make my go-to cookies. My triple ginger cookies and peppermint/gooey chocolate awesomeness? All full of nasty, mucus causing animal products.

Conundrum.

Luckily, I have pinterest and my new obsession, tastespotting, which is like pinterest for FOOD. GAH! From these sites I have found what appear to be good stand ins. I hope that they don’t let me down. A vegan thanksgiving was such a hit, I might as well make vegan Christmas just as awesome sauce.

First off we will have vegan ginger cookies. If I didn’t have ginger cookies on christmas I might explode. It wouldn’t be pretty. Found this awesome recipe at Go Lightly Gourmet. Looks like a winner to me. I will report back on said cookie.

Secondly, we will be making twice-baked cantuccini heaven… um what? Yeah, it is from My New Roots—the best blog to happen to me in a LONG time… these basically are healthy biscotti with holiday thrown in. So, they are perfect.

Third I will attempt to make the Raw Chipotle Cacao Brownies.. WAIT WHAT? Found these gems off of tastespotting, and then found yet another blog to follow. Rawmazing? You had me at cacao. WHAT WILL BECOME OF ALL MY FREE TIME?!

Ambitious? But of course, it wouldn’t be a holiday baking session without all or us deciding to make three to four cookies and then thinking WTF… This shit is a lot of work!

Happy baking!