Chocolate Brownies – Dairy-free, Egg-free

Chocolate Brownie

A warm chocolatey brownie on a chilly Fall day sounds about right.  These are vegan and easy to make.  The original recipe calls for a 9×9 inch pan, which I don’t have, baked for 25 minutes.  If you use a larger pan then you get more brownies!  I think I should buy a bigger pan…


1 1/2 Cups flour
1/2 Cup cocoa
1 1/2 Cups brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup strong coffee **
1 Cup soy milk
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
1 Cup chocolate chips (dairy free)
**if using espresso, make sure total liquid added (including soy milk) equals 1 1/2 Cups


Line an 8×8 pan with parchment.  If you grease the bottom of the pan first, the parchment will stay in place.
Sift together dry ingredients.

Bownie ingredients

Mix together wet ingredients.

Cup of nespresso

Add wet to dry and mix well.    Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour into pan and bake at 325F for 45 minutes. If using a larger pan, decrease bake time.

Chocolate BrownieEnjoy!

Allergy Halloween – not so scary

Jach O'Lantern

Here comes Halloween! Candy,candy,candy! Makes my teeth ache just thinking about it.  I was the type of kid who had Halloween candy left at Easter.  Drove my sister nuts!  What she saw as hoarding, I saw as saving (for what, I’m not sure, probably just to torture her!).  My kids like candy and all things sweet, but they are a bit like me, the first few days after Halloween are great – treats every day, but it wears off pretty soon and my kids’ candy sits around getting “in my way” (very difficult to refuse a mini aero when I’ve walked past it five times and no one is watching).

The overload of candy coming in at Halloween also has to be dealt with from an allergy perspective.  Mini chocolate bars seem to be the most common treat given out at Halloween and many of them are peanut free and say so on the wrapper (Mars has a dedicated peanut free facility in Canada).  Problem for us is, no mini chocolate bar is dairy free so most of the candy G collects, he can’t have.

We’re lucky we have two kids.  On G’s first night of Trick or Treating we set up a tradition that has worked really well.  When the boys get home they dump out their candy and the trading begins. By the end of it G is usually trading four mini chocolate bars for one yellow lollipop, but he doesn’t mind, they both always end up with far more candy than they could/should eat.

For a couple of years I traded all the kids’ their uneaten candy near the end of November for a fancy battery powered tooth brush of their choice.  Don’t think that would fly now.  My eldest is 17 and he is planning on going out with a couple of friends to Trick or Treat.  I warned him people might think he’s too old, but he’s stoked about his costume and wants to show it off and have fun with his friends.  G is going out too as Queen Elizabeth and like his brother just wants to go out and have fun with his friends.  I think for both of them the candy haul has become secondary.  Well, I guess I’ll find out at Easter…

Pear Pudding

Pear Pudding with Pears

Thanks to a friend of mine for an ample supply of the most delicious pears I have ever tasted.  Her backyard tree has been laden this year and she has generously shared the bounty!


This recipe is for a pudding in the English sense; it is a dessert not a custard. In our home it was always made with apples and it became a fall tradition the year we lived in New England where delicious cooking apples were in abundance.  We called it “Apple Top Pudding” because we used to fight over the crispy/gooey top.  Sometimes when we were young it would be our main course after a bowl of soup, our favourite autumn meal.  Apples, pears, doesn’t matter.  It’s so easy to make.


6-8 pears (or apples)
1 Cup flour
1Cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Cup dairy free margarine (butter if you are able)
1 Cup water


Peel and core fruit and cut up into chunks.

pear cut up
Put cut up fruit into baking dish.

Pieces of Pear in baking dish
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and cut in margarine.  I use my standup mixer for this because it’s easy, but using a pastry cutter or knife would work as well.

Pear Pudding batter
Cover top of cut up fruit with pastry mixture and pour one cup of water all over top.

Pear Pudding adding water

Bake at 325 F for 90 minutes

Pear Pudding cookedEnjoy!