Awesome Basic Chocolate Brownies

I deleted my chocolate brownie post after cooking them twice more and not being happy with the taste and texture. Since then I have found and altered another recipe that Matthew and I feel can replace our love for box brownies. These brownies fall into the more cakey genre after my alterations because shiny gooey brownies due to the large amount of oil is just too nasty. So, without further ado. . .

1/4 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix oil and sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla; stir just until blended.
Mix all dry ingredientes in a separate bowl.
Pour into a greased 9x9 or 9 round pan.
Bake for 20 minutes

**You can double the recipe and cook in a 9x13.


Creamy White Chili

Supposedly we're going to get snow this week. WHA?! I guess it means it's soup time. Here is one of our faves.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon oil
2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken broth
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies (I'm not very tolerant of spiciness, so I do just one can)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream (in an effort to use less fat, I sub with half and half or just plain old milk)

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder (or fresh garlic, if using) in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Serve immediately with tortilla chips and/or shredded cheese. 

If you plan ahead, you can also do this in a slow cooker. Here are the directions for that:
In a medium round slow cooker, place 1 pound chicken breasts (fresh or frozen) without cubing them. Add the chopped onion, garlic powder, beans, green chiles and all of the spices. Do not add the sour cream or whipping cream yet! Reduce the chicken broth to 12 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) and pour in over the other ingredients. Stir the mixture around a bit to incorporate the dry spices. Cook on low for 5-7 hours (if using frozen chicken you’ll cook on the longer end of that spectrum, fresh chicken will cook in less time). Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred in bite-size pieces. Stir back into the slow cooker. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the sour cream and whipping cream  until smooth. Whisk the cream mixture into the crockpot with the other ingredients. Let the soup cook until heated through. Serve.

***recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe


Pumpkin Banana Muffins

These are a really yummy fall treat. Super moist and super easy.

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin, cooked or from a can
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup banana, very ripe,mashed (I used 2 bananas, a bit more than 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin or line with paper liners.

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt in bowl. Stir.

Combine pumpkin, eggs, sugars, banana and oil in another bowl. Beat until smooth.

Gradually combine flour mixture into wet mixture. Beat until just combined.

Spoon into prepared pan(s). Bake 25-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12 HUGE muffins. Enjoy.

***I didn't have ground ginger, so for my spices I used 1 tsp. cinnamon and 2 tsp. allspice. Worked great.