Sunday Food Prep – what went down in my kitchen (10)

Hello, hello!

Welp, Monday’s back…

hooray monday

…and that means I get to share my Sunday food prep adventures with you!

I was feeling less than inspired – much like the Redskins offense – and only accomplished a little – much better than the Redskins offense. *sigh*

I decided that I needed to make some brownies. Because … duh … brownies.


I’ve been fiddling with my recipe a little and I like what I did this time around. I decreased the flour (gluten-free) to 3/4 cup, only used 1 egg, subbed peanut butter chips for the dark chocolate chips, and threw in some chopped pecans from the pecan tree in our backyard. We have a few so I figured why not?


I also added a couple teaspoons of this new chia, hemp, and buckwheat cereal I found at the Fresh Market.


These are definitely winners! Not overly sweet and dense but still thick and fudgy. Just the way a brownie should be! Have you tried them yet?

I roasted a chuck roast in my crockpot.


I defrosted some homemade chicken broth and used that as the liquid. I skipped all the fanciness and just went with salt and pepper and a little bit of garlic powder as my seasonings.

For a girl who doesn’t like pot roast, I was really reluctant to share!  So good!

My sailor and I had some last night for dinner with some quinoa and roasted broccoli and there’s plenty leftover for a few sandwiches or to top a sweet tater throughout the week. 🙂


This broccoli. It’s like veggie crack. Seriously, I could eat the whole pan.

Finally, I decided to make a loaf of The Lean Green Bean’s Dutch Oven bread.


Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m not doing that whole gluten thing right now.

Well, I’ve been gluten free for a few weeks now and I’ve been assessing my tummy situation. I’m not exactly sure that gluten is the problem (I see my doc tomorrow and we’ll discuss all the tummy things then) and I read Erin’s post about why she stopped being gluten free and it really resonated with me. I mean, I don’t eat a lot of gluten anyway (as long as I don’t eat an entire baguette in one sitting!) but I also wasn’t having any of those other, more serious issues like balance and headaches, etc.  So, unless a test comes back indicating that I need to eliminate all gluten, I figure I’ll eat it in moderation. And maybe only in homemade foods so I can control all the ingredients.

Like in this bread.

Which, incidentally, I made with 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of gluten-free flour and, while the loaf might be smaller than one that uses all gluten-y flour, it was still pretty delicious toasted and smeared with avocado this morning. And my tummy wasn’t mad. 🙂

Random Spam Comment Time!

…in response to this post

“Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!”

Talk to me: Have you ever done an “elimination” diet? What did you eliminate? What did you learn about yourself?

– jennifer

Tasty Tuesday – Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Brownie Cookies


It’s Tasty Tuesday and I have a fabulous Fall recipe to share with you!  Whoop!!


Make sure you head over to Lena’s page and check out all the other Tasty Tuesday yumminess! 🙂

I decided it was high time I jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon because it really seems like Fall is here to stay.  I figured we would have somewhat of an Indian Summer and have warm weather through October but…..according to the meteorologists, these temps are going up any time soon.

Of course, how much can you really count on a meteorologist but still…….I’m doing it because I want some pumpkin stuff!

I’ve been dreaming of brownie cookies lately – as well as of running. Anxious much? – and I decided I needed to incorporate pumpkin somehow.

I’ve made a couple of pumpkin brownie recipes and I’ve made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies so it seemed that the logical next step was pumpkin brownie cookies!


I’m really stoked these turned out so well on my first shot!

They are soft, chewy, pillowy, chocolatey, pumpkin spice-y, and delicious.

Thing 2 said they were really chocolatey but … really, what’s wrong with that?!


You would think they would be dense but they’re not. It’s gotta be the pumpkin that makes it like little pillows.

Little pillows of chocolatey goodness.



Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Brownie Cookies
makes approximately 18 cookies

1 cup white whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
½ cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients – flour through nutmeg.

3. In large mixer bowl, mix pumpkin, sugar, and vanilla until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.

4. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets. These will not spread so don’t worry about them running into each other.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

6. NOM them down!!



Talk to me: Do you dream about cookies? Do you love Fall? What’s your favorite season?

– jennifer

Triple Chocolate Avocado Brownies. Yeah, those happened.


I hope your week is off to a good start!

I kicked mine off with an early morning track workout. 🙂


It was a great morning which is good because I really didn’t want a bad/hard workout to follow Saturday’s tough long run.

So, once I had recovered on Saturday, I discovered I had a major sweet tooth.

Apparently, I needed to replenish with more than chocolate milk.

So, I made brownies. With avocado. Instead of butter.

Yes, seriously.

What? You didn’t know you could substitute avocado for butter in your favorite baked goods?

Oh yes, you can! You’re just swapping one fat (good, healthy avocado) for the other (trans-fat laden (and delicious, yes – not knocking that!) butter).

You can find loads of ways to use avocados in your recipes here. You should definitely check it out!

And, they were delicious!

You can’t even taste the avocado. Really!

But, I knew I could make them better.

Besides, there’s no such thing as too many brownies. 🙂

So, I set out to make them again on Sunday.

To make sure I was doing it right this time, my supervisor set up her chair on the other side of my workspace.


 I wanted to up the chocolatey goodness and make them a little less mushy. Not that the others were mushy, I just wanted more of a cakey brownie.

For the record, I did not use white sugar in this recipe. I used this awesome natural Demerara sugar I get from Harris Teeter. I like that it’s not overly sweet like regular sugar.



I measured and mixed and concocted and finally got the batter right.

Trust me when I say this stuff is THICK.



Used my putty knife to spread it into my pan (jk!) and popped it into my oven.


Okay, is it just me or is “popped” a funny word to use there? Cracks me up every time! But, I hear the chefs on Food Network say it all the time – “just POP it into the oven,” so I feel like a real fancy chef when I say it. Because I totally am. A real chef. And fancy. For reals.


The good thing about brownies is they don’t take forever to cook.

The bad thing about brownies is you really need to wait until they cool (almost all the way) before cutting into them.

You really do. It sucks, I know. But, would you rather EAT a brownie or lick a brownie off the knife?

Well, I guess if you’re making them for yourself, it doesn’t matter but, if you are making them to share, you should probably be able to cut them into defined squares. You know, to show you’re fancy and stuff.

Whether or not you tell anyone that you made them with avocado is completely up to you.  It can be our little secret. 😉


Om nom nom!

Triple Chocolate Avocado Brownies
serves as many as you plan on sharing with 😉
but seriously, you could cut 16 small squares

1 cup white whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur brand. Plain old unbleached would be fine if that’s what you have.)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ (optional)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
1/2 cup avocado (about 1/2 of an avocado)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

2. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, chia seeds, and wheat germ in a small bowl.

3. In a medium bowl, using a hand blender (you can use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, if that’s what you have), mix sugar, cocoa powder, and avocado until dark and crumbly looking. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Once eggs are incorporated, add vanilla. Beat well.

4. Slowly beat in flour mixture, scraping down bowl as necessary. Gently fold in dark chocolate chips and semisweet chunks. Spread into prepared pan.

5. Bake at 325 degrees for about 24-28 minutes, until the center is set. Allow to cool completely (or as close to it as possible) before slicing. NOM them down! Oh wait, share. That’s the nice thing to do.

Talk to me: What’s your favorite way to cook with avocado? Have you ever even eaten an avocado?

– jennifer