Friday, August 31, 2012

Laborers of the World-Unite!

The kids have been enjoying the cooler days. I'd like to say this is a scene of
sibling bliss, but Freckles is yelling at LC for putting her feet on him.
Thus the buggy eyes. I love Meres little legs just dangling. Big girl!
I have a confession to make. I love chocolate. Like, love-love. I am just of the opinion that a day is not complete until it has had a bit of chocolate in it. Thankfully, recent studies have showed that there is some benefit for this.

"People who ate chocolate often (say, five times a week) weighed less than those who didn't eat any, finds an "Archives of Internal Medicine" study. The candy consumers didn't exercise more and they took in more calories overall. What's the magic? Antioxidants in chocolate may help prevent the calories you eat from being stored as fat, say study author Beatrice Golomb, M.D., Ph.D. The metabolic boost was strongest when people nibbled small amounts of chocolate frequently rather than having a weekly splurge." ~American Baby, Sep. 2012.

Now, I don't know what is considered "nibbling small amount of chocolate frequently" but I am sure I have that base completely covered.

My two favorite forms of chocolate are M&M's (dark or plain) and brownies. I haven't got a recipe for homemade M&M's, but I do have a recipe for some ooy-gooy chocolaty brownies.

If you are a cake brownie type-this recipe is not for you. But if you love the fudgy goodness of an almost not cooked enough brownie, this is the recipe you need to incorporate into your Labor Day weekend.

These are way better than a box, have 7 ingredients, and take about 10 minutes to put together. Totally worth it.
before baking. the after didn't last long enough to take a pic. Actually I just forgot.

A here is a tip that I didn't learn until rather late in my brownie career...always cut brownies with a plastic knife. It prevents clumping and ragged edges.

Deliciously Chocolate Brownies
2 sticks of butter, melted
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mis the melted butter and the cocoa powder until smooth. Add the eggs, flour, salt and sugar, and mix by hand just until combined (no lumps, no white). Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes. Do not over bake!

Now, the recipe says to let the brownies cool completely, but some rules are meant to be broken.

As we are on the last day of August, and are embarking on Labor Day Weekend, and the unofficial end to summer, I have a recipe to compliment any cookouts you may be invited to. (this is in addition to the brownies)
Last hurrah!

I am not a huge sweet corn fan. Because, I don't like "sweet" sides or main dishes. Sweet is for dessert.

But, this spring someone introduced me to a roasted corn and black bean salad, and I have been hooked ever since.

Roasting the corn beings out its flavor. And this salad is packed with all the fresh vegetables that are abundant this time of year. I used tomatoes and peppers from my own garden. You can add an avocado to this recipe if avocado is your thing.


I like the pairing of lime juice and cilantro. It has the perfect tang. This salad is hearty enough with the beans that you could have it as a meatless main dish.

Oh, and let me just say that the coloring is absolutely amazing!

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad
2 Tbsp of olive oil
6 ears of corn, shucked, 
1 onion-red or white
2 medium tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green pepper
1 japaleno pepper, optional
1 avocado, seeded and chopped, optional
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cut the corn off the cobs, and fry it in the oil on med-high until almost charred. (8-10 minutes)
Chop tomatoes, onion, peppers, and combine with avocado, garlic and black beans. Pour lime juice over all, and add seasonings. Add corn. Serve immediately, or let sit 1-2 hours in the refrigerator to meld flavors.

As I have all the ingredients for this, I may just be making another batch. Ummm...

Isn't that gorgeous!

Do you have any traditional Labor Day foods that you share with your family and friends? What is on your menu this Monday? Leave me a comment.