S’mores Brownies

S'mores Brownies

I know what you’re probably thinking… Yet another s’mores recipe? Oh, please. Or maybe Yes, please!!! I guess it depends on how much you love s’mores and all things s’mores-related. I fall into the Yes, please!!! camp, as you can see by my S’mores Pinterest board. Give me all the s’mores recipes! But, honestly, actual s’mores are not always easy to make, right? I mean, to make them, you pretty much have to have a campfire, or at least a fire bowl. That’s simply not practical, most of the time. Personally, I’d rather be able to whip up something like s’mores any time I like.

So I did. I made these unbelievably delicious s’mores brownies.

S'mores Brownies

When I was daydreaming about my perfect s’mores-inspired recipe, I knew I wanted to start with major chocolate goodness. Brownies! Obviously a good choice. Then I began to envision how to turn brownies into s’mores brownies…

S'mores Brownies

I decided to start with Alice Medrich’s cocoa brownie recipe. It’s a perfect brownie recipe. Then… add big chunks of dark chocolate, stir in crushed graham crackers (for those of us in Australia, Arnott’s Granita biscuits are a good substitute)… Once the brownies are baked, top with marshmallows and even more dark chocolate chunks, then broil/ grill to toast the marshmallows and melt the chocolate… Then sprinkle more graham cracker crumbs on top…. Yes. Now we’re in s’mores heaven!

S'mores Brownies

S'mores Brownies

These s’mores brownies are so rich and chocolatey, and the gooey, sweet marshmallows on top are amazing! I like to serve these brownies sprinkled with extra crushed graham crackers, because it looks pretty. They would also be wonderful served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you want to be even more decadent. Of course, you could just stand in the kitchen with your glass of milk or cup of coffee and eat them at the counter. No judgement here. In any case, these brownies are fabulous!

S'mores Brownies

Enjoy the recipe… (and make sure to share these brownies, because everyone you know is going to love them).

S'mores Brownies

These s'mores brownies are so rich and chocolatey, and the gooey, sweet marshmallows on top are amazing!

This recipe is based on Alice Medrich’s Best Cocoa Brownies, with several changes made, to give them a s’mores twist.

Ingredients

  • 10 Tbsp/ 1 1/4 sticks/ 140 grams unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups/ 250 grams sugar
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons/ 80 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large cold eggs
  • ½ cup/ 65 grams all-purpose flour (unsifted, measured by stirring briefly, spooning into the measuring cup until it’s heaped above the rim, then levelling it with a straight-edged knife or spatula)
  • 16-25 marshmallows
  • 5 oz/ 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa is best), broken or roughly chopped into rather large chunks
  • 3-4 graham crackers (in America) or Granita biscuits (in Australia)
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Then preheat the oven to 325F/ 160C.
  2. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper/ baking paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides, to make it easy to lift brownies out of the pan.
  3. Place graham crackers or biscuits in a large Ziplock bag and seal bag. Lay bag flat on kitchen counter. Using a rolling pin, smash the biscuits until they are crushed to crumbs. Then roll until the crumbs are quite fine. (You may, instead, use a food processor for this step. I hate cleaning mine, so I use this method.) Add the brown sugar to the crumbs. Re-seal the bag and shake vigorously for several seconds to blend the sugar into the crumbs.
  4. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl (like Pyrex) and set the bowl in a medium saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir almost constantly until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot but not burning. (It will look like wet dark brown sand. Don’t worry, it will smooth out later.) Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
  5. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon. Gently stir in 2 Tbsp of the graham cracker/ Granita biscuit crumbs. Very gently fold in 2/3 of the chocolate chunks.
  6. Spread brownie batter evenly in the lined pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  7. Bake until a toothpick placed into the center comes out nearly clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow brownies to cool almost completely on a rack, draped with a clean tea towel.
  8. Place marshmallows on top of the batter, leaving a small space around each one. They will spread and fill in the spaces, when warmed. Place the remaining 1/3 of chocolate chunks on top of the marshmallows. Meanwhile, place an oven rack about 6 inches below the top of the oven and preheat the broiler/ grill of the oven.
  9. Place brownie pan under broiler/ grill for 2-3 minutes, until marshmallows are golden brown. Make sure the paper liner does not get close to the heating element at the top of the oven, to prevent it from burning. Take brownies out of the oven promptly, when you see that the marshmallows have reached the desired golden hue. You must keep an eye on them. They will melt and spread and then turn brown quite quickly.
  10. Once brownies are out of the oven, sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp of the graham cracker/ Granita biscuit crumbs on top of the marshmallows.
  11. Allow brownies to cool completely on a rack, draped, again with the clean tea towel.
  12. Lifting up the ends of the parchment/ baking paper or foil liner, transfer the brownies to a large cutting board. Cut into 16 medium or 25 small squares.
  13. Store brownies in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days. They probably won’t last that long, though, since everyone will want to devour them immediately.
  14. If you like, serve brownies with extra graham cracker/ Granita biscuit crumbs sprinkled on top and on each plate. They would also be fabulous served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2018 for a delicious moment.

