When we returned to NOLA this weekend and the grocery stores and coffee shops were low on stock there were two things that I really wanted - my own cold brewing coffee machine and chocolate. The cold brewing coffee machine was easy to acquire. PJ's always has them in stock. We had one before Katrina but never invested in a new one and, instead, have probably kept PJ's and Cool Brew in business. I think we will still drink our share of PJ's coffee, especially on the weekends, but during the week we will be using this guy and maybe saving a bit of money:
More than anything else I have really been craving chocolate with this pregnancy. I was desperate for a glass of very cold chocolate milk or Ovaltine. Unfortunately, I just finished reading In Defense Of Food and am renewed in my obsession with serious label reading. I glanced at the back a few cartons of chocolate milk and decided it was out of the question. I picked up a container of Ovaltine (they only come in one size, gigantic) and read the nutrition information and the list was too long and filled with names of things I didn't recognize. At that point I decided to look at packaged cookies (bad idea) and brownie mixes as possible alternatives. In the natural foods section of Rouses I found a box of brownie mix called No Pudge Brownies.
It was immediately familiar to me because Mary Cox recommended this recipe to me in the past. The ingredient list was not bad - especially not compared to what I had been reading - pure cane sugar, unbleached wheat flour, dutch cocoa, egg white, wheat gluten, salt, baking soda, and corn starch. The brownies have no fat and a reasonable amount of calories per serving. The biggest plus, however, is that they are incredibly easy to make - you add 2/3 of a cup of vanilla yogurt (I used Stoneyfield Farm Fat Free Vanilla), mix it together in a bowl and put it in the oven for about 30 minutes. The result is chewy, delicious, choclatey-ness. I think Pop and I were the biggest fans but that is no surprise since we both love brownies. Overall, they were a hit and I would make them again in a second.
We are all about to breath a sigh of relief around here as it looks like Ike is headed away from NOLA, not that I wish a hurricane upon anyone...Tonight we got together with those in the family who were in town and free at GG and Papa George's house for a delicious dinner. It was nice to get to visit with everyone and a particularly welcome treat since we have been waiting to see what happens with Ike before restocking the freezer and fridge.