Archive for marshmallow peeps

Amazing Black Bean Brownies: good for your heart, make you etc.

Posted in baking, food, recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2008 by uglydudefood

My last post was a recipe post, I guess. More, it was just a suggestion post. This here is my first post where I actually experimented with ingredients and made foods that did not taste like crunchy water!

I have an ever-increasing backlog of recipes that I kinda-sorta want to try, but will probably never get to. Homemade Marshmallow Peeps. Vegan, fat-free carrot cake. Pumpkin muffins recommended by my friend Silliker. Various veggie burger recipes. They all incite some sort of interest in me, but not enough to send me right to the oven to work the ol’ Spoodles magic.

I was blogrolling on Monday; The moment I saw the phrase “Black Bean Brownies” on 101 Cookbooks, I knew. The words made absolutely no sense to me. I mean, sure. I knew what they all meant individually. Black–an absence of color. Bean–a protein-filled treat that develops in pods. Brownies–chocolatey delights. When you put the three together? The phrase “Black Bean Brownies” sounded like “Cotton Ball Checkbook” or “French Fried Pants.” The words simply did not go together in any decipherable way. I was going to have to create this recipe. Immediately.

Closer inspection of the recipe showed that black beans were not the only experimental item. These brownies were sweetened with agave nectar, a sort of natural, healthier (although, obviously, by no means healthy) corn syrup.

The recipe initially comes from Baking With Agave Nectar: Over 100 Recipes Using Nature’s Ultimate Sweetener, which at $11 is actually close in price to what you’ll pay for damned agave nectar in this one recipe. For the sake of trying new things, I did spring for the organic agave nectar, but 101 Cookbooks says that you can easily replace the nectar 1:1 with honey.

I won’t reprint the recipe here (as I probably don’t have permission), but here are my notes. This was only my third time baking, so I was prepared for it not to go…smoothly.

THE PROCESS

  • The recipe stated that canned black beans worked just fine for this project. I bought canned, no salt added beans, and they seemed to work fine. With the usual, high-sodium canned stuff, you would probably want to spend a good amount of time rinsing the beans.
  • I made the decision not to include the walnuts. My family is fairly picky when it comes to such things, and I thought these brownies were weird enough due to the beans and the sweetener. Didn’t want to rock the boat too much. As mentioned in “Final Thoughts,” this may have affected my final batch.

THE TREAT

  • Inexperienced as I was. I was unsure what the instruction “Bake…until the brownies are set” meant. Did I want them to come out of my oven looking like I wanted my final product to look? Or did I want to take them out a little soft (still solid), and the heat from the baking process would finish it all the way? I checked on my brownies at thirty-five minutes and they seemed a little…shiny. Internet research seemed vague at best, although if I had followed Slashfood’s direction I probably would have fared better. At forty minutes , I removed the pan and hoped for the best.
  • After cooling (and after refrigerating, as specified by this recipe), my brownies were still gooey. Not uncooked-gooey, and not inedible-gooey, but certainly too gooey to cut out of the pan with any confidence. I knew that if I put these things back in the oven after they’d cooled, they would only burn. I was left with some extra-gooey fudgeypuddingbean brownies.
  • That said, these things tasted really good. There was no bean taste to them at all. They tasted like super-decadent, fudge brownies. The coffee flavor was pretty strong, but not bad at all. Even the consistency wasn’t terrible. Certainly softer than I would have liked–and softer than any brownie I’d ever eaten before–but I could pick them up with my hands without them falling apart, so that was good enough.

THE REACTIONS

  • Mom: “Is there coffee in this?” She didn’t seem entirely unimpressed, but didn’t enjoy the flavor all too much. I offered her another the following day, and she accepted. Conclusion: not poison.
  • Dad: “I’m not that adventurous.”
  • Brother: I didn’t even bother asking. He ate a cheeseburger instead.
  • Coworker 1: “I’m impressed!” “This is more like fudge than a brownie.” Later, “I have a brownie craving!” As one of my better friends, she might have been tempered by pressure not to hurt my feelings.
  • Coworker 2: “Those brownies were…interesting.” After some hesitance, she came out and said, “I think I’m so used to [regular sugar] that these just don’t hit my craving.” She also expressed that she liked my previous two baking attempts far better (Toll House Cupcakes and Chocolate Cherry Dr. Pepper Cupcakes). Note to self: less adventurous baked goods for the office. This was actually my favorite bit of feedback, simply because it was actual, constructive criticism. I’ll come back to her because I know she’ll actually tell me how she feels about the food. I’m hoping it will be complimentary, but I know it won’t be needlessly so.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • I’m wondering if other types of beans would work in this mixture. Black beans seem to be a common Internet trend in this brand of baked goods, but the flavor of a canned black bean tastes fairly similar, for instance, to a canned pinto bean or a canned white bean. This is one thing I would change if I ever made this recipe again, just to learn whether these are acceptable substitutes. Maybe white bean “blondies?”
  • I loved the taste of these brownies, and specifically how the instant coffee offset the chocolate flavor. However, the coffee did tend to come front-and-center. I think the amount of coffee could stand to be cut in half (unless it was used to mask some sort of beany aftertaste that I didn’t sense at all). This would, I think, make my family far more receptive to these brownies.
  • I left the walnuts out of the recipe, and now I’m wondering if they would have helped to bind the mixture and make for a more cohesive and less goopy brownie. I don’t believe nuts actively bind food, but you never know. Since my family didn’t eat more than one of these apiece anyway, I would probably leave the nuts in next time for a more full and textured brownie.
  • I was too much of a wuss to pull a fast one on people. When consumers asked me about the brownies, I came right out and told them they were full of beans and alternative sweetener. It would have been interesting to put these brownies to a blind taste test. Would these just seem like “super-fudgy” brownies, or would people notice something awry?
  • I really like the idea of using beans in a recipe instead of flour. It adds a world of protein and fiber that you aren’t going to get in a regular brownie. This makes them more substantial, more filling, and–dare I say it–more satisfying than a normal baked good in a lot of respects.

NUTRITION (for 1/45th of batch)

via Caloriecount.about.com

Serving Size 30.0g
Amount Per Serving
Calories
98
Calories from Fat
53
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
5.9g
9%
Saturated Fat
3.5g
18%
Cholesterol
30mg
10%
Sodium
11mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates
10.8g
4%
Dietary Fiber
1.1g
4%
Protein
1.6g
Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 3% Iron 7%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet
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Mememmeme

Posted in food, health, meme, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2008 by uglydudefood

I was not tagged for this meme! Instead, I stole it unceremoniously from one of the three hundred food blogs I read, iheartfood4thought.

It is like a MySpace vanity survey, except I have invited it into my food-related house and OH SCREW IT this is a MySpace vanity bulletin.

On Culinary Arts…
Q. What is your salad dressing of choice?
A. Nothing. If I want to eat veggies, I’d like to taste the veggies. In a pinch (such as particularly rancid lettuce), a quick squirt of white-trash yellow mustard is the cure for what ails you.

Q. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
A. Back when I ate meat, the answer would unequivocally be Wendy’s. Their beef tastes like actual meat, which is in turn enhanced by the condiments. McDonald’s is too much like a condiment sandwich, and Burger King’s Whomperoo tastes like a bottle of liquid smoke. Nowadays, I am a connoisseur of Taco Bell, which surprisingly offers a fairly healthy option that tastes good–Pintos n’ Cheese.

Q. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
A. Red Robin offers a Gardenburger (which criminally costs $7.99, the approximate cost of 2.5 boxes of the same damn thing). More importantly, they offer a fairly comprehensive burger customizer which offers nutritional information based on your selection from a wide variety of rolls, condiments, cheeses, and sides.

Q. On average how much of a tip do you leave at a restaurant?
A. 20% is my bare minimum. I’ve been known to tip 100% for exceptional service and 50% for more-than-adequate. I also have a special form of white-guilt that springs from ordering nothing but coffee. In turn, I will generally pay the price of an average meal for a cuppa.

Q. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
A. This is a bit of a loaded question because I ate the same food every day for nearly three years. If I had to choose my absolute favorite from those days, it would probably be the vegan Boca Burger. You can eat it plain and bland (a personal favorite). Crumble it into any random, lazy-ass recipe. Use it as a vessel for sauerkraut or delicious, delicious mustard.

Q. What are your pizza toppings of choice?
A. I don’t need clutter in my life. Plain ol’ cheese. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a classic Margherita or a big, floppy, greasy triangle of dough, sauce, and cheese from a local pizzeria. The old adage remains true; keep it simple, slutface.

Q. What do you like to put on your toast?
A. Bread is a nonentity in my life.

On Technology…

Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer?
A. Marshmallow Peeps lollipop.

Q. How many televisions are in your house?
A. Embarrassingly enough, at least seven.

Q. What kind of cell phone do you have?
A. LG

On Biology…
Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
A. Right-handed.

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
A. Nothing that didn’t start its life outside my body.

Q. What is the last heavy item you lifted?
A. Groceries–Kashi GoLean, broccoflower, canned tomatoes (diced and stewed varieties), zucchini, eggplant, sugar-free gelatin, Jones Soda, ricotta cheese, and tofu.

Q. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
A. I had a fairly serious bicycle accident almost two years ago. Without the helmet, I would have most assuredly been kaput. Otherwise, I just cracked my head open but-good and concussed myself in the process.

On Psychology…
Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
A. If it were possible, I would choose my deathday.

Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
A. Cornelius “Spoodles” McGoof

Q. what color looks good on you?
A. Black and brown

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
A. No, but I’ve surely swallowed non-food items on purpose to amuse friends and emergency-room-doctors alike!

Q. Have you ever saved someones life?
A. I save hundreds of lives a day simply by driving on the correct side of the road.

Q. Has someone ever saved yours?
A. I can name a few friends that have almost ended my life, but I don’t believe they saved it.

Truth or Dare (or a Bribe)…

Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
A. A hundred dollars? I would kiss the wiener of a member of the same sex for a hundred dollars.

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
A. Yes. Yes I would.

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?
A. For fifty thousand easy dollars I would throw my computer out the window.

Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
A. I came damn close to posing nude in college just to have a story to tell.

Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
A. I probably have already done this merely to amuse my miscreant friends. It couldn’t be any more difficult than eating a bowl full of jalapeños.

Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
A. This I would not do. I’ll inflict any manner of pain, torture, punishment, or fruit-pie upon myself, but when it comes to harming another living being that doesn’t have chlorophyll running through its veins, that’s a big N.O.

On random stuff…
Q: What is in your left pocket?
A. Who says I am wearing pants?

Q: Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie?
A. Napoleon Dynamite is an entertaining movie with an irritating fan-following, much like Borat, The Boondock Saints, and Dirty Dancing: Havanna Nights .

Q: Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house?
A. Throw-rugs over what I’d imagine to be dirt floors.

Q: Do you sit or stand in the shower?
A. I squat.

Q: Could you live with roommates?
A. The realist in me says, “Yes.” The socially-retarded blogger in me says, “Not on your life, Froderick.”

Q: How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
A. I own one pair of well-worn size-18 flip flops, which will never be replaced due to the relative rarity of their size.

Q: Last time you had a run-in with the cops
A. I am a friend of the law. My natural look of fear and respectful awe keeps the po’ on my side.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A. A palindrome.

Q: Last person who called you?
A. My lovely girlfriend, Rachel.

Q: Person you hugged?
A. My lovely mother, Mom.

On Favorites…
Q: Number?
A. 19.

Q: Season?
A. Summer.

Q: Holiday?
A. Halloween.

Q: Day of the week:
A. Thursday, simply because I base my enjoyment of life on television.

Q: Month?
A. July.

Current Events…
Q: Missing someone?
A. Somewhere in the past twenty questions, this food survey has taken a turn for the lamer.

Q: Mood?
A. Hungry.

Q: Listening to?
A. Food Network

Q: Watching?
A. Iron Chef: America.

Q: Worrying about?
A: Blogs and/or frogs.

In conclusion…
Q: First place you went this morning?
A. The terlet.

Q: What can you not wait to do?
A. Discover some new food that fits my obsessive lifestyle.

Q:What’s the last movie you saw?
A. Horton Hears a Who, which was surprisingly good. Jim Carrey has officially Robin-Williams-ed himself out. He is no longer entertaining when he is trying to be funny. However, Steve Carell, a decent adaptation, and an as-respectful-as-possible animation style make this a worthwhile venture.

Q: Do you smile often?
A. Whoever says “it is easier to smile” has never frowned their whole lives. The smiling, it hurts my face.

Q: Are you a friendly person?
A. I’m barely a person.

Don’t eat the pictures

Posted in food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2008 by uglydudefood

Will you teach me about this…what is it? A new way?

Posted in food, health with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2008 by uglydudefood

Welp.

For two-and-a-half years, I ate the same thing every day: Kashi GoLean, Wheaties, apples, Lite & Fit yogurt, Boca vegan burgers, broccoli, and protein shakes. I lost 120 pounds. I was maintaining with 1800 calories at about 180 pounds.

Two weeks ago, I added variety into my diet. I’ve upped my calories to 2000. I’ve actually managed to drop to 175 pounds since then, which is confusing and strange but not entirely unwelcome, I suppose. As long as people don’t tell me I look like a holocaust survivor or a cancer patient (again), I’ll be a-okay.

This journal entry isn’t about that anyway. It is about food! Glorious food!

It seems to me like I’m falling into the same ol’ obsessive-compulsive habits. I’ve introduced variety, but now I’m using the same staples every day. Rehydrated pinto beans. Fat-free cottage cheese. Egg whites. Frozen veggies. In fact, it seems like the only real variety I get is in my indulgence of the day–a serving of candy. Today it is green Marshmallow Peeps bunnies. Yesterday was 70% dark chocolate w/ raspberries from Endangered Species.

One of my biggest problems is laziness. There’s gotta be a calorie label on it. And why mix ingredients together into so-called “recipes?” I don’t want to have to figure out the calorie information for recipes. That’s silly. So I’ll eat my beans microwaved with some hot sauce. And my veggies will go unseasoned. Vive le freak!

That was more of a ramble than anything. I’m sure as I get back into writing, I will retain some of that “linear structure” that I learned so much about as an English major in college.

In conclusion, eating is a thing of great contrast. I hope you enjoyed my essay as much as I enjoyed stopping it.

Spoodles the Living Dummy and the Temple of Peeps

Posted in food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2007 by uglydudefood

What Makes a Peep a Peep?

Posted in food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2007 by uglydudefood

Easter’s Almost Here

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 6, 2007 by uglydudefood