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Friday, June 3, 2011

Two desserts!

...and one dinner. :)

Last Friday I went to a potluck dinner, and decided to bring a dessert. It was a meat meal, so the dessert couldn't have any dairy in it. I was very happy to try out my first dairy-free dessert!

In addition to that, I made dinner and dessert for my family last night - a dairy meal this time.

This week's meals include:
Dairy-free chocolate chip cookie bars and dairy-free brownies
Baked ravioli
Chocolate chip praline brookies (that's right, brownie and cookie in one delicious mouthful)

*Recipes and/or sites that we used will be at the end of the meal's post.*

Once again I didn't get any pictures from the dairy-free desserts, but let me tell you: My friends questioned whether they were really dairy-free. Which is good, 'cause that was my goal!

Unfortunately, I tossed the recipe for the cookies when I threw away the chocolate chip bags, but you can use any chocolate chip cookie recipe. Just use margarine, vegan buttery spread, or some other dairy-free butter substitute as well as dairy-free chocolate chips. Tip: If you know about kosher symbols on packaging, look for "parve." That means there's no meat or dairy products in the package.

As for the brownies, again, you can use any generic recipe. Just be sure to use a dairy-free butter substitute if your recipe calls for it, and use pure cocoa powder because it is dairy-free. My mom's recipe is at the end of the post.

On to last night's dinner! Baked ravioli, mmm...


And I hope these pictures more than make up for the lack of cookie bar pictures. I couldn't find my camera because I was running out to my Zumba class, so I figured I'd have no pictures of the dinner either. But my mom is the best mom in the world, and took pictures with her phone. A lot of pictures. Yay mommy!

So, as my mom pulled the onion out of the fridge, I said, "Can you chop the onion tonight? Last time I chopped an onion I wore sunglasses and STILL couldn't stop crying..." (Haha, remember that?)

And she didn't say anything, but her face said "No..." And then she pulled a little appliance out of the cupboard and I said, "Is that a chopper??"

"Mhm," she replied. SWEET! It chopped the onion for us! I am totally getting one of those when I move out one day.

Anyway, we used the little garlic cubes again. So no sticky garlic mincing either.

And since the majority of people in our house don't love tomatoes, we swapped out the can of whole tomatoes for a second can of crushed. Perhaps next time we'll try one can of puréed and see how the sauce turns out.

Saucy. ;)

Also, the recipe calls for either thyme or oregano. We couldn't decide, so we put in a little of both. Oh, also also, we ran out of black pepper, so we put in some garlic pepper. "You can never have too much garlic," my mother declared as she sprinkled it in.

Tossin' the paaasta.

I had my Zumba workout class at 6, so we did all this prep before I left. We let the sauce simmer until about a half an hour before I got home. Then my mom tossed it with the partially cooked pasta and baked it until I got home.




So cheesy. So saucy. So tasty.

Everyone enjoyed it, although both my brother and sister agreed that we should try using the puréed tomatoes in the future. My brother said the sauce was "too chunky" and my sister simply said "lay off the sauce next time." But still she liked it enough to eat leftovers for dinner tonight. :)

Mama added garlic bread!
*Not pictured: Rainbow salad with red peppers, orange carrots, yellow croutons, green lettuce, peppers, and cukes, and white mushrooms. Om nom.

Now the dessert is one I've had in my bookmarked recipe list for a while.

Yeah, not all the cookie dough made it to the pan. We ate some.

I mentioned it to my mom as a possible birthday dessert (her birthday was in May and I still intend to make her something), and these brookies got my brother's vote. My mom has her eye on something else (ooooh, but that's for a later blog post!), leading me to bake the brookies for my brother.

There's a hidden layer of ooey gooey goodness underneath.

What is a brookie, you ask? It's a brownie with a layer of chocolate chip cookie on top. :) So bad for you, but sooooo good...

Ours turned out pretty gooey. The website with the recipe had some pictures that made them look much drier and cookie-cutter (brownie-cutter?) shaped squares.

Add milk for optimum happiness.

They were very yummy, but I don't think I'm dying to make them again any time soon though. They are VERY rich and full of calories - I mean, it's a cookie on top of a brownie, what do we expect?

*EDIT* The brookies are WAY BETTER as leftovers. Just saying.

That shiny bit is the caramel that glues the cookie to the brownie.

Only take one!

That's it for now. Until next time,
Sarah and company

Recipes and Sites
Thank you to FoodGawker for helping us find recipes!

Mom's Brownies (with dairy-free modifications)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
2 squares unsweetened chocolate (1 square/1 ounce unsweetened baking choc = 3 level tbsp cocoa + 1 tbsp shortening or oil)
1/4 lb (1 stick) butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla

*Optional middle and top layers. (We couldn't because we were baking dairy-free.)

Middle layer:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Top layer:
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1 tbsp butter

Melt chocolate and butter.
Combine all ingredients; mix well.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.

Baked Ravioli


We replaced the can of whole tomatoes with a second can of crushed. We used a little bit of thyme and a little bit of oregano.

Chocolate Chip Praline Brookies


There is an OMISSION in the recipe. The ingredients list contains vanilla, but the instructions never say when to add it in. Just put it in the saucepan with the butter, milk, and sugars. Oh, PS - we didn't use pecans.

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