I grew up anticipating a lot of special days. There would be the day when a friend from school would give me half a heart necklace and ask me to be her best friend. There would be the day when I would meet my one true love and kiss him for ever after. The day I’d meet the curling eyelashes of my first child. Perfect moments worth looking forward to. Those moments when all the world stops and you’re just glad, glad, glad, and so honored to have that friend, that husband, that baby.
Of course, no one ever thought to tell me about the blessed moment when I would meet THE Ultimate Fitness Instructor. Such a moment is akin to fairy tale happiness. You know what I’m talking about. There are aerobics classes, and Zumba classes, step, yoga, tai chi. All sorts of great outlets for repressed mania and jiggly thighs. There are teachers who are fun and teachers who are nice. Dance teachers that make you believe you might actually get their lean little belly if you keep attending class. There are teachers who are motivating, weight lifting coaches who scare the crap out of you, quiet Pilates instructors who finish ‘The Hundred’ before you can even figure out how to get both legs suspended midair.
And then, there is Lori. Lori is one of those teachers that has the uncanny knack of knowing exactly what you need to hear in the middle of a vengeful, sweat-laden attempt to do ten push-ups in a row, “This is YOUR workout! Own it!” When she says a thing, there’s no way you can’t push a little harder, believe in yourself a little more. She’s feisty and full of life, with the warmth of a Jamaican grandmother. She remembers names. Asks questions. Tells my husband it will be all right, and to let her know if she can do anything…ANYTHING…when we are awaiting the doctors reply on the evil MRI. And mostly, she works the sin out of your shenanigans. Ain’t no squishy bellybutton stand a chance against Lori.
My husband was the first one to find Lori. He started attending classes and begged me to come. My husband. Asked ME to attend a fitness class. Those funny, frou frou fitness classes that he’d smirk over as he headed into the weight room for session of grunting were now part of his don’t-miss workout routine.
So, last week, when Lori pimped my blog in the middle of class and my John came home all glowy and thrilled, I figured it was high time we let Lori know how special she is to us. At midnight on Wednesday, I started a batch of Organic Vanilla Cupcakes for John to tote to his usual Thursday class. Since they’d be passed out to a room full of women who’d just attempted to burn a few calories, I opted to go for a kinda healthyish cupcake. One made with organic everything, coconut oil, and whole wheat.
While the cuppies were baking, John peeked worriedly into the electric mixer, ‘Whole Wheat?’ he moaned. Twenty minutes later, with a mouth full of organic goodness, he asked for a second helping. Golden. It’s lurvely when healthy makeovers work on recipes.
But I think what’s even nicer is when you get to share them with your favorite Lori. ‘Cause awesome fitness instructors don’t just mold your bootay into submission, they also meld their way right into your heart.
Organic Whole Wheat Vanilla Cupcakes
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
1 stick butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
5 organic eggs
2 1/2 cups organic sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups organic white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup buttermilk (or almond milk curdled with 1 tablespoon vinegar)
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:
3 pounds organic powdered sugar
2 sticks organic butter
Caviar of 1 vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring, vanilla butter and nut flavoring, and coconut flavoring
1/2 cup buttermilk, whole milk, or almond milk
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Zap the coconut oil in the microwave for about 15 seconds, then beat in an electric mixer with the butter, eggs, and sugar until super whippy. Add remaining ingredients and beat together until all ingredients are incorporated. Spoon into muffin tins lined with cupcake wrappers. Bake in preheated oven for 17-19 minutes, or just until center of the cupcakes is set. Cool completely before serving.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:
In an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy add the remaining ingredients and beat together until light and fluffy. Frost over cooled cupcakes. Garnish with a light sprinkling of turbinado sugar and fresh blackberries.