Category Archives: baking

Skinny Brownies

Skinny Brownies. Life Changing – for the baker with a sweet tooth that can’t really eat butter.

All in the food processor. You start with some oats (for my grandpa and I, gluten free rolled oats). Blend those until they’re closer to flour than oats.

Add EVERYTHING else (but the peanut butter) to the food processor (or even blender). Melt the peanut butter, pour and mix lightly with a knife into a greased 8×8 baking sheet. Bake.

Easy right? And so, so, so tasty. I found the recipe here with tons of other tasty looking recipes.

Skinny (butterless) Peanut butter Swirl Brownies

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Jif Natural I believe!)
6 oz. low fat vanilla greek yogurt (could use fat free – I used fat free)
1/4 cup skim milk (or almond milk – I used it to use some up in the fridge!)
1 large egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 8×8 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
(I pre ground the oats before this step because the first time I found them not ground up enough by just grinding with all the ingredients)
Place all of the ingredients except for the peanut butter into a blender or food processor. For easier blending, place the liquid ingredients into the blender first. Blend until mix is smooth and oats are ground up. You will have to stop the blender and scrape down the sides a few times.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Batter will be thin. Microwave peanut butter for about 30 seconds. Drop melted peanut butter by spoonfuls onto the batter, swirling gently with a knife to create a marbled effect. (Try not to overmix!)
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Brownies will be extra fudgy, so be sure to wait until COMPLETELY cooled. I stored them in the fridge, you can put them there, then cut them. Cut into 12 squares and taste the lovely, somewhat healthy brownie goodness. (that does not tasty “healthy” in any sense of the word!)

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Skinny Brownies and Graham Cracker Pie

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Please excuse the iPhone picture. I’ve been baking! Monday night I made dinner for my grandpa and he LOVES graham cracker pie, which is just a basic vanilla custard, graham cracker crust, and meringue topping. Here’s the pie, pre-meringue. I did not make the crust, however, and grandpa says it’s not the same…. so next time I’ll just make it. I used this recipe for the pie, but I used 1/2 cup sugar, because I remember my mom’s recipe only used that much. Also ran out of sugar for the meringue, so I used honey.

Those brownies are the best brownies I’ve ever made. I’ll share the recipe when I can take more pictures of the process but they’re part of my recent realization that not cooking or baking at all was leading to me eating worse foods for me then baking and cooking! I stopped baking in December – my doctor told me I have high cholesterol. I’m young and I know I have a family history and genetic pre-disposition to it, but still butter has lots of saturated fats, which is what I was told to stay away from. Easiest way to cut fats in my diet was to stop baking.

These brownies have no fat or gluten, I made them with things I had readily available, and they’re tasty. Finally. Something to satisfy the sweet tooth without 40 grams of fat.

I’m probably going to go home right now and eat some!

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Delicious

These cupcakes: (my roommate brought a couple home from a family party)

Led to Josh (boyfriend) asking me to make him cupcakes before he gets home from work tonight at 10. The conversation went like this:

Me: Are you sure? It’s going to be dinner or cupcakes, not both. Are you sure you want cupcakes?

Josh: Yes, unless you can make steak for dinner, I want cupcakes.

(No steak because we have talked repeated about how he wants it but we do not have a grill!)

So I looked up a recipe for the cake and the frosting and, now:

Cupcakes!

And literally the best I’ve ever made. It started with this recipe for the cake part, then this for the frosting. And, really the name for that recipe for the frosting is called “That’s the best I’ve ever had” and it’s true. I also like that it uses regular sugar because honestly, frosting is the only reason I have confectioner’s (powdered) sugar in the house. The cake recipe is really tasty as well, I think the extra yolk helps the recipe stay moist and yellow-y.

The recipe has you whisk flour (I know) and milk on the stove until thickened, then add it (after it cools with vanilla) to a creamed butter and sugar mixture. Beat it until it looks like whipped cream. Then you taste it, and almost eat the whole bowl, pull all your willpower to just FROST the cupcakes without eating ALL the frosting, and then spoon some out of the bowl to eat. Then figure if you don’t put what remains of the frosting on the cupcakes, you will end up just scraping down the bowl with your tongue. After that ordeal, I figured I needed to get rid of some of them before all of the cupcakes were in my stomach, so I gave some to the neighbors. Thank god for them.

