A “Basic” Brownie Recipe

Posted on May 31, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I come from the line of thinking that you should never make things from a box: Either make it yourself, or buy it from someone who made it themselves. Things just taste better that way, don’t they?

Last night, I had a brownie attack. Don’t we all get those? I used to swear by a recipe like this one by Rachael Ray.I love the tag: “We can’t believe people are still using boxed mixes!” However, since then my “basic” has become anything but. Of course, there’s the gluten thing; I’ve also steered away from using eggs in baked goods for personal reasons. And, while I’m at it, I usually figure why not take out the dairy and make them vegan just in case? In case of what? I have no clue either. But that’s my line of thinking. And so I made brownies as “basic” as I could. And you know what? They turned out darn good. And because they were vegan, I got to lick the pan 😉

Basic Allergen-Friendly Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup GF flour mix
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk(water in a pinch)
  • 1 flax egg(1 tablespoon flaxmeal gelled in 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 oz chopped dark chocolate, or 6 tablespoons vegan chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a big bowl, sift together the first five ingredients. Melt the non-hydrogenated margarine and add in the olive oil, non-dairy milk, vinegar, flax egg, and extract. Pour into the dry mixture and mix until incorporated. Fold in the dark chocolate and pour into an 8×8 baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

When you’re living with allergens, life isn’t simple. Good thing these brownies are. And tasty!

I’m ashamed to say this was store bought vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream. When you get used to the home-churned stuff, it just feels naughty coming from a carton. Regardless, this was soooo good. Isn’t this how every weekend should be? 3-days long and full of brownie sundaes? I think so.

You could use 3 ounces of fancy chocolate for the recipe. Or you could use vegan baking chips and save the good stuff for yourself to eat straight. I think you can guessed what I chose.

And a big ol’ bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and sea salt tasted good after all that chocolate. Sometimes, you just need to detox.

After all that baking/microwaving, I did not feel like much for breakfast this morning. I really wanted a big cake donut and to call it a day but that wasn’t happening. Thankfully, I found this chocolate chip muffin from Gluten Free Life to eat with some earth balance. Just like my brownies, you’d never guess this was gluten-free! And so many chocolate chips. Yum 🙂

Anything exciting on tap for Memorial Day? I had a pool party in store but apparently it’s been rain checked since the pool won’t heat up 😦 Alas, we have a grill, we have neighbors, I’m sure we’ll find some way to spice up Memorial day.

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Late Lunch

Posted on December 19, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good afternoon! Is it afternoon already? Apparently, and by 4 hours. My how the day has gone.

Yesterday night I swear I could have eaten out the kitchen! Thank God we have such scrumptious food. First off, I made a bowl of oatmeal.

Tierra Farms Organic Maple Cashew Butter

I got this new nut butter in the mail to sample and review. I haven’t had cashew butter much, but I consider myself a connoisseur of maple syrup, so I felt well qualified to dive in 🙂

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Maple Butter

I wanted to top this also with pumpkin cream cheese but it was all moldy! 😦 Oh well, maple butter was just as unhealthy. Overall, this cashew butter was a bit of a disappointment; it didn’t taste very mapley. However, cashew butter has always been a bit on the savory side, which doesn’t work with oats. And this was most definitely a sweet nut butter, so it worked really well here, and for that I liked this. I think this on some banana oats with no expectation of maple would be perfection.

Red Delicious Washington Apple

After that I snacked on an apple while I waited for something to brew(I don’t even remember if it was a coffee or tea night… that probably means coffee). And then I decided to celebrate cookie Friday!

Fluten Free Life Flax Shortbread Cookie

This was one of two cookies Gluten Free Life sent me. I had it stuck in the freezer so it’d be good for another friday and it seemed like the perfect time to thaw it.

