Uncooking On Memorial Day

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

I find it ironic that on the epitome of BBQing and Grilling is when I decide to have another one of my raw-kicks.

I started my morning with a run, which called for prefueling with chocolate. Lindt is obviously not a raw chocolate brand but still tasty, and even non-raw dark chocolate has a good amount of antioxidants. Chomp on 🙂

I only aimed for 9 miles but ended up doing 11 after I got way too in to my new playlist. I think I’ve listened to some songs by Adam Lambert and Sugarland 5+ times over the past few days. Whoops?

All I’ve been craving lately for lunch has been raw salads. We seriously don’t have enough raw veggies in this house to satisfy that! I used half an avocado squirted with lime juice as the “meat” here, and around it added raw corn, lemon garlic marinated olives, and onions caramelized in a little EVOO(obviously not raw but cooked onions taste 1000 times better than raw in my opinion). The result: delicious. This was like some backwards guacamole salad. Loved it!

Zevia Twist

It seems my sweet-tooth, which has been in and out recently is back. A Zevia twist tasted perfect mid-afternoon for a boost. Just like a diet Sierra Mist!

The piece d’ resistance of the afternoon was this Memorial Day sundae. I really want to make a maple walnut flavor ice cream! Along with soooo many others. But since there’s only so much room in our freezer, I took some of the ice cream I made with raw milk and covered it in NH maple taffy and freshly toasted walnuts. Yum! Except whole milk ice cream is just too icy as I’ve found out; you really need half and half to make something decently creamy(or coconut milk at a 2:1 ratio with water for a vegan half and half).

It turned out that I went from being the only one with plans for Memorial Day to being the only one home. How does that happen?! Not going to lie: I was a little upset. But instead I decided to make this a golden opportunity to try a new recipe I’ve been dying to make.

First I snacked on some Crazy Richards chunky pb straight for some energy and got the food processor out.

The recipe I wanted to (not) cook was raw taco meat, so I went straight over to Averie’s blog and found her super simple recipe. Here it is below; I followed it to a T except used her variation of swapping out the spices for predone(Trader Joe’s) taco seasoning.

Averie’s Raw Vegan Taco Nut “Meat”
1/2 C Raw Almonds
1/2 C Walnuts
1/3 C Sun Dried Tomatoes loosely packed (If using oil packed, may slightly reduce amount of olive oil added)
1/2 Tsp Chili Powder (or to taste)
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Powder (or to taste)
2 to 4 Tbsp Olive Oil (or hemp, flax, etc.)
Optional: 1 Tsp Salt (or to taste)

Wow! I’ve never had something so flavorful. And I will be making this again. It certainly wouldn’t suit if all you want is that beef-flavor or meat. But if you’re just looking for something fun and tasty, this totally works. I ate it along a gingerade kombucha and home fries made with white potato, sweet potato, red onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. Of course, really Averie would probably hate this dish because it has about a days worth of sodium in it(and I’m eating it with a salt shaker ready and standing by).

And now I’m watching Knocked Up on TV. I love the movie, but some things are just better done when you have the house to yourself 😉

Where do you go for new recipes? This is something I always get asked by people I cook for. Almost all my recipes come or were derived from blogs, FoodNetwork.com, or Allrecipes.com. Maybe this is a bias crowd to ask this question, but really I have to think this is what the internet is for!

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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


  • 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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Churning The Day Away

Posted on May 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I think I’ve found my new hobby

Yesterday, I spent a good portion of my afternoon working on this masterpiece. It was supposed to be vegan white chocolate ice cream, but the white chocolate flavor never really came through :-/ Then again, I don’t think I’ve had any vegan white chocolate ever, so I’m not sure what I was working with to begin with. Anyway, what came out was a delicious Coconut Cocoa Butter flavor.

Today started out very relaxingly with yogurt and raw local honey and some lightly-sweetened peanut butter over oats. Even though the weather was gorgeous, after 9 days of running I was happy to take a rest day because that’s what my body wanted.

