Recipe For Chocolate Brownies – Cooking For A Crowd

This recipe for chocolate brownies has been in our family for over 40 years.  Usually brownie recipes are quite small… but this recipe is a “Cooking For A Crowd” deal.

These chocolate brownies are perfect to take to a gathering.  But don’t expect to take any left-overs home… because they will vanish off the plate in no time at all.  If you want any… you better consider taking a few brownies and hiding them someplace before you leave the house.  Mmmm.  So Good.

Here it goes.

This chocolate brownie recipe makes about sixty 2″ pieces… and is so delicious.  Not only are they good… but they are easy to make and the recipe uses ingredients you already have in your kitchen.  No extra special chocolate.

In a bowl, sift together 2 3/4 C. of flour…  1 C Cocoa…  1 1/2 tes. Baking Powder… 1 1/2 tes. Salt.  I use a wire whip to sift my ingred. together.  Works just fine.

In another bowl put 3 C. Sugar.  I use quite a large bowl because all of your ingredients will in up here.

Measure 1 C Shortening in a small bowl.

Melt the Shortening in the microwave.

Add melted Shortening to the Sugar Mixture and mix well.

Add 6 Eggs and 1 tes. of Vanilla to the Sugar and Shortening mixture.  Mix well.

Add the dry ingred. to the Sugar and Egg mixture.  If you want to add nuts, add them at this time.  About 3/4 Cup is good.

The batter will be thick.  Don’t add any extra liquid… even if your tempted to.  Grease your cookies sheet.

Spread the batter on a 12″by 17″ Cookie sheet.  I use a professional cookies sheet with 1″ sides.  It’s called a “Half Sheet.”  You can purchased them at a kitchen specialty store.  However, I have seen them at Costco and Sam’s club.

Bake at 300 degrees.  This temperature is not as hot as cooking a regular cake.  I bake them from 25 to 30 min.   Don’t over bake…  As soon as a toothpick comes clean from the center of the brownies… they’re done.

Allow them to cool… and top them with the frosting of your choice.  My family like white and chocolate frosting… so I do half and half.  (I do notice the chocolate frosting goes first.)  Maybe it’s just me who likes the Cream Cheese frosting.  You can cut them into about sixty 2″ squares.

Mmmm. So good!


Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  I’m convinced… once your try this recipe for Chocolate Brownies… .you won’t want to use anything else.  If you want to see me in action, making the brownies… watch the video below.

If you want a printable copy of the Chocolate Brownie Recipe… just fill in your information below and I’ll send you two sizes of the recipe.  Once you’ve given me your information… you won’t have to give it to me again. I’ll automatically send you recipe updates and other fun stuff.

Scratch Cooking

Scratch Recipes For Salad Dressings

A scratch recipe for salad dressings is getting down to cooking basics.  With so much rich food that grace our holiday tables… it’s nice to offer a good healthy “Green Salad”…  to even things out.  I promise, your guests and family will appreciate the extra effort you go to, if you use these scratch recipes to make your own salad dressing… because they are so good.

These three recipes use basic ingredients you usually have in your cupboard or pantry.  So.. save a few coins and make your own dressings and get raves.  There is nothing like the “real” thing.

The three salad dressings I’m sharing with you today are: Rick’s Honey Basil, Evelyn’s Creamy French, and Basic Buttermilk Ranch.   These recipes have been in my recipe box for years and they’re so easy to prepare.

Rick Carter is the husband of Rebecca, my fellow designer.  He’s does the cookin’ at their house and she does the clean up.  What a deal.  He’s one of the finest chefs I know.  He often would cook and bring lunch to our work.  We were often treated to his secret specialties… such as “Bear” and “Ostrich.”  Never a dull moment.  Rick’s Honey Basil dressing is a nice substitute for Italian.

The Ingredient are   1/2 C. Cider Vinegar…1/2 C. Honey… 1/2 C. Oil (I use light Olive oil but Veg. oil works great.)  2 tes. Sesame Seed Oil… 1/2 tes. garlic powder… 1 heaping tes. of Spicy or Hot Mustard…. 1 tes. Dried Basil… 1/4 tes. Salt… Dash of Pepper.

You can put all the ingredients in a blender (except the dried basil) … or you can use a hand blender to mix.

Blend at high speed until all ingredients are mix well.

Stir in dried basil by hand.  Refrain from blending basil in blender.

There you have it… Rick’s Honey Basil Dressing.

Evelyn is my mom.  Her Creamy French dressing adorned our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables as long as I can remember.  We called it the “Red Dressing.  It’s not only delicious… but it’s bright color is a spiffy addition to your holiday table.

The ingredients are:  1 1/4 C. Ketchup… 1 C. Oil… 1/2 C. White Vinegar… 1/4 to 1/2 tes. garlic powder… 1/2 tes. Dry Mustard…  A scant 1/2 C. Sugar… 1/4 tes. black pepper.

Combine all the ingredients together in a blender or bowl.

Blend all of the ingredients together at high speed.

This Creamy French dressing is so good… you’ll keep a fresh batch in the fridge all year long.

I don’t ever remember my mom every purchasing a bottled dressing.  She always made her dressings from scratch… and that included her Buttermilk Ranch.

The ingredients are:  1 1/2 C. of Mayo.  (She sometimes would substituted the 1/2 C. Mayo for Sour Cream).  It make the dressing a little more mild. 1 tes. Onion Powder.  1 tes. Garlic Powder.  2 tes. Dried Parsley.  1 1/2 C. Buttermilk. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

Put all the ingredients in a bowl… not a blender.

