Leave it to me to turn my diet upside down on a day in which I am to attend two extreme celebrations. Yesterday’s bridal shower in Tacoma marked the final countdown to Brynn’s wedding on August 18 (Note: it is NOT a coincidence that my nutritional challenge ends the day before this event). It was a small collection of ladies from both Brynn and Ryan’s family, along with a couple friends from college. As excited as I was for this party, I was a bit apprehensive about it as well, in part because I wasn’t sure how well my willpower would hold out. I know, I know… “how can your willpower possibly falter on DAY 1!?” Let me explain.
For the first time in ages, I closed El Gaucho on Saturday night. I came home immediately afterward, but didn’t make it into my front door until nearly 1:45am. I threw my bag on the floor, kicked off my boots and walked into the living room. I took a deep breath and flipped on the light. Blaze, who I half-expected to be knocked out thanks to drugs that had been given to him at the neutering clinic that afternoon, leapt up and started sprinting in circles. This was less than a fantastic moment. After an hour-long midnight stroll through the Queen Anne wild, I finally made it into bed for a nice three-hour nap before waking up to make brownies and salads for Brynn’s party. After the party, I jetted back to Seattle for celebration number two – a family dinner at Teatro Zinzanni. This event made me even more nervous than the bridal shower – so nervous, in fact that I called the reservation line in advance to apologize for my diet and ask for a special menu. They. Were. Amazing. They handled my request like champs and fed me a delicious Paleo menu without batting an eye. Upon arriving home last night after a full day of temptation, I felt oddly energized and perfectly happy with every aspect of my day – this never happens. I did it. No coffee on zero sleep and no cocktails during two family functions. Suddenly, the next six weeks don’t seem like they’re going to be so long.
Now, I’m perfectly okay if you totally lost your train of thought and stopped paying attention to me at the mention of brownies. Because they are literally the only thing that got me through yesterday morning’s exhausting food prep session and long drive. They are that good. Richly chocolate-y and sweet as sweet can be and completely and totally Paleo. Make them now. Try not to eat them all in one sitting. Ready, set, GO.
Sweet Potato Brownie Cupcakes
1 medium-large sweet potato
3 large eggs, whisked
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
1/3 c. raw honey
1/2 c. extremely dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I used Theo Chocolate’s 85% Bar)
3 tbsp. Coconut Flour
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1. Bake the sweet potato – Oven: preheat to 425, poke some holes and toss it in for 30 minutes. Microwave: poke some holes and toss it in on high for 8 minutes. Let it cool, before peeling and mashing it in a large bowl.
2. Set oven to 350 degrees.
3. Add in eggs, coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Mix together with an electric mixer.
4. Add in remaining ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.
5. Spray muffin tins with coconut oil or line a muffin tin with liners. Pour batter into tins.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before popping the cupcakes out onto a cooling rack.
Yields 12 brownie cupcakes. Serving size depends entirely on your restraint.