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The most delicious way to eat chocolate is by baking BROWNIES.
Or maybe it’s chocolate cake, or chocolate chip cookies, or chocolate pie, or a chocolate bar, or chocolate milk. I just can’t choose.
I guess this means we must keep testing chocolate recipes. It’s really unfortunate, I know.
Each brownie was scored on a scale of 1-10 (where 1= that’s food? and 10= the best brownie that has ever entered my mouth) for overall score, the boyfriend/husband test, and the leftover test. We also provide other comments.
Allrecipes “Best Brownies”
Overall score: 9
The boyfriend/husband test: 7
The leftover test: 7
Comments: These were really good! Especially right out of the oven! The only problem was it was hard to frost them because the frosting was really thick. It took me about 5-7 minutes of mixing the frosting to get it to look like frosting. And you really need to frost the brownies while they’re a little bit warm, as the directions say, otherwise it is really hard to get the frosting on them. The only thing I would do differently next time would be to omit the baking powder in the brownies (because it makes them cakey, and I am more of a fudgy brownie fan!)
Brown Eyed Baker Brownies
Overall score: 8
The leftover test: 8
Comments: These were pretty darn good. Especially the batter! They were yummy, and had amazing texture (fudgy, but not too fudgy). However, the flavor does not beat my “go to” brownie recipe and for that, they do not receive a 10.
Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies
Overall score: 9.5
The boyfriend/husband test: 9
The leftover test: 9
Comments: I could have killed my sister when I realized these brownies had a POUND (yes, an entire BOX) of butter in them! In case you weren’t aware, my sister Megan picks the recipes and I swear she gives me the craziest sounding ones on purpose. Anyway, the true Paula Deen fan I am, I thought “well, butter usually makes things taste pretty darn good”, so I trudged through this extensive recipe and prayed they were worth all the
money effort I put into them. Did I mention the almost 2 pounds of chocolate chips that go into this? Luckily for me, these were AH-MAZ-ING! I cannot stop eating them, even the leftovers are to die for. Josh (husband) even loved them- and he is not a sweet eater. He did jokingly ask me “are you sure you made enough?” – the tupperware I am keeping them in literally weighs at least 3 pounds… and theres only 2 of us here to enjoy them. Anyway, these are not my absolute favorite brownies, only because they don’t have frosting, but they are a VERY CLOSE second. I definitely recommend making these, but perhaps unlike me, maybe not the week before you go on vacation (not diet friendly!). Thanks Ina!
It was a close race this time, but congrats to…
While we can’t guarantee the results, here are some ideas you can use to customize the winning brownies to your dietary needs:
- Gluten free: Use a gluten free flour (and don’t forget to check that all your other ingredients are, in fact, gluten free!)
- Vegan: Use a vegan butter substitute, a vegan egg substitute, vegan chocolate chips, and vegan unsweetened chocolate. Double check that the rest of your ingredients are, in fact, vegan!
- Lower fat: Substitute 1/3 of the butter with no-sugar-added applesauce.
- Lower sugar/calories: Substitute some or all of the sugar for Splenda® (see conversion info here), Stevia (see conversion info here), or xylitol (measures 1:1 for sugar). Some people do not like how these taste, though, so proceed with caution! Also consider using sugar free chocolate chips.
The Big Brownie Debates: Cakey brownies or fudgy brownies? Nuts or no nuts? Is Jen being dramatic? Let us know in the comments!
I’m not one of those people who can just throw stuff together and it turns into a delicious recipe. I also don’t really like soup.
I’m tastier than I look.
I made this because it was raining and I was thinking about that iPhone commercial where the girl has Siri order tomato soup.
I’m not joking. That’s why I made it.
I had a bunch of leftover veggies from testing Emeril’s Lasagna, and I just so happened to have some canned diced tomatoes that were about to go bad. I figured I’d throw everything into a pot and see if it turned into some form of edible. Well, it worked.
Leftover “EASY, DELICIOUS AND ALMOST FREE” tomato veggie soup:
- 6 tbsp butter (you can use less if you want it to be healthier)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Any leftover vegetables you have (I used a quarter of a yellow onion, carrots, and celery, and it came out DELICIOUS)
- 1 (14-oz) can of diced tomatoes, plain
- 1 (14-oz)can of diced tomatoes with basil (you could sub a can of plain diced tomatoes and just add basil)
- 1 cup of chicken broth (you can use slightly more or slightly less, depending on your preference and what you have on hand)
- OPTIONAL: Thyme, basil
Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium-low, then add in the garlic and onions (if using onions). Cook for ~15 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the rest of the veggies and cook (make sure to stir!) for ~8 mins. Then, add everything else, bring to a boil, then let it simmer for ~5 to 10 mins.
Yields 3-5 servings
Like I said, I don’t normally like soup. And by that I mean, I pretty much only enjoy creamy, fattening soups (ex. Broccoli Cheddar) and completely ignore any soup on the menu that sounds like I could probably see through it. But this was delicious (much to my surprise) and very filling. Added bonus: it was essentially free, since it was almost entirely made of leftovers that would have just gone bad and been thrown out.
Comment and let us know what vegetables you would use! I’d love new ideas for this soup!
- The Pioneer Woman’s “Best Lasagna Ever”
- All Recipes “World’s Best Lasagna”
- Emeril Lagasse’s Lasgana Recipe
Each lasagna was scored on a scale of 1-10 (where 1= that’s food? and 10= the best lasagna that has ever entered my mouth) for overall score, the boyfriend/husband test, and the leftover test. We also provide other comments.
The Pioneer Woman’s Best Lasagna Ever:
Overall score: 8
The boyfriend/husband test: 8.5
The leftover test: 9
Comments: At first I thought this lasagna couldn’t compete with another recipe I usually make, especially after I sat down to eat it right out of the oven. It was good, but I am used to way more spices in my “go-to” lasagna recipe. However, Josh (picky husband) LOVED it! Over the next few days, it tasted so much better. I think this lasagna definitely needs time to let the flavors meld together because it tasted AMAZING when they finally did. Next time, I will pre make it, put it in the fridge for 24 hours, then bake. Thanks Pioneer Woman!
Allrecipes World’s Best Lasagna:
Overall score: 6
The boyfriend/husband test: 5
The leftover test: 6
Comments: This recipe would have been really good if it didn’t have so much sugar (2 tablespoons) and salt (1 tablespoon) in it. It tasted WAY too sweet for lasagna, we didn’t like it very much. Next time, I would omit the sugar and salt, then it would be much better.
Emeril’s Lasagna Recipe:
Overall score: 5
The boyfriend/husband test: 7.5
The leftover test: 6
Comments: I slept in til 9 today. So why am I so tired? Can cooking actually do this to a person? Maybe I’m just a cooking-lazy grad student, and my main basis for comparison is microwaving an Amy’s frozen meal, but this recipe was a LOT of work. From finding all the fresh cheeses, to a trip across town for veal, to the prep work, the cooking of the sauce, the simmering of the sauce, the cleaning, putting together the cheese mix, the assembling of the lasagna, and finally, the baking. Not to mention a crazy dog running around demanding my attention all throughout this process. It’s not even 9pm and I’m ready for bed. In addition, this was expensive. I already had some of the dry spices and tomatoes on hand, and I still spent over $50. For.one.recipe.
This lasagna was alright. Mike and I agreed that we liked the complexity of the different flavors of cheeses, but they completely overpowered the meat. The amount of time, effort, and money that went into making this lasagna left me disappointed with the result. And I wasn’t tempted to take it to the lab for lunch the next day, which says a lot. Furthermore, both of us were left feeling really heavy and gross.
Let’s give it up to the…
Congratulations on your Award for the “Real Best” Lasagna Recipe!
While we can’t guarantee the results, here are some ideas you can use to customize the winning lasagna to your dietary needs:
- Gluten free: Use gluten free lasagna noodles. ( And don’t forget to check that all your other ingredients are, in fact, gluten free!)
- Vegetarian: Omit the meat! Consider substituting veggies such as carrots, onions, celery, squash, or zucchini if your sauce is lacking substance.
- Lower fat: Use turkey sausage and ground turkey instead of the beef and pork versions. Use lower-fat cheese.
Sidenote: Mom got a digital camera, much better for taking photos than her cell phone. It’s the small things that matter most!
When you’re all finished trying this delicious lasagna, here are some ideas for using up your leftover ingredients:
Do you go all out when cooking? Or are you more like Megan, who finds it irritating when a frozen meal has to be–gasp– taken out mid-microwave and stirred?
This week our Real Best Recipe challenge is lasagna. But you will hear more about that very soon! More importantly, lets talk about leftovers. Lasagna usually is an awesome leftover in itself. But what about all those extra noodles?! Am I the only
OCD person who gets antsy seeing all those un-used noodles go to waste after building my lasagna? Well thankfully to our friend Google, it turns out that this is actually a popular bone of contention. So after peeking around at a few sites I decided to get out my leftover noodles and start experimenting. Therefore I give you, the Fried Lasagna Roll-Up.
Here is what you will need:
- 6-8 Cold (already cooked) lasagna noodles
- 6-8 toothpicks
- 1 1/2 cups of cottage cheese (or ricotta cheese)
- 3-4 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons of parsley
- 1 tablespoon of basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs (I used panko)
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Get out your noodles, make sure to separate them carefully if they have molded together a bit.
2. In a bowl, stir together the cottage (or ricotta) cheese, 1 egg, 2-3 tablespoons of parmesan (save 1 tablespoon for another step), basil, 1 tablespoon of parsley, salt, & pepper.
3. On a single noodle, put about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cottage (or ricotta) cheese mixture on the noodle and roll it up. Secure with a toothpick. Do this to all of your noodles and place in a baking pan, seen below.
4. Bake for 25 minutes. While baking, beat 1 egg & milk together in a small bowl. In a different bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of parsley, and 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese.
5. After baking, let roll-ups cool for about 5-10 minutes. Remove from pan to keep the bottoms from getting soggy. Remove toothpicks.
6. Heat olive oil in baking pan on stovetop over medium heat. Begin dipping roll-ups into first the egg wash, then the breadcrumb mixture. Place into hot oil, repeat until all roll-ups are in the pan.7. Let brown to a golden color, and using tongs, carefully turn over and let fry, to ensure all sides are browned. When browned to a golden color, remove from pan and place on paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil.
8. Let cool for about 1-2 minutes and enjoy! I would suggest having some warm marinara sauce to go with these!
Fried Lasagna Roll-Up