Friday, September 2, 2011

Who invited the ants?

Summer is coming to an end so it’s time for a last celebration before the relaxing days of summer are gone. Almost everyone can look back at their childhood and remember the fun summer activities that produced lasting memories. Picnicking is probably on that list of memories – one of my fondest memories is the annual end of summer family picnic under the huge oak tree at my grandparent’s farm. Everyone let go of the daily grind and relaxed. We ate until the ants moved in, then we played lawn darts, badminton, and horse shoes.

The family picnics are only a memory now, but I still believe a picnic is the ideal way to reconnect, have some fun, and make new memories. SO, we are getting together with our best friends to celebrate the end of summer picnicking at Lake Lanier in central GA. I’m very excited about the event, I went ‘window’ shopping on Etsy for picnic items, take a look at some of my favorites…..

Top Row:
Bottom Row:

Below is my favorite "bring something to share" recipe for Dark Fudgy Brownies. Enjoy!

Dark Fudgy Brownies Ingredients:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, American-style or Dutch-process
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (50-72% cacao), coarsely chopped, plus 2 1/2 ounces chopped into mini chip-size pieces, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup, blended with 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts, (see Tip), optional


1.Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with foil, letting it overhang on two opposing sides. Coat with cooking spray.

2.Sift flour, confectioners’ sugar and cocoa together into a small bowl. Combine the 3 ounces coarsely chopped chocolate and oil in a heavy medium saucepan; place over the lowest heat, stirring, until just melted and smooth, being very careful the chocolate does not overheat. Remove from the heat and stir in granulated sugar, corn syrup mixture, vanilla and salt until the sugar dissolves. Vigorously stir in egg until smoothly incorporated. Gently stir in the dry ingredients. Fold in the walnuts (if using) and the remaining 2 1/2 ounces chopped chocolate just until well blended. Turn out the batter into the pan, spreading evenly.

3.Bake the brownies until almost firm in the center and a toothpick inserted comes out with some moist batter clinging to it, 20 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 1/2 hours.

4.Using the overhanging foil as handles, carefully lift the brownie slab from the pan. Peel the foil from the bottom; set the slab right-side up on a cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife, trim off any dry edges. Mark and then cut the slab crosswise into fifths and lengthwise into fourths. Wipe the blade with a damp cloth between cuts.

Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Store Brownies in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Tip: To toast chopped nuts: Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

NutritionPer brownie: 86 calories; 3 g fat ( 1 g sat , 1 g mono ); 11 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 0 g fiber; 19 mg sodium; 25 mg potassium.

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  1. Wow, I'm HAPPY to have my Hanging Jars included in your beautiful collection! Wonderful!!! Thank you!
    ENJOY your event!!!

  2. Beautiful blog. :-) Thank you for adding my cutlery set to your lovely selections.