Rest day or not, I refuse to give up some morning chocolate 😉 Followed by a good walk. When I got back, I fired up the grill and cooked for everyone.

I think I’ve taken my onion love to new, stink-breath heights. All it took to make these was tossing them in some EVOO and putting them in an aluminum foil pack cooking 5 minutes on each side. Delicious! They went perfectly with a southern style Wildwood burger and some roasted broccoli.

And right afterward, I went back to my new favorite hobby. I made a mix of 3 cups organic half and half, 3/4 cup Bob’s gluten free cake mix, 5 tablespoons Madhava light agave, and some guar gum and poured that into the ice cream maker. Like I learned from this experience, you really need to make the ice cream a good 3-4+ hours before expecting to eat it.

Why not some matching cupcakes? Made with Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil and a flax egg. Getting that flax chicken to lay an egg on command is tough work! But she clucks one up eventually.

And then, since none of that would be ready for a few hours, I’ve been snacking on a bowl of oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate almond butter and coconut milk for richness–delicious! I think dessert for tonight is pretty much set with my new hobby, wouldn’t you? 😉

Annnd now I’m snacking on one of the cupcakes. Flax, egg–I’ve still got it no matter what I’m cooking with.

What’s your favorite kitchen appliance? I’d say my food processor has some competition now…

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I’ve Never Felt So Guilty

Posted on May 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Oh, dear. Oh, dear. How am I going to say this? Growing up Roman Catholic, guilt’s been built in to me from day 1. Seriously, you want to talk about Jewish guilt? Find a Roman Catholic guy, mention his mother, and watch him crumble. I guess the best way to get it out there is just to blurt it out:

I’ve never felt so guilty about using a boxed mix than since becoming a food blogger. Let me try to excuse myself by saying I was really craving chocolate pudding and chocolate avocado pudding was not about to do. Actually, I was craving peanut butter pie; watching Man Vs. Food can really screw you up. But let’s not get in to that. True to my “foodie” nature, I kept some things unique:

Raw milk chocolate pudding, anyone? I know I couldn’t get weirder; I embrace that fact.

Topped with whipped cream and peanut butter fudge topping(peanut butter, whipped cream, and powdered sugar mixed together in a little dish–super simple, super delicious).

There! I feel better getting it off my chest. I did it! It was me! And I’d do it again! And again! And again! He had it coming to him! Lock me up and throw away the key!–Whoops, wrong confession.

Now, make me feel better and tell me what you last felt guilty about?

Maybe you had a bit too many? No worries–this was simply organic limeade in a cup with some salt. Love that saltiness 😉

Maybe too much fried food on a Friday night? Let me tell you: Fried herbs on seared meat is a little bit like heaven, just a little(OK, a lot).

Did you have too much chocolate? If that day ever comes, I’ll let you know; don’t hold your breath. And who ever decided peanut butter and honey? PB & Agave is the way to go.

Did you spend your Friday night watching Man Vs. Food and rocking out to Sugarland and Adam Lambert? Me neither…

Did you raid the fridge for a midnight snack for cold chickpeas? I agree. That would be ridiculous(I heated them up).

Guilty as charged

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Let’s Make That Workout Happen

Posted on May 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Let’s face it: When you’re just out there running for fun, it’s a lot easier to get “bored” with running than if you’re motivated by a race, or weight loss, or have some crazy deal where you get paid per mile you run(If I had a deal like that, I’d be out there all day). The truth is it’s just hard to love a tough workout 100% of the time. Here is how I get workout-ready in my morning.

I always start the day with a big breakfast, workout or not. My perfect trifecta is oatmeal for fiberous carbs, peanut butter(cinnamon raisin swirl PB & Co. here) for healthy fat, and greek yogurt for protein. To be completely honest, I don’t love Greek yogurt here always; a lot of days I’d be happiest with 2 huge bowls of oatmeal and nut butter. But greek yogurt is a great source of probiotics and protein. And starting your day with protein has been shown to boost metabolism and curb you late-night hunger. I can certainly scoop some Fage for that.

When I know I’m about to run, I always steal some chocolate from my stash. Call it a bribe; it’s as natural as putting on my shoes. “Rituals” lie this can keep you on a regular exercising route.

Today, my workout motivation as music. I just downloaded Telephone(I know, I’m terribly behind) and Love On The Inside by Sugarland and made a big playlist out of them. I definitely couldn’t have gone so far without that energy pumping through me. For some, it’s music. Other times, it’s whatever’s on the TV at the gym. And, of course, there’s always the beautiful nature of the outdoors. Whatever it is, distractions can be some of the greatest ways to make a cardio workout enjoyable.

Afterwards, it’s important to hydrate. In fact, I plan this beforehand by sticking water and anything else I might want in the fridge and knowing just where it is to grab it to drink while doing stretches. Without stretches, the next workout might not be as enjoyable…

And, of course, you need to refuel. There was a lot of hype last Summer about chocolate milk being the “perfect drink”. Really, what you need is food. Drinking carbs is certainly one way to get energy back in to your system. That just doesn’t fit me, personally. For myself, I made a “dream salad”(as in, I dreamed this up all run long): Spinach, avocado with lemon juice, sauteed onions, and toasted cashews. If this doesn’t work for you, feel free to go back to the chocolate milk.

And it never hurts to have a little more running motivation. Sundae Friday, anyone?

No matter how difficult it is, there is nothing that tastes better than homemade ice cream. Can you see the vanilla bean specks and thick chunks of organic dark chocolate? Maybe I got hit by a car on my run and went to heaven and don’t know it yet.

Flash forward to 2 hours later when I hadn’t sat down at all and realized it was one of those 2-lunch days.  Now I’m relaxing with oatmeal and cashew butter and a pineapple Chobani. Glorious, no? I’ve been trying to churn up a real good dessert. It’s been a battle so far; we’ll see how it comes out tonight. We’ll see…

How do you stay motivated to work out?

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How To Make Ice Cream–Learning From My Mistakes

Posted on May 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , |

No matter what it is, I always get things done. Whether I do it the easy way or the hard way, the right way or the wrong way, well… that’s another story.

Last night, I churned this most decadent chocolate chip ice cream. Definitely use premium ingredients when making your own ice cream.

Ingredients like Organic Dark Chocolate and vanilla bean paste. Really, how can you go wrong with these? Well, if you go wrong with every other aspect, you can probably go wrong.

Don’t bother with vegetable gums even when not using egg yolks unless you really know what you’re doing. I added xanthan and guar gums to this, but I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

When there’s a puddle of half-frozen ice cream on your counter, don’t call someone at the store asking for more half and half and hang up with the words “Oh my God, I have to clean this up *click*”.

Don’t get in to a fight when you’re brought back half and half that’s not guaranteed from hormone-free cows when you aren’t even planning to use that night. Certain fights can wait for the morning.

Always mix in ingredients and any alcohol flavorings at the very end since that can inhibit freezing in the machine.

When the ice cream maker is done churning, it’s not ready. Period. I don’t care what an ice cream machine recipe says. You need to shove it in the freezer and you need to manually churn it every 5 minutes for about an hour or it’s never going to come out right.

Don’t take the most unflattering photo in the world of ice cream, unless you’re really hiding a puddle of cream behind you and need to clean that up FAST.

When all else fails, add more chocolate chunks.

And if you get caught eating straight from a bar of bulk baking chocolate, try not to look so guilty and smile for the camera.

And at the end of the night, when all else seems lost, remember this: a microwave is a hell of a lot easier to work than an ice cream maker.

What was your last kitchen disaster?

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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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That Food Network Show I Hate

Posted on May 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I’m not very picky when it comes to television, especially since moving back home and getting more channels with a DVR. I men, you have to be a TV whore to record something called Sex In The Ancient World airing at 3:01am, right? To be fair, I had a history class period this past semester devoted to that, a whole awkward class period. But there’s one Food Network show that I both watch and loathe.