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Chicken Chili with Sweet Potato, White Beans, and Lime

I have an awesome chili recipe for you today! A blend of spicy, sweet, tangy, and savoury flavours delight the tastebuds in this delicious and healthy chili. I love how colourful the veggies are. Kids love it, too. Last night, when I made this chili, my son said “It’s fantastic! You’re the best cook in the whole world!” High praise, coming from a 4 year-old. That made me happy.

Chicken Chili with Sweet Potato, White Beans, and Lime

There are so many good things in this chili, giving it such a fantastic taste… green chilis, red onion, fresh ginger, garlic, cumin, oregano, and lime. The sweet potatoes play very nicely with these flavours, while the white beans add an earthy element. Baby spinach adds a bright green veg to the bowl. It really is a gorgeous chili.

I like to use leftover roast chicken, in this chili, for the best flavour, and to save time. Of course, you can cook chicken breasts, as the recipe instructs. Another thing that you can adapt to your own taste is the lime juice. In the recipe, I wrote to use the juice of 1-2 fresh limes, but this is simply my own preference. Feel free to use as much or as little lime juice as you want. Or, you can do what I do and leave the lime juice out of the chili, and serve a lime wedge with each bowl. This way, everyone can adjust the amount of juice to their own taste. My little boy loves having his own lime wedge to squeeze juice in his own bowl.

Chicken Chili with Sweet Potato, White Beans, and Lime

Enjoy the recipe…

Chicken chili with Sweet Potato, White Beans, and Lime

A blend of spicy, sweet, tangy, and savoury flavours delight the tastebuds in this delicious and healthy chili.

This recipe was adapted from Gluten-Free Goddess.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless free-range chicken breasts (or 500g/ 1 lb leftover roast chicken, shredded—that’s the best!)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided (1 and 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Chili powder, to taste (I like a few dashes)
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3/4 cup chopped roasted green chilis or tomatillo salsa verde or 2 green chilis, deseeded and finely diced
  • 2 cans cannellini beans and/ or black beans, rinsed and drained under cold water
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth/ stock
  • 2 cups of baby spinach, roughly torn or chopped
  • Fresh juice of 1-2 limes (optional)
  • For serving:
  • Fresh chopped cilantro/ coriander (optional)
  • Fresh lime wedges

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375ºF/ 190C/ 170C fan-forced. Rinse the chicken breasts and pat dry. Place breasts in large bowl. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle with oregano, if you like. Toss to coat all sides evenly. Place smooth side up in a baking pan.

Roast the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes, until cooked through (no longer pink inside) and the juices run clear.

You can skip the previous steps, if using leftover roast chicken. Instead, shred the chicken and chill until ready to use.

Meanwhile, begin cooking your pot of chili.

