Sugar Free Chocolate Pancakes

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I considered trying to come up with a clever title for this post, but they’re Chocolate Pancakes. I mean, really. You don’t mess with Chocolate Pancakes.

DH came up with this recipe by combining recipes for pancakes and marble cake. The sweetening technique came from some research he did on artificial sweeteners that showed that when you mix them, it both mitigates after-taste and multiplies the sweetening effect (so you don’t need as much). If you’re more concerned about  artificial sweeteners than calories, feel free to experiment with the sweetener of your choice. Sugar also works.

Chocolate Pancakes

(makes ~12 pancakes)

Wisk together in a large bowl:

  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 3 T powdered splenda
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt

Sift in:

  • 1/3 c cocoa
  • 1/2 t baking soda

Whisk together in another bowl:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 T vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 t vanilla

Blend the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Cook on a hot griddle, about 1/3 cup per pancake.

If using sugar: omit the Splenda and Sugar Twin, and add 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons of sugar to the dry ingredients

I like to top these with fresh fruit and yogurt, or cream cheese and a bit of jam. They are also very tasty cold this way.

DH likes his with maple syrup. Yeah, chocolate and maple. He also mixes ketchup and Swiss Chalet sauce. Fortunately, I can forgive an awful lot from the inventor of chocolate pancakes.

This post is for Vicky (Some Kind of Mom), who has recently gone sugar-free. She also told me about gluten-free flours, and I must say that coconut and arrowroot flours sound like they’d be pretty tasty mixed with chocolate. If you give it a try, let me know how it works out!

Losing It: Water, Water, Everywhere

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Glass of water

© Bergius; Lic via Creative Commons

Today on Losing It in Ottawa I’m talking about water, and how to get enough of it.

Well, actually, I’m still smarting over the Zemanta thing, so the Losing It community is talking about water.

But be sure to stop by with your tips!

Ap plausium

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Theme for Six Word Friday: Again.

I hold my breath, peer down.
A gain? No, a loss. Again.
Bits of me are disappearing. Again.
I’ll have to go shopping. Again.

And now, to do it again.
And again, and again, and again.

Nutritional Information for Ottawa Restaurants

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My favourite restaurants are all one-of-a-kind, but lately I’ve been trying to stick to places where I can get nutritional information (even if it’s bad news ;)).

But when 5:30 rolls around all I can think of is Swiss Chalet. So here is a list full-service restaurants in Ottawa where I could find nutritional information online.

Heaven forbid I should have to think while hungry.

If you know of any others, please do let me know!

Downsizing

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See these jeans?

They are two sizes smaller than these jeans.

That is all.

Calibrating the Kitchen

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I am trying to lose weight.

No, scratch that: I am losing weight. And one thing everyone knows is important when you’re trying to lose weight is portion control. But one of the things that has always stymied me is recipe yields, especially when using my favourite kitchen appliances: my slow cookers.

Now I know that my crocks are 4, 5, and 6 quarts – but is that all the way to the top? And besides, you never fill it to the top, and I have a hard time eyeballing these things.  If I’m going to go to the trouble of journalling, I’d like to know that the numbers are right, especially for a dish that I’ll be having for at least 4 meals.

I’ve tried measuring everything as it comes out of the pot, I’ve tried dumping it all into a big measuring bowl before anyone is allowed to touch it. Pain. in. the. butt.

It was time for a new kitchen gadget. Tada!

Yup, a ruler! Stolen from the office, so didn’t cost a cent. Well, it did at some point I suppose.

Now just to clarify, I stole it from our home office. Just realized that looked kinda bad. After all, who would steal office supplies from work? Shameful.

So, like, anyways

Here’s what I did:

  1. Dump 8 cups of water into the crock.
  2. Dip a wooden spoon, pull it out and hold it against the ruler.
  3. Dump in more water, two cups at a time, until I had something like this:

2" = 8 cups
2 1/2" = 10 cups
3" = 12 cups
3 1/4" = 14 cups
3 5/8" = 16 cups
4" = 18 cups
4 3/8" = 20 cups
4 3/4" = 22 cups

See how the deltas get shorter as you work your way up the pot? The sides aren’t straight up and down, making it harder to eyeball it.

Besides, I’m picky.

So, with that done, it was dead-easy to figure out how much Beef Mole we had tonight:

A few other ways I’ve been trying to keep a handle on portions:

  • My serving of hummus or tzaziki gets served in a measuring cup, right there at the table. Not exactly classy, but it works.
  • We all use small plates now. The big plates only come out for corn on the cob and fajitas – and when they do they’re so…. big! It’s weird.
  • Given the option, I’ll make something in muffin trays instead of a loaf pan. Of course, then I eat 3 muffins – but at least I know how much I ate.

Oh, and that ruler? Also handy for cases like these, when I sure as heck don’t trust myself to just ‘eyeball it’.

How do you control portions?

9 Great Protein Snacks

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God, I love Twitter. I was chatting with Sara (@saramphoto) and Krista (@kristahouse) about exercise and protein, and asked if they had any suggestions for high-protein snacks.

Then the sitter arrived, and I took off for a cross-country ski.

When I got back, all sorts of folks had chimed-in with their suggestions. Many thanks to Sara, Krista, Krista (@kgraydonald), Dani (@danigirl), and Lara (@larawellman) for all these great ideas!

  1. peppers & hummus
  2. cheese (Baby Bels seem to be popular)
  3. peanut butter (on apples! yum! never thought of that!)
  4. homemade whole wheat muffins (Sara – what’s your recipe?)
  5. yogurt
  6. chicken
  7. hard boiled egg
  8. quinoa (this & whole wheat were a surprise, had no idea grains were good for protein)
  9. nuts

This post has been brought to you by some great tweeps, a great ski, and a big plate of veggies and hummus :).

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