Gluten Free Life Flax Shortbread Cookie

This was really interesting. You might think flax would be used for a vegan replacement, but not here; this was just as rich and buttery as any shortbread should be. And oh my god was it delicious! Another great cookie by them. I liked how it wasn’t overly sweet. It wasn’t meant to be a sugar cookie, after all.

Running might be on a bit of a hiatus for the time I’m home. I’m trying to figure out how to go about this; it’ll definitely be too cold and snowy to run outside most days. I could join a gym but it’s hard to say how often I could get to it and use it(not to mention the cost). I’ve also been toying with the idea of cross training and resting for the month, which wouldn’t be a bad alternative either. Maybe even a “30 day cross training challenge” is in my future? Challenges seem to be popular with bloggers 😛

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Tempeh Bacon, Probiotic Chocolate Pudding With Yogurt

Well breakfast was not a challenge–I just went with my cravings! If you follow me on Twitter(EvanFMFF), you’d know those cravings were peanut butter, chocolate, and bacon. Yes, apparently I’m a pregnant man. This was soooo good. I added a little yogurt to the pudding to make it more protein-packed. And it was a nice break from putting things away.

Because there’s a HUGE storm acomin’ very soon, we needed to go out grocery shopping while my mom Christmas shopped. In theory, we were buying food for Christmas and beyond(because who wants to be out grocery shopping on the 26th?) so we needed A LOT and things that would keep. Beforehand, I made a snack because I knew it would be a late lunch.

Doctor Kracker Klassic 3 Seed Flatbread

Instead of toast, I decided on some seedy flatbread.

Klassic 3 Seed Flatbread With NuttZo

OMG yum! This was like a seed and nut heaven. I loved these flatbreads, and with the nuttzo it was perfection. I’ve been trying to think of snacks packed with more fat and protein than carbs; this definitely qualified and satisfied me. It might not have been as filling, but it gave me long lasting satiation during shopping, which was good because we were there forever. I figured the whole world would be out shopping before the storm, and I was right. The lines at Trader Joe’s were ridiculous! Thankfully, we really stocked up.

Root Beer Zevia, Sweet Leaf Stevia, Ciolo Pumpkin Cream Cheese

What I payed for was my “fun” groceries. None of this was on sale nor did I have a coupon, but it’s all stuff that I feel is a treat that I can pull out to make myself happy at some point. We did get actual food, don’t you worry.

Brussels Sprout Stalk

Like brussels sprouts. I find it so amusing how they are in their raw state; I actually didn’t know they came like this until I saw them on another blog! For 3.50, this was definitely a deal. I’m just glad I didn’t have to cut them off and clean them myself.

Soups, Beans, Chips, Teas, Bread

We got more than this, too, but these were the more exciting pieces. Amy’s soup was over 50% off and it’ll definitely be good for the snowy nights. I had a coupon and the tea was on sale–score! And I had a coupon for free chips 🙂 The bread is organic sprouted cinnamon raisin. That sounds so unique I can’t wait to see if it tastes the same. By the time groceries were away, it was almost 3! I needed a good, late lunch.

Lightlife Sausage Meat With Onions And American Cheddar, Broccoli

How ironic that, even when I’m home, I cook in the microwave. This is definitely one of my favorite meals. That sausage with some boiled off onions and cheese tastes so delicious, and yet you’d never know it wasn’t some fatty cheesy beef from a sub shop. Great description of a meal, right? Dessert was simple and also decided by my taste buds.

Green And Black’s Cherry Dark Chocolate

I love this cherry dark chocolate; I also think it counts as a fruit because there are whole dried cherries in there… just enrobed in the chocolate. I actually picked up another bar of this at Whole Foods today because it was on sale and I had a coupon, not realizing I only have 6 squares left of my last bar! Thank goodness. I swear it was light out when I started writing this; where has the time gone?

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Dinner Standing Up

Posted on December 18, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m home and as you might imagine it is hectic! There’s so much stuff to move around it’s mind bogging. I’ve decided to quit for tonight and try again tomorrow.

