It’s Christmas week! We made it!
I don’t know what’s brought you up to this point in the month. Maybe you’ve had a few down days or a few slip-ups with your eating plan. Don’t stress about it. We all have those days and those slip-ups, because we’re humans and it’s what we do!
But as we head into the big holiday week, I’d encourage you to leave the past in the past and focus on delighting in the present. There will be plenty of time to plan for the future and set new goals come January. This week, find your joy in the right now. The moments we wait for all year.
Christmas Day is magical, but for me the most magic swirls around in those days and hours leading up to Christmas. Even as a kid I always loved Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day. Something about going to bed on such a sacred winter night gave me a thrill. I was all about the gifts as a kid, so that’s probably why, but even today as an adult I still get a rush of anticipation in the days before Christmas. And it’s not about the gifts anymore.
I went sledding a few weeks ago and as we were standing on top of the hill preparing for our next run, my friend was telling me how she likes to go to bed each night with a sense of anticipation and excitement in the pit of her stomach, thrilled at what tomorrow might bring.
It’s funny because I hate that feeling! And yet I totally get what she means. As much as I don’t like being uncomfortable and stressed, a little bit of nervousness never hurt anyone. In fact, sometimes it builds and shapes us in ways we’ve never dreamed of.
What would we do, think, be, choose, believe, and try if we knew we could not fail?
I’m going to be mulling that one over during my Christmas holiday this week. Maybe my 2014 needs a little shaking up.
Cue the anticipation/excitement/I-want-to-throw-up feeling in the pit of my stomach.
This comfort zone lover is the total opposite of a risk taker!
I have one last recipe to share with you before the big day. These moist and rich gingerbread cupcakes are a fun little treat that would totally make Santa reach for seconds.
I colored the frosting with beet powder, which I found in the bulk bins at my local co-op. Artificial food coloring (aka legal poison!) hasn’t made an appearance in my kitchen in probably a decade, so I was thrilled to get this frosting pink using a natural method.
If you can’t find beet powder, just leave it out and you’ll have a creamy white frosting instead. Not quite as festive but still snowy and beautiful.
I topped some of my cupcakes with dairy-free chocolate chips after snapping these photos. They’re delicious either way, but if you’re used to sweeter desserts or you’re serving these to guests who are, go for the chocolate.
If you’re still pulling together your Christmas menu, here are a few more holiday desserts to check out:
- Figgy Cocoa Wedges
- Nut-Free Dark Chocolate Truffles
- Upside-Down Apple Spice Cake
- Cranberries & Cream Tart with Chocolate Crust
- Pumpkin Coconut Tart with Super Seed Crust
- No-Bake Cocoa Cranberry Layer Bars
I can’t believe I’m wishing you another Merry Christmas. As the years come and go, I’m so thankful for this space and that year after year, you keep coming back to spend time here with me. Thank you!
Wherever you are, whoever you’re with, whatever you’re eating, I wish you a most blessed Christmas and a week filled with all the magic and mystery that make this season so special.
Warm winter wishes,
(photo from my most recent cooking class; LOVE the new Vitamix!)
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- ¼ cup arrowroot or tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond or coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries, optional
- 1-1/2 cup raw cashews or cashew pieces
- 2 teaspoon beet powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup water
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 15 mini muffin cups with mini paper liners.
- Make the cupcakes: Combine the coconut flour, arrowroot or tapioca starch, cinnamon, ginger, alt, allspice, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Separately whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, milk, oil, and molasses. Add to dries and stir to combine thoroughly. Stir in cranberries (if using). Divide the batter among the lined muffin cups. Bake for 13-15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Make the frosting: Cover the cashews with hot water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain and place into a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix). Place the beet powder in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and stir to dissolve. Add to the blender with the maple syrup, vanilla, and ½ cup water. Blend until very creamy and smooth, using the tamper as needed. (If you don't have a high speed blender, soak the cashews for 6-8 hours at room temperature. Prepare the frosting as directed in a food processor instead.)
- Frost the cupcakes and serve.