Category Archives: Recipes

Homemade Fudge Brownies (the Best)

best homemade fudge brownie recipe

I have always been a chewy brownie type of a girl. Cake-like brownies are simply okay. In other words, if you offered me a cake brownie, I would eat one.  I mean, I would never turn down chocolate. (Who really would?!) Fudge brownies have my heart though.

Or should I say, my tummy. And my hips.

*sigh*

best homemade fudge brownies

For years now, Hubs and I have been making baby steps, and some larger strides, in our healthy living journey. We have switched to a good deal of organic foods (not all), non-toxic health and beauty items and either homemade or all natural homecare items.

It has been quite the journey. We have learned many things along the way.

best homemade brownies

One of my favorite and most fulfilling moments has been when I rediscover the joy of homemade. Miss Crocker simply can’t compete with the delectable treats that we can whip together in our own kitchen. (Sorry, Betty.)

This brownie recipe was immediately deemed the best ever.

I know, I know. You’re shaking your head about now and thinking, Yeah, right. Everyone thinks that their recipe is the “best” ever. And that’s fine. I understand your scepticism. To be honest, I’ve had those same thoughts myself about various things….until I had these brownies.

best fudge brownies

So good. In fact, good doesn’t even begin to describe them.

I found the original recipe here. Can you guess what it was called? I bet that you’ll never guess. Never in a million years.

Ok, go ahead and try.

Give up?

Best Brownies.

Just like that….”Best Brownies”.

Did you think of that title? Fitting, huh? You want to know what’s unbelievable about them?

best brownies recipe

They truly live up to their name. Seriously. I am not kidding, and trust me, I know chocolate. So do a TON of people. The ratings for this recipe are through the roof. It has been approved by hundreds of thousands of people. You can’t argue with those numbers, right?!

Sometime people shy away from homemade, they feel that making things from scratch is more time-consuming and difficult. Perhaps this is true in some instances, but not with these brownies. My ten year old daughter whipped three pans of these out in just a matter of minutes. They have become her specialty—she is now the brownie queen.

homemade fudge brownies

This easy recipe will make the contents of the red box seem so bland. You really have to try these and I promise, you’ll be hooked on them like we are.

I guess that this can kind of be a bad thing. Well, here’s my disclaimer for these brownies and any future pounds that may result. Always bake with a crowd nearby and never, never leave yourself alone with them.

Bad things can happen…like one less pan for the Christmas social.

*sigh*

Perhaps 2015 should be the year that I give up chocolate.

Did you hear that? That was the sound of me snorting here at the absurd thought of my giving up on this sweet indulgence. I should wash my mouth out with soap for such a riduculous utterance. I could never turn my back on a childhood friend. At least not completely.

homemade brownie recipe

Chocolate and I go way back.

Enjoy.

Homemade Fudge Brownies (the Best)
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
This chewy, fudge brownie will become the family favorite and your friends will be knocking down your door for its recipe. You simply can't beat the BEST!
Ingredients
  • ½ c. butter
  • 1 c. white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ⅓ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ c. flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt ½ cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in ⅓ cup cocoa, ½ cup flour, slat and baking powder. Spread into pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

 

Ever make homemade brownies? Do you love chocolate too?  Who else needs to join me in a lifestyle eating change soon? I need support here.

Meanwhile nibble on these.

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Butter Biscuits

These have become our favorite biscuit recipe. And just so you know, they don’t really have an exorbitant amount of butter. I just like to call them that.

butter biscuits

 

I like butter.

Rabbit trail on butter: We currently buy ours from Costco. It’s their organic two lb. pack for just under $8.00. This is the cheapest that I have been able to find. Other than butter, we use coconut oil and organic olive oil for all of our baking oil needs. (We actually use coconut oil for a multitude of uses in our home, but that’s a story for another day.)

This recipe makes 16-20 biscuits which is good for any size family because they are delicious frozen. However, unlike the original recipe, I no longer freeze them before fully baking them. I tried to do so on several occasions. I really did. The biscuits that I baked right away would be fluffy and delicious, and the unbaked frozen biscuits would be just as delicious once baked but flat.

I’m not sure what I was doing wrong. So for now, baking them first works for me. I just grab  however many biscuits we need from the freezer bag and reheat/brown in the oven.

You can brush them with a little melted butter again first. Of course.

honey butter biscuitLather with your favorite addiction.  Today it was honey.

jelly butter biscuit

And jelly. Ok, you caught me. I had two.

