• Uncle Richard’s Meatballs-getting this recipe was my highlight of 2018! Great video of him in the post. Love you Zio!
  • Lemon Ricotta Cookies - tied with Lemon Cheesecake bars for first place in my heart - from past blogs.
  • Looking at past blog posts makes me want to eat pasta NOW!
  • Lemon Cheesecake bars- if loving them is wrong, I don't want to be right - from a past blog.
  • Polenta was my dad's favorite - another blast from my blogging past.
  • Seven layer cookie - my truest love in college - a blast from my blogging past.
  • Can't wait for blackberry season -my favorite blackberry tart - from blogs from the past
  • Lemon Ricotta Pancakes - one of my daughter's favorite things - I'm going down blog memory lane.
  • My favorite cream of mushroom soup with thyme and sherry - yum -- blogs from the past!
  • A blast from my Cannoli blog past.
  • Made some almond biscotti a few days ago. Maybe I won't share after all.

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Dessert Random Thoughts

When Brownie Mix is Your Best Friend

October 14, 2016

My apartment can go from immaculate to disgusting in about 2.5 days.  Having my Corgi, Topper in the house makes it all possible. Clumps of dog hair the size of tumbleweeds are rolling around as if it was the high desert. Newspapers are toppling over the basket where I usually have them neatly stacked. Dishes are piled in the kitchen and I am too stinking tired to do them. I am pooped. Working numerous jobs will do that to you. That’s why I had to turn to brownie mix tonight.


I think Supreme Original are the best.

Yes, you read that correctly. And even though gourmets everywhere gag when they hear this, I like brownie mix. It’s so much easier than melting chocolate and mixing all the ingredients together for homemade brownies. And, if you add enough chocolate chips and smother the brownies in chocolate ganache, you can fool yourself into thinking you paid five bucks a for one at some high priced pastry shop. But, in reality, the whole batch cost about ten bucks or less in ingredients! My soul takes comfort in knowing that something cheap and easy is also delicious.

So, here’s my recipe for this week. It’s really hard:

Go buy a box of Betty Crocker Original Recipe Brownie Mix. Some people like the more uppity Ghirardelli brownie mix, but I like Betty Crocker. If that shows my scrappy, western Pennsylvania roots, then so be it. Next, get yourself a bag of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips. (OK, you can buy really expensive chips, if you want, but these work just fine.)  Buy a small container of whipping cream and maybe some nuts.


This bag of chips is the size of Manhattan – I get them at Costco.

Make the brownies (you’ll need two eggs, 1/2 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of water). Then add one cup of the chocolate chips to the mix. Bake them. While they’re baking take two cups of chocolate chips and put them in a sauce pot on the stove. Add one cup of whipping cream.  Stir it until it melts and is nice and smooth. You can use a whisk if it makes you feel more gourmet (it does help smooth it out). Remove that mixture, called chocolate ganache,  from the heat and cover it with a lid.



When the brownies are cool enough to cut. Cut them up, pour the chocolate ganache over them, (reheat it to make it pour better) and maybe sprinkle the brownies with nuts, maybe not. Then, stuff one in your mouth and try to tell me that’s not delicious. I know good food, I love good food and I know one thing: When you’re tired and your house is a hairy disaster, nothing makes you happier than a decadent brownie smothered in chocolate goo, even if it comes from a box.





  • Reply
    October 16, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    I think I’ll try this one>

    From: At Fran’s Table To: Sent: Friday, October 14, 2016 3:21 AM Subject: [New post] When Brownie Mix is Your Best Friend #yiv4310576150 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4310576150 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4310576150 a.yiv4310576150primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4310576150 a.yiv4310576150primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4310576150 a.yiv4310576150primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4310576150 a.yiv4310576150primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4310576150 | Fran Tunno posted: “My apartment can go from immaculate to disgusting in about 2.5 days.  Having my Corgi, Topper in the house makes it all possible. Clumps of dog hair the size of tumbleweeds are rolling around as if it was the high desert. Newspapers are toppling over the ” | |

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      October 17, 2016 at 9:07 am

      They are so easy and your guests will rave over them, so don’t confess it’s a box. Honestly, Milena had some friends over and they tasted them and said they were the best brownies they’d ever had. If you have to bring a dessert somewhere and don’t have much time, these are the way to go. I think toasted hazelnuts on top would be a great addition.

  • Reply
    George A. Maupin
    October 15, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks, Fran; my sister in Tulsa is recovering from hip-surgery & needs every snacking short-cut she can use. [I sent her this blog. Her reply = “That is the best!”

  • Reply
    Petrea Burchard
    October 14, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Even I could make these brownies. But Fran, how do you say so petite? Brownies are a no-no around here!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      October 17, 2016 at 9:05 am

      I think I got my dad’s genes, which help, but I only eat a little dessert, not as much as the four helpings I would really like. And I always have a dog to walk and a gym to go to, or I would be much bulkier.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Now if that dessert was at my house it would be finished with a touch of dog hair on top and perhaps even in the mix! Move over little corgi – I’ve got three collies whose hair can float! and that’s why i don’t make deserts…

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      October 17, 2016 at 9:03 am

      Oh Mandy, I’ve eaten at your house many times and have never had a dog hair in my dessert. Your kitchen always looks surgically clean to me! But dog hair would be a good dose of protein!

  • Reply
    Chas Madonio
    October 14, 2016 at 7:42 am

    All you need then is a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a glass of ice cold milk.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      October 17, 2016 at 9:02 am

      Yes, yes, yes. I just told Bob, I was out of ice cream, but was hoping to find some in the fridge to put on top. Maybe next time!

  • Reply
    Bob Erbeck
    October 14, 2016 at 1:19 am

    Sure does sound delicious! Got milk with that? 🙂

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      October 17, 2016 at 9:01 am

      I did have a glass of milk with them. Vanilla Ice cream would have been better, but I was out of it, so the milk did the trick!

  • Reply
    October 14, 2016 at 12:35 am

    All I had to do was see the title and I went rummaging through my cabinet to grab a handful of the chocolate chips I knew were there.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      October 17, 2016 at 9:00 am

      I know, in a pinch, I melt them then dip hazelnuts in and eat them. God help both of us!

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