Posting on the weekend? What is this?!
Well it is safe to say this community never ceases to both amaze and move me! Your support on Midnight’s post… oh wow, thank you for that. It was really needed and helped to deal with the situation. I would also like to note that I not only made myself cry while writing the post, but also my mom, dad and brothers (I think!) We all will miss him so much, but you all reminded to me dwell on the good times whenever I start missing him. Thank you
And now something a bit more cheerful!
**I didn’t really intend to make a flippen long post like this… but my wordy self got the better of me and I started to ramble. Read if you would like or just scan for the delicious recipes, I understand
Per usual, I have been baking up a storm whenever I can, especially when I have been at my mom and dad’s house on the weekend! And yet, there has been very few of these baked goods seen on the ole blog… it’s mighty time to change that. It would be rather selfish of me to hold back the sugary goodness! There are some healthier treats in here too though, it’s all about balance right?!
I know I have discussed this a number of times, but my relationship and reasons for baking (and cooking for that matter) have gone through ups, downs and all-arounds.
At first it was a pleasure in every way possible- I loved to plan, buy the ingredients, follow the recipe, add my own personal tough, make the food, taste it as I go (especially cake batter!), feed others and watch how happy the food made them and I would ALWAYS eat whatever it was too!
Cake Batter Rolo Bars
Super easy and made from a box mix…. Why yes I don’t always bake from scratch! (in fact box mixes come in handy more times than not )
- 1 package yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 36 Rolos, halved
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
- Get a partner if you can to help you unwrap the candies… it takes so dang long without someone else! haha. Otherwise, get ready for a rather tedious few minutes of your life
- Combine the cake mix and nuts. Stir in the evaporated milk and melted butter. Spread half of the cake mix mixture into the prepared pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately place Rolo pieces, cut side down, over hot crust. Drop remaining cake mix mixture by teaspoonfuls over Rolo pieces. Return to oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cut into squares to serve.
For example, pancakes and me go way back.
After watching my mom cook these hot cakes almost every weekend for a few years, I took over the position around the age of 9. It was a ritual I looked forward to: using a boxed mix (AUNT JAMIMA), adding milk, eggs, and oil… a few stirs (keep the batter lumpy ) and then a big ole pour of the first pancake onto the hot griddle.
That first one was always mine because it had the most butter on it from soaking up the freshly buttered pan. I would consume its fattening deliciousness while making the rest of the batch and would also eat some of the batter, don’t knock it until you try it! :p These pancakes were a favorite of mine, they tasted great, always came out perfect, were easy to make and everyone loved them.
Healthy Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Pretty much the same as CCK, but I doubled the recipe. The first time I made them, they were wayyyyy too thin! Sorry Katie, I need some more bulk in my baked goods
- 1 cup white flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 8 T brown sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 4 T nondairy milk (I used Vanilla soy milk)
- 4 T coconut oil (can use vegetable, but the coconut made it taste pretty awesome)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 8 oz Reduced fat cream cheese
- 1 T butter
- 1/2 t vanilla
- 2/3 cup powder sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients, then add in wet.
- Spread into an oiled 8×8 pan and cook for 25 minutes.
- Frosting: Beat frosting ingredients on low with hand mixer until mixed and then increase speed slightly and whip for 10-15 seconds. Slowly add 2/3 cup powder sugar and mix until creamy.
- After bars are cooled, cut into 2 inch squires and top with a generous teaspoon of frosting.
As I grew older, I began baking more and experimenting with more complex recipes (well complex for me). Instead of using boxed mixes, I would bake brownies, bars, cookies, cakes, truffles, fudge, etc, from scratch. Although the finished product was not always perfect, it was fun trying to figure out what went wrong and how to improve it for next time. I would taste test the food of course, savoring and sharing the baked goods which came out to perfection.
When my disordered eating worsened, and I became fixated on losing weight, and only eat what I considered “safe” I continued to bake, but NEVER ate any of my own food. I would make buttery, oily, fatty desserts and bring them to school for my friends to enjoy. I loved seeing their reactions and give me their thanks and words of pleasure as they graded and enjoyed my food. In my own kinda messed up mind, it was like I was living vicariously through them and eating the desserts.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
I will take noooo credit for these, other than following this recipe and putting them together! Thank you Pinterest, you have done it again!
I served these to my RA staff and was told they were the best things yet that I have had them taste test. Trust me, that statement means a lot…make these NOW!
I am quite aware of how positively messed up this is, especially when the raw dough/batter is not even consumed!
For example, I would consistently make chocolate chip cookies from scratch and not eating a single bite of the dough or the finished product gave me a bit of a rush and feeling of control. These feelings would embellish when I would see my peers eating the food I believed they would feel guilty about and would make them fat, yet they could not resist it.
