Mexican, Ice Cream, Banquet {Blondie Recipe}

Good morning guys! Mom and I made blondies a couple of weekends ago and I wanted to share the recipe with you all. It’s a great dessert to bring to parties and potlucks, because you can cut them up as small or as large as you’d like. Plus, everyone can grab them with their fingers. And most of all, they’re super delicious and easy to make with pantry ingredients. Let me give you the recipe!

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COCONUT CHOCOLATE CHUNK BLONDIES

Makes 16 two-inch-square bars (we cut them into 36 bite-sized squares)

Ingredients

  • 113 grams butter, melted (browned on the stove) and then COOLED to room temp
  • 218g light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 125g all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 scant cup chocolate chips
  • Can also add 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • TOPPING: 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips + 1 tsp butter

Directions

  1. Butter 8×8 pan.
  2. Mix melted (or browned) butter with brown sugar.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  4. Beat until smooth. Beat in egg. Add vanilla until well blended.
  5. Add salt.
  6. Stir in flour.
  7. Mix in coconut and chocolate chips.
  8. Pour batter into cake pan. Smooth with spatula.
  9. Bake for about 25-30 minutes (30 minutes for us) until set in the centre (still soft) in centre. Do not overtake.
  10. Cool on rack, then use a spoon to drizzle with chocolate and butter mixture.
  11. Cool completely. Cut into squares after completely cool.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of the finished product, but I can tell you that’s because we devoured them ALL!

PS: be very cautious when removing the blondies from the tray – they are delicate and might break apart.

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This was the banquet – it was organized by a group of Mom’s friends. Her Facebook friends, to be exact: everyone from the Taiwanese Parents of Teenagers in Vancouver group was welcome, as long as they brought something to share. And no, I’m not kidding about the group!

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Mom told everyone that I would like to give a speech (I was TOTALLY unprepared and winged it!) just so we could get in without paying admission. I just did it for the free food, and it was so worth it! Making lots of new friends was a huge bonus, too. :mrgreen:

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This was one of my first plates – salmon sushi rolls, some chopped fruit, a bit of Chinese sticky rice, an egg tart, and two scones (one apricot, one blueberry – I thought the apricot one was cheddar 😦 ). The scones were the highlight of this meal! They were handmade and super buttery and soft. I loved the texture and the plump blueberries inside. Yum! Bolstered with fresh fruit, this lunch was a carbohydrate-rich one to remember. 😉

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School ended a couple days after the party, and a few friends and I had lunch at Las Margaritas, one of Vancouver’s Mexican restaurants. We arrived at about 2:00 and were immediately served chips and salsa. These awesome ladies are Yuki, Medha, and Jessica – we’ve all had classes together, from Physics to Chemistry. Sally planned to join us as well, but unfortunately had to go to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in the afternoon to watch the Lion King Broadway Musical (which, by the way, I saw that evening and was a wonderful experience).

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The inside of the restaurant is decorated with lots of paintings and posters of Mexican advertisements and beaches. The restaurant isn’t super dark, as there are several chandeliers and open doors that let sunlight in. 🙂

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Yuki, Medha, and Jessica thought the chips and salsa were very fresh and crunchy. We ordered and were served fairly quickly.

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This was my entree, Chicken Enchilada Verde.

Two overlapping corn tortillas wrapped around chicken, covered in our green tomatillo sauce, topped with cheese and sour cream then baked. Served with refried beans & Mexican rice.

First of all, I think this was one massive enchilada – not two overlapping tortillas! I liked the texture of the corn tortilla, and found the chicken very fresh. However, the shredded chicken in the enchilada was a bit “dry”, which is pretty normal for chicken breast meat. I wish there was a bit of sauce mixed in with the chicken before it was wrapped up. The tomatillo sauce didn’t have a very complex or overly spicy flavour, so I enjoyed that. 🙂 The rice really stood out to me in this dish – I love it when every grain or rice is separated rather than being sticky. This rice was flavoured with tomato and probably garlic and pepper – very yummy! The beans, which were refried and topped with cheese and an olive, were a little salty but had a nice pureed texture. I wish I had substituted my beans for salad, though (additional $2.00).


