Faux Chocolate Chip Blondies

I am tired of baking with sugar sugar sugar and white flour which is like sugar.  I found a dessert recipe with chickpeas and peanut butter and I modified it and made it for the family.  They were so-so about it but I think it is because of the peanut butter taste. Kids these days just don’t like good ol’ PB. It’s actually kind of sad.

Chick peas are a protein-carbohydrate food and they add the perfect moisture to these faux blondies. You can reduce or omit the chocolate chips altogether for a healthier version.

Nothing like home baked goodness instead of boxed processed junk. (D the Intern made these to bring to work and they were happily devoured!)

blondies 3

Faux and Flourless 

Chocolate Chip Blondies

1 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 can of chick peas (drained and rinsed)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place all ingredients except chocolate chips into a food processor and blend until very smooth.
Put in chocolate chips and pulse a few times until mixed in.
Pour batter into an 8”x8” greased pan.
Bake for 30 minutes. 


Note: The blondies in these photos were marbled by melting the chocolate chips in a double boiler first and later stirred in. This proved more difficult than expected because the chickpea mixture is very thick. The melted chocolate didn’t marble that nicely. Either way, it ended up being delicious!

Try it and let us know how it turns out and if you liked it!

 

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Ultra-Moist Zucchini Bread

It doesn’t even taste like there’s vegetables in it! Here’s a series of photos from when I made zucchini bread for a potluck using that monster zucchini we got from the farm. (I may or may not have smuggled it into the US so that I could make this!) I made two loaves and it was demolished. Just sayin’.

So good! If you don’t believe me, try it! So moist, try chocolate zucchini cake for even more decadence. But remember, everything in moderation.

-D the Intern 🙂

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

I discovered this chocolate cake cake recipe with an interesting twist. The recipe uses beetroot as a sweetener which lowers the amount of sugar in it! I think the idea is great to use to practice reducing sugar use.

I have a list of things that I think are weird enough to be cool. (Like a platypus? How is it part duck, part frog, part beaver? That’s not the case of seals though…) Anyways, I think beetroot in cake was weird enough to be cool so I decided to try it out and see. Hope you all enjoy!

Dry Ingredients (Combine First!)
– 1½ cups self-rising flour (buy it! Or make it yourself!)
– 1/4 cup finely ground almonds
– 5 tbsps cocoa powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients (Combine Second, Then add Dry Ingredients)
– 3 large eggs
– 3/4 cup sugar
– ½ cup beets, peeled and finely grated
– ½ cup buttermilk (buy it! Or make it yourself with white vinegar)
– 2 tbsps strong black coffee

For the icing, you need:
– ½ cup dark chocolate, cut into pieces (melted on a double boiler)
– 2 tbsps strong black coffee
– 2 tbsps honey

self-rising flour (can be bought pre-mixed or for every cup of flour, add 1.5 tsps of baking powder and 0.5 tsps of salt)

Notice the whole wheat flour? 😉

Make the icing in a double boiler, chocolate is really sensitive to burning.

Happy Birthday to me!

Some tips: Use an 8′ springform pan if you have one. If you don’t like really really dark chocolate, use milk chocolate in your icing! Or maybe instead of 3/4 cup sugar for the cake, use 1 1/4 cup. This cake rises a lot so it serves up to maybe 15 people or more, so it’s a lot!! And if whole wheat is too much for you, split it half whole wheat and half white flour!

Another idea: make a raspberry couli to go with the cake, all you need is fresh/frozen rapsberries, syrup/honey and a blender.

Hope the summer heat is bearable for you all and, for those of you who went out to see F1, hope you all liked it! 🙂 I love Montreal!!!!

– D the Intern

Are you sick of making school lunches yet?

For most families, at this point in the school year, kid  lunches are starting to get stale.  Well not literally, but  I’ll bet a lot of moms are starting to pack the same old boring lunches day in and day out.

I love making lunches for my boys.  For me, it’s a work of art.  I remember the lunches my mom packed us and they weren’t exciting (sorry Mom if you are reading this).  Back in the day when nut allergies were unheard of, I would get a PB and J daily with some slimy fruit and maybe a hard mandelbread.  In my opinion, an awesome lunch makes the day.  You have something to look forward to and once it’s been eaten you feel satisfied and well nourished ready to take on the rest of the day.

