February Almanac Recipe: Simply Perfect Brownies

A page from our February Almanac:

So what food best captures the romantic, red, winter-y love of February? I believe the answer is simple: it’s a big plate of wonderful, deeply delicious, chocolate brownies. Obviously.

And going beyond just February, it’s amazing how many meals I’ve made that are begging to be finished with brownies. Not pie or cake or fancy creme’ brûlée, just brownies.

Like most things, it’s often in true simplicity that we find great levels of complexity and compliment. I present to you here, for this cold winter month, warm decadence without bells and whistles or pretension: the best brownie recipe ever. Make them to finish about any meal and taste the rich love for yourself.

chocolatemessy

Simply Perfect Brownies

Makes 1 8×8 pan of brownies

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment, extending it up two sides, or foil. Butter the parchment or foil or spray it with a nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and butter together until only a couple unmelted bits remain. Off the heat, stir until smooth and fully melted. You can also do this in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon or flexible spatula and scrape batter into prepared pan, spread until even. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out batter-free.

Let cool and cut into desired size.

– Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Recipe for January. Well, Evening of December 31st to Be Exact.

Every month we will feature a recipe from our Almanac No. 1. January’s is a soup of magic and good fortune to be made for your New Year!
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Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Green Stew

My grandmother would fix two special things for our dinner every New Year’s Eve: collared greens and black eyed peas. And every year they were terrible. We would yell and complain and she would retort that at least one bite must be taken for wealth and good fortune finding us in our year to come. I’m from Kansas, but I believe this is a southern tradition. Apparently it dates all the way back to the Civil War.

I’ve wanted to keep the tradition alive, but make sure the food was not only palpable, but delicious. I present to you a wonderful recipe, “Black-eyed pea and collared green stew”.
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May your new year be blessed with wealth and good fortune. At least you’ll start it with a great meal.

2 Cups dried black-eyed peas

1 Tbs. canola oil

3/4 C. finely chopped yellow onion

8 oz. kielbasa sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

4 C. chicken broth

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

2 bay leaves

1 Tbs. cider vinegar

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 bunch collard greens – chopped

1. Sort and wash peas; set Aside.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until tender. Add sausage; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned.

3. Stir in broth; bring to a simmer, scraping pan to loosen yummy browned bits. Stir in peas, salt, peppers, and bay leaves. Cover and simmer 45 minutes or until peas begin to soften. Uncover and cook 15 minutes or until liquid begins to thicken.

4. Stir in vinegar, tomatoes, and greens; simmer 10 minutes or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves. Serve with warm cornbread drizzled with honey.

 

-Betony of Giants & Pilgrims
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