December 20, 2015

Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

How about a great brownie recipe for your Christmas baking?  These brownies are awesome covered with chocolate ganache.

Pretty and shiny and sprinkled for Christmas.

They make a great gift for neighbors or to share at work.

I really, really like brownies, and this is my "go to" recipe.  This recipe is quick and easy to make.  I don't mind a boxed brownie mix and have made brownies from a box more times than I can count, but if you want something a little special, or you like to bake from scratch, this recipe is perfect.


4 semi-sweet chocolate squares
1 stick margarine - melt with chocolate
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Bake at 350 degrees in an 8 x 8 baking pan lined with parchment paper for 20 to 25 minutes.  I baked my brownies for only 20 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache:

  Over low heat on stove, melt one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips with one-half cup of half and half, stirring pretty much constantly until melted and shiny.

Pour and spread the ganache over brownies.  (I refrigerated the brownies for a time before cutting them.  After cutting them, I placed them in a cookie tin and kept them in the refrigerator.)

December 12, 2015

Opry at the Ryman

So the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Hubby and I went to the Opry at the Ryman.

We live approximately 150 miles north of Nashville; so, it's a pretty easy trip.

I have wanted to go for years, but just never "got around to it".    Sometimes the holidays can be a bit stressful for me; so, we decided to do something we have never done, and that's go somewhere for Thanksgiving weekend.

After dinner on Thanksgiving Day with my folks and Friday evening and Saturday morning spent with my son, daughter-in-law, and sweet little grandson, we took off midday for Nashville.

We stayed downtown,  just a two minute walk to the Ryman Auditorium and a two minute walk to a restaurant for supper before the show.

We were in the very last row, but luckily on the aisle, which is good for Hubby because he can use the extra space and could get up easily during commercial breaks to stretch.

We had a great view of the stage even though when I called to purchase the tickets the lovely lady I spoke to told me it was a limited view of the stage; however, we saw everything just fine.

The Ryman Auditorium is an old church, and it has pew seating.  The show lasted a little over two hours, and the time flew by!

It was a wonderful show and a wonderful experience.  If you haven't been, well, you should go.

It is a live radio show, with breaks for live commercials.  

It is a truly uplifting, toe-tapping good time.  It made me laugh; it made me cry; and it made me feel patriotic.

So  . . . these two can check The Grand Ole Opry off their "bucket list"!

December 4, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Cookies are my favorite.  If I could take only one food with me to a desert island, it would be chocolate chip cookies.

A few years ago, a friend/co-worker of mine made me some chocolate chip cookies for my birthday.  I remember they were packaged so perfectly.  This person pays attention to every, single detail.  And the cookies were wonderful!!

If I'm not mistaken, I think he said it was the Neiman-Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  You know the one where the woman is charged an extra $250 on her lunch bill for asking for and getting the recipe.

He made copies of the recipe and handed the copies out to those of us who wanted it.  I absolutely do not know what I did with it, but I remembered the cookies were made with oats and a milk chocolate candy bar.

These cookies are absolutely scrumptious.  Really impressive right out of the oven - just cooled enough not to burn your tender little mouth.

They would be a great addition to your Christmas cookie list or a cookie exchange!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup of butter - at room temperature
1/2 cup of butter-flavored Crisco
2 eggs - at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 cups of oats (I used minute oats) finely ground in a food processor
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup of self-rising four
1 teaspoon of baking soda
A pinch of salt
12 ounces - semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 - 4.4 oz. Hershey Candy bar (coarsely chopped)

Whisk flours, oats, soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Cream butter and butter-flavored Crisco until light in color.  Incorporate eggs first and then both sugars.  Turn mixer speed down to low and add dry ingredients one cup at a time until just incorporated.  Using a spatula, stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips and coarsely chopped candy bar.

Cover and refrigerate cookie dough for at least one hour.  Using a cookie scoop, scoop onto a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 11 to 12 minutes.  If you like crispy cookies, they will need to bake a bit longer.

I keep the cookie dough in the refrigerator for a few days and make a half a dozen at a time.  That way they are always fresh and not too much temptation!!

Serve to family and friends.  They will love you for these wonderful cookies!!