Still Figuring.

If you look below this, you’ll see the real post. Which I posted as a link. Because I have no idea what I’m doing. None.

So as you follow this recipe that I started explaining below, you can awkwardly scroll down  to see pictures. How embarrassing.

Anyway. For the Pumpkin-Oatmeal-Craisin-Better-For-You cookies (which was the original title below before I made the Great Error) you’ll need…

1 cup of flour. Add this to your bowl along with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. And a half teaspoon salt. (photo)

In another bowl, put in a cup of brown sugar, and two tablespoons of softish butter. (photo) Cream this all together (photo) and add in one large egg and just under a half cup of pure, all natural pumpkin puree (if you’ve got it). Lastly, you’ll need a teaspoon of vanilla extract (photo). Mix all of this together, then pour in the most important elements: 1 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup dried craisins, and 1/8 cup chocolate chips. Mix it up (photo) and drop by the spoonful onto a super well greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for about ten minutes then eat one while its still super warm with a glass of cider. (photo). Then, fill your cookie jar and feel like a successful old fashioned housewife, which is a nice feeling when you work six days a week. 

Here is the full recipe, with  my alterations.

1 cup flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups rolled oats (not instant)

1/2 cup craisins

1/8 cup dark chocolate chips

bake at 375 for ten minutes

 

And there you have it.

Sometimes I do eat things other than sweets….you’ll see. 

 

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www.davidlebovitz.com

Over the long weekend, Nick and I took a much needed ‘vacation’ down to the Cape for my cousins wedding. It was perfect– a beautiful, sunny Saturday, and an equally sunny Sunday. It didn’t start raining until we were headed back up to Maine. Cape Cod holds such precious memories for me. My siblings and I grew up going there during the summer whenever we came back to visit the States. Everything about my Grammy and Grampy’s cottage is nostalgic for me. The smells. The cookies in the cookie jar. The chocolate milk in the fridge. The tiny bunk beds. The sandy bathroom floors. I hope so much that someday Nick and I can give our children wonderful memories like these. 

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Last night, after a long and enjoyable day of work, Nicks fellow Bean Farmer came over for dinner, and told me that I had better let people know that the Magical Beans are not in fact Bhaers Best. They are just Baers Best. We are beer braised pulled pork, bbq beans, broccoli slaw, and corn pone. None of which I took pictures of. I did however document the entire process of dessert. So, you are in luck.

I love me an oatmeal raisin cookie as much as anyone, but I am trying to maintain my pre-wedding figure, and have been figuring out ways to make comfort foods a little healthier and less caloric. Enter these Better For You  Pumpkin Oatmeal Craisin cookies. Yum. They’re not super sweet– just sweet enough, I think. And so chewy and pumpkin-ny that it doesn’t even matter that there is barely and butter in them.

I adapted my recipe from Nick Malgieri’s version which I found on http://www.davidlebovitz.com 

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Friday Forthcomings

 

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Sometimes it is easy to love, and sometimes it is not so easy. I guess, though, it’s those hard times that make us appreciate more those moments when it is so beautifully simple. I don’t know too much. I’m only twenty-five. But I’m a quick learner. And sometimes the best thing for me to do is to remember how lovely the sky looks on an early summer morning, and how once a long time ago I walked with my mother over a bridge that was all the way covered in flowers, and how just thinking about that still warms my soul. Fridays are as good a day as any for remembering. 

New England

In a wide, wide row…
one by one, and on top of one another
the trees are aging, are feeling the cool in their bark
crimson hued, wet from the ceaseless rain.

And we…we are waiting.
One beside the other,
our legs hanging, dangling
ankles crossed even our toes crossed
we are waiting.

Children bred to feel a patience against
the chill we sense in our palms
the aching taughtness of our bones
our limbs, turning against us,
as such
we are waiting.

There is a saying I heard once
that I cannot remember, but it brings to mind
that field behind the forest
filled up with corn, swaying in the autumn breeze
as my heels hit the padded ground
they turn and gaze at me, 
straighter, stronger than I 
for they are not afraid to die.

Not afraid. While we cannot help ourselves
but to wonder…will we always be waiting?
Waiting till the last of it,
we cannot leave.
It is in our blood. In our age old
churning veins
running just beneath our blue tinged skin
Our breath eased in and out by the salt
of the near by sea,
we couldn’t turn our back for the fear
of suffocation.
Of mountains too high, roads too square,
deserts too dry…Oh, New England.
Could we hate you, or love you more deeply?
More ceaselessly, our pride in your antiquated beauty
in the joy of a snow covered cobbled road.
It would be foolish to leave.
It would be treason to leave,
Even for the sun we are waiting for, yes, even for that.

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Anyone who know…

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a deep and abiding lover of “treats”. Nick has learned (through trial an tribulation) that when I wake up grumpy and miserable on our long, early Saturday work days, the one sure fire way to cheer me up is to say, “Do you want to get a treat?” And yes, of course yes, I do want a treat.

Autumn is a sad time of the year for me, for all of its cozy pumpkin-y beauty, because it signals the end of summer, my favorite time of the year, and the approach of winter, my least favorite. But this fall, despite the non-stop drizzling rain, and the chilly mornings and evenings (and all-days), I am trying to embrace all things autumnal with outstretched striped-sweatered arms. Mostly though, I’m a newly wed with a brand new kitchen-aid and a slew of pretty cooking things, and I am stepping out of my safe universe of cooking and tip-toeing into the foreign world of baking. Because for all my love of treats, I typically purchase them at little bakeries. But you know? Since my Baking Adventures have begun, I haven’t had to buy a treat in weeks! So I’m saving money, because I have them…everywhere..on hand. Right? Well. All I can say is its a really good thing that my new town in Maine has lots of back woods running trails…

Right now it is harvest time at Lovers Brook Farm, and my handsome husband is bringing in the beans (quite literally) and with that in mind, I decided to give Sweet Bean Brownies a shot. Yes. Really. Bean Brownies. A little more wholesome (less sugar than your average homemade brownie recipe, and no flour.) and lots more nutritious thanks to a plentiful amount of beans which are one of Gods Gifts to mankind, making us strong and sturdy…that’s the Bean Farmer in me talking. Please do not be tricked. Never have I ever harvested a bean.

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Unlike my husband and my dazzlingly attractive dog who are both old hands.

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I got the recipe for these Bean Treats from a fellow Bean farmer that my husband knows. To begin, I used 15.5 ounces (roughly two cups) of Bhaers Best Boston Beans which are superior to other beans because Nick grows them, but if you are not so lucky to be able to find this variety in your own specialty grocery store, believe you me, a can of black beans will do you just fine.

First, puree the beans in a food processor or blender until they are very, very smooth. Then, add in a quarter cup of chocolate chips and puree some more until you have a pile of bean paste that will smell disturbingly beaney, but don’t worry.

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Put the bean paste in a bowl, and heat your oven to 350. Then, crack in three farm fresh eggs.

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I like to use Olive oil in my baking which I know is not universally agreed on. But I like the added nuttiness and the added nutrients. But do whatever you like, because regular oil is just fine as long as you add three tablespoons.

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Then, add a pinch or two of salt, and four tablespoons of cocoa. I sifted mine in because it gets so clumpy.

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Finally, pop in a teaspoon of vanilla, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a cup of brown sugar. The recipe called for white, but I prefer using brown because it makes things more moist, and dense. And I like it better. 

Right before you pour it into your greased 8X8 pan, stir in another quarter cup of chocolate chips. Or more if you like. I won’t say a word.

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Bake it for just thirty minutes, or until it looks dark and cracked on top, and a fork comes out dry in the middle.

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Then, enjoy one with a nice cup of coffee or a shot of milk. 

You know? They really are tasty! They have a nice dense texture, different than a “real” brownie (more beaney) but very chocolatey and chewy. Give them a dollop of cinnamon ice cream and they’d be heavenly.Image

So, here is the rundown of the recipe.

Heat oven to 350

15.5 oz cooked beans

1/2 cup chocolate chips seperated

3 eggs

3 TBS oil

4 TBS cocoa (unsweetened)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Puree beans with 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Put paste in bowl, add all ingredients and combine. Add in the last 1/4 cup chocolate chips, and pour into 8X8 pan. bake for 30 minutes.

And enjoy them. They cost almost nothing, and if you, like me, have a bean farming husband, he will be oh so pleased. 

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And so we begin

People are always thinking about starting blogs these days. They are The Thing. Something that I hardly understand (how do I write over a picture? How do I do that clever cross out the word thing like I made a mistake?) but am utterly in awe of. There are only so many things a quiet little music teacher like myself can do, and Technology isn’t one of them. That being said, here I am.

I want to share the things I like. I want to share the beauty of a home, the satisfaction of a warm, healthy meal with someone you love (a dog counts. So does a cat.), the pleasure of that feeling of pleasant exhaustion after you’ve worked out, and worked out to the best of your ability. The feeling of getting dressed in the morning and loving what you put on–these are little things. With our generation of student loans, low paying jobs, and extreme competition, some of us may never, ever be wealthy. But the thing is, money doesn’t make happiness.

 

That dog face up there makes me happy though. So does that cat face. And all the money in the world couldn’t have given me a more beautiful, and perfect wedding with the man I love.

And that’s what I want this blog to be about. How to live a happy life– to eat well, to treat your body right, to feel beautiful– all without spending very much money. Because, it can be done. With a little bit of cleverness, a touch of patience, and lots of love.

So. Here we go.

 

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