Knock You Naked Brownies

It’s been so long, too long! I’ve missed my little blog and all the cooking and baking that comes along with it.

Since we last saw each other I have, started and switched jobs, moved back home (not to my enjoyment), contemplated going back to school and then came to my senses, became an even stronger coffee addict and managed to lose my mind. So all in all not that eventful. I’ll try to catch you up to speed in the coming months.

The biggest problem I had with all of these changes is the fact that my beautiful and tiny apartment kitchen is gone. Handed off to the next set of college students who most likely use that wonderful stove to make processed ramen on a daily basis. My kitchen table is now sitting, dismantled, in my basement and my grandma’s kitchen barely receives enough sunlight to grow plants let alone photograph in it. On top of working over 40 hours most weeks, I found it impossible to test new recipes or even bake/cook in general. And any time I am able to, the photos would have come out looking atrocious.

So I’ve come up with a temporary solution. My love of writing, cooking, baking, and eating has made it hard for me to sit back and watch my blog accumulate a thin layer of dust, so here are my thoughts for the next few months (read: year), I’m going to blog through Instagram photos and sabotage (read: Tabatha Take Over) Meg’s kitchen when possible. It’s not ideal, but even when I attempt to photograph at her house, a freak thunderstorm hit proving that someone somewhere does not want me to keep photographing at the moment.

Alright, let’s get down to the read reason why you returned: food! And let me tell you, this one is slightly insane, no it’s completely insane, but the good kind of insane.

Knock You Naked Brownies |

I have been DYING to make these Knock You Naked Brownies since I acquired Pioneer Woman’s first cookbook and subsequently saw her make them on her television show (drool-a-thon). It’s a combination of two of my favorite things, second only to peanut butter: chocolate and caramel.

Knock You Naked Brownies |

These are RICH and I mean really rich, like you’ll need a huge glass of milk (or water if you’re not a milk-drinker like me) to wash these down with. But man are they delicious! I’m considering only ever making these brownies ever again and never making any other type. You’ll dream about them, no joke. They call for a box of German Chocolate Cake mix and Pioneer Woman says that you MUST use only this type. Should you use anything else, the brownies will be ruined. I think they are ridiculously delicious with the German Chocolate Cake, but part of me is curious how they would taste with a box of Ghirardelli Brownies… sinful I’m sure.

Knock You Naked Brownies |

Either way, these Knock You Naked Brownies do not disappoint in the least. Just ask Meg’s sister Emily, she almost disowned their mom for eating the last brownie instead of leaving it for her. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any family tension that should arise post-finishing these brownies!

Knock You Naked Brownies |

Knock You Naked Brownies
Devised by the devilish Pioneer Woman

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time20-25 minutes

1 box (18.5 ounces) German chocolate cake mix
1/3 cup + 1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
60 whole soft caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk and melted butter. Stir together just until all the ingredients are combined. It will be very thick.

Spray a 8×8 (or 9×9) square baking dish and press half of the dough into the bottom. Bake for 8-10 minutes or just until it is set. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a double boiler (heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water) melt the caramels with the additional 1/3 cup evaporated milk. When it is completely melted and all of the lumps are gone, pour over the brownie base. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the caramel as evenly as possible.

Turn out the remaining dough onto a sheet of waxed paper a press it into roughly an 8×8 (or 9×9) square. Set the flattened dough on top of the caramel and chocolate chips.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or just until the brownie dough is cooked through and a toothpick inserted into just that layer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool at room temperature. This is a very important step as you notice I was impatient and therefore my brownies oozed quite a bit since they were very hot. Allow them to cool completely before cutting (if you can manage). They are delicious when they’re cold!

Knock You Naked Brownies |

I die all over again just looking at these!

Just In Case You Forgot About Memorial Day Too

I know that I haven’t posted in a while, but how is it Memorial Day already? The past few weeks have been beyond hectic: moving out of my apartment, moving back home, starting my job, working full-time, graduation. The list goes on and on. I’ve only been working for three weeks, but I know exactly what everyone is talking about when they say that before you know it, you look up and years have passed by. I looked up and saw that it was Memorial Day already and was in complete disbelief because the weather has been anything but “summery”. Here’s to hoping that wherever you live is much warmer than New Jersey.

But lets talk food. I wanted to bring you some amazing recipes to celebrate Memorial Day and grilling and hopefully sunshine and warm weather. Any of these are sure to be crowd pleasers for your party tomorrow. I will, unfortunately, be working so eat a little extra for me, will ya?

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Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

So I know I’ve been gone for awhile, but here’s the sitch. As you heard me mention multiple times last week, I have finally finished college (well except for an impending photography final project that has been completed for a week, but I never bothered to submit) and last weekend I moved most of my stuff out of my apartment. Well the most important stuff. And I started my new job! Yeah, I would not recommend making multiple major life changes in 48 hours, but hindsight is 20-20.

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta |

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Whole Wheat Blueberry Lemon Pancakes

Spring is here, spring is here! Well not yesterday because it was rainy and therefore cold, of course, but yes overall spring is here! I can finally put away my winter jackets and I have moved on to wearing flip-flops and flats. Maybe it’s still a little early for flip-flops, but I’m one to throw them on when it’s freezing outside.

I have no response to this. I am strange.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Lemon Pancakes |

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Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

Let’s take a second and discuss the fact that though my classes end this week, I still have a ton of papers to write and assignments to finish and I have absolutely no motivation to do anything. How do you force yourself to do work when you just really don’t want to? Maybe this is the mystery of life. If I solve it, do I not have to write these papers anymore because I’m over it.

I just don’t care.

Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes |

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Mocha Java Milkshakes

I’m still not completely convinced that I’m done with school. Well I’m not technically done yet which may be why I have these feelings, but I’m pretty much done. Lets just say that when all you have left are a few assignments and papers, you’re 98% done. I mean I practically have my diploma.

Mocha Java Milkshakes |

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Tequila Lime Chicken Fajita Salad with Chile Lime Vinaigrette

It’s official: I’m done with finals. Not that I really had any classes this semester seeing I was taking three online classes and only one that met once a week. But yeah, I’m done. I’m done with exams forever.

That’s so weird to think about. I feel like I’ve been studying for my entire life. Every night I would come back from class to a ton of assignments and exams. But now that’s gone forever.

Tequila Lime Chicken Fajita Salad with Chile Lime Vinaigrette |

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