Tracy's Brownies

When I visited my cute sister Tracy in Texas, she whipped up a batch of her delicious brownies. I suggest combining these scrumptious chocolate brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a spoonful of seasonal fresh berries! Yummy!
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Make the brownies
INGREDIENTS
1 cup + 3 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup baking cocoa
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
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DIRECTIONS
In a sauce pan melt butter. Remove from the heat. Stir in cocoa, cool.
In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture.
Stir in vanilla and the cooled chocolate mixture; mix well. Tracy likes to run the kitchen-aid the whole time in speed 2. She says they seem to turn out better that way.
Spread into buttered 13x9 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. (do not over bake)
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Make the frosting
INGREDIENTS
1 cube of soft butter
2-2/3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/3 cup milk
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DIRECTIONS
Mix everything together, except the milk.
Gradually add the milk.
Turn your speed on high. You will get fluffy frosting when you do this. Yum!!!
Tracy likes to put the frosting on right when the brownies come out, so they soak up the goodness!

Sugared Asparagus

My sister-in-law, Becky, introduced this to me. Thank you Becky! This is one of our family favorites. It has also become a "must have" on Easter Sunday. Best right from the skillet!
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INGREDIENTS
3 T. Butter
2 T. Brown Sugar
2 lbs. Fresh Asparagus
1 c. Chicken Broth
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DIRECTIONS
Cut asparagus into 2 inch pieces. In a skillet over med-high heat, heat butter and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add asparagus; saute for 2 min. Stir in chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Remove asparagus to a serving dish and cover. Cook Sauce, uncovered until reduced by half. Pour over asparagus; serve immediately.

Honey Ham and Swiss Cheese Sliders

So much flavor in these little sliders. A great one for parties!
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To accommodate my husband's taste buds (he does not do condiments of any kind), I make a third of the batch with just a roll, ham, and cheese. On a few of "his" sliders, I switch out the Swiss cheese with a slice or two of pepper jack cheese. Such a good wife! :)
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INGREDIENTS
24 King's Hawaiian Rolls (or good, soft white rolls)
24 pieces honey ham
24 small slices Swiss cheese (I like baby Swiss)
Spread
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup miracle whip
Poppy Seed Sauce
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
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DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and miracle whip. Spread onto both sides of the center of each roll. Use a little or use a lot - your choice! Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss cheese inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.
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In a small bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Using enough to cover the tops of your sliders, pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. Personally, I use about half of the sauce. There is still plenty of flavor, believe me.  Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm.

Note: Sliders can be assembled a day ahead of time. Keep in the refrigerator, until ready to bake.

Banana Bread Brownies with Brown Butter Frosting

!!WARNING!! These brownies are highly addictive. My husband says it is the brown butter frosting that makes these so irresistible.
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I found the recipe on Life's Simple Measures, she found it on The Girl Who Ate Everything (she calls them Monkey Squares), and she found got the recipe from The Welcome Mat. Just happy the recipe was discovered!
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INGREDIENTS
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Banana Bread Brownies
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk (or sour cream)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
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Brown Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp milk
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DIRECTIONS
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Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease and flour 15x10-inch jelly roll pan.
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For the bars
Beat together sugar, buttermilk (or sour cream, I have tried both and prefer the buttermilk), butter, and eggs until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend for 1 minute. Stir in walnuts, if desired.
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Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
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Meanwhile...
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For frosting
In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until boiling.  Allow the butter turn a delicate brown, then remove from heat immediately. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Whisk together until smooth. Using a spatula, spread the frosting over the warm brownies. (the frosting will be easier to spread while the bars are still warm).
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Note:  The original recipe said the frosting should be thicker than a glaze but thinner than frosting.  I have made this a few times now and my frosting has always come out thick. To help smooth the frosting over the brownies this is what I do - using a small cookie scoop, I scoop the frosting all over the top of the brownies, then I place the pan back into the warm oven (which has been turned off - still warm though from baking). This allows the frosting to melt slightly, allowing me to spread it easily over the brownies.

Easy Terri-aki Chicken

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This recipe came from the kitchen of Todd (my little brother) and his adorable wife Meta.  I like to think they named it after me.  ;) 
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INGREDIENTS
3 lbs of chicken breast or thighs (we like both)
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup ketchup
little less than 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2-3 teaspoons fresh minced/crushed garlic
1 teaspoons powder ginger
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DIRECTIONS
Mix all ingredients together with wire whisk. Pour over chicken in crock pot. Cook on low for several hours (5-6 hours). Shred with potato masher and let sit to allow juices to soak in to chicken. Serve with rice.

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