Monthly Archives: February 2015

Brownies? Yes, please!

The blog below was created to give you an idea of what to make for Valentine’s day but what’s the harm in making brownies any other day? As you read the instructions toward the end just remember – if you have a convection oven at home, the amount of time the brownie dessert is in the oven will decrease. Convection ovens tend to cook faster and more evenly so it’s a good idea to keep that in mind and make the proper adjustments if you do have one of these. Now, enjoy the rest of this blog post! :)

Brownie Pie with Raspberry Sauce + 5 Perfect Brownie Recipes for Heart Day!

 

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I’m prepping dinner.  Taco night again, the one meal the kids and Bubba will eat without complaining.  I could make tacos with eyes closed.  Number of tacos shells for each person, the perfect portion of chopped red pepper, avocado slices and shredded cheese.  Some like black beans only, others a spoonful of ground turkey.  A dollop of Greek yogurt, but never, ever any salsa.  “Too spicy, mama.”  I mindlessly hurry through this task.

My mind wanders to my to do list: valentines, allergists appointment, email C’s teacher, make safe cupcakes for G’s class, well-check for the baby coming up Friday, continuing training and fundraising for the marathon.  How many miles this week?

I’m tired today.  Next time I’m awake at 3am for no reason at all, I’m getting up and working on this list.  Why can’t I sleep?

I look up for a moment and the notice the sky glowing pink, the large naked trees behind our house illuminated in the winter’s setting sun.  To the right, the yellow of the sun shines so brightly, I squint my eyes, wondering if the day is just beginning.  How odd to feel both the beginning and end of a day at once.

I grab my phone and snap a quick picture.  “Mama and her pictures,” chimes C.

“Pink sky goose.” Me.

“I know.” C, unimpressed.

I snap another picture and then one more, attempting to hold on to the colors, carry them around with me, and look at them when I need to.  She doesn’t understand this need, not yet.

“Mama, time to eat!”

I sit down with them at our narrow, wooden kitchen table and look out the window.  A rich, dark blue replaces the pink and yellow, the trees still discernible, but quickly fading into the night sky.

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Brownie Pie  with Raspberry Sauce

Rich, intense chocolate brownie pie paired with a bright raspberry sauce is sure to make your Valentine swoon.  This is easy to make pie will take no time at all so make the day of and serve slightly warm. Enjoy!

Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten

Serves 8

Ingredient for Brownie Pie:

6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted

3 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

3 extra-large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 tablespoon instant espresso

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 or 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350F and then grease and flour a 9 inch pie pan or tart pan with removable sides.  ( I used a pie pan.)

Using a medium size bowl, melt the butter over a pan with simmering water.  Once the butter is melted add 2 cups of chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is almost completely melted.   Be careful not to burn the chocolate.  Remove from heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Set aside and cool.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, espresso, vanilla and orange zest on medium/high-speed until pale and fluffy, a few minutes.  Stir in the cooled chocolate. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup of chocolate chips.  Gently fold the dry mixture into the wet batter until just combined.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes or up to 40 minutes.  The center will puff up and crack.  The inside should be soft.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Melt the remaining chocolate chips with the heavy cream and drizzle all over the pie.

Slice and serve with raspberry sauce.  The pie tastes best the day it is made, but tastes pretty good the next day too.  Maybe add ice cream on day two if it seems too dry.  Enjoy!   Happy Heart Day!

Raspberry Sauce

barely adapted from Emeril Lagasse

makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

1- 12 ounce bag of frozen raspberries or 1 pint of fresh raspberries

1/8 cup of sugar

scant tablespoon of lemon juice

Directions:

Combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a pan and cook for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain with a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.  Serve at room temperature or refrigerate in air-tight container for a few days.  Enjoy!

 

If you enjoy this post, please visit Cups + Spoonfuls for more from Kelly Fitzpatrick!

Winter Salads You Must Try

Roasted Citrus Salad + 5 Bright Winter Salad Links!

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We are in the thick of it.  Winter, that is.  The days are cold, dense gray clouds hide the sun most of the time.  The plants and trees sleep peacefully, unresponsive to the winter light.  I search for color.  I find it in my daughter’s hazel green eyes, my new nephew’s perfect pink lips, the seldom blue sky; the occasional holly bush I spot on my morning run.  I would welcome a foot of snow, now.  Anything to brighten up this fallow landscape.

Fake it til’ you make it.  Do what you need to.  So I hop in my car, crank the heat and drive to the grocery store.  I linger in the produce and flower sections.  The colors and fragrance sooth my winter weary spirit.  I grab as much citrus as I feel necessary.  Blood oranges, lemons and a few apples.  Every so often, I grab a bouquet of out of season tulips or daffodils.  Spring will come, it has to.

rsc0006DI eat one blood orange, hoping the vitamin c will help my immune system fight the latest stomach bug that plagues our house.  I slice another blood orange, remove the seeds and marvel at the color.  I grab a lemon and slice it.  The bright smell wakes me up.  I toss the citrus with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them at 425F for about 15 minutes.  Roast? Yes.  According to Bon Appetit, the high heat will caramelize the natural sugar and add depth to the fruit.  They seem to know what they are talking about.  While the citrus cools I prep the rest of the salad.

I rip apart the kale and massage it with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Within a few minutes the kale softens and becomes edible.  I toss the kale into a large bowl with the prepared onion and roasted citrus.  Add a quarter cup of silvered almonds for crunch and a bunch avocado slices for creaminess.  I drizzle the entire salad with a tablespoon of agave nectar and season it with a bit more sea salt and pepper.  After I gently toss the salad, I take a big bite.  Healthy and fresh, this citrus salad is just what I need to get through these winter days.

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Roasted Citrus, Kale + Avocado Salad

A healthy kale salad with roasted citrus, avocado and silvered almonds.  A few slices of red onion add a nice bite and a drizzle of agave nectar balances the subtly tart lemons.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 blood orange, sliced 1/8″ thick, seeds removed

1 lemon, sliced 1/8″ thick, seeds removed (try to get a Meyer lemon, as they are a bit sweeter than a regular lemon)

4 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 of a small red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

1 bunch of kale, washed, dried, ribs removed and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup mint leaves

1 avocado, sliced into wedges

1/4 cup silvered almonds

sea salt

1 tablespoon agave nectar

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 425F.  Toss orange and lemon slices with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a bit of kosher salt and pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet.   Roast the citrus for 10-15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes, until citrus starts to caramelize and is a bit charred.  Allow to cool.

Using a large bowl, mix onion with lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and let stand for about 5 minutes.  (This process helps the onion soften a bit.)  Set aside.

Place prepared kale in a separate large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Massage the kale with your hands for 3-5 minutes.  The kale will soften a bit and that is a good thing!

Add kale, roasted citrus, mint and silvered almonds to the bowl with the onion.  Drizzle with scant 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of agave nectar.  If necessary season with sea salt and pepper.  Just before you are ready to serve the salad, add the avocado and gently toss.  Enjoy!

Follow Kelly at Cups + Spoonfuls and discover 5 Winter Salad Links You Must Check Out!

 

Who is Kelly and why are we following her? She is a mother to two children who loves food, photography and running. She lives just outside of Boston and by the looks of her blogs, knows what she’s doing in the kitchen! We will be sharing her blogs here on the Appliance Factory Blog but please make sure to check out her page (link above) to get the full scoop. ;)