Ok, so David and I took a look at the grocery budget for last month. It was totally depressing. Apparently, all those little side trips to the Food Lion across the street really add up. I couldn't attribute it to the recent food inflation; it was that bad. So I put on my game face and decided that I am making ONE big shopping trip to Walmart a week, and no more. If we run out of something, we're going to make do until the next Monday. Unless its 1. toilet paper or 2. milk. Guests will be eating what we eat, even if it ain't fancy. No buying anything extra for them until I get this thing back in the barn.
So tonight we were having small group at our house. And usually, whoever's hosting makes dessert. I didn't have a ton in the pantry to work with. But I did have cocoa powder, flour, eggs, etc. So I went on AllRecipes.com and started hunting for a homemade brownie recipe. My typical pattern with AllRecipes is to look for something highly rated by hundreds of people. Usually, its a big winner. This brownie recipe was no exception. It appeared that lots of the reviewers had made modifications that worked, so I scrolled through those and picked and chose what I wanted to use. I'm not sure that the final product bears much resemblance to the original, but here's the link for that anyway.
Homemade Brownies that Actually Look and Taste a Lot Like the Ghiradelli Box Mix (my gold standard)
1/2 stick butter, softened, plus ¼ c. applesauce
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
a handful of semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch square pan. In a large bowl, beat melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Dump all the dry ingredients in with the wet and continue to mix. Add chips last. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.