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large soup pot over low heat. Add the red onion and stir for a few minutes, until onions are nearly translucent. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and green chilis. Add sweet potatoes. Add cumin, oregano, salt, and chili powder. Stir to coat. Add beans and chicken broth. Cover and bring just to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

When the chicken is done, let it cool off slightly, until it is cool enough to handle. Shred chicken using 2 forks. Add chicken to the pot and stir gently to warm through. Add baby spinach. Simmer for 1-2 more minutes, until spinach has wilted.

Squeeze in some fresh lime juice to brighten flavors. (Or serve a lime wedge with each bowl, so everyone can adjust the amount of juice to taste. That’s what I do.). Stir gently. Taste test chili for seasoning adjustments. If it has thickened too much, add a touch of broth/ stock to thin.

Serve with lime wedges on the side and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro/ coriander on top, if you like.

I like to serve this chili with corn chips and guacamole, or cheese quesadillas. Cornbread is always great with chili, of course.

 

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2018 for a delicious moment.

Ham and Bean Soup with Pasta

Comfort foods are often those which take us back to happy childhood moments. The story of this soup is about such a moment.

When I was a kid, my maternal grandmother would often look after me and my younger brother. She even lived with my family, for a while, so we spent a lot of time with her. I have quite a few memories of the things she would cook and bake. She could whip up some amazing creations from the simplest ingredients.

Ham and Bean Soup with Pasta

This soup is not one of them. I developed this soup recipe based on an incredibly simple soup that my grandmother would make for my brother and me, for lunch, when she would babysit us. It was as simple as it gets. She would just heat up some Campbell’s ham and bean soup, boil some small-shaped pasta, and combine the two. Somehow, this became one of our favourite lunches.

 

I had forgotten all about this simple soup, for years, until, one day, I had a vague memory of its flavours. I’m sure it was in autumn or winter, the time of year when I begin to crave comforting foods. While grocery  shopping, I found that ham and bean soup, and tried making my own version of grandma’s soup with pasta. It brought me back to my childhood.

Ham and Bean Soup with Pasta

I wanted to make it better, though. Canned soups are not really my kind of thing, anymore. I like to make things from scratch. So, I began to make ham and bean soup with pasta my own way. I used two kinds of beans, ham or bacon, and macaroni. I wanted to thicken the soup, to make it feel heartier. I tried mashing some of the beans, which worked brilliantly. I thought the soup would certainly benefit from adding the classic combination of onion, celery, and carrot, a roux of butter and flour, as well as some chicken stock, and, a little seasoning, of course. After making the soup a number of times, I got the balance just right. It has become a favourite. Every autumn and winter, I make this soup for my family.

This hearty soup is sure to warm you up and satisfy your comfort food cravings. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

 

Ham and Bean Soup with Pasta

This hearty soup is sure to warm you up and satisfy your comfort food cravings.

Ingredients

 

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 heaping Tbsp white flour
  • 2 cans borlotti and/ or cannellini beans; mash or puree ½ (or whole) of one can of beans, drain and rinse the rest under cold water in a colander (I like to use a potato ricer to mash them)
  • 200g/ 7 oz. diced or shredded ham (or bacon)
  • 250g/ 9 oz. of macaroni or small shell pasta (or other small shape pasta)
  • ½ large brown onion, finely diced (or one small brown onion)
  • 4-5 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 6 cups chicken stock/ broth (boiling hot)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Oregano and parsley, to taste

Optional:

A handful of baby spinach, torn

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet. Add onions, carrot, and celery to skillet (also add bacon now, if using that instead of ham). Sautee until onions are translucent. Turn off heat and set pan aside.
  2. Add butter to a large pot, and melt over medium-low heat. Gently add flour to butter, whisking constantly, until flour turns golden, to make a roux.
  3. Add garlic to roux, whisking in quickly. Stir onion mixture into pot.
  4. Add chicken stock, ham, and beans. Turn heat to maximum. Bring to the boil.
  5. Add pasta. Turn heat down to medium-high, and simmer until pasta is fork-tender (not al dente). Add baby spinach at the end of cooking, if using, to cook for about a minute, until wilted.
  6. Season soup, to taste, with salt, pepper, and herbs before serving.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2018 for a delicious moment.