Sunday, June 24, 2012

chocolate mint brownies

I've been on the hunt for a good mint brownie recipe since my college days, where you could pick one up at the cafeteria most days of the week. So when my friend Jen made these delicious brownies for a baby shower, I hunted her down for the recipe the very next day. They've been a favorite ever since and are the perfect dessert to follow our traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner. Have you tried Mark Bittman's recipe, by the way? You boil everything per usual, (he skewers his cabbage wedges so they stay together) and at the very end you pull everything out of the pot and bake it in a 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes so it's not all soggy. It's a game changer. I love it with a little horseradish mixed with sour cream. But back to the brownies..
Jen's Mint Brownies
The brownie base on these is more of a Texas sheet cake, which I love, but purists may prefer a more traditional brownie base, then duplicating the two layers on top. 
2 1/4 sticks butter, melted
3/4 cup cocoa
2 1/4 cups sugar
6 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 7/8 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together butter and cocoa. Add sugar. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix well. Pour into a greased jelly roll pan (aka large cookie sheet with edges). Bake 15 minutes. Do not overcook; if you see any air bubbles, pop with a toothpick and smooth down. Cool completely, then frost with Mint Frosting.
Mint Frosting
4 cups powdered sugar
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 drops of green food coloring
4 tablespoons milk (or as much needed to get to a spreadable consistency)
Mix all ingredients, then spread in a thin layer on top of cooled brownies. Work fast as it dries quickly. Let the mint frosting layer set for about a half hour, then top with chocolate frosting.
Chocolate Frosting
3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 square of butter (10 tablespoons)
Melt together carefully in the microwave (cook for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each round until fully melted and combined). Pour evenly over mint brownies and carefully spread until you reach all the edges of the pan. Put brownies in the fridge for 20-30 minutes or until chocolate layer is fully set, then cut into squares. Keep extras in the fridge.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

amazing granola

Katie's Amazing Granola
This granola makes a TON, two full sheet pans to be exact. I don't have a bowl big enough to fit everything at once, so I make mine in two big bowls and divide all the ingredients in half.
In a large bowl (or two!) mix the following ingredients:
 10 cups of old fashioned rolled oats (buy from the bin at your local health food store..)
2 cups of whole wheat flour
2 cups of wheat germ (store in your fridge between batches)
2 cups of shredded coconut
2 cups chopped pecans and/or almonds
1 tablespoon salt
In a separate bowl, mix the following: 
4 tablespoons vanilla
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup of oil (I use Canola)
2 cups honey (if you use the same cup you used for the oil, the honey should slide right out)
Divide the wet mixture between your two bowls of granola and mix well.

Spread your granola in two large, shallow pans. Bake at 250 until deep golden and almost dry, about 2 hours. Every 30 minutes rotate your pans and stir and crumble the granola with a big wooden spoon (the outside edges will brown first, so you want to mix everything around so it all cooks evenly). 
When it's all nice and golden and you've broken up most of your big chunks, remove from the oven and let cool (I leave mine on the counter overnight). Store tightly covered or in the refrigerator if you have room.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Corn bean salsa from Sue

Depending on how many people you are serving I use 1 or 2 cans of each of the following: corn, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, 1 red onion diced, 1 of each color pepper (green, orange, red) diced, celery diced. Marinade (24 hours) 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons sale, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, fresh herbs like basil if you have them, fresh parley. whatever you want or have on hand.
Get the large scoop fritoes and you're good to go.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Balsamic Djion Vinaigrette

Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette

From RealAge
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
Total Fat4g
Saturated Fat--
Total Carbohydrate--
Dietary Fiber--
Serves: 8 Edit
Yields: 8 servings
U.S.MetricConversion chart
  • 1/2 cup(s) balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup(s) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup(s) water
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon(s) garlic. minced
  • 2 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) apple juice concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon(s) fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon(s) ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) chili pepper flakes