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Our First Blogiversary

Happy birthday to us!  Happy birthday to us!  Happy birthday Two Saucy Sisterrrrsss!  Happy birthday to us!

But wait a minute- it’s not our birthdays!

You’re right- it’s not.  Today is our 1-year blog anniversary!  It’s our blogiversary! 🙂

Yup, 1 year ago today is when we wrote our very first post.  Wow.  Can you believe its already been a full year?  Where has the time gone?

This year of blogging has been amazing!  We’ve learned so much over the past 12 months it’s hard to know where to begin.  For starters, we both had no idea how to design a blog or even sign up to create one.  We didn’t know anything about widgets, links, tags, or menus.  We knew nothing about how to promote our blog or how to increase page views.  In fact, we didn’t even know if people would be interested in what we had to say or if they would like our recipes at all!  And photography?  Don’t even get us started!  We think it’s safe to say that we’ve come a long way from taking poorly-lit, unedited photos on top of our stove.

While we still have a lot (and we mean a lot) of learning and improving to do, we’re really proud of how far we’ve come, and we’re so happy that we decided to make the jump from blog-followers to blog-writers!  So for now, it’s time to celebrate!  And what would a birthday celebration be without cake?

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We think we’ve made it very well-known that Chocolate and Peanut Butter is our favourite combo (remember these pancakes?), so naturally for our first blogiversary we had to make a Chocolate Layer Cake with Peanut Butter frosting! 🙂

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Of course, this is a healthy food blog, so this cake is made entirely from bran flakes and vegetables.

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Just kidding! But it is made with all healthy ingredients.

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So how exactly do you go about making a healthy cake, a food that uses sugar, butter and refined flour as it’s main ingredients?

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You start by making some simple substitutions, like whole wheat flour for white flour, for instance. Apple sauce is fantastic because it replaces oil and sugar at the same time. And of course, our favourite natural sweeteners, date paste and honey, fell into the mix as well.

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The other secret to a healthy cake is using some… unconventional ingredients. 😉

Almost all cakes call for butter to make them soft and tender, so we needed to find a healthy substitution that offered fat for tenderizing but not for artery clogging! The obvious (to us) solution? Avocado!

Yes. There is avocado in this cake.

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And then there’s the icing, because let’s face it- cake without icing is not cake.  It’s bread.  But to make healthy icing you need something make it thick and fluffy and give it some structure.  And what ingredient would be better suited to that job than chickpeas?

Yup.  Chickpeas.  We’re convinced that those little legumes were sent from Heaven to be incorporated into any and every recipe imaginable!

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So there it is then.  A delicious chocolate peanut butter cake to celebrate one fantastic year of blogging!  Thank you to everyone who follows us, reads our posts, makes our recipes and leaves us comments.  Thank you to all those who have liked us on Facebook, followed us on Twitter and Pinterest, and to all our family and friends who have supported us during this past year!  We really can’t tell you all how much we appreciate every comment, like, and share.

There will be some changes happening on the blog over the next couple months that we’re really excited about, and we’ll definitely keep you up-to-date as they happen, but all we can say is get ready for a new-and-improved Two Saucy Sisters!

For now though, it’s business as usual.  And chocolate cake 🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes
Makes: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients:

2.5 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unbleached white flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 ripe avocado
1 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 c. date paste
1 c. milk of choice
1/4 c. maple syrup or honey or agave
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp white vinegar

For the Icing:

1 19oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c. peanut butter (not all natural)*
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. honey
1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Crushed peanuts (optional)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat eggs on medium-high speed. Add in avocado and beat until smooth. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and continue beating until fully combined.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry and gently stir, until just combined.
Spray two 9-inch circular pans with cooking spray and dust with flour. Divide batter evenly between the two pans.
Bake on the center rack for 25min, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of each cake comes out clean. Allow to cool fully on a wire rack before icing. In a double boiler or microwave, melt chocolate chips and drizzle over the top. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts and serve.

Store covered in the fridge.

For the icing:

Put all ingredients into a food processor or high power blender and blend until smooth.

*We used the classic Skippy Peanut Butter. If you would like to use all-natural, you can, however the consistency will be drippier and you will have to adjust the sweetener and salt.

