Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Fudge Glaze for Brownies

This is also posted at the end of my original brownie recipe but here it is again to make it a little easier to find :) I realized I promised to include it with the amaretto brownies recipe and then never did! oops...

Enough to coat 1 9-inch pan of brownies (I usually make a little less and just "drizzle" it over the bars before cutting them).

1 oz. unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate
3 tbsp. butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract (for the amaretto brownies use almond extract instead!)
1-3 tbsp. warm milk

1. Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan. Blend in sugar and vanilla with a wire whisk. Add enough milk to make a smooth, spreadable glaze.

2. Spread or drizzle over cool brownies.

This would probably be good drizzled over cupcakes or fruit (wonder what it's like on ice cream?!)

Amaretto Brownies, Take II (Fudge)

Those amaretto brownies I made last week were really good but I do really prefer fudge brownies to the more cake-like ones :) So, I have decided to give them another shot! I was actually going to make them tonight but discovered I had frozen my leftover almond paste so those will have to wait! I'm just going to do some kind of combination of my regular brownie recipe and the amaretto brownie recipe and see what I come up with. I hope they turn out OK! I'll come back tomorrow after I make them and let you know how they turn out/post the recipe if they are actually blog-worthy! And if not, then I still have the good cake amaretto brownies :)

Update (Wednesday): They worked!! Woohoo!! :) T
hese are so good, even better than the cake ones which is what I hoped/suspected.
Here is the recipe I used/created for the fudge amaretto brownies:

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, cut up
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup almond paste
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tbsp. amaretto
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. aluminium-free baking powder

2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square pan.

2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, chocolate, and almond paste over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

3. Blend in sugar, vanilla, and amaretto. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in salt, baking powder, and flour.

4. Bake 20-25 minutes until the brownies are set in
the center (test with a toothpick). Be sure not to overbake them. Allow the brownies to cool and cut into squares. If desired, you can spread or drizzle the cooled brownies with the fudge glaze.

Enjoy! I bet these would be really good with a cup of coffee that has some amaretto stirred into it!

Mexican Rice

Told you my menu for this week would change :) We ended up having "taco night" tonight instead of burgers or whatever it was supposed to be! So... I decided to make this yummy Mexican rice I found in Amber's blog a while back (I think she found it on AllRecipes.com). Here's my slightly (hardly at all!) modified version - very yummy!

Serves 2

1 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 cup onion, chopped finely
1/4 cup tomato sauce (I usually just make my own - mix 1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste with 2 tbsp. water)
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth (obviously will only be vegetarian if you use the veggie broth!)
1/4 cup fresh salsa (ie: not the kind that you find on a shelf in a glass jar.. ick!) Pico de gallo would also work well

1. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the rice. Cook the rice, stirring constantly until it becomes puffy and golden. Sprinkle with salt and cumin.

2. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook until tender. Stir in tomato sauce and broth; bring to a boil. Stir in the salsa and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed.

Great as a side dish for tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, etc.

Monday, August 6, 2007

I finally tried....

...a bloody Mary! Guess I can cross that off my list of things to do before I'm 30! lol, don't worry, that was not on the list! I actually don't have a list and since I'm turning 30 at the end of September I really don't see any point in worrying about that :)

So, finally tried one. I never thought I'd like it. I love tomatoes but have just never had anything tomato juice-y (like V-8 or whatever)... we were out to breakfast on Sunday at a place on the pier in Santa Barbara (oops, forgot the name of the restaurant) and the people I was with ordered the bloody Mary's. I almost did it but chickened out and got a mimosa instead :) Well, they looked so good so I had to have a sip. Dang! Think my brunch mimosas have been replaced! lol
So spicy - it was great! And the huge shrimp hanging on the glass looked really yummy, too! lol...
Next time we're up there (um, next August), I'm definitely going to have to remember to order one of those! Yum yum...