Super buckwheat brownies

This brownie recipe grew from one I read at Cutterlight.com. These two write and cook from Alaska- beautiful images, stories and recipes.

New year mode for me does mean less sugar , wheat, dairy  blah blah blah. So everyone that eats my food also gets less sugar, wheat and dairy. At least till I want to start eating them again. No problem cutting out processed foods- we literally don’t eat them… except mayonnaise and maybe store bought condiments like kimchi I want to test out.  I don’t see wheat and sugar as villains per se- I just see them piling up calories.  Eat them in moderation- what a great idea. But generally I don’t. Dairy will be back in full force in a couple months when our four does kid and we have goat milk and cheese coming out our ears. Our cow, Else is ready to be bred. I’d so like to have fresh cow milk and mostly butter. I am trying to make a clear decision about time, energy and focus. I can’t decide if it’s something on my bucket list that should be tried for a year or if that’s not where I want my time and energy to go. She will likely produce 2-3 gallons/day (and that’s once a day milking)! Honestly, I want cream and butter- cow milk makes me a little congested. I must be nuts.

Back to the brownies.

I LOVE HOW PRETTY THIS IS BUT THE BITS ON TOP MIGHT BURN!

If you cook them at a lower temp- 325° with no convection fan they might hold out. These photos were taken before they went in the oven.

I manipulated Cutterlight’s brownie recipe to be GF with buckwheat flour and coconut sugar. Yes- it is still sugar and sweet and maybe a notch less on the glycemic index. Works for me.

I used Valrhona cocoa powder and their 70% Andoa Noire feves and Guittard’s organic 74% wafers. Both lightly chopped. I buy my chocolate by the kilo from Chocosphere. The base is buckwheat flour, almond flour and butter, eggs and oil (I did coconut, avocado and sunflower). You’ll likely want to fold in the nibs and goji berries so they don’t burn. You can mix everything but nuts, chocolate and berries, up together in one bowl, then fold those in.

Spoon into your cast iron or baking dish and bake. COOL THEM before cutting and eating. Brownies are easy but can trick you into thinking they are over or undercooked. They sort themselves out if you let them cool down. DO NOT judge until they are room temp. In this sense they are not a quick go to in my book. Stick with cookies if you need to bake and EAT immediately.

Our hens are laying again. HOORAY! I really miss having a steady supply of eggs. We have 28 hens of varying ages and 1 rooster trying to keep them all safe and in order. I actually tagged them last fall- we’ll cull the older hens for stew meat (we’ll probably let them go till around 4 yrs old or so). We bought 12 chicks Labor Day weekend 2017 from the farmstore- no shipping costs! They started laying little eggs this week as well- did you know they start smaller? It should be a good year for eggs. And goat milk ice cream!

 

super buckwheat brownies

  • Servings: 10-12pc
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*Note: Add superfood & nuts as desired!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ⅓ cup cocoa power
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup- mild oils – I use sunflower, avocado an/or coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T brandy or bourbon (what you have on hand)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chopped but I like it chunky or chips
  • ½ cup pecans chopped
  • ¼ cup cocoa nibs
  • ¼  goji berries

Directions

  • Easy way- Mix all ingredients in one bowl – add chocolate chunks, nibs and goji berries
  • For double, triple or more batches- Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately- Then add chocolate chunks, cocoa nibs and goji berries.
  • -Spoon brownie mix into two greased 6” cast iron pans or one greased 9×9 square baker. You can also line baker with parchment paper and lightly grease.
  • Bake at 350° for 18-25min.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool! Brownies need time to settle and adjust to the atmosphere!! I find they often seem undercooked or overcooked and then hours later they self adjust.
  • Remove from baker once cooled.
  • We eat straight from the mini cast iron pans till gone (hopefully they last more than 24 hours)

Now go make some brownies. And if you are so inclined #starroutekitchen – let me know if you do any recipe tweaking and how they turn out.

x wendy

  • SUNRISE: 7:37 AM    SUNSET: 5:15 PM
  • Length of Visible Light: 10 h 44 m
  • Length of Day: 9 h 37 m
  • Tomorrow will be 3 minutes 5 seconds longer

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sticky orange and almond cakes {gf}

These little orange and almond sticky cakes and me go back.

sticky orange almond cake GF @wendyellenthomas.comWay back. Back to my time in Paris working in and out of a kitchen that I think two people could maybe stand in… if one of those people was a child at least. I’m going to have to dig out some pics of that adorable little kitchen that served me and my two kids well for two years- and quite a few others for whom I catered.

