Double Chocolate Brownies

Where has June gone? I cannot believe this is the last weekend of June and summer is here! Lucky for me this month has been filled with a lot of yummy food. Today I will share with you a simple and easy to make brownie recipe that I put to the test earlier this month and it was a great hit with a large group.

You see, summer not only means warm weather, pool parties and barbecue’s, but it also means I get to volunteer in an interesting way! Last summer I found a local organization that enables people to volunteer as part of their culinary team. Tuesday through Saturday individuals have the opportunity to cook meals for staff and volunteers of the organization. Because I work full-time Monday thru Friday, the only day I am able to volunteer is on Saturday’s. The Saturday shift is only available from late Spring to late Summer. Anyway, a few weeks ago I volunteered as the kitchen support person, I’ll call it a “Sous Chef”. The lead aka “Executive Chef” made a baked pasta dish and salad, I was instructed to make dessert – can I call myself a “Pastry Chef” too?

In the past I have made cookies or baked a cake, this time I wanted to try something different so I ended up making brownies from scratch! For some reason baking brownies from scratch made me nervous. I do not know why. Unfortunately, I so used to making brownies from a box that the rations of cocoa powder and chocolate really made scared me.

Well, to my surprise it was super easy to make these brownies from scratch, yay for that! On this day we cooked lunch for 10 people so the pressure was on. When in doubt I refer my trusted friend, Pinterest! I found a simple recipe that I modified a bit to suit our needs, I doubled the recipe (most of the ingredients).

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of softened (unsalted) butter (two sticks)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth, then add the softened butter (make sure it is not hot. Cool it down).
  3. Then add the cocoa powder, flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Combine well.
  4. When all ingredients are mixed well then fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Next, pour the mixture onto the baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Once they’re done place the brownies on a cooling rack.
  7. After they cool down cut them into small pieces and serve.

Brownies from scratch 02

To my relief, the group LOVED them and many had a second serving. If you make this recipe, please let me know how they turned out. As always, warm brownies go well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream – FYI.

Thank you so much for visiting C to C,

CAT

Strawberry Compote Sauce 07

I have a super yummy and easy recipe to share with you. You only need six (possibly five) ingredients, so it’s simple too.

The strawberries in my refridgerator were reaching their final days so they needed to be used. Plus, I had recently picked raspberries and those needing to be eaten. I decided to mix the two and make a compote or sauce to top my breakfast pancakes.

Strawberry Compote Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs. Strawberries (sliced or cubed)
  • 1 cup of raspberries
  • 1 lemon (zest and juiced)
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water

Strawberry Compote Sauce 02

How to make the compote | sauce:

1. In a small pot over medium heat combine water, sugar and corn starch – mix until dissolved, then add the lemon zest and juice. Stir for a few minutes until you see a slight boil.

2. Add the berries and continue to stir until all ingredients come to a boil.

3. Turn the head down to low and stir. Let the berries cook for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Allow the sauce to cool for a few minutes before serving.

 

The sauce | compote can be served with pancakes, waffles, French toast, ice cream or anything your little heart desires.

Enjoy!

Strawberry Compote Sauce 03

Juice04B

What are some of your favorite summer fruits? Mine are watermelon and cucumbers. I thought I’d combine them to make a delicious refreshing juice. Then, I thought to add a little mint and parsley for an added hint of “je ne sais quoi.”

The ingredients are:

Juice01

Lemon, cucumber, watermelon, parsley and mint.

Then I juiced them together.

Juice02

  • Watermelon is full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits, here’s why you should eat watermelon.
  • Cucumbers are good because they provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits, here are sixteen reason why you should eat more.
  • Lemon’s are known for their antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting power – reasons to consume more lemons.
  • Parsley has anti-inflammatory properties and helps keep your immune system strong, here are ten reason why you should consume more of this leafy green.
  • Mint promotes digestion, soothes your tummy, and helps lose weight – here are a few more reason why you should eat more mint.

Let me if you make this yummy refreshing juice.

Juice04

Enjoy!

 

Roasted Tomato Salsa A

Hello! I am back after a month long hiatus, miss me? Don’t answer that!

Well, happy Cinco de Mayo weekend! Drinking a Corona and eating some nachos? Well, you know what goes well with that Corona, or Margarita, chips and salsa!