But HA! I COULD! The insane control I had over myself gave me a high, I believed I was stronger than these people by denying myself pleasurable food and would not be feeling guilty like they all were.
Little did I understand at the time that it was not me, Tessa, my rational self that was “in control” but it was the toxic and insidious Eating Disorder. The illness was being fueled by the control it had over me, and when I resisted a simple pleasure in life such as a cookie, I was giving more and more power to it. It was my true self that was becoming warped into thinking that the disorder’s desires was what I really wanted.
Health(ier) Banana-Fudge Brownies (Vegan)
Adapted from here
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates
- 1 cup mixed raw walnuts & almonds
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (for the bottom layer)
- Ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup raw cocoa powder (for the top layer)
- 4 tbsp almond butter (I used TJs Roasted Flaxseed almond butter- one of my favorites!)
- 4 tbsp honey
- Mix together all bottom ingredients in a food processor until well blended.
- Spread bottom ingredients in a large glass baking pan until evenly distributed
- Mix together top ingredients in a food processor until well blended.
- Spread top blend over bottom layer base until evenly distributed.
- Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
- Cut into 16 squares, serve and enjoy!
- Re-freeze whatever you don’t eat and enjoy at a later date!
Makes approximately 12 squares
I served these at my brother’s house last weekend and everyone loved them… for the most part… My dad hated them lol (sorry dad, I had to tell them ) This type of “dessert” is just not his thing, he is a more traditional baked goods kind of guy!
Baking and cooking for others is yet another example of how delusional the disordered eating has made me. I have lost touch with what I truly pine for, what my genuine interests are, and who I am as a person. However, I know it’s possible to get the “real” Tessa back and identifying and then tackling the countless ways the eating disorder has been ingrained into my life, is necessary. Yes it’s difficult, but oh my goodness so so worth it.
Confession (and tangent) time
I won’t lie to you my friends, the “disordered eating” thoughts continue to linger with this whole baking thing… less so, but to a certain extent they are still there. When I am creating something that is “fearful,” I do test the batter (like old times!), and always eat the end result. However, it is sometimes quite a small portion- a lick, bite, and taste… just enough to get an idea of what the finished product is like.
I don’t want you to think I am lying about what I have eaten in the past or anything. In fact I actually often do give myself a full serving of whatever it is. But the ever-present guilt and voice telling me that I “should not” is just so irritating.
I have come so very far since the worst times, where literally nothing with 2 or more grams of fat in it would cross my lips. However, I sometimes feel like there is just such a long way to go. In this situation, I simply cannot feel “okay” eating an entire cookie, or a large brownie which I know was made with a whole stick of butter, oil, sugar, etc. I feel as though I am wasting my precious calories and then what will I do if I am hungry later?! Eat of course! But no, so much more complicated than that….
And what if I become like everyone else and actually “give in” to something I have been able to resist for so long? Who will I be then? What will everyone think of me?!
In the matter of baked goods and junk food in general, I don’t really want to “be able” to eat an entire box of cookies, pan of brownies, etc. I love healthy food and I genuinely enjoy it. The thing is though, I am scared to give myself permission to eat even a normal-sized portion because of the usual bullsh*t consequences- weight gain, loss of control… Eating a regular old cookie has an incredible amount of meaning to it, in my mind at least.
The fears, irrationality, the eating disorder voice.. they all still remain. And you know what else? They all play a regular starring role in my daily decision making. Thankfully there is a thread of hope in all of this- of course challenging the fears will always allow progression, and also remembering that by continuing to ebb away from the eating disorder, I am finding myself, the person I truly am and will become as I continue to heal.
Whoops heavier post than I anticipated… Like I said, just enjoy the recipes if you want to haha
-Out of the four recipes here, which one looks the best?! My personal favorite was the cheesecake bars. Yes I only had a small serving, but I did so while shoving away the guilt. A small victory but I’ll take it.
-If you are working on this (as I am) why is it so hard to eat a regular brownie/cookie/cupcake/etc? Is it really about the weight gain, or think about it, are there underlying issues as well? For me yes, exploring this is a continuous work in progress.
-How comfortable are you with eating the occasional “not-so-healthy” treat? How did you reach this point? Have you ever struggled with the fears?
-Have you ever made a “healthier” dessert that someone did not like? I can usually “fool” my friends and family with healthier desserts and they don’t know the difference, but this time was a bit of a fail. My dad’s reaction was too funny
I hope y’all are having a more fun Saturday night than I am… I am on RA duty until 2 am Gross man. Have a great rest of your weekend!