Entertaining

One-Bowl Brownies

I have a hangover. A football hangover.

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I went back to Lincoln last weekend for an epic Saturday night brawl: Miami at Nebraska.

It had all the makings of a marquee match-up: an old rivalry reborn, decades of Nebraska playing on Miami’s turf, celebration of the momentous 1994 national title game, and the promise of the season ahead. Every Nebraska fan has a nostalgia for those 1990s teams, but it’s especially strong for those of us who came of age during the glory days.

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By the 7pm kickoff, Memorial Stadium was on her feet. We barely sat down all night. I lost my voice for four days.

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Photo from Husker Athletics

And I wish I were right back there again this week.

Anyway, whether you’re tailgating, watching a game at home, or you don’t give football a passing glance (I’ve heard such people exist!), you will love these easy, chocolatey brownies.

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Ditch the box; these are so much better.

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Easy One-Bowl Brownies
From smittenkitchen.com
Serves 16

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (plus extra for pan)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch square metal baking pan with foil or parchment, extending it up two sides. Lightly butter the foil, or coat with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter in 30-second bursts, stirring each time until smooth. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon or flexible spatula. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool. Carefully lift foil out of pan and place brownies on a flat surface. Cut into 16 squares, or as desired.

S’mores Dip for One

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Danger, Will Robinson!

S’mores in dip form? The thought had never occurred to me, but when someone posted it on my Facebook page I thought it sounded brilliant. This recipe has been bookmarked on my phone for awhile now, and I finally decided to make them this afternoon.

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Because I have no willpower, I adapted it to a single serving. This recipe is easily scaleable for a group, whether you keep it in single-serving dishes or make it in a larger pan. This would also be easy to make in a toaster oven, if you have one.

Don’t let it sit too long, or the marshmallows will fall in and crust over, which is tougher to dig out without breaking the crackers.

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S’mores Dip for One
Adapted from hungrybrownie.com

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 marshmallows, cut in half
8 graham crackers (2 sheets)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour chocolate chips into an 1-cup ramekin. Arrange marshmallow halves on top. Place in the oven. Bake until marshmallows are golden-brown, about 6-7 minutes.

Remove from oven. Let cool slightly. Serve with graham crackers for dipping.

Stone Fruit Ricotta Crostinis

Do you ever just need a break from it all? I don’t mean, like, go all Eat Pray Love on me. More like, when you wake up one day and you just have this moment of clarity. You don’t feel like cooking, or thinking about cooking, or writing about cooking, or photographing cooking. And it is summer and you are traveling for weeks on end – work, vacations, weddings, blah blah blah. And so you just don’t.

You hear me? Or is it just me? Well, that’s been my summer so far. And I am perfectly okay with it. I certainly have not sworn off cooking, and I have eaten well, in my home and otherwise.

But today — today we are back. Playing and experimenting and taste testing. It feels good.

I can hardly call this a recipe, but it’s a start. Pack these up for your next picnic or outdoor movie or winery visit. Or serve them at a party. Embrace the art of not cooking.

Stone Fruit Ricotta Crostini

For each person:
2 slices baguette or small ciabatta bread, grilled or toasted
2 tablespoons ricotta
Freshly ground black pepper
About 4 thin slices stone fruit (eg, peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries), peeled if desired
1 slice prosciutto or Serrano ham,  if desired, torn into pieces
Honey, balsamic vinegar, arugala, if desired

Spread ricotta on bread. Sprinkle with pepper. If desired, drizzle lightly with honey or balsamic vinegar. Place fruit slices over ricotta. Top with prosciutto. If desired, garnish with arugala, or serve alongside.