A Trip to the Funny Farm

 “Oh no, I am not being eatin’ by zombies tonight..” Ok, so really the only zombie issue that I might have is when it comes to Ch’en and his growing obsession with eating. Not just things that should be eaten, but really anything that he can inhaled into his little turtle-pig mouth. Not pleasant.

The old LA zoo, however, now that is something that is pleasant. Yesterday we went over to the old zoo that is now abandoned, but you can still go and look around. Before heading out though, we had to have our mile high stack of vegan pancakes (we missed national pancake day, so it needed to be made up)

vegan banana pancakes

Ok, back to the zoo…it was originally built in 1913, but between politics, the war and financial issues, the zoo didn’t hold its glory like it should have.

It is a quirky little place to go and walk around, have a picnic and just imagine all of the lions, tigers and bears that use to inhabit the old cages.

hiking trail

Bear cave

While we were there, I had to have my little model pose in one of the disheveled bird cages. The best part is that he knew exactly what I wanted him to do. He walked up the little hill, into the main cage, through a door and into the front cage and sat. Come on, now that is one gifted little pug, if I do say so myself.

It’s a Chennasaur!

After our hike and scouring around the park we needed refueling, so homemade vegan brownies it was. Come on! We ran and then went on a hike, that deserves some extra carb loving.

The recipe I adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking.


• 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

• 3/4 cups unsweetened applesauce ( I used 1 banana, ¼. Cup canola oil, and ½ cup almond milk, only because I didn’t have applesauce)

• 2 tablespoons water

• 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed

• 1/2 cup water

• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

• 1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

• 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1 cup nondairy semisweet chocolate chips

• 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)


• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With canola oil, grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan.

• In a medium-size bowl, stir together the sugar, applesauce, and 2 tablespoons water.

• In a small bowl or food processor, combine the ground flaxseed with the 1/2 cup water. Add this to the applesauce mixture, along with the vanilla, and stir to combine.

• In a separate small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, chocolate chips, and nuts, if using. Add to the applesauce mixture, and stir just to combine

• Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes. The finished product should be moist. Bake longer if you like a cakier result. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


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