Anyway, yesterday today(it’s been that long) I made a quick lunch before my final.

Sweet Apple Al Fresco Sausage, Sweet Potato, Broccoli With Caramel Mustard

I really love this flavor sausage, especially with a little extra maple syrup! I studied a bit more and then it was time for the test at 2. The first annoyance was how people kept making jokes for the first 10 minutes; the professor isn’t strict and the class if filled with seniors who at this point just want to graduate so it wasn’t distracting for anyone else and I just let it slide. I basically just wrote and wrote and after 90 minutes I felt I did enough. It felt so good to get out! And even though I understudied for this one, I still feel like I rocked it–go figure. I needed a snack after that work out.

Peanut Butter Chip Granols Bar

Yum! See all those peanut butter chips? Yeah, but we can still say it’s “healthy” because it’s called a granola bar. I decided to go check my mailbox one last time. Honestly, I had no expectations, so imagine my surprise when I found some lovin’!

Kettle Cashew Butter And Extra Rich Milk Chocolate

My extremely awesome secret santa got me these goodies! I noticed Kristie was a new commentor a few weeks ago, through which I found and followed her awesome blog. She really nailed me with these presents! A cashew butter they don’t sell anywhere in MA and a milk chocolate bar I’ve never had. Thank you sooo much. I can’t wait to try both of these!(I love that I got a vegan to buy me milk chocolate, too. That just seems so ironic and funny :-)) I grabbed a celabratory drink for finishing finals.

Chamomile Tea

No, not that kind of drink. Tea! I wasn’t sure how this would be but I believe the cashier girl said “Chamomile is really yummy”. How could I say no to that? Afterwards my dad was at my dorm and we started packing up everything(read: I packed and he moved it to the car). I should have snapped a photo of when he lifted my box of nut butters–priceless. When we were finished, the room looked like how I got it.

Empty Room

Isn’t that depressing? What’s more depressing is knowing I have to refill it in 5 weeks… let’s not think about it. All that moving made me starving! I realized it was 5:30 and all I’d had since lunch was a not-so-healthy bar. I needed food. So we stopped at Whole Foods.

General Tso's Chicken And Broccoli

At first I just grabbed the chicken. Then I thought “I should have some healthy vegetables”. Apparently the roasted broccoli would have been too healthy because the tso one was just right. This tasted just how I was hoping it would: guilty. Sometimes there isn’t anything better than fatty vegetarian fed chicken. Although, in all seriousness, I would like to get more fat and protein into my snacks, except I don’t know how to do that without reaching for “meal food” like chicken. Ideas? We stopped at Market Basket to stock up on veggies and fruits, and then started unpacking as soon as we got home at 7. Needless to say, there wasn’t much motivation to make vegetables for a “dinner” while we were running around putting things away, so I kept it simple.

Gluten Free Life Apple Pie Muffin

Apple Pie Muffin And Pomegranate Yogurt

Ok, there wasn’t much “simple” in the making of this muffin, but oh my god was it good! It tasted so nice and fresh with whole slices of diced apple. And the cinnamon in this was perfect. Even the top had a crispy coating to it–heaven! And I love how Gluten Free Life uses whole grain sorghum flour so it was a healthy dinner, too. Of course, even healthy muffins don’t have protein so I had a little greek yogurt to boot.

Like I said, soooo done putting things away for tonight. I don’t anticipate running tomorrow, so that can be my workout. My google reader is insane and it’s getting past my bed time. Yikes! TGIF

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Cookie Friday’s Triumphant Return

Posted on December 12, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s the freakin’ weekend, baby I’m about to have me some fun study my butt off! It’s the final push though, so I don’t mind; in a week I’ll be done done done no matter if those grades are good or bad(but let’s hope good). And I’m glad you all agree moving out is bogus! We do get $50 dollars compensation, but basically that comes from my parent’s bill which is already ridiculous with tuition and textbooks so it’s not money we’ll really be seeing. Otherwise, it’s probably the best dorm on campus, and I’ll be requesting to live there every year so long as I can help it.

