Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Whole Wheat Brownies

Friday, December 19, 2008

Whole Wheat Brownies

So these aren't really anything special. In fact I almost didn't post about these as I haven't been all that into the whole blogging thing this week (I've had to force myself so I don't get behind and have tons of recipes and pictures waiting to be posted about), and as I said, these really aren't anything to write home about. But they are really good and they have been, by far, Brett's favorite baked good I've made during my recently kaput baking project. That combined with my having a little time at work means I have decided to post the recipe for anyone interested.

These are just plain whole wheat chocolate brownies, but the texture is far better than the fudgy brownie recipe I have been using for the past year or two. They also aren't as sweet, and Brett and I have a problem with finding sweets that aren't too sweet.

(Sorry about the picture, this was the best one I had taken.)

The local booty legend (aka revealing my sources):
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = local produce from The Root Cellar
++ = The Peace Nook (will denote whether product is local or just from the Nook)
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms

Whole Wheat Brownies
Modified from this recipe.

1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted
1 cup raw organic sugar
2 eggs (or replacer) +
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract + (not local)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray an 8x8 pan with oil.

Combine Earth Balance, sugar, eggs, and vanilla well in a large bowl.

Slowly add the dry ingredients. Don't over stir.

Spread batter evenly into pan.

Bake for 25 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes clean.

Sorry for the lackluster post, I haven't really felt like doing much this week, I'm not sick or anything, but certain things, such as Sharon's predictions for 2009, the lameness that is my job (and my insecurity and fear to try to do something different with my life), and my inability to save the world all by myself - :-) - have been wearing on me lately.

Have a happy Friday everyone, and as always...

'Til next time.


Courtney said...

Awww...I am sorry you are down! It is hard sometimes, especially at the end of the year when you look back on what you have done/accomplished (or not). But know that every day you bring joy to your blog readers with your posts and delicious recipes and tips for eating locally and lessening ones impact on the do a lot! Thank you for everything, and I hope things get better soon :o)


Heather @ SGF said...

That's it. No more moping. Get your booty down here and let's have fun :)

No, really, I know what you mean about the burden being too heavy sometimes. But look back at the distance you've come; how much you've changed (I keep a list, making additions to it all the time, and it's a great reminder). Then think of all the lives you've touched through your blog; people you don't even know exist.

Every day is beautiful. Every day can offer new adventures. Grab a nice warm blanket, some hot tea, and your hubby. Have an indoor picnic, play a game, remind each other how precious life is, and smile. Smiling makes you happy and the world a better place. Feel better....

SusanB said...

Maybe it's time to stop reading Sharon in Cassandra mode for a while -- even in the best of times this can require boundless mental/emotional energy and a strong stomach or other internal resources and is always IMHO best taken in small doses. Heather is right about taking comfort in little things -- look around and find some little bit of natural wonder to marvel at. As for the job, you are young (believe me you are) and things will unfold on their own schedule (again believe me they will). Enough triteness from me -- your blog makes a difference.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Courtney - Thank you very very much for your comment. That means a lot to me. Really, I am just complaining and I don't have much reason. I am very fortunate in my life, sometimes it just seems as if this world is out to make living more simply, making one's living in an alternative fashion, as difficult as it can be. I know that isn't the case, and change takes time, it can just be overwhelming sometimes. I look back and see all that I COULD have done, had I had the time, all that I didn't do that I could have, all that I want to do that I either can't or am too scared to truly contemplate because of the insecurity it brings. I am lucky to be in a position to even complain about this though, there are people out there that are having a pretty bad time right now, and I am feeling sorry for myself because the future doesn't look so hot and my job is boring. I know it is alright to feel upset and overwhelmed, even when people have it worse than you, but at times I just feel lost, like "is this it?", and then I feel guilty for being so selfish, for concerning myself with these things and feeling as if I somehow got the "short end of the stick" because where I want to be isn't coming quickly enough or I can't do everything or something is out of my control that could be bad for many people. The world is pretty complicated and it can get the best of you from time to time. Thank you for the comment again, and I am sorry for bitching for really no reason. :-)

Heather - Haha, you guys really do a lot to make me feel better. Thank you, I truly appreciate it.

You are absolutely right Heather - sometimes the gloom and doom can get to be too much. There are things we want to do that life's responsibilities make difficult or impossible for us at this point. But we have done a lot, have come a long way, and are very fortunate in our circumstances.

The idea of making a list is a good one, something I should definitely do. It will remind me how far I've come and why I have been doing what I have to begin with. You are right, you know from your experience how much your blog helps others, I suppose I should accept the same thing as well.

You are right, and your comment put a smile on my face. Makes me want to call Brett and take a stroll through Peace Park instead of working the rest of the day. Too bad - maybe after work. Otherwise, some snuggling and game play sound like a perfect weekend. Thank you.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Susan B - You must have commented when I was responding to the other comments. You are right, reading things like that should probably be done in small doses, combined with the climate of the times it can have the ability to render one unable to cope or disseminate all the information before them. I don't find your comment trite at all - it is really helpful - you are right, I AM still young, and things will change, and it helps to have someone who KNOWS this remind me. One can get in a circle of feeling sorry for themselves and helpless when they are surrounded by people who all feel they are in the same situation (a phenomena similar in ways to groupthink).

