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141  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Brownies... Aren't they supposed to be easy!? Share your wisdom with me. on: March 03, 2009 02:57:49 PM
Well... I know this probably isn't what you're looking for but I can empathize with your non spectacular brownies. Mine were always just mediocre until I ventured out of the realm of normal brownie ingredients. The recipe below created the most rich, chewy, tasty brownies I've ever had and everyone loved them... despite the unusual ingredients. To be fair... I didn't tell them until after they had tasted them and commented on how they were yummy!

    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
    1 cup unsalted butter
    2 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well (hs: canned is fine)
    1 cup walnuts, chopped
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    cup (granulated) natural coffee substitute (or instant coffee, for gluten-sensitive)
    teaspoon sea salt
    4 large eggs
    1 cups light agave nectar

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line an 11- by 18-inch (rimmed) baking pan (hs note: or jellyroll pan) with parchment paper and lightly oil with canola oil spray.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely. Place the beans, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee substitute, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and beat well. Set aside.

Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well.

Add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup. Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture until light and fluffy. Drizzle over the brownie batter. Use a wooden toothpick to pull the egg mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. (They will be soft until refrigerated.)

Makes 45 (2-inch) brownies.


Also, I substitued the agave nectar with regular suger, but I only used one cup. I also left out the walnuts for personal preference. This recipe was found on 101cookbooks.com
142  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Newbie question about reinforcing a lunchbag on: March 03, 2009 02:40:49 PM
Hello everyone!

First off, I would like to admit that I am not the best sewer in the world.  I do much better with small handsewn projects. My sewing machine has a grudge with me, I'm sure.

So on to the question. I attempted to make a lunch bag from one of those Japanese cutsie craft books and I thought everything went really well! Until I tried to take my lunch to work in it one day and the bottom fell out! haha So I sewed it back up but it tore again and this time started to fray a bit of the material.

My question to you is, what would be the best way to reinforce the bottom of the bag? It's constructed out of soft cotton t-shirt like material. I am going to try to upload a photo so you can see better. Thanks everyone!


PS. Oops! guess I can't upload until I have more posts. Oh and I'm sorry about the wrinkles! its' been stuck in my bag all day long!
143  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Re: Dishalicious Dishcloth/Washcloth Swap Round 8 on: February 08, 2009 07:45:38 PM
I'm new around here, but i'm on a knitted dishcloth craze! Before I started browsing here tonight I was knitting one up for valentines day. haha not the most romantic present I guess.

But yeah, if the timings right, i'm in Cheesy
144  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Re: Journal Swap Idea ?? on: February 08, 2009 07:40:03 PM
This is exactly the swap I was searching for! but unfortunately I can't do swaps until March 1! so if it happens then or after, I'm so in!
145  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Introduce Yourself / Newb from Southern Ontario on: February 02, 2009 07:03:06 PM
Hi Everyone!

I've joined Craftster to motivate myself to get crafting!

I sew, knit, and dabble in paper crafts. I have a desire to learn how to crochet, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I can't wait till my one month is up so I can start participating in swaps!

Hopefully I'll be courageous enough to post some of my crafty creations soon!

146  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Re: aparment swap? on: February 02, 2009 06:55:18 PM
This would be fun! I recently moved so not only fun but applicable! hopefully it doesn't start before I qualify for swaps haha
147  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Re: Stuffie swap on: February 02, 2009 06:52:56 PM
I would love to be part of this swap... but i'm still a newbie! I can't wait for my first month to be over with so I can participate!   Grin
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