Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Have you ever noticed the word 'desserts' is the word 'stressed' only backwards? My thoughts exactly.

I listened to a podcast today by Radio Lab, and the subject matter for an entire 56 minutes was stress and the effects of stress on the body. It was all very interesting. They explained how stress is a must in order to function properly. Stress is a motivator to get things accomplished. Though too much stress can mess you up and tear down your body's tissue, cells... stuff you are made of.

When physically stressed, stress hormones release adrenaline. You need immediate stress relief and energy so you get a surge of energy and stress hormones pumped into your fat cells which pour out all the excess energy into your muscles. In addition you want to deliver all this energy faster so you increase your heart rate. Another thing you do is shut down everything that is nonessential, such as reproduction, growing, digestion...etc. (hence your mouth might become dry without digestive saliva). Though you may not be physically stressed but are merely stressed due to circumstances we turn on the same stress response in anticipation of a stresser. This constant mobilization of energy to our muscles can wear down your arteries, cause adult onset diabetes and hypertension leading to heart diseases.

I found that while I was learning about the health hazards of excessive stress i was becoming stressed. I immediately start thinking of how much irreparable damage I might have already done to myself. Irony.

Also there was a great little story of how the Type A personality was discovered by an upholstery repairman. The man would come in monthly to this cardiovascular clinic and reupholster their chairs because of constant wear and tear. He mentioned something to the doctor about the type of people coming in there and that there must be some sort of connection with their fidgety lifestyle and their heart health.

I don't know if I am verifiably a Type A person but I do know I am a very anxious person. For the past few months I have found that I have been clinching my jaw when I sleep which has been causing headaches and tooth sensitivity (I am also blaming stress for my recent fluctuation in my weight around my midsection, it couldn't possibly be due to the cinnamon rolls, sugary dumplings, valentine's candy or cake... must be stress) There are a few things I do for fun but they also seem to relieve my stress level such as: read, pray/meditate on the Bible, play suduko puzzles, exercise, practice yoga, create art and very recently cook.

So due to the fact that this post is in regards to stress and the fact that stressed is the opposite of desserts, which I create and eat which relieves immediate stress (but causes future stress for unfortunate weight gain) I thought I would share with you Molten Lava Cake. I made this on Monday with Gma Ham.

Step 1: Ingredients
6 (1oz) squares bittersweet chocolate
2 (1oz) squares semisweet chocolate
10 Tbsp (1 ¼ sticks) butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups confectioner's sugar
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp orange liqueur or ¾ t extract
You will also need custard cups.

Step 2: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 6 (6oz) custard cups or muffin cups with liners

Step 3: Melt the chocolates and butter in the microwave, or in a double boiler. Remove from heat. Add the flour and sugar to chocolate mixture. Stir in the eggs and yolks until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract and orange liquer.

Step 4: Divide the batter evenly among the custard cups

Step 5: Place in the oven and bake for 14 min.(Apparently this is a magical and precise amount of time and you should stick to it) The edges should be firm but the center will be runny.

Step 6: Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates

Step 7: Serve warm with ice cream and enjoy!

(Note: We only did 12 minutes so it was more lava than cake, but was still delicious)

P.S. I started working on the cook book today and I am very excited.

1 comment:

Jori said...

Sorry again for last post's comments.
I just wanted to say two things: 1.Your food photography continues to put mine to shame and 2. I will be making this as soon as I get my hands on some of those cups for baking.