Monday, May 28, 2012

Easy-Peasy Gluten Free Black Bean Chocolate Cake

This past weekend we celebrated several birthdays!  Yay for birthdays!

Saturday we celebrated my friend's oldest daughter's sweet 16! We had a blast at her home grilling hot dogs, making s'mores around the fire, and eating too much cake!  Us moms got a chance to sit down and chit chat, which was sorely needed. The men did manly things like catering to their inner pyro.

Sunday we had a family gathering at our house to celebrate both Little Miss Helpful's birthday and my mother's birthday.

It was nice having our family here to celebrate and enjoy the day with us.  And LMH really loved her presents, which were all artsy supplies!  No.. she really did love them!  She is easy peasy to keep happy. :)

I wanted to make a cake that was a bit healthier, and I have several friends in the Gluten Free circle rave about Black Bean Chocolate Cake.  So I decided to give it a go! 

A quick Google search landed me on A Hippie With a Minivan and her recipe for Black Bean Chocolate Cake. 

At first I was a bit skeptical, because I have never made a cake without flour before.  But this cake turned out so moist and definitely chocolatety!   Plus it filled the house with the most amazing chocolate cake aroma ever!  

When it was done I kept it simple with just a small dusting of powdered sugar, topped with some frozen strawberries and blueberries. (Fresh berries would of been better, but I only had frozen on hand).  No overly sugary frosting needed for this cake!   

When my mom tried it, she loved it and even said it was better than normal chocolate cake.

I tweaked the recipe a bit.   I used regular granulated sugar, because that is all I had on hand.  I want to play around with the recipe to try to make this with raw honey instead of sugar.

And I mixed everything together in the blender.   This made it really quick and easy and cut down on the amount of dirty dishes!   I ended up making 3 cakes in a very short amount of time.  :)

Little Miss Sunshine and Little Miss Helpful love making the cake for Grandma!

Here is the recipe with the steps I took.

Easy-Peasy Black Bean Chocolate Cake

1- 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed or 2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed*

5 large eggs

1 Tblspn vanilla extract

3/4 cup granulated sugar

6 Tblspns butter - softened at room temperature

1/2 tspn salt
6 Tblspns Cocoa Powder (I used Nestle Toll House Cocoa)

1/2 tspn baking soda

1 tspn baking powder 

1 Tblspn water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   

Grease a 9" circular pan or a 8x8" square pan.  Grease with shortening or coconut oil, and dust lightly with cocoa powder.

 In a blender - Add black beans, 3 eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, butter, and salt.  Blend on the highest setting (liquify setting on my blender)  until the beans are liquified and all items are mixed well. This took about 45 seconds to a minute in my blender.

To the blender - Add remaining two eggs, Cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and water.   Blend on the "blend" or "mix" setting until all ingredients are incorporated and mixed well.

Pour cake batter from the blender into the cake pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.   Start doing the toothpick poke test for doneness at 35 minutes and adjust the cook time accordingly.  Cake is done when the top is rounded and you can insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean and dry.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack.  Remove from cake pan, cut into serving size slices.  Put a slice on a dessert plate, dust lightly with powdered sugar.  

Top with your favorite berries and fresh home made whipped cream. 

Serve and enjoy with love and gratitude for another blessed day with your family and friends.

* 1 cup dried black beans equals about 2 cups after soaking and cooking.

This recipe originally found at A Hippie with a Minivan. and tweaked a bit by me. Please stop by her blog and tell her hello!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Open letter to my mom....

I know I am naive. I wear heart on my sleeve and I am too trusting.

Even with my age, as many times as I have been hurt, used, abused, and tossed aside.....  I still trust and hope.  I trust too much and let down my boundaries.

I know how I try to act and treat others.... and I just assume others will do the same towards me.

So of course my boundaries are over run. I am hurt.  I cry a bit. I give  it to God.  I go on.

It hurts. But God gives me grace.

But it is especially hard though when it is your own family who over-runs boundaries and disrespects.  It is most hurtful when the one who should be there the most to help and protect you, condones,validates, and participates in the behavior.

It is heart wrenching when it is your mother.  The one who instincts tell me is the one I can trust no matter what.... and then time and time again has proven that I can't.


Once again... I hoped.  I wanted to believe the best.  I let my guard  down.  I tried to make your birthday a special day. I did the best I could do with what I had. 

And once again boundaries were disrespected, values were mocked, trust was broken, and hearts were hurt.

The most common definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.

And that is what I have been doing. Time and time again.... you have proven that you have no respect for my family or myself.  But I still want to believe that you will so I try again.  And again  I  get hurt.   I have been living in insanity.

I can't do this any longer.

So now my boundaries are back up.  I still love you. But my boundaries are up thicker and stronger.

My family comes first.  My husband deserves respect.  My kids deserve respect. I deserve respect.  Our house is our home. It deserves respect.   My boundaries are up to protect my family and my home.

I love you.  I am keeping the door for a relationship open.  But I now realize you will probably never have the ability to foster a healthy relationship with me or return my love.   I now understand that you have no respect for boundaries or our beliefs.   I am not judging you.  I am just observing your fruit that you have produced over and over again.

For the safety of my family I have to keep my boundaries strong.  And until your behavior and your "fruit" changes our relationship will stay distant.     We can no longer help you how you ask us to... because we no longer will enable you and your behavior.

I still hold hope that one day things can change.  But until then I give you to God.  I  still pray for you, and I will still love you. 

Happy birthday Mom.

Love me.