Triple Chocolate Avocado Brownies. Yeah, those happened.

Hello!!

I hope your week is off to a good start!

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

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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.

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 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.

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

Trust me when I say this stuff is THICK.

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

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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.

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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. 😉

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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

Weekend reflections: baby, it was COLD outside!

Hello! Happy Monday!

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I got bangs!

How was your weekend?

I hope you weren’t in the line of fire of yesterday’s winter storm and, if you were, you maintained power and stayed all nice and toasty warm indoors.

We were supposed to go to the Redskins/Chiefs game at FedEx Field but wisely decided to stay home.

At least, in my warm house, my tears didn’t freeze as they were squeezing out of my eyes.

Sigh.

I’ll be honest. I knew we were going to lose. Have you seen the Chiefs this year?! But, I was still excited about the game because my sailor is a Chiefs fan and how awesome was it going to be to see an excellent team play live and in person?

Well, I’m glad we got to watch an excellent team play while in the warmth and comfort of our living room.

Sheesh. What a routing.

Sometimes, it’s so hard to be a Redskins fan.

sad Redskin

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Anyway, the crappy weather also means I didn’t get my long run in on Saturday.

Freezing rain.

Not my idea of excellent running weather.

I’m honestly a little concerned about my upcoming marathon. I haven’t managed a run longer than 13 miles in this whole training process. I hope I don’t die.

I still have a little more than month and 3 weekends to get in some serious distance so I can taper the last weekend before the race.

I can do this!

(did I sound convincing? I really need to sound convincing!)

Anywho, instead of a long run, we decorated the house!

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Honestly, that was WAY more fun than running 20 miles in the freezing rain would have been. 🙂

Then, we went out later to Bed, Bath, and Beyond – seriously, I can drop some major $$$ in that store! – because I needed some stocking hangers for the mantle.

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Are those cute or what?!

And, then, of course, while we were there we had to buy our joint Christmas gift.

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Hey, we had a 20% off coupon! It would have been just silly if we hadn’t picked it up while we were there. 😉

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I have totally been wanting this for SO. LONG.

My old food processor was just, well … old.

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It served me well but the seal was not as great as it used to be and the bowl was cracked a little and I’ve had it for years.

It was definitely time for an upgrade. 🙂

Hey! Did you know yesterday was National Brownie Day?

I didn’t know until I saw a tweet about it! There really out to be a calendar out there that alerts us to such things. Why isn’t there an app for that?

So, of course, I had to make brownies!

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Click the photo to get the recipe! Om nom nom

Om nom nom!

Question: What’s your favorite Christmas song or CD?

Ever heard of Mitch Miller? My favorite non-traditional song is Must Be Santa. I can put that on repeat and not get tired of it. Reminds me of being a kid and driving to my grandparents’ house for the holidays. 🙂

As for traditional songs, my favorite has to be Little Drummer Boy. 

– jennifer