From the Box

Trader Joe’s came to Miami! After hearing about this place in almost every food blog I follow, I was ┬ávery excited when I heard the news, so I braved the traffic, the terrible parking, and the threats of having my car towed if I parked at Burger King, and made it to the fabled Trader Joe’s.

And instead of buying the organic vegetables and fresh fruits, what did I do? I spent a ridiculous amount of money on chips and snacks, how surprising.

Brownie Mix

One of my favorite buys was this cool box-brownie mix called Reduced Guilt Brownie Mix. And before you start judging me, this is no ordinary brownie mix. It’s a ‘healthy version’–or as healthy as you can get with sugar and chocolate–and all you have to add is yogurt. That’s right, no oil, no butter, and no eggs.

And to add to the ‘cool factor,’ it has instructions to make individual brownies in the microwave. Two tablespoons of mix, one tablespoon of yogurt, zap it for 45 seconds, and BAM–you got yourself a brownie.

brownie2brownie 3

You might still be skeptic, but these people know what they’re doing, it was actually a pretty decent brownie.

bronwie 4

Finding your “Go-To” Recipe

When you’re the official baker in your house, like I am, there are usually a couple of recipes that are requested time and time again. For me, that’s chocolate chip cookies.

I’m very particular about chocolate chip cookies–they have to be very chocolatey and must stay chewy even after they cool. (Although I’ve been known to break my rules when I get a request for crispy chocolate chip cookies now and again.)

After trying what seems like hundreds of recipes and different techniques, I’ve finally found one that works every time. And the best part about finding your perfect recipe, is that after perfecting it, you can get creative and add different ingredients–white chips, nuts, berries, and my favorite alteration: M&Ms.

M&M Cookies

The best part about chocolate chip cookies is how versatile they are, there’s no wrong way to make them. So go ahead and bake some, your “go-to” recipe is out there somewhere, I promise.

P.S. Here are two of my favorite recipes: Alton Brown’s The Chewy Recipe and How Sweet it Is rainbow cookies (which are the ones I made in the pictures above.) Give them a try and tell me what you think..