Yum.

On the fence? Try them and see.

Butter Biscuits
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 - 20
 
The best biscuits that you ever put in your mouth. I think that it's the dousing of butter applied twice during the baking process. Yes, it's definitely the butter. Enjoy,
Ingredients
  • 4 cups of unbleached flour
  • 2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup cold butter, cut up into small pieces
  • 1 ( 16 oz) container or 2 cups of sour cream (I used an organic brand from Trader Joes)
  • 3-5 tsp water, if needed
  • 4 Tbsp. melted butter (needed for the baking process)
Instructions
  1. Add all of the dry ingredients and combine well.
  2. Cut in butter with the dry ingredients to small, pea-sized pieces. This may take a few minutes...kids are very helpful at this point. ;)
  3. Add the sour cream and mix until a soft dough is formed. If mixture is too dry, you can add some teaspoons of water. (Add only one teaspoon at a time as needed.)
  4. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface.
  5. Roll out dough to 1 inch thickness or your desired thickness. Use a cutter or even a drinking glass to cut out biscuits.
  6. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and brush tops with melted butter. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15-17 minutes or until the tops are a nice golden brown. Brush biscuits with melted butter again halfway through the baking process. Makes 16- 20 biscuits.
  7. Freeze some or all biscuits for a busy morning. To thaw, simply reheat in oven. You can even brush them with a tad more butter. Yeah. ;)

Butter makes it better. Believe me.

What do you eat on your biscuits? Have you ever tried freezing them before baking? Butter is awesome, right?

Have a great one.

 

A Decent Sort of Fellow

I’ve told you before that I absolutely love potatoes and so does my man.

That makes us a good match, right? Fellow starch fans.

Russet potatoes are my absolute favorite, but I don’t mind the others. Truly I don’t. Gold, red, and white are really just as delicious.

Yes, the early 1870s was a good time in American history. Not only was the devastating Civil War over, but the russet potato was developed in Massachusetts. It would become the leading potato crop for the United States, P.E.I. and New Brunswick, Canada. It would also be a tremendous economical discovery for both countries.

I, for one, am thankful for its discovery. =)

baked potato soup

A couple weeks ago, I was given several enormous baked potatoes that were left over from our ladies Bible study. This was under the assumption that I had a good use for three and a half leftover potatoes. Did I ever! I had tried the most delicious recipe a few weeks before that required baked potatoes. Possessing those foil clad delicacies made my heart extremely happy. I may have gone humming and skipping out the door.

Upon arriving home, I made the mistake of telling Hubs that I had them and nearly lost one to his potato loving appetite. Shameful, I know. I withheld food, potatoes no less, from a hungry man. I am despicable.

He forgave me a few days later.

I made a huge pot of this wonderful, starchy goodness: Baked Potato Soup.

baked potato soup

Perhaps you’ve already made this recipe, or one similar, before, but I had not.

I was in love.

It was creamy, bursting with flavor, and deliciously filling.

I found the original recipe here.

30 Minute Baked Potato Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Creamy and hearty baked potato soup flavored with green onions, sharp cheese, bacon and sour cream. Perfect way to use up those leftover potatoes.
Ingredients
  • 12 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ⅔ cup butter
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 cups milk
  • 4 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed (I've made it both ways with and without the peel)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1¼ cups shredded cheese (I used sharp)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet until browned. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
  2. While bacon is browning, melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in cubed potatoes and green onions. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Add bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Stir constantly until the cheese melts.

I love being able to take leftovers and create an entirely new, delicious meal. Using leftover baked potatoes is not only extremely frugal but also makes prep time a snap.

The green onions make the dish, in my opinion. However, I love onions in most dishes. They bring just the right amount of flavor without overpowering the potato. Perfection at its finest.

baked potato soup

The crumbled bacon made Fuzz satisfied. The girl loves meat. If you are serving a hot breakfast, she’ll request and happily devour bacon, ham, and sausage. She’s been known to snitch the last piece of venison steak as well. A more carnivorous child you have never met.

baked potato soup

The bacon, cheese, green onions, and sour cream do truly make the dish taste like a baked potato. A liquid baked potato on a spoon. Mmmm.

Yes, one bite and all was forgiven.

baked potato soup

 

My friend, Winnie, pretty much pegged my husband with this quote:

“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

 

And that, my friends, is my hubs.

