Find us on Google+ cooking lounge * FOOD * LIFESTYLE * MUSIC *: November 2008

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pumped Brownies, Robin Thicke, Sweat

FOOD:

Pumped Brownies with Almonds, Oats and Protein
These brownies are crazy good and the almonds, protein and oats add a healthy spin to an all-time favorite treat.








photo:wbj
I use the “Baker’s Chocolate" brownie recipe as my guide. Of course you can use other unsweetened (read dark) chocolate. You can even use Hershey’s Cocoa Powder (see instructions on package.)

4 squares Baker’s Unsweetened Baking Chocolate. So that’s 4 oz of dark chocolate.
1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks softened)
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of sugar (if you like Sugar in the Raw or other more natural, unrefined varieties go for it)
3 Eggs. I take them out in advance so they reach room temperature.
1 tsp vanilla. If you can find one with the vanilla bean in the bottle, you get smoother, richer vanilla flavor.
1 cup of flour. (unbleached or whole wheat all the better)
1/2 cup 100% Whey Protein Powder (vanilla or chocolate). I’ve only used vanilla.
1/2 cup of whole oats. Side aside a tablespoon or so to sprinkle over the top.
1 1/2 cup almonds roughly chopped. I like big chunks of almonds.

For extra flavor toast the almonds in 350º oven for 5-7 minutes. Let cool then chop. Toasting the almonds releases the natural oils. Leave the oven on (takes care of preheating).
Put aside about a 1/4 cup to sprinkle over the top.
4 oz of milk chocolate. I use a high quality chocolate bar that I coarsely chop into big chunks. Put aside about 1 oz to sprinkle over the top.

Line a 13x9 baking pan with foil. Rub or brush with butter.

Okay now that all the ingredients are together here’s what you do.

Microwave unsweetened chocolate if using squares and butter in large microwave friendly bowl. Butter and chocolate need to be just past the all melted point. Stir and mix well.

Alternate method that I prefer:

Bring water to a boil in 2qt pot about half filled; place large metal or heat resistant glass bowl over pot; drop in chocolate and butter and let melt. Stir occasionally. Stir in sugars. Remove from heat.

Mix eggs with vanilla; stir in. Add flour, protein and oats; mix well. Mix in the toasted almonds and chunks of milk chocolate. Stir until all mixed well.

Spread the brownie mixture in the prepared 13x9 baking pan.

Evenly, sprinkle the remaining oats, almonds and milk chocolate on top.

Place in the preheated 350º. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Old trick – insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean – done. Do not over bake. Remember they continue to cook for a few minutes once removed from oven.

Cut into 16 squares for large satisfying brownies.

Yes this is a high calorie sweet treat but with the healthy addition of oats, almonds and protein.

Eat guilt free. Eat in moderation. Eat smart


MUSIC:


Artist: Robin Thicke
Song: Shadow of Doubt
Album: Something Else

Love the upbeat retro soul and vintage pop feel of "Shadow of Doubt" by Robin Thicke on the recent release "Something Else."

"Something Else" is a mix of pop genres and styles. It's all over the place and lives up to its title.

Even mash-up, cross-over fav, Lil Wayne speaks his mind on the thoughtful track, “Tie My Hands.” Beautiful guitar intro.

Only got turned on to Robin Thicke about a year ago with "The Evolution of Robin Thicke."  He collaborated with Faith Evans on "Got 2 Be Down", one of the sexiest duets I've heard in awhile.



Blue-eyed soul lost a lot of its luster for me since Michael McDonald and Hall and Oates. Yeah I know that’s going back a few years but these guys nailed it. Many of their songs still feel fresh, fun, not too dated, a sign of good music.

I think Thicke wears the crown or better yet the hoodie for the moment.



STYLE:
Winter is upon us. With the cold weather, the holidays, nights in front of the TV, before you know, it's winter-weight-gain. Eat smart - balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fish. Enjoy the abundance of the season, the parties, the cocktails - just do it all in moderation.

So as we hunker down for the winter, add staying active to your lifestyle.  



Go the gym, take a long stroll through the park or your neighborhood, use the stairs instead of the elevator, walk around the mall, just do whatever gets you moving.  Sweat.

You heard it before but check with your doctor before you start exercising and talk to your doc or a certified trainer about how you eat. I am not dispensing advice just offering suggestions; so, talk to a professional. Once you get going, work out a couple of times a week. If you already exercise, keep up the routine. You’ll be ready for Spring.

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Check back soon. Will post again shortly. Apologies for the lack of posts in the last few months; I was busy working on a promo campaign for a cable network. Slow roll out on the Blog post. More to come on Cooking Lounge.

See you all soon.

Enjoy!

Cooking Lounge

photo: wbj