Homemade Super Chocolatey Brownies




I’m apologizing in advance.  Most of the recipes you will see in Backroad Kitchen are going to be chocolate.  I can’t help it.  It’s my favorite!  I’m going to make a concerted effort to make other things… then I won’t want to eat them!  I can send them to my Dad!  Here is an especially good recipe for homemade brownies.  Enjoy!



12 tablespoons Salted Butter

1  cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 cup flour

3/4 cup chocolate chunks


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 X 9 pan with. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a small pan. Next, add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Stir well.  Whisk in the cocoa powder.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl and whisk in with the eggs until well combined. Stir in the flour and chocolate chunks, but do not beat.

Pour batter into baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Remove brownies from the pan.  Cut the brownies into serving size pieces and store in an airtight container.


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16 Bean Soup

It has been a particularly cold week in Indiana.  We got at least 7 inches of snow and I ended up closing the store yesterday, which was a bummer because I was expecting a lot of people that work during the week to stop in.  I made the hard decision to close the store, so we’ve had a big sale going on.  Time is running out… I have about two weeks left to sell everything, pack up and go.  As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t done much cooking.  Unless you count the occasional coney dog and hamburger helper… ssshhh… don’t tell! lol
Today is Sunday and I’ve probably mentioned before that it calls for a real dinner… that’s how I grew up.  I wanted to make sure I cooked a real meal today.  This is the first time I’ve made 16 Bean Soup.  I have several other dishes planned for you this week.  I am excited to be cooking again!
I’m sure for most of you, ingredients like bay leaves are normal and not exotic.  This is my first time EVER using them.  My Mom was a fabulous cook, but some seasonings were never used.  I’ve been slowly adding new ones to my spice cabinet and I’m looking forward to using them.  Last year was the first time I used real garlic and not garlic salt or powder… I know, right?!  I’m 48 years old and heading into new culinary territory!
I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend with your family.  Have you ever made this soup before?  If so, comment below and tell me how yours turned out.
1 16-oz bag 16 Bean Mix
1 large ham shank or pieces of ham (1.5 to 2 lbs)
6 cups chicken, pork or beef stock and water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 bay leaves
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
freshly ground pepper
salt (with caution)
(Feel free to add carrots, celery, fresh seasonings such as thyme and parsley.)  I did not add these things as I was trying to keep it close to the way I make pinto beans.
1. SOAK THE BEANS:  Put beans in a pot with 3-4 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Boil 2 minutes, then cover, remove from heat, and let sit for an hour.  Drain and rinse. Beans will look gray  – that will cook out later.
2. LOAD POT OR SLOW COOKER  with beans and the ham.  Add the rest of the ingredients except salt.  Do not salt soup until cooking is done, since the ham is already salty. Use your judgment with thyme, parsley and pepper.
3. SLOW COOK on High for 4-5 hours, or on Low for 8-9 hours, until ham falls off the bone.
4. Remove bones (and bay leaves)
with a slotted spoon.  If soup is not thick, allow to cook for another hour with lid off.  Salt only after cooking is complete because the ham is salty already.
5. Serve with warm cornbread.
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Italian Meatballs

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Some of you may already know that I post a lot of recipes on my facebook timeline.  The majority of those I share from friends or they are recipes that catch my eye online.  Everything I post here is something I have cooked myself and have eaten.  A few days ago, I was posting recipes that were most decidedly Italian and that made me hungry for an easy dish of spaghetti.  I love meatballs, but we never had them growing up… spaghetti sauce almost always had hamburger in it.  This was my first try… they were good!


Italian Meatballs


1 1/2 lbs ground beef

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tsp oregano

1 TBSP parsley

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp thyme



Mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand.

Use your bare hands to make sure everything is mixed together well.

Roll meatballs – approximately the size of a golf ball.

Drop raw meatballs into skillet with hot oil… turn as each brown.

Drop half-c00ked meatballs into a pot of spaghetti sauce and simmer for an hour.

Serve over spaghetti noodles.


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Hobo Dinner

I had this meal once at 4-H camp when I was a kid. It tasted sooo good and I’ve often thought I would make it as an adult. I’m fairly certain we only added salt and pepper to flavor ours and we cooked them outside. I don’t recall whether it was a grill or campfire, but it was delicious! I played in a my kitchen a little this evening and came up with something fairly close. The beauty of this is you can adjust the seasonings, or switch them out completely to suit your own taste!


ground beef (mine is extra yummy… comes from my Dad’s farm!)
(you can insert any vegetables here that you like!)
(I did not measure seasonings… it’s really a matter of personal taste)
seasoned salt
garlic salt
onion powder
salt & pepper
worcestershire sauce (I used Lea & Perrins)
(you could add cheese too, but I did not)

You will need aluminum foil to wrap the meal in to bake.

Another awesome thing about this is, you are making each packet as one serving, so you can customize each packet to your family/friend’s tastes. I’ll be making this for my daughter without meat.

Place hamburger patty to the left center in foil. Season with seasoned salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, salt and pepper. Then add a dash of worcestershire sauce. Slice onion and put on burger (if you don’t want the onion flavor on your potatoes) I love onions, so I just mixed them with my potatoes. You can either slice the potatoes or make small cubes as I did. (Add any veggies.) Add salt & paper and a slab of butter (I don’t measure an exact amount).


Roll the foil and close tightly.


I baked mine in the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Just keep an eye on it because your oven may cook differently. If you’d like, you could also cook on the grill: lid on 10 minutes, lid off 10 minutes, lid on 10 minutes, lid off for 10 minutes
Take off and check – potatoes should be soft and meat cooked through.

If you add cheese, now is the time to sprinkle cheese on top and let melt (just use as much as you would like).


It was SO good that I had two helpings!

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Homemade Chex Mix

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I’m starting this recipe off with a disclaimer… lol. This is addicting! But I also make it differently than the “standard” recipe. My daughter and I don’t like the wheat chex and I don’t add it! I also don’t add yucky pretzels or various other snacks. It’s a basic mix and we LOVE it! One of Lindsay’s friends likened it to crack… there may be some exaggeration there! Also, I’ve given you some conservative measurements on the ingredients. We are garlic fiends! I usually make it very garlic-ky! Feel free to adjust it to your taste!

6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups Corn Chex cereal
2 cups Rice Chex cereal
3/4 cup salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 250°. Heat butter in a microwave safe bowl until melted. Remove. Stir in seasoned salt and Worcestershire sauce. Spoon mixture over Chex and nuts in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Mix until all pieces are coated. Heat in oven 45 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes.

Copyright © Backroad Kitchen. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission.