The Best Brownies Ever?

IMG_2985 As you all know, I love chocolate and baked goods. And the combination of the two is my kryptonite, for I cannot resist a well-made brownie. IMG_2993 When I saw this recipe online I knew it was worth trying. I never underestimate the ease of making brownies from a box, but as far as brownies-from-scratch go this brownie recipe is stellar. Knock back some of the sugar in the recipe like I did and add some nuts for a serving of healthy fat, and you end up with a delicious, chewy brownie that satisfies your chocolate craving with minimal impact to your waistline!

The Best Brownies Ever (original recipe featured on Yahoo Shine; makes 16 brownies)

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, chilled
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnut pieces (I decided to leave them out this time, but the brownies taste great with them!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F and position your rack in bottom third of oven. Line an 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray.
  2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to blend. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition.
  5. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  6. Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (about 25 minutes). Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies. Store airtight at room temperature.

Nutritional Information (for those individuals who want to know. For those who would rather remainIMG_2992 ignorant and eat the whole pan of brownies, no need to read any further)

One brownie (1/16th of the recipe) contains: Calories (kcal) 199.7

%Calories from Fat 57.2

Fat (g) 12.7

Saturated Fat (g) 5.2

Perfectly Baked Chicken

New York City apartments are not conducive to broiling anything. Every time I go to bake steak or chicken in the oven I welcome the heavenly smell of cooking meat with the shrill ring of my smoke alarm. I guess smoke circulating in an apartment the size of a dorm room will lead to some issues. Creative as I tend to be, I devised a solution:

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Whoever said fans are only useful in the summertime?

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Anyways, this recipe may not prevent your smoke alarm from going off, but it is a surefire way to make some delicious baked chicken breast. It can easily be made in the time it takes to watch an episode of Modern Family, and lean protein is a great way to ensure you are consuming a healthy diet. Just match the chicken with your side dishes of choice, and viola! A perfect, well-balanced meal.

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Perfectly Baked Chicken Breast

Ingredients

  • Chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil (you’ll thank me for this later: easy clean up!)
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of chicken breasts.
  3. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and place them in your baking pan
  4. Bake in the oven at 350 F for 30-45 minutes. The chicken will be nice and golden when it is done, and if you are unsure just cut into one of the thicker chicken breasts to check for doneness.
  5. When cooked, remove the chicken breasts from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes before serving (this ensures the chicken absorbs all the juices, and cools down so it doesn’t burn your mouth).

This chicken is delicious and perfect as a dinner entreé, or as an addition to salads or sandwiches. It can be topped with a sauce or salsa, or chopped and put into a pasta dish. Quick, healthy, and versatile: perfect!

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Bread

I must say I am thrilled that Spring is finally in the air! Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day in the city, so beautiful I got to go on a long, refreshing fun outside! And I had this delicious strawberry chocolate chip bread to come home to.

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Seeing sunshine at 7am is a beautiful thing!

 

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The recipe I am about to share with you is deceiving: it is rich in strawberry and chocolate flavor but light in texture. So delicious, it tastes like chocolate-covered strawberries! I made 2 mini loaves. The first was devoured at work before noon, and the second was enjoyed by Nick and I over the weekend. This recipe is perfect for trying something unique and different with quick bread, and I definitely recommend it!

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Strawberry Chocolate Chip Bread (Makes 1 full-sized loaf)

Ingredients

  • 1-1 1/4 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

DirectionsIMG_2953

  1. Preheat oven to 400º. Spray loaf tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together butter, milk, vanilla, and eggs.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined (do not  over mix). Gently fold in berries and chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into the loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the loaf cool and set.
  6. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk!