Monday, August 15, 2011

Build Me Up Brownies

I know I've been saying for a while now that we think my grandmother will go at anytime, but unfortunately it just still hasn't happened.  Now, before you go thinking about what an awful person I am for saying that, hear me out.  I have been imprisoned on this farm in this suffocating town for 3 whole months.  I have had no social life, no time to study or choreograph my Zumba routines, and no time to just sit and think.  I have lost my sanity, my pleasant disposition, and my sense of self.  Each day I am either incredibly depressed or overwhelmed with rage.  I am exhausted, I cry a lot, I curse in every other sentence, and I eat hot fudge out of the jar.  I have become so inured to living solely for other people that when I get the chance to do something for myself, (aka- my own laundry), I feel like I hit the jackpot.

Now you must be thinking that I am incredibly selfish for thinking of myself when my grandmother is dying.  Well, stop.  You have to understand that the woman that was my grandmother is gone and she has been for a long time.  She has been replaced with a moaning, yelling, delirious, frustrating, vacant shell of the woman I used to know and love.  She wanted it all to end the minute she heard the diagnosis, and I'm starting to wish we'd just let her do it.  This is not living.  Not for her, not for me, nor my mother or grandfather.  Gram isn't the only one dying this summer.  We've all lost our livelihoods.

Unfortunately, I'm the only one with a light at the end of the tunnel.  Friday is my last day at the farm, regardless of what happens here.  I need time to study for the GRE, which I take in just 11 short days, and then get everything ready to go back to school in a little over two weeks.  I will be stressed and extremely pressed for time, but at this point, I'll take whatever I can get.  I am going to get some form of a life back.

Even though I'm still at the farm and doing way more than I should, I'm trying to buckle down and study this week.  I have finally put my foot down on doing random, extra farm and housework.  I have a test to take that determines the rest of my life, and I'll be damned if anyone is going to deny me entrance to grad school because someone needed the barn swept or a cobweb dusted. 

Normally when I stress over an exam, I stress-eat.  I've really been working hard at breaking my habit of eating to soothe my emotions, and I can't afford to let this test throw me off track again.  I have been really careful about monitoring the grocery shopping to keep dangerous snack foods out of the house this week.  Of course, my hormones have really bad timing, and I've been CRAVING a brownie for over a week.  I don't want to bring unhealthy foods into the house at this point in time, so I decided I'd make a batch of (cover your ears) HEALTHY brownies!  I know, I know, my family thinks it's blasphemy too.  But trust me, they're awesome.

Whenever I am looking for a healthy or vegan sweets recipe, I always turn to (never home)maker first.  (Even though I've never met them, Ashley and Stephen are my inspiration for blogging.)  I wanted to use canned pumpkin in the brownies, but all the recipes you can find using that are just with a box mix.  I found this awesome recipe, and just made a few changes according to my personal preferences and what I had on hand.  So, without further ado: my healthy study-snack brownies.

Healthy Brownies
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup rolled oats (uncooked)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs melted coconut oil (or other oil of your choice)
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 prepared Egg Replacer egg
chocolate chips (to your liking)
walnuts (to your liking)

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix together wet ingredients in separate bowl.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry, stir until moist, then fold in chocolate chips and nuts.
Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.
I know, they don't look super appetizing, but trust me on this one.
 My family hates them, and asked why I don't make them real food, but I don't care at this point.  I am done living to please them.  I am on a journey back to my own life.  I am going to make (and eat!) the foods I like, study as much as I can, and rediscover what it means to smile.  In the mean time, I am going to bake, run, dance, and listen to this song, attempting to survive the next four days.
My GRE study cave

Here's to living.
Love and cookies,


  1. hannah i give you so much credit for doing all that. im sure you will pass your test with flying colors. and im sure your an awesome instructor at zumba, im sorry i never go i just dont dance very well lol. though my sisters love you and ur routine.

  2. Hannah you super woman!! keep it up love although I am leaving on Saturday, I will continue to read your blog and keep updated with the wonderful life of Hannah Monk!
    Much love
    Mary A