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667th Friday Blog Roundup

(1) I need a vegan brownie recipe.  Actually, it doesn’t have to be vegan, per se, but it cannot contain eggs.  My friend and I are in a bake-off, and her daughter is the judge.  This give her an unfair home field advantage, so I am using my blog to gather recipes.  The prize is apparently a million hugs, so I’m thinking I may lose this one by default.  But still, I’m fighting hard.  Send me your best vegan brownie recipes.  And if you’ve ever perfected a vegan chocolate chip cookie, I’ll take that, too.

(2) I also need gluten-free cookie recipes for cookies that travel well.  Again, trying to charm a gluten-free child with baked goods, and while I’ll be dropping off some cookies face-to-face in a few weeks, I also need to be able to mail batches if she falls in love with any of them.

So send me good recipes that you’ve made and help me win.  Because everyone deserves a good cookie, no?


Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

The Road Less Travelled has a post about the misery filter, discussing a recent column in the New York Times.  She writes, “I agree that an emphasis on relentless optimism and the carefully curated images we see on social media contribute to the shock — & shame — that we feel when something goes wrong in our lives (as it inevitably does, at some point).”  It’s a fascinating look at an “education for suffering.”  Go over and join the conversation.

Searching for Our Silver Lining has a beautiful post about unsilencing yourself and speaking about your struggles.  She speaks about it on the personal level — the act of unburdening your heart by letting others in — but also on a more collective scale.  She writes about infertility: “It’s because a brave few started all of this by coming out of the infertility closet, shameless sharing their stories. And those few grew to many more, empowering many more to do the same. And though infertility and pregnancy loss are still taboo, particularly if you don’t resolve by parenting, the truth is there are more much needed conversations that are happening. The unsilencing has lead to awareness.  Here’s to sharing your story.

Torthúil writes about hosting a birthday party, and it’s (1) an awesome accomplishment and (2) a fascinating behind-the-scenes reminder of what you may not know about a person.  That people generally have their reasons for why they do what they do, even if they don’t share them with you.  (But thank you, Torthúil, for sharing the reasons with us.)  Aaaaand, if you’ve ever struggled with planning a party, she gives you an easy template to follow.  Win!

Lastly, Anabegins talks about letting silence flood back into her brain.  Until I read this post, I hadn’t really thought about the fact that I’m really behind on podcasts because I’ve been driving around in silence for the last few weeks.  So, yeah, turning off podcasts sometimes clears your brain.  But this is the brilliant part: “So I decided to reinstate quiet into my commute and the blank space is back! Plus I get to save up the podcasts to add some joy to the truly uninspiring moments of life, like laundry-folding and kitchen-cleaning.”  Yes, that’s where I’m going to fit podcasts back in, too.

The roundup to the Roundup: Give me egg-free and/or gluten-free baking recipes.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between October 27th and November 3rd) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 andy { 11.03.17 at 8:07 am }

Here is the eggless zucchini brownie/cake recipe we made. https://www.bigoven.com/recipe/no-egg-chocolate-zucchini-cake/166772

2 Raven { 11.03.17 at 9:39 am }

I second zucchini baking – zucchini is wonderful, and keeps things SO MOIST. It is a lot of work to bake with it, but sooo worth it!

3 Working mom of 2 { 11.03.17 at 9:59 am }

Easiest vegan brownie recipe: any box mix (without milk or eggs in ingredients). For every egg, add 1/4 cup silken tofu that’s been mixed up in a blender.

Chocolate chip cookies: any recipe, just replace egg with egg replacer http://www.ener-g.com/egg-replacer.html. You mix 1/2 Tbs with 2 TBs hot water, then add in place of egg.

Note: egg replacer works great in all baked by EXCEPT brownies (hence the silken tofu).

4 Turia { 11.03.17 at 10:00 am }

If you want vegan and/or gluten free, I would go check out the recipes on Chocolate Covered Katie. She would have at least a dozen brownie recipes (and cookies too) and they are always vegan and often with a gluten free sub. She is great.

I really liked countingpinkline’s post about waiting at the fertility clinic: https://countingpinklines.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/waiting-at-the-clinic/

She captures so well how it is a unique but universal experience for anyone there. I particularly liked her discussion about responsibilities and how childless couples in treatment don’t have the freedom of fewer responsibilities because we’re tied to all the requirements of treatment.

It is a great post.

5 Mali { 11.03.17 at 6:28 pm }

Ooh, I’m following the recipe suggestions here with great interest.

Glad you chose Loribeth’s post for the Round Up. She wrote another on about her 10 year blogging anniversary – http://theroadlesstravelledlb.blogspot.co.nz/2017/10/10-years-down-road-less-travelled.html – in which she said, “a childless life is not just about childlessness; it’s also about having a life and making the most of it, regardless of the hand we’ve been dealt.” Perfect.

6 Cristy { 11.03.17 at 8:21 pm }

Two words: Wacky cake (https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/wacky-chocolate-cake-106041). I use white vinegar, but am curious about apple cider vinegar. The icing I use calls for butter, but I think you can find an alternative.

Mali and Turia got 2 of my picks. Here’s the rest:

7 torthúil { 11.04.17 at 12:51 am }

Hey, thanks, I feel doubly proud to have my party triumph highlighted in the roundup! I’m going to totally bask in it because it is a big achievement for me. 😀 I also liked countingpinkline’s post about her fertility clinic waiting room, which is like waiting rooms everywhere, apparently.

Also, this post isn’t from this week, but I wanted to mention it before and didn’t get around to it: Cristy’s “Flip.” http://searchingforoursilverlining.blogspot.ca/2017/10/microblogmondays-flip.html I thought it was an amazing example of mindfulness and I’m doubly impressed since she has been dealing with so much stress herself lately. It’s super hard to turn off that defensive instinct and she shows how to do it.

8 Ana { 11.04.17 at 12:23 pm }

Thanks for the mention, Mel.

9 Brid { 11.05.17 at 1:33 pm }

Hi Mel,
Have you heard of flax eggs? You mix ground flax seeds with a little water and they bind the same way an egg will. Check out Zena’s Gluten Free – my sister’s little bakery just outside of Vancouver… they have pre-mixes now, including freedom stuff (no eggs, no dairy, no nuts, and obviously, no gluten)… might be a pretty good deal when you factor in the US/Can exchange rate…

10 loribeth { 11.05.17 at 8:22 pm }

Thanks for the shoutout, Mel! 🙂 It’s always an honour to make the Friday Roundup. 🙂

11 Jenn { 11.05.17 at 9:49 pm }

https://www.hummusapien.com/paleo-pumpkin-bars/ I just made these for a vegan potluck, pb instead of almond butter. I did not add coco to make it a brownie but it was really good as it was. For any gf and/or vegan treat, an important factor is holding together. I walked around while eating them and lost no crumbs.

12 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 11.06.17 at 6:55 am }

Okay, meet Chocolate-Covered Katie. Almost all (maybe all) of her recipes have vegan and gluten free substitutions, if needed.

Here’s her vegan brownie recipe: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2016/08/29/vegan-brownies-recipe-best/

13 Pam Assivero { 11.07.17 at 3:55 pm }

Mel, this is a really awesome vegan brownie recipe. I don’t normally bake vegan but my cousin cannot eat eggs so I made these one day for her. I found out she had never had a brownie!!! They really are good, and even my hubby liked them.


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