Mint Buttercream Brownies

Vegan brownies with cool mint buttercream

I am completely out of control.

Since the 4th of July, I’ve had a constant flow of butter and sugar coming out of my kitchen and straight into my face. It’s fine. Most of it has been of the mint/chocolate variety, which is a craving that comes on so strong I’d venture to guess I must have immaculately conceived some time this month and am now simply responding to the demands of a divine fetus. You understand, I’m sure.

The low-fat vegan brownie recipe–double chocolate/single chin brownies–is courtesy of the one, the only Mama Pea from her amazing cookbook Peas and Thank You. And since my solution to any nearly fat-free baked good is to add MORE FAT, I threw on some vegan mint buttercream of my own. Holy hell.

I’m supposed to be taking these to a dinner party but… maybe this is happening:

That's a knife.

I don’t know. I don’t remember. I blacked out.

Find Mama Pea’s brownie recipe here (or, better yet, IN HER BOOK) and the buttercream recipe below…

Vegan Mint Buttercream
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 

Dear God.
Ingredients
  • ½ c Earth Balance vegan buttery spread, room temperature
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp mint extract
  • 3 c powdered sugar

Instructions
  1. Beat the Earth Balance until creamy
  2. Add the vanilla and mint extract
  3. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time until combined

Don't say I never gave you nothin'.

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

Chocolate avocado smoothie

Stop. Smoothie time.

At 7 o’clock on a Sunday morning, I had brownies in the oven, mint buttercream on deck and this smoothie on my mind.

My go-to smoothie “recipe” is: frozen banana, unsweetened almond or rice milk, frozen spinach, oats, peanut butter and cocoa powder. Today though, low on peanut butter and unwilling to risk being without it at 6am tomorrow when I need pre-yoga PB toast, I decided to switch up my fat for avocado.

While this was clearly not my original idea, I’m gonna pat myself on the back for it anyway. I know some people will cringe at the thought of avocado in a smoothie, but a perfectly smooth, creamy texture courtesy of the avocado made this one of the best smoothies I’ve ever consumed. So stick that in your straw and suckit.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothie
 

Ingredients
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1.5 c unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ c raw oats
  • ¼ avocado

Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth

Optional: I also added a generous sprinkling of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg before blending to make a little Mexican hot chocolate remix.

Caturday 7/30/11

Oh, hello...

The cats and I have fallen into a nice little routine here together. I’d never really thought about it until now, but they’ve never lived alone with just me… ever. When I took Ralph in and she had Weaz I was living with my sister and later my friend Jack. Then I moved my new herd of cats in with my friend Lindsay. And then Stew and I moved in together and got Waldo, too. So adjusting to a home with just the three of us has been interesting.

It’s like when you regularly hang out with a group of people  until one night everyone cancels but one person and you suddenly realize you don’t know that person at all. Awkward.

Luckily, the cats and I like many of the same things. Jeopardy…

I'll take Crazy Cat Ladies for $500, Alex.

[Did you know that 71-year-old Alex Trebec blew out his freaking Achilles tendon chasing an intruder out of his hotel room this past week? And also that in recounting the event he specified that he FIRST put on his underwear and THEN went chasing after her? This style of dress involves wearing nothing at all over your genitalia and is completely inappropriate for a 71-year-old man. What is commando? R-S-T-L-N-E, Vanna!]

The Bachelorette, duh…

Excuse me, it's time for my show.

Cuddling…

Weaz is selfish and always gets to be little spoon.

Um, at least two of us like cuddling.

You'll never understand me.

And as of tonight, we’ve learned there is one thing we all HATE. And that is bugs getting all up in our shit.

You gonna die, bitch.

Any time I see one of the cats looking at something I can’t see, I know something terrible is about to go down. When I see both cats looking at something I can’t see, I brace myself for the worst. Last night the worst came in the form of a godforsaken palmetto bug, which for anyone north of the Mason Dixon is a ROACH. It’s just that down here in the Dirty Dirty we like our shit classy so we make up waspy names for even the lowliest of life forms.

Weaz decided she wanted to go first but I promptly pulled her away and made her wait on the couch knowing full well that having never lived on the streets, she’s too stupid to hunt and would surely chase the damn thing straight into my bed. So I put my fierce little mini lion Ralph in charge instead.

Ralphie to the rescue

The little bastard didn’t stand a chance and was down for the count in less than 10 seconds. At which point I started jumping around shouting: WHOSE HOUSE? RALPHIE’S HOUSE! WHOSE HOUSE? RALPHIE’S HOUSE. (This really happened.) Then I doused it in Febreeze for good measure. Just in case. And because I don’t have any poison in the house.

Let this be a lesson to all you other bugs. We gon’ find you.

Where were YOU on that one, Weaz?

Jellybeans?

Sometimes

Tempeh, avocado, mustard on brown rice bread

I may or may not be listening to this.

