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Some Serious Brownie Points...

No, really. What better way to get some brownie points than actually making brownies? No recipes to share because they're pretty standard. AKA - buy boxed mix, add in oil and egg, stir. I know, I should write a book about this stuff. 

Does ANYONE wait until the brownies are cooled to dig in? Really? Obviously I couldn't - that missing corner didn't eat itself. 

They were the perfect snack for this odd day, thanks to the the time change. It felt strange all day to me! Also the perfect fall comfort food? Spaghetti Bolognese. I don't cook with meat other than chicken or fish, well...ever. But this is one of Tim's favorite meals so it was a great chilly day to spend cooking it up.

I used a pretty basic recipe for the Bolognese sauce:

-Brown 1 pound of ground beef, set aside and drain

-Dice 1 whole carrot, 1 whole onion and 3 cloves of garlic and saute in oil until soft

-Mix the beef back in with the veggies 
-Add in 3 cups of tomato sauce, herbs and spices
-Reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes
-Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

Such a delicious hearty meal! I wanted to mention two things about it - first, I drained off TONS of fat from the ground beef. When you cook it, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and get rid of the excess fat. I couldn't believe what came off, even from lean meat!

Second, I had a few people ask me about the quinoa pasta I mentioned previously. It's what I used for this dish tonight! I prefer non-traditional pasta whenever possible, like these here:

Corn/Quinoa Spaghetti Blend

Sweet Potato/Whole Wheat Gnocchi
I really enjoyed tracking the NYC Marathon today. I wasn't able to watch it live, but I kept up to date with a live blog of the events. Congrats to all those who finished!

Do you like any alternative types of pasta? Any favorites?
Although I don't eat exclusively gluten-free, I do avoid wheat a lot of the time. And I love trying new styles of pasta! This quinoa corn blend is perhaps the best I've tried. It has no difference to standard white pasta, either in texture or aftertaste. BUT - it's a pretty bright yellow!

Do you make brownies from scratch or boxed mixes?
I've only made brownies a few times, and certainly don't have any favorite recipes for it. I'd love to find a good one though, and branch out from the box!


  1. I have never tried non traditional pasta but I want to venture out and pick up some of that quinoa one!! My favourite are gnocchi. I seriously could eat them every day...but I don't.

    I've actually never made boxed brownies! Or real ones for that matter... I always just steal my mom's homemade brownies :)

  2. I'm guilty....I make brownies from a box. But technically that's an exaggeration because it's been a couple years since I've even done that. My baking skills are in remission!

  3. I eat GF and I really enjoy rice noodles. I also enjoy spaghetti squash as 'spaghetti noodles'. Quinoa is good too, but it does have a very distinct flavor that I know can put some people off.

    GF boxed brownie mix... hell yes.

  4. gooey, goopy, soppy, messy brownies are the BEST!!!! :)

  5. I like to cook brown rice pasta sometimes, but not on the boat in cooler weather cause it needs a lot of water and it needs to be at a contstant rolling boil.

    I also do gnocchi for my husband.

    Sometimes I use white rice noodles for Asian dishes and we use several different kinds of pastas white and whole wheat for different things.

    I have never tried quinoa... did dry corn pasta and didn't really care for that.

    I love No Pudge Brownies cause I can make them one at a time in the mike. 2 Tbs mix to 1 Tbs ff yogurt or ff sour cream or applesauce.. nuke 1 minute and I like to top them with yogurt and fruit or pb! Looooove brownies.

    Your look good.

  6. Have you ever tried Spagetti Bolognese with ostrich mince (don't know if you get that in the US)? So delicious and not at all as fatty as (lean) beef mince. Delicious! :)

  7. I love Quinoa, I have not tried Quinoa pasta tho... I always make Brownies out of a box, so easy!!

  8. i don't think I've ever tried non-traditional pasta but am still going to look fot it and try! My favorite homemade brownies are creme de menthe brownies, the brownie is more cake-like than I normally like but the whole combination is just perfect!

  9. Those. Brownies and spaghetti look amazing!

    I've gotten away from pasta. I really enjoy polenta now pre race. I also like rice. It seems to feel lighter in my belly :)

  10. I'm with you on brownies - I love them and really want to find a recipe that is actually as good as boxed mixes…but I have yet to do so! I have a few recipes that I still have to try, so maybe I should get on that. I've tried rice pasta and was not a fan and usually opt for whole wheat pasta, but I love that whole wheat sweet potato gnocchi you showed….mmmmmm!

