Having a garage sale is very much like
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a workout. There's always a bit of dread before you start. Somewhere in the middle, you power through on nothing but sheer grit, and it always feels good when you're done
I had a garage sale in my 20s and told myself it would be my last
I had another in my 30s and told myself that it would be my last
I'm on the eve of yet another. My 40s bringing a much gentler perspective “Never say never.”
Nearly three years have passed since I set about building a different life for myself. Call it a mantra, a philosophy, or just another hippie type phrase. But somewhere along the way, I decided I wanted to be more present and overarching in my decisions and daily interactions.
The saying isn't new, or something I came up with on my own, however, it's something I've intentioned into nearly every aspect of my life. I want to write quality content in my tiny space of the internet, not simply throw up some pictures along with something cheeky
I want the projects I take on, like studying holistic nutrition (here) or coaching/instructing to keep me from becoming stagnant and force me to stretch beyond my comfort zone. I want to use what I learn to help others, in effect paying it forward as an ongoing thank you to those who have done so very much for me
I want to deepen and enrich the relationships I already have instead of simply being an acquaintance within a larger circle of people, slowing down to choose meaningful words in conversations, really listening to what the other person has to say
Lastly, I want to live more simply, starting with the sheer amount of stuff I own. I'm tired of writing a check every month to pay for a storage unit full of things I don't use, only because I've lacked the inertia to take on the mechanics of getting rid of it all.
So the past few days have been spent clearing, sorting, cleaning, discarding, along with a whole lot of remembering.
I always love garage sales that have a homemade treat to sell. It's fun to impulse-buy a 50 cent cookie or a cup of lemonade. For those who happen to stop tomorrow or the next day, beneath the shade of our beautiful walnut tree, these brownies will be making an appearance
They're a gluten-free, dairy-free, low sugar brownie that's exceptionally good. It's not often you run across a recipe for a healthy brownie that's gooey inside and crispy out. Very much worth trying.
ps: A note about almond flour: the finer the grind, the better your baked goods will turn out. Coarsely ground brands (ex: almond meal) will result in overly moist brownies that will sink in the center or have a grainy texture.
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~ Adapted from The Longevity Kitchen by Rebecca Katz
Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies
- ⅓ cup almond flour
- ⅓ cup brown rice flour
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- 8 oz dark chocolate (68 to 72% cacao content), chopped
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 eggs (large or XL)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350° F
- Line an 8" square baking pan (see note) with two pieces of parchment paper, long enough to overlap on all four sides. Lightly oil the foil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, brown rice flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and sea salt
- Put half of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stirring often, just until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the olive oil.
- Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk until frothy. Slowly add the maple syrup and maple sugar, whisking all the while, and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract, then gradually add the chocolate mixture, whisking vigorously all the while.
- Continue whisking until smooth and glossy.
- Add the flour mixture and beat for about 1 minute.
- Stir in the remaining chocolate and the walnuts.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool to room temperature in the pan, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting them