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Tag Archives: Comfort food

A Chocolately, Pumpkiny TWO Ingredient HUG

Who doesn’t like two ingredients recipes? Seriously, I’m always curious about these ideas. I read the “recipe” and ask myself………. “really?”

Like, “Could it BE just that easy??”

Ok, I didn’t actually ask myself that. I just thought “Hey, seems like a cool idea that I need to try”.

I’ve tried other minimal recipe desserts before like THIS one. Oh, and  remember the CHEATER COBBLER? That one as was a two ingredient recipe as well. Both of those recipes turned out pretty damn well, I have to say. ESPECIALLY the Cherry Chocolate Cake. Oh lawdy, was it good!

So in the spirit everything pumpkin this season, I bring you another two ingredient, Thanksgiving/fall/pumpkin themed type recipe that seriously makes you want break out the sweat pants and fuzzy slippers, and get ready for the coming hibernation.

Alright! First up, here’s your ingredients!

One Chocolate Brownie Mix (any brand you prefer)
One 15 ounce can of Canned Pumpkin (or Pumpkin Pie Filling)

That’s it! I know, it’s easy isn’t it? I love easy!
(don’t go there.)

Moving on, here’s the photo of the ingredients:

pumpkin brownies 3

*NOTE: In the photo above, you’ll see that I bought the 540ml (18 ounce) can because that’s all they had. I weighed 15 ounces and it came to roughly 3/4 of the can.  Please keep this in mind when making your own, and adjust according to the can you buy.

Here’s how you do it!!

1. Preheat your oven to 350!

2. Empty the box of brownie mix and about 15 ounces of the pumpkin pie filling into the cake mix and mix together.

I know, pretty difficult so far, right?

pumpkin brownies 4

3. Now, you don’t need it, but I happen to seriously love anything pumpkin spice.

So you can add up to a teaspoon of pumpkin spice to the mix to “make it sing”

( I DESPISE that term, but it’s really the only word I thought appropriate to explain what I”m trying get across).

So I added 1/2 a teaspoon.

Twice. :)

pumpkin brownies 5

4. Next, pour the mixture into a parchment lined 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 pan. No parchment?

No problem!

Grease the hell outta the pan, and you’ll be fine.

pumpkin brownies 6

So the recipe that I followed which is here, calls for baking the brownies for 25-30 minutes until set. I found that I had to double that time to make it work, so you might wanna keep an eyeball  on the pan just to make sure it’s baked thoroughly. No one likes raw brownie dough…… I think anyway. Maybe it’s like a raw cookie dough concept?  Meh, not for this chick – I like my baked desserts… BAKED.

When a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean, you’re good to go.

Let cool COMPLETELY before you decide to frost or sugar these babies.

pumpkin brownies 7

Ok. So let me tell you, this isn’t your typical brownie. It’s more dense, and has a soft pumpkin flavor mixed with the chocolately goodness of the brownie. Be warned though, my gorgeous reader. If you like the flavor of chocolate, this chocolate brownie with the chocolate frosting can quell any chocolate craving you might have. HOWEVER, the denseness of these brownies from the pumpkin seem to almost intensify the chocolatey taste to the point that well,… it’s teetering on craziness.

I ADORE chocolate, and ONE small brownie with the frosting was enough to lull me into sweet, dreamy chocolate land, where one might be tucked into their chocolate bed and given chocolate kisses and yummy chocolate hugs sprinkled with warm pumpkin spices.

Yes. It’s like that.

JUST like that.


It honestly seemed like a good idea at the time…….

So in the whole spirit of low carbing, sometimes I get these………… “brilliant” ideas. Yes my dear readers, let me introduce you to “breaded” low carb mozza sticks!!

Easy Peasy, right?
Let me show you how!!

In one container large enough to fit your average mozza stick, place a few tablespoons of almond flour.

In another container, one beaten egg.


In the last container, place a few tablespoons of coconut flour, and season it really, really well. I used seasoning salt, pepper, and other seasoning that suited my fancy at the time…. cuz I AM fancy.


In a nice, super hot pan with oil (don’t let it smoke), place your “breaded” mozza stick and keep an eye on it. Keep flipping OFTEN, so it can brown nicely on all sides.


Yep. Goooooooooood idea on paper folks.

But really?………………………..


Back to the drawing board.

Aunt Christine’s Household Hints! – VINEGAR!

If anyone knows me personally, (and I know those who don’t, I do believe you’re missing out..), they would most likely know who my Aunt Christine is as well. I grew up in the country, a half mile away from her, and spent hours upon hours at her house  playing with my cousins when we were kids. Now, as an adult I still adore her (possibly more than when I was a child), and as anyone who knows her can attest, she’s one of the most generous people I know.

Now keep in mind, generous comes in many different ways with her.  For instance, every time I go south to the States she comes over and gives me some “funny money” (US Dollars) that she had just “hanging around”. When she comes across a great deal somewhere, instead of buying one, she’ll buy a few and end up giving me one of whatever it is. For my last birthday, she bought me a purple wig. Yep… I don’t know why either, but she’s great that way! I mean come on, who gets a purple wig AND a helium “Happy Birthday” balloon that sings the birthday song to you whenever you punch it???? I loved it!!

Ok, so moving on. At some point a year or so ago, she came over and gave me a super cool series of small books that she bought God knows where. They are basically 3 separate books on different uses for household vinegar, baking soda, and salt. Alright, obviously these hints aren’t exactly MY AUNTIE’S HINTS as the title of this blog post suggests, because the vinegar book is actually written by Christine Halvorson (NOT my Aunt Christine) but I kinda like the idea that she gave me the books, so it seems like they came from her…. like my logic?

Here’s the vinegar book:


The books have a bit of a retro/vintage type of look to them, and are full of super cool little “hacks” or hints, to make life easier, and cost effective.The book suggests using Heinz’s brand name vinegar, however, I’m SURE any brand name of vinegar would work if not your not feeling fancy. Just be sure it’s the 5% acidity kind.

So, I thought when times are a bit slow around here (aka, I have nothing new to post), you, my dear readers, will get a handy dandy hint or two on how to use one of these household staples in ways that you may not have ever dreamed of! Well perhaps you may have heard of a few of these, but you can always pass the info (as well as this blog post..ahem) onto someone who might not be in the know. That way, you could be the hero for the day and be a smartypants ALL AT ONCE!

Win win!

So, we shall commence the schooling with the household vinegar tips. For the most part, these tips are referencing your run of the mill, white, grocery store bought, 5% acidity vinegar. A few tips will use apple cider, but that will of course, be prefaced.

Ok. Here’s two handy hints to get us started:

For cleaning your microwave:  If you microwave is dirty and greasy with old food particles and other grossness, microwave a glass container with one cup of water, and a 1/4 cup of vinegar for about 3 to 4 minutes. After the microwave is finished, leave it there for about 10 minutes without the opening the door. Then, open the door and simply wipe clean!

Laundry: If you add 2 cups of vinegar to the rinse cycle while washing cotton or wool blankets, it will remove any soapy residue and leave the blankets smelling clean (not of vinegar), soft and fluffy!

If you have any uses for vinegar, let me know and I’ll post them here!

If you’re interested in buying these books, here’s a place you can:

Rick and Alice’s Grill

Rick and Alice’s Grill.

7106 109 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6G

A Grill, in my mind, has a cool vintage diner type feel, red and chrome, black and white checks, a long counter and booths. I conjure up waitresses like “Flo”- the pink uniformed, blonde buffonted and gum chewing broad, telling Al to “kiss her grits”. Somehow though, with its dowdy pastel-ish 80’s decor, non-diner like tables, Rick and Alice’s Grill really doesn’t fit that bill, however, it mainly attracts the “haven’t-gone-to-bed-need-afterparty-grub” and the “Just-left-church-need-afterconfessional-grub” crowds that might frequent a diner type joint.

