Chocolate Syrup

Chocolate.

 

Is there anything more comforting, delicious, or decadent than chocolate?  Just the word gives me warm fuzzies.  Yeah, I know, kinda pathetic, but I can’t help it.  I was raised by a man whose love for chocolate was surpassed by his love for God and family.  My sisters and I all love it close to as much as he did.  My mom likes the smell of sour mop and root canals, so let’s just say she probably doesn’t care about chocolate as much as we did.  We were definitely introduced to a love for the sweeter things in life from dear ol’ dad.

 

Now Milkman?  Oh my goodness, Mr. Sweet Tooth himself.  He loves him some sugar, more than I do.  Milkman likes chocolate syrup.  He puts it in his chocolate milk, ice cream shakes, and his amazing Saturday mochas he makes me.  My mother never bought chocolate syrup, so I have cringed a little at the thought of it because it says “Chocolate Flavored Syrup.”  Why is it chocolate FLAVORED?  That strikes me as kind of nasty, doesn’t it you?

 

I’ve talked about my mother making coffee for the grandkids that is mostly milk, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream with a little coffee, but my mom never gives the kids processed stuff, so I asked her where she got her chocolate syrup and she informed me, she makes it herself!  This was a weird concept to me, not because she made it from scratch–my mom makes everything from scratch, but I’ve just never thought to make my own chocolate syrup.

 

I ordered some cocoa powder on Amazon last week (By the way, buying your cocoa powder as an add-on item on Amazon is the cheapest way to get cocoa powder, click here for the link.  Way cheaper than the grocery store).  It comes in a giant container, and you can make allllll the chocolatey things with that much cocoa powder on the cheap, so I decided to make a grip load of chocolate syrup, and let me tell ya… It’s a beautiful thing, my friends.  Rich, thick, delicious and definitely CHOCOLATEY, not chocolate FLAVORED.

 

I’ve been putting it in my coffee with cream, or in my espresso for a yummy mocha, drizzled on ice cream, or yes– even just plain old bad for you chocolate milk.

 

Here’s how I made it:

1 1/2 Cups of Water

3 Cups of Sugar

1 1/2 Cups of Cocoa Powder

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract

Good Pinch of Kosher Salt

 

In a pot, mix together the water and the sugar until boiling and a syrup forms.  As it begins to boil, whisk in remaining ingredients.  (It can get a little messy if your pot isn’t very big, cocoa powder kinda gets everywhere!)  Whisk til smooth, and simmer til slightly reduced.  Pour into a heat proof container (I always have a million glass jars hanging around, so that’s what I used.) and let cool on the counter.  It’ll reduce as it sits and thicken up.  Once it is cooled, throw it in the fridge.  Pour onto and into ALL the things, live in chubby bliss.

 

 

 

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Matcha Chocolate Chunk Greenies 

I’m a mom, therefore I’m tired.
  
Captain is 4 years old, so that means I haven’t slept well in 4 years. My sleep debt is probably close to 13.6 million hours. I had to give up caffeinated coffee since nursing because it makes me super shakey, but I seem to be able tolerate small amounts of caffeine in other forms! 
  

Also, tired people want sugar. I know, I know, sugar is evil and bad for you, but when you’re nursing and sleep deprived and haven’t had a shower by yourself in a week, you want something to perk you up, and what better than something sweet?
  

But caffeine and sugar have little redeeming value in and of themselves, so I decided to healthify my cravings when I bought some matcha powder on Amazon, and created these chocolate chunk “greenies”. 
  

These are seriously delish. If you don’t like the flavor of strong green tea, I recommend eating these once they have cooled. The flavor kind of milds itself out after its cooled. I’m sure you can adapt this with your favorite GF flour if needed and use your favorite sugar substitute if you prefer! These are tasty with a pinch of energy. Enjoy!

8 Tbls butter or coconut oil 

1 cup natural sugar 

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 cup whole wheat WHITE flour (you can get this at Trader Joes!)

2 Tbls culinary grade matcha powder 

1/2 cup of chocolate chunks or chips 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease an 8×8 pan or 9 inch pie pan.

Melt butter or coconut oil on the stove or in your microwave and stir in sugar til smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add salt, flour, and matcha until thoroughly mixed. It’ll be a lovely green color! (Add more matcha if you want a stronger taste and/or darker green color). Fold in chocolate with a spatula and spread into pan.

Bake for 22-26 minutes or until set in the center. Cool and slice. Enjoy warm for a stronger taste, or completely cooled for a milder taste with the same energy kick!
  

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Whole Wheat and Hidden Spinach Mickey Mouse Waffles!

