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Monthly Archives: March 2012

I FINALLY accomplished black bean brownies. I say finally because if you remember the last time I attempted them, I accidentally omitted the sugar. Oops! Not good.

In my quest to find a healthy excuse to shovel chocolate down my pie hole, I came across something extraordinary. You can put beans in desserts and they give you protein! Whoa! I know. Deep breaths. On a serious note, beans are the cheapest way for someone to receive their daily protein. Plus, they’re just so darn yummy.

I grabbed my can of black beans and went to town.

I ended up with three different topping ideas for these and thought I would share them with you.

A basic brownie with yummy powdered sugar doused on top. The more the sugar, the better. C’mon guys! There are beans in these bad boys so its gotta be healthy, right? Yummy.

Mmmmm. Holla!

A la mode, anyone? Now, wipe that drool off the side of your face. You’re embarrassing me.

Brownies, caramel and candied nuts! Nothing beats it. I love the huge chunk of chocolate up in herrr. So delicious!

So, you wanna know how to make these, do ya? Well, here we go:

Ingredients:
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly (The brainchild of this recipe)
3/4 cup sugar (Don’t forget this)
1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
3 eggs
3 Tbsp Canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 blocks (half a package) of Bakers semi-sweet chocolate (roughly chopped)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 inch baking pan with cooking spray

2. In a food processor, pulse the black beans. Pulse until smooth.

3. In a large bowl, combine black beans, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, canola oil, vanilla extract and baking powder. Stir until well combined and smooth.

*Side note: You could decrease the amount of chocolate to just 2 blocks, but I LOVE chocolate. This may have been counter productive to the health benefits of the beans. Sigh.

4. Fold in the chocolate until well combined.

5. Pour into the baking pan.

6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Do the toothpick test to make sure the center is done. I suggest you let it cool before diving into it, but I’d be a hypocrite if I told you to wait.

Caramel Nut Topping:

You’ll need:
1/4 cup each of 3 varieties of nuts, roughly chopped (I used walnuts, pecans, and slivered almonds)
2 Tbsp of butter (melted)
2 Tbsp of sugar
2 Tbsp of brown sugar
caramel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the nuts, butter, sugar and brown sugar. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool. When you want to use it as a topping, simply mix the nut mixture and caramel together until desired consistency/quantity. Top over any dessert and enjoy.

Nom nom nom.

Review: These brownies were delicious. I thought they tasted like I had used dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet. I know other variations consist of coffee. I didn’t like that idea. These are great in small portions. I’ll be making these again. I also liked that I could avoid using flour. Let me know if you guys try them.

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I know it’s Wednesday and I told you I’d post a yummy dessert. Well…

You’ll get it tomorrow.

I know I know. Please don’t hate me. I need today to be a small vent session. Please hold the groans.

Last night, I came home from work starving. This is unusual. I’m a grazer. I have to eat every few hours or I get extremely hangry. You’ve heard the term right? Hangry. Hangry occurs when you’re hungry and the result leads to angry thoughts and actions. I try to avoid this when all possible which is why I graze. Anyway, I didn’t graze enough yesterday, so instead of rushing off to the gym like normal, I decided to make dinner and go afterward.

Around 8:00 p.m., I made my way into the bedroom to dress and lace up my tennis shoes. I was in the mood for a really good run. I just wanted to run. I felt good. I had let my food digest and I was hydrated. I grabbed my iPod and water and I was out the door.

Upon arrival at the gym, I stretched and hopped on the nearest treadmill. I briskly walked a mile and then started my run. My comfortable pace these days is 5.5 mph. About a mile down, I was feeling pretty good. I knew I could run 4 miles easily and set it as my goal. I don’t really make running goals until I’ve warmed up and I know how my body is performing. Last night was going great.

I made one crucial mistake that cost me my run. I wore shorts. Seems strange that wearing shorts would be a mistake, right? It’s 80 degrees these days in Dallas, so shorts are a must. These were brand new shorts.

About a mile and a half in, I knew I was in trouble. See, my thighs touch. I think you know where I’m going with this. These brand new shorts were riding up in the front and I was suffering from the worst chaffing. Another quarter of a mile and I was done. My poor inner thighs were burning. I knew my legs and body weren’t done running. In a fit of frustration, I hopped off the treadmill and raced home. I threw on some under armour shorts hoping they would relieve the burning. Five minutes later, I was back in the gym and on the treadmill. I wonder if people thought I was doing number 2 because I disappeared for a few minutes. Eh. Whatever. I began running feeling confident.

It didn’t last long…

I got another half mile under my belt before the shorts rode up and I was feeling the slap, slap of skin to skin contact. I tried to avoid thinking about the pain between my thighs, but I failed miserably. I jumped off the treadmill defeated. I went home, showered and curled up in bed. I was ready to pout. And I did a little.

I view this incident as a setback and a lesson. A setback because I made a goal for myself and I didn’t achieve it. This really drives me nuts. A lesson because I didn’t realize until much later that I needed to look at the bright side of the situation. The bright side of this situation happens to be a mantra I say to myself every time my legs are weighing me down or I can’t seem to hit my stride.

You’re lapping everyone on the couch.

I have so many goals I want to achieve in my life and running a half marathon is one of them. I haven’t decided on a full marathon but we’ll see. Anyway. I love to run, but it bothers me when I can’t get it done. I mean c’mon! It’s one foot in front of the other. I’ve noticed little changes to my pace as I’ve picked up interval training. That’s the thing with running. If you set a goal,especially a running goal, you have to TRAIN. It doesn’t come over night. Maybe for some people. Not for me. So, I keep at it. I’m introducing hill training this week and I need to add some more weight training. If anything, this experience opened my eyes to more ways to achieve my running goals.

