Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, via Smells Like Home
For the brownies:
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz red food coloring (or a scant 2 tbsp)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
For the white chocolate buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 oz good-quality white chocolate (not chips), melted – I recommend Callebaut
1 – 2 tbsp heavy cream
To make the brownies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8″x8″ baking pan.
In a small bowl, slowly stir together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1 tsp vanilla into a thick paste until no lumps of cocoa remain. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then stir in the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla. With the mixer off, add in the cocoa mixture, then turn the mixer to medium and beat the two mixtures together until they are one uniform color. Slowly add in the flour and salt and mix on medium-low speed, just until combined. Do not overmix.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir up the batter with a rubber spatula once or twice just to ensure all of the flour has incorporated from the sides of the bowl and there isn’t anything stuck on the bottom of the bowl. You’ll want one uniformly colored (red) batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies. Allow brownies to completely cool in the pan on a baking rack, about 45-60 minutes. Frost brownies in the pan, cut into 12 bars, and serve, or remove the entire batch from the pan to a cutting board, cut into 12 bars, frost, and serve.
To make the frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until soft and fluffy then beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time; allow the sugar to mix in before adding the next 1/2 cup. Once all of the sugar has been added, beat on medium speed for 30 seconds and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the melted white chocolate and beat on medium speed until incorporated. With the mixer on low, add in heavy cream 1 tbsp at a time and beat at medium speed until the frosting has reached your desired consistency.
Vodka Vanilla Chai Tea, via My Life as a Mrs.
6 oz. strong Chai Tea (1 tea bag for 6 oz. water)
2 oz. vanilla vodka
¾ oz. amaretto liqueur
½ oz. simple sugar
½ oz. half n half
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and steep 4 tea bags for 2 to 4 minutes (following the tea directions on the box). Allow to cool and refrigerate until time of use (3 cups tea will yield 4 drinks).
In a cocktail shaker or tall glass, combine ingredients and shake or stir generously (shaking will froth up the half n half and help release the infused flavor in the spirits). Fill glass with ice and pour drink over ice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or two.
Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup, Slow Cooker style, via Today’s Mama
Serve alone or with grilled cheese sandwiches for a appetizing, comforting meal. Makes approx. 2 quarts (about 8 servings)
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed (or skim milk if you’re trying to cut some calories)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1. Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
3. About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper. Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don’t be afraid to always season to taste at the end).
4. Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.
Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes, via Lick the Bowl Good
Makes about 12 large pancakes
To make the pancakes combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a large bowl. In another bowl the buttermilk, eggs, butter, lemon zest and poppy seeds. Add the wet to the dry. Stir all the ingredients until they are just combined. Don’t worry if the batter is a bit lumpy, you don’t want to over mix.
Heat your skillet, pan, or griddle to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. Test for the right temperature. If a drop of water dropped onto the pan starts to dance, you are in the ballpark. Pour about 1/3 of a cup of batter into the skillet. Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve warm with macerated berries.
“On weekdays we are all about the quick and easy meals. Normally that entails the use of our grill. Simple and quick. Slices of zucchini and shrimp grilled to perfection with a mustard glaze was the preparation of choice this week.
Begin by heating the grill to medium heat and clean and de-vein one pound of fresh large gulf shrimp. After prepped, skewer shrimp for cooking. Very large shimp do not require skewering but smaller (Large) early season shrimp are easier to grill when skewered. Slice one large zucchini into 1” thick slices and cover them in olive oil, salt and pepper. Prepare glaze by combining 1/2 cup orange marmalade and 3 teaspoons grainy mustard. Place zucchini slices on the hot grill for 2-3 minutes (because veggies take longer to cook), then flip and add shrimp to the grill, cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Flip the shrimp and slather glaze over the shrimp and zucchini and a continue to grill for one minute to warm. Remove shrimp and zucchini from the grill and consume immediately. Tasty!”
Recipe: Grilled Chicken with Raspberry Herb Marinade
via Monica at theyummylife.com
This cake looks like it would require a decent amount of effort to make, but I bet it would be worth it a hundred times over in the end! :)
2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp red gel-paste food color
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp distilled white vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
With an electric mixer on med-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in food color and vanilla.
Reduce speed to low. add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisk well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam), add mixture to the batter and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.
Line two 9 inch spring form pans with parchment paper. Divide the batter equally between the two pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Allow to cool before removing the cake from the pan. Allow to cool completely before assembling with the cheesecake.
New York Cheesecake
I used the same recipe I used in my other cheesecakes, except I cut the recipe in half. So instead of 32 oz of cream cheese, I used 16 oz and so on for all the other ingredients. I did not have a graham cracker crust on the bottom, I instead lined it with a 9 in circular parchment paper. The recipe can be found HERE!
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz cream cheese (3 packages), at room temperature1 stick of butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups of powdered sugar, plus more to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electronic mixer until well combined. Add more powdered sugar to taste, if a more sweet frosting is preferred. Use immediately to frost the cake.
Prep Time: 12 hours
Ingredients: (makes 2 drinks)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon sugar
lemon slices for garnish
Directions: Put the fresh blueberries in the bottom of a mason jar.
Get some decent vodka. No Popov. (Sorry, Popov, my college days are long gone but you did serve me well and I’ll never forget you!)
Pour it over the berries, filling the mason jar.
Reminiscent of moonshine, no? No idea what I’m talking about? Course not…
Use a fork to mash up the berries in the bottom. Put on the lid and store in the fridge for at least 12 hours to allow the blueberries to infuse into the vodka.
The vodka will turn cloudy right away, and will become purplish the longer it infuses.
Once the 12 hours (or 24, or 36) are up, strain the vodka. Save those liquor-soaked berries for garnish! We don’t want perfectly good fruit going to waste.
In a small bowl, thaw out the frozen berries and mix with sugar. In a fresh mason jar (or serving glass of your choice), pour in the sugared berries (divided between two jars) and add a bunch of ice.
Pour in one part blueberry vodka and two parts lemonade. Give it a good stir. Add a few of the vodka-soaked blueberries and a slice of lemon for garnish.
The perfect Fall recipe!
Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate
(makes 4 servings)
3 cups whole milk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces white chocolate (roughly chopped)
1. Heat the milk, pumpkin puree, and spices in a sauce pan until it just starts to simmer and remove form heat.
2. Add the chocolate and stir until it has melted.
3. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon.
I found this recipe on One Charming Party; I can’t wait to make them this winter!