Avocado brownies

No long pre-amble:

  • 4 small avocados- puréed
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • ⅓ cup sugar ( whatever kind you like)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs

Oven 350 degrees F

Lightly greased pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool and chill before cutting.

The oops, I forgot:  Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the batter.

So, I tried to do that thing where you sprinkle the chips on top and then smooth it out once it has melted  – but apparently white and dark chocolate chips have different melting points and don’t play well together…

What? More soup…? mmm…soup

Roasted pepper and Tomato soup

Today is this week’s Domestic Day/ Zero People Day/ 0CommitmentDay / Do Whatever I want Day.

So when I am not sewing, seeing clients for sewing, dancing, teaching dance, teaching sewing, and planning for either upcoming sewing or dance events, I like to cook and bake. Oh, I know – you know that already…

Ok – here’s the Roasted Pepper Tomato Soup recipe.

Roast a pile of peppers:

Lightly oil 2 cookies sheets for about 10 medium size peppers.
Oven = 400 degrees Farenheit
Wash the peppers, split in half, take out the seeds and toss them all in a huge bowl with a bit of olive oil.
Spread them out on the cookie sheets and get them roasting while you take care of the rest of the soup. Maybe 20 minutes… check ’em – see when they start to char. them take them out.
I leave them on the cookie sheet until I’m ready for them, then take them off and peel away any really burnt skin/ section.

In a large saucepan, start cooking the onion, and tomatoes:
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Chop an onion – I used red and it was large so I only used half.
toss it in and saute until it smells awesome. Add in one can of whole tomatoes, and cover and let simmer. < Purists are welcome to peel and seed fresh tomatoes, if that’s your prerogative.>

If your peppers are ready, toss them into the pot and let it all continue to cook.

Add spices to your liking – salt and pepper, basil, oregano, I went italianesque for this batch.

I happened to have roasted a small pumpkin while roasting the peppers and could not fit all of it into my 2 cup container, so I added the remaining pumpkin to the soup too.

Once the peppers are tender, or you are bored, do what you do to puree soup.  I toss it into a big stainless bowl and use an immersion blender – as you can see.

Jar it/ serve it/ find a friend who makes homemade bread and barter some in exchange for a fresh loaf…

Enjoy.

Little Gurl Balls- sugar and spice…

Sugar and Spice and everything nice...

Sugar and Spice and everything nice…

 

I spent this morning making a batch of my annual truffles, and remembered that I’ll be seeing some non chocolate eating friends…

I decided to try something new:

Basic truffle recipe:

½ cup butter, softened

¼ cup cocoa powder

2 ½ cups icing sugar

1/4 cup coconut milk or dairy cream

1 tsp vanilla

smush all of it together really well, chill it, roll it in cocoa. Oh and you can add booze.

Little Gurl Balls

Skip the cocoa , add a bit more icing sugar to make stiffer.

Use equal parts ginger and cinnamon- or add nutmeg and cloves if you got ’em- to roll the little balls.

Rolling the balls

nom-kick in the taste buds – nom!

 

 

Cheesecake thins

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Today’s party snack is based on my previous cheesecakelets recipe.

But no wontons in the house!
So instead I chose to lightly spray my muffin tins and go crust less – creating these thin slivers of cheesecake!

Recipe:
1 block of cream cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
Make 11-12 in the basic and then add
– if desired- 1 tablespoon cocoa for the remaining 11-12.

Mix it all well.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Spoon 1 tablespoon or so into each lightly oiled muffin tin.

Add toppings if you like:
Basic- I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top.
Cocoa- I added coconut.

Bake for about 6-8 minutes- I was distracted…

Let them cool in the muffin tins then gently remove. They will be a bit sticky.

Hoping for some Clutch reviews later!

More Wonton Fun

In prep for a social gathering tomorrow, I’ve made some of my Halyma’s Cheesecakelets, and then I had a pile of leftover wonton wrappers and decided to get simply creative again…

Halyma’s Applewraps are simple wedges of Macintosh apples, a sprinkle of cinnamon/sugar, wrapped individually in wontons.

Bake them on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, until golden.

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Pumpkin Gnocch-offs – Vegan at that!

The little bits of orange are pumpkiny sweetness!

I don’t “get” gnocchi.