Anywho, yesterday my dad swung by after work and we made 4 trips to the car to load her up. Before we left town, we hit up Whole Foods to get some things for the weekend. While I was there, I picked up a snack.

Clif Mountain Mix Mojo

Yum! This totally hit the spot. In the car I got to thinking and came to a funny realization: I like to eat vegan except when I’m not. By which I mean, I generally choose vegan foods, unless I’m eating something that directly goes against veganism like yogurt or meat. Otherwise I’m “shocked and appalled” whenever I find non-vegan ingredients like milk powder in a granola bar. We also stopped at Market Basket because my mother needed spoon roast. While I was there I took advantage of their incredible prices.

Earth Balance Butter Spread, Dark Chocolate And Green Tea And Chai Simply Well Pudding

Simply Well’s all natural probiotic puddings were 99 cents each! That’s insane! I also think I got the very last chocolate one by reaching farther back than man has gone into the freezer 🙂 And the earth balance was only 2.99; I really wish they sold their peanut butter because I haven’t tried that yet.

When we got home, it was one of those times when everyone was running around bumping in to one another. My mom was making 100’s of gnocchi for a holiday party. I was pushing food around trying to make room. And my dad was basically doing all the orders me and my mom were shouting out frantically. Family bonding 🙂 We each threw together dinners and ate standing up.

Brussels Sprouts, Lightlife Sausage And Onions With Cheddar Cheese

This was my dindin of choice. None of us had time to remove the stubs from the brussels so I ate them anyway; that’s how much in a tizzy we were, haha. My parents ate the rest of the teriyaki ginger sausages and loved them. I was glad to hear that. They surprisingly didn’t share the same enthusiasm for sunflower cheddar flatbreads, which is odd because I loved them and I’m the least of the cracker lovers. This sight made me very happy.

Snow On The Porch

Snow! All the snow melted really quick in Providence but they still have a good couple of inches here. I just love staring out the window and looking at it. After dinner, things settled down a bit(just a bit). When I got to thinking about it, I realized 2 Friday’s ago was right after Thanksgiving, so I didn’t make an effort to get eat a treat then. Last Friday was hectic coming home, so again I missed out on Cookie Friday. That meant this Cookie Friday needed to be legen–wait for it…

Gluten Free Life Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Yummy! Waiting for me at home was a few products from Gluten Free Bakery. As the name suggests, the company makes all their products in a gluten free facility. What’s not in their name is what makes them so much more! The company uses whole grain sorghum flour instead of traditional refined rice flour, which makes their gluten free products very nutritious. Besides that, they also use organic ingredients and eggs from their own small farm hens! How impressive is that?

But how did it taste? To be honest, this was not one of the best gluten free cookies I’ve had… this was one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve had! It was sooo deliciously chewy with plenty of butter; even the chocolate chips tasted particularly sugary and rich. I never would have thought twice about the “flour” for this cookie. I can’t wait to try some of their other products and I’ve added them to my HoliDEALS page. Of course there was chocolate…

Q.bel Peanut Butter Wafer Rolls

Simply Well Chocolate Pudding With Q.bel Peanut Butter Wafer Rolls And Advent Chocolate

I might have to go out on the limb and claim this as one of the best pudding messes ever. These little wafer rolls–I totally did not expect them to taste that peanut buttery. And with the chocolate pudding–yum! So much better than greek yogurt with chocolate powder and sugar(but don’t tell yogurt that ;-)) Before going to sleep I wanted fiber power.

Banana Walnut Gnu Foods Bar

So much better than a banana 🙂 I admit, I don’t like bananas but I like banana tasting things. So far I’ve slept 9 1/2 hours, spit out the decaf coffee they have here because it’s just not edible, and moved on to decaf English breakfast tea. What for breakfast, oh, what for breakfast?

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