apartment charm / rawesome brownies

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Hy husband and I (and Dragon and Toast and Frodo and the unicorns…) live in an apartment. Let’s just say it’s cozy (translation: pet hair is part of my daily protein intake). Actually, I read somewhere that there are crazy cat ladies and dog people who collect their pet’s fur and–yes, literally knit themselves sweaters and scarves out of it. Umm…I already think it’s freaky how much pet owners look like their furry companions without dressing and smelling like them too. Zolts. Anyway, our apartment is on the first floor of an old house. It’s old in that charming New England way, complete with rusty sideboard heaters, rotting wood in the bathroom, and closets from the 1800’s. What I want to know is, how can a person actually fit all of their clothing in one of these tissue-box sized closets? My husband can’t even have his clothing in our bedroom because there’s no place to put it, so his stuff is in the “guest room” (translation: office / ironing board / dog crate / musical instrument room / place to put that thing that has no place).
The rotting piece of wood in the bathroom drives me crazy. I’ve asked our landlord to fix it a hundred times, but he suffers from that “sweet but dumb” syndrome, and I always feel guilty when I ask him to do anything. He looks at me with that friendly, deer-in-headlights stare that says “I don’t know what you’re asking, but I like cookies”. Needless to say, there is a piece of wood that falls out of the wall and onto the floor, revealing lovely mold, paint chips and other niceties that one ought to have in a bathroom. I push the stupid piece of wood back into place again and again and again, but every time I return to the bathroom, it’s fallen out again (not to mention Dragon plays with the paint chips…hopefully she doesn’t eat them, although that would explain a lot).
We also have neighbors. A wacko living in the garage, a perpetually drunk “carpenter” and his girlfriend in the basement, and an eccentric but friendly loner on the second floor (who gave us a card with a sailboat on it saying “welcome to the neighborhood”). The sailboat guy and the drunk have since moved out, but lucky for us, there’s still the wacko in the garage. The landlord is in the middle of a lawsuit with this guy because he hasn’t paid rent for over a year. He sports a mullet that would make Michael Bolton jealous, and he’s got one of those bouncy walks…you know the ones where the person never puts weight on their heels? Yup, one of those. Apparently some old lady gives him $500 a week to “help her out” (translation: he’s stealing an old lady’s money). Every time I leave the apartment I check to make sure he’s not outside. The problem? He’s always at home…one of those annoying habits of the unemployed.
For a while, I worried that we would get new neighbors of the same variety, but then a nice man from Greenwich Town Hall came to the door and asked how many apartments there were. I said “Four” and he said “Really?” and I said “Why?” and he said “It’s only zoned for two”.
We haven’t seen anybody new since…

So I never eat dessert (yup, I’m perfect). It’s partially due to my eternal hatred / fear of sugar, but also because of the way sweet things make me feel after I’ve eaten them: crazy, bug-eyed wildcat followed by something along the lines of a sluggish Eeyore. Solution? A kick-ass dessert without sugar, without wheat, and without baking?!? Yes, I’m giving you the recipe to RAW brownies, and let me tell you…they are so freaking good that you’ll want to make them every day. And the best part? This recipe takes about 10 minutes to make. Go ahead and thank me for making your life better. This recipe is adapted from amazing raw foods chef Laura at The Rawtarian.

Rawesome Brownies with Chocolate Frosting
2 cups raw pecans
2 cups fresh dates, seeds removed
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 T coconut nectar
1 tsp sea salt
for frosting:
1 cup fresh dates
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
¼ cup virgin coconut oil
¾ cup water
For brownies, pulse pecans in a food processor until crumbled. Add dates and process until incorporated, then add the rest of the ingredients and process until mixed. Pour mixture into dish of choice and press down firmly. Top with frosting and refrigerate a little before serving. For the frosting, place all ingredients in a blender (I use a VitaMix and so should you). Blend on a slow speed and then increase, allowing mixture to blend until velvety and smooth. Top on brownies. Serves 12 unicorns in need of a sweet pick-me-up after another boring day of unemployment.

3 thoughts on “apartment charm / rawesome brownies

    Anonymous said:
    November 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Sometimes the best part of your Blog (after the recipe and of course, content) is your Translations

    Alison said:
    May 3, 2013 at 1:21 am

    Love these brownies! Wondering if you have a rough carbohydrate count/serving size for them. I know a diabetic who would be interested in knowing that for her calculations.

      J. Z. Manley responded:
      May 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Glad you love the brownies Alison! They’re one of my favorites too! To look up the carb content and other nutritional info, I would check out this calorie counter website:
      I don’t know the breakdown myself, but for a diabetic I would say that the dates are high in natural sugars but they are in their whole form so are better digested than something that is refined and concentrated like cane sugar.

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