Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but anytime I use a photo that's not my own, you can click on it and it will take you directly to the photographer's site. In this case, that's the recipe on because this photo was taken by them for this particular recipe. Moving on, I made this for the 4th of July just like everything else I've posted this week. Even my husband who hates guacamole loved this. It's a really easy recipe, and was no problem for me even though I've never made guac before. Actually, I'd never made anything I made for the 4th before. I'm a daredevil like that.


  • If you're an avocado virgin like me, I think it's best to buy under-ripe avocados and ripen them in a paper bag yourself than trying to figure out just what a ripe avocado feels like.

    The unripened avocados are a bright green. Just buy them a day or two before you need them and put them in a brown paper bag. When they are dark all over and give into the pressure of your finger when you squeeze it, they're ripe.


    3 avocados - peeled, pitted, and mashed
    1 lime, juiced
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup diced onion
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)

    1. 1. In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.

    Tuesday, July 8, 2008

    Brownie and Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches

    I'm not going to lie. These were a pain in the butt to make. Actually, that's probably an understatement. So many things went wrong, but I looked into my inner Bob Ross to realize mistakes are just Happy Little Accidents and an opportunity to be creative. Because she is Martha Stewart, the recipe actually calls for you to MAKE your own ice cream. I'm lazy so I bought Breyers Double Churn Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream. It worked okay, but even after sitting out for 15 minutes, the texture never was really spreadable. It went straight from a solid to a liquid, so I had to work quickly.

  • If you make the full recipe, make sure your cooling racks are as large as the pan you use. Otherwise your brownie will break, but this makes for a delicious ice cream topping.

  • If part of your brownie breaks after assembly while in the freezer, don't fret. The split topped brownie actually looked really beautiful with some ice cream peaking through.


    Vegetable-oil cooking spray
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    11 ounces (2 sticks plus 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
    7 ounces unsweetened chocolate
    2 2/3 cups sugar
    4 large eggs
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    4 cups Peanut Butter Ice Cream

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 13- by-18-inch rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray, line with parchment, and spray parchment.

    2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Melt butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, add sugar, and stir until dissolved. Stir in eggs, 1 at a time, and then stir in vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated. (Do not overmix.)

    3. Divide batter between pans. Use an offset spatula to spread batter into thin, even layers. Bake, rotating pans once, until batter just begins to set, 8 to 10 minutes. (The surfaces will look dry, and testers inserted in the centers will come out wet.) Let cool completely in pans on wire racks.

    4. To assemble, place the flat side of a large wire rack over 1 brownie, and invert rack, brownie, and pan together. Remove pan and parchment. Repeat with remaining brownie. Place a clean rimmed baking sheet over 1 brownie, and invert pan, brownie, and rack together. Remove rack. The brownie should be in the pan, top side up.

    5. Spread ice cream in a smooth, even layer over brownie in pan. Align pan lengthwise with remaining brownie on rack, and use rack to quickly and carefully flip brownie onto ice cream. Remove rack. Press top brownie gently. Cover and freeze until firm, at least overnight (or up to 1 week).

    6. Uncover, and cut into squares. Serve immediately (or cover and freeze ice cream sandwiches overnight).
    Yeilds 3 dozen sandwiches.

    Monday, July 7, 2008

    Spicy Bean Salsa

    DON'T JUDGE ME. Sometimes, I crave something that looks complicated, but is incredibly simple. Sometimes that involves vegetables in a can and pre-made dressing. I've accepted my flaws, and enjoyed it without shame! It was delicious. So delicious, that I plan on making this on a regular basis either as a side, or as a salsa served with chips. I made a few changes to the recipe, which I'll post here, but you can click here to see the original recipe.


    1 (15 ounce) can chick peas
    1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
    1/2 cup chopped red onion
    2 Roma tomatoes, diced
    1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
    1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

    1. In a medium bowl, combine chick peas, black beans, corn, red onion, and tomatoes. Season with Italian-style salad dressing and garlic salt; mix well. Cover, and refrigerate overnight to blend flavors.