These are Dorie Greenspan’s Tribute to Katherine Hepburn brownies. They are the best brownies ever. They are everything I think a brownie should be - rich and chocolaty, moist, fudgy, and just a bit ooey gooey. They are almost flourless and have no rising agent, so they are thin and dense. They are worth the calories and fat. :yes:

This Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Lisa of Surviving Oz. You can find the recipe on her site or on page 96-97 of Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

I used pecans in my brownies, and surprisingly I really loved them. I am generally not a nut in my brownie kind of gal, but they worked really well here. They gave a bit of crunch in the midst of the soft moist chocolate. I also enjoyed both the coffee (I used instant espresso granules) and the cinnamon flavors that Dorie included. I don’t think that either were over powering, but both were pleasantly noticeable.

I baked these in a glass pyrex square pan at 325F for about 31 minutes, and luckily I had no doneness issues. I know some bakers decrease the oven temperature by 25 degrees when using glass pans. I suspect that because I had a pizza stone in the oven while I was baking these, they cooked quicker throughout and therefore did not plague me with overcooked edges and a raw center.

I let these guys cool for about an hour before I de-paned them and began cutting, but they were still too soft to cut. How delicous does that melty chocolate look:

I put them in the fridge overnight so I wouldn’t destroy them in the cutting process. The next morning I cut them while they were cold and then let them sit at room temperature for the whole day before trying one after dinner. I agree with Dorie that these are best served at room temperature.

These were so good. When things are so good, I tend to laugh in joy and giddiness while eating. I was definitely giggling while eating my brownie. They are too good to stay in the house, they will be removed from the premises tomorrow. Better to fatten up our co-workers than us.

The bottom line is if you love brownies and/or are looking for a knock out chocolate brownie recipe, you should make these immediately. I think they will replace my current go-to triple chocolate brownie recipe.

I am sure my fellow TWD bakers made some great additions and accompaniments to these brownies, so check out the blogroll to see for yourself.

This weeks Craving Ellie in My Belly was chosen by Natalie of What’s for Supper? She chose Breakfast Cookies. Any recipe that wants me to eat a cookie for breakfast is worth a try in my book.

These are basically a healthy cookie muffin cross breed. They are soft and cakey cookies made with whole wheat pastry flour, rolled oats, bran cereal, canola oil, pureed carrot baby food, sugar, and a small bit of butter. Sound appealing yet? How about if we flavor them with a generous amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla and add some walnuts and raisins? (Don’t skimp on flavorings, they are very necessary.)

Truth be told, I was actually intrigued by this recipe and excited to try it. Since I am not an early riser (at all) we don’t do hot or prepared breakfasts during the week. However, I do always have some kind of muffin in the freezer that we can take out in the morning and eat. So I was pleased to see this picked by Natalie so I could try a breakfast alternative.

I did make some substitutions/changes:
1. I did not use the bran cereal flakes, instead I used an equal amount of oats
2. Instead of pureed carrot baby food I used some applesauce.
3. I used dried cherries instead of raisins. I am currently slightly obsessed with dried tart cherries.

Overall, these were not bad. As I already alluded, I felt that the cinnamon and nutmeg really carried these things flavor wise. I have only eaten one so far, the rest are in the freezer for quick breakfasts. I think I may try heating one up in the microwave for like 30 seconds and spreading some jam or peanut butter on it. Or maybe I’ll go crazy and do jam AND peanut butter.

I am not sure if I would make these again. Since Nick really can’t eat whole wheat, that means that I would have to make these for myself and something else for him. In addition, I think I still prefer a muffin over these cookies.

I do think that these cookies have some potential for playing around and adjusting to personal preference. So I would encourage you to read the recipe and think about how you could make it to suit you. You could also read the Food Network reviews for this recipe for some ideas. I also think that there is additional room to make these cookies even healthier by changing out the sugars for agave nectar, maybe adding some flax seed. I am really interested to see what my other Craving Ellie ladies did with their cookies. Perhaps I will be inspired by them to make another batch.

You can find the full recipe for these cookies here.

I have a problem and that is that I really like to bake, and cook. So much so that I actually resent going to work because I feel like it is sucking up precious time that I would rather spend baking and blogging.

The main problem though, with this hobby of mine, is that baked goods usually equal large amounts of fat and calories. While I like the way large amounts of fat and calories taste, I dislike the way large amounts of fat and calories look in my unforgiving Summer wardrobe.

