Coconut Flour Brownies

Coconut Flour Brownies

Would you like to know why today is so incredibly marvelous? I hope you said yes, because I am going to tell you either way.

Today is marvelous because I have two super exciting things to write about in this blog post. First is my contribution for April’s Recipe Redux. Second is a very special cookbook that I have a recipe featured in!

So as for the recipe…

Recipe Redux

This month’s Recipe Redux theme was “Treasured Cookware.”

Share a story of classic cookware – and a healthy recipe to go with it. Some of us will be celebrating Mother’s Day next month (May 11,) but it’s more than once a year that many of us cook with a pan, a wooden spoon or another piece of cookware passed on to us from the kitchens of our favorite relatives. Let’s see what you can cook up with your treasured kitchen tool!

This theme was very challenging for me because there so many tools in my kitchen that I love to use. Cookie sheets, vegetable peelers, food processors, whisks, baking pans just to name a few. In reality I don’t think that a single one was passed down from a relative! We do have some antique kitchen items but those are either for decoration or in storage. Maybe it’s just because I’m not old enough to be handed down anything yet?

However, since I am technically an adult now, everything in my parents’ home is kind of like a tool passed down from my relatives (aka Mom and Dad), right?! Right. From these I ended up picking two of my most commonly used kitchen tools/cookware for this recipe.

As I decided to make brownies, a glass baking dish was kind of a given. I don’t thinking brownies would have turned out very well on a cookie sheet… And seeing as how my recipe is gluten-free, a food processor was also a must. Those who bake with gluten-filled flours have to worry about over-mixing and tough final products; however, those who bake with gluten-free flours can mix to their hearts content. A food processor for blending up the batter was the obvious next conclusion. I make about 50% of my recipes in a food processor just because it’s such a fast and easy method for mixing.

Coconut Flour Brownies

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly

Adapted from War Eagle Mill

Makes 9 brownies

Coconut Flour Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 or 8×8 square glass pan with parchment paper and your favorite cooking oil to prevent sticking.
  2. In a food processor place all of the ingredients and blend for about a minute or until thoroughly combined. Alternatively you could mix the eggs in a medium bowl first, then add the wet ingredients, and finally the dry ingredients, mixing well.
  3. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth out the top.
  4. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. Remove when firm to the touch (or remove sooner if you prefer gooey chocolate brownies). Let cool for a few minutes before slicing and enjoy!

Substitution notes: You can use carob powder in place of the cocoa powder for a caffeine-free version. To make this recipe sugar-free you could probably substitute the honey with 1/3 cup mashed banana or pumpkin along with some liquid stevia to taste. I have not attempted to make this recipe egg-free but a flax, chia, or tapioca egg substitute may work (no guarantee).

 After reading the rest of my post for today (trust me, you don’t want to miss it!), check out all of the other bloggers who linked up their recipes for this month’s Recipe Redux. 

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Now comes part two of today’s post, which I am equally excited to talk about. Do you remember a What I Ate Wednesday post about one month ago where I shared a picture of a quiche that I made with an almond flour crust?

quiche-wide-2-sharp

Well, I submitted that recipe to be part of Chowstalker’s first community cookbook. I got the final digital copy recently and it’s fantastic. There are so many amazing meal ideas in there and I’ve already successfully made one of the recipes for my family this weekend.

**The rest of this post was promotional and removed according to the rules of The Recipe Redux. You can read my other posts more recently on the subject matter. Sorry for any inconvenience.**

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Questions for you:

Do you prefer brownies or cake?

Have you ever contributed to a community cookbook before?

Do you have community cookbooks at home? We have a lot from church and local fire stations. 

My Mini Weekend Vacation

Happy Wednesday everyone! I have some exciting things to share in my next few posts, so get ready 🙂 In the meantime, today I am writing up a quick recap from this past weekend.

For those of you who are purse lovers, you may be familiar with the brand name Vera Bradley. Actually, even if you aren’t purse lovers (me included), you’ll have probably heard of the company before. They are one of the most popular purse, luggage and accessory companies in the U.S. right now, especially for college girls like myself. You really can’t go more than a few minutes without seeing someone toting around a Vera Bradley quilted purse, book bag, messenger bag, umbrella, etc. They are known for their bold patterns and somewhat expensive, yet high quality lines.

Once a year Vera Bradley holds an Outlet Sale in Fort Wayne, Indiana where they hold a huge discount sale in a large building. Last year over 60,000 people attended the multi-day event. My mom unfortunately didn’t find out about the sale until after it took place last year, but this year we made sure to make plans to attend.

vera-sale-table

So, this Friday my mom drove up to my school, dropped off some food for me to store in my fridge for the coming week, and then together we headed over to Indiana on a long drive. We spent the night at a fancy Hilton Hotel (which we got a huge discount on with AAA and a Vera Bradley coupon) where the room was complete with microwave and fridge.

vera-hotel-beds

 

vera-hotel-window

 

vera-hotel-desk-tv

 

Also it had a ridiculously large bathroom which I wish I could have stuffed in my overnight bag and transported back to my college dorm room.

vera-hotel-mirrow

 

vera-hotel-sink

 

vera-hotel-shower

 

vera-hotel-bathroom

That night I had one of the best sleeps in a long time. I watched questionable television shows (Dallas anyone?) as I drifted off. Saturday morning we slept in until about 7:00am and after getting ready and eating breakfast, headed out to the sale.

