Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ideas and Black Bean Brownies

The number one question that I get from people when they find out I am an author is this: “Where do you get your ideas?” I’ve been up for about four hours today – the first hour doesn’t really count as it was spent feeding my cat, staring at the coffee maker in an effort to make it brew faster (this doesn’t work), and reading. However in just three hours I’ve been able to tuck several things away in my head that may or may not come out in a book someday.

Things to think about:
  1.  Do anything you can that promotes creativity – for instance brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand.
  2. What do people who put up Christmas lights for a living do in the off-season?
  3. Why has no one invented square or triangular crayons? I mean, come on.
  4.  Who decided that blue raspberry was a flavor?
  5.  Would one list “Rose Queen” under employment history on her résumé?

Things I saw/heard:
  1.  A girl “hock a big loogie” on the ground and her boyfriend gaze at her lovingly and say, “Nice one, Babe.”
  2.  A guy who has chosen to live with a severe lisp because he wanted to get his tongue pierced.
  3. Two squirrels sitting on my back fence while unknowingly making a heart shape with their tails.
  4.  The words “git her done” repeated over and over in a non-ironic way.
  5.  A recipe for black bean brownies that I may have to try.

Okay, this is just a short list and possibly not a very useful one, but when people ask me the other question that hits the top five with some regularity (how can I become a writer?), I tell them to PAY ATTENTION. I also tell them to read, read, and then read some more. That and git her done.

As for the brownies... they are actually pretty good. I KNOW! They aren't the best brownies I've ever had, but those come with a side of sugar crash and a serving of guilt. These, while not health food, are pretty yummy.

Black Bean Brownies


  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 eggs
  • One very ripe banana (or 1/2 cup canned pumpkin -- I'll try pumpkin next... might be good.)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (I'm sure you could substitute agave or another sweetener, but results may vary. 
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.
  2. Combine the black beans, eggs, banana, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, sugar, and instant coffee in a blender (or food processor). Blend until smooth. 
  3. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Top with nuts or chocolate chips (or both or neither).
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are just pulling away from the sides. (About 30 minutes). Don't over bake!

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