Posted on

Double Fudge Brownies

Brownie recipes are much like chocolate chip cookie recipes, everyone seems to have their own favorite recipe and thinks theirs is the best. I get it. There are so many variations and are a standard dessert go-to for many. I personally like my brownies chewy and dense. (Oh, and super chocolaty *duh*) After doing some “brownie research” for this post,  I concocted a Brownie recipe that is chocolaty, chewy and even had a secret ingredient to elevate the chocolate flavor —INSTANT COFFEE! I made a batch of these brownies this weekend. My boys were licking their plates to get every last crumb and morsel. A true sign of a recipe gone right!

P.S. The coffee is totally optional, but must say it does give it a great boost!

Prep time: 15 mins   Cook time: 30-40 mins
Total time: 55 mins  Servings: 16 brownies

Ingredients

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp instant coffee diluted with 1 tsp of hot water (or 1 tsp of coffee extract)

3 eggs

1 yolk

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

IMG_0099.JPG

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 9 x 9 inch square pan. Set aside when done.

  2. Place the butter in a heat-proof bowl and microwave until butter is completely melted.

  3. Add the brown sugar, white sugar and salt while the butter is still warm. Mix to combine the butter and sugars together until you have a smooth consistancy.

  4. Add the vanilla, shot of  instant coffee (or coffee extract) , eggs and egg yolk to the butter and sugar mixture. Whisk in the eggs until they have been incorporated into the butter sugar mix. With a hand mixer, approx.  2 minutes until the mixture is well combined and is light in color.

  5. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder together.

  6. Add the dry mixture of flour and cocoa powder into the wet ingredients and mix it in until just combined. Add about ⅔ of the semi-sweet chocolate chips halfway through the mixing in of the flour. The goal is to make sure the batter is not over-mixed when the flour is being incorporated. Important: Do not over mix!

  7. Spoon the batter into the 9 x 9 pan. Spreading the batter evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the semi-sweet chocolate chips on top.

    IMG_0124

    IMG_0132.JPG

  8. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes. If you like your brownies fudge-like, stick closer to 30 minutes. If you like you brownies a little more well done, 40 minutes.

  9. Remove from the oven and let it cool down to room temperature. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. Brownies that are chilled are easier to cut.

  10. Cut the brownies into squares with warm knife and serve.

IMG_0177.JPG

IMG_0164.JPG

Fenway Serving Tip
: Drizzle with chocolate syrup, a dollop of whipped cream and lightly sprinkle with cocoa powered for an impressive presentation.

Advertisements
Posted on

Outdoor Summer Entertaining Basics

Long summer days and outdoor entertaining go hand-in-hand. After all, we might as well celebrate the extra hours of sunlight by kicking back with a few of our favorite people while enjoying a yummy cocktail and some delicious food.
I gathered a list of some of my favorite outdoor entertaining basics available this season. Take the stress out of planning your Summer soiree and keep these items on-hand for that impromptu backyard grill out or cocktail around the fire-pit.

91dMqEOdBTL._SL1500_.jpg

Gibson Studio 12 Piece Mauna Melamine Dinnerware, Golden Yellow – Amazon
Serve and entertain your family or guests with the Mauna 12 pc. Melamine dinnerware set. The break-resistant melamine is perfect for families with kids! The crackle finish gives you that designer look. – set contains four each of: 11″ dinner plate, 9″ dessert plate and 7.5″ bowl – dishwasher safe – yellow finish

62551_XXX_v3.jpg

Natural Macrame Table Runner – World Market
Intricately hand knotted by Indian artisans using 100% cotton, our exclusive natural macrame runner with long tassels adds bohemian flair to the table.

images.crateandbarrel-1.jpg

Pop Clear Acrylic Drink Glasses – Crate & Barrel
Cool and refreshing color serves up soda, juice, water and more in break-resistant acrylic drinkware that can be used indoors or out.

images.crateandbarrel.jpg

White Picnic Cooler – Crate & Barrel
Bring some nostalgic charm to outdoor concerts, firework displays or beach outings with our retro-styled white picnic cooler. Made of durable steel, the insulated cooler keeps drinks and snacks fresh and cool. Design even incorporates a bottle opener.

41QRqmoa2BL.jpg

Vermont Iron and Wood Tray – Amazon
Durable Round Tray. Decorative serving tray is made from a unique combination of 60% wrought iron and 40% Oak wood, ensuring longer life. 


images.crateandbarrel-2.jpg

Acrylic Drink Dispenser – Crate & Barrel
Large-capacity 3-gallon beverage dispenser pours on the fun at casual cocktail parties, family reunions and outdoor occasions. Clear acrylic container with Mason jar shape is topped with a cork lid and gets a lift from its metal and wood handle. Low-lying spout ensures easy and long-lasting pouring.

Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 7.41.34 AM.png

The Giant Wooden Yard Dice – Wayfair

Keep your guest entertained! These giant dices are perfect for players of all ages and dexterity and come in an easy carrying case so you can take them to any picnic, tailgate and backyard or pool activity. These wooden dices are hand-crafted out of soft pine wood, with the pips heat branded into the wood, so they will be marked for the life of the dice. The dices are hand-sanded with beveled edges so they are soft and easy to use without hard edges or splinters.

