Made the black bean brownies first today, in my grand tradition of making dessert first. Really not much to tell: it's about as simple as making brownies from a mix. The only thing I have to say is, don't use a small Oskar to puree the beans. It is not big enough. The liquid will leak. This may have been why I ended up with thinner brownies than I would have liked. It's also a bit difficult to tell when they're done.
Final verdict (brownies): These are about as satisfying as the mix with butter and oil, with an added touch of darkness. Why not?
Does anyone know how to boil milk? As I started the chicken pot pie soup, I found it was impossible to get the pot to boil at a "low" temperature - and when I finally cleaned up, there was an unpleasant crust of (apparently) burnt milk on the bottom. Besides that, the soup cooked up in a very seamless fashion. The potatoes took a little longer than stated, but I also used larger pieces. As a note, substituted a leek for the mushrooms and used an extra two ounces of frozen vegetables - assumed the calorie count would come out about the same.
Final verdict (soup): This is a hearty chicken soup, almost a stew for the thickness. It doesn't necessarily bring chicken pot pie to mind for me, but I found it filling and a good "bargain" for the quantity.
At the same time, I prepped the baked mozarella sticks. Warning: either I didn't coat my sticks nearly enough, or the mixture as advertised leaves a lot more waste than you would think.
Also - do not use a stoneware cookie sheet. My theory is that the longer cooking time on the insulated sheet melted the cheese sticks instead of "frying" the outside as intended. After turning them, I had to take them out when I felt the coating was slightly underdone, because they had started to ooze. Further tip: immediately remove the aluminum foil from the cookie sheet, or they'll keep melting.
Final verdict (mozzarella sticks): These are decent, though I don't feel they transform the string cheese enough - I thought of string cheese when eating them. Still, they're so easy that I'd like to try them again.
Meanwhile, I'm finishing up my Indian-flavored quinoa. Update tomorrow ...