Red, White and Blue

Happy, well, day after the Fourth of July!

Yesterday was a nice day here.  After some early morning rain, it turned into a nice summer day.  Kinda humid, but otherwise nice.  It was a nice day for swimming, hanging out outside and eating lots of good cook-out food.

I only have pictures of desserts.  And that's not to say anything about the quality of the other food.  There were lots of wonderful salads to go with the chicken and hot dogs.  All the food was so good.  And somehow eating outside always makes good food taste even better.

But as for desserts, there was quite the range of choices.  My soon-to-be brother-in-law, ZNS, made cake pops.  They were spice cake, and the different colors were different flavors of coating.  He found flavoring for the candy melts, which is really exciting.  They were really fun.  And incredibly patriotic.

There was also a jello salad, which is affectionately called "pink stuff".  It is really one of the only jello salads I like.  Along with mom's.  Which are actually the only two jello salads I eat.  So maybe I actually like jello salad, but I just have to branch out.  But then again, maybe I'll just stick with the two I like.

And my contribution to dessert was brownies.  I used to always make regular chocolate brownies and use frosting, blueberries and strawberries to make a flag on top.  Pinterest, again, pulled through for me and this year, I made red velvet brownies.  Haha!  Red brownies!  How perfect!

There's a brief story behind these brownies.  I had a couple different brownies pinned and I just picked one. They were all the same picture, so I figured they were all the same recipe, and I was a little disappointed that it used a cake mix, but there wasn't much I could do about it.  False.  I realized afterwards that the original recipe was actually made from scratch.  Oh well.  Having an easier recipe in this busy time was probably not a bad idea.

Red velvet cake mix kind of makes me sad to begin with.  It's like snickerdoodle cookie mix.  They are just things you're either supposed to have to make from scratch (or at least have to doctor a cake mix to get!).  Mixes just make them too common.  It makes me sad.  As I admit that I used one.  Classy.

But I must say, it's cool to watch the brown-ish cake mix turn bright red when it gets wet though.  That's one thing you don't get with from-scratch red velvet cake.

I will admit, I didn't use as much butter as the recipe called for.  A stick and a half of butter seemed a little extreme for one pan of brownies.  And I paid for it, because they were a little bit dry.  But I still think they were fine.  And they came out really thick.  I think the best part of the recipe was actually the chocolate chips.  I will definitely be adding them to the from-scratch recipe, too.

As far as the frosting went, I almost decided to cheat there, too, and use a canned frosting.  However, I realized I needed to try out a frosting recipe for next week, so I found one.

It was really easy to make, and a little bit on the light and sugary side, but it works for me.  Easy is good when it comes to baking in bulk!

And then, I decided because I already had the red covered, I'd go with just blueberries on top.
I had fun with patterns.  



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