Sunday, February 21, 2010

Oh, the things you can do with a brownie...

I.Love.Brownies. The richer and fudgy-er, the better. I believe that homemade brownies are the best if you have the time and ingredients to make them. My friend, Kim, makes homemade brownies all the time and they are delicious -- especially these and these. But most of us usually have a box mix in our pantry, if not a couple of them, to pull out when those unexpected guests show up or if you need a quick dessert to take somewhere. They are quick, easy, and delicious. But do you ever get tired of the same, plain old brownies? Well here are some variations you can try to "liven up" your brownies.

Peanut Butter Brownies: after you pour the batter into the pan, add a couple of dollops of peanut butter on top and swirl through the batter. You can also add peanut butter chips to the batter instead of the peanut butter (or in addition to, if you're a peanut butter lover!)

Double Fudge Brownies: add 1/2 bag of chocolate chips to brownie batter

Nutty Brownies: add 1/2 bag of nuts to your brownie batter

M&M Brownies: add a cup of M&Ms to your brownie batter (M&M minis are great for this!)

Cheesecake Brownies: mix together 8-oz cream cheese (room temperature), 1/3 cup sugar, 1 large egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, pour over brownie batter and swirl through

Frosted Brownies: bake brownies, then just frost with your favorite frosting!

Turtle Brownies: fold 1/2 cup (or more) chopped pecans into batter, bake, top with more pecans and drizzle with caramel sauce (they also now make caramel chips now that you could add to the batter)

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies: add a few dollops of Nutella on top of batter and swirl through

I have a few more up my sleeve, but I will make that another post. Don't let your brownies be boring any longer!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Just Wing It!!

Okay, so I have to brag...but just a little brag and just for a few seconds. wings! By myself! I mean, I made the sauce and everything. Oh, and Honey BBQ wings too!

You see, every year for Super Bowl we have a few friends over and the menu is usually the same: Chili, wings, chips/salsa/queso, and some form of dessert such as cupcakes or Chocolate Rice Krispie treats in the shape of footballs. Everything is usually homemade except for the wings and salsa. Well, this year I thought I might try my hand at making my own wings and wing sauces.

So, I bought a bag of frozen chicken drummettes from the grocery store for $6.99. All you have to do is defrost them in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight, which is what I did), then bake them or fry them. I ended up baking them, which made them kind of healthy (*wink*).

I decided to make two sauces - a sweet one and a savory one. The savory one was the hot sauce and the sweet one was a honey bbq sauce. Now, I don't have actual recipes for the two because I kind of just "eyeballed" everything. But I can tell you what I put in them (and try to estimate the amount!).

Hot Wing Sauce

Hot sauce (about 1/2 cup)
garlic powder (maybe a teaspoon)
1/2 stick butter, melted
worcestershire sauce (about a tablespoon)
ground red pepper (a few shakes)
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
pinch of sugar

*Like I said, I didn't really measure anything. Just use your own judgement and make changes depending on how hot you like it. :)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

Honey BBQ Sauce

Your favorite BBQ sauce (about 1/2 cup)
molasses (about a tablespoon)
brown sugar (maybe a teaspoon)
worcestershire sauce (about a teaspoon)
pinch of salt
a few dashes of cola (I used wild cherry pepsi)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a large sheet pan with foil and placed the drummettes in a single layer on the sheet (I seasoned my drummettes with Lawry's before baking, but you can skip this if you prefer). Bake for about 35 minutes, turning once halfway through. Once drummettes are cooked through, place however many you want of each in the sauces. Turn several times to coat each one and then place back on the foil-lined pan. Turn oven up to 400 or 425 degrees and bake for about 5-10 minutes longer or until sauce has "stuck" to the drummies (I actually turned on the broiler for a couple of minutes, too, just to crisp them up a little).

And....there you have it! Homemade hot/sweet wings! Here is a picture of the finished product: