City of Stars: Flourless Quinoa Brownies

Live from Hollywood, it is Oscar Sunday!

Like almost every little girl from a small town, I grew up with big dreams of seeing my name in lights. Oscar Sunday was my Christmas. I would watch the red carpet for hours before the stars arrived and when they did I would study their every move, word and grace. I was in complete awe. I wrote and practiced my acceptance speech. I drew pictures of what my hair, dress and date would look like on Oscar night (hair down with curls and bangs – think Jennifer Love Hewitt in the early 2000s, dress was purple with sparkles obviously, and my date…hello Nick Carter).

And then I grew up.

Although I have (somewhat) come to terms with the fact that I will likely not be gracing the Oscar stage in this lifetime, one of my favourite nominated movies reminded me that just when you think it’s time to give up the magic happens. LaLa Land is hands down the most magical, whimsical movie I have ever seen. That movie is an anthem, a declaration, a credo for every small town girl who dreams of seeing her name in lights. For every girl who wrote her Oscar speech in a diary at age 9 in hopes that bringing her diary on stage in 15 years to read that very speech would up her likability in Hollywood. For every girl who just wanted to be a part of the city of stars.

P.S. These guilt-free brownies are a part of my ‘Sweating for the Wedding’ series and are perfect final touch to your Oscar night party.

Flourless Quinoa Brownies


1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup almond milk
2 flax eggs (or eggs, if not vegan)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Assembling the Brownies

  1. Cook quinoa in 1 cup of water and let cool completely.
  2. Preheat oven to 350* and line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a food processor, blend quinoa until a paste forms. Add in melted coconut oil and milk and continue to blend into paste.
  4. Transfer the paste into a bowl. Mix in eggs, syrup, vanilla and palm sugar until smooth. Add in cocoa powder and baking soda until combined. The batter will be much thinner than a normal brownie batter.
  5. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar and top with berries (or chocolate sauce).



The Super Bowl Sunday Last Supper: Churro Waffle Cookies 

It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Once of the most bittersweet days of the year for football fans. It is the ‘big dance’, but tomorrow we will wake up facing day one of a six month football drought. And thus tonight we devour the sports lovers version of the last supper.

While stars of the Super Bowl Sunday last supper are chili, pizza, nachos and slow cooker pulled pork, the beloved dessert often gets the pass. But this year, I’m putting an end to the skipping of dessert at the expense of a food coma. So here’s the Hail Mary of your Super Bowl Sunday last supper, may the team you dislike least win!

Churros Waffle Cookies 


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

Assembling the Churros

  1. Turn on waffle iron to medium heat and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. In a mixer cream together butter and sugars. Gradually add eggs and vanilla.
  3. Mix in flour and baking soda until a soft dough forms.
  4. Roll dough into 1inch balls and 4 balls, 1 in each quarter of the waffle iron. Bake for 5-8 minutes until golden. The waffle cookies will be soft but once removed from the iron will crisp up. Remove from iron and place on wire rack to cool.
  5. Once cooled dip each cookie into butter and cover in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Let dry.



Good Things Happen in Threes: 3-Layered Chocolate Brownie Cookie Dough Truffles

Summer of 2001 I was told good things happen in threes. Mind you, this was a truth told to me after I realized bad things ALSO happen in threes, but that’s another story. Since the summer of 2001, my superstitious self always searches for things in threes, for better or for worse! While walking home from work today, I figured out the big three line-up for February 1st:

One: We made it through the dog days of January (woohoo).

Two: It’s almost Valentine’s Day (my favourite holiday).

Three: It’s my older brother’s birthday (yes, you guessed right – there are three of us kids)

So going with my theme of threes, of course I have to share these truffles that are a combination of three unbelievable layers. Life is good with the big three.

3 Layered Chocolate Brownie Cookie Dough Truffles


Brownie Layer

  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

Cookie Dough Layer

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Layer

  • 3-4 Lindt chocolate bars, 60% cocoa
  • 1-2 tbsp butter

Assembling the Truffles

  1. First bake the brownies. Preheat the oven to 350* and grease a 9X9 pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients for brownies and mix until smooth. Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let brownies cool.
  3. Once brownies have cooled crumble brownies to form a dough-like ball of brownie. Take a spoon full of the dough and form into small ball. Repeat until you’ve created about 20-30 mini brownie balls. Freeze on cookie sheet.
  4. While brownies are freezing, prepare the cookie dough. In a mixer, combine butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Slowly add flour and then chocolate chips.
  5. Once brownies have frozen, wrap a spoonful of cookie dough around the brownie. Freeze on cookie sheet.
  6. In a slow cooker, or over a double boiler if you’re good at melting chocolate, melt chocolate chips and butter. Once chocolate is melted dip frozen cookies dough brownie truffles. Let cool completely. Drizzle with left over chocolate.