Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Festive Frosted Brownies

I found this recipe in a Taste of Home cookbook a few months ago.  My mom had a stack of these books for me to take a look at and I immediately copied the page that had this recipe.  They looked so pretty and delicious too.  I loved the added touch with the sprinkles on top.  I've wanted to make these for months and had the opportunity to make a batch last week.  They were so worth the wait.  These days I tend to prefer the darker chocolate, but the lighter chocolate flavor in these is heavenly.  The lighter chocolate frosting also helps those sprinkles stand out!!  I have a feeling these are going to be a favorite for many years to come!

Festive Frosted Brownies
Source:  adapted from Taste of Home
1 cup butter or margarine, softened (I used salted butter.)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract (I used 1 1/2 t.)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
6 T. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened (I used salted butter.)
1/4 cup evaporated milk (I used 2 % milk-same amount)
1 t. vanilla
2 T. baking cocoa
3 cups confectioner's sugar
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.  Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt;  gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
Spread into greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.
For frosting, in a mixing bowl, beat the butter, milk and vanilla; add cocoa.  Gradually beat in confectioner's sugar until smooth.  Spread over cooled brownies.  Decorate with sprinkles if desired!
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Spinach Tortellini Soup

When I was living in my first apartment, I began to take an interest in cooking. Around that time, my mom gave me my very first Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. They were and still are my favorite cookbooks. This is the one of the first recipes I tried. I loved it and made it several times. It was perfect for a quick supper and the leftovers were great for lunch. I was teaching at the time and my colleagues began to notice this soup I would I bring for lunch. Soon, many of them were asking for the recipe and making it themselves. One of the teachers even added chicken to hers (hint, hint!). It's been many years since I've made this and decided I needed to make it again. I tweaked the recipe a little by adding some onion and more tortellini and chicken broth. It's been so long since I've made this recipe that I wondered if I would still like it. . . The answer is YES! This was so delicious! Just wish I would've had some homemade bread to go with it!



Spinach tortellini soup

adapted from:  Gooseberry Patch Hometown Favorites

3 cans chicken broth

1/2 c. onion seasoning blend  (This contains onions, celery, red pepper, and parsley and can be found with the frozen veggies.)

2 cloves garlic

1 T. butter

1 1/2 c. frozen spinach, thawed  (I measured out this amount from a large bulk package.  You could also use a small package -I think it's 10z. size and that would work well.)

1 can stewed tomatoes, undrained

1/8 t. cayenne pepper

1/4 t. black pepper

2 c. frozen tortellini

In a large pot, saute' onions and garlic in butter over medium heat.  Cook 3-4 minutes or until veggies are tender.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Add  tortellini and cook about 4-5 minutes.  Then add tomatoes, spinach, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.  Simmer on low for an additional 5 minutes.  Makes 6-8 servings.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Buckeye Brownies

Last year my hubby gave me a Kindle Fire for Christmas and I went crazy downloading free cookbooks onto it! Well, the other day, I was looking through one and found this recipe and just knew I had to make them!! These seem like they would be a little complicated to make, but with the help of a brownie mix, they are super easy and SCRUMPTIOUS!! You must try these!!

Start by baking a pan of brownies in a 9x9 pan.  I used a Betty Crocker family size mix.  The box actually says that it is a 13x9 size but I always put them in this 9x9  pan. ( It just makes a more substantial brownie). 


Mix together 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 c. softened butter, and 1 cup peanut butter.


  Spread mixture over cooled brownies!!  Now for the topping!  Melt 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and 5 T. butter in a microwave safe bowl for 15 second intervals, stirring in between time.  Spread melted chocolate over peanut butter mixture!


Allow to cool completely!  Cut into squares!  I put mine in the fridge and they set up in no time!  In fact, I stored them in the fridge! 

Look at all those yummy layers!!!  Enjoy!!

Buckeye Brownies
Source:  adapted from Gooseberry Patch Circle of Friends Cookbook JoAnn & Vickie's Favorite Recipes
brownie mix prepared according to package directions (I used Betty Crockers family size 13x9 mix, but made it in a 9x9 pan).
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter plus 5 T. butter, softened and divided
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips ( I used Ghiradelli)
Prepare brownies according to package directions and bake in a greased 9x9 pan.  Cool completely.  In a mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, 1/2 c. butter and 1 c. peanut butter.  Spread mixture over cooled brownies.  Chill for one hour.  Melt together chocolate chips and remaining butter in a microwave safe bowl in 15 second intervals, stirring in between time.  Spread over brownies.  Let cool and cut into squares.

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Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

There are dozens of versions of this salad on the internet and in cookbooks. Yet, when I go to make this salad, I find myself scouring the internet and cookbooks for a recipe to follow. When I was asked to make this for a Christmas gathering, I decided I was going to write down the recipe I used so I don't have to go searching anymore. I found a couple of recipes I really liked, but couldn't decide which one to use.  So. . .I decided to use the best of both. Here is what I came up with and it was perfect!! So glad I got it right!!


Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
1 head broccoli, chopped (florets only, bite size pieces)

1 head cauliflower (florets only, bite size pieces)

2 green onions, chopped (both white and green  parts)

1/2 c. slivered almonds

1/2 c. dried cranberries

6 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled  (I cooked mine in the microwave. . .)

For the dressing, combine:

1 cup mayo

1/4 c. sugar

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 T. apple cider vinegar

Combine first six ingredients in medium serving bowl.   Mix ingredients for the dressing and pour over salad and toss to coat.