Thursday, August 16, 2012


We have had a week of heat-- 95* to 116* in the valleys (and Pasadena is in a valley) and the humidity has been up there also. You might think that California is all heavily air conditioned, but we are not. We are blessed with great weather along the coast and up to the first range of mountains; so many of us do not have central air (and that includes me). 

GRATITUDE:  This morning the sea breezes had returned with a bit of a cloud cover and we are again back to our gorgeous California weather. In fact, this early morning sky looks like an East Coast sky with banks of purplish (word ?) clouds against a pale blue gray.

But back to the earlier heat conundrum. Although I hate using the oven when it's hot (and my kitchen faces west and becomes unbearable when it's hot), I made my over-the-top brownies to take to a friend as a hostess gift.  Yes, the kitchen temperature shot up to way over 90*, but these brownies are worth the heat.

(If you count carbs, calories or fat content PLEASE go no further as these guys are not diet food)

Mary's Ghirardelli Brownies
  2 packages Ghirardelli Brownie Mix***
  1 stick of butter
  1/2 c. oil (I use Virgin Olive Oil for everything-it
  1/4 c. water
  3 extra large eggs
  1/2 package (5 to 6 oz.) Ghirardelli bitter sweet
  chocolate chips 
***Ghirardelli Brownie Mix is essentially preservative and chemical free except for artificial vanilla and soy lecithin (not too chemically) and the quality is infinitely superior to all other mixes. You can get the 6-pack at Costco, my second-favorite store after Trader Joe's.        

Follow the directions on the box, substituting with my additions. Watch the brownies carefully, making sure not to over-bake them.

ENJOY. I bet that you can't eat just one. And remember: dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and feel good hormone-like nutrients. I'm guessing that the 1/2 cup of virgin olive oil counteracts the stick of butter???
Jones says he likes the corners of the brownies (chocolate is not good for dogs), but he's a big guy; so he can have a little.

Relish the last of summer--I can't believe that it is already the 16th of August. For Southern California, summer lasts until the 20th (or so) of October.

Mary (and Jones)


  1. Mary oh my, oh my, how delish! I only eat really good chocolate and this is it! We are having nice Southern California weather, loving it!

    Art by Karena
    2012 Artist Series featuring Harrison Howard

    Art by Karena
    2012 Artist Series featuring Harrison Howard

  2. Hi Karena,
    Yes, only great chocolate!!! It was back to about 105* here-hopefully tomorrow will be cooler. Be well. xoxo