This weekend we left town. And it was way over due. We are lucky to have a beach house in the family, so we try to get away for a weekend every month to six weeks --- you know, to relax and recharge --- but it's been months since our last little getaway. So we packed up our stuff and a couple friends and headed over to the beach! In January! This is reason # 2,347 why I love Oregon. In Oregon you go to the beach even if it's 40 degrees and raining sideways. And then you call it storm watching. Lucky for us though, it was about 55 and sunny. Down right spring-like, really.
The weekend was amazing. There was a tiny bit of this. But just a tiny bit though. Because out the window was THIS:
I mentioned in my blogger award post, that my favorite spot in the world is the cape in Pacific City. And this, my friends, is Cape Kiwanda. You can
cross a fence walk out to the very end and feel very small in comparison to the ocean's vastness. And see the water pouring over the side? I'm glad I didn't climb up there Saturday. Waves were crashing over the cape, and I would've been soooo wet. Brrr! But, it was so cool to watch from the shore.
Blue sky ... blue ocean ... is it spring yet already? Sadly, I know the 55 degree and sunny weekend we had was just a tease.
This photo isn't color corrected. Chris and I scrambled out of bed early Sunday to hit the beach before we headed home and the rocks were glowing.
Just to the right of these rocks, the cape turns into a huge sand dune. In college, my friends and I used to climb to the top of the dune and then jump off. And then do it again and again until we were tired. Then we'd make a big bonfire and maybe consume a few beverages. Sometimes I miss the crazy weird things I did in college :). And no, there was no dune-jumping this weekend.
This made me stop in my tracks. You guys, a person didn't bury these logs in the sand. A person probably couldn't even move these logs. The ocean is a powerful force and I don't think people take that serious enough sometimes!
With all the adventuring and relaxing (many naps were taken by all this weekend), we needed something awesome to refuel with. And that's where today's recipe comes in: Black Bean Brownies.
If you've been around for awhile, you know that we're gluten free. I've found beans to be an awesome flour substitute in certain recipes. This was actually the first recipe I ever tried with beans, and I can't believe I haven't shared it with you! We're in camp fudg-y brownies, and these are the perfect dense, chocolate-y, fudg-y brownie. I swear, you'll NEVER know there are beans involved.
Black Bean Brownies
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups black beans
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup water or milk
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ cups honey (or agave)
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prep a 9" x 9" baking pan with canola oil spray.
- Melt the chocolate and butter. We use the stove, but microwaves work great if you have one!
- 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 melted chocolate mixture, water/milk, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- In a separate bowl (yep, this recipe creates a lot of dishes. totally worth the effort.), with an electric mixer beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add honey and beat well. Set aside.
- Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the milk/chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well.
- Add the egg mixture. Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about an hour, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. (They will be soft until refrigerated.)
- Once cool, pop into the refrigerator. They'll be easier to cut, and a little firmer.
- Serve and enjoy. Once all are licking their fingers, divulge the ingredients and watch your friends be astounded that these brownies might actually be ... healthy. Who knew? :)
Updated: I'm linking this recipe up to Sweet As Sugars Sweets for a Saturday link party. Come over and take a look at all the amazing sweets!