almond brownies

Adapted from

1 cup butter (salted)
8 oz unsweetened chocolate
~2 cups sugar
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
scant 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1.5 cups almond meal

Melt butter and chocolate on stove. Stir in extracts and sugar. Let cool slightly. Add egg and baking powder. Stir well. Stir in almond meal. Spread into greased square (8x8?) pan and bake at 325.

We'll see what happens...

amaranth greens and quinoa

Today I discovered amaranth leaves at the farmers market! Apparently they're also called "Chinese spinach." They're pretty mild (unlike dandelion greens, which were inedibly bitter no matter how long I cooked them or what I added to them), tastier than spinach (I.M.H.O.), and aesthetically interesting. I found a recipe for pasta with amaranth leaves and kinda changed it a bit. The leaves make reddish juice when you cook them, and it kind of turns the quinoa fuchsia. It's purdy.

*chopped amaranth leaves (3qt bowl filled to the top)
*5 cloves of garlic, pressed
*1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
*~tablespoon canola oil
*cooked quinoa
*grated cheese (I think this was manchego, not sure.)

Cook garlic and red pepper in canola oil for a few minutes over high-ish heat. Add leaves, stir for a bit, cover the pot and turn down the flame to let the leaves soften a bit but not too much. Add a few cups of cooked quinoa, stir, put into a bowl, and stir in the shredded cheese.

(white) whole wheat brownies

I'm going to try these:

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
2 cups light brown sugar
several (6?) Trader Joes unsweetened chocolate baking disks, broken into pieces
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but recommended
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour

It promises the shiny top crust, which I'm a big fan of.

-omitted salt because I used salted butter
-used 1.5 c light brown sugar + 0.5c white sugar
-threw some trade joes unsweetened baking chocolate disks in with the melting butter because I wanted to use 'em up and because I wasn't sure how potent/fresh my cocoa powder was.
-sprayed the hell out of the pan with baking spray because I'm tired of having to chisel brownies out
-oven stayed at a pretty consistent 350 this time, miracle of miracles
-they rose a good bit, seem to have baked pretty evenly, and the toothpick came out clean after just 25 minutes, so I pulled them out of the oven.
-they're kind of cakey, and came out of the pan very easily - but maybe because of all the baking spray

Next on the roster is almond-meal-based brownies. My housemate brought one home from Whole Foods and it was pretty tasty. If I had a food processor I'd do this:


I made these a while ago:

They were tasty and very rich and fudgy but hard to get out of the pan. I put them in a 9x13 instead of an 8x8.

3/11/17: made these again, in an 8x8, and they were good again.  I melted the butter + sugar + cocoa powder in the microwave in a glass bowl instead for convenience - I really did get it quite hot, stirring in between bouts of microwaving - and let it cool,eventually transferring to a metal bowl to help it cool faster.

Spicy Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew

adapted slightly from

1 large onion, finely chopped (I think I used slightly less with no problem)
1 T canola oil
1 T finely grated fresh ginger
1 T finely minced garlic
1 tsp. ground turmeric
3/4 cup celery, finely diced (I used half of this because I didn't have enough around)
1 tsp. Garam Masala
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
6 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock (I used 6 c water + bulk vegetarian bouillon powder)
1 1/2 cups red lentils
~2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can, rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

Heat oil in a heavy, big pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add onions, ginger, garlic, and turmeric and gently saute, stirring often, for about 7 minutes, or until onions are quite soft but not browned. Add diced celery, garam masala, ground cardamom, cayenne pepper, and ground cumin and saute 3-4 minutes more, until celery barely starts to soften.

Add the stock, red lentils, canned tomatoes, and chickpeas and bring mixture to a gentle boil. When it starts to bubble, reduce heat to the barest simmer and cover pan with lid. Let mixture simmer, stirring a few times, until lentils are dissolved enough that mixture has thickened into a chunky stew (about an hour.)