Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Celebrating Saint Joseph :: Gluten-Free Brownie Staff with Coconut Ice Cream

The following post was submitted by Mary at Better Than Eden, in honor of today's feast of St. Joseph!  Thank you Mary! 

We're taking the day off in honor of today's Solemnity of St. Joseph. I thought about taking the kids somewhere but Brian had to go to work and they seem just as happy building forts in the playroom. I was trying to think of a special way to celebrate today. I've never actually understood why St. Joseph's Day is traditionally an Italian thing. I guess they just like him a lot. We're not Italian so we've never done all those neat traditions and I've never even been to a St. Joseph's Table. I'd love to learn more about them all but in the meantime, I think we'll celebrate in a different way.

I decided that in honor of Saint Joseph we would treat our own family's Saint Joseph to a feast tonight. We're having rib-eye steak, baked potatoes, and glazed carrots.
And for dessert I spent this morning making his favorite...brownies.

Normally, Solemnities for us mean a suspension of any Lenten fasts but since we've been testing the gluten-free thing so long, I want to keep it going, hence the black bean brownies.
So here's what we're treating ourselves to tonight.

I had some black bean cake at a friend's house the other day and we were shocked with how much it tasted just like regular cake. It was delicious! So today I used this recipe for black bean brownies but made a few changes (don't you think it's hysterical when people write reviews like that? Like..."This recipe is perfect! I just switched out the apples and used potatoes, then I added shredded chocolate and increased the sugar from 1/4 cup to 3 1/2 cups. I also decided not to bake it and boil it instead. Oh, and I added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and truffle oil on top. Superb. This is my FAVORITE recipe!!" But I totally do the same thing.) So here's what I did:

Blend 1 can of rinsed black beans, 3 eggs, 3 tbsp. banana (not pictured), 3 tbsp. oil, 2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 c. cocoa powder, and 3/4 c. sugar.  I also added about 3/4 c. crushed walnuts because we like them.

I used our immersion blender and blended everything completely. I put in the beans and eggs first just to make sure the beans were completely pureed then added everything else.

After lots of internal debate and going through my cupboards to figure out how best to make a "Joseph's staff" shape, I decided on using a loaf pan and a circle pie pan. I greased both with butter and filled the pie pan half as deep with batter as the loaf pan. You can see in the picture how I cut the circle in half, stacked them and did a tiny bit of shaping to make it look sort of staff-esque. The extra pieces may or may not have ended up in my mouth as a "taste test."

The lily was a spur of the moment spark of liturgical genius. I used marshmallows cut in half, smooshed and sort of shaped like petals and a yellow licorice Trader Joe's candy leftover from Christmas (my kids sure know how to save their candy as long as possible...). The leaves I cut off a pineapple that happened to be in the fridge. This is why people think I'm a weirdo.

Because one of my husband's favorite things is a brownie sundae with bananas, I decided to experiment with a coconut milk ice cream creation. I couldn't find one faux ice cream recipe that used ingredients I had on hand so here's what I did:

Blend 1 can coconut milk, 1 banana, 1 tbsp. vanilla, and 2 tbsp. coconut nectar.

I again used my Cuisinart immersion blender which is one of the most used kitchen tools I own. I blended a while until it was well mixed and had whipped a tad. I chilled for about an hour and then put it in the ice cream maker for about 15 minutes. And...it worked! It looks like ice cream and tastes pretty good! It has more of a light banana flavor than I would prefer but I think the husband will enjoy it. We'll add some sliced bananas and chocolate syrup when it's time to put it all together.

I think St. Joseph will be pleased that I'm attempting to honor him and his fatherhood of Jesus by honoring my husband. Perhaps that's what he would want more than me stuffing myself with spaghetti which was the other option for the evening. Here's hoping that my interior resolution made early this morning to give him the evening off and lead the boys in serving him doesn't give way to the 5-7 p.m. daily occurrence of me wanting to curl up in a corner covering my ears after throwing all the children at him as he walks in the door. I'm much better intentioned and grace-filled at 10 a.m. than I am at 5 p.m. Is that just me?

At least today there'll be brownies.

Happy St. Joseph's Day!
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  1. I LOVE your honesty! Hopefully God gives 'grace points' for our 10 am intentions even if they don't exactly turn into 5 pm fruitions!

  2. They look delicious, really tasty. I will have to give them a go at the weekend! I made some super healthy gluten free brownies and they turned out really super tasty. Here is the link to the recipe http://bit.ly/12Zks7Y :)