* Happy Monday!! Hope you all had a lovely weekend!! This was the only weekend the Husband and Pete and I had scheduled all to ourselves within a six week period, so we really lived it up. I mean, the Husband and I stayed up watching Lost for a good half hour after Pete went to bed Saturday night. And we split a beer. Yeah, we party like that. It was glorious. Anyway, before we get into things, I wanted to preface this post by warning you I split it up into two sections. I realized after I typed it out that it was reaaaaaaally long and if your attention span is anything like mine, you’re gonna need a break. That and my house needs a little TLC (paint touch-ups and what not) that I have been trying to get to for months now. I hope you will find it worth the wait. My mom read it and she thought it was hilarious (and moms never lie to their kids to boost their self esteem) so I feel confident you will bear with me and come back for more this week. This first installment is also a little shy on pictures, but I more than make up for it later in the week – promise.  Without further ado, I present to you why I am the worst food blogger ever…

I am going to be the worst food blogger ever. These were the exact words running on a loop inside my head in late March.  I am going to be the worst food blogger ever. Ever.

So, like I said, it was late March. The end of the month pretty much always means the same thing – the food budget is shot. Shot to heck and back again and then to heck and back some more. So it was the end of the month and I was already fifty bucks over. Sunday morning I find myself at the grocery, already over my budget but needing food to serve to the moms I was hosting the next day for Pete’s very first playdate. In my cart I had lime tortilla chips, hummus, carrots, tri-colored peppers and strawberries. I knew I had all the ingredients at home to make spiced candied nuts and I had several jars of homemade salsa in the basement. That left chocolate. Moms like chocolate. My mom likes chocolate anyway. My first thought was Ashley’s Frozen Banana Bites, but I hadn’t tested to see how long they keep at room temperature so that was out. My second thought was brownies. Brownies are universally loved. Does anybody not like brownies? I used to stock up on boxes of brownie mix when they were on sale for 99 cents because pre-Paleo Husband liked them, but I had checked the basement shelves before I left home and I was out. At the store, I made my way to the sugar aisle and much to my wallet’s dismay, brownies were not on sale. Even the cheapest store brand was close to three bucks. Three bucks!! For brownie mix I can usually get for a dollar. Yeah, no thanks. I will make my own.

I decided right then not only to make brownies, but to create my own brownie recipe. It would be perfect. I could photograph it, blog about it, and the moms would love it so much they would be inspired by my cooking, read my blog and I would become famous. Nevermind I had never created my own brownie recipe before. Nevermind I had four dollars worth of hummus in my cart and I make an awesome roasted red pepper hummus for practically nothing and it would have made waaaaay more sense to buy the brownies and make the hummus. Nevermind I had a five month old baby at home who takes up most of my energy and Husband had someone coming Monday night to appraise the house and the entire second floor needed a good scrubbing. Nevermind all that. I was making brownies.

What is the first thing a non-chef does to create their own recipe? Google someone else’s and adapt adapt adapt. Except I don’t want to be that kind of blogger. So I googled just enough (thanks Alton Brown) to get the basic ingredients and completely ignored the ratios, temperatures, and cooking times. Flour. Cocoa powder. Sugar. Eggs. Butter. Vanilla. Salt. That’s the gist. To make things simple I started with a 1:1:1 ratio of the first three. With Ashley’s Banana Bites in mind I pulled out the peanut butter from the pantry. Peanut butter baked into the brownie. Perfect match. Maybe it could replace the unhealthy fats, I mused. I nuked it for a few seconds to make mixing easier, added some melted coconut oil (cause that is what healthy living bloggers do), two eggs and vanilla. I mixed away. It was sludge like, not at all the smooth and fluid texture you get from a mix. A tiny taste (I know, raw eggs, tsk tsk) revealed no peanut butter taste. None. Zip. Zilch. More PB for taste. More eggs for texture. Still sludgey. More oil maybe? How bout butter? Alton Brown used butter and Paula Dean would approve so I melted half a stick and mixed away. Not quite right yet. Out comes a spoon and in goes half a cup of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips. I dumped the whole mess in a pan, using my hands to flatten the thick peaks as best I could, and into a 350 degree oven it went. I set the timer and checked on Pete who was keeping Husband busy while I baked.

