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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Brownies and Blondies

If you haven’t yet figured it out, I am a brownie freak! I love brownies! I had never tried using actual chocolate to make brownies before so I got searching for a new recipe where I could try it. They were so creamy and melt in your mouth rich! Needless to say, I’m in love!

1-1/2 sticks butter (6 oz)
6 0z semi sweet chocolate chips, about 1 cup *
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp instant coffee**
3 eggs
1 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
1 c all purpose flour

*For an extra kick I used “Lindt Chili” chocolate bars.

**I omitted the instant coffee.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and Flour a 9 inch square baking pan.
  • Melt butter and chocolate together in double boiler. Stir in cocoa powder and instant coffee until dissolved.
  • Whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt.
  • Whisk egg mixture into chocolate mixture.
  • Whisk in flour until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan come out barely clean. Cool.
  • I also made a white chocolate version of these, or blondies! To make these I omitted the cocoa powder and used “Ghirardelli White Chocolate with Vanilla” squares.


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    Being the peanut butter freak I am, I used peanut butter M&M’s. Also, I omitted the chocolate chips and added an extra bag of M&M’s. Yummy!

    M&M Cookies

    8 oz unsalted butter, cool
    1 cup shortening
    1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
    2 large eggs
    3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (spoon and sweep)
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoon baking soda
    2 cups plain M&Ms
    2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

    Dough requires chilling, so don’t preheat oven.

    Combine the cool butter and shortening in mixer. Beat until creamy. Add both sugars and continue beating on high for two minutes, scraping bowl. Beat in the vanilla and egg. Continue beating for another minute or until fluffy.

    Stir together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add this mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until mixed. Stir in the M&Ms and chocolate chips. Chill batter for about an hour.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing 3 inches apart and bake for 12-14 minutes (mine took 9 minutes on Covection Bake). Let cool on cookie sheets for about 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool.

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    I love baking and usually only do so when I’m upset… busy hands keep my mind busy. But since it’s getting closer to the holidays I have another excuse to bake up some yumminess! Today I made some Betty Crocker Toffee Bars for the first time and they are the richest dessert I think I’ve ever had. Normally I can eat baked sweets all night long but I could only have one of these. They are scrum-didili-umptious! The recipe is below on the photo but I opted to omit the nuts and instead, crushed up some Heath bars to sprinkle on top.

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    I have a few things I’d like to share that I just downloaded from my cell phone and they don’t really go together so I apologize for the randomness.

    The cutest ice cream sundae ever, from a Japanese Baskin Robins. The Japanese know how to do things the kawaii way. . .

    Japan Baskin Robins Halloween Ice Cream Sundae

    From this summer’s total solar eclipse . . .Solar Eclipse 2009 from Okinawa, Japan

    Apparently, when Seth goes to sleep his neck breaks… he’s going to kill me for posting this!

    Soundly Sleeping with a Broken Neck

    Some more embarrassing stuff for the hubby… some audio clips I recorded one of the nights we had some guys over to hang out. Even though it’s crappy quality you can tell they’re pretty good for practically pulling this stuff out of thin air using only a single bongo drum and two guitars.

     

    Now that I’ve probably officially embarrassed Seth into hating me he should forgive me since tomorrow is our 4 year anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Babe!

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    Halloween Cheesecake Brownies

    In light of the Halloween spirit I made some cheesecake brownies last night and thought I would share!


    halloween cheesecake brownies

     

    To make your own Halloween Cheesecake Brownies:

    Below I will post my favorite brownie recipe but you can prepare your favorite brownie recipe or boxed brownie for these. Follow the instructions of brownie recipe up until the point of placing the pan in the oven. BEFORE BAKING, prepare cheesecake topping (below). Drop cheesecake topping by spoonfuls onto your brownie batter in pan. Swirl with a knife. Bake as directed by brownie recipe.

     

    Cheesecake Topping:

    • 8oz Pack of Cream Cheese (I used reduced fat)
    • 1/4 Cup Sugar
    • 1 Egg
    • Food Coloring drops until desired color

    1. Blend all ingredients until well mixed.

     

      My Favorite Brownie Recipe:

      • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 2 eggs
      • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt

      1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.

      2. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

      3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

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      One week ago…

      …I turned 24! Whoa, almost a quarter of a century old! I was having a bit of a meltdown about it not because I truly believe 24 is even close to being old but because of the people in this world who do believe it is. If you know anything about me you’ll know that modeling has been a dream of mine since I can hardly remember and I’m getting to be of “that age”. If you go to any major agency website and click on their model submission page it usually states some minimum measurement and age requirements. First thing, I’m only 5 feet and 8 inches… about one inch shorter than most top agencies would want. Secondly, I am now 24 years old… about 3 years older than most top agenies want. I do not have much “insider” knowledge but I can about guarantee if your submission does not have these requirements it automatically goes into the trash. Of course you could lie, but where would that get you other than to waste a lot of people’s time. Oh well I suppose like John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans”.

      On another note, I did have a nice Birthday. I kept telling everyone to just let me forget it so I could pretend I was still 23. Of course I have so many wonderful, loving people in my life that simply wouldn’t let that be. Thank you to all of my friends and family for the thoughtful messages, cards and gifts. And a big thank you to the greatest husband in the world who kept his promise to NOT celebrate my birthday…

      Seth asked them to write "Happy Day Erin". As you can see they must've started to write birthday because it says "Happy BAY Erin". Poor guy can't catch a break, he tried!

      Seth asked them to write "Happy Day Erin". As you can see they must've started to write birthday because it says "Happy BAY Erin". Poor guy can't catch a break, he tried!

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