a few thoughts + vegan brownies

9 Feb

You all left some really great comments here yesterday, and I loved reading through every one of them.  I really enjoyed hearing your perspectives on dealing with tough habits and emotional struggles.  Thanks so much for sharing:)

This morning we woke up to another thick layer of snowy white…and once again the whole state is pretty much shut down.  No complaints here, though.  I was really happy that the husband was able to work from home today rather than commute to the city…I would have been a nervous wreck.

Yesterday was a great day of working from home.  I was able to get a lot accomplished and even pack a few things along the way.  I’m really focusing my energy on living fully in every moment more than ever these days, as my time with my students (both tutoring and yoga) and time working from our house is drawing to a close.  Have you ever been in a moment and thought to yourself – I just want to live in this moment forever?  I had a lot of those yesterday from taking a break to water our little plants to making a new healthy lunch to giving the husband a little massage on the couch last night.

I read a book recently that talked about how we all forget so much of our life…there is so much we just don’t remember.  It’s like only the big milestones – graduating, getting married, having kids – are what we most remember.  But what about the sweet little things that make up the majority of our time?  I want to remember those things too, and I think one reason we don’t really remember many of them is because we don’t fully live them.  We’re always focusing on and pressing toward the next big thing.  And while it’s good to be working toward big goals and accomplishments, if we don’t really see and experience the mundane moments of the day-to-day, then we’re missing out on a large part of this life we’ve been given.

Lunch yesterday was that meal I mentioned a couple of days ago that I’ve been craving.  One day it just popped into my head, and I thought to myself – why have I never made this before??

Prepare a nice big bed of fresh spinach

Pick your pasta and cook it – I used veggie shells that I got as a sample at HLS, but you can use any kind

Mix together about 2 tbsp hummus, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast and water to thin

After mixing pasta and the creamy sauce together, pour mixture over spinach.  The heat will cause the leaves to wilt just slightly.  Perfect.

This meal was every bit as tasty as I imagined it would be.  I loved the combination of the creamy soft texture of the pasta with the slight crunch of the spinach leaves.  And there was plenty of protein built right into the sauce.

In other food news, the husband surprised me last night by bringing home my absolute favorite meal from my favorite restaurant in the city – Pei Wei.  It was a little cold by the time we got here, but a quick round in the microwave and it was as good as new!

And what made it even better is that while we were savoring every bite, the thick, mouth-watering smell of brownies was filling the air.  I’ve been craving brownies for days, and all I needed was a good, cold snow day to do me in.  I found this recipe and then used a few of the suggested tweaks plus a couple tricks of my own.  They came out so delicious!

Chocolate Chocolate Vegan Brownies
adapted from here


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dairy free mini chocolate chips (or chips of your choice:)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 inch baking dish
  • Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and sea salt in a large mixing bowl
  • Add in water, oil, applesauce and vanilla extract
  • Mix until well combined
  • Pour batter into baking dish and then sprinkle chocolate chips all over the top
  • Bake for about 26 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool a bit before serving.

Serve warm with a glass of almond milk.  Or if you really want to go crazy, serve with a dollop of banana soft serve on top.

I’m planning on packing some today, editing some papers for my students and maybe doing a little job searching online.  I’m still as confused as ever about what I’m going to do as far as a job, but I’m trusting that it will work out and trying not to waste too much time worrying over it.

Happy Wednesday to you!

What is something you hope you never forget as time goes on, be it little or big?!
I hope I never forget the way the creaky wood floors sound as I walk through our house or the way the windows shutter just slightly when the heat comes on:)

14 Responses to “a few thoughts + vegan brownies”

  1. salah@myhealthiestlifestyle February 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    LOVE the idea of the shells and spinach pasta! and those brownies look ah-mazing!!!

    • candice February 10, 2011 at 10:36 am #

      Thanks, girl! I just had half of one crumbled over my overnight oats….and I’m dying over it;)

  2. Heather (Where's the Beach) February 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    That pasta dish looks fantastic and so simple. What a prefect, fast dinner! I hope I never forget the sound of my niece and nephew laughing. My niece especially, she’s got the cutest little giggle.

    • candice February 10, 2011 at 10:37 am #

      Ah, that’s so sweet. She probably wont’ sound like that forever…I can only imagine how hard it will be to actually have our own kids and watch them grow up!

  3. Dorry February 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    I love Pei Wei! Haven’t had it in months, but it’s a go-to when we want something tasty and fast. And those brownies look delicious! Love the chocolate chips on top.

    • candice February 10, 2011 at 10:37 am #

      I’m so looking forward to having a Pei Wei right down the street from me…although it could be a bad thing for sure:) The chocolate chips totally made the brownies.

  4. Halley (Blunder Construction) February 10, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    I hear ya, girl… I am confused as ever too. Job, career, life, definitely working on it as we go! I love your philosophy on living in the moment. As an occasionally pessimistic person, I should remember that my stresses are totally not worthy in the grand scheme of things. I love your positive outlook, even while you work through so much on your own!

    • candice February 10, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

      Thanks, friend:) I’m finding out more and more how many people don’t know exactly what they’re doing with their life. I just need to stop feeling like I need to have it all figured out I think and be happy in the here and now. It’s all about the journey anyway, eh?

  5. Michal February 10, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    I hope I never forget the how Sam (and Henry) feel wrapped in my arms as they drift to sleep in the rocking chair. Enjoyed your comments about the mundane…so true. Check out my recent post about sweet potatoes…I think you’ll be proud. 🙂

    • candice February 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

      I can’t imagine what it feels like to be a mom trying to savor those moments…they pass by so quickly! I finally caught up on your blog and left you about a million comments:)

  6. amber@SAHM's musings February 10, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    Brownies look lip-smacking good. I {heart} brownies. They are my absolute fave dessert so I’ll have to try these.

    I don’t ever want to forget my son’s laugh or how my daughter’s hand feels holding mine and the way she says “I hold you hand, Mommy”

    • candice February 10, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

      Mine too…these have gotten me in a bit of trouble over the last few days. Not a good idea to be snowed in with a pan of brownies. Whose idea was that anyway?? 😉

      That is so so sweet what you wrote about your little ones. I can’t even imagine how meaningful those moments must be for you as a mom.


  1. ice cream and oats – a perfect combination|Chia Seed Me - February 11, 2011

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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Melissa Dion, Michelle A.. Michelle A. said: RT @mgonyeo: Chocolate Chocolate Vegan Brownies http://bit.ly/fOggKv […]

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