Memorial Day Weekend & Black Bean Brownies

Since it was forecasted that Memorial Day this year was going to be rainy, we decided to have our barbecue picnic on the Saturday before. It was such a warm and beautiful day! We found out about Mill Creek Canyon which is only about a 10 minute drive from our place and it turned out great. There are some nice picnic areas there and we found a great spot where the creek ran along and was surrounded by trees. Breaking from my diet that day, we made some yummy turkey burgers topped with tomatoes, cheddar, caramelized onions, avocado, and crispy bacon on some whole wheat sandwich thins. They were delicious! We also grilled up some baby back ribs since I found them on sale and I made a super yummy Kansas City barbecue sauce I found on the Food Network website. I also tried a brownie recipe from skinnytaste.com made simply from black beans pureed with some water and then added to the box brownie mix (I love the Betty Crocker dark chocolate kind and I also used less-sodium black beans), omitting the oil and eggs. You literally cannot taste the black beans in them, and although they do have a much different texture than regular brownies, the flavor is great, you gotta give them a try! Overall, it was a really fun day, we spent it just the three of us and Isaac really loved it. He has a love for nature that I think he gets from his tree-hugging Oregonian mama :) While we were there, Manuel met a woman from Guatemala who was there with some friends and family and had a little dog. Isaac started chasing it and wanted to play with it and ever since, has had a fascination with dogs. Every time we see one at the park or around our complex, he wants to play with them and he's so cute and gentle with them! I wish we could get him a puppy, I know he would love it, but we'll probably wait until he's older and can take on more responsibility with having a pet. For Memorial Day, we took Isaac to the pool and had some yummy Olive Garden takeout at home. It was such a nice and relaxing way to spend our weekend. Here are some pictures from our day in the canyon:

Here is the recipe for the barbecue sauce I used, courtesy Food Network: (Before it cooked on the ribs, it tasted a little sweet, but afterwards, it had such an awesome flavor)


And here is the recipe for the black bean brownies, super easy, and courtesy Gina from skinnytaste.com:


Hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend as much as we did ours and try these recipes! Love to all our family and friends!