I think it might be time to take a step back from the serious for a few days (reading The Limits of Growth probably isn't helping right now) and enjoy the small things that make my life liveable and keep me sane from day to day. Small things like a nuzzle from a kitty, Brett always remembering to bring me a blanket when he knows I'm cold, nice actions from neighbors, a walk.

Thank you Susan, you may be right when you say my blog makes a difference, but please know how much of a difference you all make in my life as well. I can't thank you all enough for that. :-)

Jorge Lavalle said...

Hello, I'm one of the editors of MyMissourian, and I've selected your post to appear in aour site, if you agree. In that case, it would be published soon so you may want to take a look.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Jorge - Feel free to post this, or any other content from our blog to the MyMissourian website (if you don't mind your readers enduring my complaining :-)). We love the site and have no problem sharing our content. Yay for local citizen journalism!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Sorry to hear you're having a blah week. I hope you can find something enjoyable to do this weekend! Take care.

miss v said...

thanks for sharing this. i, too, am a 'sweet-but-not-too-sweet' kind of foodie. so i like this!

livinginalocalzone said...

Hang in there. I hope you are doing a little better this morning. It is hard to keep positive when there is so much going on in the world that is stress-inducing, not to mention personal stress stuff. There is always that feeling that something is missing or that one could have done "more" somehow, but I agree with the others, focusing on what you *have* done and achieved can help counteract it. Your blog has helped me and so many others, that alone is reaching out into the world to make a difference. Stay strong, okay? And enjoy the brownies! Lets hear it for all kinds of comfort food and warm baking!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Lisa - It's alright, we all have them, and I feel a lot better now. I will certainly do that, I think the Hammond organ deserves some attention today.

Miss V - Hey no problem, it's nice to "know" someone who isn't a super sweet-sweets fan.

Living in a Local Zone - Thank you, I really appreciate all the comments I have gotten. I am usually really good about making time for the fun, reflecting on what we have accomplished, but there has been a lot of bad stuff occuring lately and I think I have been paying a little too much attention to it.

You are very right, I have told so many other people, and at times need to remind myself, that one person can't do it all, and that is not the point. I am trying as best as I can to live in accordance to my priciples, be informed, and help where I can, but there also has to be joy and fun.

Thank you for you comment. I really enjoy your blog as well and learn a lot from you all - probably more than you all get from me.

Brownies make everything better, don't they?

Have a great weekend.

jessy said...

i'm sorry you're feeling kinda off, Jennifer. i too read Sharon's predictions - scary, scary stuff. you and i must be on the same page - lately i have been feeling like i'm going crazy - feeling like one of the few people who gives a damn about the state of the world and such. i think seeing all the holiday shoppers out in their cars & buying crap has me really, really depressed. but don't forget - the small things add up, and if anything - you're "starting a thought" or an idea. if you can get one person to start being more conscious of how they live and the effect they have on this world than they will make some changes too - changes that other will note - and that will also rub off on someone else - and so on & so on. it's infectious (to an extent) and i think that things will start to look up. we may need a big shocker for everyone to join in (i know, the state of everything seems shocking enough to us as it is now!) - but we've gotta have faith. ;) i can't tell you how much you're always inspiring us! you really do. i mean, we eat more locally, we still make brunches at home, carpool more, bake our own stuff - it's awesome! so thank you!

i'm gonna give your brownie recipe a whirl, too. i have yet to make vegan brownies and these sound just perfect! they look delicious to me! mmmmmmmmm!

Cookiemouse said...

None of us can save the world alone, Jen, but at least you are one of the good guys, so be proud of the contribution you make. This time of year can be depressing, but the solstice is past and the light will return. Have a lovely holiday and lots of good luck for 2009!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Jessy - Eh, I'm feeling a lot better now, but I'm glad you read it and feel the same way as I do. There are times when I sit here at my desk all day and just get bummed at what all I COULD be doing, what all NEEDS to be done, while I play with errant, useless numbers (I don't really like my job if you couldn't tell) - all the while it "seems like time is getting short".

The holidays really do have a way of amplifying all that is wrong in the world right now. And people have been so rude lately as a result that there is very little positive to look at sometimes.

Think about how many people we've all inspired though - I guess the thing is, I know all the things you guys have told me, I KNOW I can't do it all, I know that things will change with time, but that still doesn't keep the weight from feeling kind of burdensome at times.

You might be right about that shock. I wish something like that wouldn't be necessary, but perhaps it really is. With how morally and socially devoid we are as a nation, though times might be tough, I think it will be a wonderful thing for us in the end.

I'm so proud of what you and Dan have accomplished, and you guys should be too - you have come a really long way and are an inspiration to even those you claim to have been inspired by - so thank you too.

Oh these brownies were perfect, not too sweet, but sweet enough, and decadently chocolaty. I can't believe some people frost their brownies though - my goodness that has to be sweet.

Cookiemouse - Thank you for your comment, and I know, I've written the exact same thing on this blog before. It's like being someone who understands psychology - just because you understand a concept doesn't mean you aren't prey to it yourself - I am still human. :-) But it is something that I think at least I need to be reminded of sometimes. And you are right, this time of year, with the cold, dark weather, the consumerist holiday in the most consumerist country in the world, and all the troubles of our society are all just taking their toll. Its nice to have some time off to look forward to, I plan on relaxing.

Back at ya Leighton!

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