Vegan Chocolate Brownies


We’ve been making this fabulous recipe for a while now, and every time, I complain about the recipe format. So I’m rewriting it here mostly for my own benefit, really, but if you’re looking for an excellent vegan brownie, look no further.

Vegan Brownies
Preheat oven to 350
Line an 8×8 square baking pan with parchment

Combine in a small bowl and set aside:
1 1/2 T flaxseed meal
3 T water

Whisk together
¾ c all purpose flour
1 ½ c almond meal
½ c cocoa powder
½ t salt
¼ t baking soda

Melt together
6 T vegan shortening/coconut oil
½ c chocolate chips

add to the melted chocolate
1 ¼ c white sugar
flax mixture
6 T almond milk
1 t vanilla

Add wet mixture to dry and stir well.
¼ c chocolate chips

Spread the batter in the pan and then bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until a tester comes out with moist crumbs, not liquid. Cool completely before slicing.

Blueberry Birthday Pie


Last year it was Baked Alaska, while the year before it was a more tropical Key Lime pie. One year he asked for a very lemon layer cake and one year he even drew me a diagram of the cake he wanted.

This year, Ben made his decision early and never wavered: blueberry pie for his birthday. Farmers market-shopper that he is, he worried a bit that blueberries aren’t in season right now (and I certainly never told him how much the organic Chilean berries cost me), but his love of berries outweighed thoughts of sustainability, this time.

His younger brother Eli (not a fan of fruit desserts) announced that he would rather eat graham crackers for dessert, but even he wound up eating all the crust of his slice and then giving the blueberry filling to his brother. Win-win.

Project Baklava

by Caroline

Quick: name a Turkish food.

If you said falafel, go read my post about the falafel in Paris and then come back. We did eat falafel in Turkey occasionally, always part of a meze platter; we never saw it offered on its own in a sandwich.

We prepared for our trip to Turkey by eating at Turkish restaurants and cooking from a Turkish cookbook, including baking two different kinds of bread: simit and pide.

We did not prepare for Turkey by seeking out, making, or eating any baklava, because we figured it would be a) an easy sell for the kids and b) ubiquitous in Turkey.

So of course, somehow we didn’t eat any. And then when we came home, the kids complained. So we made it at home.

They continue to complain because we didn’t make the phyllo by hand, but until someone buys me a bigger kitchen and a pastry sheeter, I’ll continue to buy phyllo from the grocery store. Because with store-bought phyllo, making baklava is easy enough for the kids to do while I just hang out snapping pictures:

I read many different recipes for baklava, from Joy of Cooking to Gourmet to my Turkish cookbook, and it can get rather complicated if you let it, but really all you need is phyllo, melted butter, nuts, and simple syrup and/or honey. We made one with some rosewater for flavoring, which tasted too much like potpourri, and another with a little cinnamon and orange zest, which we liked much better. Explore recipes, play with ingredients, and chop, brush and layer your way to a tasty dessert.

Raspberry Upside-Down Cake








Some mornings, you’re turned upside-down by 4 hours of sleep. There’s a sink full of dirty dishes, and you ruin a batch of pancakes. There’s the problem of the lumpy pony-tail, which you can’t make it right because you’re drunk with fatigue. There’s an 8AM appointment for the broken clothes washer. Predictably the necessary part will arrive in 10 days. More