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Easy, simple/cheap ingredients and I actually liked them! Great way for Rivers to eat black beans too:) I might try again and sneak some flax seed and even spinach in. Kate reminded me that Jen made these at a Circle Weekend – not sure how different the recipe is but feel free to add variations/tricks! 


1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) 
2 tbsp cocoa powder- dutch or regular 
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey or pure maple syrup or agave
2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil 
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
optional: more chips, for presentation

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top. Bake 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.

Original recipe here


Lately I’ve been craving lots of pumpkin. I like to blame that desire on this baby that’s been in my belly for 32 weeks now. So out of desperation and lack of desire to leave the house, I see what I can make with what I have around.

I found this recipe for bars and since I didn’t have enough cream cheese I decided to combine it with the pie recipe on the back of a Libby’s Pumpkin can.

They turned out to be just what I wanted.


Recipe (Carrie version):

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 tablespoons butter (softened)
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Pulse together in food processor til crumbly. Press most in 9×11 pan but save a bit for topping.
Bake at 350 for 15 min.
1 can of pumpkin
1 can of evaporated milk (12 ounce)
2 eggs
Softened cream cheese (3 ounces or more)
1 tsp. nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice (whatever you have of these)
pinch of salt, ginger, cloves
3/4 C. sugar
Mix together with hand mixer and pour into baked crust. Top with the rest of the crumbly toppings. Bake at 350 for 45 min.
Cool. Eat. Add whipped cream/ice know the drill.

I bought some off brand sugar and found a recipe on the back for soccer practice bars. Well that sounds kinda healthy right? I changed it to make it even better for you…and they turned out great! Still a lot of butter and sugar but at least you are eating whole wheat flour and steel cut oats.

Recipe (Carrie version):

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c. natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. steel cut oats (I used Irish style?)
  • 1 c. dark chocolate chips (optional – I would have added if I had them!)

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and PB and mix well. Stir in soda, salt, flour and oatmeal. And choco chips!

Spoon onto cookie sheet. I ended up baking these for about 20 min, but check and bake to your liking.

Original Recipe Found HERE

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts
Beat together cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
Spoon into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm.

So my friend Mo and I got this idea off of Pinterest and decided to make them for book club. They are amazing and so easy! Just make two pans of brownies (or one pan and cut them in half like I did) and spread ice cream in the middle and freeze. You won’t regret it. They are to die for.

Hi Circle! It’s been awhile! So…I just finished grad school a few weeks ago (woot), which meant ending yet another clinical placement, which meant coming up with yet another ‘thoughtful-yet-subtle-yet-creative-yet-cheap’ staff thank-you gift to bring in on my last day at said clinical site. I’m actually in the process of accepting a job at this office, so the stakes were a little higher this time – cookies or muffins just wouldn’t cut it. Solution: TRUFFLES! Problem: Truffles = exotic and scary and time-consuming (right?). False. Once again Google pulls through. These are the easiest thing ever…divine…and they look so elegant and taste so much like ‘real’ truffles.

I put them in cute little boxes for people at the office to take. Apparently they were a huge hit, and now I fear that I’ve raised the bar a little too high for myself….gulp. Little do they know…this is about as fancy as it gets for me.

Easy Decadent Truffles (

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 cups chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s Special Dark), melted

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla until no streaks remain. Refrigerate for about 30 min-1hr. (until it’s still pliable but no longer mushy and sticky). Shape into 1 inch balls and roll in whatever you please – like nuts or other fun things (I used chocolate sprinkles, coconut, and cocoa powder).

If I was really feeling saucy, I would have flavored them with different liqueurs like raspberry, orange, etc. Maybe someday when I feel rich.

Little darlings.

Hello friends! So we don’t have an oven in our yurt – but we do have access to one on occasion. We do have ample access to a grill so we shall be doing a lot of that.

This is an EASY and fun dessert to add to your grilling menu.

A fun dessert! We will let chocolate melt more next time.


Bananas (1 per person)

Dark Chocolate Chips

Peanut Butter

(Could add Nutella, Marshmallows, Coconut, Honey, etc. etc. etc. – whatever you like)


Cut skinny ‘v’ lengthwise of entire banana. Scoop out the ‘v’ guts and eat. Keep peel attached.

Fill ‘v’ with whatever you want. We did dark chocolate chips and peanut butter because that is what we had. Each person could fill their own banana if they want.

Replace peel over top of ‘v’.

Wrap each banana in til foil, having it fold over the slit (so you can easily check when it’s done).

Stick on the grill! It’s done when the chocolate is melted – just keep an eye on them.

Eat while hot. Tasty.

This recipe came from some camp recipe site – not sure where exactly:)

Satisfied customer.

I apologize for getting this to you so late..but better late than never!  Here is my mom’s friend Jane’s key lime pie.


1 package  (10-11) sheets of graham cracker

2 1/2 tbsp sugar

5 tbsp butter, melted


4 large egg yolks

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 c. fresh lime juice (3-4 limes..I usually end up using a little bit of lime juice concentrate after growing tired of squeezing limes)

2 tsp. lime zest

1. Crush graham crackers, and mix them with the sugar and melted butter.  Pat down in a pie pan.

2. Bake crust at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

3. Whisk egg yolks, and add sweetened condensed milk, and lime zest and juice.  Pour filling into the crust.

4. Bake 15-17 minutes at 325 degrees.  The middle should jiggle a little.

5. Refrigerate.  When chilled, top with whipped cream or  cool whip.

I know pumpkin is really kind of a fall thing, but I had some in the fridge I needed to use, thanks to a magazine at the gym that had suggested mixing pumpkin purée into plain yogurt for a ‘delicious snack.’  Fail. I love both plain yogurt and pumpkin, but was not a fan of the combo. However, that disappointing idea spawned another, far less healthy, but TRULY delicious snack. I honestly didn’t even like cheesecake until I made this. It’s kind of a busy recipe but well worth it. And so pretty.

Taken from Simply in Season. I’m sure you all have it. Page 218.

Crust: (I doubled this. I love chocolate crumb crust type things).

1 cup chocolate wafer or graham cracker crumbs

1 T brown sugar

1 T oil

Combine these with a little water; press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.

3 cups cottage cheese (you can use low-fat. I didn’t.)

12 oz. (1.5 pkgs) cream cheese (I did use low-fat.)

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

Purée cottage cheese in blender or food processor (I used my nifty stick blender). Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. Pour into a large bowl.

2 eggs, beaten

2 t vanilla

1/4 t salt

Mix in. Remove 1/12 cups of batter and set aside in bowl.

1 1/2 c pumpkin, cooked and puréed.

1/4 c brown sugar

3/4 t cinnamon

1/8 t nutmeg

Add to remaining batter.

1/3 c baking cocoa

1 c chocolate chips (the recipe says to melt them first, but I didn’t and it turned out great)

Add to the reserved batter. Stir until thoroughly blended.

Pour pumpkin mixture into crust-lined pan then spoon chocolate mixture on top in small rounds; swirl together with a knife. Bake in preheated oven at 325º for 60-65 minutes or until edge of filling is set. Turn oven off and let cheesecake sit in oven with door closed for 30 minutes. Remove and cool on rack to room temperature*, about 3 hours. Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving. *We were leaving and I was in a hurry, so I just took it straight from oven to fridge. I don’t think it made any difference, but maybe for hardcore cheesecake aficionados that’s the proper way to do it. 🙂

Over the weekend I posted Perfectly Chocolate Layer Cake. A few days later I irrationally made way too many cupcakes using the same recipe. The tiny ones were for portion control, although it doesn’t work that well when you eat 3 at a time. Enjoy!








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