Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jelly Brownies

It’s no secret that I love brownies.  They’re chocolatey, delicious, and easy to make.  Lately I’ve also been on a PB and J kick – is there anything better than a PB and J at the beach? – and I thought I’d try to incorporate the two.  I was anxious about the PB part, since Spaniards really don’t seem to understand it, and I didn’t want to end up eating the whole batch by myself, but I decided to go for it.  I used creamy PB, because that’s what they have here, even though I love crunchy.  I also used raspberry jelly, which I thought made the whole thing a little bit classier than say, strawberry would have done.

Overall, I don’t know that it’s my favorite brownie recipe.  I think I really am more of a classic chocolate person.  The PB and J part might have been unnecessary overkill, and I think I overcooked them just a tad, which is never good.  So err on the side of undercooked.  I should know that by now.  However, ff you love PB and J, you will like these.  Stay tuned for a recipe where I try just PB.  Chocolate and peanut butter is a classic, and I want to try it.

Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jelly Brownies

Ingredients:

Brownies:

  • 4 ounces dark baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • scant cup sugar {the jelly’s going to be sweet enough}
  • 3 eggs, room temperature {Possibly my favorite part about Europe is room temp eggs at the grocery store.  It sounds a little funky, but also means you can bake as soon as you get home from the store without worrying about congealed egg whites in your finished product.}
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (All-purpose would be fine, but I wanted to add a little extra protein and fiber.  With the peanut butter and jelly, you really can’t tell that it’s whole wheat}

PB&J topping:

  • 1/2 cup raspberry jelly
  • 1/3 cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F {175°C}.  Prepare your 8×8 or 9×9 pan, either with butter or parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar with melted butter and chocolate mixture.
  3. Add eggs and cocoa powder and stir well.
  4. Finally mix in the flour, stirring just enough to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Pour the batter into your pan, making sure to spread it into the edges.  You want a nice base for the PB&J topping.
  6. Melt your topping butter in the microwave.  Watch it because it shouldn’t take very long at all.
  7. Mix in the peanut butter, jelly, and powdered sugar.
  8. Drop the topping onto the brownie base and spread it around.
  9. Bake about 30 minutes and remove from oven to cool completely.  If they’re still a little gooey it’s okay – they will keep cooking as they cool, and overcooked brownies are much worse than undercooked ones.
  10. Slice and enjoy 🙂

{Sorry in advance for the picture quality in this post.  Unsurprisingly, apparently standing in the middle of the kitchen holding bowls of things into the light where they photograph better yields blurrier photos than leaving them on the counter.  I thought blurry and visible was better than dark and clear.  Also, I just updated my computer, and Apple seems to have “upgraded” iPhoto with Photos.  So far I hate it, and it doesn’t seem to be “talking” correctly with my watermark program.  So please forgive the fact that for now, my watermark is in the wrong spot on all the photos, and sideways.  I really need to sit down and figure that out, but I wanted to get this recipe up, and the man standing below my window playing “Tequila” on an accordion is trying my patience right now.  Has anyone else had any problems adjusting to Photos?}

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Sugar, melted butter and chocolate.

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With the eggs.

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And the cocoa powder.

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All the ingredients combined.

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Topping. Using the glass measuring cup made it really easy to measure and stir without dirtying a bunch of extra measuring cups and spoons.

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Different view.

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Brownies and topping pre-oven.

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Spread around. I also trimmed my parchment paper so it wouldn’t catch on anything in the oven. I know it’s oven-safe, but I don’t like it up against the heating element.

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All done! It’s hard to see the topping, but if you look carefully, it’s there.

*What’s your favorite brownie recipe?  Do you have a favorite twist on a classic?

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Avocado Pancakes

The name sounds a little weird, right?  Avocado in a pancake?  I know what you’re thinking.  I was skeptical too, but I had to use up some overripe avocados, and throwing them into a batch of pancakes sounded perfect.  I adjusted the recipe that I found on the California Avocado website.  The batter definitely has a greenish tinge to it, but that mostly goes away when you cook them, and they really don’t taste like avocados.  The original recipe calls for mixing everything in a blender, which I actually have in my new apartment, but I wanted to make these low-tech.  As long as your avocados are super-ripe, you’ll be absolutely fine without a blender.

Avocado Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk {I used 2%}
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 small ripe avocados
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

  1. Melt your butter.  30 seconds in the microwave on high will definitely do it.  Just watch it so it doesn’t explode.
  2. Mix together the milk, eggs, and butter in a large bowl.
  3. Mash avocado in a separate, small bowl.
  4. Add the avocado into the milk, eggs, and butter, making sure you get the lumps out.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated, but don’t over-mix.
  6. Cook on a griddle or a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. {1/3 cup is a good size scoop.}
  7. When heated through and bubbles appear, flip pancakes over and cook the other side.
  8. Serve warm, with all of your favorite pancake toppings.
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Mix the eggs, butter, and milk.

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Mash the avocado in a separate bowl.

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Add the avocado to the milk, butter, egg mixture.

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Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

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Combine.

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Drop in 1/3 cup scoops onto a medium hot griddle/frying pan.

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Flip when bubbles appear.

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A nice stack of avocado pancakes.

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Enjoy with your favorite toppings. I used my trusty “Vertmont” maple syrup.

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And they make good leftovers!

Have you ever tried avocado pancakes?  What’s your favorite non-traditional pancake recipe, or way to cook with avocados?

Nutrition info: I just did a rough calorie count, but my batter made 11 pancakes, at about 120 calories each.

Rosemary Infused White Rice

Hi you guys!  I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted an actual recipe.  Rest assured, I have been cooking, it’s just usually meals I’ve already shared.  Last night I needed something to go with my salmon, and my rosemary plant is doing so well I thought I’d snip off some to add to my rice.  This recipe is super easy and makes a great side dish, so I thought it would be a good one to share!  I used white rice, actually paella rice, since I’m trying to use up what’s in my kitchen, but you could easily swap in whatever rice you prefer.  I like to make all rice like risotto, but I’m not super-fussy about it.  I just think it cooks faster if you don’t add all the liquid at once.  I intended to make this rice like paella, and not stir it at all, but after a while it was obvious that my  stove has some serious hot spots – some of the rice was still raw and some was halfway cooked, so I gave in and stirred it a bit.  Still really easy and delicious.  The broth adds flavor that water really can’t, without adding fat and calories like extra butter does.

Rosemary Infused White Rice:

  • 1 large sprig rosemary, about 5-6 inches
  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups good quality low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil and the butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add the rice and let cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the rosemary.
  4. When rice has heated, add enough broth to cover the rice.
  5. When liquid has almost all evaporated, stir and add more liquid to cover.
  6. Repeat, simmering on medium, until cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  7. If you run out of liquid, you can use water.  If you have liquid left over, that’s okay too.
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Pre-liquid. I like my rice to get a little toasty first.

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Just enough to cover.

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Almost done. You can see how the rice is puffing up as it cooks.

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All done. Transferred to another dish for serving.

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As I enjoyed it, on a bed of arugula topped with my market-fresh salmon. Sidenote: Is this not the skinniest piece of salmon you’ve seen? The filet was so broad that they only had to cut a little bit, but it was tricky to cook without falling over.

I ate all the rice last night, and it was so good!  What’s your favorite way to eat rice?

La Cantina de Frida Taquería: Restaurant Review

Hi you guys!  Sorry, again, for being out of touch for awhile.  These past few weeks have been truly hectic, and on Friday I ended up moving apartments.  I’ve spent a lot of this long weekend unpacking, which isn’t the most fun, but I’ve also made it to the beach yesterday and today, and it is gorgeous.  To help redeem myself, I thought I’d review the Mexican restaurant I went to on Friday night.  I went with a friend to celebrate our move.  We were going to just stop in for drinks, but drinks turned into dinner, and it was so good.  It’s been so long since I’ve had Mexican food, and this was especially timely with Cinco de Mayo coming up! 

We’d both heard mixed reviews about this place, namely that it was impossible to get in without a reservation, and that it was crazy expensive.  We walked right in and they sat us at the bar, which was perfect.  And honestly, the place never got that full.  There’s no set menu, instead you pick your courses off of a blackboard.  When we went it was 18/person.  I’m not sure if that drinks were included or not, which I know is something I should know, but it was that kind of night.  Basic margaritas were 5 on the drink menu, so at most, it was 23 total, plus any extra margaritas you might want, which I thought was reasonable.  They also had a lot of beer and tequila to try, but I was happy with my frozen margarita.

The ceviche I had was really good, and so were the nachos, and my burrito.  My friend enjoyed her quesadilla, but the best part of the meal was undoubtedly the tequilamisu – a homemade tiramisu with tequila instead of rum.  If you have the chance to try it, you have to.

All in all it was a very successful Mexican food adventure.  When I googled it today, I learned the place is not actually called Frida Kahlo, but Frida’s vibe is certainly there.  I spotted her picture in a few places, and I read somewhere that the restaurant was designed to look like her home, but honestly, I don’t know how much I believe that part.  Either way, it’s a worthwhile pit stop in Palma.

Do you have plans to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  What’s your favorite Mexican restaurant?

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View from the bar – can you see Frida?

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My ceviche and the nachos in the background. Sorry it’s a little blurry.

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Quesadilla in the distance.

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My burrito! I went with vegetarian, and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything! So good!

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Frozen margarita with a flower petal.

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The star of the show. Tequilamisu.