Brussel sprouts & Brownies

It's no secret that I love brownies but lately I've been completely obsessed with brussel sprouts. Which I guess is a lot better habit than brownies...but i've made both in the last 24 hours so I'll share both recipes.

~Best Cocoa Brownies~
You know the feeling it's Sunday night and you start to crave something sweet...but since i'm trying to be good I'm no longer stocking baking chocolate or chocolate chips so what's a girl to do? Figure out how to make some delicious brownies with an alternative...cocoa to the rescue!

Note: Next time I make this I will definitely double the batch and cook for 40-45 minutes. I like a really thick brownie and these were quite thin, good but thin. This is an adaption from epicurious.

10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli's)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray the bottom & sides of an 8x8 baking pan with Pam or line with parchmant paper. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium microwaveable bowl.

Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Set aside until the mixture is warm, not hot.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula.

Spread evenly in the greased or lined pan. Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 25-35 minutes.

~Roasted Brussel Sprouts~
These are super simple but that is what makes them absolutely divine.

1 or 2 pounds of Brussel Sprouts
Olive Oil
1/2 lemon
Fresh Ground Pepper
Coarse Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Wash the brussel sprouts, cut of the bottom part of the stems and cut in half length wise. Place on pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until soft but not mushy. I like them to still have a bit of crispness to them. Sprinkle with the juice of the lemon and make sure there is plenty of salt and pepper. Enjoy!


Raspberry Buckle Cakes

{I forgot to dust these babies with powdered sugar but they
sure would have been perfect if I had}

This is an adaptation from a Martha Stewart Recipe. Just made it yesterday for the first time and it is delish. There are lots of different ways to mix this up. I used raspberries and put chocolate chips in some. It would also be really good with blackberries, blueberries, or any other ripe summer berry. Add a dollop of fresh cream on top of the mini cakes and it makes for a delicous and refreshing summer dessert.

1 C. Butter {room temp}
2 C. Sugar
6 Eggs
2 C. Flour
1 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
2-3 containers of Fresh Raspberries
Chocolate Chips {optional}
Powdered Sugar for dusting
1 pint Whipping Cream {whipped & ready to use}

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. In a seperate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture and mix until well combined. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Fill each cup about half way with batter. Sprinkle 4-6 berries on each cake and if wanted add chocolate chips as well. Bake in preheated oven for about 32-36 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean and the tops are golden. Cool and remove from muffin tins. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Add a dollop of fresh whipped cream and serve.

RoCKy RoAd BrOwNiEs

{These brownies were made without nuts and with homemade chocolate frosting}

1 cup Butter {room temp}
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Cocoa
4 Eggs {slightly beaten}
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Chopped nuts*
2 teaspoons Vanilla
Mini Marshmallows
2 king size Chocolate Bars*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x13 pan with cooking spray. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine butter, sugar, and cocoa. Add eggs one at a time. Gradually add flour and salt until combined. Stir in nuts, if wanted. Add vanilla.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover top with marshmallows. Return to oven for 3 minutes or until melted or slightly golden. Remove from oven and place candy bars on top to melt. Wait until the frosting and brownies are completely cool to cut. Enjoy!

*I make these lots of different ways. They can be made with or without nuts. Sometimes I add the nuts inside and sometimes I just sprinkle them over half the pan on top of the frosting. The other option is the frosting, you can use the candy bars or homemade chocolate frosting, whichever you prefer. If you do use homemade frosting wait until the marshmallows are completely cool to frost.


No Bake Cookies

I have been trying not to bake too much but Sunday afternoons always get the best of me. I love No Bake's and decide to try something different. They're very yummy . . . enjoy!

In a saucepan:
2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Butter
1/2 C. Milk
1/4 C. Cocoa
Over medium high heat, bring to a boil for one minute.

Remove from heat and add:
1/2 C. Peanut Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 pinch Salt

Once throughly mixed, add 3 C. Oats.  
Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and cool.


Chicken Marsala

6-8 Chicken Tenderloins or 3-4 Chicken Breasts, skinless & boneless
1 C. Flour
4 T. Butter
1/2 C. Chicken Broth
2 Garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 C. Marsala Wine

1. Heat 2 T. Butter in large sauce pan. Pat chicken dry. Add salt and pepper to flour and place in medium-sized shallow bowl. Dredge chicken in flour mixture and place in pan.

2. Cook on medium-high heat about 2-3 minutes per side.  They will not be cooked through, they will finish cooking with the sauce. Remove chicken from pan.

3. Add Chicken broth and garlic to pan. Saute for 2 minutes and add mushrooms. Saute for another 4 minutes or until mushrooms are semi-soft.

4. Add marsala and remaining butter, away from heat. Simmer on medium heat for 7-8 minutes.  Add chicken back into the pan and finish cooking. Sauce will continue to reduce and thicken.  When chicken is cooked through and sauce is ready serve over pasta or mashed potatoes.



Macadamia Crusted Halibut with Coconut Rice

Macadamia nut crusted Halibut

4  6 to 7 oz. Halibut fillets
1 C. Madadamia nuts
3/4 C. Panko
2 Eggs {beaten and mixed with 1 T. water}
Flour for dredging
Peanut oil for sauteing
Salt & Pepper

Place macadamia nuts and panko in food processor bowl fitted  with a work blade. Using pulse, crush nuts and panko together until you achieve a medium coarseness.  Don't overgrind or oil will extract from nuts.  Heat a large saute pan on mediuum heat.  Lightly season halibut, dredge in flour, shake off excess then dip in egg mixture, then place in macadamia nut mixture and coat well.  Press nuts on and lightly shake off excess.  Add oil to pan and place halibut in pan.  Continue cooking halibut until golden brown on both sides-about 6 to 8 minutes.  If using thick fillets, finish cooking in a 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes.

Coconut Rice

2 C. Basmati rice
2 C. Coconut milk
1 3/4 C. Water
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Vegetable oil
1 tsp. White sugar
1 tsp. Coconut extract

Rub oil over the bottom and sides of a deep-sided pot with a tight-fitting lid.  Place rice, coconut milk, water, and salt in pot.  Put pot on the stove over medium-high heat.  Stir well.  Add the sugar and flavoring.  Continue stirring occasionally until it comes to a gentle boil.  Once it has come to a gentle boil, stop stirring, and turn down to medium-low heat.  Place lid askew on the pot, allowing some steam to escape.  Cook for 15-20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and leave pot on the burner.  Cover the pot tightly and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Fluff and serve.

I used this Anne Made Spicy Mango as a topping over the halibut. These stuff is amazing! It has just the right flavor and kick.  You could also use a pineapple-mango chutney. But if you can get this stuff I would definitely recommend it.  You can find it at Bloomer's Gift & Floral.


Tomato Basil Chicken in Cream Sauce

I didn't get a chance to take a picture of this one but it is phenomenal.  A client gave me this recipe a few weeks ago and I kept meaning to try it, now  I'm so glad I did. It's Delish...and quite easy.

2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 T. Oil from oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 C. White cooking wine
1/3 C. Whipping cream
1/4 C. drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 T. thinly sliced fresh basil

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken to skillet and saute until golden.  Add garlic and stir 30 seconds.  Add cooking wine, cream, and tomatoes and bring to boil.  Cover skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 3 minutes.  Transfer chicken to plates.  Add basil to sauce in skillet.  Increase heat and boil until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, about 2 minutes.  Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper, spoon over chicken and serve.

Serving note: I think it would be great over some capellini pasta.