Best & Easiest Brownies

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Best & Easiest Brownies

This brownie recipe is simply the easiest, quickest, and most kid friendly brownie I have found. Really – one pot, one spoon, a measuring unit or two and the baking pan … all done before you know it.

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp butter
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
(optional – 1/2 cup chopped walnuts)
(optional – 1/2 cup chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350
Grease 8 x 8 x 2 square pan

In medium saucepan melt the butter and cocoa. Remove from heat, stir in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each one. Add vanilla. Stir in flour and the walnuts (if using).

Bake for aproximately 30 minutes – test at 25 minutes to see if a toothpick comes out cleanly. Do not overbake.

Remove from oven, cool and eat – they won’t last long! If you chose to use the chocolate chips – I put them on top as soon as it comes out of the oven, allow to sit for a minute then spread until smooth. The chips melt pretty quickly.

By the time you think you are having a chocolate craving, these can be in the oven before you change your mind! Easy clean up too. The kids learned to make these on their own in elementary school and it is still a quick favorite around our house.

Italian Pot Roast

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1 stick cinnamon

3 all spice berries

4 whole cloves

8 peppercorns

Combine spices in blender and process until a fine powder – set aside.

3 # outside round, or other less tender cut of beef

olive oil

salt and pepper

3 carrots, sliced

3 stalks celery, sliced

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves

28 oz can of tomatoes

1 cup of good red wine (make sure it is one you would like to drink!)

While oil is heating in fry pan, season beef with salt and pepper – brown all sides in fry pan and place in slow cooker. (you can also use a good braising pan to do this in the oven)

In the same fry pan, saute onions until tender.  Add the rest of the vegetables and saute until just starting to carmelize.  Add the spice mixture, stir well until all the vegetables are coated and cook for a few minutes.  Add the red wine and cook until it has reduced about 1/3.  Add tomatoes, and salt to taste.

Pour sauce over meat.  In a slow cooker this will take about 8 hours, but if you are using a braising method it will take 3-4 hours (keep tasting for flavour and tenderness).  The meat should be fork tender.

The sauce is quite thick so if you are using a braising method, you may need to add a bit more cooking liquid as it cooks, eg a good beef stock.

When cooked, and your beef is falling apart tender, shred with 2 forks and stir in with the sauce.  I love to serve with hand made pasta – in which case I remove the sauce from the cooking pot and add to a sauce pan.  As soon as my pasta is cooked I turn it into the pan to allow it to be fully seasoned by the yummy flavours.  Turn into serving platter and pile your shredded beef on top.

Not only will your house smell fantastic while this is cooking you will be rewarded with a fantastic dinner.