41qFEYtN9pL.jpg

Backyard Patio Globe Lights – Amazon
Add amazing ambience to your outdoor entertaining area. These backyard Patio Globe light are 25 feet long with 25 clear G40 Bulbs, end to end connectable.

91a8YNy1ItL._SL1500_.jpg

Triangle Sun Shade Sail – Amazon
Protect you and your guests from harmful UV sun rays with this inexpensive and stylish shade sail. Easy to install and available in 6 colors to easily match your outdoor décor.

Posted on

Vanilla 1/2 Pound Cake

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

There is nothing better than a “made-from-scratch” Sunday dessert. Pound cake is not only an easy recipe, but with slight ingredient varations, can be extremely versitle! Pound cake refers to how the cake was traditionally made. The recipe usually called for a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. Honestly, that’s a lot of cake —so I split the recipe in half. Here is my version on a vanilla 1/2 pound cake. Just as yummy on a much smaller scale. Enjoy!

IMG_9813.JPG

Ingredients

Baking Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined (do not overmix).

Bake about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  (tent loaf with aluminum foil if it’s browning too quickly). Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack, and turn upright to cool completely.

IMG_9829.JPG
Finished with freshly cut strawberries and a vanilla bean soy whipped topping.
Posted on

Yummy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s been a while since I’ve shared one of my favorite recipes. This banana cake with cream cheese frosting recipes is one of my all-time favorites, but I must warn you, it’s definitely not light on the calories! Although, when you are enjoying such a decadent dessert, do calories really count? 🙂 Enjoy!

IMG_9777-2

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium)

Frosting (see below)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

½ cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 ¾ cups powdered sugar (sift if desired)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 15-by-10-inch sheet pan/cake pan.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar, then add eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Hand stir in mashed bananas.

Spread into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool.

Prepare cream cheese frosting.

Spread on top of cake and store in refrigerator. Cake can be frozen.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in enough powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Posted on

Plant Lover Must-haves

To all the “Crazy Plant” people out there, this list is for you. I’ve been slowly turning my black-thumb into a green one and my obsession with plants is turning into just that — and obsession. So, I thought I’d share some of my favorite gardening and plant loving products I’ve found while converting myself into a “Crazy Plant Lady”.

 

916yxaIdBFL._SL1500_.jpg

Glass House Terrarium
A great container for succulents, air plants, orchids and ferns. These trendy little containers are compact and would fit perfect on a windowsill or end table.
Gift idea alert…these terrariums are easy to transport and would make a fantastic housewarming gift or birthday gift for a true green thumb!

51cJ8lNJDfL._SL1024_.jpg

Vintage Style European Floral Shears
Floral shears are great for deadheading, shaping, pruning and houseplant maintenance; This compact design allows you to easily use in dense foliage without damaging the plant. And could this vintage-inspired set be any cuter?

61FRNsBkufL._SL1000_.jpg

Glass Vintage-Inspired Plant Mister
Keep humidity-loving plants happy with a glass bottle plant mister. Delivering a light mist —it’s ideal for indoor plants, herb gardens, and terrariums. A chic upgrade to a drab plastic spray bottle.

 

A894B516-311E-4240-853B-CAEB7447AB04.png

Hoop Handle Mini Watering Can
Made by Terrain. This vintage-inspired galvanized metal watering can is the perfect petite size. Keep  inside to water houseplants or in your garden shed to water flower pots and hanging baskets.

 

61+S3nuZ2KL._SL1000_.jpg

Herb Garden Picks Plant Stake
Wooden herb garden pick signs with metal stakes featuring names of 6 popular herb spices. Designed and sold by Primitives by Kathy.

9344D9B4-44D8-4E88-A30E-320D1B30A57C

Heirloom Quality Garden Hod
Made by Gardener’s Supply Company. Originally used by Maine clam diggers to hold and rinse their catch, these hods are perfect for harvesting and rinsing off vegetables and gathering flowers, too.

Floral Gardening Knee Pad and Floral Gardening Gloves
Protect yourself in style while gardening with these adorable floral garden accessories from Anthropologie. Made of durable cotton fabric protect your knees and hands while gardening.

Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 10.20.24 AM.png

Cotton Crusher Hat

Made by Terrain. Handmade from lightweight and breathable cotton, this colorful crusher hat is perfect for a day at the beach or in the garden. Packable construction pairs with UPF 50 sun protection and an inner drawstring to assure a comfortable fit.

716Tuvj5acL._SL1500_.jpg

Macrame Plant Hanger
Mini hammock knot macrame made of cotton rope is the perfect BOHO accent to hang succulents, ivy and other small houseplants. 

#1Plant

Crazy Plant Lady 8″x10″ Print
Celebrate your inner “Crazy Plant Lady”! Fun and whimsical artwork to go along with your ever growing plant collection. This print illustration measures 8″x10″, printed on a thick, high-quality matte stock, and includes a heavy-gauge backer board, ready to frame. 

plantgoals

I Have Major Plant Goals 8″x10″ Print
Life is full of goals and having a strong plant game should be one of them!  A fun and whimsical piece of artwork to go along with your ever growing plant collection.