I don’t pack the same lunch for both boys.  They are individuals with different likes and dislikes and so I respect that.  While preparing for school to start in mid-August, I ordered some lunch supplies online at Fenigo and Noplastic.  I asked each boy to choose a lunchbox and a water bottle.  Trevor chose this one and Jason picked this.  The only criteria were that each lunch box had to be easy to clean.  Trevor’s can go in the washing machine and Jason’s cleans well on the top rack of my dishwasher.  In the past we had chosen lunchboxes that were difficult to keep clean and had to be thrown out due to the growth of mold.

I believe that kid sized food is the key to a successful lunchbox.  I picked up some small containers to hold bite sized food.  They are perfect for diced cheese, cucumber slices, a few baby carrots and even berries when they are in season.  It’s overwhelming for a child to open their lunchboxes and find large portion sizes of food, even foods they love.  Keep the portions sizes to ¼ cup or ½ a cup.

I use tight sealing containers to pack applesauce (homemade or from a jar), yogurt and anything else that could spill out.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know my plight with baking.  Well, over the Christmas holidays I finally came to terms with my dilemma.  A few more baking disasters ensued including a mixer that caught on fire (don’t worry nobody got hurt) but I did it! I am an official baker.  I realized I am a mom of 3 boys and I HAVE NO CHOICE.  I must bake.  So, I bake a cake or cookies or banana bread or muffins every Sunday night.  Then I portion everything out and freeze them each individually (this stops the Richard and me from devouring the yummy baked goods).  These are high calorie snacks but they contain no preservatives or artificial crap like the store bought Rice Krispie squares or Bear Paws I used to buy.  Most of my desserts contain eggs, flour, butter, sugar and chocolate. Eaten in moderation, I am happy to give these treats to my kids.

It’s important to pack some type of protein in your child’s lunch box.  Trevor likes chopped egg so I often give him that in a sandwich.  Trevor is maturing and so are his taste buds.  At 7 years old I can finally pack him leftovers from supper.  Here are some of the choices I have given him recently: fish stew, bean burritos, vegetarian meatloaf, carrot stew, meatballs with pasta, tuna casserole and cut up cooked chicken.  I heat up his hot thermos with boiling water for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, I heat up the leftovers in the microwave and then put it in the thermos.  I visited his school last week at lunch and the food was warm but not hot.

Jason is in Kindergarten which is a transition in itself.  Jason requires comfort food and so I pack him pasta with tomato sauce every day in his hot thermos. For protein, hard boiled eggs, cut up cheese or cottage cheese.

I use a cold thermos for their beverages which is either milk or watered down 100% apple juice.

I have noticed when the weather is warm their lunch boxes come home empty.  When it’s cooler they don’t seem to be as hungry.  I save any leftovers that come home for after school munching.

Friday Finds: Dessert Par Angela


July 2010 087
I was picking up some fruit
and vegetables at the local Fruiterie in deep Cote Saint Luc with my son Trevor
the other day.  Whenever we go in there,
he wants a chocolate chip muffin because his mother never bakes anything.  We were looking through the selection when I
came upon a new flavor zucchini, carrot and pineapple.  I picked it up and saw that it wasn't a house
muffin it was from a new supplier called Dessert Par Angela.  I looked at the ingredients and found them to
be what I would deem homemade.  I bought
a few of these muffins and ate one when I got home.  It was very moist, dense and with a hint of
sweetness.  All what you would expect
from a muffin made with whole wheat flour, fruit, vegetables and sweetened with
a bit of fruit juice and baked with a relatively small amount of oil.  In my opinion, this was a perfect
muffin. (Sorry no picture I ate it before I thought to photograph it)


July 2010 122
I tracked Angela down to a
small storefront in
Outremont.  It turns out this is the same Angela formerly
of Eatz Encore in
Westmount.  What intrigued me most about Angela is how
she created most of her recipes from scratch. 
In fact, they aren't even written down. 
She just knows how it goes. 
Baking is a science and generally speaking recipes are necessary to
create a fabulous end product.  It takes
some serious talent to bake without recipes. 
Angela said she wanted to make baked goods with healthy ingredients like
whole wheat flour.  She basically
experimented until she figured out which ingredients work well together.  It took a lot of patience and a lot of trial
and error.


