Anja and I decided to set up this blog AGES ago due to our shared passions of food and healthy living and photo taking and writing. And I was so excited at the thought, but then life got crazy and we built a house in the woods and lived for many months without phone or internet, and blogging seemed to take a back burner as it were. BUT, this is a new year, and I now happily have four walls around me, a solid roof over my head and a deliciously fast internet connection and so I thought I would start holding up my end of the bargain and post some of my favourite recipes alongside Anja!

So hello (wave)! I’m Erica and I live in Ontario with my husband Jamie and three kidlets – Kea (10 1/2), Tiegan (7 1/2) and Ryland (4 at the end of this month, gah!!!!) And although I will be including photos of food for future posts, I did not get a chance to photograph this first dish before it was INHALED by my family, so you’ll all just have to suffer through a few photos of the kids instead:-)

This past week has brought snowy blizzards and vicious viruses to our neck of the woods, and thus I have spent much time inside and in my kitchen. However, we like to make sure everyone gets outside for at least a little while every day, so on this day we bundled everyone up against their wills and tried to convince them it would be fun to play in the crazy cold weather.

Kea put on her skis because we were originally going to go for a ski, but that quickly dissolved into tears by half the camp so we opted to stay closer to home.

Tiegan had a blast creating caves and snow mountains and holes, and amused herself in a snow hill forever.

And Ryland was plain old miserable. He was pretty sick with a brutal cold at this point, and pretty much everything was setting him off. But when he played with his bulldozer for about 2 seconds and broke into his 3rd round of tears in 10 minutes, we decided that this torture was enough.

Fresh air might be good for the health, but going inside and baking with mom is healthy for the soul. So that’s what we did, and there weren’t tears for at least an hour after that!

Black Bean Brownies (hand written on the back of an envelope by my good friend Lori in Vancouver – passed on to her by another friend)

1/2 can black beans
1/2 cup ground hazelnut (we ran out and used almonds instead, still yummy!)
1/2 cup coconut oil (I sit the jar in hot water for a bit, and pour melted oil in)
3 eggs
3 Tbl sunflower oil
4 Tbl cocoa (I like Camino’s dark cocoa)
1 pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar (I used brown sugar, but I’m sure many others would work too)

Mix ingredients together in a blender to puree.

Pour into a 8by8 pan

Add any nuts or other bits you like in your brownies, we tend to leave them plain and eat with fruit after they’re baked.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

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