To make myself feel a bit better about this frosting and cupcake problem, I made roasted veggies for dinner. Sadly I put too much wine and olive oil on them so they were a bit rich (I know, how in the world did I do that?) but still tasty. I made quick, fake stuffed mushrooms by putting garlic cloves under breadcrumbs and pouring wine and olive oil over them, and they were not bad!

Up next: Yarn, knitting, and LOTS of backlogged cooking adventures!

Happy Valentine’s Day if it is important to you, for me and my loved one, we don’t care so much for it but apparently I made cupcakes anyways?

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Right Now

I’m knitting a sweater currently, as well as several other things. I love knitting it but I keep plugging away for what feels like eternity without much progress! I want to finish it before spring so I can wear it a lot before summer, but I don’t know if I’m going to make it!

Right now I’m in the simple, fun part of the sweater – pretty much straight knitting in the pattern, with a couple waist decreases or increases on the horizon. From reading ahead though, I can tell that soon, it’ll be more of a sit there and scratch my head type of pattern.

I’m also working on a rather complicated pattern from Cookie A.’s book, Knit.Sock.Love. I’m amazed that I was able to somewhat memorize the pattern, but I did. It’s for my grandmother, and I’m trying to finish them soon because I want her to have them before the summer!

Recently, I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking. I’ve been really sick, yesterday I was supposed to go to Northampton to go to Webs (the yarn store), with my good friend mullica and I had to call her in the morning because I was too dizzy to drive. I had had a cold but it hadn’t been that bad, until yesterday, were I fluctuated between dizzy and starving. I had gotten up in the morning and made chili in the slow cooker. Good, but I’m going to try again with a couple tweaks  then post it up here.

Today, however, I did make a couple interesting things.

First for breakfast:

(an omelet with mushrooms and tomatoes, the goal was more veggies that eggs, I will try again soon!)

And also not so interesting, but some granola bars:

Which I don’t have a recipe for, because they were a jar gift that I got from a woman I worked with for Christmas. I don’t know if they will be good, they are still cooling.  Today is the superbowl for football (American football), but I don’t have cable so I doubt I’ll be doing anything special. I might be going to my parents good friend’s house for a bit, but I’m still not feeling well. I’ll update later with more pictures of knitting projects.

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Granola: A Recipe with Thoughts

I love to eat yogurt with granola, add fruit and that has been a staple in my diet for most of my adult life. My mother would buy it from the grocery store but once I moved out I discovered how expensive it was. My grandmother always made her own, mostly because she makes everything herself, but because of a burning incident with granola, I was hestiant to start making my own. I was totally wrong to think it was too hard – I tried it after the new year, and it’s incredibly easy. I normally make it on weekend mornings when I drink my coffee slower in the kitchen and just wait for it to bake.

Josh likes to eat it right out of the oven, when it’s still pretty warm, just dry! The original recipe has brown sugar, but I didn’t think it needed it and also happened to forget to include it this time, so apparently it doesn’t need the extra sugar.

My general guidelines:

4 to 6 cups of old fashioned or rolled oats

1 to 2 cups of any kind of nut, I tend to use walnuts because they are cheapest, but I love pecans!

1/2 to 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut (or unsweetened, whatever works for you)

Spices – Allspice, cloves, cinnamon, ginger. A little shake of each.

1/2 a stick of butter, or less.

1/8 to 1/4 of a cup agave syrup or honey (I prefer agave)

Preheat oven to 200-250 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then, I take a mug and put the agave (or honey) and butter in it and melt it all together in the microwave. Next, pour the mug mixture over the granola mixture. Stir to coat, then transfer to a un-greased jelly roll or brownie pan. The granola should not sit on the pan more than a 1/2 of an inch thick to avoid uneven cooking. Pop it in the oven and 12 minutes later, stir. Pull the outer edges into the middle, and the middle edges out, so the edges don’t burn. Put the granola back in the oven until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. This happens FAST so watch it closely.

Then, take it out, let cool and enjoy. You could add dried fruit at this point but I love the uninterrupted crunch of this granola.

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