Green Beans and Brownie Sundaes

We typically spend one Sunday each month in fasting and prayer accompanied by donating an offering equal to the amount of the cost of the two meals (or more generously, when possible) to help those in need.  Last Sunday was such a day, and because of fasting and the schedule of the day, we ate just before 5 p.m.  Not wanting to prepare another big meal after–and smelling the smell of my kiddos’ brownies baking in the oven–gave me the idea of having brownie sundaes for “dinner” (which typically happens for us between 5:30-6 p.m.).

The kiddos crowded around the counter where we scooped warm brownies into bowls, topped them with scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzled over dark chocolate syrup.  YUM.  My mouth is watering as I type.  They were pretty delicious and kinda looked like this:


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As we joked over the idea of having dessert for dinner, one of my (hesitant vegetable-eating) children piped up, “Maybe we should have green beans for dessert!”

We all chuckled at the thought until my (green-bean-loving) child headed to the freezer and proceeded to hand me a bag of frozen green beans.

I explained that we use the frozen green beans mainly for her favorite (Olive Garden) minestrone soup recipe, but that she was welcome to find a can of beans in the cabinet.  She headed there and promptly removed two cans and placed them on the counter.

🙂

I helped her heat one can at a time, and she relished in the yummy, salty, mushy, green bean experience.


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It.  Was.  Fantastic.

Chocolate Wishes and Brownie Dreams

I bake often. In the course of a day, I often run my oven more than once (though I do try to conserve energy and heat as much as possible). Today, I actually fired it up for three loaves of delicious bread and then again for the subject of this post…and I’m getting to that.

I adore chocolate. I crave it. I bake with it. I create with it. I eat it. I share it. 🙂 Fewer food items create the endorphin boost within me the way chocolate does. It’s almost as awesome as a good date with my husband…(now, a good date with my husband AND chocolate…yes, please!).

Still, I have worked on various recipes of chocolate cakes and cookies, frosting and fondue, until they have become part of my baking repertoire. Sadly, I have not been able to find a brownie recipe to replace the box mixes in my cupboard.

“Box mixes are just better,” declared my almost-professional-baking aunt once. I agreed with her. I would sample varied forms of brownies…some very delicious in their own ways, but I could not find a from-scratch brownie recipe to satisfy the sweet and gooey, fudgey deliciousness of a box. No frosting. Just chocolate amazingness.

Well, today I can say that no more. I found a recipe someone posted on Facebook (is it just another form of Pintrest these days?) that I had taken a screenshot of on my phone. As I was deleting photos to free some space, I started to write down the recipe…and thought I might give it a whirl. It was touted as “replace your box brownie mix for pennies on the dollar” or something like that…and I needed an afternoon activity with the preschooler…so, into the kitchen we went!

Sugar, cocoa, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, vanilla, oil and water swirled together in a bowl and tossed into a sprayed, 9×13-inch pan later, I waited. And waited. And watched. And counted down with the timer. And removed the pan from the oven at twenty minutes to check–still un-done. Three minutes later, I checked them again and voila!

I tried to let them cool. I really did. Like, for maybe five minutes of smelling the chocolatey, brownie smell of yum. Then I cut into the corner (my favorite piece).

Oooooooooh! They were like music to my mouth. Gooey. Yummy. Crumbly from not being set yet. (I imagined them cooled in swirl of vanilla ice cream….) As I have sampled a couple more during various stages of cooling, I can happily declare success.

No frosting necessary.  No boxes required.