New Year, New You.
This sentiment seems to be how many people approach the 1st of each calendar year. Some of us even wait until after the 1st to talk about what we need to work on to become a better . . . fill in the blank. A few of us reject the concept entirely, constantly reminding ourselves to strive to be our best every single day.
In an organized rush to get everything on our to-do list crossed off before we make the trek to Philly, I’ve packed most of my beloved dishes, small appliances, pots and pans, silverware and other kitchen necessities. Already I’ve filled up about 6 large boxes aaaannnd there are probably at least 3 more to go (yes, I may have a bit of an obsession). We’re also trying to quickly plow through our remaining produce and pantry staples leaving me with a fun challenge come dinnertime each night. I’m actually kinda diggin’ it.
I’ve yet to pack my favorite brownie baking pan (because lots of brownies are an absolute must for road-tripping), and we had an excess of fresh cherries just begging to be used. And for some reason I have a ridiculous amount of chocolate chips to try and use up in 10 days time… poor me, right? ;)
So, today I decided I should bake some chocolate chip cherry brownies. These guys are easy to make and pretty darned good for you — at least compared to most other things I bake! And they have chocolate! And cherries!
Yay for brownies!
Chocolate Chip Cherry Brownies
- 12 medjool dates
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 1/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips, divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup superfine brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup potato starch
- 1 cup finely chopped cherries
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Lightly grease a glass 8 x 8 inch baking pan.
Combine pitted dates and non-dairy milk into food processor and puree until very smooth.
Over double boiler, melt 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips. Pour the melted chocolate into the date mixture and blend again until super smooth. Transfer to large mixing bowl and stir in vanilla extract and salt.
Add in brown rice flour and potato starch and mix until well combined. The batter will be very very very thick. Fold in cherries and remaining chocolate chips. I used clean hands to more or less knead the mix-ins into the batter.
Press batter into pan and spread as best you can to make a uniform surface on top. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Cool completely and cut into small squares.
Hi lovely readers. Boy, am I ever glad it’s August! I sure have one heck of a month lined up!
First, this little book I am writing is almost done. The final manuscript is due at the end of this month and I couldn’t be more giddy about it! I honestly don’t think I’ve been this excited since I discovered New Kids on the Block when I was like 9 years old. For real, I am that pumped.
Also! Because I am always up for a challenge and work best under pressure (sarcasm, indeed), this month my family and I are buttoning up a big move that will be taking us 500 miles east of Ohio. Yep, we are finally making the long anticipated trek to Philadelphia; we’ll be residents by the 1st of September! That’s so soon! I can’t even express to you all how genuinely excited we are about this relocation.
If any of you Philly readers have some tips to dole out for great places to eat, shop, or just plain be… I would love to hear from you. I mean, we know the city is chock full of awesome–that’s why we’re moving there–but getting some direct recommendations from you guys would be super swell. :D
So, to keep things short, sweet, and to the point (as well as provide a little extra time for writing, shooting photos, and packing) I whipped up this simple, but friggin’ stupendous parfait. I had mine for breakfast, but I’m pretty sure this would make an even better dessert.
If you peruse the archives of Manifest Vegan, chances are you will find a ton of recipes calling for chocolate and peanut butter. That’s because both chocolate and peanut butter are easy winners in my book. The combo of the two makes for an undefeated champ; add pretzels and you have yourself a legendary dessert.
After I secured myself a nice bag of Glutino brand pretzels the other day (so excited as I hadn’t eaten pretzels in over a year!), I knew they would be the perfect crust for a pb & chocolate tart. If you’re gluten free and you haven’t tried these pretzels, look for them at your next grocery outing. They are so good!
If you too love a good choco-butter combo, make these tarts… your taste buds will forever thank you.
And, if you are feeling not so adventurous with the tarts, feel free to put the filling into small cups and garnish with crushed pretzels… still excellent!
As I sit and type this post bright and early in the morning , I can honestly say that I have no desire to eat these pancakes for breakfast. Ever. Nothing at all against this recipe–in fact–I believe it to be a very good one. But these pancakes… are much more like “cakes” than your typical flapjack. The chocolate chips and ganache may or may not exaggerate this inherent quality.
Stacked up, they actually make a pretty decadent chocolate cake. With a moist and tender crumb, dark chocolate bits strewn throughout, and covered in thick silky ganache… it is definitely my kinda flapjack.
But, fair warning: eat these for dessert, not first thing in the morning. Unless you are some sort of hardcore chocolate devotee (in which I enthusiastiacally applaud you), you won’t find these very appealing with a glass of OJ. A tall glass of chilled almond milk, on the other hand, washes them down perfectly.
Oh! I almost forgot to mention that today is the last day of Pancake Week (thanks Marly!)… did you know? Kind of a bummer that I was only able to catch the tailend of the celebration, but it’s a good thing the internet is around to preserve the past week’s pancake contributions indefinitely. I intend on spending the day engaged in some serious pancake appreciation.
Recently I have been hearing mentions of it being “girl scout cookie time”, and although now I obviously abstain, I still get a little nostalgic thinking about my short lived years peddling those things. I was a girl scout for just five years… but in that time, I easily ate hundreds (no thousands) of girl scout cookies. I mean, I had to spend my allowance on something, right? The flavor I loved the most was thin mints… by a long shot. I could crush an entire packet of those things in one sitting, without a single complaint from my belly. That’s like 30 cookies at once. We had a very serious relationship, thin mints and I.
Happily, I found my love re-kindled with a homemade version of the classic cookie. When I was making the ice cream sandwiches last week, I was thinking that the dough would make an excellent crunchy wafer if baked a little longer. Then I thought about how I could easily slip some minty flavor in there, dip it in chocolate and re-create my childhood cookie love. The rest is history.
These babies taste pretty damn good and authentic, if I do say so myself. No hydrogenated oils, gluten, or animal products needed.