10.03.2009

Adventures in the Kitchen

This is Brianna, and as previously mentioned, I love to cook and bake. When I was growing up, my mom had a pasta machine that she used some of the time. Most people would probably love this...fresh pasta! But, I had only one memory of it and it wasn't a good one. I think the meal was chicken and noodles on mashed potatoes (which is one of my favorites) but some of my noodles stuck together in a clump, and didn't get cooked well. So, basically, I was eating a wad of dough. I have never liked eating dough. And after that, making pasta was never in my plans. (Just for the record, I still think my mom is an amazing cook!)

Then, our friends invited us over for dinner, and guess what? Same meal, chicken and noodles on mashed potatoes! With fresh pasta! And, it was good! So, I thought I would try it out. I didn't have the machine, so I rolled them out by hand, which worked...but they have to be really thin. And the dough is really sticky!
The verdict. Well, they were good, but not great. The recipe I used called for a pinch of salt, and I don't think that was enough, but they were okay in the soup. I would do it again, but only for soup or chicken and noodles, or if I ever felt like trying some ravioli. I can't imagine using them for spaghetti...they were pretty thick, even though I rolled them as thin as I could.

But guess what? Same week, different day, we tried another recipe. BYU Mint Brownies. I've never been a fan of mint, at least not peppermint. I like wintergreen and spearmint, but peppermint is usually too strong for me. I have never had a whole candy cane...one lick is enough for me. These brownies have mint extract in them, which consists of peppermint and spearmint, so it isn't too pepperminty. Plus, once you add the word brownie, I am sold.

Anything that starts with this...
and ends with this...
has got to be good, right? Did I mention I love chocolate?

This recipe is supposedly the original, directly from Sugar-n-Spice (located in the Cougareat at BYU). It was printed in the BYU Magazine, so we figured it must be legitimate. You can find the recipe here.

We were invited to dinner yesterday and decided to try it out and hope they really were as good as the originals. Andrew made the mint icing layer, and doesn't it look great? It was, but a little too powerful on its own. He said it reminded him of toothpaste.
The verdict. Well, actually, we tried a little bite as soon as we put on the chocolate icing, and we were a little disappointed. The brownies seemed too tall, and we didn't taste enough mint. We thought they must have lied in the recipe. They were still good, but not the same. We brought them to the dinner a few hours later, and when we had them then, they were better. More minty. Tonight, we had them again...and they were still good. Maybe even better. We think the mint is spreading through the brownie. I do still think the brownies are still a little taller than I remember, but overall, I think they are just as good as the real BYU Mint Brownies. You should try them, especially if you like mint...or chocolate. And because they look really good in this picture.
Oh, and they don't have a recipe for the chocolate icing, but I use this one and love it. I actually didn't use all of it, we didn't want it to overpower the mint, so I left off maybe 3/4 cup or something.

1/2 C. margarine
1/4 C. cocoa
1/3 C. milk
8 large marshmallows
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine all ingredients in saucepan and melt over medium to medium-high heat. Or turn it up for awhile if you get impatient...just don't burn it. When it is all melted and smooth, remove from heat. Add:
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar (you could probably even add 3 cups. Mine was a little runny...but it worked that way; it was easier to spread.)

Oh, one last thing. The mint is really what makes these brownies. I am sure you could easily make brownies from a mix and add the mint and chocolate icing. I love brownies from a mix! I just love brownies!