Last week the man and I celebrated our 5th Anniversary. Nine years together, five of 'em married, I figured out in that time we'd seen 9 countries, 3 states, 2 deployments and 1 bulldog. Talk about living!
Gratuitous bulldog photo now...
I am incredibly nose over tail for this guy, and I've realized one of the keys to our marriage is trying new things. Of course traveling is an easy way to escape daily life and grow together, but so is going to Barnes and Nobles on a Wednesday night. I wander the cookbooks, the design books, make my way up the magazine aisle and find him engrossed in the newest Teddy Roosevelt biography. These are always my favorite nights! We find things to laugh about, bond over, and just generally be playful with one another. Did I mention the epic people watching? We can easily get in a rut of Everyone Loves Raymond episodes (my addiction) or ESPN articles (his), not really talking and just being blobs on the couch. It never fails that a few consecutive nights like that and we're both getting edgy, and it's time to shake things up!
Speaking of shaking things up, (segue win!) I baked with coconut oil for the first time! I'm converted, love it, the guy loves it, it's a winner. What better way to test out this healthy fat than in gooey blondies inspired by the Macadamia nuts I noticed in the grocery store this week. I began by googling "how to bake with coconut oil", yes really, and found a great article by thekitchn. They suggested using it solid and it's a 1 for 1 substitution for butter, which basically means if it calls for 1 cup of butter, it's 1 cup of solid coconut oil. I popped my jar in the freezer for a few minutes just to make sure it was solid, it's been hot here lately. If you don't like "buttery" blondies (who doesn't?) you might want to reduce the coconut oil in the recipe slightly, but just slightly. They are definitely rich, and oh so delicious. Now to find what else I can make with it!
Gooey Macadamia-Coconut Blondies
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (reduce slightly if you want)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt (about 1/2 tsp)
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, add the coconut oil and brown sugar and mix together on a medium speed until incorporated.
- Set to a lower speed, add the egg and vanilla mix until blended. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl, making sure you don't miss anything!
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Set the mixer to it's lowest setting and add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, adding a little at a time until all incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides again.
- Add the nuts, just stir in gently.
- Prepare a 9x9 or 8x8 (the square one) baking pan with non-stick spray or butter. Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- The edges will be lightly browned and the center just slightly jiggly. Let cool and finish cooking as it sits. Enjoy!
Adapted from Simply Recipes
I followed theKitchn's advice on how to bake with coconut oil, check it out here!