Tip: 

To help stack your two layers without the top one sliding off, turn the bottom layer upside down so it’s flat bottom is facing upwards.

~twosaucysisters

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Guest Post: Jason from Blog Carnival

Hey everyone! 

So a little while back, Jason from Blog Carnival emailed us offering to write a guest post for us! He had a lot of really good ideas for this post, but finally settled on something that we LOVE to do here at Two Saucy Sisters – Easy Substitutions that Don’t Cut Out Flavour!

As we’ve said on the blog before, simply swapping out one ingredient for another  can take a once unhealthy dish and make it a health superstar! Of course, when it comes down to it, if it doesn’t taste good it doesn’t matter how good-for-you it is, you won’t want to eat it! So, without further ado, here’s Jason with some simple substitutions that keep your dish tasting awesome! 🙂

When I am cooking and baking I tend to get a little crazy with my substitutions. I have to admit
that I am not the most well prepared cook. I tend to find out that I am out of an essential part of
my recipe halfway through the mixing process. Oh no! Beyond that I have also been trying to
cook healthier meals with less fat because a member of my family has some health issues. If you
are like me, then here are some helpful substitutions that you can use when you are in a jam or
just when you want to cut calories:

1. Vanilla for sugar – I don’t know how I go through sugar so fast, but it seems like I
need to pick up a new bag every time I go to the store. When I was baking the other day
I found myself lacking in the sugar department. Instead of freaking out I just used less
sugar and added more vanilla flavoring. Adding just a teaspoon of vanilla can help you
to cut out almost half of the sugar called for in a recipe. Now, I am not advocating this in
very delicate dishes, but for your average dessert you can make the switch with no cutting
down on flavor.

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2. Apple sauce for butter or eggs – Butter cannot be substituted for all the way, but you
can cut out half. If a recipe calls for two sticks of butter try adding one stick and a half
of a cup of apple sauce. While you do need some butter for the recipe to be successful in
most desserts, you can easily cut it down with applesauce. Just don’t try this in a white
or yellow cake because the apple flavor will come through! You can also substitute apple
sauce for eggs, but again I would go for half and half. A quarter cup of applesauce makes
up for one large egg.

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3. Neufatchel cheese for cream cheese – Think of this as light cream cheese. It has less fat
but tastes exactly the same. Super easy and it can be found in almost any grocery store
right next to the cream cheese. I use it on my bagels and never miss the extra fat.

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4. Low fat cottage cheese for ricotta – Although cottage cheese tends to be a little thinner
than ricotta you can still use it in many recipes. You can thicken it up with a bit of flour
or corn starch if you would like, but I find that the thinness doesn’t bother me. Using low
fat cottage cheese can save you a lot of calories with no effort or loss of taste! If you want
you can add cinnamon, lemon, or other flavors to spice it up a bit.

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5. Olive oil for butter – I love making recipes with phyllo dough. Spanakopita is my
absolute favorite dish. However I did not like using all that butter to make the layers nice
and crispy. That is when I discovered you can use olive oil instead. Just a few drops can
cover a whole sheet. Be careful to use only good quality extra virgin oil or it will give it
a slight olive flavor. If you do not have that available you can also do a half and half mix
for the best flavor to fat ratio. Olive oil lets the phyllo get nice and toasty and makes your
dishes look beautiful!

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These are just a few of the ways that you can use healthy and tasty substitutes without having to
go out of your way or change the flavor of your dish. There are many more out there, so the next

time you are looking to cut calories or just missing an ingredient take a minute to see if there is a
healthy and easy alternative!

Author Bio: Jason Miner plays a vital role for http://www.blogcarnival.com. He is an expert in writing
topics of different categories. He is helping the carnival team to grow & working on making this
an even better place for bloggers.

Thanks so much Jason! What a great post, we certainly learned a thing or two! 🙂 Make sure you all head over to Blog Carnival and check it out – it’s pretty cool!

And to anyone else who thinks they want to write for us, shoot us an email at twosaucysistas@gmail.com – we’d love to hear from you! 🙂

~twosaucysisters