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Great Ideas — {Holiday Treats}

18 Dec
Serve some Snowmen Smores  @ Relatively Reagan
 Create some Simple Snowman Snacks @ Random Thoughts of a SUPERMOM
Throw a Peppermint Party @ Moore Minutes
These Candy Pouches would make fun party favors @ Peppermint Plum
Fun neighbor gift idea — Peppermint Fudge Cupcakes in a Jar @ The Farm Girl
Bake up some Double Decker Fudge Brownies @ Feathers in Our Nest
Or this Super Simple Fudge Recipe @ While He Was Napping
Make Oreo Cookie Pops @ Kindergarten Crafter
These Santa Cookies make me happy @ Kiki Creates
Bake up some Rice Krispie Treat Ornaments @ The Finer Things in Life
Get the 411 on how to make Grandma’s Homemade English Toffee @ Red Couch Recipes
Make these Reindeer Bite Cookies @ Inside BruCrew Life
Bake up these Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies @ Still Waters
These Santa Sugar cookies are beautiful @ less cake {more frosting}
Grab the recipe for these Super Easy Peppermint Patties @ Just for Love
 Or these Festive Homemade Mint Patties @ The Domestic Sugar Bake Shop
 Find out how to make Oreo Truffles @ Poppy Seed Fabrics
 Your kids will love handing out “Reindeer Poop” LOL @ Mine for the Making
This Peppermint Bark makes a great neighbor gift @ A Pumpkin and a Princess
And another fun neighbor gift idea – Candy Covered Marshmallows @ Kirsty Makes
Gingerbread Cookies are a must at Christmas – grab the recipe @ Michelle-esque Fashion &Stuff
 Bake up some Candy Cane Oreo Brownies @ I Heart Naptime
Great idea for Christmas Breakfast — Dutch Babies @ Joseph’s Grainery

There are so many more great recipes and fantastic ideas linked up to the Weekend Wrap Up this week!! I wish I could feature them all. Come over to get the great ideas!! And link up YOUR ideas to win this awesome Jewelry Stand from Frou Frou Decor!!
Jewelry Stand
Another Great Ideas post is coming up tonight!! 
AND, are you looking for some great neighbor gift ideas? Or to make some last-minute gifts this week??? Come check out the almost 450 Handmade Gift Ideas linked up this week!! AMAZING ideas! I will be featuring some of my favorites this weekend!!! 

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Guest Project — Decadent & Delicious Brownies!!

9 Dec

If you are looking for a  dense, fudgy, slightly chewy, decadent brownie that will cover the pallet of your mouth with a smooth, rich, chocolaty taste – THESE ARE THE BROWNIES TO MAKE.

Black Bean and Avocado Brownies 
(yes, as an extra they happen to be sugar, and gluten free)
4 oz unsweetened chocolate (like Bakers brand)
1/2 c butter
1/4 c coconut oil
1 c almonds
2 c cooked black beans
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
3/4 c agave nectar
1/2 c warm water*
1 Tbsp chia seeds*
1 Tbsp NuStevia powdered stevia*
1/4 c instant espresso or natural coffee alternative.
4 eggs
1/2 large or 1 small avocado
First off put your chia seeds and stevia in the 1/2 cup of warm water. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes.  The seeds can hold 10x their weight and will thicken up the water.  The benefit of chia seeds are AMAZING and can be found here.   (* If you do not have access to chia seeds and can’t make this mixture just skip it and increase your coconut oil with an additional 1/4 c and add an additional 1/2 c agave nectar)
Melt butter/oil in a glass dish with your chocolate.  Microwave in one minute intervals and stir till just melted. 
Place the beans, almonds, vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into a food processor. Blend till smooth. Dump in mixer.
(I’m just going to make this easy since that is how I bake.  I am sure some culinary baker is flinching when I tell you I just dump everything into a mixer.  If this really bothers you please feel free to seporate your powders and your liquids before combining in the mixer.)
Next I add the rest of the chocolate, coffee or coffee substitute, chai/stevia mixture, eggs and salt.
Stir till well blended and it’s creamy looking.  Pour into a greased 11×9″ baking pan.  Bake at 325 F for 35 minutes or till set.
COOL COMPLETELY before cutting or better yet but these in the refrigerator.  They taste best after they sit for a while and cut so much nicer.  If you want a warm brownie I suggest just microwaving your individual piece.

Guess what else – kids love them.  I’d say that sums it all up right there! (I have picky kids)  At least when you eat five of them you won’t feel guilty because you’re just eating your beans and vegetables. (-:

If you have any questions or comments PLEASE leave one.  I am happy to help in any way.  A lot of the ingredients I list can be purchased at your health food section in a regular grocery store or on line.  My favorite online store is iherb.  They have the best prices and free ground shipping with a $40.00 order.  Plus enter code ESE794 for $5.00 off your order.  (I’m very thrifty so believe me I’m giving you the best on line site I know!)
Thanks Selina!!!
And who would have ever thought??? 
They look delicious!! If you are looking for thrifty recipe ideas, DIY projects and decorating tips, you really should check out Selina’s blog –
Like the Cinnamon Elmer’s Glue Ornaments you can make to decorate with this year. They also make cute gift tags!
And she has a great tutorial for these Outdoor Luminaries — free and so pretty!!
And while you’re there — grab the recipe for this Crockpot Pumpkin Pie Custard – yum!
Selina also does all sorts of DIY projects — from painted faux wall techniques, to DIY furniture and thrifting adventures!!   
Thank you Selina!!!