Friday, December 14, 2012

Mint Brownies


Back in 1996, at least 10 lb. of my “Freshman 20” could directly be attributed to BYU Mint Brownies. I ate them at the cafeteria, I ate them at the creamery. I ate them with ice cream or without ice cream.  (Yeah, today my 5-year-old was reading Green Eggs & Ham aloud on the way to school…)

Anyway, my mother-in-law (who lives within 15 minutes of BYU) shared a recipe from her neighbor Klissa. She makes a thin brownie sheet cake, and tops them with the iconic minty green buttercream frosting and melted chocolate.

I prefer chewy brownies to sheet cake brownies, so for mint brownies I use a normal brownie mix (my fave: Betty Crocker Hershey Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Mix—contains 2 shapes of chocolate chips!!). This post was not sponsored by Betty Crocker or Hershey J

Mint Brownies are my oldest son’s favorite dessert. Some years, he’s had mint brownies in lieu of birthday cake!!! Today, I made them at his request on our turn to supply treats for Cub Scout pack meeting. Tonight I overheard a leader say, “I think these are the best refreshments we’ve ever had at scouts!”


My ingredients

Brownie Layer:

2 x 20 oz. brownie mix prepared according to package instructions (oil, eggs, water, etc.)

Spread in 9 x 13” pan. 



Mint Frosting:

3 Tbsp. margarine, room temperature

1 ¾ c. confectioner’s sugar

1/8 tsp. mint or peppermint flavor

2-3 drops green food coloring

1-2 Tbsp. water

Mint Frosting Directions:

1. Combine ingredients in bowl and mix with electric mixer.

2. Spread on brownies—will be a thin layer of frosting.

3. Put in freezer 15 minutes.


Chocolate Topping:

1 c. chocolate chips

4 Tbsp. margarine


Chocolate Topping Directions:

1. Combine ingredients in bowl.

2. Microwave 30 seconds and stir. Microwave at 15-second intervals until melted.

3. Spread on brownies.

4. Put in freezer 15 minutes.


*Nutrition Facts:

Item
Calories
Fat (g)
Sodium
 (% RDA)
Carbs (g)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium
(% RDA)
20 oz. brownie mix, prepared
3400
160
80
460
10
20
0
7 Tbsp. margarine
490
56
35
0
0
0
0
1 ¾ c. confectioner’s sugar
840
0
0
210
0
0
0
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
840
48
0
108
0
6
0
Total
(32 brownies):
5570 kcal
48 g
115 %
778 g
10 g
26 g
0 %
1 brownie:
174 kcal
1.5 g
3.5 %
24 g
0.5 g
1 g
0 %


*Calculated from food packaging.

I used “Betty Crocker” brand “Hershey Ultimate Chocolate” brownie mix, “Great Value” (Walmart) brand confectioner’s sugar, “Blue Bonnet” brand margarine, and “Nestle” brand semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bean Soup with Dill


 
When my husband and I were ecology graduate students in Alabama, a friend of ours from BYU (named Jay) came to check out the program. Jay arrived at the airport late one night and we took him to dinner at The Globe, our favorite restaurant in Northport (now closed, I fear). Jay noticed that I ordered dill salad dressing, and said he had a good recipe for me from Cooking Light. Unfortunately, Jay decided against Alabama and attended grad school somewhere else. But he did email me this recipe (and also Creamy Pesto), which have been staples for us ever since! Both are very popular and have been adopted by many of our friends in Maryland.

 Ingredients:

1 cup diced celery

Some of my ingredients!
 
4 medium carrots, shredded

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. margarine

8 c. vegetable broth

6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced ½”

4 tsp. dried dillweed

2 x 15.5 oz. cans great northern beans

1 c. sour cream

2 Tbsp. flour

2 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

 

Directions:

1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt margarine. Add celery, carrot and garlic. Saute until tender.

2. Stir in broth, potatoes, and dill.

3. Turn up heat to high, and boil.

4. Reduce to medium-low heat and low-boil several more minutes, until potatoes are tender.

5. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, flour, salt and pepper.

6. Put sour cream mixture and beans in the pot of soup.

7. Cook and stir until it’s been bubbling for about five minutes.

 

Great with fresh rolls, biscuits, or breadsticks! Tonight I served Pillsbury flaky biscuits J.

 

*Notes: Fresh dill is a great garnish and very delicious in this soup.

 

The following ideas came with the recipe, but I usually don’t do them…

               «4 tsp. dried dillweed can be substituted with 4 Tbsp. fresh dill.

               «Sour cream can be substituted with yogurt.

               «Soup can be topped with shredded cheddar.

 

*Nutrition facts:

Ingredient
Calories
Fat (g)
Sodium (% RDA)
Carbs (g)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium (% RDA)
1 c. chopped celery
16
0
3
3
2
1
4
4 medium carrots
100
0
8
24
8
4
8
2 Tbsp margarine
210
24
15
0
0
0
0
6 medium potatoes
480
0.5
0
68
12
16
6
8 c. veg. broth
120
8
280
4
0
4
0
2 x 15.5 oz. great northern beans
630
0
119
112
42
49
28
1 c. sour cream
480
40
8
8
0
8
32
2 Tbsp. flour
55
0
0
12.5
0
1.5
0
2 tsp. salt
0
0
200
0
0
0
0
Total: (14.5 c.)
2091 kcal
72.5 g
633 %
231.5 g
64 g
83.5 g
78 %
1 cup soup:
144 kcal
5 g
43.5 %
16 g
4.5 g
6 g
5 %

 

*Calculated from food packaging and this website: http://nutritiondata.self.com

 I used “Blue Bonnet” brand margarine, “Knorr” brand vegetable bouillon cubes, “Bakers and Chefs” (Sams Club) brand flour, “Morton” brand salt, and “Great Value” (Walmart) brand great northern beans and sour cream.

 Shared at: Penny Pinching Party