Sweets to the Sweet

With the end of Sugar-Free January and the advent of Full-On-Fat February, it's been high times in the UrbanFarmJunkie's household. I think we've had sugar cookies, chocolate-chip cookies, Snickerdoodles, peanut-butter-chocolate-chip cookies, dark chocolate, and ice cream. Not all at once, mind you, but that's a pretty long list, considering it's only February 8. Nor does that include desserts had at restaurants.

With all the no-sugar fuss, we never did give up jam or honey. I've been enjoying Rome Doherty's blog posts (as Handmade in Seattle, he was our Bellevue Farmers Market jam purveyor), including a post on why he doesn't use sugar substitutes. If you've had his jams, you know he specializes in classics as well as intriguing flavor combos. The next jar I open up will be his Apricot with Vanilla Bean.

Whatever your indulgence this Valentine's Day weekend, try to keep the food homemade and real! It turns out that, as if our overcast, dark winters weren't enough, trans-fat consumption can also lead to depression. Check out this Science Daily article. Seems to me there are many variables in such a study (couldn't olive-oil eaters be happier because they tend to live in sunny, Mediterranean climates?), but it's not like anyone has proven trans-fats to be beneficial...

Skip the fast food, skip the processed food, and watch the portions. There's been lots of press about how American portion sizes have ballooned along with our average weight, but this article provides some nice visuals.

Oh, but one exception to portion-size would have to be your Valentine's Day treat. Even Eating Well magazine caves and runs its chocolate recipes, including this one for their favorite rocky road brownies. Try it out and save half a pan for me!