Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Back to Reality

The first season of "Downton Abbey" is over :-(

So I've put away the "good" china for now and am back to the reality of lots of snow and comfort food on regular dishes.  We didn't get the huge storm the weatherman was promising, but we had enough added to the piles we have already and it is snowing right now.

I made some turkey soup which my husband actually likes (vegetables and all!!) and he has discovered that he also likes grilled cheese sandwiches...who doesn't love melty warm sandwiches!!  So a cozy casual dinner of soup and sandwiches seems appropriate for the dead of winter.  I also made brownies.  These are the richest, most wonderful brownies ever, thanks to Alton Brown.  I have included the recipe below.

Just an overview of the's pretty casual but you don't need much for soup and sandwiches!
All we need are plates for sandwiches and dessert.  A bowl for soup, fork for dessert because the brownies are so moist and rich and a large soup spoon.  That mug is for hot chocolate to have with the can NEVER have too much  chocolate!!!
A napkin with cabbage roses in black, red, and green
Here are the brownies...I couldn't think of a better centerpiece!!!!   :-)

These brownies were on "Good Eats" with Alton Brown...I just love him...he's so informative and funny!

Cocoa Brownies
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
4 large eggs
1 cup white sugar, sifted
1 cup brown sugar, sifted
8 ounces melted butter
1 1/4 cups cocoa, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light
yellow. Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.
Pour the batter into an 8-inch square pan. (Spray w/veg spray); make a sling of parchment paper and spray again) Bake for 1 hour (I find that I end up baking for 1 hr. 20 min). Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan. When it's done, pull up with the edges of parchment and put on a cutting board. Move to a rack to cool.  Cut to the size that you prefer. (Sorry this recipe looks so odd...I have been trying to fix it for way longer than my reserve of patience...unfortunately, this is how it is right now!)

Thank you for stopping by...I hope everyone who is dealing with this severe weather is cozy and warm!!



  1. Lovely!!! I'm your newest follower.

  2. Oh your "reality" table is charming and cozy. Who doesn't love a red, white and chocolate setting? Soup and grilled cheese is such a great winter comfort.

  3. Tess, we don't have cable but you have really piqued my interest in "your show!" Lovely table you have set and I agree with your husband I do like grilled cheese sandwiches and I am a HUGE fan of soup. Joni

  4. Tess, once again we're on the same wave length! I thoroughly enjoyed Downton Abbey and look forward to the second season. AND I also had a red and white table this week! Yours looks perfect -- simple yet elegant with the contrast and smooth shapes. Stay warm!

  5. Tess, thanks for your comments. Yes, I am SO sad about DA being over for now. May the second season come quickly! Yes, I plan to watch Upstairs, Downstairs – loved the original! I’d forgotten about Gosford Park – I need to watch that again! Yes, Maggie Smith is AMAZING – just perfect in that role in DA. Don’t you adore her huge purple hat?

    We have an all-too-rare snow day here in central Texas, so now I’m thinking I’ll look for Gosford Park on Netflix. . . . Thanks for the idea!

  6. mmmmmmmm. I love the centerpiece. It makes it hard to see the rest of the table. Those brownies are standing up and jumping. Please, please, pick me, pick me. I do love the red and white, so classic and so cheerful!

  7. oooh, a brownie and chocolate milk together! Wow, chocolate nirvana!!!

  8. Who doesn't love comfort foods...your table could also be called a Valentine's table with all the red and white...very pretty, Tess.

  9. I don't know about anything else, but I think that chocolate goes with anything! Thank you for sharing your lovely design and the recipe. Cherry Kay

  10. Sounds like a perfect meal for a cold winter's night -- comforting and delicious! Thank you for sharing the brownie recipe. My "from scratch" attempts haven't been successful, so I'd resorted to using mixes. I'll bet yours/Alton's are amazing!

  11. I love your cheerful table. I'd like to sit here with you, have a brownie, and talk about what's to come at Downton Abbey!

  12. Hi Tess! What a lovely table and simple can be elegant just like yours! Now those brownies! Yummy!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  13. Oh Tess, your table is beautiful and Oh Those Brownies!!!
    I Don't get the station that Downton Abbey is on. I would LOVE to see it...
    Hugs, Donna