Happy Valentine’s Day + Sweet Dreams
Dark Chocolate + Cinnamon Chickpea Brownies
It’s still dark and cold on my side of the continent and with Valentine’s Day, all I want is chocolate and more chocolate. Some may believe chocolate is a cliché on Valentine’s Day, yet making something homemade, or HOMEMAYD together is romantic no matter what day of year it is. These brownies are lovely for the whole family or for a date night with your love. They aren’t dense and fudge like, they are a lighter version of the traditional brownie I would say, and the added cinnamon provides some warmth for those lingering winter blues.
As a mother with a child who has a life threatening food allergy |peanut and tree nut allergy|, when going to a place – establishment or home, outside of our own home that is going to be offering up food can be nerve wracking. My daughter will be 4 years old in May and my nerves have just now begun to settle. For example, we were invited to attend a Valentine’s Day party over the weekend. It was a party for mothers and our little ones. We drank tea, ate King Arthur Flour scones, and helped our little ones create Valentine’s for their fathers. It was beyond sweet.
So let’s backup a few years, I was a nervous mess when entering into a small gathering with my daughter with her allergy. It was only because I didn’t know how to navigate through her allergy yet. I was afraid that every item prepared had come in contact with nuts or contained nuts, maybe hidden nuts. And I was beyond nervous that she would ask if she could have one of the items or treats and I would have to say, “you can’t have that because it contains nuts.” All-the-while she watches her friends indulge in something that looks yummy. These thoughts would break my heart. Yet, I have had to remind myself that these thoughts were mostly just fears and not reality. I do, however, always bring something. I bring something as I never like to show up empty handed, but also because then if I ever do encounter a situation where my daughter can’t partake in what is being served, she can always have what we have brought along with us. Thankfully I have also gained more confidence and I ask my friends to keep the boxes they have used to prepare their dishes, so I can refer to the ingredient list and allergy disclaimer. I used to feel as though I was getting in the way, but this is our little girl and her life is at risk. Therefore we assess the ingredients used and determine what we deem safe and not safe. Then I can settle in and I am able to relax and enjoy the gathering and most importantly, my daughter can. She now asks before she reaches for something to eat at someone else’s house, “Mama, is this nut free?” Together, she and I are making a pretty good team. And, she loved offering one of her dark chocolate brownie hearts to all the other kids at the gathering.