My brownie recipe

So I realize I am lazy and haven’t been adding many recipes. So here is my go to brownie recipe. And I am not above using a boxed mix (I like Ghirardelli and Duncan Hines) I just add sea salt before I bake to bring out the chocolate flavor. I am currently using Beanilla’s Vanilla Sea Salt when I bake, and I highly recommend it http://www.beanilla.com/vanilla-fleur-de-sel

So brownies:

5 oz cake flour or regular flour

1/4 tsp sea salt 

3/4 tsp baking powder (i use Trader Joe’s and it’s super cheap)

6 oz chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (any kind will do, I usually use semi-sweet)

1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (not room temp and use margarine if you have it)

4 eggs (I use large and brown but just a personal preference)

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and foil or grease and line with parchment paper a 9×9 pan or a brownie pan 

Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl, set aside

Melt butter and chocolate either in the microwave until smooth or over simmering water in a heatproof bowl. Make sure to stir and watch so chocolate won’t burn. Whisk in vanilla and sugar until mixed. Add one egg at a time, until all four are incorporated. Be careful not to overmix your brownies, you don’t want them tough. 

Add flour and fold until completely mixed into chocolate mixture. 

For extra flavor, sprinkle more sea salt on top of mixture and stir in, smooth brownies with a spatula. 

Bake for 30 to 40 mins, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out barely crumbly or clean. Let cool for 30 mins and cut into squares. 

Can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 4 days or you can freeze once cool for up to two months. 

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So yeah, it’s cake

I am really proud of not only this picture, but this cake. I feel in a cliche way it’s kinda me on a plate. Layered, a bit complicated to look at, but really sweet on the inside. I have had some up and down feelings about my baking, myself, my role in my life, what I want to be/do lately, and I feel I am really expressing myself through my food. This cake is a chocolate buttermilk cake with chocolate pecan frosting-it’s in Bon Appetit’s January issue, from a restaurant in Charleston, SC. While I am sure the Fat Hen does it 10x better than I do, I really love how this cake turned out. Moist, not too sweet, with a great frosting. And I really felt good for all the compliments I received on this cake photo. So Bon Appetit, if you need an amateur on the payroll, please let me know!

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Banana muffins and a tip or two

I don’t eat muffins often, but I love to make them. This is a spiced up banana bread recipe from allrecipes.com that I made into muffins. Few things when making them:

1. I always add extra bananas, or whatever fruit you are using for extra flavor and moistness
2. I like to make a brown sugar cinnamon streusel for the top
3. Right before they go in the oven I add a sprinkle of raw sugar on top for crunch.

Happy muffin making!

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Rustic

Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong time, wrong area. Don’t get me wrong, I love food deliveries, my MacBook, and cute shoes. But there is something about a rustic pan, and old spatula, or a worn cutting board that makes me happy. I like to keep things simple, no matter how complex the recipe or shot ends up being. I like things a little dark, out of focus, or shifted to the right. I like a well used sheet pan, spotted pie dish, and a broken tea cup. I think I was British in my former life. Or maybe I just watch way too much PBS. Image

Who knows you like you do?

Do you ever watch a movie or show that is kinda indie and deep and think “oh i am so like that!” yeah, we usually aren’t are we? but some people are just super cool, with their thrift store clothes that actually cost $50, and their cool indie coffee. I don’t drink coffee but if I did I would drink the cool kind. 

But I stray from my point. Cookies-they are simple and easy to make. But a good cookie can bring up a memory, a smile, or a thought that you might not have otherwise remembered. These are butterscotch chocolate chip with vanilla sea salt. I ran out of chocolate chips so I added the rest of my butterscotch. I am not as clever as I think I am, but I can sure fake it when need be 🙂 Image

Carrot soup

Now you might be thinking “uh no” from the title. But really it’s a great starter soup, or a soup to accompany a meal, say chicken, fish, or with a salad of some kind. It’s a light soup that has a lot of flavor, just not a filling main dish. 

This soup was made because the photographer part of my brain though that beautiful orange color would photograph like a dream-it did. I took my photo shoot on the road that day, to a co-worker/close friend’s house to try out the light. We had a blast, they let me be bossy, and life was good. Try the soup, it’s easy to make, pretty and light, and an easy way to use up those extra carrots. 

Carrot Soup

Tablespoon of butter

1/2 to a whole onion chopped

2 stalks celery chopped 

Teaspoon of fresh parsley or half a teaspoon dried parsley

4 cups carrots peeled and sliced to med thickness

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (if using vegetable broth, thin it out some with water to get rid of some of the heavier tomato taste)

salt and pepper to taste

sour cream or cream for mix in when serving (optional)

Heat butter in a heavy bottomed skillet. Add celery and onions and cook until soft, usually around 10 mins. Add parsley once vegetables are soft

Add carrots and stock, with up to a cup of water if needed. Bring to a small boil (heavy simmer) and then reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes 

At this point if you have an immersion blender, add the salt and pepper and blend until the thickness you like. You can also use a blender or food mill to puree. Careful if transferring the soup, it’s very hot. You can either add about 1/4 cup of cream to your soup while pureeing, or use it when serving as a garnish. (I also added a bit of cilantro on top for flavor and color when I took pictures)

Happy soup making!

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