Sunday, July 7, 2013

Crazy Good Weekend + Brownies!

First off, I want to thank everybody that messaged/commented/Facebooked me after my post about UNC. It means so much to know you are all reading and supporting me. You guys are the best!

On to the crazy 4th of July weekend...crazy in a good way! My whole family drove down to visit. My mom arrived on the actual 4th of July, and then we toured two very nice boarding stables so that we can hopefully get Sydney here ASAP. Then my dad and sister came late Friday night/Saturday morning (it was like 1:30 a.m.), and we all spent Saturday and this morning together. Yesterday we biked the Tobacco Trail before lunch at Souper!Salad! (which I highly recommend), lazing by the pool, and dinner at El Bandido’s Mexican Cafe.

Most of all, it was great just to talk to them and see them again. I miss everybody in Pennsylvania so much. And it helped me so, so much to talk in person about UNC and how best to proceed. Their thoughts pretty much mirrored mine, which was a huge comfort. So I’m keeping the appointment I have with Duke to see what they can offer me. If that doesn’t work...well, we’ll go from there.

It was hard saying goodbye this morning, but we all have to get back to our lives tomorrow. But I do have some more cheer for you, in the form of a recipe: Brownies!

Only these are special brownies. Well, experimental brownies. I had no idea going into it if they would actually work. I made them on the 4th, passing the time until my mom got here. And yeah, it felt pretty good to present her with brownies as soon as she walked through the door (although I think she was more impressed with the air conditioning, lol).

So anyway, knowing me, they were “healthy” brownies. Which is why I couldn’t post this earlier, because I didn’t want my sister finding out they contained applesauce before she ate one. Because then she never would have eaten one.

For these, I changed up the original recipe (check it out here), exchanging Stevia for Splenda, Egg Beaters for eggs, skim milk for 1% and brown sugar blend for brown sugar. (The original also calls for a couple of M&Ms as topping, but I kept forgetting to buy them every time I went to Walmart.) I also halved the recipe, so my final list of ingredients looked something like this:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup Stevia in the Raw (cup-for-cup sugar substitute)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar blend
  • 1/6 cup skim milk (yes, that was hard to’s to eyeballing it)
  • 1 tablespoon Egg Beaters
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
Oops. I just realized while typing all that out that I was supposed to use one serving of Egg Beaters, not one tablespoon. Well, I guess I modified the original a little more than I intended. :)

But back to the recipe. First, mix together the first five ingredients. Then combine the Stevia, brown sugar blend, milk, “eggs” (however many you decide to use), and applesauce in a separate bowl and mix well. Then, pour the wet stuff into the first bowl and mix it all up. The powdered mixture definitely looks more appetizing than the applesauce, but the final product looks just like brownie batter!

And that’s it! Spread it in the pan and bake at 350 F! I took mine out after about 17 minutes, and they were very obviously done. Then again, with the right amount of eggs they might cook differently. This is also the first time I’ve used my oven for baking, so I don’t know how mine compares to others yet.

These smell nothing like applesauce, which I was nervous about because it would turn my sister off instantly. And it wasn’t too obvious in the taste, either. Nobody could guess what I used, and my sister even called them “delicious,” although she might have just been trying not to hurt my feelings...she also said she could tell they were healthy. The way I made them, they were more cakey than your normal moist, dense brownie. But maybe using the correct amount of eggs would have helped.

But they satisfied my chocolate cravings, and no one spit theirs out or got sick, which is always a good thing. I ended up eating most of the pan...oops, so much for making brownies for everyone else. Oh, well. They were a good first experiment for my new oven and brownie pan. I’m already thinking up a variation involving my PB2....
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