Salted Dark Chocolate Brownies

I came across this recipe about 5 years ago and took a picture of it! Didn’t bookmark it or save the link so I have no idea where it came from 😦 I have made these brownies so many times and honestly sometimes still get surprised by how much people love them.

I usually only like to make them for a special occasion where I’m taking the majority of the batch somewhere else besides my house, ha. I kid you not, I’ve been known to get up in the middle of the night and “sleep eat” one of these brownies! The combination of the sea salt and deep dark chocolate taste is just insane, and really addicting πŸ™‚

One pointer I have is don’t skimp on getting good dark chocolate, it will make them even that much better!

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Salted Dark Chocolate Brownies

1 1/2 stick of butter
4 ounces of finely chopped dark chocolate
1/4 cup of dark chocolate cocoa
2 cups of brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla paste (or extract)
1 cup of whole wheat flour
Some really good sea salt flakes

Oven Preset – 350 degrees
Really good greased 9-inch square glass pan

In a large saucepan, melt together the butter with the finely chopped dark chocolate. Once all the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and start to incorporate the following ingredients one at a time, cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. It’s important to do these one at a time so that nothing starts to “cook” (specifically the eggs πŸ™‚ ).

Once all ingredients are mixed well, pour batter into greased pan. Generously sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake brownies for about 35 minutes until the edges are down and the middle still is a bit gooey. Let cool completely before cutting into squares (this is MOST important for the middle – I actually will wait to slice them until the next day or at least 3 hours after baking).

If I’m bringing these to a party (like the batch below) I will sprinkle with additional sea salt once they are settle into a carrying tin. You can never have too much sea salt!

Enjoy!

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Banana Chocolate Chip Bread (Gluten Free!)

I feel like 2014 (and lets face it, the tail end of 2013) was ALL about Gluten Free. I don’t think you can turn a corner in the grocery store these days and not see them advertising “new” gluten free products or old products that were gluten free before but now have it screaming on the front packaging “look at me, I’m gluten free”!

The facts are, I know quite a few people who are really affected by gluten and since seeing a doctor and altering their diets, are feeling amazing!

In my world, I don’t necessarily think I have a severe allergy to gluten but I can tell you something, when I’m cutting out the breads, pastas, beer and pretty much all the good stuff that has gluten in it, I physically feel much better πŸ™‚ While I can’t live my life without gluten because sometimes I’m okay with feeling sluggish after a big bowl of pasta, I LOVE to experiment with gluten free baking.

I’ve made this bread a few times now and honestly, it’s doesn’t even make me miss the gluten-ness version πŸ™‚ SO YUMMY and SO MOIST!!

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Banana Chocolate Chip Bread (Gluten Free)

4 riped bananas mush
1 stick of browned butter
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla (or vanilla paste, my fave)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 1/2 cup of gluten free flour
1/2 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips

Oven Preset – 375 degrees.
Grease up a loaf pan, set aside.

Okay now on to the good stuff, you’ll want to mix together the mashed bananas with the browned butter (cooled a little) first. Then mix in the egg, brown sugar and vanilla. Once that’s all combined, add in the baking soda and salt. Mix well. Then goes in the flour (about 1/4 at a time) and following the walnuts and cc chips. You’ll just want to mix until all ingredients are combined, do not over mix.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until the center is just done.

I always like to serve my breads with some delicious honey butter which I whip up right at home.

1/2 stick of some really good (real) butter softened
1 heaping tablespoon of honey (I usually use raw organic from TJ’s, so good!)

Mix well, slather on a slice of warm bread and ENJOY!!


