I have been awakened from my blogging hiatus by a brownie phenomenon. Recently we had food day at work and everyone showcased their best dishes. I of course took the easy way out and bought a vegetable tray, and was told in no uncertain terms that it was pretty lame of me to do so. The problem is nobody understands that I do so out of sheer modesty; I don’t like to outshine others and hurt anybody’s feelings.
On food days or whenever someone from the department gets sweets, I find myself having a lot of inner dialog .To eat or not to eat, to eat the main course or to head directly to the dessert corner, to hover near the snack table for mid-morning snack or save the appetite for lunch – such decisions torment me. Needless to say, I don’t get much work done on these particular days. I am a sucker for baked goodies and have to take extreme measures to watch my intake. I step away from my desk only for emergencies and then also take detour to avoid the treasure table. This time however, when I saw my friend parading with pan full fudgy, cakey brownies, I was enthralled. I was in love, and after one bite, I was a lifelong slave. I visited the dessert corner numerous times ignoring dirty looks and sidelong glances from my co-workers. I begged for the recipe, and was blown away by its simple ingredients and ease of preparation.
On the next free evening, I set about with the task. I skipped dinner or rather decided to go on a brownie diet. However, when the brownies were done, I was astonished with the yield. I knew I had to share them, so I took some to work, I kept a box in the fridge and ended up freezing the rest. This is a perfect recipe for a potluck dinner, or for a birthday party or for a post baseball or soccer game treat. I have to warn though; these melt in your brownies are not for a weak at heat; one look at the amount of butter used, and you would know what I mean. So share, share , share. Everyone will praise you, thank you and plead you for the recipe. The recipe is named as boiled brownies or boiling brownies by my friend’s kids.
2 Cup Flour
2 Cup Sugar
2 Stick Butter
1 Cup Water
5 Tbsp baking Cocoa – I used Hershey’s natural cocoa
½ Cup Milk – I used 1%
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla
In a saucepan boil butter, water, cocoa for 2 minutes.
Add milk, eggs, soda and vanilla. You do not have to wait for the mixture to cool down.
Add the sugar and flour. Use whisk to get the lumps out..
Pour into greased big jelly roll pan. I used half size sheet pan ( 18 ” X 13 “) lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
1 Stick Butter
6 Tbsp Milk
4 Tbsp Baking Cocoa
1 LB Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
In the same pan, put the butter, milk, cocoa.
Boil for 2 minutes.
Then add powdered sugar, vanilla, and nuts(optional).
This can be poured on cake brownies right out of the oven. Keep the pan open till brownies cool down and frosting sets.
If you are like me, after feasting on a plate of brownies, you would feel guilty the next day and would want to counterbalance by eating healthy. The following recipe is an ideal candidate for that purpose. It is my Indian version of cooked grains. I used Trader Joes Harvest Grains Blend which contains Israeli style couscous, orzo, baby garbznzo beans and red quinoa. You can use the ingredients as a guideline and tweak the recipe to suit your taste buds.
Half packet of Trader Joes Harvest Grains Blend about 1 ¼ cup
1 ½ cups chopped mixed peppers
1 small tomato chopped
Salt to taste
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
Quarter of a lemon
Cilantro to garnish
3 tbsp olive oil.
- Cook the grains. Cooking instructions on the packet state – bring 1 ¾ cups water or chicken broth to a boil . Add 1 tbsp butter and stir in 1 ¼ cup of blend. Brink back to boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes. I, however, had to increase the water to 2 ½ – 3 cups, so start with 1 ¼ cup and add more if needed. I also substituted olive oil for butter.
- Heat oil in a skillet.
- Sauté onions, peppers and tomatoes for couple of minutes on medium flame.
- Add cayenne pepper and salt. Cover briefly and cook till peppers are soft but not mushy.
- Add cooked grains, stir well.
- Squeeze lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.