Happy Memorial Day, everyone.
Here in northern California, it's perfect Memorial Day weather...clear and sunny, warm (estimated to get up to mid-80's) and pleasantly breezy. Perfect picnic weather.
I've spent the morning working in the garden, feeding drip irrigation lines to the flowers I've planted over the last week. And, as Caroline is off having a playdate with her friend Sarah and as Roger is occupied with his work, I will spend the afternoon getting a bit of legal work out of the way.
But late this afternoon, our friends Laura and Matt, with their two sons Chris and Trevor, will come over for a casual outdoor dinner. We've not had a chance to catch up with them in a bit, even though Chris is in the same grade at the same school as Caroline and we often pass before and after school. Laura's on the PTO board with me, so we see each other there, too. But things have been busy for all of us lately, so it feels like a long time since we've just hung out for fun.
Inspired by my trip to the Scharfffen Berger chocolate factory, Caroline and I made brownies from scratch this morning, to have for dessert tonight. The recipe is a new one, but sounds wonderful. Here it is:
Triple Chocolate Brownies
2 Tb unsalted butter + more for greasing
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
2 lge eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 or 9-inch pan with butter, set aside.
Combine the chocolate, water, and butter in a medium heavy pot over low heat, stirring occasionally. When the chocolate is just melted, turn off the heat and add the cocoa powder. Stir until combined, and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Add eggs, sugar, and vanilla and stir until well-blended. Add flour, baking soda and salt and stir until no flour shows. Stir in chocolate chips (and nuts, if desired).
Scrape batter into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until top feels firm and brownies pull away from the sides. Remove from oven and cool. Cut into small pieces (they're rich!) and serve.
Sounds chocolatey and yummy, don't they?
The actual meal will consist of grilled fish sandwiches (we're on a grilled fish sandwich kick -- grilled mahi mahi or orange roughy, on a soft french roll with mashed avocado, louie dressing, and slices of iceberg lettuce) for the adults, grilled hot dogs for the kids, potato salad (our local small grocery store makes their own and it's fabulous) and coleslaw, from this recipe:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons oriental sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk first 6 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Mix in cabbage, celery, onion. Season with salt and pepper. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours to blend flavors, tossing occasionally.
Margaritas will, most likely, be consumed as well.
Apparently I'm in a food sort of mood. (I heard a new term on tv yesterday: "foodgasm." Self explanatory, yes? ) So I'm looking forward to a nice evening, eating outside with friends.
I hope you're all having a festive holiday, as well.