In life, when I make a mistake, I make sure I learn something from it. So here’s what I learned:

1. Do NOT wear shorts. I’m a woman with thighs that touch. Shocking, I know! My body is not cut out for shorty shorts.

2. Remember the positive in every frustration and defeated moment in your life.

And one more thing. I like that my thighs touch. I don’t like chaffing. Power to the thigh touching women out there. Don’t be insecure because your thighs touch. Whatever! I’m still awesome. Gotta remember that.

Have a great rest of your hump day, homies!

Okay, so this is a few months late but whatever. I roll my own way yo!

Since I have a bucket list on this sweet little bloggity of mine, it’s about time I start setting some goals to accomplish some of them. So, I’ve made a shorter list that I’m going to focus on and hopefully accomplish them fairly soon. I better get crackin!

1. Run 13.1 miles. Yup. I want to run a half marathon. If you know me at all, I’m currently working towards running my patootie off. My longest run is 5.3 miles. That’s pretty good, right? I somehow enjoy huffing and puffing while killing my knees slowly. I apologize, knees, but hello tight bootay!

2. Take a photography class. My first purchase after I got a “real” job after college was a Canon DSLR. I love it! I really don’t have any idea what I’m doing. I even bought the Photography for Dummies book, but the best way I learn is in-class instruction. I’m all for learning new things and constantly challenging the mind. This will be one of them.

3. Make homemade pasta. You already know I enjoy cooking so this one should be a no-brainer. I definitely want to make gnocchi and ravioli. Hopefully I have the patience to work with the dough. Dough and I are not good friends. We’re frenemies really.

4. See a Broadway Musical. This one is happening in the next few weeks. I have tickets to Wicked in London during April! That’s what’s up homies!

5. Visit a Renaissance Fair. Scarborough Fair takes place just south of Dallas every year and I’ve never been. It’s a bit sad really since I’ve lived here for 15 years. Hopefully, I can get there this summer so I can be a part of 16th century jousting and fancy shmancy performances and shtuff.

So, there ya have it. I’ll post a blog every time I complete something on my list. The cool part is I’m always thinking of additional items to add to my bucket list. I’m up for the challenge of making my life full and exciting.

Ya notice none of these pictures have anything to do with my list? Eh. I’m too cool for pictures that relate to posts. I mean c’mon. Who does that?

Oh snap! Guess what? Tomorrow, I’ve got a yummy dessert for ya! Actually, I have three versions of one dessert. Don’t forget to visit me mmk? . Have a great Tuesday, ya’ll!

I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was packed with sun, sunsets and the Hunger Games. I must tell you this post is a little rushed. I’ve been extremely busy. I will leave you today with several awesome photos of the weekend. Enjoy!

Saturday, we made our way to Lake Bridgeport. Joe’s parents have a lake house there. Since the weather report called for 80 degrees of sunshine, I was all for making our first trip out for some sun.

Getting my tan on. More like burn on. By the end of the evening, I was pretty pink. Nothing too bad though.

Rays.

Meet Scotty and Sparky, our Scottish Terrier Captains. How adorable are their life vests?

Sparky at 50 mph.

Check out this awesome sunset. So beautiful!

Joe, tending to the fire.

So, it was a little cold once the sun went down.

A view by the fire pit.

Bridgeport at night is pretty amazing. You can see hundreds of stars and even planets. I grabbed the Google Sky Map app on my phone and identified lots of constellations and such. So cool. Thanks to Joe’s dad for mentioning that we were staring at Jupiter and Venus. The Texas sky (or just sky, really) is truly remarkable.

It was a beautiful evening. We roasted marshmallows and wafted down some yummy smores. It was a perfect way to start the wonderful spring/summer season.

On Sunday, we took a trip to the cinema to see the Hunger Games. Yay! I loved the books and I thought the movie was portrayed pretty well. Does anyone know if they’ll adapt the other two books into movies?

Ashley from Adventures of Newlyweds hosts this little link party every Friday and I’m officially starting today. So here it goes:

Dear Amber: It’s time you figured out some better organizational skills. Your 1-bedroom apartment has random crap every where. You NEED to spend an entire weekend figuring out better systems of organization for each room. That counter top and desk area will not organize itself. Get it together!

Dear Joe: I must tell you, I love you even more today. You have been so helpful during my finger recovery. You have no idea how nice it was to hear how fast you drove to get home to rush me to the ER. And how gentle you were taking me there considering I’m not crazy about your driving. I love you for washing the dishes because I couldn’t. I love you because you did it without complaining. Sort of. Thanks babe!

{True love I tell ya}

Dear Apollo: You have been pretty good lately. No pooping in the closet, two inches from your litter box. Our talks in the morning after Joe leaves for work are very therapeutic, especially since you find your way under our bed covers and the face that peaks out is too cute for words. The meowing could seize a little, but I’ll take what I can get from a grumpy, ole fart like yourself.

Dear Europe: I’ll see you soon! I hope all my planning to visit you is worth it. Building a binder full of itineraries and maps is a bit time consuming. Now that I think about it, those efforts should really go towards organizing my apartment. Hmmm.

Dear Green Tea: I’m falling in love with you. I’ve warned you. Coffee, you’re on probation.

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