Flourless Chocolate Cake to Celebrate 4 Years

Flourless chocolate cake from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

For the past three years, I have celebrated Healthy Green Kitchen’s birthday by dedicating a post to the occasion each May. I am not sure how it happened, but somehow I let last month go by without any sort of fanfare :(

I hope you’re ok with me making up for that now by sharing a flourless chocolate cake recipe. I’d also like to share some thoughts on what this particular blog birthday means to me. So here goes.

Flourless chocolate cake from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

In previous blog birthday posts, I have written about how much I treasure my readers. This absolutely still holds true: I would have given up on blogging long ago were it not for all of you!

I have also reflected upon the friends I’ve made through blogging, and these continue to enhance my life in countless ways. I often spend time on the phone and/or hanging out in person with many amazing people I would never have met were it not for this blog (and I hope to meet many more of you in the future); I am beyond grateful for having you all in my life.

This year in blogging hasn’t been exactly like the others, though. It’s been even better! Here’s why:

This was the year I finally stopped comparing myself to other bloggers and accepted embraced the way I write, take photos, “do” social media, etc. I stopped worrying about whether or not I am as good at this stuff as someone else. All in all, this was the year I really got comfortable with my blog. It was the year I feel like I actually settled in.

I believe it’s worth noting, because it’s definitely related, that this was also the year I finally got comfortable with myself. I am almost 43 and it feels good to say that. Also? I wrote a book this year! It feels good to say that, too.

This cake comes from a new cookbook I absolutely adore called The Surf Cafe Cookbook: Cooking and Surfing on the West Coast of Ireland.

the surf cafe cookbook from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

I received a review copy of the book and have found it to be tremendously pleasing to the eye. Also: the writing is relaxed and fun, and the recipes within are delicious. I think you will love it, too.

I have made a few recipes from the book thus far but the one I want to share today is, of course, this flourless chocolate cake. I’ll give you fair warning: if you love chocolate, this cake may spoil you for all other chocolate desserts. Yes, it is that good: my husband said it’s one of the best things I ever made. And I make a lot of things!

Please know that these photos don’t come close to doing the cake justice. I was hell bent on slicing the cake right when it came out of the oven so I could eat some, but I don’t actually recommend doing that. The recipe suggests waiting as long as a day to slice the cake, and I am going to do that next time I bake it. If you slice it too soon, it’s still crazy good, but it’s really, really soft…almost like a chocolate lava cake. It really firms up if you allow it to cool completely before stuffing it in your mouth.

Flourless chocolate cake from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

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Chachouka

Chachouka

Chachouka

Chachouka is a North African tomato and pepper stew with eggs. I’ve read that it’s also popular in homes throughout Israel, where it is known as Shakshuka. I’ve seen it pop up on some of my favorite food blogs over the years but I didn’t get around to trying it myself until very recently. I’ve no idea why I waited so long: I keep chickens so I always have eggs, and it’s so very easy to make.

This particular Chachouka recipe comes from a stunning new vegetarian cookbook called River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes. I received a review copy from Ten Speed Press and I’ve been cooking from it quite a bit lately: I made the Potatoes Dauphinoise (page 60) the other night and my family went crazy for them.

I recommend cooking your Chachouka in cast-iron skillet. That way, you can easily transfer it from the stovetop to the oven. (Don’t have a cast-iron skillet? You need one! I’ve had mine for a long time, but it is similar to this one.) Chachouka makes a great brunch, lunch (or light dinner) for 2 people (or maybe 4, if you serve it with a hearty salad, chunks of sourdough bread, etc). Cold leftovers are also quite tasty for breakfast.

Chachouka

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Honey Wheat Toast with Roasted Asparagus and Poached Egg

Poached Egg, Asparagus, Toast from Healthy Green Kitchen

It does not take all that much to make me happy in the food department these days: a thick slice of homemade honey-sweetened bread topped with fat spears of oil-doused, roasted asparagus and a perfectly-poached egg definitely does it.

Poached Egg, Asparagus, Toast  from Healthy Green Kitchen

I recently wrote about wanting more cake in my life. Same goes for bread.

You are probably wondering what’s going on. Am I on a carb binge or something? No… not at all, but I AM eating more carbs (and more food in general) these days. Since I started doing a lot of weight training a few months ago, I have found that I simply need to eat more that I was eating previously (plus I really do believe there is room for both bread AND cake in a healthy, balanced diet).

Good bread is tasty, and it’s a damn convenient food to have in the house. When I have time, I bake my own. It’s something I have always loved to do, but I will be honest with you: for years, I felt like I was doing something “wrong” when I baked bread since I’d convinced myself bread was “bad” for me based on everything I’ve read that demonizes wheat and gluten. Well, I am done with that way of thinking. I am done with categorizing foods as “bad” or “good”. It’s all just food after all: I choose to eat more of some things and less of others, and that’s that (no one in my family has problems with wheat or gluten so there is simply no reason for us to completely avoid them).

If you want to read a little more about where I am at with all of this right now, here you go: My Open Letter To Everyone Who Eats.

The recipe for the honey wheat bread and this dish both come from a new book called Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun by Daphne Oz. I don’t spend much time in front of the tv (unless you count the re-runs of The Nanny and Full House that I watch with my daughter), so I had honestly never heard of the author before this book landed in my mailbox (thanks to the publisher, who sent me a review copy). That said, Daphne is apparently the cohost of a show called The Chew; she is also Dr Mehmet Oz’s daughter.

I’ve only perused the book so far and really can’t speak to much of the content, but I will say that the recipes are pretty lovely, and the photography is really stunning. Also, the book just has a happy “vibe” to it so I do plan to sit down and actually read it soon.

I had this dish for lunch yesterday, but I think it would make the perfect Mother’s Day meal if you are looking for something to that effect. Have a happy weekend, everyone!

Poached Egg and Asparagus on Toast from Healthy Green Kitchen

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Very Fond of Crespéou

recipe for crespeou

One of the best things to come of blogging for me has been the beautiful cookbooks I occasionally receive to review from Ten Speed Press. What a wonderful surprise to open my beat up mailbox and find a bulging brown envelope inside…an envelope filled with a cookbook that wasn’t necessarily on my radar…a cookbook I … Read more

Citrus Shortbread Sandwiches Filled with Mixed Citrus Curd

lemon shortbread sandwich cookies

I never imagined I’d find baking inspiration (or inspiration of any sort, frankly) at an airport. Yet this is what happened last week. Our flight out of Minneapolis was delayed, so I wandered over to the French Meadow Bakery and bought an orange-rosemary shortbread. It was just what shortbread should be- so buttery- and I … Read more