I usually set my timer high because our oven takes longer to bake. After thirty minutes the buzzer buzzed and I pulled out my masterpiece. Dry and crumbly on the inside, shiny and buttery in the valleys. No peanut butter taste. Not sweet. My hope sank and I immediately pulled out six individually wrapped biscotti to feed the mom’s.

Despite his Paleo diet, Husband insisted on trying one, touting he had never had a bad brownie. I brought over a small forkful and fed him as he was holding a sleeping Pete in the rocking chair. He hasn’t confirmed this, but I imagine his thoughts as he chewed were an internal debate over just how bad it would be if he spit out brownie all over Pete’s head. Always the diplomat, Husband suffered through silently and gently confirmed, “yeah, it’s bad.”

It gets worse.

The brownies sat on the counter till bedtime when I covered the cooled pan, fed the Pete, and hit the hay. Monday morning shows up and I notice the brownies still on top of the stove. Can’t let them sit out for the moms to see so I stuck the pan in the oven. Outta sight, outta mind they say. The moms come over. The biscotti remains untouched, but the salsa was a huge hit. Tuesday night rolls around. Husband had a protein shake after weight lifting so dinner didn’t start happening till after 7. I turned on the oven and prepped some caveman friendly peppers, stuffed with veggies, goat cheese and ground bison. 7:30 I go to put the peppers in the oven. Crap. The brownies. They had been pre-heating this whole time. Crap, crap, CRAP.

It gets worse……….

** Here is a little teaser of how this whole mess ends to keep you coming back on Wednesday….

Part 2 can be found here.

Part 3 can be found here.

Joanna

Question of the Day:  Who loves their mom??  Come on, this should bring out the comments because moms rock.  Mine does!

13 Comments

  1. This brownie story may end bad after all! Excited to read about the bite you made! Salsa is always a hit with moms!!
    You are too sweet!

    • Thanks for reading! It gets bad and then worse and then worse again and then a little better. Funny the whole way through though, my mom was crying she was laughing so hard. You should do a post someday about favorite mom foods! Maybe I could have avoided this whole crisis …. 😉

  2. I have a new appreciation for why my mom always chopped my hair off when I was little. Every day is a fight with Cupcake to get the tangles out of that thin, fine hair she inherited from her momma.

  3. Mavis M. Weisgerber

    Your mom told me about the great brownie fiasco after Mass on Holy Thursday! I’ve been patiently waiting for it, and Part I was worth the wait! P.S. If you would like an AWESOME recipe for peanut butter brownies that are completely from scratch, let me know!

    • I would LOVE that, thanks!

      • Mavis M. Weisgerber

        Here it is:

        Peanut Butter Brownies

        2 cups flour
        1/4 cup cocoa powder
        2 1/2 tsp baking powder
        1/2 tsp salt
        2/3 cup butter, melted (10 2/3 Tbsp)
        2/3 cup peanut butter (I use the natural kind that’s just peanuts and salt)
        1 cup sugar
        1 1/4 cup brown sugar
        1 tsp vanilla
        3 eggs
        1/2 cup chocolate chips

        In a small bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl mix melted butter, peanut butter, sugars, and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly into a well-greased 13×9-inch baking pan (the batter will be very thick, almost like cookie dough). Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes or until tester tests clean about 2 inches from the side of the pan (for our oven the brownies are done after 28 minutes).

  4. Oh. My. Gosh. J. You are SO FUNNY! And a great writer! Why the heck did it take you so long to start a blog?!?! I think you would have had some hilarious posts if you had been writing when you were pregnant. Just saying.

    My mom is the absolute most coolest chick I know. And she’s beautiful, funny, witty, charming, and kind. Huh…maybe that’s where I got it from! 🙂

    We MUST do lunch soon. I’ll text you…

  5. Pingback: The Worst Food Blogger Ever Part 2

  6. Way to save these! 🙂 I was hoping you’d go with Truffle.

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  8. For my bridal shower I had to make brownies from scratch without a recipe. They put all the ingredients infront of me and I had to guess the measurments. They did not turn out very well. That was 12 years ago and I still need a recipe!

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