If you’ve come here looking for a list of healthy recipes to kick off the New Year, I’m sorry to disappoint. The fact of the matter is that I just don’t buy into the intense dieting and working out at the gym everyday craze that happens in January and invariably drops off steeply by the end of February. Instead, I’m going to continue to stick to my mantra: everything in moderation. Yes, I bake a lot. I’m going to continue baking a lot. Not only do I enjoy it, but baking and cooking from scratch also allows me to avoid artificial preservatives and allergens in store-bought foods, and to use seasonal and local ingredients as much as possible. With that in mind, today I’m also taking a page from my friend Aimée’s book and sharing my food-related goals for 2012. I hope you’ll share yours in the comments as well! And, enjoy these Irish cream brownies…because a little chocolate never hurt anyone.
My 2012 Food Goals:
1. Eat more meatless meals.
One of the biggest changes I’d like to see in 2012 is for the hubby and I to eat at least one meatless meal a week. Since hubby is most definitely a carnivore, I know this is going to be a challenge for us, but I’m definitely up to the task of experimenting in the kitchen in order to find satisfying meatless meals that we’ll both enjoy.
2. Eat more organic foods.
Tying in with #1, I’m hoping that some of the money we save by eating meatless more often will allow us to buy good-quality, organic meat when we do eat it. I’d also like to buy more organic vegetables and dairy as our budget allows; I’ve been buying organic milk for the past year, and I can definitely say that the change both in taste and how I feel after drinking it is noticeable and worth it.
3. Eat more local foods.
For the last couple years, hubby and I have participated in an organic CSA, and it has really opened our eyes to how we can support the community around us rather than buying what’s at the grocery store that’s been trucked in from another state. It has also allowed us to really understand what it means to eat seasonally. While I’m not sure if we’ll participate in a CSA this year, I’m definitely planning on shopping at local farmer’s markets and stands as much as possible for food that is fresher, cheaper, and much tastier, too.
4. Preserve more foods.
I already do a ton of preserving during the summer and fall when fruits and vegetables are at their peak in upstate NY, but I hope to do even more, and of greater variety. Popping open a jar of strawberry preserves on a cold winter day that I picked and then canned the same day during the previous summer is one of my favorite parts about the canning process. Stocking up on other favorites such as relish and bread & butter pickles also helps us cut out more corn syrup and other processed ingredients from our diets by avoiding the store-bought versions.
5. Bake more bread.
Although I’ve come far in how much I’ve learned about different methods of making bread and working with yeast (and even make some types such as homemade pizza dough and bagels frequently), there’s nothing like good old sandwich bread, and I have yet to find a homemade recipe that I like. This year, I’m hoping to find that perfect recipe so that I can begin making all of my sandwich bread at home.
What about you? What are your goals for 2012, food-related or otherwise?
Now, on to the recipe!
- 10 Tbsp butter
- 3 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs (these are cake-y brownies, so for brownies that are more fudgey, use 2 eggs)
- 1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8″ baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. In a sauce pan, melt the butter and chocolate over low-medium heat. Stir in the sugar and let cool to room temperature.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs until pale. Stir in the chocolate mixture and the Irish cream.
Gradually beat in the flour mixture until well-blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.