Bakery Brownies

Several years ago I became interested in genealogy and have been able to trace my family roots back hundreds of years.  Family is very important to me.  I grew up on the same dirt road my mother grew up on, in a small town in North Georgia.  I could walk down the road to my grandparents house and my best friends were my cousins that lived next door.  We not only met for holiday get-togethers but would meet throughout the year for fish frys, “poke salat” suppers, or just because my grandmother had made a delicious cherry cobbler.  Food was always at the center of our gatherings.  
Some of my favorite recipes were passed down to me from family members.  I have old, handwritten recipes framed in my kitchen today.  Some are on a scraps of paper or the back of an old deposit slip.  They are faded, splashed, and wrinkled from use, but that makes them even more endearing.  Just the taste of an old family recipe can bring to mind special memories of a family member and those wonderful family dinners we use to have.   Preserving family recipes is honoring our heritage.  I want to keep the traditions alive and continue to cook those wonderful dishes for my family and friends. 
Today’s recipe was passed down to me from my mother.  This brownie recipe is hands down, the best brownie I’ve ever had.  Cooked in a 9 x 13-inch pan they are thick and moist.  They aren’t too gooey or too rich.  They are the perfect treat with a glass of cold milk.  I’m so glad I can pass along this magnificent recipe to my kids.  Who knows, maybe one day they’ll be passing along some of mine.


Bakery Brownies
  • For Brownies:
  • 5 squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1¼ c. shortening
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 3⅛ c. sugar
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup of pecans or walnuts
  • For Icing:
  • ½ c. butter, melted
  • ½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • ¼ c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate squares and shortening in a saucepan, over low heat. Cool.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, set aside.
  4. In a large bowl whisk eggs and sugar together. Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, stirring just to combine. Stir in vanilla extract and nuts. Pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Watch closely and do not overbake. Cool completely then top with icing.
  6. To make icing, melt butter in a saucepan, add cocoa powder and blend. Heat just until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour into a large bowl; cool.
  7. Blend in powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Add additional milk, if needed, a tablespoon at a time until desired spreading consistency.
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Mango Habanero Jam

mango hab jelly


While on vacation at the beach this summer Savannah had Coconut Shrimp served with a sauce that I could have literally licked off the plate.  Yes, it was THAT good and looking back she may regret offering me a bite!!  It was sweet and hot at the same time.  It reminded me of pepper jelly but sweeter, it didn’t have a pepper taste, just the heat.  When I asked about the sauce I was told that it was mango habanero jelly. 

I googled and searched through cookbooks for weeks, until I finally decided to use what I liked from three different recipes.  Making jams and jellies is really simple if you will have everything organized and ready before you start cooking.  It turned out amazing, and I have made two batches already!  We have had it on cream cheese with crackers, with Panfried Grouper and with Coconut Shrimp.  Here’s the recipe for the jam. Check Not Just Sunday Dinner for my Coconut Shrimp and Easy Panfried Grouper recipes.
Mango Habanero Jam
Serves: about 8 half pints
  • 4 c. peeled, chopped and crushed mangoes
  • ½ c. habanero peppers, seeded and minced
  • ½ c. red bell pepper, seeded and minced
  • ¼ c. purple onion, minced
  • 1 c. unsweetened white grape juice
  • ¼ c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. Ball Fruit Jell No Sugar Needed Pectin
  • 3½ c. granulated sugar
  1. Prepare mangoes by peeling and chopping. Crush with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor, but don't over process.
  2. Wearing gloves, remove seeds and veins and mince. Be very careful not to touch your skin!
  3. Mince red bell pepper and purple onion.
  4. In a 8 quart nonreactive pot combine mangoes, peppers, and onions. Add the grape juice and butter. Gradually stir in the pectin. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Add sugar and return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and ladle hot jam into freshly boiled half-pint jars, leaving ¼-inch head space. Wipe rims clean with a clean, wet dish towel, if necessary, so the lids will seal well. Adjust rings.
  7. Process jars of jam in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes at a gentle boil. Make sure jars are covered by at least 2 inches of water.
  8. After processing, remove jars and place on a towel to cool for 12 - 24 hours.
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Easy Panfried Grouper

This recipe is so very simple that I’m almost embarrassed to post it.  However, I wanted to give you a good option for the Mango Habanero Jam.  You don’t have to serve it with the jam but it is fabulous.  This is pictured with yellow rice, but my favorite side with this fish is my Coconut Cilantro Rice.


Easy Panfried Grouper
  • Grouper filets
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Vegetable Oil
  1. Coat the bottom of a frying pan with oil and heat over medium high heat.
  2. Pat the grouper filets dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and press into the fish. Spoon a few tablespoons of cornstarch into a large ziptop bag and put fish in the bag and seal. Shake to coat the fish.
  3. Place the fish into the hot oil and fry on both sides until golden brown and crispy.
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Coconut Shrimp

I’ve gone Mango Habanero Jam crazy lately!  It is just so darn good that I can’t resist.  Eating coconut shrimp in Florida is when I first tried the Mango Habanero combination.  This coconut shrimp recipe is wonderful.  There are two people in our house that swear they do not like coconut, but they love this shrimp!
I pulse the coconut in the food processor until it’s finely chopped.  The things I do to disguise certain ingredients in this house!


Coconut Shrimp
  • 24 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ c. beer
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 (7-oz.) pkg. flaked coconut
  • 3 c. vegetable oil for frying
  1. You'll need three bowls. In the first bowl you'll need a little all-purpose flour.
  2. In a second medium bowl combine egg, ½ c. all-purpose flour, beer and baking powder, set aside.
  3. Pulse coconut in bowl of a food processor until finely chopped. Combine finely chopped coconut with ¼ c. all-purpose flour in third medium bowl.
  4. Hold shrimp by the tail and dredge in the flour, shaking off excess. Dip into the egg/beer batter; allowing excess to drip off. Roll the shrimp in the coconut mixture and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat oil to 350 degrees F in a deep fryer or frying pan. Fry shrimp in batches until golden brown. Remove to paper towel lined pan to drain. Serve warm with Mango Habanero Jam.
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Venison Parmesan

I was recently asked to submit a few wild game recipes to the newspaper for a hunters special.  I just happen to have a few favorites up my sleeve since I live with two hunters.  With deer hunting being so popular in our area I wanted to do a deer recipe but not your typical stew or chili.  I’m pretty picky, I don’t want my venison to taste gamey, so I usually like recipes with gravies or sauces or at least a good marinade.

This was a Veal Parmesan recipe that I substitute with deer tenderloin.  This recipe was passed down through my friend Loretta’s Italian family.  In fact, maybe even coming to America from Italy since her grandparents came her from Italy.  It’s very simple to prepare and served with a salad, pasta and bread makes a great meal.  If you don’t have a hunter in your house this would be delicious with chicken or with the veal it originally called for.


Venison Parmesan
  • 1 lb. deer tenderloin
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ c. plain bread crumbs
  • 4 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2½ c. tomato sauce
  • ¾ lb. mozzarella slices
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut tenderloin into serving size pieces, pound slightly.
  3. In a medium bowl combine bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.
  4. Dip tenderloin into beaten eggs then bread crumb mixture, coating both sides.
  5. Coat the bottom of a saute pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Place tenderloin in hot oil and brown both sides. Remove to a paper towel lined pan.
  6. Spread ½ cup tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange browned tenderloin on sauce. Pour additional sauce on the top of tenderloin pieces. Sprinkle each piece of tenderloin with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top each piece of tenderloin with sliced mozzarella cheese. Return to oven to melt the cheese, about 5 minutes.
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