Plantain chips

Plaintains and Chicken for breakfast. Sorry for the reused photos this week!

When we got there the line reached almost to the back portion of the parking lot. It was huge.

I brought a magazine with me to read, but I ended up not needing it. Within minutes my stomach began hurting and I had to borrow my mom’s keys to drive to the nearest gas station. Yes, my medication decided to pick that moment to act up again. Life sucks, but what can you do?

vera-me

When I got back less than 20 minutes later, the line had already progressed a lot and my mom was inside.

This of course made it awkward for me seeing as how there was still a line and all of the women in it were eyeing me suspiciously as a “line cutter” as I walked to the front to find my mom. I decided to hold her on the phone, asking loudly where EXACTLY she was, saying “Are you by the large tv?”… “Where? I don’t see you!” until I finally scooted my way inside. Crisis averted.

Once inside we headed straight into the sale. They handed us each big pink garbage bags and set us free to roam. HOLY COW.

vera-sale-table2

There were rows upon rows of tables piled sky high with every patterned bag and accessory imaginable. Here is a map for reference purposes, although it got pretty crumbled from so much use:

vera-map1

Starting at the beginning, we went over every spot several times probably. I read a tip online beforehand about carrying items with you in garbage bags and putting them back later if you decided not to keep them. Apparently patterns run out fast and it’s better to be safe rather than sorry. It turned out to be a good tip because as we returned some items to the random bins on every aisle there were woman there scooping them right back up again.

vera-sale-table3

Everyone was incredibly friendly though, despite how packed the place got. My mom and I traversed around for a few hours before making our final picks and going to checkout. On the way to the checkout we passed a large Vera Bradley quilt on the wall where some others were getting pictures. I offered to take a photo of a girl and her mom in exchange for one of our own.

vera-sale-mom-me

The final checkouts reminded me of the inside lines for rides at Disney World. Organized but crazy. There were so many people and they were buying SO many things! Seriously, one woman had an entire garbage bag to herself and must have pulled out close to a thousand dollars worth of stuff. Most of the things were on sale for over 50% off that day so she was really buying almost two thousand dollars worth, but still, that’s a bunch. The max was $3,500 per person though and I don’t think I saw anyone who managed to buy quite that much.

Once we made it out of the sale and hit the road again, it was time for lunch. We decided to stop by Texas Roadhouse as they have baked sweet potatoes on the menu that I have been getting whenever we go out to eat. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures as my phone was dead from snapping shots at the sale. Just imagine an 8oz steak and the largest sweet potato you have ever seen.

hoarder-sweet-potato

Pretend that I didn’t use this photo for my last WIAW… and that it’s plated all fancy at a restaurant alongside a steak.

Then after filling our tummies began our drive back. We hit a snag when my mom dropped me off at my car so I could move it to a closer parking spot at school. She was supposed to follow me back but got stuck behind a few other cars and so began our scavenger hunt to find each other for a good half an hour. I eventually did find her and drove behind her car, waving my hands to no avail in an attempt to grab her attention. We lost each other again and I finally decided to just park my car and walk back to my dorm. Of course my cellphone was still in her car so communication was futile.

Needless to say we eventually found each other, and after a little grocery shopping to set me up for the week, we said our goodbyes.

Funny enough, I don’t actually have any pictures of any of the things we purchased. It ended up being a total of $100 or so for both of us combine though (which compared to the thousands mentioned above, that’s pretty reasonable I’d say 😉 ). I will tell you that I bought a water bottle holder, a wallet, some keychains, and a present for a friend. My mom bought a bag or two, some lunchboxes, and a water bottle holder I think. Even with the huge sales, I still couldn’t justify spending $25 on a tote.

Instead I went on ebay that following Sunday and bought a used Vera Bradley bag for less than $20. Hah. I’m currently shopping for a new book bag for next year too as mine is getting a little worse for wear. It’s a Vera Bradley messenger bag in… Ellie Blue.

vera-bag

I’ll update this post when I get a snapshot of all of our Vera Bradley purchases, and I’ll also post the photo in my next blog post so you won’t miss it. And I’ll probably have to correct myself for whatever I’ve forgotten. And my mom saved the day by e-mailing me a picture of our loot. I guess she had been texting her friends pictures of everything we bought already 🙂

vera-lot

 

Me: Blue/Flower water bottle holder (Actually a baby bottle holder, but it was too cute to pass up), the purple wallet thing, four key chains, and the red wallet for my friend (I wish I had a small iPhone like her. It seems the best stuff only fits iPhones 🙁 ).

Mom: Yellow/Black/White lunchbox and matching water bottle holder, purple flowery lunchbox for her friend and a matching purple wallet for herself to take while walking, and a large tote/purse in the same pattern as my messenger bag above.

While not everything went perfectly, it was such a nice break from my usual hectic weekend and it was nice to be away from school and the busyness that comes with only a few weeks left to go!

Thanks Jenn for hosting WIAW again this week. Sorry for having to skimp on pictures… Oh, but to complete the day, I probably ended it with chicken for supper. So predictable, am I right?!

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever heard/bought Vera Bradley before?
  • What is your favorite brand?
  • Do you ever go to outlet/discount sales?
  • Do you like staying in hotels? Any rituals? I personally cannot sleep under the sheets and always have to bring my own blanket and pillow. Haha.