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EAT PANCAKES! Or Crepes…

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Did you remember today is Pancake Day? Or Shrove Tuesday- the day after Rosen Montag and the day before  lent (for you Catholics out there- I’m a non-practicing one myself). I did not remember until I got to my email this morning and saw THIS great post from Things We Make. Of course she posted it yesterday which would give you a little more time to prepare. But what we really need for pancakes or crepes is usually sitting under our noses. So for those of you who just needed a little reminder… maybe it’s not too late. This was my first event this morning since Chloe made it to the bus on time. THANK YOU teen guardian angles.

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Macrina’s and my GF morning glory

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The morning began at 5.30am when first I realized I had slept seven hours straight. Is my puppy still breathing? Was my first thought. He slept all by his independent self (not on the couch because we’d never allow that). We have gone like few others without a crate. Usually, he stretches his newly elongated body across the bottom of our bed. But this lovely morning, I awoke like sleeping beauty after a kiss from her prince… except maybe with a few more well earned laugh lines and sun damage. And I was happy to feel so rested because…

Morning Glory Muffins Gluten free

This morning I was anxious to check my mail as we were awaiting an update on O’s visa. The last document, a police certificate from the Netherlands has indeed arrived and the final interview will be scheduled shortly. I refrain from immediately responding with, “can you please define shortly”. I can only imagine the angst produced before the convenience of email. Early on I was politely told that email inquiries might actually delay the process. Note to self. From then on I tried to cleverly disguise my inquiries with valid questions. We have experienced only pleasant helpful responses.

I just want to say right now we are putting the music on for the happy dance. And I want to say thanks especially to TH at UCSIS for encouraging me last November to hand deliver in Frankfurt the first large packet of life defining materials in order to hasten this process.  O and I have lived differently these first forty something years. His consistency, drive and stability have combined well with my, how can I say this in a positive way, my spontaneity, tenacity, and creativity. Phew. That’s hard on both parts to sum up in three adjectives so it is certainly not the full description of who we each are. BUT…. when you fill out these papers with where you have lived, your divorces (or lack thereof), your employment etc… one might see a trend.

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Here we are though, a dozen affidavits later from friends and family who claimed our love is true, moments away from a certificate pasted in a passport that will bring us greencard glory. I would also like to thank MS in Frankfurt for his updates and help this past month. And now I’m wondering if after this is all said and done and O’s two feet are firmly planted on US soil, would I actually send them a link to my blog and show them my thanks! If I could I would send them some Morning Glory muffins.

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So to celebrate, instead of the miso soup with shitakes, cabbage and glass noodles I was going to post. I’m making outrageous early morning muffins. Just in Seattle this past weekend, we enjoyed a savory brunch at Macrina Bakery and Cafe and took home a couple treats including the Morning Glory muffin. I’ve owned a signed copy of Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook since about when she wrote it in 2003. I’ll be damned if my copy has this recipe in it but several sites online sourced it from this book. Maybe it’s the updated version with a new chapter. I have retrieved the recipe from the once Seattle local Cake Spy . I have adapted it using GF flours and a few other things.

Such as currants, brown sugar, flax seeds and olive oil…

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Actually, it’s quite adapted and I almost wonder if Ms. Mackie would be rather pissed that I even referred to her gorgeous muffins.  And don’t get me started on GF. My fashion trending sucks, but I’m often being dragged through the street clinging white knuckled to the back of the food bandwagon.  So these are made with Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour,  Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal, and Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa Flour  and their GF oats. Sometimes I think it is just me liking a challenge. No details on these flours yet because I can’t be bothered with to much info in one post and I’m pushing the envelope here already!

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{Print GF Morning Glory Muffin Recipe}

And now I suppose you are waiting to hear how they actually taste. Well they don’t taste like Macrina’s but if you really did need to be GF – you’d like them. Maybe a lot. I like them especially when you actually wait the requested twenty minutes for them to cool and like a chicken the moisture soaks into the meat of it…And a little spread of butter works very well.  But I don’t require GF and I will be buying myself another pineapple tomorrow. I want another taste of the “real” thing.

And very last thing to say… this isn’t the first time these muffins have been posted and won’t be the last (well maybe this version). I’m all about the food but let’s face it, this virtual community thing is powerful and we are inspired to share. It is our human need as social beings. I want to share because I feel heard. Thank you.

Morning Glory Muffins Gluten free-11

Hope you all have a glorious day and week xx

UPDATE: Teen daughter gives thumbs up!

Tschüß,

One year ago:  Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

PS – Otis totally slept on the couch. And sometimes he sleeps on the little bed when I work:

IMG_2999

Spaghetti squash and sausage

spaghetti squash and meatballs-10

I’m rounding up January with one more healthy dish. I won’t even pretend to disguise the fact that I’ve been nibbling at the chocolate with virtual abandon but will also report, I’m starting my fourth week of regular exercise. Despite the scale’s refusal to acquiesce in a manner I’d prefer, there is just less meat to grab in the middle, if you know what I mean. I can work with that. Unfortunately, being on my own right now there is nobody to test my theory… but I’ll keep you posted 🙂

We’ve had a good couple weeks, striking through many items on our list(s) and feeling like we are moving forward in life. O, still in Germany, is back in the room where he grew up till he finishes the semester and homeland security gives us a green light. We are counting down the days till we can enjoy life as a non-commuter family, at least till October.

I also finally set up the Lowell Ego light I received as a Christmas gift from my mother. Thanks mom! Don’t take this the wrong way, but I was amazed at how such a flimsy, plastic, kind of crap light is so entirely perfect. Granted, I’ve nothing to compare it to, but so far it has proven far better than photos with overhead room lights. Leary about its quality after reading many reviews, I was prepared for the worst. It is a wee bit scary to put together. Simple, but you feel like you are going to break it before you even flip the switch. I did only buy one to try out and I’m not sure if I would buy a second. So here’s my first ever set of photos taken after dark. I’ll keep practicing.

On to some chow…I’ve got a simple dish here that will please your palette and your waistline. It is combined inspiration from  Karen @ Backroad Journal’s spaghetti squash and Karista @ Karista’s kitchen’s meatballs. It is the lazy version.

spaghetti squash and meatballs

The spaghetti squash is split in half and seeds are scooped out. I drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper and some herb- tonight it was thyme. Often it’s fresh rosemary. I love how these guys are starting to break a sweat under the light!

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The squash was baked with a little water at the bottom of the pan (glass dish is fine) at 400°F for 45 minutes. You know it’s done when easily punctured with a knife. The inside is scraped up with a fork into strands… hence the name spaghetti squash.

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Again, being the lazy road here, I used one 16oz package of Isernio’s breakfast chicken sausage.

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All I added was a little fennel seed, oregano, thyme and sage and 1/2 cup of diced apples. We are still working off a few of our apples in cold storage from December.

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And 1/3 cup diced onions…

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The meatballs were a little sticky and rough around the edges because I skipped on the egg and breadcrumbs. I could lie and say it was to keep it GF. It was just due to the lazy part and frankly, being completely caught up with my new light. Honestly, there’s no need for the accurate measurements, it was just easier for photos!

spaghetti squash and meatballs-5I heated up a little olive oil and butter and plopped sticky balls in the pan to brown them. I finished them off in the oven at 400°F for about 10 minutes.

spaghetti squash and meatballs-8I steamed a little kale in the frying pan juices and had a little fun plating it up. I drizzled a tad more olive oil on the squash. Chloe was impressed with the presentation but not mad on the squash. I had to pull out these sweet Pillivuyt plates because our everyday dishes are fiestaware and I wanted a white plate. But I’ll say, it was a little more fun to eat like this.

spaghetti squash and meatballs-9I’m so looking forward to baking again.

Tschüß xo

And a little hello from Otis.. the days of rinsing him off in the sink with the sprayer are numbered…

One Year Ago: Espresso Cupcakes
Espresso Cupcakes

Gluten free gingery starry starry nights & a girl crush

almond cookies gluten freeI found these almond based chocolate cookies in a book I enjoyed very much this summer. Gesine Bullock -Prado’s My Life from Scratch. Formerly known as Confessions of a Closet Master Baker, I wondered if the mass public just couldn’t take this woman’s fabulous sense of humor. It went from the first title in 2009 to the second in 2010. Maybe the title just needed to be shorter. Hmmmm… It’s her story of going from the stress of LA limelight to rural Vermont. It will be most appreciated by those who love to bake.

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