I am thinking, pasta is pasta and dumplings are dumplings, but gnocchi is somewhere between the two… – and I welcome anyone who does “get” gnocchi to straighten me out in the comments 😉

That being said, I wanted some lunch and had some mashed pumpkin and tomato sauce, and thought I remembered hearing about how this gnocchi stuff was made with potatoes and flour… and off I went.

Here’s the deal- or – the odd things I do, just because…:

1-I used pumpkin from a friend – organic backyard pumpkin – that I roasted and mashed a while ago and had put about 2 cups in the freezer.

2- I make my own oat flour and flax meal by using a designated coffee bean grinder to turn oats and flax seeds into powder on demand.

So that covers the sources of ingredients – do as you please, of course, to get your own!

On to the recipe :

Pumpkin Gnocch”offs”

  • 3 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup  cooked pumpkin – mashed, pureed etc.
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

Add just enough boiling water to cover the flax meal in a small bowl and let sit for at least 5 minutes. It will get a bit slimy – this replaces an egg – which you can choose to use instead if you are not vegan.

Dump it and everything else into a bowl and mix well.

Turn the over on to 375 degrees F.

Lightly spray a cookie sheet or two, and using a teaspoon, drop about 60 tiny dumplings onto the sheet[s].

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes – checking them until they dry on the outside and lightly brown, but are still soft when you push on one.

Recipe  serves 2.

Vegan style  Gnocch-offs= 390 Calories per serving = loads of Omega shiny happiness…

Egg style:  = 240 calories per serving [ no flax used =  less Omega shiny happy depending on your egg choice!]

I heated up some tomato sauce and tossed my serving of Gnocch-offs into my bowl, covered them with sauce and ate up! Yum!

I think these would make great appetizers too with some fun dipping sauces…

Today’s Yummies – Halyma’s Sunnyside Meringues

With all of the birthday celebrations going on lately, and the huge “CUPCAKE CRAZE” of 2009, I was thinking that I should explore some different options for those of us looking to indulge, without feeling the brutal waste of calories that come from those lovely cakes that abound. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE CUPCAKES, but I am trying to lose weight and know my own weaknesses, so I choose to find alternatives when I can!

Revisiting foods that I have always liked to make, I remembered the light, melt- in-your-mouthiness of meringues… lemon meringue pie, butterscotch meringue pie… yummy but still high in calories when you’ve got a crust and loads of sugar involved.

As usual, I decided to come up with my own variation of a couple of old stand by recipes, both based on the Betty Crocker cookbook recipes for merignues and cream filling but with less than half the sugar!

Enjoy these 25 calorie per meringue treats – I know we will today!

One thing to note: I baked mine the day before, but they are really best made the day of, or at least, assembled the day of, but I was expecting today to be busy and figured I would save time and store them airtight in the fridge until taking them to the #FridayOffice PARTAY.  There will be comments later describing the resulting 18 hour later condition!

Halyma’s Sunnyside Meringues

Meringues:

3 egg whites

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/8 cup raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.  Line two cookie sheets with brown paper [ compostable] or aluminum foil [recyclable].

Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until fluffy.  Add the sugar a spoonful at a time until fully beaten into the fluff. Use an electric mixer or get a workout with a large wire whisk – your choice!

Spoon out 24 blobs, about 2 inches/5cm in diameter, on the lined cookie sheets, creating a little dent in the centre of each.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes for chewy cookies, 40 minutes for crunchier, and if you have time, let them sit in the oven with the door open for another few hours to really dry them out if you want crunchy ones.

Creamy Custard Filling:

1/4 cup raw sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup milk [ 1%]

3 egg yolks, beaten well, in a metal or glass bowl

Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan and add the milk.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to a gravy consistency.

Important step:

Pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl holding the beaten eggs and mix as you pour.  This keeps the sauce a smooth texture as opposed to letting it get clumpy.  Pour it all back into the saucepan and put it back on the heat to continue cooking  – keep stirring – until it reaches an almost pudding thickness.

Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes – stirring every once in a while to keep it smooth.

When ready to assemble,  spoon a bit of custard into the centre dent in each meringue, dividing the custard between them all.

Serve immediately if possible…

If you have leftover custard, you can drop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and freeze it for “pudding pops”.

Hope you try these, and feel free to leave me some comments if you do!

I also made a chocolate butterscotch version, but they were not as good, so I’ll try that again and let you know sometime in the future!

Halyma!