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We are Disney freaks. No way around it. I’ve been an annual passholder at Disneyland for 13 years, my husband used to work in Downtown Disney, and when we haven’t gone to Disneyland in two weeks, the babies and I watch YouTube videos of the rides at Disneyland! So! Imagine my elation when I was at CVS to buy nail polish remover and found a Mickey Mouse waffle iron on CLEARANCE! $7.00 to ensure my kids will eat anything I put in it? Of course.

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We had a rough night last night (the littles have chicken pox and were up a lot!) so I decided a little carb and Disney cheer was in order. One of the things we Disney freaks like to do is find Hidden Mickeys in the parks. So, on that theme, I thought I would hide something in our Mickey Waffles– SPINACH!

I’ve also been reading up on whole wheat white flour. Did you know that 100% white whole wheat has the same health benefits as regular whole wheat flour, while retaining a milder flavor? Well I do now, so I bought this at Trader Joes to try out, and it’s pretty darned good!

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The kids LOVED them– and so did Milkman and I! You can’t even taste the spinach. We topped ours with Strawberry preserves and whipped cream and my chicken pox babies were happy!

So here ya have it, healthy whole wheat flour hidden spinach pancakes (and you can use any waffle iron, but let’s be real– Mickey trumps Belgian when you are 1 and 2 years old– okay and maybe 28 years old.)

Recipe:

1 cup frozen chopped spinach
1 1/2 cup 100% white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tblsp pure maple syrup (you can use your favorite sugar or honey)
1 large egg
1 1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Throw the frozen spinach in your food processor and pulse til finely chopped. Throw in all your other ingredients and whir that baby up! Mine looked like this:

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Pour into waffle iron.

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And serve with your favorite waffle toppings! If you’re tiny like Mamitas, you might just wanna eat the ears! Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Lactation Cookie Bars!

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I am a believer in trusting your body and your baby to make sure you have enough milk while nursing. It’s really easy to stress, especially if it’s your first nursling, about not having enough milk. I remember crying to Milk Man that I wished breasts had ounce lines on them! But after doing some research I found that if after a week baby was having 6 wet diapers a day, I had more than enough milk. Captain was having 12 some days! That helped put my mind to ease.

However, when I got pregnant with Mamitas, my milk supply plummeted a lot and fast. Milk Man found a lactation cookie recipe and we made a huge batch. They were good… But time consuming. Also the recipe made a huge batch and half went bad!

I couldn’t keep up with eating them because I hated the taste of brewers yeast when I was pregnant. So they didn’t serve me too well then. I opted for brewers yeast pills.

Then when I had Mamitas I was determined to pump a week’s supply to freeze as soon as I could since I had regretted not pumping enough when it was just Captain. I turned to lactation cookies as a way to help me make a bit more milk to pump. I have never been an efficient pumper. Captain was gaining weight like a champ and yet I would pump for a half hour and only get an ounce from both sides combined! The cookies helped and I got 100 oz in the freezer with a single pumping session a day for 2.5 weeks!

I have a date night coming up this weekend and I need to pump so I was going to make some lactation cookies, but let’s be real. I have a 2 year old and an 8 month old who are into EVERYTHING. I don’t have time to spoon pretty little individual cookies on a tray, bake, cool, and do another tray… And then however many trays it takes til the dough is gone. So, I started thinking about How much easier bar cookies are than drop cookies and I formulated this recipe from some regular bar cookies and added my own twist.

The result was easy and fabulous. Very easy to make, easy to clean up, and easy to eat. Apparently very easy to eat because Milk Man likes them, too! 😉 So, don’t worry, fellas! If you sneak one it won’t make you look like Bob from Fight Club or make you leak. 😉

Without further ado, here is the recipe! Enjoy!

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Rachel’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Lactation Bars!

2 1/4 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats or coach’s oats
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup of brewer’s yeast
1/3 cup of flaxseed meal

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter (I microwaved mine to get it soft, mostly melted)
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter (if you have a stand mixer room temp is fine, if mixing by hand, microwave it with your butter)
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or spray with non stick.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brewers yeast, and flaxseed meal.

In a stand mixer (or large bowl with a hand mixer) combine butter, brown sugar and peanut butter and mix until smooth.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Press dough into prepared pan and sprinkle chocolate chips on top and press down on them lightly. (This may be more or less than the 1 1/2 cups. Depends on your preference ;))

Bake for 18-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and center is just set. Do not overbake or they’ll be crunchy and dry. Remove from oven and let cool.

My personal preference is to let them cool but not all the way before slicing. I like the pull the parchment out and slice it on a flat cutting board when it’s still warm but not hot.

However! Brewers yeast has a strong taste. For some reason this taste is more apparent when the bars are hot. So I actually don’t like to eat these while warm. I like them cooled with a giant glass of whole milk!

Bars will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I like to freeze half so they don’t go bad.

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