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Oh my goodness, y’all, I’ve done it. I found the one recipe that will completely set me back on my new year’s fitness resolution.

Wanna know a secret: The truth is I’m a once-in-a-blue-moon chocoholic. I know, it’s shameful to say to all you chocolate lovers out there.  Most chocolate desserts simply don’t tempt me. So many chocolate cake recipes are too try or else too rich. Tiffin and other such Millionaire Shortbreads are too grainy-sugary and, again, too rich for my tastes. If I’m having a chocolate craving I prefer to forgoe the messy bowls and pans of baking and just grab a bar of Green and Blacks espresso dark chocolate. A couple squares of that and I’m good to go for at least 24 hours.

But I’m telling you, when my hubbie and I saw this brownie recipe on the BBC the other day I felt the early tremors of a conversion experience. The recipe is coming to you  express from Lorraine Pascale over at Baking Made Easy on the BBC. The former model had quite a few yummy recipes on there, I must say. Well worth watching the entire episode on iplayer.

I had to go for a run as soon as these came out of the oven… to justify eating these later — I’m sure the smell alone is worth 100 calories!

The recipe is easy enough:

Just 165g butter, melted in a sauce pan. Take off the heat when melted.

Add 200g of grated dark chocolate to butter. Let stand until melted. Then stir.  (I was on a budget so I used plain ole Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference brand, but I’m sure G&B would be divine).

In a big bowl beat 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks with 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Beat until fluffy.

Add 1 cup of sugar in 2 parts. I used half brown sugar, half white. Beat into the eggs.

Then pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture (pour it along the side of the bowl so as not to deflate the fluffy eggs). Add 2 Tbsp flour, 1 Tbsp cocoa powder and 1 pinch of salt. Gently fold in the dry ingredients, careful not to press out the air in the eggs.

Crush about 6 or 7 oreo cookies and fold into the batter. Then pour into a greased baking dish. (I used baking paper as well, as it’s easier to lift the cooked brownies out of the dish.)

Finally, garnish with another 10 or so broken up oreo pieces, submerging them into the batter slightly.

Bake at 350/180* for about 25-30 minutes! I baked mine for about 25 minutes and they were plenty gooey inside, one might even say underdone, (which is the way I like ’em). You do want them to be at least a little gooey inside so don’t over bake.

Let cool completely before cutting them into squares.


As many of you may know, I’m getting married in August and I’m currently in the process of planning a mountain wedding for a (gulp) modest guest list of over 200 people. Yeah, not so modest, I know.  Well let me tell you, no one has been more surprised than me at how gun-ho I’ve become about planning this here shin-dig. After all, I am the girl who in high school ruined my sister’s and every other girlfriend’s dreams of a white wedding when I decided there were undeniable symbolic similarities between the modern white wedding in the West and virgin sacrifices of yester-years. Not to mention I’m not a spot-light kind of girl, and I didn’t relish the thought of spending beaucoups of money on a party that would last a couple hours when that money could go towards a down payment on a house.

But then a friend and fellow bride-to-be gave me an awesome gift: The Green Bride Guide by Kate L. Harrison.  Swooning starts here.

One of my former hang-ups with planning a big wedding was that I couldn’t see how I could be a good steward of my money and the Earth’s resources and still throw  a whoppin’ good party. Take the meal, for instance. My fiancé and I are vegetarians. Would we force our guests, mostly good ole’ country folk and meat-and-potato-lovin’ brits to eat quinoa salad and barley loaf? Or would we give in to our guests’ culinary tastes and decide our wedding was worth the price of four pigs’ lives and a pretty penny to boot?

Not only did Harrion’s bride guide give me a lot to think about in the food arena, but she helped me realize that planning a green wedding can be fun, challenging and, best of all, it can be an excuse to get crafty. And by the way, we ultimately decided not to have meat. Hurray, the pigs can live!

So this week’s wedding craft was to come up with an idea for a cute, preferably edible, favor for our 200+ guests. And after much deliberation, i.e., surfing of the blogosphere, I think we have a winner. Of course, in hindsight, it was so obvious. What better favor for an outdoor mountain wedding than personal S’mores goody bags! We’re even having the wedding at camp — so why didn’t I think of this? Of course, we did… we were already planning to have a bonfire with marshmallow roasting in the evening, but the thought hadn’t even crossed our minds to combine the two and make them into wedding favors.

In any case, I’m loving this idea featured on Once Wed with the super cute tag  designed by Miss Pickles.

Not to steal this bride’s style, I’m thinking of making our baggies out of burlap with maybe the Hershey’s logo stenciled onto the front. And I might just have to convoy this Miss Pickles for a similar darling tag.

Also, what do we think about incorporating straightened-out coat hangers, i.e. marshmallow skewers, into the table flower arrangements? I’m picturing them bursting out of the zinnias and hydrangeas like those curlicue, gold sparkley twigs you stick into the Christmas tree… Anyone else? Just me? Okay, so maybe not.



"The purpose of art is not a rarified, intellectual distillate -- it is life, intensified, brilliant life." ~ Alain Arias-Misson