Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Photo by Yours Truly (I think it's safe to say I wasn't meant to be a food photographer).

I have been trying desperately to go off of refined sugar. I did really well for 5 days this week. But today, I broke down and had a churro (or two). I did find a pretty great and REALLY easy recipe for some Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies on a blog called Mid Leap: Tales of a Wandering Lesbian. I'm sharing it with you here because it's cheaper to make, lower in fat, lower in sugar and pretty much Vegan (and the cookies are still yummy). In return, I'm hoping you'll give me some good recipes for treats made with Agave Nectar (or any other natural sweetener). Pretty please?

No-Sugar Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookies:
- 1 cup natural style nut butter. I use unsalted peanut but you could use salted if you like better (you can also use almond)

- put 2 tablespoons of water in a 2/3 cup measure. Add agave syrup to fill the 2/3 measure (I prefer dark, but light works too)
- 1 generous tsp vanilla

- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (For wheat-free, sub barley flower, or oat. For gluten-free sub quinoa flour.)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt

- About 3/4 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips – or dark chocolate chips if you can’t find grain sweetened

Oven to 350 degrees, parchment paper on two cookie sheets (or butter them, or use nothing at all). Mix wet ingredients in mixer, add dry ingredients, beat until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Make balls with heaping Tbsp of dough, then squish with a wet fork to get the traditional pattern. I use all the dough to make 12 cookies. I bake Exactly 10 minutes if I want them chewy. (These are easy to overcook due to their color – so watch closely, and take out when they are just barely browning on top. Maybe start with 8 mins and check the underside of one cookie, just to be safe. For barley, oat or quinoa, you might want to bake longer.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Song: "Eyes"

Remember how sometimes I sing dance music? Well, I'm excited to show you a preview of my newest song on the upcoming Kaskade album. Kaskade is a world-renowned DJ and just a really nice person, might I add. So honored to be on his newest album.

Thoughts of a 9 Month Pregnant lady

Almost 9 months. Photo by Justin Hackworth

When I found out I was expecting a baby early last December, I knew immediately that this would be my best pregnancy and birthing experience yet. I knew this, simply because I decided it would be so. I have constantly affirmed to myself and to others that I feel fantastic. And folks, I've made it through 9 months under the best circumstances possible. Not to say I haven't had my moments. My hormones have definitely made several guest appearances in the form of inexplicable crying, acne, and fatigue. But hey, I'm growing a human here, so hormones are part of the deal. I don't share this with you to boast that "my pregnancy is better than yours." I share this with you because I've developed a theory that I think might interest a few of you (and might upset others of you).

Often, as women, we are unknowingly conditioned for pregnancy and delivery by the stories we hear from our moms, sisters, friends and good, old Hollywood. Wouldn't you agree that the larger part of these stories involve sickness, dyer complications and horrific, painful labors? Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that these things are bogus, or that women create these situations. But, I do think that when we are influenced by the experiences of others, our brains want to create a similar experience. I look back to my last two pregnancies and deliveries. They were not good experiences for me. But I think they could have been had I been consciously filling my mind with positive pregnancy and birth stories. Yet, I had none in my brain to draw upon.

When I delivered my boys, I didn't know I had options. I simply showed up at the hospital and let everyone tell me what to do. Honestly, most of the time, no one even asked me. They just delivered my boys the way that was convenient for them. Did I really want Pitocin? No one asked. They just told me that I would be given Pitocin. Did anyone make sure I was cool with an episiotomy? I didn't even know I'd had one until it was all over. Did anyone ask me if I wanted to hold my babies right away? Never. They were both just whisked away, bathed and given shots and tests I had no knowledge of. At the time, I just accepted this as protocol. I didn't know any other way. Had I known, I think I would have had a much more desirable experience. So, if you get anything out of this post, it's this: Your pregnancy and delivery experience don't have to be dramatically terrible. You may have special circumstances, and bless you if you do. But then again, you may have a fabulous experience. You have a lot more control over the experience than you may realize. You have empowering choices and you can make this experience your own.

So, now, the true test of my theory will come into play very soon. I'm due in 3 weeks. I am doing an all-natural birth using HypnoBirthing (a method using deep relaxation exercises to minimize pain during labor). I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mama Mia!

Dear Mom,

Today is your birthday. I'm sure you are puttering around the "Old House," restoring an antique rocking chair of sorts that will grace your stunning collection of Victorian relics. You will not want to draw attention to the fact that it's your birthday. You will not ask for anything or expect anything. But the irony is that you deserve everything. Bless you for filling my life with the best books, movies and music. How could I have grown up without Where the Wild Things Are?, Gone With the Wind, and Debussy (to name a few)? Bless you for bearing nine children and creating a haven for us where we felt safe and loved. Bless you for trying to be a million places all at once for a million different people. You are a marvel and I honor you. Happy birthday.



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Love for CD Baby

Dear CD Baby,

I just wanted to express my thanks for including Anchor as one of the Editor's Picks in the July CD Baby Discover Music Newsletter and also for including "California" on the CD Baby Music Discovery Podcast. That was mighty kind of you. I've really enjoyed having you as a digital distributor and appreciate how easy you make things for indie artists like myself.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Trash Only

Fine. I'm going to come clean and tell you that I've been feeling all sorry for myself lately. I've been sucked into the abyss of the last trimester and I can't seem to find my way out.

On the 4th of July, my husband and I took our boys to the local carnival. I sort of loathe carnivals. But I really loathe carnivals when it's over 100 degrees and I'm 8 months pregnant. I literally couldn't take one more step and so I found refuge on a patch of grass while the boys bounded and flipped down the bouncy slide a hundred times. They broke all the rules and were chastened by the bouncy slide ticket-taker a number of times. I looked the other way.

My husband snapped a picture of me as I languished in the dirty grass by the trash bin. I forced a smile as I am apt to do in photos these days. Then I legitimately laughed when I saw the photo with the "trash only" sign so appropriately lending a title to my self pity. If that isn't a synchronicity then I don't know what is.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


The 4th of July is all about freedom.

The freedom to sell and eat snow cones all day long.

And the freedom to blow up your action figures with fireworks galore.



I can't wait to have another boy.