Thursday, July 30, 2009

Brownies!! Wheat free, dairy free with added black beans!

OH Boy!! I am full of pep today! (Probably because I did a whopping 4 hours of hard work in the library.)
I made some dinner, which I will not be telling you about, bc it was an experiment gone wrong. But I had a whole heap of black beans left over so I looked up a black bean brownie recipe and whipped up a batch.  I based my recipe off of this one but with a bunch of moderations.
SO here is my version:
1 3/4 cup cooked and drained black beans
3 eggs
1-2 tablespoons oil 
1 unsweetened Bakers chocolate block
1 sweetened Bakers chocolate block
1 splash of vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
a few shakes of salt

crushed red pepper and turbinado sugar to top 

1st, look at your blocks of Bakers chocolate from the fridge and try to determine if they are too old to use (didn't have enough cocoa powder to even consider the original recipe). After scraping the outer layers of bloom* away place the 2 chocolate blocks in a microwave safe bowl along with 1-2 tablespoons of oil. (I had just a tiny bit of canola oil left, and I threw in a little olive oil.**) Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stopping to stir in between, when chocolate is melted stop microwaving.  This time can overlap with the next step.
2nd, Put the black beans in the blender, add the three eggs and puree until it is all smooth, or in my case until you think the blender seems really stressed and it is al smooth enough.
3rd, Add your melted chocolate, your, vanilla and your salt. Blend that all in.
4th, Add your sugar, and blend that in (or in my case, take the blender off the base and stir it in by hand, so the blender stops making that sound.) 
5th, Pour it all into a greased 8"x8" pan (or in my case a too small oval shaped ceramic baking dish).
6th, Sprinkle sugar and crushed red pepper on the top  and bake in the oven at 350 for 40 min, or until a toothpick comes out cleanish. 

On the original recipe someone commented that the brownies taste better as they cool.  In the name of science I'll try some while still hot, and then also as they cool.

Yay desert!

*when chocolate gets too cold it "blooms" aka some of the oil comes to the outer edges and turns white, I still will use chocolate when it looks like this.  Because I am cheap.
**I would not recomend using olive oil to bake, but when its 10pm and you want to make brownies, any kind of substitution works.

EDIT:  These brownies are good if you are on some sort of health kick, but they are not the best brownies I ever made.  Though, the best brownies I ever made have 2 sticks of butter in them, so it's not really a fair comparison.  
My roommate said they were good, but she also lived on Cliff bars for 6 months.  
I would make them again, since I like deserts that I feel good about, but I wouldn't make them as a desert for other people.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How to find an apartment in the neighborhood you love

I just found an article about this on Apartment Therapy.  It is an application that maps out apartment locations.  Try it out.  It will take your craigslist apartment stalking to a new level. 

Personally I can never stop looking for a new place.  Which is kind of surprising considering I lived in my last place for almost 3 years.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hooray Governor Paterson!!

I am so excited!  I just got this news from the freelancers union. 

"Governor Paterson just approved a UBT tax cut for freelancers worth up to $3,400."  !!!!!!

Okay, for those of you who aren't jumping up and down and screaming/don't know what this means, the UBT is New York City’s Unincorporated Business Tax.  And basically it was created to collect tax revenue from business that were structured to get out of corporate taxes.  It unfortunately also taxed the self-employed/independent workers.  Before all you non-freelancers get worked up, you should know that the freelancers do pay a boatload of taxes. At the federal level we pay both the employer and employee portions of social security, we pay regular federal, state and city personal income taxes and we were paying the UBT.  BUT even though we had to pay the UBT we didn't get any of the benefits. The state does not consider us employees so we can't get unemployment, workers comp, or help from the Dept of Labor if someone stiffs us on a job. 

SO YAY!!!! 

Friday, July 17, 2009

what to do when finding a roach in your apartment

Warning: I am not a mature person.

What to do I do when I find a roach in my apartment? 
First I have a monetary freak out.
A second passes where I try to asses if anyone else will come kill it (the "is my roommate awake moment.")
Then I grab a flip-flop (I had many pairs, so I have a weapon close at hand), and kill that fucking roach.  
For roaches larger then 1 inch I grab a sneaker instead of a flip flop.
Then I scoop it up with a tissue, or 3x5 card bring it out in the hall and leave the body on the steps up to my landlords apartment.