Monday, July 23, 2012

Brownies for Two (Or one!)

I'm pretty sure in my last post, I promised not to neglect you all so much. And I'm pretty sure it's been 13 days since I posted last. I guess I lied, sorry. Hopefully, there will be more to come. Summer has just been so busy for us! 

Okay. So, the last couple of times I've made brownies, half of the pan has gone to waste because they weren't eaten before they went stale. Solution? Brownies that are the perfect amount of chocolate for two people (or one if you're pretty hard up!). 


1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp mild oil (like vegetable or canola)
3 tbsp water
splash of vanilla extract
Chocolate or hot fudge sauce (optional)


Combine dry ingredients in whatever vessel you choose. You can use a mug, a bowl, whatever. I used a 1.25 cup tupperware bowl and it was perfect. Add the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Microwave for 1:30 to 1:40 (depending on your microwave, mine took 1:35). Drizzle chocolate over the top and enjoy!

Okay - so here's the fun part.. VARIATIONS! There are so many ways you could do this!! Substitute white sugar for the brown and add a splash of mint extract for a chocolate mint delight. Add chocolate chips (or butterscotch or peanut butter or whatever kind of chips or chunks you want!) with the dry ingredients. Add a bit of caramel with the wet ingredients for a caramel brownie (which would be a fantastic way to use up some leftover salted caramel from my Salted Caramel Cupcakes!) with a drizzle of it over the top in place of the chocolate. Endless variations! Please feel free to share your variations, I'd love the new ideas!! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Oven Roasted Salsa

Hey there, friend! It's been awhile, eh? Well, things have calmed down in our household a bit, and I can finally get back to what I love. Cooking. Real cooking. Not mac 'n' cheese. From a box. Ew. I think I've gone through a half bottle of Sriacha sauce in the last month trying to make the stuff edible. Or at least so hot that I can't tell if it's edible or not. Close enough. I needed something else to put in my mac n cheese (my kids are going through a phase), and summer is always filled with spicy things. Salsa it is. I would *love* to make some grilled veggie salsa, but my grill is still sitting on a wishlist in Santa's workshop at the moment. I have learned to do a lot of things in my oven that I used to do on my grill (which coincidentally I had adapted from the oven when I lacked a working one). 


2 - 2.5 lbs Roma tomatoes
1/2 large sweet onion
1-3 cloves garlic, finely diced (can sub 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 poblano peppers
2-3 jalepeno peppers
2 tbsp cilantro
juice of 2-3 limes
1 tbsp ginger ale


Preheat oven to 450ยบ.

Line two baking pans with foil. Make sure to use one with sides, I used my 9"x13" and 8" round cake pans. 

Cut the tomatoes into 8 pieces (half, then quarter the halves) and dice the onion. Add to baking pan. Sprinkle in Oregano, Basil and garlic, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. 

In another foil lined baking dish, place all peppers and cover loosely with foil. 

Place both pans in the oven, bake for 30-40 mins, then broil for 2-5 just until tomatoes begin to char in spots. Cover peppers tightly with foil, or place in a paper bag and close tightly. Let cool for 10-20 mins. 

Place roasted tomato mixture in food processor and pulse until desired consistency, then dump into a medium bowl. 

Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to do this in several batches. Next, peel your peppers. You don't need to get all of the skin off, but you'll want at least the majority of it gone. Remove the seeds, leaving only a few if you want your salsa to be a bit spicier. Rough chop and toss into food processor with lime juice and cilantro. Pulse to desired consistency, add to tomato mixture and combine. 

Last step: add the 1tbsp ginger ale. Yes, I know that it's a bit of an odd ingredient for salsa, but trust me! It adds a nice depth to it. 

It's delish! The ginger ale adds the subtle kick of ginger along with a little sweet to off-set the hot. 

Side note - there are three jalepenos in my pan above. I did *not* use all three, I only used two and it's perfect for me. It's just slightly spicier than a good medium you get in a grocery store. It all depends on your jalepenos as well, some are hotter than others. Judge accordingly. 

And now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some chips calling my name along with a cold beer. 

Oh, and refrigerate your leftovers.