Monday, 29 September 2014

Lazy One Bowl Brownies

Circulating around the internet are some really good brownie recipes. Food 52 hands down has the best recipe.  However, their version is a bit more work intensive involving melting butter over a double boiler.  I have come up with the Lazy version of the recipe.  Trust me, these are out of the world!!  Not to mention, you can whip them up in about 10 minutes plus baking time plus you only have one bowl to clean!

Modified: From dessert of Food52.

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cold large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2 1/2 ounces)
  • 2/3 cups walnut or pecan pieces (optional)
Just out of oven. 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Spray an 8 X 8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium ceramic bowl.  Place bowl in microwave and heat until butter is melted.  I use the melt setting for 1 stick of butter and then add 30 seconds.  Mix until combined.
  3. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. Add the flour and stir until it disappears then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with a wooden spoon.  It will look very glossy.  (similar to a store bought mix)  Pour into pan.
  4. Bake until a cake tester comes out mostly clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on a rack.  Cut into squares.  

Monday, 22 September 2014

10 Minute Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (plus baking)

In our busy lives finding time to bake becomes a challenge.  Some things are worth just getting at the grocery store.  Cannoli for instance, a favorite of my husband.  Muffins on the other hand are so easy to whip up and homemade never has all the artificial stuff that store bought products add.  These muffins really can be whipped up in ten minutes and they are truly delicious.

10 Minute Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

2 cups of mashed ripe bananas.  Over ripe are even better.  I use 3 -4 bananas.
1/2 cup melted butter (I use the microwave)
1/4 cup of milk
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

In large bowl, mix melted butter and bananas.  Stir in milk and eggs until blended.  I use a mixer but you can also do it by hand.

Add one cup of flour, salt, baking power and soda.  Stir just until combined.  Add second cup.  Again stir until combined.  Don't overmix.  Gently stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon into muffin tins.  You can either grease or use liners.  Should make about 18 muffins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until done.  

That's it.  Easy, peasy.

Just out of the oven

$6.00 Fall Glass Hurricane

Back when I got married in the 1990's and HGTV was new, home decorating crafting was huge. You name it, we probably made it.  Eucalyptus swags were everywhere and silk flowers had a heyday.  Looks like some really nice silks are making a comeback.  I even did a number of craft shows back in the day selling swags and table arrangements.  After a long hiatus I wanted to try something crafty.  My dog Patrick and I went walking the woods picking some fresh foliage.

I had a hurricane which I picked up at a church jumble sale for $5.  I added a $1 slim glass and candle from the dollar store into the middle of the hurricane.  Surrounded it with my woodland picks and voila, my $6 Glass Hurricane decorated for Fall.  Later in the year, I will try something for Christmas.  Cranberries perhaps.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Copycat McClure's Refrigerator Garlic Dill Pickle Spears Recipe

I absolutely love dill pickles.  I used to buy expensive gourmet pickles because I loved the homemade taste.  That was before I discovered how easy homemade refrigerator pickles are.  No sterilizing or boiling.  We are addicted to these.  I think these taste as good as the fabulous pickles by McClures.

Refrigerator Garlic Dill Pickle Spears - enough for 4 large canning jars


1 small basket of pickling cucumbers 
1 bunch of fresh dill
1 clove or garlic - separated
cayenne pepper to taste 
6 cups of water
5 1/4 cups of white vinegar
4 tablespoons of course salt (pickling salt)
1 table of pickling spice (optional - adds flavor, but is not necessary for great pickles)

Wash and clean cucumbers.  Slice into spears.  
Place 2 cloves of garlic at the bottom of each canning jar.  Add a generous sprig or two of dill to the bottom of jar.  Fill jars with spears.  Leave enough room for liquid.

In pot combine water, vinegar, salt and pickling spice is using.  Sprinkle a bit of cayenne to taste over water.  Bring water to boil until salt dissolves. Remove from heat.  Fill each jar with hot liquid dividing between the four jars.  Make sure to completely cover cucumbers.  Place a couple more springs of dill at top of jar.  Place lids on jar.  

Store in refrigerator  Pickles should be ready to eat in 72 hours.