Wednesday, July 31, 2013

black and white brownies


I love brownies.

I love brownies from a box.  I love them more than socks.  (Dr. Suess, anyone?)


Haha, so yes, it's true.  I love boxed brownie mixes.  They are so easy and oh so good.  But what I love even more than boxed brownies are jacked-up boxed brownies.  You know...the kind with all kinds of great stuff mixed in and frosting covering the tops.

Those brownies just make my heart sing.

These brownies are easy and sinfully chocolatey.  You start out with a boxed brownie mix.

Then, you stir in semisweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips before baking.

When you pull them out of the oven, you pour white chocolate chips over the top.  Stick it back in the oven to let them melt for just a minute.

Whip up a rich, chocolatey frosting, and drizzle it over the top.

And, voila!  Jacked-up boxed brownies that no one will ever be able to tell came from a box.  These are awesomeness in a pan.

 P.S. Remember to let brownies cool and cut with a plastic knife to avoid excess crumbs.

Black and White Brownies
1 (19- to 21-oz) pkg fudge brownie mix
10-12 oz. white chocolate chips, divided
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 T. hot water
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.  Prepare brownie mix according to package directions.  Stir in half of the white chocolate chips and all of the semisweet chocolate chips.  Spread the batter into the pan and bake about 30 minutes, or until the center is set.  Sprinkle with the remaining white chocolate chips; bake for 1 more minute.  Cool in pan on wire rack.

For frosting, combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and beat by hand until smooth.  Spoon or pipe over top of brownies.  Cool about 1 1/2 hours or until frosting is set.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Slow Cooker Braised Chicken

One thing that I love about the 4th of July is that it's full of BBQ beef, hearty potato salad, beans, pies, cookies, brownies, homemade ice cream, and enough cholesterol to last you for the next year. 

One thing that I hate about the 4th of July is that it's full of BBQ beef, hearty potato salad, beans, pies, cookies, brownies, homemade ice cream, and enough cholesterol to last you for the next year.'s a predicament.  I usually opt to go all-out on the 4th, eating to my heart's content.  But the day after, I go into a sort of detox mode.  By that point, my kitchen is a mess, I'm exhausted from staying up late watching fireworks, and all I crave are vegetables.

And that's why I'm sharing this recipe with you today.

This is an extremely healthy slow-cooker recipe that's full of vegetables and not calories.  It's also a snap to put together - I don't even thaw the chicken breasts before I dump them in!

You simply pile veggies (onion and bell pepper and garlic) on top of frozen chicken...

...pour a braising liquid mixture of broth, wine, and seasonings over the top...

...and then pile on some fresh broccoli an hour before serving.

The result is a delicious and beautiful meal that tastes fabulously fresh. 

Serve it over rice for a hearty but light post-4th detox meal. :)

Slow Cooker Braised Chicken
Adapted from Taste of Home Summer Slow Cooker Meals
  • 3 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red bell pepper, gutted and cored
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. thyme
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 2 cups broccoli florets

Place chicken in a 3 quart slow cooker.  Top with bell pepper, onion, and garlic.  Combine remaining ingredients except broccoli and pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Add broccoli; replace lid and cook an additional hour on low or until broccoli is tender.  Discard bay leaf.  Serve over rice.
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