Sometimes I think about those three glorious but fleeting years of post-collegiate employment prior to flipping corporate America the bird and going back to school to be poor… and I miss them. Sometimes I miss getting paid more than I know what to do with. Sometimes I miss having health insurance. Sometimes I just want a normal schedule. Monday through friday. 8 to 5. Hell, 7 to 6. I’ll take it. Sometimes I want to have responsibilities and pressure and deadlines. Sometimes, dare I say, I want to quit school and go back to “real” life. Decisiveness was never one of my strong points.

But, then again… sometimes I like to go to the pool on Friday while all you suckers are at work.

Not sorryyyyy

Sometimes I also want to do midnight yoga in the middle of the Epicentre (redundant?) and stay out til 3am.

Flashmob yoga.

And wake up five hours later and go to yoga again anyway.

Sometimes I want to listen to the *NSYNC Pandora station all.day.long.

Don't you judge me.

Yes, my Pandora stations include Britney, JayZ and NSYNC. Whatever.

Sometimes I want to just do my best to enjoy where I am right now. As a wise yoga teacher has said more than once in class, “Be here; feel this.”

I tend to get lost in the past and future with complete disregard for the present. So that’s where I am right now. Where I want to be. Right here. Feeling this. And while “this” ranges from anxiety to exhilaration to exhaustion, I’ll take it. Because I don’t have three years ago anymore. And no one has tomorrow. So sometimes… this is all I need. Because this is all I have.

(Um, excuse me… this is on now.)

In Which I Talk About Myself

Irrelevant.

Alright, y’all. We know how bloggers like to rant on about how great we are so… this is happening.

There’s a little game being played at present in which you list 7 links to posts you’ve made in the past. The posts are to be the ones you think are the most:

Beautiful

Popular

Controversial

Helpful

Surprisingly Successful

Sadly Under-appreciated

… and the one that makes you the proudest.

So here we go.

Beautiful – Oddly enough, I thought that Independence Day, the post about my breakup with Stew, was poignant in a painfully beautiful way. I said exactly what I felt, which was exactly what I needed to say, which, as it turns out, was exactly what many of you needed to hear, as well. Funny how that works.

Popular – Sadly, one of my most highly trafficked posts is one not at all in line with this blog’s mission. It’s the one about the atrocity that is the KFC double down chicken sandwich. That stupid thing incited a media frenzy and I had just so happened to have gotten wind of it fairly early on before it was released. So once that shitstorm was out in restaurants, traffic (primarily image searches) to that post soared. So since that one’s lame, another wildly popular post is from that time Stew hijacked my computer while I was at class and posted about the dinner he made me. He was almost as popular as Ralph and Weaz and his post received the most comments of any post this blog has ever seen.

Controversial – I knew it before I even hit publish that my post about obese airline passengers would be a touchy subject. I also knew in my gut (and in my heart) that I should not repost the photo of the man in question that was circulating throughout print, web and broadcast media. I did it anyway and got my ass handed to me by some thoughtful but fierce readers. I don’t know where the comments went (possibly lost in my move to self hosted?) but I promise you I did not censor anything. Although that record is gone now, I took the comments to heart, took the picture down and will never do anything so careless again.

Helpful – Other than people asking for cat advice, the most emails I get are from readers with questions about the path to becoming an RD. I always feel a bit short when I refer them straight to my post, So You Want to be an RD?, but I really do feel like that’s the best starting point. I laid it all out very clearly, step-by-step, with every little detail for every little question I had back when there wasn’t an easy place to find the answers in one place. If you have more questions, by all means, please email me. I wish I’d had someone to go to when I was trying to figure it all out.

Surprisingly Successful – It’s not that I don’t think my cats are the greatest creatures on the planet; it’s just that I didn’t think you would think my cats are the greatest creatures on the planet. Call me crazy but Ralph and Weaz are straight up Internet superstars and Caturday has become by far the most successful series on this blog. Viva la Weaz. And, of course, there was that whole little bake sale thing where you guys completely funded my entire trip to Nicaragua. I cried. Thank you again. I still can’t believe that.

Sadly Under-appreciated - Perhaps it’s because I didn’t make a big enough deal about it but, damnit, these are the best cookies ever. And I made those bitches vegan. Do you know how hard it is to make a caramel shortbread cookie vegan? I do.

ProudestQuitting my corporate job to go back to school to study nutrition was terrifying. And I’d be lying if I said the last year has been easy. But it’s all been worth it. At the time, I wasn’t happy with where my life was headed so I stepped back, reassessed and moved forward in a completely new direction. Re-reading that post now–at a different but equally challenging point in my life–reminds me that I still have that fight in me. You do, too.

There you have it. I’m supposed to tag seven more people to list their links buuut how about this… everybody do it! You can post in comments if you want. I’d love to read them.