Here is the 2nd session in the series of photographs titled, “Frank…”. This session is called, “Frank gives Thanks”. I’m sure he’d say he’s thankful for wonderful parents, an abundance of food that magically appears in his dish every 5 hours(we purchased an automatic feeder, so he doesn’t wake us at 3am), and the bounty of beautiful blankets all over the house to make bread on(When cats knead on blankets). I’m sure y’all think I’m some crazy cat lady, well I am, and proud of it! I wouldn’t be so crazy if Frank wasn’t so great. My cat I had growing up, Rainbow, was a typical cat, and didn’t really want to be around any one. Frank is always by my side and comforts me, especially during this difficult time in our lives. Since I’m a huge fan of the Ryan Gosling internet joke, like this one, I decided to do one for Frank.
The idea for this photo session came to me as I was flipping through the fall issue of Martha Stewart magazine, and came across the pet gift section. I found this, a cat Tee pee.(This is the actual one, not the one I made.)
And It’s $30. Forget that. I said, “Don’t buy it, DIY it”. Armed with an exacto knife and spare cardboard, My mom and I built Frank his own, personal tee pee. I spent all of $3 on paint for the tee pee. DIY for the win. Since people tend to think of the First Thanksgiving gathering as the coming together of the Pilgrims and Native Americans, Frank’s photo session would be of him in his new sleeping space. And growing up I was apart of the Y-Indian Princesses, a father-daughter group, similar to girl scouts. I was Little Thunder, and my Dad was Big Thunder. We had a totem pole, vests, feather headdresses, the works. Frank just gets this awesome tee pee and the honorable Indian name, Little Snuggler.
As for my health, I’m doing good. It does seem that as my treatments go on, the bounce back period takes a little longer. The chemo has made me anemic and my red blood cells continue to fall as the treatment goes on. This is normal, but does contribute to my increasing fatigue. The nurses told me when I first started treatment to do things when I feel like doing them and to not push myself. I completely understand what they mean now. I’m trying to stay busy with various projects (there are only so many movies to watch and pinterest) and I do them sporadically throughout the day, while I rest in between. My projects for the next month will consist mainly of DIY christmas gifts/decor.
A few days ago, I tested a few recipes for vegan brownies and successfully failed, twice. But yesterday was a success. I used a recipe I had veganized for some beet brownies I made back in February, to try and trick my dad into eating, not only a vegan brownie, but a brownie with beets! He loved them. They turned out great from what I remember, dark, rich and not overwhelmingly sweet. But as soon as I ate a bite of the brownie yesterday, It dawned on me what was happening. In my opinion this is one of the worst side effects of chemotherapy, the one thing I thought wouldn’t happen to me. But I love chocolate, there is no way it could ever taste bad to me. And boom goes the dynamite, it’s happened. Food and sadly, chocolate, no longer taste right. It’s like I can’t taste all of the beauty that is in food. I can taste part of it, but it doesn’t taste the same. My taste has become dull, muted and unresponsive. For some reason, I wasn’t putting it together that this was happening, but I knew when I have been eating for the past few days that things seemed a little off. I kept adding more salt to my food, thinking I haven’t been seasoning properly, but It was just my palette. I’ll have to do some research for ways to overcome this hurdle in my journey, and experiment with foods that still have some flavor to me. But this brownie recipe is great, if your into a healthier version of the things you love.
*A few notes on this recipe:
-This recipe can be made either vegan or non-vegan, the ingredients are listed. For the fat in recipes, I am a big fan of using coconut oil. Coconut oil not only has many beneficial properties (google it), but the texture and consistency is really close to butter, in that it is solid at room temp. But you can use butter or oil, as you wish.
Dark Chocolate Brownies (Vegan)
|Coconut Oil(or Butter)||1/2 c (4 oz, or 112g)|
|Applesauce||1/2 c (115 g)|
|Brown Sugar||3/4 c (153 g)|
|Sugar||3/4 c (147 g)|
|Ground flax seed or Eggs||4 T OR 4 eggs|
|Warm water||4 T (omit if using eggs)|
|Cocoa powder(can use dark)||1 1/4 c (112 g)|
|Salt||1 t (5 g)|
|Baking Powder||1 t (5 g)|
|Vanilla||1 t (5 g)|
|All Purpose flour||3/4 c (90 g)|
|Chocolate chips||1 cup|
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 by 9 in pan with parchment (This is a MUST for me, if you want to get the brownies out in one piece). Melt coconut oil(or butter), and/or if using regular oil, pour it into a medium bowl. Add the applesauce. Mix the water with the ground flax seed to make flax eggs, allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Add to the oil/apple sauce mixture, and whisk. Combine sugars, and add them to the oil mixture, and whisk. Combine all the dry ingredients and whisk(or sift if your so inclined). Add the dries to the wet mixture, and mix with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula till fully incorporated. Add to the pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 30-40 mins, until a toothpick comes clean when inserted.
*An extra tip. If you want perfectly cut brownies, chill them for a few hours before cutting. Then invert them onto a cutting board, peel off the parchment and cut with a sharp knife. (As you can see I didn’t do this, this time.)