Magical Brownies

Wow, it’s been a month. I’d tell you I’ve been busy, but I’d be lying. It has been an eventful month though. Don’t worry, I won’t disappear again. I have some great recipes to share for summer 🙂

What happened this May:

  • My oldest brother got married! Now, I have a wonderful big sister : )
  • Stephen graduated the SAME DAY from Penn State. And I had to miss it : / Bridesmaid duties.
  • But then I helped him move out of his apartment in State College.
  • I scheduled my classes for the first semester of my Global Environmental Policy  program at AU.
  • And bought the books for one of my classes… not including the one yet to be released. I also started to read one of said books… A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (it’s pretty fantastic).

These are celebratory brownies!

These are amazing brownies!

These are magical brownies! (No, not “special.”)

These are the brownies I never thought I’d ever be able to make from scratch 🙂

Let alone, make vegan.

They can be enjoyed by themselves. With a nice glass of your milk of choice. Or topped with a huge scoop of ice cream & some fudge sauce <—- yes, please. Brownie sundaes ❤

And make them I will, again and again and again for the rest of my life… so long as chocolate is available. I read an article recently that said the demand for chocolate is increasing so rapidly that the production of chocolate won’t be able to meet the population’s “needs.” Apparently, cocoa farmers/producers are straining their farms to produce greater quantities of cocoa than they realistically have the capacity to produce. AKA, the cocoa plants need more TLC than they’re receiving & are becoming weak. I wish I could remember where I read this. I’m sure, in our modern age, you can “GOOGLE” it.

Magical Brownies

1/3 Cup Chocolate Chips + (1/3 Cup Chocolate Chips optional)

1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder

4 Tbsp Coconut Oil

4 Tbsp Neutral Oil (Veg/Canola/Olive)

2 Ener-G Eggs

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup AP Flour

1 Tsp Baking Powder (scant)

1/2 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Vanilla

1/4 Cup Almond Milk

Directions:

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper & preheat oven to 350.

In a double boiler, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with cocoa powder, coconut oil, and vegetable oil.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, prepare Ener-G eggs (or flax eggs). Set aside.

In a medium-sized, mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.

When the chocolate is completely melted, add to dry ingredients.

Add the ener-g eggs, vanilla & almond milk.

Stir to combine completely. Add additional chocolate chips (for best results… aka chocolatey-ist) and stir.

Pour batter (it should be a bit thick) into lined pan.

Bake until toothpick/knife inserted in center comes out clean. EDIT: About 35 – 45 minutes.

I suggest checking on them every so often. I’ve baked them in a le creuset enamel pan & a glass pan and the time varied a bit.

Now cut them and….. (oh yeah, let cool a bit)…. NOW….

Devour!!!

Okay, I’m running to the grocery store so I can make these again today. These pictures are making my stomach RAWR!!

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Homemade Egg-Free Pasta

Left to his own devices, Stephen feeds himself about once a day. Okay, okay, maybe twice. And he’s taking 18 credits, won’t buy plastic, eats a vegan diet, and isn’t a microwave-meal kind of guy. I still harp on him all the time to eat more so he ends up spending extra money on delivery items like THE BEST PIZZA EVER – Corrinado’s Vegan Salad Pizza. Or falafel pita sandwiches from Pita Cabana.

So… even though we make many things from scratch, I encourage him to buy snacks like applesauce & essentials to make quick meals like Muir Glen pasta sauce. Yeah, well that worked up until the time he decided to eliminate as much single-use plastic from his life as possible. Bye-bye pre-made pasta. Curse you for either coming in a plastic bag or cardboard box with a plastic “window.” Just had to go & turn one of the easiest meals ever into one of the most difficult. Okay, it’s not that hard to make homemade noodles. Unless you’re a perfectionist who wants them to be less like dumplings or more like store-bought pasta. Me.

I know the color of the pasta sauce would have popped & looked much better in a white bowl but we’re also the kind of people who re-use the bowl in which we made the dough.

For the sauce, I used Muir Glen’s Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce, roasted some red bell peppers & added them. Then sliced up some black olives to mix in. Plus a bit of Zinfandel for that extra punch of flavor & a splash of olive oil. The noodles turned out pretty perfect. This whole meal was delicious. And I believe (after internet research) you can make the noodles ahead of time and either dry them out or freeze them. So it could, once again, be one of the easiest (and tastiest!) meals ever.

Homemade Pasta

Serves 2 to 4 depending on your apetite.

  • 2 Cups AP Flour
  • 1/2 – 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Cup + 1 to 2 Tbsp Warm Water

In a large bowl, combine flour & salt. Add warm water & begin to mix with hands. The dough will be very heavy & a bit dry. Knead the daylights out of it for about 10 to 15 minutes. Let sit for about 20 minutes covered with a wet paper towel so the dough doesn’t dry out.

Flour a flat surface for rolling out the dough. Flour the top of the dough & roll with rolling pin until very thin. Or if you’re in your boyfriends apartment & he happens to own no rolling pins, but does happen to have 20+ empty wine bottles, use one of those.

I rolled half at a time. This dough is kind of a pain in the bum. I used all my strength to roll it out as thin as I could. About 2 – 3 millimeters.

With a very sharp knife cut the dough lengthwise into long noodles. The flour should keep them from sticking.

To cook, bring salted water to a boil, add a splash of olive oil to prevent sticking, and boil for 3 to 6 minutes.

They turned out quite perfect!