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New Blog Look

I’ve been toying around with the idea of changing the layout of my blog for a while now. Surprise, surprise as I’ve changed it now pretty much every year. I know there’s probably a few positives with staying consistent, one would be to not upset your readers but seeing as I haven’t made it big in that department, I figured I’d take the risk!
This current theme really represents how I’m feeling in regards to my cooking / baking. I feel more mature about the recipes I want to try (or create) and alot of it comes from the research and journeys I’ve taken that have taught me a lot about using REAL ingredients. Doing away with the boxed pastas, overly processed cheese and everything related to the inner isles of the grocery store and replacing them with the freshest, whole ingredients. Of course this isn’t going to happen all the time, I mean I live in the city and unfortunately can’t spend my whole paycheck at Whole Foods but I’d like to put the effort in and see where it takes me πŸ™‚
The photo was taken by yours truly during our trip to Napa last March. I feel fortunate with all the trips we’ve been able to take this year – each and every city inspires me to try new things in the kitchen and of course blog more!!!

I hope your excited for what’s to come….I know I am πŸ™‚

Sweet Potato Breakfast Enchiladas

I absolutely love everything about Mexican cuisine. Honestly I could probably eat any version of tacos and enchiladas everyday – so when I came up with the idea of these Sweet Potato Breakfast Enchiladas, I went running to the grocery store πŸ™‚

These enchiladas are great and the greek yogurt avocado cream just makes it nearly perfect – Β Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground turkey, turkey sausage or chicken sausage
  • 2 large sweet potatoes chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 12 eggs (whisked)
  • Array of seasonings (here you could use a taco mix if you’d like – in this recipe I used the following: salt/pepper, seasoning salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cloves (very little), paprika and maybe some ground mustard)
  • 8 tortillas ( I used whole wheat)
  • 1 package of Monterey Jack cheese (you could use the taco blend or even just cheddar cheese)
  • 1 medium can of enchilada sauce (you could also use a homemade version, I know I’m going to try this one next time! )
  • 1 9″ x 13″ pan

Toppings:

  • 8-12 ounces of greek yogurt (plain flavor)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Siracha Sauce

Getting Started:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Chop the sweet potatoes as small as you have patience for πŸ™‚ These bad boys are going to take a little longer to cook so toss them into a heated, greased pan right away.
  • Chop both the onion and green pepper into similar size pieces – throw them in with the potatoes.
  • Once the potatoes, onions and pepper seem about almost done, add in the ground turkey.
  • At this point you’ll want to start seasoning. I honestly can’t give you accurate measurements for how much of what to put in because I just start seasoning until it “feels right”. Sometimes I don’t get it right, but most of the time I do. Just remember you can always add more but you can never take away πŸ™‚
  • Once the mixtureΒ is cooked, add in the black beans and immediately following the whisked eggs.
  • Cook mixture until the eggs are done.

Now the assembly!:

  • Lightly cover a 9″x 13″ greased pan with enchilada sauce.
  • Each tortilla will get a healthy helping of the sweet potato/turkey filling – rolled tightly and placed into the pan.
  • Once all the tortillas are cozy in the pan, pour over the remaining enchilada sauce. Don’t worry about drowning them, the oven with dry them out a bit so they’ll be thirsty for more sauce.
  • Cover with a large layer ofΒ Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Cook in oven for about 20 – 30 minutes….really until the cheese is nice and melted and sort of browning on top.

Next the topping:

  • So easy, put pitted avocado in food processor and pulse until it has limited chunks – add in the yogurt and pulse till combined. At this time you’ll also what to salt/pepper the cream.
  • You could also add in the Siracha sauce here or serve it on the side.

Now it’s time to enjoy, place 1-2 enchiladas on a plate, topped with a hardy dollop of yogurt and of course drizzled with Siracha sauce….YUM!

National Tequila Day!

Because it’s the best.

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Random post, I know! It’s been quite a busy few weeks but I couldn’t go without acknowledging this day.

My personal favorite tequila drink is the Joshrita (named after one of my best buds of course :)). Little bit of lime, orange liqueur, maybe some simple syrup (homemade of course) and of course Tequila! Shake well. Enjoy!

Will be back to blogging one of these days when the suns not shining and the beer gets warm πŸ™‚