Tag Archives: chocolate cupcakes

40 Before 40 Accidentally on Purpose Random Acts of Kindness … It’s Now 40 At 40 … No. 27 Chocolate Helps

4 Sep

It happened again, but this time it was a different woman and it made me remember why it began.

I hadn’t forgotten about my quest, my mission, my kindness adventure. I hadn’t. I just missed the deadline, something that rarely happens to me. I didn’t make it. I came up short. I failed. It was kind of a bummer.

You see for those of you just joining us, I was on a kindness journey, ready to spread 40 Accidentally on Purpose Random Acts of Kindness Before 40.

I turned 40 … weeks ago.

I survived it, but I had only written posts about 23 of them. I actually surprised 26 people with Guat kindness, but never got around to telling all of you about that. 26 out of 40.

:)

🙂

That’s not even a D+, just a solid D with room for improvement. I never got a D in my life so this little setback had me feeling pretty crappy. I had learned so much about gratitude, and the unexpected throughout this little adventure. I remembered a few life lessons about the little things. I enjoyed the way these felt, but I had turned 40 and the goal was 40 BEFORE 40.

As I was thinking about where to pick up, or how I should pick up after falling off the kindness wagon, I saw her. She was just like the first lady I had seen when I started this. She was having a moment, the kind of emotional moments I’ve had before. She sat there in her blue minivan, with the windows rolled up, and her black sunglasses trying to hide what was behind those eyes. But I could see her sadness through the window, I could see her head hanging low, and the tears falling from the corner of her eyes.

I don’t know why she was crying. I just know how sadness felt, and it reminded me of the lady that I was never able to help, the one that sped off after the stoplight turned green. The lady I looked for, but never found. The one that sparked my 40 Before 40 Random Acts of Kindness.

And then something clicked.

I saw my dark chocolate cupcake, topped vanilla buttercream frosting and coconut flakes. It was just sitting there. Probably a thousand and one calories, but the best thousand and one calories you could ever eat. It was the last one at the store, the one I had stood in line for, the chocolate lover’s dream.

I picked it up and walked over to the minivan. I tapped on the window, she lowered it. I reached out and handed her the container. She looked up, confused.

“I don’t know if you’re diabetic, or on the Herbalife diet, or hate chocolate, but I figured you need this more than I do. I don’t know you, or what you’re going through, but I hope this helps you out. Chocolate always makes things better. I hope you feel better.”

I smiled the best I could, and then walked away.

I couldn’t help but think about this lady and hoped that my small gesture brought her a little comfort. Kindness counts, even when you don’t know the person. I think a little bit goes a long way, and I’m going to keep going my way until I hit 40 acts. But it’s not 40 Before 40 anymore, it’s 40 at 40.

Yup … that’s me 40 at 40.

.

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12 x 12 Chocolate Challenge … The High-Five-Worthy Cupcakes

21 Mar

I think I like it because it matches the blueprint.

You follow the directions and it comes out exactly as you would have hoped.

There’s always a little wear and tear, a little learning experience, and sometimes you don’t have a spatula attachment, or know what a spatula attachment is, but you use Guat muscle to stir things up. Doesn’t always look like the picture in the magazine, but after tasting it, it’s still worthy of a five-star review. Even after walnut spillage.

Matching your blueprint.

I like that baking does that. It gives me hope because it’s something that rarely happens in my life no matter how much planning is done. Something always happens. Life always presents you lessons at a time when all you really need are answers. So I’m grateful that I can control the outcome of my baking adventures. I’m glad that I can follow a plan and know the outcome is going to be high-five worthy. It calms me to know that I’ve got at least one thing under control amongst all the chaos. Even better when it involves chocolate.

Oooohhh … chocolate.

This week’s 12 x 12 Chocolate Challenge was surprisingly easy and tasty. Cupcakes for Two. Vegan cupcakes if you could believe that.

Yeah, I couldn’t.

I’m a carnivore. Always have been so I was a little skeptical about this recipe. But it was on the list and so I was up for the challenge. I’ve never made something like this before … and after a stressful day I can say it was awesome how everything fell into place and the cupcakes were chocolatey and moist. They were high-five worthy.

I love cupcakes for two, even though I ate both of them and once again the frosting — Fluffy Walnut Mousse Frosting — was the best part. And even if you don’t make the frosting, the cupcakes, made with regular or soy milk, are worth it.

 

One of my main ingredients ... thank you to the coupons that made this possible.

One of my main ingredients … thank you to the coupons that made this possible.

 

Never roasted nuts for frosting before, ended up being pretty tasty.

Never roasted nuts for frosting before, ended up being pretty tasty.

 

Dude these were so tasty ... I'm gonna have to quadruple the recipe so I have enough to share.

Dude these were so tasty … I’m gonna have to quadruple the recipe so I have enough to share.

 

The recipe was courtesy of Edible Mosaic.

The recipe was courtesy of Edible Mosaic.

 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • 1/8 teaspoon + 1/16 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1/16 teaspoon instant coffee powder (optional, but recommended)
  • 3 tablespoons milk, any kind you like (be sure to use a vegan “milk” if keeping you’re keeping the recipe vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, or other neutral-flavored oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Fluffy Walnut Mousse, or any frosting you like

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F; line a muffin tray with 2 paper liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and coffee powder in a medium bowl. Add the milk, oil, and vanilla, and stir just until combined, being careful not to over-mix.
  3. Divide the batter between the 2 lined muffin wells and bake until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes.
  4. Cool 5 minutes in the tray, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  5. Sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top, or frost with your favorite frosting, nut butter, or jam.

Notes

Measurement Tip: Note that 1/16 teaspoon is about 1 pinch.