What’s right about this show? I’m sure the contestants are great hometown chefs, but they never pop. They just aren’t Food Network chefs and it shines through. The producers are constantly trying to build the pressure when there just isn’t any. And presentation is always overemphasized. If you can mix sugar cookie dough and miso and make a dessert, you can dress it up all you want but I just want to know how it tastes. There was no emphasis on pressentation last night. No funky ingredients. And no Chopped.

2% Fage With Raw Honey, Green & Black's White Chocolate

2% Fage With Raw Honey, Green & Black's White Chocolate

Green & Black's White Chocolate

Green & Black's White Chocolate

I like to balance the incredible health benefits of raw honey with nutritionally void white chocolate. It’s OK when it’s organic 😉 And so delicious. Just look at those vanilla bean specks! Green & Black, you have my heart.

Oatmeal With Dark Choc And Peanut Chunk PB

Oatmeal With Dark Choc And Peanut Chunk PB

See? I would definitely fail presentation on chopped, even if you can never go wrong mixing crunchy peanut butter, peanuts, and dark chocolate shavings. I had no clue what I was in the mood for at the time, but how can you go wrong with peanuts and chocolate?

Oatmeal With Almond Butter, Fage With Fig Jim And Hazelnuts

Oatmeal With Almond Butter, Fage With Fig Jam And Hazelnuts

This morning was all about the almond butter. The Trader Joe’s creamy salted is to die for. But I think I have enough nut butter to shingle a roof so I’ll have to wait to buy another jar.

Fage With Fig Jim And Hazelnuts

Fage With Fig Jam And Hazelnuts

I think I’ve been spoiled with Fage since it seems to be on sale everywhere lately. It really is the best plain yogurt to get, and you can dress it up with anything, like fig jam(from an open market in France!!) and hazelnuts. That makes the day feel so much more adventurous already.

What television show can you not stand?

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72 Bitter-Sweet Hours

Posted on May 24, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What could have been bitter? Over the past 72 hours, I…

As if that wasn’t all sweet enough, last night was a blast, too. We had family friends over for dinner. There were hors d’oeuvres…

Cheddar Food Should Taste Good Chips

Cheddar Food Should Taste Good Chips

I snacked on raw carrots and grape tomatoes and these Food Should Taste Good chips I had to try after hearing them referred to as Doritos. I disagree; they’re much classier and mroe sophisticated than Doritos. but they definitely have that Mexican tang that regular cheddar chips don’t. Anyway, yum!

Seasoned Fries, Roasted Brussels, Chipotle Chicken

Seasoned Fries, Roasted Brussels, Chipotle Chicken

I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of all the food; there was a lot! But this was my plate: potato fries(I made these for myself because there were only sweet potatoes otherwise and I wanted white), roasted brussels, and chipotle marinated Amish chicken. The chicken was remarkably good, and that’s coming from someone who usually thinks poultry is too “bland”. I suppose we would have expected no less from something grabbed from Whole Food.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

My mom made chocolate covered strawberries for dessert while I baked these blondies and our guests brought ice cream. It was all plenty rich for us.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie With Tahitian Vanilla Gelato

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie With Tahitian Vanilla Gelato

This was my first plate. I get the irony of Talenti gelato on a dairy-free blondie but I don’t care; this was too good for words. The blondies came out so moist and everyone loved them.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie

I didn’t really take pictures of what else I ate but just assume I kept picking at the blondies and that’s why there’s less than half the pan left. After everyone left, I turned on Iron Chef and curled up with this:

Bulk French Chocolate

Bulk French Chocolate

Buying chocolate in bulk was a genius move. I have no idea how much chocolate this was, but it was all excellent. And there’s something so satisfying about biting in to a chunk of chocolate.

