Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pictures of Receding Snow, Two Recipe Reviews, Theme Song HAWMC #11

Today's the "Theme Song" day on HAWMC. Poignant and funny for me given that in my last post I mentioned how big a part of my life music was back in the day and how little part it plays anymore. Doubly poignant because it's been a horrendous and stressful couple days. I've had overloaded semesters before, and as the end approaches they get harder, and my coping mechanisms get more skewed. Our Anchorage trip brought some of that home in scary ways, plus the travel itself is long...

But enough of that! I have some gorgeous pictures of our springtime and our drive to Anchorage to share, and a couple recipe reviews, as well as a happy theme song I managed to find.

So much gorgeous snow still on the Kenai mountains...
But the road is completely clear of snow!
...and on the southfacing mountain slopes lower down, the snow is mostly gone! The alder tips are all red, and the birches are getting ready to bud too.
The night before we left for town, we had a big moose visitor again. This one is a cow, and she looks to be in good shape!
While we were on the road, the snow melted steadily back home. Here's the view from our cabin door--that field of snow is almost gone, running down the bluff toward the ocean as fast as it can go.
And look at this grass--it's found a southfacing rock near the edge of the bluff, warmed by the sun, baked by the rock--tall and green and thriving!
OK--what would my theme song be for this blog, for my health issues, for this space?

While I was lying awake last night, I puzzled over that. I'd love to write my own song, but wasn't in a space to do it last night. I don't listen to many songs much and don't have a very up-to-date internal jukebox. I found myself going back to the nursery rhymes, looking for something happy, but that encapsulated the rollercoaster fact of my life, the cycles, the change.
I ended up with a Hebrew nursery rhyme! I wish I could reproduce the melody as well, because it's so happy! It also involves word-play, which is right up my alley. Here it is:

Uga uga uga, ba ma'agal nachuga
nitztovev kol ha'yom
ad asher nimtza makom
la'shevet la'kum, la'shevet la'kum
la'shevet ve la'kum

And it means--well, "uga" means "cake," but it's also related to the words for "circle" and "twirl around," and it's often sung at kids' birthday parties. So it means,
"Cake, cake cake! We'll twirl around in a circle.
We'll dance around all day long
until we find a place
to sit down, to stand up, to sit down, to stand up,
to sit down and to stand up."

And of course you do the movements as you sing the song!

Speaking of cake, I tried out a couple other bloggers' cakey recipes recently. I'm incapable of following a recipe precisely, and actually I love that when I review other people's recipes, because if it doesn't come out well, I can blame myself, but if it comes out wonderfully, I can credit them for the idea!

First up, I tried out Evan's Lemon cupcakes when Terry was here this weekend--I just had a hunch that she'd really appreciate the lemony coconutty action. I billed them as breakfast muffins, and made them without the frosting, and with less sugar and some erythritol, and used four regular eggs and one small rather than two eggwhites and four eggs.

I swore I took a photo, but apparently I didn't! So my major fail is that I didn't take a picture of these, but they were beautiful! I didn't eat any, but Terry loved them--and Phil did too, which was an unexpected bonus! Thanks so much, Evan!

Second--and this time I did manage to take pics--I tried out Chocolate Covered Katie's Deep Dish Cinnamon Roll Pie. I think I've posted some bean-based cake recipes here before, but hadn't made one for ages, and was excited to try the combination with gf oats--love cinnamon too, of course. My tweaks for this one were: I used great northern beans (which are white beans, I guess). I cut the coconut oil down to just 2 tablespoons (just because); I replaced the sugar with a cup of erythritol and half a teaspoon of stevia, which was sweeter than I needed, but I was making it to share. I baked it in a 9x9, which may not be the prettiest presentation, but it was easier for me to cut into equal pieces so that my calorie-counting math would actually mean something!
The top came out a bit dry and flakey--I've had that happen before with bean-based cakes, and I suspect that my reducing the fat encouraged the tendency, as well as our tiny toaster oven. Otherwise, though, moist, delicious, subtle texture, lovely!
I didn't go to the Easter gathering with all our friends because of my 'flu, but one of my favorite people is on a diet right now and often skipping beloved dessert, so among the various goodies I sent to the party with Phil, I made sure to send some of the cinnamon cake with a note about just how diet-friendly it was!
According to Phil, it was very well received. Thank you, Katie!
Whew! That was a long post! What would your theme song be?