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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1 Year Older, 1 Year… Different

Posted on May 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I have to say, I don’t even really remember writing this post 1 year ago tomorrow. I actually started the blog 1 year ago today; I’m not quite sure what happened to the first post but it was nothing special as I remember. I guess it’s fitting that this blog started with a product review, since that’s one thing I’ve done through it all(I still do, too. I’ve just been enjoying a house with a loaded kitchen). But over all that time I can’t say that I’ve really “learned” anything; I’ve simply changed. In a lot of ways.

I’ve updated both my bio on the side bar and my About Me to reflect my latest thoughts. There was a time when I measured out nut butter on oatmeal, and that worked for me. Now, I’m happy plopping it on and not knowing. And in this post, I swore off artificially sweetened yogurts; that sparked 8 or so months of eating how I would call “all-natural”. Honestly, I’m a little over that label. I still probably eat that way 99.9% of the time, but it’s not how I’d label myself. But I realized at the root of everything I’ve done, it’s been in the name of comfort. I think no matter what you do, it needs to be what feels right to you. So that’s where I am now: a comfort eater.

Speaking of comfort, we used to eat pizza as a family probably twice a week in my younger days. It was always from a greasy local joint, never quite good or healthy, and yet we all loved it. Since going gluten-free(another thing different), I really have missed pizza. So yesterday I broke out the gluten-free pizza mix and got to work. The dough tasted like Bertucci’s!(I made it vegan so it was OK to eat the dough ;-))

The ingredients were very basic: we got pizza sauce made fresh at Whole Foods, fresh mozzarella on sale, basil picked from our garden, Daiya, and canned pineapple. Yes, my favorite pizza has always been Hawaiian. 

It came out of the oven perfectly. The dough was a little… doughy, but I realized that was because I cut the whole recipe in half except for the water. Whoops. Half of this was a traditional pizza margarita and half vegan Hawaiian.

My plate had two slices of each, and a salad made with strawberries, yellow onion, and grape tomatoes. Like I said, the crust was a little bit doughy. But besides that this was excellent. I don’t even think anyone knew the pineapple pieces were vegan until I told them.

Of course, some things will never be different.

I still like ice cream. It just happens to be made from coconut milk.

I’ll have my cake and eat it, too. Even better, I can do it without gluten, eggs, or dairy.

And chocolate… how I love my Endangered Species chocolate. The only thing different here is that I’ve elevated my hydrogenated Jif to vanilla peanut butter and other fun flavors by Naturally Nutty.

After 1 year, I never thought I’d be so excited for another and more. I could never pick 1 favorite thing about blogging; I’d have to pick 3. Making friends with other bloggers is huge to me, and I look forward to many more meetups and getting to know new people. Hearing about how I’ve influenced people in any way, shape, or form, big or small always brings a smile to my face. If I can help someone in anyway by just doing my own thing, I’m happy to. And I never, ever take for granted a public platform to embarrass myself, because how will I ever achieve my dream of being a Food Network chef/stand-up comedian/Today Show host/Mythbuster/Adventurer if I can’t take a little criticism.

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How Gluten Makes Me Feel

Posted on April 12, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In case you unplugged over the weekend, yesterday was definitely the highlight and worth a look. “Gluten” has probably been googled more in the last year than the rest of the time google has existed. It’s definitely emerged as a new “buzz word” and you hear people refer to it as everything from a “diet” to a “fad” to a “cleanse”.

Brownie Sundae

Brownie Sundae

Faux Buffalo Chicken Salad With Steamed Broccoli And Avocado

Faux Buffalo Chicken Salad With Steamed Broccoli And Avocado

These are the foods I [foolishly] ate over the weekend with gluten in them. Tasty? Of course. And when we eat a food, we’re often focused on how it will makeus feel. But there’s more to feeling than immediate taste, and that’s where the downside of gluten comes in for me. Since Saturday, I haven’t particularly been hungry. At all. In a sense, one thing gluten does to me is take away the ability to know how and when to fuel properly. The only way I know I need more is if I’m cranky for more. For anyone who does a serious amount of physical activity, this isn’t only inconvenient; it’s dangerous. My biggest weapon in fighting this is simply awareness. Be aware that your regular hunger’s gone, be aware that gluten can do this, and be aware where gluten is hiding. On top of all this, gluten has other side effects for me, like irregularity and bloating.

My point is not to scare anyone off gluten. I say eat and let eat! And if gluten works for you, eat it. Some people shun soy, while I thrive off of it and love not having to worry about the ethical treatment of an animal. Other people restrict themselves from cheese; I have around 30 cheese sticks in my fridge and another couple of pounds back home(I kid you not). What my point is is that it’s up to us to be aware of how certain foods make us feel, and equally important how they make other people feel and respect that part of them. If you feel you might have any of the same symptoms, there is a way to test for gluten intolerance and I plan to try it over the Summer. And lest you think that you could never eat normal again without gluten, well… you might be right…

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

There was nothing normal about this muffin. It was, however, gluten-free and freshly baked from Garden Grille. And you know I can’t pass up anything maple.

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

I realize now I forgot to ask if it was a muffin or a cupcake. I couldn’t really picture it being eaten at either time, but I had it for dessert. It was good! A little odd to have something so spicy right after dinner. But the maple was definitely a nice and subtle sweetener, and the texture was just like a muffin(cupcake?) should be.

Strawberries

Strawberries

I snacked on some strawberries while watching the Brothers & Sisters movie. I planned on going to bed early to make up for Saturday’s lack of sleep but I just got way too into the movie and watched the whole thing. Did anybody else Wasn’t it good! But I feel like they could have taken the drama just one step further, and not leave us hanging at the end.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

And about halfway through I made a bowl of oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter. I love that it’s vegan and hazelnut is the first ingredient! Because of the gluten problems I mentioned, I wasn’t actually hungry for this. But I wanted to make sure if I was running in the morning, I was well fueled.

10 Miles In 86:07

10 Miles In 86:07

And I was. I started out my morning by waking up naturally at 6:44 while my alarm was set for 6:45–love that. Then I rocked out 10 miles while catching up on the Today Show. I love getting the workout done first thing; it just makes the rest of the day go so much more efficient!

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk, Soy Yogurt With Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk, Soy Yogurt With Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Breakfast was only “boring” in the sense that it was the same ingredients as last night; otherwise, it tasted delicious 😀

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk

I can’t believe how much coconut milk I still have from that one can. How could I possibly use it all up before it goes bad?!

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

I sweetened the soy yogurt a bit with Madhava’s vanilla agave after I realized I bought plain instead of vanilla and it tasted just right. It was definitely nice not to have the spice of jalapeno 😉

How do you differentiate between a cupcake and a muffin? I’m curious about this one. I’ve seen people change their opinion on something based solely on the time when they eat it. If I ate a slice of chocolate cake for breakfast, would that make it oatmeal? For me, a muffin has more grams of whole grains than of sugar, and vice-versa. If you’re eating a “muffin” without any whole grains, you might as well be having a cupcake.

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