I’ve been here three times. The first two times, it was between the times of noon and three, and when I walked in, they were vacuuming.

Yep… vacuuming. BOTH TIMES. Vacuuming the old, old, oh, did I mention OLD, short pile carpet, appetizingly beside the tables, even while people were dining. All I could imagine were the little particles of dust, crap and french fry bits being sparkled up into the afternoon sunbeams shining through the windows, coming to rest atop the tables and silverware.


Today was slightly different. Sans vacuum, we were greeted by someone who I’ll assume is Alice (an extremely nice asian woman) who quickly and efficiently directed us to a table by the windows, which I really appreciated. I like sitting by windows. She brought us menu’s and my companion and myself ordered water to drink while we checked out the fare offered. When the water arrived at the table, I thought it was kinda cool to see a little slice of lemon in the water. I literally mean LITTLE, like, a quarter of a measly slice of damn lemon, but it was still a nice touch that you don’t see anywhere else anymore.



So besides the menu looking like a ransom note, most items offered are comfort food geared,  breakfast and some basic lunch dishes. Salads, burgers, sandwiches, pasta and some stir fries. For the most part, I think it’s a decent menu but on a side note, if you don’t eat meat, you might be a bit limited here as it seems that almost every entree includes something that once had eyes.  Pricing is standard, however, one little item pretty much stunned me with a “WTF” bitchslap. Check this shit out:


Uh yeah.

Over SEVEN dollars for a SIDE of sweet potato fries.

PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE Alice, come the hell on here. What do you do to the fries that are so special to warrant arms and legs for a sweet starchy fry? Ok, so maybe I’m a cheap ass chick (ok,…. not maybe,… I AM), but wholly crap, that price is simply crazy talk.

Anyway, onto the meal. I ordered the Bacon, Cheese and Mushroom Burger with a side of fries. Service was pretty quick, so can’t complain about that. Here’s the cheesy PHONE photo, as I didn’t have my REAL camera with me.


I forgot to tell them NO ONION. Fresh onion has no place in this chick’s mouth as I will taste it till next tuesday, and nobody has time for that.

Here’s a second photo:



After removing the very fresh, but (as my Mom would call it) ‘OFFENSIVE’ onion, I put the burger together, cut it in half, and took a bite.

First impressions….. not bad.

Good things about the burger are these:

– Pure, house made patty (no binder laden, half- cow- half- unpronounceable ingredients) .. I hope, anyway.
-REAL cheese, all melty and gooey on top like the burger gods said it shall be.
-Toasted bun.(mine was a bit tooooo toasty, but that’s ok. Adds character.)

Shitty things about the burger:

– Pure house made patty (no binder it seems of ANY sort; maybe not even an egg?), so it crumbles and doesn’t want to hold together.

-Remember I said it was a MUSHROOM burger as well? Yeah, la fungi was pretty much non existant. In fact, the one or two that were embedded in the melted cheese made it seem like they were an afterthought or accidentally dropped on it.

-The bacon was one strip that laid across, and hung over the sides of the burger. Why not cut that thing in half so both sides have some bacon-y goodness? Why MUST I do everything myself??? Sigh.

– Too much relish

As I ate it, I ended up taking the top bun off eating the damn burger with a fork and knife because it just wouldn’t stay together. The taste was pretty nice though. You could taste the beef, bacon and cheese as it should be, but no mushrooms as they missed the bus to the party. The lettuce, tomato and toasty part of the bun added a nice crunch and freshness that made the burger that much better. If they could figure out how to make the whole burger stay together while you eat it like a REAL burger, then it would be pretty close to being kickass.

The fries? I’m not even going to talk about them because well, they were just not memorable. In fact, I’ve forgotten about them already. What was I talking about again?

So, because of the quick, warm and friendly service, nice lemony touch, a tasty but alas, crumbly burger, and a weird vacuum dust-up, I give Rick and Alice’s Grill:



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