July 2010 086
What I found in her store
was a plethora of home baked goodies and wonderful homemade salads.  I brought home a just out of the oven banana
chocolate chip loaf to Trevor's delight. 
I had to stop him from eating the entire thing.  Jason doesn't love chocolate (very weird) so he enjoyed the apricot-cranberry
cookie instead. 

Angela makes several fresh
salads every morning for the lunch crowd. 
I sampled the carrot-raisin, coleslaw and potato salad which I enjoyed
with my veggie hot-dog for supper.  I
picked up some cream cheese brownies, carrot cake and pecan pie.  Apparently, Angela specializes in pies but
was all sold out of the fruit ones by the time I got there.  I put those treats into the freezer to enjoy
at a later date with Richard or whoever might drop by.  Hint.


July 2010 105
Here's the thing, since I
hate baking but know I should provide my kids with wholesome treats in their
lunch box, this the alternative.  I am
happy to let someone else do the baking and include it in my weekly grocery
budget.  I would rather use my time to
focus on home cooked meals.  Angela's
treats are kid friendly and very traditional. 
However, if you prefer non-traditional, organic, and are not picky about
what you get perhaps you might like the folks at
Sweet Revenge. I do both.  I get a delivery every two weeks from those
guys and I supplement with baked good from Angela's.  Just remember these are treats.  Portion size is important and moderation is
the key. 


July 2010 093To get in touch with Sweet
Revenge click here. Angela delivers to 5 Saisons in Westmount, National in
Westmount, The Verdun Hospital, Quality Fruits in Cote Saint Luc or you can
drop by her store in Outremont at 1570 Van Horne.

Nutrition Confessions


Would you like a muffin by jencounter
I suck at baking. I have had more baking disasters then I
care to mention.   I have actually
scraped cream cheese for a cheese cake that flew out of my bowl and landed on
the floor, back into the bowl and served it. 
I have ruined homemade granola, cookies, cakes, icing, muffins, premade
challah dough and even rice Krispie squares. 
I tried to candy maple syrup once and it boiled over the pot, over the stove
and on to the floor.  I can’t properly
whip butter even with a Kitchenaid.

The reason why I am such a terrible baker is because I don’t
like following directions and have no patience. 
I also hate using more than one bowl. 
I really detest mixing the dry ingredients in one and the wet in another.  I enjoy making recipes up and not following
directions.  You can not do that with
baking.  It’s a science and everything
needs to be measured properly, put into the bowls in the correct order and
baked at the right temperature for the right amount of time.  As you can see, there is a lot places where
one screw up the recipe.

I really wish it weren’t this way.  I really want to be a baker.   I want
to make my own wholesome snacks for my children.
  I want to stop buying junk in little packages
for their lunch boxes.  My kids beg for
me to bake for them.  This winter I even
tried to become a half baker. I bought this muffin mix from Loblaws.  It’s reasonably healthy and fairly easy to
make.  But, after a few batches it became
boring and no one was eating them.

I know several people who are ‘bakers’.  They make wonderful homemade baked goods for
their kids effortlessly.
  I like going to
their houses. Unfortunately, we don’t get too many invites these days because
my kids devour all their homemade goodies.

In the olden days there was no such thing as store bought
baked goods.  Granted, women used to keep
house and part of their daily work was creating the family meal plan from
scratch.  Today it is all about
convenience and time saving techniques. 
I have grown up that way too.  My
mother worked and baked only on occasion. 
My grandmother didn’t work but also only baked on occasion. 


Chocolate Chip Cookies by jamieanne
Ironically, as I sit here writing this my kid just got
dropped off by my mother with a tin of homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
that she made.  From a nutrition
perspective, regularly eating a ton of baked goods will surely end up on your
waistline.  It’s all about moderation.  I just ate 2 of my mother’s cookies and
tossed the rest into the freezer.  I will
put them in my kid’s lunch boxes instead of those dreaded Bear Paws.

The question is, would you pay a premium to have someone else
bake for you?  I would! Stay tuned for
Friday and to find about a new supplier.