Anyone else LOVE potatoes? Have you been eating soup like it’s going out of style? What do you cook for comfort? Or for peace offerings? Share and make my day. I love to hear from you. If you’d like a simple potato soup recipe, try this one.

Thanks for reading.

Raspberry Orange Smoothies in the Dark

I am a disgraceful blogger.

raspberry orange smoothie

I let you down Monday and last Friday with my acronym series. I truly am sorry. My husband and I are transitioning into some new roles with his job {our church} and I am still sorting through my responsibilities in all of it. I’m trying to find the proper balance and schedule, so bear with me.

We are incredibly busy, but very happy and blessed. And that’s a good feeling, right?

______________________________

Anyway, last Thursday, Hubs and I had our 3T Evening {Time Together Thursday}. We had it all planned out and put the kids in bed early. The agenda for the evening was exercise and homemade smoothies. I had found a really delicious recipe that I wanted to try out. Just between you and me, I really just wanted to play with another new toy that I’d received for Christmas: my Ninja pulse blender.

The evening was totally about the smoothies and not the exercising. =)

I innocently suggested to my husband that he take the first round of exercising on our Xbox. I thought that I would make the smoothies while he began a grueling workout and then I would exercise. I was being kind. Others first was drilled into me as a kid.

He was huffing and puffing. The YourShape can be fierce. If you even try to step away, the machine will ask you where you are going. The Xbox lady is relentless, I tell you.

raspberry orange smoothie

While he was sweating and groaning, I was mixing up the best. smoothies. ever. How could anything that is this easy taste so delicious? I found the original recipe here and tweaked it just a bit.

Raspberry Orange Smoothies
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Enjoy the tart of raspberries with the tang of orange in a delicious blend of fruity goodness in your cup.
Ingredients
  • ¾ c. orange juice
  • 1 c. frozen raspberries
  • ¼ c. yogurt
  • 1 banana (can be frozen)
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Measure all of the ingredients and place in blender. Mix until smooth. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

 

I was just finishing the smoothies when the power went out. Complete and utter darkness. Hubs quickly grabbed a big ol’ flashlight and went around lighting candles throughout the house. He gave me one in the kitchen so I could serve up our icy, fruity goodness into glasses.. The electricity going out could not have been timed better- in more ways than one.

raspberry orange smoothie

After giving little LED tea lights to our girls- who were freaking out over the absence of their nightlight, we settled down with our cold treats.

Scrumptious. Truly it was.

It was like sipping raspberry sherbet through a straw.  Mmmmm-mmmm.

*sigh* I think that it was my favorite 3T time thus far. No lights, no TV, no internet, no computer work, nothing. Just listening to the voice of your sweetie intermingled with the occasional sounds of slurping. Smoothies in the dark = relaxing evening.

raspberry orange smoothie

Perhaps it also had something to do with the fact that I never took my turn dueling with the vicious Xbox lady. I typically have evil thoughts of the woman as she’s pushing my body through necessary pain and contortions. The fact that it’s really just a voice on a machine never fully registers during my workout. At that point, reality slips away and she’s merely a relentless lady who is oblivious to my current affliction.  Sadly, no pain, no gain is not always a happy, motivating thought as I’m in physical agony and short of breath.

raspberry orange smoothie

 

Not so on Thursday.

My mind {and body} were at peace. I totally enjoyed sipping my frozen treat in the flickering candlelight, chatting with Hubs. Whose idea was it to exercise anyways?

Oh yeah. That would be me, I guess.

Sitting in the dark, however, made you focus more on the pure deliciousness of the blend of the smoothie in your hand. It was tart,tangy, and sweetness all wrapped up in one frosty glass. I added 3-4 Tbsp of sugar to cancel out some of the tartness of the orange and raspberry to make my sweet tooth happy. For me, it created the perfect balance for the smoothie. You may just enjoy it with the fruit, OJ and yogurt. Natural goodness, so to speak. All in all, it was a wonderful evening together.

raspberry orange smootheie

Hmmmm…I wonder if Hubs ever realized that I never had my turn sweating through YourShape.

Shhhhh. Don’t tell him, ok? Remember, I just shared this awesome recipe with you in exchange for your silence.

Enjoy. =)

So what have you been up to over the past few days? Make a commitment to exercise this year? Are you keeping up with it? Ever have a power outage work in your favor? Or we could forget about the necessary evil {a.k.a. exercising} and just talk smoothies. What fruity concoctions do you blend together? Share. I’d love to hear.