Mix together with a wire whip.

This is so good… you’ll be telling Hidden Valley “good bye.”

I love a fresh green salad… don’t you?

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  If you’ve got a great salad dressing recipe and would like to share it… let me know and we’ll post it on Back To Basics.  Contact me by e-mail.


White Trash Cooking: Yellow Squash and Zucchini Recipe

The phrase: White Trash Cooking is used lightly here… because my Grandma and Momma were far from being “white trash.” My Momma was more of a “Southern Belle.” My kin are from Georgia. I use to think I was raised on “soul food” but after I found a cook book in Arkansas called White Trash Cooking White Trash Cooking (Jargon)and I knew I had mislabeled Momma’s cookin’. Poor folks flavored their cookin’ with salt pork or bacon. It helped to make simple, plain, inexpensive vittles more palatable.

I was raised on this white trash recipe: yellow squash and zucchini. Momma, always used a bit of bacon in her veggies. I know…I know… not the best when your trying to watch those calories and fat intake. What can I say? All I know is… you won’t be leaving the bacon out once you’ve try cooking your yellow squash or zucchini using this tasty recipe…”white trash” or no.

This is all ya need. Simply, huh!

First… cut yourself off a bit of bacon. (abt 1/8 to 1/4 lb.) I keep mine in the freezer… so I get it out and cut off a few chunks. Now how much you use… depends on how many squash you’re going to cook. This pot (4 qt.) will hold about 14 to 16 squash that are about 8″ long. (Feeding my family..ya know.) I like them young and tender.

Fry your bacon so it’s nice and crisp. Watch it carefully now… I burned my kitchen down by leaving bacon cooking on the stove while I left my stove to check on an outside matter. (a story for another time)

Slice up your squash. I like to combine yellow squash with zucchini because it looks so colorful when you serve it… besides it tastes great.

Now don’t panic here. Do not remove the dripping from the bacon. If you get a bit nervous… you can drain off a little of the drippings.. but it won’t taste as good. Drop in all the squash and toss until the drippings coat the squash a bit. Important: Do not add any water or liquid! Add salt to taste.

With the heat on med. low…keep tossing the squash and bacon. You can put on the lid for a bit
but toss often so yellow squash will cook evenly. The cooking process only takes about 10 minutes or so. Don’t over cook so your squash will not become mushy.

Now take a bite. See how good it is? When my family comes over for dinner… you can bet your “white trash” bottom boots… the pan will be left empty.


Till Later
Kathy Griffiths

P.S. I will be sharing more “white trash” recipes with ya’ll. Just how trashy is your cookin’?

P.P.S. Drop in your information below and you’ll be on my newslettter mailing list. You won’t have to add your name again… from now on… you’ll be on my newsletter list I will send you a printable version of all future recipes. For Free! You’ll get other goodies too. Grab yourself a little 5X7 photo album and slide the recipes in it for an Insightful Nana cookbook.

Simply click on the book icon of your choice for purchase or review.


White Trash Cooking: Green Beans & New Red Potatoes Recipe

Snap Beans, String Beans or just plain old Green beans… they’re all the same when it come to White Trash Cooking. My grandma called them Snap Beans. I guess ’cause the green beans make a little snap when you take off the ends or break the green bean in half.

I don’t know why I feel I need to apologize for saying White Trash Cooking… but I sometimes get a little stuck in the “politically correct” mumbo jumbo. White Trash Cooking simply means the ability to make simple, cheap food taste great! All veggies have a little salt pork or bacon… Corn meal is a main staple… and Molasses… is used for the sweet tooth. Oh… and don’t forget the buttermilk and pot liquor.

My kin come from the South… Georgia as a matter of fact… where Soul Food and White Trash Cooking abound… and fresh green beans are a main staple in the family garden.

All ya need for this White Trash Green Bean recipe is: about 3 to 4 lbs of green beans…about 7 new red potatoes…a little bacon… about 5 stripes (cut) and salt. Simple recipe.

If you are cookin’ for a crowd… you can cook as many beans as you want too… just add enough potatoes to feed the gang… add more bacon and salt… and there ya go.

Simply wash the beans well. Snap off the ends and snap the string bean in half. That’s if the green bean is too long. Clean up the new potatoes and cut them into good bite size pieces.

Put it all in the pot together. And yes… the bacon is placed on top raw.. don’t precook. Fill your pot until it just about covers the green beans. Add your salt to taste.

Bring it all to a good boil and turn down the heat. Simmer for about 15 to 20 min… test a bean to see if it’s done. Ya may need to cook them a bit longer… but ya don’t want to over-cook these puppies so watch the timing. I find the potatoes cook at the same rate as the beans… so test one of them also. The beans will change color from a bright green to a sage green.

Now… here’s a little secret. I like to cook my beans a few hours ahead of the crowd and let them sit a bit. The snap beans and new potatoes drink up that wonderful bacon flavor… Mmmmm good!

My grandma called the liquid or juice, “Pot Liquor” and she would drink it. Good way to get the vitamins!


Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. I will be sharing more white trash recipes with ya’ll. If you’re a White Trash cook… let me know!

P.P.S. Drop in your information below and you’ll be on my newslettter mailing list. You won’t have to add your name again… from now on… you’ll be on my newsletter list I will send you a printable version of all future recipes. For Free! You’ll get other goodies too. Grab yourself a little 5X7 photo album and slide the recipes in it for an Insightful Nana cookbook.

Get your White Trash Cookbooks by simply clicking on the icons below. Great reviews too.