  11. Interesting, I've never tried alternative pastas - what's the benefit? Are they healthier? I'm very curious. I prefer to make brownies from scratch, but let's be realistic - until I fulfill my fantasy of being a 50s stay at home wife in heels and an apron, boxed mix is the plan.

  12. I am avoiding wheat as well! I do like the Quinoa, but other kids I've been really disappointed! I make my brownies homemade, really takes no time!

  13. I rarely make brownies from scratch, but now I've started making them with a box and black beans. SOooo good! I did make some from scratch last weekend, though, and they were phenomenal. Maybe I should switch.

  14. i made box mix brownies this weekend too...mine had a missing corner before cooled as well. the hubby and i both like the corners, so you have to get them before the other one does.

  15. Here is the best brownie recipe that I have ever tried:

    They are easy and so delicious, I won't even try to describe them.

    One night last week, I was craving brownies and opted for the boxed kind rather than homemade. When I took the first bite, all I could taste was vegetable oil, and I don't think it was just my imagination.

    I will never have boxed again after realizing just how much better homemade brownies are!

  16. You are a baker after my own talents!

  17. I watched the 2 hour recap of the NYC marathon - so impressive and inspiring (eek, your race is next weekend - you'll be awesome I just know it).

    Brownies - I sub applesauce for the oil everytime I make them. 99% of the time I make them with the help of Betty Crocker, but once I made brownies from scratch and personally didn't notice the difference, but took them to work - holy moly they RAVED about them and now . . . now I have to make them for my co-workers every now and then (I call it bribery, but . . . they call it delicious).
    I haven't strayed to alternative pasta yet, but know that I should. Not sure how well it would be received by my husband.

  18. i LOVE the whole wheat / sweet potato gnocchi. i make mine with homemade marinara and fresh mozzarella. it's one of my favorite side dishes. Mmm...

  19. Yummy! You are such a great little wifey being all domestic and such. And yes boxed brownies are the

    I am obsessed with whole wheat pasta. And Julia and I watched the marathon on TV and it was amazing!!

  20. I made brownies from scratch once but they didn't turn out that good. Brownies from the box are sooo good :)

    I LOVE whole wheat pastas :)

  21. I usually make brownies from scratch, with frosting - but sometimes, that box mix is perfection. Also, I'm lazy.

  22. Though I'm a big gnocchi fan, plain ole' spaghetti and meat sauce has a special place in my heart. It's major comfort food for me, and I love how cheap n' easy it is.

    Oh, and no... I definitely don't let the brownies cool. Cookies and brownies are better gooey.

  23. Every time I try to make brownies from scratch it turns out meh. Every time I make brownies from a box I give myself rave reviews.

  24. Reading your blog makes me HUNGRY!!!!!

  25. I use Gluten Free Pantry's brownie mix--but PLEASE don't run out and get it unless you're GF. It's sometimes hard to fine! ;-)

    Quinoa and Quinoa pasta have a different taste to it, it's HIGH in protein, ("the mother grain") and that can put some people off. Tikyanki (spelling is wrong on that) is really great brown rice pasta.

    AS for people eating GF who aren't GF, I don't have an issue--I figure it means more demand and more pressure put on companies to create a GF product :-D

  26. I've never tried to make brownies from scratch.

    i've honestly given up on baking because for some reason, the middle ALWAYS rises the most and the ends get all weird and thin and crispy.

    I'm all out of options so lucky for me I'm not expected to bake anything this year =)

  27. i enjoyed tracking the NYC Marathon too.. and your mean is exactly what I ate the night before my first race! :) good taste woman!

  28. Ahhh I haven't made brownies in ages! I have a favorite recipe that my Mom passed on... it's pretty simple so I've never really bothered looking for another (or a boxed mix). I love baking wayyyy to much to let someone else do most of the work for me!

  29. i LOVE any type of brownies...boxed. homemade. but always WARM and right out of the oven. :)

    thanks so much for your comment you left on my post. it was kind of a good eye-opener for me. i was like...hmmmm. i really have posted about that lately. when am i going to actually believe i can do this!?! i guess easier said than done...but the past few weeks have been great learning points for me.

    i always look up to you friend! your determination is inspiring. you push yourself. work hard. and find positive in everything! thanks for being a great example to me!


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