DDD #29 – Vegan Black Bean Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Black bean brownies?  Am I to believe my eyes?  Yes & yes!  These babies are amazing & nobody would ever guess that they are flourless & made of canned beans.  Rich & delicious & packed with protein – even the fussiest kids will chow these babies down.

Click the image below for the video & please subscribe to my channel.

Vegan Black Bean Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl

INGREDIENTS

1 (15 oz) can black beans – drained & rinsed

2 vegan eggs (use your favorite egg replacer)

3 TBS coconut oil

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips plus extra for topping

1/8 – 1/4 cup peanut butter

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, blend all the ingredients except the chocolate chips & peanut butter.

Mix in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

Grease an 8×8 baking pan.  Spread the mix in there.  Drop some peanut butter on top and – with a skewer or the tip of a knife – swirl the peanut butter.  Top with some extra chips & then bake for 20-30 minutes or until the top is dry & the edges are separated from the pan.  Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before cutting them.  Refrigerating them will facilitate cutting them up.

Serve & wow the villagers!

 

Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey Banana Almond Bread

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Bananas & avocados.  Delicious when they are perfect.  Perfectly ripe, that is.  “Perfectly ripe” is a tiny window in time for these fruits.  And perfectly ripe is open to interpretation – especially with bananas.  I like mine with a bit of green on the peel & the inside still very firm.  Others like them at their candy-sweetest – once a few spots begin to appear on the skin.  But, so far, I have never met anyone who prefers them mushy & showing as much as brown on the outside – so – when I spotted a bunch of bananas in this sad & dejected state – I took them & decided to make banana bread.  As long as the fruit inside itself is not brown – no banana is too ripe for banana bread.  I made three versions of banana bread & another sweet bread without bananas so this will be one of four breads I will roll out in the next few days.

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Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey Banana Almond Bread

INGREDIENTS

3 ripe bananas

1/3 cup butter – melted

1/4 cup honey

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 TBS Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey Whiskey (optional)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

pinch cloves

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup chopped almonds (and a few whole ones for decoration)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

If your almonds are whole – put them in a sandwich bag & crush them.  I used the bottom of the Jack Daniels bottle.  Save a few whole ones for decoration.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl.   Then, just basically mix up the ingredients.  Pour into a greased loaf pan, place a few whole almonds on top, if you want, and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted comes out clean.

Voila!

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Homemade Almond Milk

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is very easy & the result is the purest almond milk possible.  No additives – not even sweetener – if you don’t like sweetener (and I do not).  It should keep two days in the fridge.  The almonds need to soak a day or two so, if you use lots of almond milk, maybe always have some almonds soaking in the fridge so you can make this as you need it.

HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK

Makes about 2 cups

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw almonds

2 cups water plus extra for soaking

Cheesecloth

Possible optional sweeteners – agave nectar, honey, maple syrup or sugar – to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Soak the almonds at least overnight or up to three days.  The softer they are – the creamier the milk.  This ratio of almonds to water that I suggest produces a milk that is like a 2%.  Add more water for thinner milk – less for thicker.

Simply drain the soaked almonds & rinse them.  Then blend the 1 cup of soaked almonds with 2 cups of water for two full minutes in your blender – or 4 minutes in your food processor.

Then – over a large bowl or measuring cup – strain the almond meal out of the milk through cheesecloth.  Squeeze all the moisture out.  Sweeten to taste ( i skipped sweeteners because I like my almond milk straight) & chill.

The almond meal can be used in smoothies or muffins or dried out in the oven on a very low setting for 2-3 hours & used in baking.  You can freeze almond meal, too, for later use.

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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Dill & Lemon & Almond Pesto

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I made this up because I couldn’t pass up this huge bunch of fresh dill for $1.49.  It is easy to make & not nearly as overpoweringly dilly as you might guess.  It has a fresh, summery flavor that I think would go very well with seafood.

I used raw almonds because pine nuts can result in pine mouth & because they are almost always from China.  I think pine nuts are sorta icky too rich, anyway – and they have reached the same over-saturation rate as the 80’s trend king – sundried tomatoes & the more recent victim of foody overkill – balsamic vinegar.

These measurements are ball park, at best.  Never worry – pesto is very forgiving & you can adjust the flavors as you make it.

Dill & Lemon & Almond Pesto

1-2 cups fresh dill

1/2 cup raw almonds (I used almonds but walnuts or pecans or regular peanuts would work – or even macadamia.  Your call.)

1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

juice of half a lemon

4 garlic cloves

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

S&P to taste

Water to thin it – if you desire

DIRECTIONS

Blend all ingredients in a food processor.  Adjust flavors.

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Peppermint Bark ~ Almond Bark & Peppermint Brownies

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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This hardly counts as a recipe but I am posting it anyway.  I made this stuff to bring as gifts to the various folks that hosted me over the holidays.  Among those I had the great pleasure to see this season was the always outrageously warm Mahoney family.  Mark Mahoney is a fellow Boston transplant and, quite possibly, the single coolest person on Earth.  The hospitality this entire family extends feels like a bear hug & I have been lucky enough to be embraced this way on several major holidays – including this Christmas eve.  Here is a peek into the kindness & cool Mark offers at his tattoo shop up on the Sunset Strip.

Anyway – to make the brownies – I just used a boxed Ghiradelli mix.  I then tried to top them with white chocolate (simply white chocolate chips melted down in a double boiler with a drop or two of peppermint extract added and maybe a tablespoon of oil).

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Unfortunately – I attempted this before the brownies had cooled sufficiently & the white chocolate sorta just ripped the tops off the brownies & made a bit of a mess.  This was exacerbated by the fact that I had deliberately under-cooked the brownies so that they’d be extra moist.  Some finagling got a decent portion of brownie topped with white chocolate & I then pressed peppermint candy (that I had crushed in a zip lock bag with my rolling pin) into the chocolate.  In the future – I recommend using a white frosting blended with a drop or two of peppermint.  The white chocolate was a hassle.

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As to the almond & peppermint bark – all I did was toast up some almonds in a dry pan & then crushed them a bit in a bag using my rolling pin.

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I melted chocolate chips (like 3 pounds!) in a double boiler with a little (a TBS?) of oil.

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I mixed some of the chocolate with the toasted almonds & used a spatula to spread it on a nonstick pizza pan & put it in the fridge until it set.  Then I simply lifted it from the pan & broke it up – or cut it – into chunks.

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For the peppermint bark – I set out some wax paper & then spread melted chocolate on it.

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I don’t like white chocolate so I pressed some crushed mints into a portion of the chocolate & let that set.  When this was cooled & set, I layered melted white chocolate (with peppermint extract) on the portion I had not put crushed candy on & then pressed crushed mints into that portion.  I let that cool completely & then either broke or cut it all up into pieces. That’s all there is to it.  You could add other nuts or marshmallows or whatever to your chocolate.  Easy peasy!

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