The Storm…One Week Late

So, I had the post all written up last weekend…that is before we lost power. And then I moved and we just got the pictures uploaded, so here it is one week later.

Sooo…what to do when a hurricane is forecasted to hit over the weekend? Go out into the garden and pick everything that is remotely close to being ripe. Sit around inside, watching television reports tracking Irene as she moved up the East coast. Play Monopoly. And Life. The world’s two longest games. Then look at the six tomatoes, seven cucumbers, and bunch of beets we just picked and wonder what to do with them but…

…make dinner! A wonderful stir fry of onion, garlic, beet greens (yes, you CAN eat these – don’t waste them!) and quinoa with cucumber and tomato mixed in at the end. Topped with melty cheddar cheese and some salsa if you want an extra kick! (I may have a small obsession with salsa and put it on almost everything ☺) Although it may sound like a weird combination of ingredients, it tasted really good and simple to make!

First, chop up veggies.

Hooray for home grown vegetables freshly picked. Well, all of them except the onion that is.

Saute garlic and onions, add in beet greens.

And finally, mix in quinoa, cucumber, tomato, and whatever else you may want just before you finish cooking.

Add whatever toppings you enjoy (mmm salsa!) and enjoy 🙂

Next time, I may add some kidney beans or seasonings to it, but it was a great way to use up garden veggies while still being able to taste the freshness of them all. For dessert was chocolate chocolate chip cookies…a recipe to look forward to seeing in the future (I promise)!

For all those affected by the storm, our thoughts are with you during this time. May you all stay safe as cleanup begins.

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Life’s a Box of Chocolates…

The end of summer is marked by last visits to the beach and back to school shopping, spending time with friends and family, savoring the last few days.

For us, the end of summer also means our annual neighborhood barbeque, everyone eating and chatting in the street. And yes, we actually set up a table and chairs in the middle of the street – talk about small town charm. With a grill, plastic chairs, tables, and coolers, it’s not something you’ll see every day.

We’ve got an age range from third grade to grandparents, and everyone has their own unique quirk. We all bring something different, potluck style, everyone trying a little of this and a little of that.

Our contribution had to involve chocolate…some major chocoholics on the street! Also small and bite-sized because there was a lot of food and a lot of desserts – you’ve got to leave room to try them all! So, introducing (drumroll please) two-bite chocolate chocolate brownies!

Meliss came up with this one and although you may (will!) want to just eat the brownie bites as soon as they’re done and warm out of the oven, do yourself a favor and wait. Make the ganache. Cover the brownies in the extra chocolate. Decorate them all differently. Savor every bite.

Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

Brownie Ingredients:
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
¾ c. chocolate chips or chunks (We used both – the chunks added a needed level of fudginess ☺)

1. preheat oven to 350o
2. beat butter until creamy
3. add sugar
4. add eggs until blended
5. add cocoa and vanilla
6. add in flour slowly, beating well
7. add the chocolate
8. pour into well-greased mini-muffin pans
9. bake about 15 minutes or until done (DON’T overcook!!! They taste good even if a little underdone, but overcooked? Not so much…)
10. let cool a good long while. While they are cooling, make the ganache (recipe below)
11. dip brownie bites in ganache using a fork – the easiest way was to put the brownie in the ganache, lift it out using a fork, and place it on a tray covered in parchment paper. Place them top-down.
12. decorate them to your heart’s content!!

Ganache Ingredients:
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. vanilla eggstract ☺

1. put chocolate chips in a large bowl
2. boil cream
3. once cream boils to the top of the pan, remove from heat and pour it over the chocolate chips
4. let it stand for a minute or two
5. stir with a whisk until smooth
6. add in vanilla until well blended

inspired by Pioneer Kitchen
brownie recipe from
ganache recipe from

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