So, when I saw that Teanna over at Spork or Foon? made these so called healthy brownies a few weeks ago, I was excited. I am always looking for tasty sweet treats that aren’t the equivalent of an atomic bomb for your waistline. I have a vicious sweet tooth and I often do the most damage after dinner. I almost always crave something sweet at night, so having these around really helped satisfy my craving without obliterating whatever calorie deficit I achieved by eating well or going to the gym.

You can find the recipe here, which has 151 calories and .9 grams of fat per generous serving. They are made low fat by using egg whites, applesauce, and cocoa powder instead of whole eggs, butter/oil and chocolate.

The verdict on these: They were super easy and quick to make. They were also surprisingly moist and had a nice texture for a low fat brownie. I added some pecans on the top which gave the brownies a nice crunch. These are definitely a keeper. Though, if you decide to make them, please don’t expect a super chocolaty rich brownie. You will be disappointed. However, I think that these could stand to have a small addition of some dark chocolate to pump up the richness factor just a bit while still being bikini friendly.

As you know if you read this blog even just sporadically, I do a lot of baking, but most of it I have to give away. A serving of your average Dorie Greenspan recipe has anywhere from 10-30 grams of fat! That is just crazy. However, these have less than a gram of fat per serving, so these suckers were not going anywhere. I decided to wrap them up and throw them in the freezer so they would stay longer. I took one out a few days after baking them and was surprised to see that they were not frozen solid. They were ice cold yet soft and fudgy. A frozen brownie treat! I liked them even better chilled like this. I am not sure if it was just the time or the time spent in the freezer, but the chocolate and the coffee flavors were more pronounced the longer they sat. Though I am not quite sure why they stay soft in the freezer.

If you make these, I highly suggest freezing a few to snack on later. What a great Summer treat. A bunch of fresh fruit and a frozen brownie, maybe a small dollop of whipped cream. How good does that sound?

Well, I just didn’t have a layer cake in me this weekend, and I especially could not reach deep enough to make a buttercream with 3 sticks of butter. Softening an entire pound of butter for cake and frosting is hard to swallow when you have no real occasion for it.

I did consider just making a smaller version of the cake, but my parents came to visit this weekend and we were out and about walking around DC, shopping, and eating. So it was easier and less time consuming to whip up a batch of cupcakes when I had some down time. Besides, I did my fair share of pigging out on delicious food and dessert this weekend, I certainly did not need a cake at home on top of all that.

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The tree of perfection is a thorny bitch to climb. However, when one does, through perseverance and sheer will reach the zenith - the view is breathtaking. I am of the belief that it is possible for an apt home cook to replicate or better *MOST* of the very best dishes they eat out. I have had my share of success. A perfectly grilled ribeye, Danish from scratch,, homemade pasta, &c. The glaring shortcoming of my abilities thus far: a) vexation at being completely incapable of scoring a baguette properly and b) pizza that rides a wide modulation between “OK” and “good,” never reaching “WOW!” or much less so even “great"… that is until now. I have attempted this project buttressed with a more than basic understanding of baking and the guidance of several notable sources:

Image from Amazon
The Inn at Little Washington Cookbook: A Consuming Passion by Patrick O’Connell

Image from Amazon
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart

and My food blogging idol and friend Joe

to NO AVAIL. Well imafoodblog.com readers, I have FOUND THE HOLY GRAIL OF PIZZA, and YOU can make it at home.

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So I was in the mood for a milkshake. I ended up making a smoothie instead (on Nick’s suggestion). The smoothie was delicious, but I still want that milkshake.

Perhaps that is what I will do with some of the leftover Apricot Honey Ice Cream.

However, this smoothie did hit the spot while we were waiting for the Vegetable Cheese Strata to bake on Sunday morning.

It was refreshingly cold and fruity, and I felt good about drinking it. I like food that makes me feel good after eating it.

Raspberry Smoothie
by Nick & Sara at imafoodblog.com
makes 2 cups (16 ounces)

  • 1 6 oz container raspberries
  • 1/2 cup non fat milk
  • 1 6 oz container non fat Greek yogurt or plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey
  • 2 cups ice
  1. Combine all ingredients in the blender and process until smooth

Of course, you could make this with any fruit you wanted, frozen or fresh.

I also made a smoothie a few days later that was similar to this with a frozen banana and some PB. Yum!

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