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I might have lied about the pesto.

Remember when I said that was what I would want to eat if stranded on a desert island?

I lied.

I WANT THESE!

Wheat/gluten-free chocolate peanut butter cupcakes

Now, before I wax poetic on the pure bliss that is these cupcakes I should take you through the rest of our day. Today is the day before Jaime’s birthday (tomorrow I have planned an AMAZING adventure!) and so we had her birthday dinner planned for tonight. Before that happened, however, in characteristic form we completely overplanned and overbooked ourselves so the day consisted of;

* Izzie and I stumbling through Target at 8:30 am buying birthday presents and hitting the grocery store for cupcake fixin’s

* Baking the cupcakes

* Doing preliminary preparations for tonights dinner (yum!!!)

* Running five miles in the heat without my Camelbak and nearly puking

* Showering and frosting cupcakes (nearly simultaneously)

* Attending b-day party

* Racing home to start dinner and having a lovely night with two of my FAVORITE people!

For dinner tonight we had a bit of a dilemma, we had one pork tenderloin which would not feed four adults and a hungry kiddo. I decided to make a ham and cheese strata (gluten and dairy free). I will add a disclaimer here and say that I did use goat cheese because Izzie is okay with it, some with dairy allergies might not be.

Gluten free white bread

I don’t usually use white bread but for the strata it was perfect;

Ham and Goat Cheese Strata

4 slices of bread, cubed (can use gluten-free)

2 cups cubed cooked ham

1 cup cubed goat cheese

1/4 cup sliced scallions

1 tsp dried dill

1 tsp all purpose seasoning

3 eggs

1 cup egg whites

3/4 cup milk (I used rice milk)

1 Tbsp pesto

Combine first five ingredients in a casserole dish.

Whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, and pesto, pour over bread mixture.

Cover and refrigerate at least two hours.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes covered, uncover and bake 10 minutes more.

I used this fabulous local goat cheese, it was very creamy, more like a slightly firmer brie, not crumbly like some goat cheese. But the flavor? Heady and rich and satisfying, it MADE the strata.

Strata, cubed.

The finished product, with roasted summer veggies

We shared our dinner with these lovely friends.

Ellie and Jeff

Who brought this really yummy birthday beer.

I kept calling this banana monkey beer, though that is clearly not the name and it tastes nothing like bananas. It is very crisp and light and refreshing and was the perfect summery accompaniment to our meal, which included a skillfully roasted pork tenderloin (made by my lovely wife).

Izzie’s plate

And then….(drum roll please)…the cupcakes.

Would a cupcake by any other name taste so sweet? I think not! Now, I will admit something here..I used a mix for the cake part.

I KNOW!! Sacrilege! Julia Child rolls over in her grave! But I was pressed for time and everything else was homemade.

So there. I refuse to feel guilty.

Look at those shimmering jewels of nuttiness…it’s like porn…only edible.

The frosting and ganache I adapted from recipes from the PPK and (neverhome)maker;

Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 cups confectioners sugar

3 Tbsp rice milk

1/2 cup Earth Balance soy free spread

Make sure the spread is at room temp then dump all this in a bowl and fluff with a mixer on high speed for 3 minutes. Scoop out handfuls of frosting and stuff them in your mouth, oh the deliciousness! Wait, I mean, frost the cupcakes liberally.

Ganache

1/2 c creamy peanut butter

5 oz unsweetened chocolate

1/4 cup agave nectar

Melt SLOWLY in a double boiler, stirring, until smooth. Drizzle over peanut butter frosted cupcakes and directly into your mouth.

Oh no!!! Horrors!!! Leftover ganache! What to do? Ok, well I ate SOME but I was making myself sick so I made these.

I just used regular natural PB in the middle, I wanted the salt!

Freeze until firm…nibble, nibble

I was good tonight, I didn’t go overboard but I didn’t deprive myself either. After I finished home work I did this fabulous new video, I highly recommend it if you like yoga. You can customize your sequences and the music is awesome too.

I hope you all had a great Sunday!

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