I love salsa (food not the dance) which is why I am sharing this super easy recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 – Tomatoes
  • 1/4 – Onion
  • 3 –  Serrano (or Jalapeno) peppers
  • 1 – Garlic clove
  • Cilantro (to taste)
  • 1/2 a Lemon (juiced)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

How to:

To roast the veggies I used a cast iron skillet, no need for oil or butter, just plain veggies on a hot surface. Place the veggies on the skillet (you can also use a grill or an oven), turn them every so often so that each side has a little char. Tomatoes took the longest about 20 minutes or so.

Roasted Tomato Salsa 01

 

Remove veggies from the skillet after they are well roasted and let them rest for a few minutes. Once all the veggies are roasted and have great coloring (which will give flavor to the salsa), let them rest for at least 5 minutes.

Next, using your blender or food processor “shop” the onion, garlic and peppers. Once those are nice and chunky remove them and place them in a glass container. Next, do the same for the tomatoes, one by one, be sure not to over “shop” them. You do not want to end up with a tomato puree – make sure your salsa a little chunky. Once that’s done, mix them with the onion, garlic, and peppers and mix well.

Next, finely shop the cilantro and add it to the salsa. Then add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Voila, you now have Roasted Tomato Salsa!

Roasted Tomato Salsa03

Simple! Serve this delicious salsa at your Cinco de Mayo festivities and you’ll be the talk of the party.

Enjoy,

CAT

 

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

 

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

 

I love Pinterest! I pin recipes, home décor ideas, inspiration quotes, workouts, healthy goodies, and DIY’s. My favorite boards is  “Lovely DIY’s,” which provides endless inspirations for arts and crafts projects.

I’D like to share a few projects that I’ve been day dreaming about:

Upcycle Wine Bottles: Twine or colored yarn is a simple solution to covering up old wine bottles without much effort. For this project, all you’ll need is the yarn of your choice and a strong adhesive like fabric or craft glue. - See more .

Wine-Bottle-Crafts-for-DIY-Decor-Wine-Bottle-Vases-LOVE-620x348

Starbust Mirror:  Starburst mirrors are so chic in metallics and I’m really loving gold accents lately. I wanted to create something for our bedroom that replaced an old art piece that wasn’t really working and that also added more light to a dark corner in that space.  See more.

Stardust mirror

DIY Headboard: Super cute and chic! See more.

IMG_6906

Don’t these Lovely DIY’s look fun? I think so.

What are some your favorite Pinterest boards, let me know. To view my DIY’s board, click here.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

c to c friendspirations:

Great reminder to take little adventures…

Originally posted on The Hashtag Generation:

Happy Monday! Don’t forget to take a little adventure this week. :)

View original

BasilChicken08

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”  
―     Julia Child

Well, Julia sums it up!

Last week I had one of those “what-the-hell” kind of moments. I didn’t know what to make for dinner and all I had was four chicken breast. I wanted something with basil, so instead of making a pesto marinade and slandering on the chicken – I stuffed it!

The filling included ingredients I had in my refrigerator needing to be used such as cooked quinoa.

Ingredients for filling:

  • Basil (1 cup)
  • Spinach (1 cup)
  • Quinoa (1/2 cup)
  • Jalapeno pepper jack cheese (1/2 cup)
  • Green onions (1)
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

Finely slice the basil, spinach and green onions. Then mince the garlic and shred the cheese. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

BasilChicken01

To prepare the chicken for stuffing make a slit on the thicker side of the breast creating a pocket. Next, open the pocket and stuff with the filling mixture. Stuff each breast and lay on a cookie rack lined with parchment paper. Once all the breast are stuffed, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.

BasilChicken02

Once all your chicken breasts are stuffed, wrap the poultry with the parchment paper to create a large air-tight packet.

BasilChicken04

Cook for 35 to 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

BasilChicken03

The packet will “steam cook” the chicken which will produce juicy and tender breast. It’s tough to burn food when cooked this way. I am a big fan of this method.

Serve the breast with a side salad or veggies.

BasilChicken06

This “what-the-hell” recipe turned out to be super delicious! I just had to share it with you.

Hope you’ll enjoy it too.

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