Thursday, January 31, 2013

Food secrets and shapes

January 31, 2013

School was canceled today because of a rain/high wind/snow storm (weird weather today!). I decided seeing as we were stranded at home, we should have some fun food.

I wanted to make mini pizzas for lunch. But not just any mini pizzas. Angry bird pizzas. My kids love that game so I knew they would think the pizza was awesome. I used a can of biscuits for the dough, homemade pizza sauce, mushroom slices (eye balls), olives (pupils and angry eye brows), pepperoni (the red part of the bird), mozzarella cheese (the birds chest), and american cheese (it's mouth).

I needed a snack this afternoon. I made another batch of homemade potato chips. Yum! Then I started thinking about dessert for tonight. I wanted to make some brownies but I wanted to try something healthy. Sounds pretty contradictory right? My friend had mentioned that she made black bean brownies a few days ago. I was intrigued. Keep in mind that I have just in the past couple months started getting more accepting about beans. Her brownies turned out more fudge like (my guess is due to no flour being in the recipe). I wanted more brownie texture so I decided to experiment with the recipe. I looked at the black bean brownie recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie's blog. Katie's recipe called for 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed well). I only used half a can. Her recipe did not call for flour so I added 3/4 cup of flour. Her recipe called for 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave. I used sugar instead. I figured I better make the rest of the brownies taste awesome if I am going to fool my kids into eating black bean brownies. Her recipe called for (and I followed) 2 tablespoons of coco powder, 1/2 cup quick oats, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 stevia packs or 2 tablespoons sugar (I did sugar), 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (I used veg oil), 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Her recipe called for 1/2 to 2/3 cup chocolate chips. I didn't have any so I chopped up two Yooper bars. This is a milk chocolate candy bar that is in the shape of Upper Michigan (where I grew up and we were called "Yoopers"). Ha. It equaled out to be a little more than 2/3 cup but hey, can't go wrong with extra chocolate. Put all ingredients minus the chocolate into a food processor and blend until smooth. At this point I thought the batter was too thick so I added a little bit more than 1/4 cup of milk. Stir in chocolate. Spread into a greased 8X8 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. I served them topped with a dusting of powdered sugar. My daughter said they were the best brownies ever. My son said to never make a different recipe of brownies. Wow. I thought they were good but still a little on the fudge-like side. But shhhhhhhh. The kids don't know about the black beans. Our secret, ok?! The next time that I make them I may adjust the recipe to have a little less sugar to make these even healthier.

After making all our fun food for the day, I really didn't feel like cooking a big dinner. My son had an idea. Remember when we made a hotdog look like an octopus? He wanted to try to make a hotdog look like a weiner dog. He got pretzel pieces out for legs and a tail. He used smarties for eyeballs and steak sauce for pupils. My daughter wanted a rabbit shaped hotdog. She had clove eyeballs. They rounded off their meal with baby carrots and ranch, and some yogurt. I was really craving either noodles or rice. Ah, I still have a bunch of boxes of rice a roni. I grabbed a box of beef rice a roni. I was going to just make that but then remembered that I had a hamburger leftover in the fridge. I chopped it up (along with the sauteed onions and mushrooms that were leftover) and stirred it into the rice during the last few minutes of cooking. I also added a bag of frozen corn (from our farmers market). Topped it off with some of my homemade onion powder from my garden. Perfect comfort food for a snow day.

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