Jessica, who ordered the same entree, deemed the dish flavourful, yet a tad too salty, but a rich experience overall. “Good Mexican comfort food,” she concluded after finishing her plate (minus the refried beans). Jessica rated the enchilada, rice, and beans 3.5/5.

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Medha ordered the veggie enchiladas. She doesn’t eat meat, and adores Mexican food! Here is what she thought of her entree. I didn’t get a photo of it, sadly 😦

Medha: Vegetarian Enchiladas – 4/5

Two corn tortillas rolled with cheese, green onions, olives, green peppers, tomatoes. Covered with a mild red enchilada sauce, melted cheese and topped with sour cream. Served with refried beans & Mexican rice.

“Moist, good, and fine salt level.”


Yuki: Crab Enchiladas – 4.3/5

Two soft corn tortillas filled with a mixture of rock crab, sautéed mushrooms, onions, cilantro and white wine. Covered with a cilantro/pesto cream sauce and a sprinkling of cheese. Served with rice and house salad.

“Everything worked well together. The flavours blended well and the salad was refreshing. They have great portion sizes. Too bad they charge for extra chips!”

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I cut my enchilada in half, then split the beans and rice into two portions as well. I always bring a couple of glass containers to restaurants, so I have somewhere to place the extra food as soon as the waitress brings it over. If it’s on my plate, I’ll finish it for sure, so out of sight = out of mind for me! The bite on top was Yuki’s seafood enchilada, which I found even more delicious that my own chicken enchilada. That’s the one I’ll get next time, for sure!

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After lunch, we headed up the street to Rain or Shine, an ice cream shop! It’s not the first time I’ve been here, but every single time I am amazed as to how fresh and delicious it is. This time, I had a scoop of cherry chocolate chunk and a scoop of peanut butter on top. Both flavours were to DIE for and the waffle cone, which was made fresh in-house, was perfectly crisp and flavoured with vanilla. I’ve honestly never had better ice cream in my life… and I totally want a huge cone of this right now.

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Here is what my friends have to say about theirs:

Jessica: Jasmine Green Tea – 4.2

“I like tea-flavoured anything. This had the perfect bitterness and was a good ‘rest’ from the flavourful Mexican.”

Medha: Coconut Chocolate Chunk {Vegan} – 4.1

“I couldn’t tell this was dairy-free. It has the same texture as regular ice cream, and is not overly coconutty.”

Yuki: London Fog – 4

“This is good. Not too sweet, and the Earl Grey flavour was balanced. The waffle cone was good contrast, because of its crispy texture.


The next day, before a driving lesson, I heated up some leftover Mexican, sautéed some broccoli and cauliflower (topped with black pepper gouda from the farmer’s market) and served it all with some salsa.

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I found the enchilada more delicious the second day, probably because the corn tortilla had time to soak up all the yummy tomatillo sauce. My broccoli and zucchini chunks were boiled for about 2.5 minutes before being sautéed with a little olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper. This lunch was filling and super yummy – especially the… okay, everything. 🙂

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Have to go run some errands, then help Mom cook dinner (special quinoa salad planned tonight!) and go to yoga at 7:30. Hope you all have a relaxing Monday afternoon!

10 thoughts on “Mexican, Ice Cream, Banquet {Blondie Recipe}

  1. i’ve actually never had blondies before O: i wanna try chickpea blondies hehe. and all the food looks delicious! i love the formatting of your review, so professional. (;

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    1. This was my first time having blondies as well! I like them because they’re sweet and buttery. 😉 That’s such a coincidence – I opened a can of chickpeas today to make Greek-inspired quinoa salad, and will be using leftovers tomorrow to make chickpea blondies (have you seen Ambitious Kitchen’s recipe?). AHAHA thanks, I don’t even know what I did to make those lines LOL

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  2. First of all the blondies look awesome! Secondly you’re making me DROOL with all of these pics of that awesome Mexican food! I love black bean tacos and huevos rancheros 🙂 those are my favorite Mexican dishes!

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    1. I’ve never had black bean tacos OR huevos rancheros! I will need to order them next time I go out for Mexican. I’ve always wanted to make them at home but I just don’t think I have the skills, patience, or ingredients. 😛 Do you make homemade Mexican food often?

      Liked by 1 person

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