Today is being devoted to leftovers:

Oatmeal With Peanut Butter, Chipotle Chicken

Oatmeal With Peanut Butter, Chipotle Chicken

Lots and lots of leftovers:

Chipotle Chicken

Chipotle Chicken

I wasn’t “feeling” greek yogurt this morning for protein, so why not chicken just to get it out of the fridge before it goes bad? I’m curious how this is going to play out on a run…

So what’s been bitter? Over the past 72 hours, I tried going without stevia. I don’t use any artificial sweeteners, but have often used natural stevia in tea and coffee and a few other things. I’ve never gotten a bitter taste to it; it’s always been sweetness. And I think it’s perfectly fine in moderation and all. But, trying to go without it, I noticed my sweet tooth in general grew smaller and I discovered so many other pleasantly-bitter flavors.

Starbucks Sumatra Decaf

Starbucks Sumatra Decaf

I’ve been drinking black coffee, unsweetened iced tea, and dry seltzer, all of whose flavor I’ve been enjoying more and more without added sweetness. It took just a little getting used to, but I don’t really miss anything.

Virgil's Root Beer

Virgil's Root Beer

I did get one craving for a sweet drink, so I just had one sweetened with cane juice. This wasn’t my favorite beverage, but that was because of the flavoring and not the sweetening. I’m totally open to trying more, too.

2% Fage With Organic Strawberry Conserves

2% Fage With Organic Strawberry Conserves

Plain yogurt has become less repulsive in all its tart-glory. It helped to find Fage on sale, which is creamier and dreamier than any other brand in my opinion, but the same holds true for Oikos and Chobani plain.

French Bulk Chocolate

French Bulk Chocolate

And, of course, my favorite bitter treat is, was, and always will be, dark chocolate, which doesn’t need much to taste juuuust right. Have you ever had/used stevia? Like it? Hate it? I do enjoy it and think there’s nothing wrong with using it. But even now that the 72 hours are up I’m not rushing to throw some in my drinks.

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Mean Miles And Extra Special Blondies

Posted on May 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

And here I thought a party at the Museum of Science’s skyline suite what special, I had no idea the blondies I’d be cooking up today.

Endangered Species Milk Chocolate With Peanut Butter

Endangered Species Milk Chocolate With Peanut Butter

Endangered Species chocolate = amazing pre-running fuel. The milk chocolate with a hint of peanut butter let me down the first time I had it, but now I feel like I get that hint–really subtle hint.

10 Miles

10 Miles

I had fun kind of running around the town and found a new route I liked that came across a reservoir. And it just so happened to be an even number of miles! I love it when that works out. And then I was stahvin’ for a good lunch.

Sweet Potato With BBQ Beans, Tofu, And Mighty Maple

Sweet Potato With BBQ Beans, Tofu, And Mighty Maple

Finishing off a jar of Mighty Maple is always tragic; at least it’s redeemed when it’s in a killer way. A sweet potato with BBQ baked beans, raw tofu chunks, and a scoop of the good stuff. Um, yum. Am I blessed to love the texture of raw, soft tofu or what?

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

This afternoon snack was missing something…

365 Creamy PB

365 Creamy PB

Perfect. Who says you need to eat the peanut butter on the apple? They taste fine separate 😀

Tonight, we’re having guests over. I wanted to recreate this recipe. The result was nothing more than “special”, extra “special”. It’s gluten-free and vegan. There are specks of vanilla bean in the batter. And it just tastes damn good. How could it not(with 2 sticks of earth balance)?

Extra Special Blondies


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 cup all-purpose GF baking blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum(optional)
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste(or vanilla extract)
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Recipe: Extra Special Blondies

Preheat your oven to 350 and let the margarine sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before working with it. Cream the margarine and the sugar in a large bowl. Sift in all ingredients from flour to xanthan gum(if using). Add the liquids and vanilla paste and mix thoroughly with a large spoon or rubber spatula. Add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed. Press into an 8×8 baking pan and bake for35-40 minutes or until the center is set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Makes 12 servings.

Now are those fattening, err… “special”, or what?

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